Readers comments 6.14.13
[Editor’s note:?The following letter was sent to the Claremont City Council, with a copy forwarded for publication. —KD]
Conflict with city’s law firm
Dear City Council members:
Your list of future council agenda items includes the contract with Best Best and Krieger for legal services.
For many years, it has troubled me that the city attorney’s law firm may also represent the city in litigation. This creates a conflict of interest.
Our city attorney should be advising you how to minimize litigation and also whether to accept the recommendations of its litigators. Litigators have a reputation for promoting further litigation instead of settlement, and mediation can be preferable to litigation despite being less lucrative for attorneys.
In addition, by not having a contract with one law firm for legal services, you can engage the most expert law firm for the topic when you are required to litigate. A city attorney should give independent advice, which is at least awkward if his or her own firm is competing to be selected, and which is not possible at all if the firm has a monopoly.
Any conflict of interest should be eliminated. I hope that you will do this when the legal services contract is up for renewal.
Meanwhile, I request that you publish a breakdown of our city’s expenses during the current legal services contract period before you calendar its renewal. We should know how much is paid to whom for what.
Invalidating what’s valid
Are you kidding me? Is our legislature really that clueless? We want to give valid IDs to illegals and felons who are breaking our laws by being here to begin with. We want to thereby grant them immediate access to all sorts of social services that most of them don’t pay into (no taxes withheld from “under the table” workers).
Let’s look at some of the drawbacks.
(1) Birth certificates and proof of residency are required to obtain these documents. These can be created by hundreds of counterfeiters who are currently supplying them to anyone with the price to pay.
(2) These documents can be obtained under any name the perpetrator of this crime chooses, thereby allowing for multiple IDs for criminals and terrorists who wish to remain anonymous.
(3) Once obtained, the holder of these documents can roam freely throughout our country and never fear that they will be jailed or deported. This will allow criminals and terrorists free rein to destroy any building, installation or group that they have targeted because, if stopped, they will have valid ID.
(4) This law will make the term “valid ID” meaningless and once again this state will be the laughing stock of the country and the world.
Drop the personal attacks
May I express my gratitude for Ellen Taylor’s unstinting and generous service to the community of Claremont.
Without her diligent and yes, unbiased information, we would be hard-pressed to analyze, cogitate upon and resolve many political issues.
As a registered Republican, I am grateful for people such as Ms. Taylor, who are devoted to the concept of community service. I do rely on her analysis and perspective as a community leader to provide information and balanced evaluation to the political conversation.
I am so sorry to see a letter to the editor turn into a personal attack, and I must say that as a fellow property owner I absolutely agree with Ms. Taylor’s response to the Girl Scouts’ incident (and haven’t we heard enough ignorant opinions about this topic?). The Girl Scouts who wanted to sell cookies could have benefited from a lesson in civics as they went to city hall and obtained a permit for their sales; instead the Girl Scouts were thrust into a situation where they learned nothing and probably felt bad.
We are not all privileged enough to own property, but any property owner knows that liability starts whenever anyone sets foot upon their property If the Girl Scouts had been allowed to commence selling cookies upon private property, any one of their customers could hold the property owner liable for any small infraction, real or imagined.
Ms. Taylor was right to defend her property. Unfortunately, most insurance companies require police reports or other official documents to back up property owners’ claims or information. Ms. Taylor was right to call the police to document the situation. This is the bizarre nature of the legal climate; most grown adults understand this.
I used to be a Girl Scout in this community and I have raised 4 children in Claremont. I know personally that the atmosphere within this community strives to be forward thinking and positive toward youth. Please drop this inane personal attack and stick to serious issues.
Parking problems? Great!
Forty-two years ago, there were 7 eating places in the Village and, except for 2, they were not open after 6 p.m. No yogurt shops, no coffee bars, no juice bars, no bars, period! There are now over 40 such businesses in the Village. There were complaints about parking even in the 1970s.
Thirty years ago I was part of a restaurant ownership group that signed a contract with the city of Claremont regarding our parking obligations at the corner of First Street and Harvard Avenue. The city was paid tens of thousands of dollars to help provide parking in the Village area. The money went into the Village Parking fund, designated to improve and provide parking in the Village, where appropriate, and for the general good of the business area. A number of newer food establishments in the Village have had these contracts in past years. The whole Village has benefited by contributions to the fund with additional parking provided in various projects.
The parking fund was not expected to provide The First St. Bar & Grill with 10 or 12 specific spaces. We also did not expect that buildings would be demolished or modified to provide parking close to our business.
The parking garage on the west side of Indian Hill Boulevard in the Village is an excellent example of the use of these funds, if indeed the Village Parking Funds were used in this project. It not only provides parking for public transportation users as designated by the terms of the Federal Transportation grant received by Claremont but it benefits the whole Village. What would parking be like without the additional 250 or so spaces provided in this building?
I say, “Parking challenges in the Village? Great!” That means that there is economic vitality and interest in goods and services being provided. I only hope that most of the spaces are being used by customers and not by employers and their employees.
Karen M. Rosenthal
Train crossing safety
Last year, I came out of a store and walked south across the tracks toward my car parked on First Street. The roadway is very broken and I was concentrating on my path, thinking of another errand, when I suddenly realized I heard a loud, clanging noise.
I looked around, the rails were down, and I was in the middle of the tracks. The train was about a block away and I was able to retreat, but it was a close call.
My heart goes out to Michael Rodriguez’s friends and family. The trains travel too fast, and it only takes a moment of inattentiveness to die.
I do have a suggestion that might help. In Canada and England, they paint “Stop, look for trains” on the sidewalks approaching the pedestrian crossing areas. It might catch the walker’s attention. Also, walkers should re-consider wearing earpods while walking. You also need to hear those careless car drivers who are running stop signs all over Claremont.