With a roomful of men sitting around the dais, it was only a matter of time before the Loma Linda council meeting turned to…cars.
“This is one of those ordinances that the legislature, in their wisdom, has required us to adopt,” the city attorney folded his hands and remarked dryly. “For review and approval of electric vehicle charging stations.”
“Would the mayor like to give personal testimony?” quizzed Council Member Ron Dailey, glancing cheekily across the desk.
Mayor Rhodes Rigsby chuckled at this reference to his own electric car. “I’m appreciative of the Target parking lot off Sierra in Fontana,” he said of the megastore’s free charging station.
“It’s rescued me from foolish, long trips to the west side of the county with insufficient charge to return home!”
Apparently, his car was a sweet–but not illegal–deal. “I’m also appreciative to Fiat for essentially giving me the car. And it’s offered to the public, so they’re not buying me off as a politician.”
He paused and racked his brain for a few stats right out of Car and Driver. “They’re attached to Chrysler, and Chrysler sells a lot of Hemis that don’t get the best gas mileage. So they need the 112 miles per gallon of my car to compensate. I’m doing them a service!”
There’s a reelection slogan: “I’m doing Chrysler a service!”
Something else Mayor Rigsby was doing? Trigonometry in his head.
“I don’t know whether it takes into account sines and cosines and tangents or whether it’s pointed straight down the street,” he mused about the proposed speed radar sign on Beaumont Avenue. “I’ve always wondered that: do you calculate how much you need to compensate for the sine of the angle?”
This being a city council meeting, not the Society of Professional Engineers’ meeting, we may never know. However, Council Member Dailey piped up with a second, more relatable quandry.
“My challenge is, I know there’s not a camera in there to ticket you. But my wife doesn’t believe me,” he said. “So she has her own brake pedal on her side of the car–”
“And she’s constantly pressing it,” the mayor nodded, no doubt familiar with his colleague’s driving habits.
From harrowing car trips, the meeting turned to harrowing rescues.
“You’re true defenders…thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” the mayor read sincere thank you cards and letters addressed to the Loma Linda Fire Department, which had been helping Northern Californians battle their wildfires.
“Maybe they have a board they can put them up on?” Council Member Dailey raised his eyebrows at the fire chief.
“Usually we’ll get two or three [cards] on a big assignment,” explained the chief. “But that’s just today’s. I’ve got dozens.”
While it may seem a little premature to be talking about Christmas in Southern California already (high temperature today: 78 degrees), it was essential to spread some Yule log-sized news about this year’s Christmas tree lighting.
“I understand this is going to be a MUCH larger production than usual,” grinned Mayor Rigsby. “They’ve invited a choir of angels to sing, from what I’ve heard.”
He added, “in the past, it’s been analogous to a Charlie Brown episode. Now it’s going to be more like an ‘evening at the pops.'”
“Sounds good to me!” responded a stoked Council Member Dailey.
Get there safely–and slowly.