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New Year’s Resolutions That Would Transform the World:

City Hall would resolve to stop playing big, expensive tricks on residents and begin listening to them rather than blowing them off, and abiding by their often expressed demand that this legendary beach town be restored and preserved for all time rather being turned into one more sullen money mill.

City Hall would further resolve to buy existing apartment buildings rather than building new ones and approving developers’ projects that all too often replace reasonably priced apartments with “luxury condos.”

The City Council would resolve to speak and act on behalf of the residents of Santa Monica rather than obediently ratifying City staff’s recommendations.

The Council would further resolve to withdraw its ill-considered approvals of the misbegot Civic Center Specific Plan, including the massive “Village” project, and the $80 million expansion of the bus yards in downtown Santa Monica and order that the bus yards be moved to the eastern edge of the city and include park and ride service, which would not only materially reduce traffic in downtown Santa Monica, but make the bus yard site available for affordable housing and public parking.

The City Planning Department would resolve to give up its effort to extend and expand the 1984 land use and circulation elements in the General Plan, which have been the rationale for two decades of overdevelopment, and revise the elements to reflect residents’ demands that new development be limited, historic preservation and adaptive re-use be emphasized and chronic traffic problems be eliminated.

The Santa Monica Public Library would resolve to rededicate itself to books and their readers – from pre-schoolers to elderly scholars – rather than trying to be all things to all people.

CityTV would resolve to air more Santa Monica board and commission meetings and fewer City Hall puff pieces, and share the air with independent film makers.

The Santa Monica Arts Commission would resolve to adopt a plan first proposed by artist and former arts commissioner Bruria Finkel and elaborated on by the Mirror to buy architect Frank Gehry’s house and make it an archive in which the lives and works of area artists in all media would be chronicled.

The City Arborist would resolve to end what can only be seen as a City-wide logging operation.

Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights would resolve to give at least as much time and attention to ensuring renters’ rights as it does to maintaining its political power.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District would resolve to spend less money on administration and more money on teaching, expanding the arts curriculum and books for school libraries.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education would resolve to

order District officials to put the Special Education Strategic Plan it adopted a year and a half ago into effect.

Santa Monica College and the City of Santa Monica would resolve to end their childish power struggle and find a solution for the SMC Bundy campus traffic and parking problems without exacerbating residents’ existing traffic and parking problems.

Third Street Promenade and the Bayside District would resolve to see themselves as part of Santa Monica rather than independent entities, and to that end, become less frenzied and more useful.

The Chamber of Commerce would resolve to see residents as customers (who are “always right”) rather than enemies of what passes for progress in this demented era.

Residents would resolve to redouble their efforts to bring City Hall to heel and insist that their elected representatives actually represent them.

AIMCO, owner of Lincoln Place, would resolve to sell this historically and architecturally significant affordable housing complex to its residents and/or the City of L.A. and move on to places where it is needed.

FedEx and UPS would resolve to cut back on all their new services until they can deliver packages as efficiently as they once did.

The Inventor(s) of Automated Voice Response Systems would resolve never to speak again, much less invent anything.

The old answering machine was useful, but voice mail in all its permutations, especially the automated voices we are now forced to have to extended, if deeply frustrating, conversations with, is a nightmare

LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would resolve to devote as much time to solving urgent existing problems as to setting grand goals for the City of the Angels.

L.A. Councilman Bill Rosendahl would resolve to find the means to save Lincoln Place and its tenants from the wrecking ball.

Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger and the State Legislature would resolve to make the state’s schools the best in the nation, as they once were.

The United States Congress would resolve to act on behalf of the American people rather than simply doing the bidding of the Bush Administration.

George W. Bush would resolve to spend the balance of his term sitting quietly in the Oval Office, trying to figure out why he has done what he has done.

Dick Cheney would resolve to resign the Vice Presidency and return to Halliburton.

FEMA would resolve to figure out what it should be doing and do it.

New Orleans would resolve to sue FEMA and the Bush Administration for malpractice.

Ted Turner would resolve to return to the media arena and set it straight.

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