Now, no one wants to defend corporate graffiti. Record companies and nightclubs are the big offenders; House of Blues and Shaquille O’Neal have been cited. But the councilman’s statement has a distinct Orwellian edge. Citizen snoops serving as the eyes of the government — Big Brother is watching, indeed. What’s next? Block brigades with mandated celluloid rations, snapping photos of messy clotheslines? Dirty recycling bins? Uneven hedge trims? "As there are more cameras in public, you should expect that your right to privacy will decline," Eliasberg warns. Holden’s office says Polaroids will be issued soon in all council districts . . . Say cheese!
The "Old Guard" in Pasadena showed it isn’t ready to turn the city over to the younger generation yet, in Tuesday’s first-ever citywide mayoral election. Bank vice president and former Mayor Bill Bogaard, drafted by leaders from the city’s established neighborhood associations in the name of a "citizen legislator" tradition, took a commanding lead for the April 20 runoff by snatching a solid 42.8 percent of the vote.
Mayor Chris Holden, 38, architect of the charter changes that put the mayor’s election in the hands of Pasadena voters instead of the council, thought he was on the road to becoming the first occupant of the post he created — until Tuesday night. That road got bumpy when the 60-year-old Bogaard was drafted, directly in response to the candidacy of Holden, who was branded a professional politician. When the votes were tallied, Holden, the son of L.A. Councilman Nate, ranked well behind, with 25.3 percent. Republican Ann-Marie Villicana finished third in a field of 10, with 24.4 percent of the vote as the Weeklywent to press.
Backed by the county AFL-CIO, Holden mounted an ambitious get-out-the-vote drive, but he managed a first-place finish in just his own and one other council district, where turnout was sparse. Holden’s 25-plus percent showing this week does not augur well for his runoff fate, since much of the vote for candidates eliminated in this round came from Republicans. Both he and Bogaard are registered Democrats. But Holden, who had the party’s backing, is widely viewed as partisan. By midnight Tuesday, Bogaard was leading in five of seven council districts.
Incumbent City Councilman Bill Paparian was knocked out of the picture — and off the council, because his term expires this year — by winning just 3.7 percent Tuesday. Republican Villicana, a 32-year-old attorney-realtor from a wealthy west-side neighborhood, may also lose her council seat, but could slip into second place (and the runoff) when more than 1,700 absentee and provisional ballots are counted later this week. Holden will keep his council seat because he is in midterm.