Just as expected, Rosemead’s meeting was a long one. It adjourned at 12:30 a.m. And it was PACKED! At least 200 people were there, filling the council chambers and the lobby. It was a pretty racially divided crowd. One white man — who is not aware of political correctness — leaned in to tell me, “Have you noticed that all the Orientals are for high density?” Another white woman who walked into the meeting at 6:30 p.m. said this when she saw that most of the seats were filled by a group of Asian residents, “Looks like we’re outnumbered.”
Race wasn’t addressed head on during the meeting, but as one insider told me, “It’s the elephant in the room.”
So, what happened during this 5 1/2 hour meeting? Well, almost 35 people spoke both in favor and against the general plan; Councilman Gary Talyor asked Councilman John Nunez to write an apology letter to all female employees in City Hall – Nunez agreed, adding that he will address the letter to all men, as well; neither Nunez or Taylor will be censured; and a audience member spent about 10 minutes trying to get a picture of City Attorney Bonifacio Garcia sleeping — although it can’t be confirmed that he was sleeping because of the glare on his glasses, a source sitting close to Garcia told me.
I have a notepad full of comments — both good, bad and funny — but that entry will have to wait till tomorrow when I am awake. One of my favorites of the night came from Planning Commissioner Todd Kunioka, who used the definition of insanity to address one view on the general plan: “If we do the same thing and expect a different result, that’s insane.”
One thing that I found especially interesting was each council member gave their opinion about the draft general plan — basically a blueprint for future city develoment — before hearing any comments from the audience. They just launched right in to what they thought about the proposed general plan. After the first of nearly 35 spoke on the issue, Mayor John Tran said that he had already made up his mind.
More later today about the specifics of those ammendments.
Only one person was escorted out by one of the three sheriff’s deputies at the meeting.