Friday, March 21, 2008

Gas Stations and Beer

Most of you may not know this, but the sale of alcohol -- beer and wine included -- is prohibited at gas stations by ordinance in the City of West Covina. I only found this out a few years ago when I tried to grab a six-pack at a fill-up station after a loooooong day at work.

At the time, I might have been a little pissed, but I just went to the nearest 7-Eleven and picked one up there.

This kind if left my mind for a while, until February 5th of this year. What makes that day so special is that I watched this from home. Granted, it might take you a while to get to the good stuff, so I'll break it down for you.

* The City Council, which was wearing the hat of the Community Development Commission, approved 3-1 to sell a prime piece of real estate for a measly $1 million so that a gas station could be built there. It's a patch of land near the almost-complete Big League Dreams sports complex (some call it a sportsplex, which annoys me because I generally dislike two words merging to become one).

* The buyer is the McIntyre Cos. Anyone who has been paying attention the last three years knows Councilman Mike Touhey works/worked for McIntyre as a consultant/lobbyist before getting re-elected to the council four years after getting ousted in 2003. He swears up and down and to anyone who would listen that he does not lobby his colleagues on behalf of McIntyre and other developers who have projects in the city. To protect himself, he always recuses himself. Admirable, no?

* Um.... No. At the very same meeting, February 5th, Councilman Touhey asked his colleagues to hold a discussion on repealing the ordinance that prohibits the sale of alcohol at ** drum roll, please ** GAS STATIONS!

Now, could it be a coincidence that he's pushing for a code change that would greatly benefit his client monetarily? Sure. But as the great Williams S. Burroughs once said:

"In the magical universe there are no coincidences and there are no accidents. Nothing happens unless someone wills it to happen.”

No comments: