Last night I attended the Greenfield City Council meeting. I was there in support of Ellen Martin, Executive Director of First Night Monterey and Executive Director Paulette Lynch of Arts Council of Monterey County. They presented a proposal to rent the old Police Station (and where city council sessions were held) on El Camino Real. The building is not being used and the two women felt something in the arts would help families and teen agers find a creative outlet, and would put the old building into good use.
The council was in favor of the idea, and will proceed with the next steps, some of that, to raise funds.
My memory of sitting in council meetings was jogged last night, when it took two hours to get to the subject of the arts proposal. One hour was spent discussing a car wash in town. Much was said about the town; how it is going to be renewed and then the car wash wouldn’t be appropriate right in town.
I remember this same conversation about town renewal when I sat in the city council meetings back in 1999-2000. It was the same conversation! The only town renewal I saw in the business section were the painted buildings and those colors are twelve years old.
Some of that conversation back then must have helped a bit, because now the city has a new city hall and it is beautiful. Well, it’s new to me, anyway. It is five years old and last night was the first night I was inside.
The town also has an air museum almost up and ready for business. Back in 2000, the city council talked about it, and that was already in the 17th year of discussions. Finally, it’s getting real.
Change takes time. Everyone must have their say, and that takes patience. Speaking of patience, some students showed up to the meeting in support of the arts proposal, and one of my volunteers patiently sat and waited until Ellen and Paulette got to the podium to speak.
I would have never thought this job I have with AmeriCorps would mean attending a city council meeting. The mayor is the same guy who was voted in all those years ago, when I first reported he would run for that office and I reported on his campaign.