Derek Ray 5:51 p.m., May 19
Where to begin? There's so much apathy, right-wing nutjobbery, and outright corruption here that a list of a hundred resolutions this city should take wouldn't cover it. I'll try to keep it simple and straightforward and brief. I'll try.
New Year's Resolution #1. I, Imperial Beach, will do something real, forward-thinking, environmentally sound, and timely about the pollution off our shores and in the Tijuana River this coming year. I will, contrary to everything I've done in the past, maintain my integrity, transparency, and forthrightness in doing so. I won't line pockets with money I don't have for corrupt projects (Bajagua) that won't work.
New Year's Resolution #2. I, Imperial Beach, will stop making life utter hell for businesses to open their doors here. Likewise, I will stop making hell for businesses who already are struggling to survive here. I will give local businesses strong preference and priority in such things as the Sandcastle Competition and other city events, and not corporations. I will provide free advertising for those local businesses via various media and my website, which I will, from this day forward, keep updated at all times.
New Year's Resolution #3. I, Imperial Beach, will continue my efforts at beautifying myself. The Palm corridor is just a start. The 'ART' sculpture at the end of IB Boulevard is just a start. I will ignore the brain-dead knuckle-draggers who despise such things and couldn't appreciate them even with a ten-point IQ boost and a pill bottle full of LSD.
New Year's Resolution #4. I, Imperial Beach, will recognize and do my part to protect and beautify both the Pier and Pier Park Plaza, recognizing that my efforts in this regard have been lamentable, to be generous about it. That I can't keep punting to the Port Authority on such matters; that I must be proactive and actually work with them. To keep the gang members away from both; same too the skateboarders and smokers and junkies. To ticket overhead casters on the Pier; to arrest drug traffickers doing business there; to demand and enforce a higher standard for all who visit both.
New Year's Resolution #5. I, Imperial Beach, will bring in a farmers' market, one untainted by "my special corporate friends" Albertson's and Von's, and will invest in this effort dutifully and diligently. I will invest in local--not corporate, not franchised--businesses. I will attract such local entities, recognizing that with the economy deflating back toward sanity, the future belongs to communities who maintain, nourish, nurture, and build local connections, local commerce, local politics.
New Year's Resolution #6. I, Imperial Beach, will stop relying on the highly corrupt and now-failing Real Estate Railroad that has laid claim to virtually everything I've done since my incorporation. I realize that will be painful, but I also recognize the umbilical chord attaching me to it is full of nothing but toxic Tijuana River sludge and Duke Cunningham-level kickbacks and I want nothing more to do with it. There are far more ethical ways of building and maintaining a community; I recognize that the path I've taken with these vultures is no longer viable. Real estate is necessary, I recognize; but not the current permutation corrupting me.
New Year's Resolution #7. I, Imperial Beach, will bring back both the fireworks and the parade that once accompanied my biggest yearly event, the Sandcastle Competition. I will stop making excuses as to why I don't have them. As for the Sandcastle Competition, I will stop seeking mediocre talent to show there, and, refusing to cave in to the religious right (more appropriately titled the religious wrong), I will allow talent to come in that might offend their twisted moral sensibilities. I will recognize that the religious wrong is a dwindling minority, even in Imperial Beach; that they lost the Presidential Election in a landslide; that this is the 21st century and it is time I joined it and put them where they belong, that is, at the fringe.
New Year's Resolution #8. I, Imperial Beach, will recognize that (and as a reflective summary of the above) art and beauty and environmental stewardship and ethics are necessary factors for human survival. Essential factors. That I need to stop listening to those interests, some quite powerful, that wish to keep me ugly so as not to attract more to come here, that it's not just okay to evolve, it's necessary, wholesome, and natural; that I need fewer bars and tattoo parlors and more galleries and a decent hotel and maybe even a couple good bed and breakfasts; that a skateboard park for ungrateful hoodlums is far less needed than a city-wide makeover; that art and sculpture isn't evil or wrong in any way; that eating local food brought by local farmers is the wave of the future; that the religious right is neither; and that half-measures to fighting pollution and corruption only yield more pollution, more corruption. I will recognize these truths and act on them this coming year, and will smile upon those citizens of mine who do the same. There is no reason for me to continue being the butt of jokes to all of San Diego County. I am unique, quiet, quaint, and, most of the time, peaceful. I need to build upon those qualities; and I need to start now.