The Upland City Council meeting on Monday night was a huge disappointment. Yes, the Mayor changed his mind and let us speak at the beginning of the meeting instead of holding us hostage to the end. But he was totally oblivious to what we were saying. He couldn't understand why we were even speaking on the General Plan as it was not even on the Council Agenda yet. Duh!
We are speaking to you Mr. Mayor, because we don't want the General Plan to make it to the Council Agenda. We want the Council to assert its legal authority and stop this plan that never should have had their approval to even move forward let alone make it to the public comment phase.
This new General Plan has had negative consequences for every city where it has been tried. We know the council has done very little if ANY research on their own to discover this easy-to-find data. We know they haven't even read the plan (Ms. Timm claims she found some typos). Sorry, I digress.
Well, it finally happened, a very outraged citizen, known for being a "rabble rouser" in Upland, took our latest flier and put it up on the screen for all to see. He cried loudly to the Council, "See, this is preciously what they want to do...(as he points it out on the flier) STOP the general plan". He went on to spit out lies and misinformation - kinda seemed like he didn't even read the flier or the Plan but had his own agenda to "kiss up" to the Council showing he was "on their side."
Upland residents who were in attendance were accused of being a "special interest group", less than 1% of the population (why should we listen to or make changes for you?), and ignorant - and this was by staff and council members. What a night.
Many courageous residents once again stood up to the Council against the Plan. One stated that residents should not have to choose, according to the Plan, from a pre-approved set of plants for their yard. Another called the Plan a form of "tyrrany" which she knows about all too well from her life in an Eastern European block country. Another asked each council member to post a letter on the City bulletin board to the residents stating why they cannot have a town hall and will take a photo and report their answers to residents. (What do you think are the odds that will happen?? Yah, me too - zero!)
The most disappointing outcome was that the council refused a resident's offer to pay for a venue to have a town hall. During his comments, he stated he had been asking for them to hold one for years and now was their chance. They not only didn't take him up on that (you could see a couple were thinking about it) but agreed that the July 22nd workshop would be the best venue for us to give our comments.
We are tired of giving our comments. There is nothing left to say. The workshop is a slap in the face to residents. It is going to be the regular format where staff gives presentations, we give our comments, the commission mocks us and we all go home.
We want the Plan changed. We want to have a discussion and agreement with the Council, not the Planning Commission, to make changes in the Plan to reflect OUR vision for the city - not the Vision of some environmental planner that is part of a political movement.
The City Council is duly elected to oversee the operations of the city. The City Manager and City Planner are not supposed to run the City but they do. Case in point, a council member even asked the City attorney if the Council could tell the Planning Commission what to do, adding "We don't want to tell them how to do their jobs." Folks, lets remember all of this when it is time to vote!!
Stand up against the Plan and the Upland City Council and Staff. They do not have our best interests at heart. And they have no desire to change the Plan. Join us. We need hundreds to show up next Wednesday, July 22, at 6:30 pm at City Hall. Stand with us! Save our city!