Terry Jensen
Common Sense / Opinion
A continuing series

Mystery Holiday Moves Mayor To Propose Canceling Jan. 3 Council Meeting

(Dec. 15, 2011) -- When reported that Mayor Foster has proposed that the City Council cancel its January 3 meeting and his office cited "holidays" as the reason, I was curious.

What Holiday caused Mayor Foster to propose canceling a Council meeting and postpone conducting vital city business? The holiday must be pretty important, given how many meetings are missed during the normal holidays despite the many pressing problems our great city faces.

I racked my brain to remember what holiday falls on January 3, a holiday that merits putting city business aside. Like making badly needed structural changes in how the city manages our money. Or devising a plan to put more police officers on the street so they could, once again, engage in proactive policing and make our city safer. Or coming up with a way to pave our streets that now look like what you'd find in some third world countries.

Knowing that Mayor Foster and most of the Council are seeking reelection or higher office, the holiday must be very important to miss a chance to agendize items they might otherwise list in their campaign materials.

The Mayorís agendizing memo doesn't list any reason for proposing to cancel the Council meeting. says a member of the Mayor's office cited "Holiday" as the I decided to do some research and find out what holiday Mayor Foster felt compelled to celebrate.

Was it Jan. 3, 1925, the date that Benito Mussolini announced he was taking dictatorial powers over Italy? Nope. Foster is a bit overbearing but I donít think he'd openly celebrate Il Duce.

I dug deeper and, knowing that Foster has studied Roman history, I came across the birthday of Cicero the Roman statesman and philosopher. Was this it? Nope, too obscure.

Or how about January 3, 1894 the birthday of ZaSu Pitts the great American actress? Naw, probably a bit frivolous.

Was it 1777 when George Washington defeated British General Cornwallis at the battle of Princeton? After all, George didnít win many battles so could this be it? I donít think so; I moved on.

Perhaps it was Festival of Sleep Day or Christian Feast Day or National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day or Fruit Cake Toss day? No, much too obscure and regional in nature except for the Fruit Cake toss.

Was it Willy T. Ribbs' birthday or the day Hillel ben Naphtali Zevi the Lithuanian Rabbi died in 1690?

And then I found a couple of holidays that may have been the reason for Foster to shove city business aside for a celebration he might not have been able to enjoy on his recent European travel.

It may have been the Public Holiday proposed by the Mauritius Vice Prime Minster as a one-day-off non-working public holiday.

Pick one, have a good time and let city business wait.

Previously on Common Sense by Terry Jensen (continuing series):

  • No. 11: Public Officials Shrugging Public Costs Of Project Labor Agreements

  • No. 10: Outsourcing City Hall

  • No. 9: Lack of City Hall Credibility, Not Residents' Complaints, Deters Quality LB Developments; Restoring Trust Requires Accurate Information & Respectful Partnership b/w Residents & Officials

  • No. 8: Council Grants Permit With Conditions Requiring What City Hall Already Basically Requires & Residents Deserve

  • No. 7: Facing A De Facto Precedent Proposed at 2nd/PCH

  • No. 6: Put Redevelopment In Council's Hands, Make LB Elected Officials Accountable (For A Change)

  • No. 5: Suppose Our City Officials Had Applied These Efforts To Assure World Class Kroc Center Instead Of For This, This & This

  • No. 4: Council Majority Either Didn't Know, Or Knew But Didn't Disclose, Amount Of Taxpayer Dollars Potentially Up In Smoke On Med MJ Vote

  • No. 3: City Hall & Its Boosters Created Budget Mess (Quit Blaming Recession); Proposed Proportional Cuts Don't Prioritize; Council Needs To Define Core Items & Cut Others

  • No. 2: Costs vs. Benefits: Council's Costlier-Than-Necessary Seawall Fix = Decaying Belmont Pier & Other Shoreline Assets

  • No. 1: Santa, Call LB City Hall: Taxpayer Leased Vacant Bldg. (New Home To Daisy Lane Xmas Displays) Invites Annual Public Review of All City Owned/Leased Properties And Zero-Based Budget

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