By Trudy Wischemann
In case you missed it last week, friends, it was a rousing good time at the Lindsay City Council meeting on the 12th. Folks from all over town, but particularly downtown, came to just say yes—to change.
Yes, folks came in the name of the businesses they own or operate on Main Street. They came primarily to tell the Council what they want in terms of the Friday Night Market. They came and spoke to those interests even though Spanish is their mother tongue; gratefully, Councilwoman Cortez graciously translated and Mayor Kimball graciously extended the public comment period to accommodate the extra time that required.
“Yes, we want the Chamber to run the Friday Night Market,” they said over and over. Even when Council was considering awarding the project to Jimora Enterprises under the guise of an “objective” RFP process, the folks said “Yes, we want the Chamber.” When one of those folks claimed evidence of a criminal background for the person underneath the opaque Jimora name, the folks said “Yes, that’s why we really want the Chamber,” and the Council agreed to table the motion until the next meeting on March 26.
Yes, there are changes that need to be made in the operation of the Friday Night Market as conducted by the Chamber. Until the Council was convinced to not renew the Chamber’s contract, the Chamber had been operating far too much under the City’s thumb. A new contract certainly could be written giving the Chamber the independent authority it needs to match the responsibilities it has, with guidance as to the goals and objectives to be met and commitments from the City for its support. I think we certainly should say Yes to that.
There are some other changes we need to give our affirmation. The mayor needs support to begin the process of housecleaning at the staff level, starting at the top. As Councilwoman Flores spoke at the Feb. 26 meeting, anyone who knew about and arranged the transfers of money from restricted fund accounts to the general fund should step down. I think they should plan on leaving without the severance packages that have severed our budget repeatedly in the past. We certainly can say yes to this process: Yes, Mayor Kimball, we support you in your difficult but necessary steps to rehabilitate the administrative arm of our government. And yes, Mayor Kimball, if it’s too hard to do this to your friends, then we graciously accept your resignation, and the resignation of any subsequent mayor until that process is completed. Because Yes, it’s critically important to be able to trust your staff!
While we’re at it, we can give a great big Yes to this paper and subscribe. It’s cheap, just $35 a year (check the lower left corner of page A2)! Without them, no one would have picked up on this bankruptcy thing, and they’d still be digging us a hole it will take decades to fill. The freedom of this particular press came at a price, and they’ve paid it. We can pay them back with a subscription—and if you’re feeling especially grateful, a thank you note to the editor!
So just say Yes to your citizenship at the local level, and come to the meeting next Tuesday, March 26, 6 p.m. Tell them Yes we love Lindsay, our home; Yes we want to do whatever it takes to have a downtown and a functioning democracy, as well as a budget that works for the people, not against them. And Yes, we’re not taking No for an answer.
Trudy Wischemann is a rural advocate who writes. You can send her your war stories for democracy c/o P.O. Box 1374, Lindsay CA 93247 or visit www.trudysnotesfromhome.blogspot.com and leave a comment there.
This column is not a news article but the opinion of the writer and does not reflect the views of The Foothills Sun-Gazette newspaper.