Wednesday, May 7, 2014

• State of the City 2014

I'd never been to a "State of the [fill in the blank]" before. So my attendance at today's State of the City was something new for me. w00t!


It was attended by local dignitaries from neighboring cities and organizations. Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, Murrieta and Temecula were represented. As were county supervisor Kevin Jeffries' office, state assemblywoman Melissa Melendez's office, county supervisor Jeff Stone, of California Secession fame. *link to that story if you've forgotten*

Rounded out by our own city peeps, except for Bob Cashman that is... I'm pretty good at photoshop and can add him into any official photos if the city would like.

The list of dignitaries was so long that it took up about 10 minutes to go through. I was sitting next to Doug Ames, and at one point he leaned over to me and said, "looks like we're the only [average] citizens here." 

Even his son, Mike Ames, was among the honored guests, on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout, he lead the group in the pledge of allegiance.  Ready? Begin....

The theme for today's event was:

Had I seen this theme in the first ten years I lived here, I would have scoffed at it. Back then I didn't do much more than wave to some of my neighbors from time to time. I never got out of my own bubble long enough to know if there was a community or not. Ever since I ventured out of my safe zone last year, I've seen that there is indeed a community in this city, and it's full of good people.

Mayor Marsha Swanson giving the State of the City speech. 

Remember when I said  I am pretty good with photoshop? Well, those banners weren't behind the mayor until I put them there. I'm telling you, I can insert council member Cashman into pics of any event he can't make it to.


Now let's get down to the nuts and bolts of the speech.

***Spoiler Alert***

[There weren't any "nuts and bolts" of the speech.]

First, let me ask you... have you ever heard a State of the Union speech? After you listen to one of those, no matter which party is in the White House, you end up scratching your head and asking... what was all that? There's no difference here.

There wasn't going to be any fiery rhetoric. These speeches are meant to be flowery and glowing, filled with optimism —which it was. Though I did appreciate it when the phrase "frivolous lawsuits" was uttered, as did the rest of the crowd... if you can deem groans mixed with muffled laughter, as people "appreciating" something that is.

I enjoyed the experience for what it was and look forward to going next year too. A round of thanks to those that made it come off so well. Mayor Swanson did a nice job with the speech, though some of the surnames, of the local dignitaries, did give her a run for her money. :)

A view of the north side of the Elks Lodge banquet room.

Mayor Marsha Swanson posing between banners.
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  1. If this had changed in the last couple of years, correct me. But ...

    I am dismayed that:
    1) One can only attend the State of the City Address if one does not work daytime weekday hours or can get time off.
    2) Payment of a fee is required for attendance.
    3) The event is not broadcast on local public access cable.
    4) The event is not videod for streaming from the city's website.
    5) There's no transcript of the speech on the city website.
    So, you can go if you pay and aren't working. But the rest of us are out of luck. (Thank you, Joe, for this summary.)

    If this is important and official city business, all citizens deserve access to the content.

    1. John, I'd be the first to agree with you that all city business such as this, and all city meetings, should be live streamed and later archived for easy access (I'm thinking that the days of public access TV are in the past). I also don't like the fee aspect of it either. Sure, it pays for the breakfast, but there should be an option where people can attend without having the breakfast or beverage option.


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