Robert Lewis had another article in the Bee yesterday about the latest developments in the incorporation effort. It was an attempt at a fact-checking piece trying to sort out both sides and see who is telling the truth. Actually, it came up somewhat short on that. It presented both sides fairly evenly, but allowed the garbage arguments of the opposition to remain unchallenged. Wonder if Mrs. Pruitt put the kabosh on that angle?
Anyhow, I write that because while reading the article I posted a comment. Later I went back to see what else was there, and was amazed by one comment I read. Someone using the handle Oreyd (why do the opposition folks all feel the need to use made up names anyway?) write the following: "I am terrified by the hidden right wing extremist agenda of many of the people running the Pro-city hood campaign."
I've long been a believe that at this level, party doesn't matter. I've actually decided, as an independent, to vote for 3 repubs, 1 indy, 2 demos, and 1 who I actually don't know the party for. (Now watch the candidates go nuts trying to figure out who I mean!) I selected those based on a number of reasons. Experience (not only political), ideas, trustworthiness, and strength of personality all counted for a lot. But party never factored in.
The cityhood process was started six years ago by Bill Davis, local Democrat activist, with the help and support of a handful of others, all democrats (I'm only going to use the names of folks still actively involved in the cityhood movement). Some time later Laura Lavallee came on board as the first Republican (that I'm aware of). Joel Archer, also GOP, came on shortly after. I think I was next one to join in, as a politics-hating rabid radical-centrist (socially liberal, ethically conservative, and fiscally do-what-makes-sense). Other Repubs and Demos came and went over time, in fairly balanced numbers. The incorporation movement is, and has pretty much always been, a "dorsal fin" effort (since birds don't have a middle wing I changed the analogy a bit.)
Right now we have council candidates from different parties working together on the campaign. They have learned how to work together, as have most of the other candidates, because they all have decided to put the future good of the community ahead of personal interest or party politics. Why else would 22 people decide to spend their time, and in many cases, personal money, to get a part time job that pays a maximum of $7200 per year (mandated by state law)?
Speaking of money, let's follow that trail a bit further. Aside from candidates, many members of the incorporation committee, past and present, have invested tons of their own time and money to make this happen. I can speak personally that I'm out at least a couple thousand, just in donations of free time to the committee, and not counting actual expenses for gas, office supplies, copying, etc. And I'm far from the only one.
On the other hand, let's revisit the opposition's economic interests. Tim Cahill owns commercial real estate leased to a massage parlor - the kind with a locked door and video camera monitoring everyone who comes near. I don't know that anyone has done the research, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were another choice property or two among his holdings.
Lou Blanas, former Sheriff, is a stakeholder in the new card room casino that opened up on Auburn Blvd., along the Marconi Curve. If you look at the map of Arden Arcade and find the little notch chocked out of the northwest corner, that's the spot. Not in Arden Arcade, but if we incorporate, we would surround the wedge. Not that anyone is concerned about that - at least as long as the place is clean - but Sheriff Lou seems to be worried about it.
And then there is the big question. Why would the plumber's union donate $50,000 to the no on D effort? It's not as simple as left vs right or labor vs management. After all, we have the endorsement and a donation or two from the firefighter's and policemen's unions. But when we incorporate the firefighters know we're going to keep them on board for as long as humanly possible. And the city council will probably strike a mutually beneficial deal with the Sheriff's Department for police services. But, Sac City and County are locked into contracts to use union labor exclusively for the kinds of stuff that plumbers and pipefitters do. Arden Arcade may choose to go the same route, but isn't necessarily obligated to. So the option exists to go elsewhere and cut the union out of the money pile.
Couldn't the plumber's union have been convinced that the new city would deal with them fairly? Maybe. But remember, the incorporation effort has been run by concerned citizens of the community (you know, like the No on D crowd claims to be), while the opposition is comprised of professional politicians, lobbyists, and other wealthy players (like they claim we are). They have the home field advantage when it comes to seducing money from big labor and similar organizations. I would love it if I could have been in the room for those negotiations, just to learn how the pros do it.
Maybe I'll check with Mark Lyon and see if he has video tapes of it.