Leftovers from City Hall: What would Bill and Ted say about their San Dimas hometown?

- Sorry about the lack of entries last week. I was out filling in for a colleague:
Here’s this week’s column

I know I’ve already waxed on about a bunch of cities in the San Gabriel turning 50 this year, but I need another crack at San Dimas’ semi-centennial celebration.

The city has chose “An excellent adventure” as its anniversary slogan.

It harkens to 1989′s movie masterpiece “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” which was set in San Dimas.

In the film, two slackers in a noisy garage band get a quick study of history when they embark on a rollicking time-travel journey, eventually bringing hell-raising French conqueror Napoleon back to modern-day San Dimas.

After meeting Genghis Khan, Socrates and Abraham Lincoln, they end up giving the world’s most awesome history report, sparing Ted from being forced to go to military school.

For a really funny, well-done Web site about the hapless slackers, go to: www.billandted.org

The creators of the film chose San Dimas because they wanted their characters to be in a place without a clear identity, according to interviews given at the time. Bill and Ted weren’t surfers. They weren’t San Fernando Valley people. They were fictional slackers in need of a bland suburban home.

Except for a few shots at Raging Waters in San Dimas, the movie was filmed in Arizona, according to reports about the film.

It’s kind of sad that San Dimas couldn’t think of a better slogan for it’s year-long party. The city’s inclusion in the film was a jab at its drabness.

I have to say, however, San Dimas’ slogan beats Temple City’s: Celebrating 50 years as a community.

Dreadful.

Back to San Dimas, though.

Despite the big birthday, a lot of business owners in downtown San Dimas aren’t in a partying mood.

Many say the city needs to invest in the area and possibly do away with the campy Old West theme, which nobody seems to keen to keep.

Instead, San Dimas is doing a $13 million overhaul and expansion of City Hall.

Not to get too Old West, but is that not an obvious case of putting the cart before the horse?

San Dimas only has about 36,000 people, not much more than it had in 1980. Why the sudden need for more space?

A retrofit of the current City Hall would probably cost about $4 million, according to data from City Hall.

In fairness, San Dimas is a very fiscally sound city with $17 million in savings.

Maybe the city should try to live up to its slogan and do something totally excellent in downtown.

But a big public expenditure in the middle of a recession?

Heinous.

- Ben Baeder is the Deputy Metro Editor of the San Gabriel Valley Tribune

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