The day after standing under the Sycamores at the Lummis Home this past weekend, waiting for the start of an Arroyo Seco Neighborhood Council (ASNC) candidate forum that would never actually happen seemed like an appropriate time to address some repeated gossip – passed along by and to several others also waiting there – and no doubt furiously e-mailed even more widely as the NC election day comes within one week (October 13).
(Maybe it’s worth something to note that I’d decided not to take advantage of Patch’s generous offer to let candidates post blogs in support of their candidacy. It seemed like enough had already been said, here -- mostly by others – about mine.)
While waiting there with a dozen or so other candidates and an equal number of stakeholders … not one, not two, but no less than three current or former ASNC board members told me that several others in attendance were using the downtime at the failed forum to tell voters present some variation of the following rumor:
“Joe Riser is opposed to cultural events and landmarks; if he’s on the board again – funding for those things is in jeopardy.”
If you’ll allow me a “Forrest Gump” moment … “my mama always said ‘actions speak louder than (in this case – other people’s) words’.” Whatever my personal feelings may be about the relative importance of some such events, the best way to judge anyone’s support or opposition to projects and programs on a council is to look at the ACTUAL Board records to see what “actions” he or she actually took. Mine, during the years most of the other current boardmembers served and were able to witness, are on record.
(All cites here are available at the neighborhood council’s Website, in the approved board minutes listed at the date referenced, at: http://www.asnc.us/archives-2012.htm - at the appropriate year/month minutes indicated)
-- LUMMIS DAY: 2010 (Apr. 26 minutes) … Riser is present; the board’s vote is UNANIMOUS to provide the full funding request for that event (which to rational people probably doesn’t sound much like “opposition”).
-- LUMMIS DAY: 2011 (Jan. 24 minutes) … Riser is present, again; and Board minutes say: “Riser moved … to approve $2,000 from Festival Funds…” and the motion carried; ($2,000 being the Board’s agreed maximum for project funding that year).
Wait there… “Riser moved?” The guy gossips now say is OPPOSED to this stuff actually made the motion for it pass? Well, once again, this isn’t sounding much like a campaign of “opposition.”
-- LUMMIS DAY: 2012 …. Longer story; most observers know – many through Patch acticles written by David Fonseca this year – ASNC funds were frozen early this year by the City. However, there’s an interesting backstory as to how several sitting committee chairs (all “supporters” of Lummis Day; all members of an opposing candidate slate in this election) were actually the ones responsible for that festival not receiving any funds in 2012 – more so than the City’s Department of Neighborhood Empowerment. I’ll save that for another time (or e-mail me, if you’re really curious).
So maybe these gossips were confused. Maybe they meant the actual Lummis HOME (where they were this weekend urgently speaking to voters about Riser’s rumored “opposition”), and not the festival itself. The same online archives show that in 2010 (June 28 minutes), $1,500 was requested from the ASNC for “Preservation of Lummis Entry Doors.” Riser is again present, and the Board vote is (you guessed it) – unanimous.
Hmmm, could it be that the “He’s against it” cadre of opposing candidates got their music festivals confused? Maybe they meant the other event that’s received tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, courtesy of the ASNC Board, over the years – the one held in MONTEREY HILLS?
-- 2010 … to make a long, and at this point, probably predictable story short (Aug. 23 minutes) – present? (yup … GREAT attendance record, by the way). Maximum funding approved; no votes against.
-- 2011 … Riser is present (Sept. 26 minutes), and made the actual motion that allowed that festival to receive $2,240 (even though the board, by overwhelming majority vote, had set a $2,000 maximum for each such request that year).
So, to make that clear, this guy Riser -- who’s supposedly “opposed” to all things cultural – again made the motion that allowed that festival to receive 12 percent MORE than the maximum allowed by the Board?
Apparently either this guy doesn’t understand what it means to OPPOSE something -- to take action AGAINST it -- to try to keep it from happening -- or is it possible that some folks telling these tales out of school aren’t being completely (shall we say -- in the interest of civility) . . . “accurate” ?
If you’ve heard anything like this, then maybe the moral of this story is: Think back to who you heard it FROM, and ask yourself… “If they’d mislead me NOW -- just to get my vote -- what would they be willing to say AFTER they’re elected?"
On October 13, vote the “BACK-2-Business 4 ASNC” slate in all 5 ASNC communities: Buhler, Bowman, Sakamoto, Feliciano, Moseley, Torres, Jaramillo, Moran, Shane, Lyttle, Vidal-Echeverria (and yes, maybe even that “Riser” guy). www.facebook.com/b2b4asnc
Stakeholders always deserve to hear the whole truth!