Let’s see—what happened this week?
This beautiful weather brings out the gardener in many of us. When I stopped to pick up some plants, seems like everyone was buying mulch, soil, and vegetables or flowers.
Putin’s back as president of Russia—predictable but not pleasing, however more people in Russia are demanding a say in government. In China, too, protests against a repressive system grow. The internet has something to do with this—around the globe, people have the idea that government should protect and serve them. During most of human history, this hasn’t been so. The change is almost more than we can get our heads around. It doesn’t mean peace, but it does mean progress.
I pick up more stuff over coffee. Did you know that at least one school in Benicia has Disney Day? Wear the t-shirt or whatever you got while you were at Disneyland. You haven’t been there? Well, you’re out of the loop. Disney has quite a sufficient budget to promote business and the idea that their amusement parks are “the happiest place on earth!” Not. Oh, and how about twin day, not to celebrate actual twins, but every student is supposed to partner with their best friend, dress alike—something twins often don’t do. The kids who don’t have a best friend? How will this day be for them?
I’ve written several times about the Commanding Officer’s Quarters—objecting to the amount of money spent, and how vacant it is most of the time. I stopped in and talked to Mayor Patterson about this during her regular office hours—between 6 and 7 on Mondays. I didn’t have time to ask all my questions, but it was a start and I plan to do it again, from time to time.
When I asked Mayor Patterson why residents can’t rent the Commanding Officer’s Quarters, she suggested I write a letter to the city and request a change in policy, so, it’s in the mail. Here is part of that letter:
“I became aware that residents of Benicia aren’t able to rent this mostly-unoccupied space. I was told that governments and non-profits only are allowed to rent it.
That made me ask “Who owns it?” The City of Benicia, obviously, but, certainly the citizens of Benicia paid for it, and by any standard of fairness that I think of, individual citizens should be allowed to use it.
Obviously, some procedure needs to be followed to make sure the building isn’t damaged, but such rules should not be used as a way to deny access to citizens or nonprofits who wish to use the facility and are willing to be responsible. Staff should assist such applicants to the extent possible, so that as many local people can use it as possible. Costs shouldn’t be prohibitive.”
I ended the letter by formally requesting the policy be changed. Let’s see what happens.