Altoid Goes to City Hall

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Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:51 pm

Given Sandy Eggo's fiscal woes, the mayor has just proposed almost $40 million in budget cuts, including the closure of 7 city libraries, one of which is our local branch library.

I decided to go to the City Council meeting this morning and speak out against the closure. It turned out to be a huge meeting, mostly made up of people lobbying for the causes of the fire department, youth and community centers, and the libraries.

I decided to take Altoid with me for a variety of reasons, one of which was to put a child's face on the issue just by having her with me. It turned out she was the only small child in attendance. As the meeting proceeded, I explained to her what was happening, and my intention.

She asked if she could say something, too.

I said yes, if that was what she really wanted to do. Then, we talked about what she would say, and I revised it to the essence of what she was telling me.

We ended up waiting two and a half hours to speak, and in the meantime took a couple of breaks in the hallway outside council chambers. There were all of the local news outlets represented, and some of them were conducting interviews and staging their equipment in the hall. One of the reporters struck up a conversation, and ended up interviewing Altoid(along with me for background). She assured me it will air on today's 5 o'clock news(VCR set to record) on the ABC affiliate.

Finally, our time to speak came, and I announced to the mayor and city council my daughter asked to speak, and at that point she said, "Please don't close my liberry[sic]." I then expanded on my feelings about it, and we were done.

A photographer for an on line newspaper followed us out and showed me a photograph he took of Altoid and me waiting to speak, with Mayor Jerry Sanders in the next seat over, and asked permission to publish it. I'll post it as soon as it shows up on line.

It turns out the proceedings are broadcast all over city hall via closed circuit. As we passed security on the way out, the security personnel applauded Altoid on her performance.

I have a confession: That's the first time I've ever done anything like that myself, too.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Shapley » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:04 pm

Good on you for getting involved. They say you can't fight City Hall, but you need to try. "They" have been wrong before.

I'm glad you took Altoid along. It probably helped get some attention, and will be an educational opportunity for her as well, regardless of the outcome.

I've gone to City Hall's a number of times. Usually to protest spending, not to demand more of it. I was also on the Village Board for a few years when I lived in the village. Now that I dwell in the country, I have no more need of it, unless they try to annex me. I believe my most controversial move was being part of a motion to reject a C.O.P.S. grant for the village. We were successful in defeating it. Under the measure, we would have recieved funding to pay the salary of up to three additional officers for one year. The next year we would have had to pay 20% of their salaries, 40% the following, and so on until we were liable for the full cost of salaries We had no equipment and no vehicles, nor the money to provide the equipment or the benefits not covered by the grant. I believe the mayor's plan was to hire three, and then lay off one or two or all as the bill came due, unless the money could be found to keep them on. No plan was in place to generate the money.

I once made a motion to dissolve the village, and become an unincorporated part of the county. I couldn't get a second on the motion, so it died. I was frustrated by the seeming inability (actually lack of desire) to enforce city codes, and I had pointed out that unincorporated areas were able to get more done by relying on county resources. It seemed to me that being incorporated was more of a hinderance than a help. The rest of the board disagreed. :)
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:50 pm

OT, please post links when you get them. When the MRHYN was on the local news channel they posted the link on their website.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:43 pm

Haggis, will do.

The photo of us sitting next to the mayor should show up here:

Voice of San Diego.org

And the interview should be here:

KGTV 10 News
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Serenity » Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:51 pm

I couldn't find the photo but I saw the video entitled "City Council Debates Budget Cuts". OT, you're dressed just like the council members! Smart move to bring Altoid! This poor child will miss her story time? If you get another chance, you should elaborate that the 'liberry' is where she learns about politics, citizenship and current events. :wink:
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:36 pm

The station that interviewed Altoid did not broadcast the interview, but here we are making my part of the statement, from a different channel:

clicky

Click on the inset photo to watch the video. We come on at the end.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Serenity » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:58 pm

It's very short but it's still very effective to "pitch your argument" while holding your little girl in your arms.....I'm pretty sure that's an effective and traditional Republican tactic! :rofl:
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Trumpetmaster » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:20 pm

OperaTenor wrote:The station that interviewed Altoid did not broadcast the interview, but here we are making my part of the statement, from a different channel:

clicky

Click on the inset photo to watch the video. We come on at the end.



Short but well said!

BRAVO!
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Nov 13, 2008 12:55 am

Thanks!

There was actually more, but they edited it out. If you'll notice, at the end, the sound goes away but my lips are still moving.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:10 am

The Altoid kept her head buried on Daddy's shoulder - and that's the shyest I've ever seen that child look!

I think my local library may make it through the cuts intact, though it doesn't look like the new building will ever be built. It's a bit far to bike, though, and there's no Community Park around it (On the upside, there's Lake Murray and Mission Trails...)
>^..^<
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Shapley » Thu Nov 13, 2008 9:40 am

Mayors Ask President-Elect Obama For Help

Looks like mayors everywhere are looking for handouts. I'm not opposed to the idea of a large-scale government investment in infrastructure overhaul. However, any cuts to pay for it should come from entitlement spending, not from spending that should be used to pay for constitutional obligations of government.

Entitlements consume over half the budget, as shown in this graph of 2007 budget:

Image

However, when they need to appropriate monies for other projects, they always look at the other 47% of the budget (actually, 38% of the budget, since the interest on the debt is off the table for obvious reasons).

Most of the monies come, of course, from us:

Image

Interestingly, while Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid make up 42% of the budget spending, the payroll taxes that support them only seem to make up 32% of the income. Assuming that Social Security still runs a surplus (I haven't checked lately), then Medicare taxes clearly are falling way short of maintaining the programme.

President Bush did try to change Social Security, to 'tame the monster', if you will, but was prevented from doing so by the Democrats in Congress. I don't expect President-Elect Obama to attempt any radical change in Social Security, except to raise taxes to fund it further to support it (probably eliminating the tax cap, something Democrats have supported for years). We know the programme is headed for a financial train wreck, but I don't think we can expect anyone to try to alter its' course now.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:01 am

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:The Altoid kept her head buried on Daddy's shoulder - and that's the shyest I've ever seen that child look!


That clip shows the very tail end of my statement. When she spoke, she leaned right in to the microphone. I think she got a little shy after getting applause.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby piqaboo » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:20 pm

She was on the radio today.
KPBS local news played her line after a brief intro. I cant find a link to the audio.
Still, proud mama got to hear it and that's all who counts, yes?

The frustrating thing is no one has released, even to the City Council, how they selected the specific libraries to close.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Nov 13, 2008 4:37 pm

Here is the segment from KPBS. Clink on the "listen" button on the page:

clicky
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby OperaTenor » Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:07 pm

The on line newspaper that took the great photo of us sitting next to the mayor decided not to run the photo, so I e-mailed the photographer to ask for a copy of the photo for Altoid. He replied that I could have a digital copy for a mere $40! Oh yeah, tons of restrictions apply.

Is this normal? I need to know before I send this guy a really, really snarky reply.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby jamiebk » Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:46 pm

OperaTenor wrote:The on line newspaper that took the great photo of us sitting next to the mayor decided not to run the photo, so I e-mailed the photographer to ask for a copy of the photo for Altoid. He replied that I could have a digital copy for a mere $40! Oh yeah, tons of restrictions apply.

Is this normal? I need to know before I send this guy a really, really snarky reply.


OT...that is tyypical and SOP for newspaper photogs. The pictures technically belong to them and they can (and do) sell them. We bought a picture of our dog that was used as a cover for a story on our local dog park which my wife helped to develop. Ultimately, someone bought the rights to the photo and we can't even get it now. Fortunately, we paid for a full sized print. Now we see our dog's happy face on greeting cards everywhere. There was even a billboard. Here is the picture (and yes...she actually does that!):
Image
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Shapley » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:15 am

OperaTenor wrote:Is this normal? I need to know before I send this guy a really, really snarky reply.


Yep. That's SOP. The photographers make their living selling photos, and they retain the rights to them.

I was supposed to attend a Jerry Seinfeld Show in Paducah early this year, but was forced to be out of town. My son went in my place, and wore the puffy shirt I bought for the occasion. He was interviewed, and his comments, and accompanying photo, appeared in the local paper, to which I do not subscribe. We went to the website, and were able to review the article. They offered reprints of the photo for sale, but we declined (we took our own...).

The show, I'm told, was great.... :(
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby analog » Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:21 am

still you'd think he'd send you one just for your scrapbook.

The guy must not have grandkids yet.

a.
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:55 am

analog wrote:still you'd think he'd send you one just for your scrapbook.

The guy must not have grandkids yet.

a.


Photographers are the least members of the human race; buy it, you'll regret not doing so in 20 years...
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Altoid Goes to City Hall

Postby Shapley » Fri Nov 14, 2008 10:59 am

Haggis@wk wrote:
analog wrote:still you'd think he'd send you one just for your scrapbook.

The guy must not have grandkids yet.

a.


Photographers are the least members of the human race; buy it, you'll regret not doing so in 20 years...


It's not unlike musicians demanding royalties for every airing of recordings of the music they perform....
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