Sunday, September 7, 2008
my first rodeo
Wednesday night I went to the Historic Preservation Commission meeting, just to see what things were like (and because we have an application in to remove a tree that is threatening to commit arboricide on another tree).
I learned a lot of things:
• You have to mention a personal illness if you want to bring an application before the HPC. If not your own, then a family member's. I had no idea that home improvement (or its opposite) was so tied up with the health care industry! Surgery featured in the narrative of every single application I saw.
• The HPC is commendably soft-hearted. If the applicant is really down on his/her luck, they won't let the matter slide, but they'll dictate an extremely generous time period for the work to get done, measured in presidencies if not papacies.
• At least one of our neighbors -- a homeowner -- raids recycling cans for his only source of income. That was one activity I really hadn't expected to put a human face on any time soon. He seemed like a really nice guy (if very much down on his luck).
• Pomona Heritage speaks on every application, as far as I could tell. I didn't realize they were so assiduous -- familiarizing oneself with each proposal must be a ton of work.
• Baby pictures help. Especially if they were taken in 1956 and are shown on a 50s-era slide projector that requires each slide to be inserted manually.
• The HPC rrrrrrrreally cares about windows. No, I mean RRRRRRREALLY. The applicant who wanted to remove an imperializing camphor tree got the response, "Yeah, yeah, the tree, fine, whatever. Now, what about that aluminum window I saw in the third photograph?!?!?" (Lucky for her, the applicant only leased the house -- whew!)
The whole thing was a big old hoot; I may start going every month, just for the entertainment value. And I learned a new phrase, which I intend to use frequently from here on out: "Now, this ain't my first rodeo, but..."
Speaking of adventures in the council chamber, I have every intention of going to the CC meeting tomorrow to give my opinion on "DUI" checkpoints. The meeting begins at 5:00 this week, to give everyone time to speak. If you're coming, do say hello. You'll recognize me as the woman who looks most likely to have had a song entitled "Pixie With An Attitude" written about her (which, in fact, I did).