Betty Pleasant, who writes the Soulvine column in The Wave newspaper in Los Angeles, in the following gives her take on Pasadena — by turns borderline libelous and just plain odd, and always poorly written — apparently derived without the benefit of actually visiting Pasadena:
“WHITE ROSES Climate change in the once seemingly rosy Pasadena City Hall is beginning to create some rather thorny situations. Whether serendipitous or fortuitous, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaards municipal house is becoming less colorful less diverse, if you will. Whatever the reasons, the bleaching of the career ranks continues to whiten the personnel rolls and blacks are disappearing from city hall corridors. (High level African-Americans leaving city hall. Remind you of anyone?)
“I heard things are so bad that the Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association (PBMEA) held a meeting last Tuesday where the subject of disappearing blacks was the only item on the agenda. People are saying the citys relatively new finance director, a Texas good ol boy named Steve Stark, is racist and that Veronica Jones was promoted out of her position as executive secretary into a less visible one and was replaced by a whiter woman. Then there are complaints from African-American employees about the whitening of the Pasadena Planning Department, especially since one Jon Pollard was hired. They call him The Overseer and accuse him of having systematically run every black employee out of the code enforcement division.
“All of this is playing out before a backdrop of perceived racism in the manner in which the city of Pasadena is treating a black developer who is seeking to build a housing development in the Northwest, predominately black section of the city. Word has it that the white powers-that-be are doing everything they can to take this huge, lucrative project away from the African-American developer. I heard that they have succeeded in convincing the developers joint venture partner to withdraw from the project, thus leaving the black man blowing in the wind all by himself.
“Nate Holden has always maintained close ties to Pasadena officials (being a property owner in that city), and his son, Chris, is a Pasadena City Council member and former mayor. I may have to listen to Nates complaints about how badly I treat him and cozy up to him and Chris to get a road map through the inner workings of the city so I can nose around in Pasadena. Granted, the Wave does not circulate in Pasadena, but if blacks are being mistreated there, I have to check that out. Besides, I need a change of scenery cause Inglewood is driving me crazy!”
Do you get the feeling that Pleasant somehow missed Todd Ruiz’ recent story pointing out that two of the three most powerful and highly paid officials in Pasadena City Hall are African-American women? With City Attorney Michele Bagneris earning $216,358 a year and utilities chief Phyllis Currie falling just short of $200,000, with $197,103?
Yeah, I get that feeling, too.
So do you maybe think that someone in a position to do, with an interest in a slam-dunk for one party involved in Heritage Square, fed her the above nonsense and she just ran with it?
Yeah. Certainly looks that way.