Last night I had my bowl of popcorn, a nice, cold, sweaty bottle of beer and the remote control.
Unlike the rest of the greater Los Angeles area, however, I was not watching The Game.
I was watching the West Covina City Council Meeting, and to my surprise, it may be one of the last times. The city, inspired by a looming budget deficit, decided to halt all cable TV production.
What? No more poorly shot fluff from city events? While I won't miss the mayor trying to act like a news correspondent on the weekends, I will miss watching the meetings from home. Though I believe I could still watch online.
City Staff took a hatchet to the budget and it looks like the projected deficit is about $2-3 million less than originally anticipated. And that's a good thing.
The reserve is definitely less than it was just a couple years ago, but it's still pretty healthy. According to WC Finance Director Thomas "Bueller, Bueller" Bachman, the reason for the shortfall is simple, although when he talks about it seems like it's not. "That deficit is projected to grow in the future due to a structural imbalance in the General Fund in which revenue growth is not keeping up with expenditure growth," he says in the staff report.
Well, after hearing a lot about numbers and deficits and cuts, I admit I was a little snoozy, especially after my second bottle of beer and an empty bowl of popcorn.
And then, something magical happened.
Councilman Mike Touhey mentioned the council did not send out well-wishes to Councilman Roger Hernandez's ailing father, who passed away just three days after the last meeting, at the June 3 meeting. He explained it wasn't their place to inform the public, in case there were family members out there who didn't know what was going on. If you remember, I was wailing on the council for what seemed to be a heartless act.
At the end of his speech, he says: "There were some shots taken at this council, not by Fred Sykes but by someone else. ... I wanna makes sure all the bloggers out there, WEST COVINA WATCHER, who takes shots at us, says things, to me that was a low blow."
I don't think my blow was necessarily low. Well wishes are well wishes and it wouldn't hurt to send them from the dais. I'm not taking a blow at Touhey, though. He did rise above the pettiness and I believe he was probably sincere, along with Mayor Lane.
So, Mr. Touhey, now that I know you read this blog, I will say this: While I don't necessarily agree with your contention, I understand your reasons. That, and Thanks for the free ad. On TV, no less!
I need some traffic up in here.