New Council Members – New Funding for OUSD – Same “Old” Governor
It’s official: Paul Blatz has been re-elected for another four years, and he will be joined at the dais by newly elected council members William Weirick and Randy Haney. No one can yet say just how the council decisions will change, or if the decision making process will change for the council in 2015, but new faces generally mean new thought processes, new values, and that is what a democracy is all about. The Chamber is looking forward to working with both Weirick and Haney along with returning council member Blatz and incumbent members Clapp and Lara. Let’s see if we can bring the GSWC debacle to an end, make a decision on the Vacation Rental issue, and have consistent and timely code enforcement beginning in 2015. These are not the only issue of importance to the business community of Ojai, but they will serve as a beginning.
The change that may prove to more important than two new council members is the move to an elected two-year term mayor. The elected mayor and the two-year tenure were both passed by a vast majority. It is quite apparent that the voters in Ojai disagreed with retired council members, and felt that the “round-robin” mayor selection was a broken process that needed fixing. We will have to wait to see if the post of mayor becomes a position too politicized to be effective, and if it concentrates too much power in the hands of one person.
Congratulations to the Ojai Unified School District! A super majority passed Measure J and now there will be some funding for improvements in your infrastructure. Just in time, too, because with the passing of Proposition 2, the State may start decreasing their funding to public schools to help build reserves to get us through those fiscal rainy days. And who knows? There may be a groundswell of interest in school board meetings once residents experience the sticker shock of the increase in their annual tax bill.
California now has the oldest governor in the nation. With his third re-election to a fourth term, Jerry Brown has made history. His “let’s live within our means” concept seems to almost echo his other mantra some decades past of “we need to assess our expectations.” His Democratic super majority in the state legislature has disappeared, but don’t expect too much to change since the Dems still hold a large majority. Perhaps living within their means might cramp the style of the majority of our state legislators, causing a rift between the Governor and his party.