Meeting the Mayor

January 23, 2011 at 9:02 pm (CA, Community, Murrieta, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Today I met the mayor of Murrieta.

I was meeting a friend for coffee at a local independent cafe, Village Java (http://www.villagejava.com/), when I noticed in my peripheral vision a small throng of adults gathered outside the doors. Nothing too unusual.

Except two of them were holding video cameras and another was carrying a mic.

Already this mellow Murrieta afternoon was looking a tad more interesting.

This most conspicuous group made their way to the cafe bar and my friend and I heard the gentleman with the mic reassure the staff saying, “Oh it’s okay. We have permission.” Permission to do what?

Then this most unusual band of adults made their way toward me. They asked if I would be willing to answer a few questions about Murrieta.

Now, living in Murrieta as a young(ish) single person, I have complained plenty, yet despite my complaints, I know what a good community it is and I am grateful to have grown up in it. So I willingly complied.

First, it was simple questions:

  • “How long have you lived in Murrieta?”
  • “What do you like most about the city of Murrieta?”
  • “What do you like least about Murrieta?”

There were a couple more questions along the same lines, easy enough to answer, for they are all based on my own opinion – and I have no dearth of opinions!

But then IT HAPPENED. The gentleman interviewing me pulled out some 8×10 glossy prints. Of people. Professional people. This can lead me nowhere good. And I’m being recorded.

Pointing at the photo, he asked, “Do you recognize that man?” In truth I did – albeit vaguely – so I answered yes and received the follow-up question: “Where does he work?”

I had only one choice. I absolutely in no way would permit myself to say, “I don’t know.” So I tried to piece it all together. I’m in grad school. I can do this! We’re talking about Murrieta: the good, the bad, the ugly, with an underlying feel of the promise of a bright future. There’s my answer.

“I think he is one of the city council.” I stated as firmly as I could, though my voice betrayed my lack of exact knowledge.

“Very good. He certainly is. Now, do you recognize….” He showed me several other pictures, all of which I related to the city of my dwelling. Lastly, he produced one more photo.

“Do you know where this man works?” he inquired. I looked to him – then to the photo – then to him – then back to the photo! – I just grinned sheepishly and declared, “This man, he interviews people!”

Then my questioner said something that at once stunned me (a little), shamed me (a lot) and made me proud to live in Murrieta. He said, “My name is Randon Lane and I am the Mayor of Murrieta.” Busted, Sass. You didn’t even recognize your own mayor!

He wasn’t finished, though.

“I have one more question.” Looking to me, he asked, ” If you were the mayor of Murrieta, what would be your first order of business?”

Yikes! That’s a question that felt far beyond my caliber. However, what can I do but think FAST and answer to the best of my ability?

So, I did. I spoke of economic times and that if I was the mayor I would want to do everything in my power to ensure that the people in my community had jobs and could provide and care for their own families. Technical trainings, job placement programs, etc., would be on this 29 year-old “Things To Do As Mayor” list.

The interview concluded and left me contemplating…

WHAT I ONCE KNEW, BUT FORGOT AND WAS FORCED TO RE-LEARN ON CAMERA TODAY:

It’s important to be well acquainted, not only with international and national level politics, but with local level politics as well. Because you never know when the mayor may come into Village Java and engage you in conversation.

I encourage everyone to become knowledgeable about your community and what is being planned for its future. It is an important issue. An issue that if we chose to, you or I could become a part of shaping its future. I allowed work, student teaching, and school to become a cop-out for ignorance on certain matters while I immersed myself in academia. I can’t make the next City Council meeting (I have class), but guess what? It’s livestreamed (http://www.murrieta.org/com/council.asp) and archived. I will watch it later that night.

I hope you do the same – in whatever community you find yourself in!

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1 Comment

  1. Randon Lane said,

    First let me say what an enjoyable conversation I had with you on Sunday, Amanda! I greatly appreciate your willingness to speak with me and especially for taking my pop quiz on who was in each picture. You are not alone when it comes to who you may or may not know on your City Council. With family, work, school, commuting and all of the many other activities that take up our resident’s time; the City Council becomes low on the list of people to know or meetings to attend. As a husband and father of three trust me I know!

    The time, however, is well spent if only a few minutes a week to take a look at http://www.murrieta.org and see what is going on in our GREAT community. As leaders it is very important to hear from those we represent to better understand their needs, to hear their frustrations or praise and to provide communication on the status of their community and what we have done, what we are doing and what we will do to provide a better quality of life for everyone we represent.

    I again want to thank you for being so willing to talk with me for a few moments and discuss Murrieta. If I can ever be of help to you or any other resident of Murrieta please feel free to call me directly at 951-250-3128 or email me at rlane@murrieta.org.

    Thank you,

    Randon Lane
    Mayor
    Murrieta, California

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