Where the Boring Mayor Lives

Eye Level Pasadena posted an interesting link to an LA Times article about Pasadena’s mayor, Bill Bogaard, the quintessential nice guy.

“My political style,” deadpanned Bogaard, 69, explaining his win of a third term with 89% of the vote, “is to actively pursue [voter] boredom.”

“My success has come from remaining calm, speaking last, letting other council members speak first. As a result,” he added dryly, referring to televised council meetings, “the cable TV ratings have plunged.”

Bill is successful because Bill is the kind of guy that would make you feel safe on the deck of the Titanic. That’s a nice quality in a human being.  He obviously has a sense of humor, a charming ‘tongue-in-cheek-ness’ about himself. There is a humorous tone to the whole article, but for some reason, joking about voter boredom and lack of interest in City Council meetings just isn’t funny to me.

Whether he tried or not, Bill was quite successful in his appeal to voter boredom. Check out these election results. Turnout rate for this election? 17.8% (thanks for the info Aaron).

I’ve lived in Pasadena for over two decades, and I’m becoming a curmudgeon. Why? Because of the way this city has changed. Change is difficult, change is hard, change can be bad or good. Change is constant, and because of that I try hard to embrace it.

Some changes I am able to roll with. Target moved into the old Robinson’s-May building on Colorado. Fedco is gone (yes, I still miss it). But here are the things that pinch: Pasadena now has scads of expensive, ugly rental housing. (Note to self: post photos of egregious examples.) Our traffic has started to rival the famed Westside of LA traffic. And lower income folks are moving out of this town because they cannot afford to stay here.

I’m glad to read that Bill wants to address the affordable housing issue over the next four years. Sadly, that train left the station quite a while ago. Pasadena does have an affordable housing ordinance, but developers can buy their way out if their deep pockets are so inclined (scroll down to “The Breakdown”).

Section 8. The wait for Section 8 housing in Pasadena is over three years long. The demand for affordable housing in Pasadena is huge.  There is no incentive for owners to make their properties compliant with Section 8 regulations, which are more stringent. For example, if you rent out a property to someone with a Section 8 certificate, it is supposed to have a stove and a fridge in working order. But property owners in Pasadena know that they can get renters without providing the stove and the fridge–so that’s what they do. Nothing illegal about it. The owners are able to get market value for their properties without the extra expense of providing the appliances–because the demand for housing is so high.

Here’s where Bill lives:
The Mayor’s Pad

10 Responses to “Where the Boring Mayor Lives”

  1. Jill Says:

    Hi Kelly, thanks for posting this information. Would you mind if I quoted two short paragraphs from this post with a link it?

  2. L.A. Times on the Pasadena mayoral race « Eye Level Pasadena Says:

    […] Update: Kelly at West Coast Grrlie Blather on this article in her post Where the Boring Mayor Lives. […]

  3. Centinel Says:

    If you scroll down, we linked to your comments. Keep me posted on your thoughts on Bogaard and the city in the future, as I always appreciate the insight of longterm residents. Thanks.


  4. Aaron Proctor Says:

    The thing is, Bill has never had a firm stance on whether he wants the developer fees removed. He said he wants to “have a conversation” about that.

    If I stayed neutral on every single subject, everyone would love me too. I only hope that Pasadena will, someday, reach a boiling point with the “neutral affability” of the Mayor..I mean..the guy has to stand for SOMETHING that somebody else doesn’t stand for, right?

    And that’s really his house? Wow. Beats my shoebox studio apartment with CD’s all over the floor. 🙂

    I agree with your comment on Section 8, as well.

    – Aaron

  5. Kelly L.C. Russell Says:

    Good points, Aaron. Bill is great, but he’s more like an affable referree than a leader.

    As Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men (sic) do nothing.”

  6. Aaron Proctor Says:

    As Alien Sex Fiend sings, “I walk the line between good and evil.”


  7. Kim Says:

    Excellent post. Thanks Kelly! I feel like I learned something about my new adopted (and much-loved) city.

  8. Aaron Proctor Says:

    Yeah, this is a really rockin’ blog I must say…really informative..we need more people like you active in Pasadena.

  9. The Foothill Cities Blog » Blog Archive » Pasadena Midweek Briefs Says:

    […] Where the Boring Mayor Lives – West Coast Grrlie Blather […]

  10. Pasadena Midweek Briefs | The Foothill Cities Blog Says:

    […] Where the Boring Mayor Lives – West Coast Grrlie Blather […]

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