My Two Years on the Community Council
By LOU KAMER
Last night, as I put my name card out for the final time at the Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting [September 27], I found myself looking back over the past two years as your At-large representative. Was it worth it? Did I help make our community a better place or was it just an entertaining farce?
I never aspired to be on the Council. After turning 50, I just wanted to fix things in our town that were broken and give back to our unique community. Maryam Zar, the then President of the PPCC, suggested I bring my passion to the board, where, together, as a group, we could all get more done.
I ran an honest race against the nicest guy in the world and won. I stumbled through learning the procedural ropes, and patiently listened. Though it was sometimes fun to sit and debate all the nuances of various issues, for many reasons, it was difficult to get much done.
During my term, I continued working on other projects around town: Caruso and the Alphabet Streets [parking and hours]; fixing crosswalks; helping the Norris employees; building floats for the parades; sprucing up the Village; getting a left-hand signal at Chautauqua and Sunset approved to save lives.
But all of these things were done outside of the Council, with other like-minded residents who grabbed tools or words and dug in.
So what good was being an At-large rep?
Unlike any other position on the PPCC or in town, the At-large represents every resident and business. If I wanted to know how Pacific Palisades really felt about issues, I had to ask and make myself available.
What I got in return was something I will never forget. Many of you shared your frustrations, your fears and your desires. You invited me into your homes and businesses, taught me about our past, and trusted me with your hopes for the future. You became my friends.
What an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience!
There were some who questioned my motives and worked to discredit or block my work for different reasons, but they only fed my efforts to try harder and look for other ways to get things done. I thank them for that.
Most of all, I thank you for allowing me to serve and discover the beauty that is our changing, kind & combative, vibrant; and incredible community.