Brentwood Beat - Lessons From a Reformed Sinner
by Jeff Hall
By Brentwood News March 2013 | March 15, 2013
There’s almost nothing more irritating than a reformed sinner. They always want to lecture you. I will confess: I’m a reformed sinner. I’m about to lecture you.
The Brentwood News and its sister publications got into a lot of financial peril over the years. We always used to think if we could just add one more publication we could become profitable and make it to the big time.
We got close, but when the economy unraveled starting in 2008, we got clobbered. We had to shut down for a while; now we’re at least back up on our knees. We’re down to one publication, the Brentwood News. We cut up all the credit cards (or had them cut up for us). And today, we spend no more than we take in – we have no choice, really.
So how is this “lecture” relevant? Well, maybe it isn’t, except that I fear for our city – and our country, even – when so many running for office keep “doing the dance,” bending over backwards to avoid naming the cuts they’d be willing to make in order to balance the books.
As we learned the hard way, at some point, the bills really do come due. No entity can keep borrowing forever. Unless something changes, it seems like a crash is inevitable.
Here’s hoping the city’s newly elected officials will have the courage required to finally get serious about cost control. This means, at a minimum, tackling pay and pension reform – which is where so much money is going these days. But if elected officials are beholden to the special interest money that put them into office, how do they inflict the pain that will be required?
I think this idea of a charter amendment requiring the city to live within its means is an excellent idea. Our country should do the same thing. So should all of us. If it’s the “law of the land,” there’s no choice but to adhere to it.
Dealing with the city’s financial problems now will be far less painful than the pain we’ll feel once the crash comes – take it from one who knows. But it seems too often people can’t make the turnaround until a real crisis comes. Now that’s a bad habit we all should change.
OK, end of lecture. Thanks for listening.
Now, on to some house-keeping matters.
The Brentwood News is about to start a monthly email newsletter that basically carries all the same stuff that appears in our paper. Everyone gets too much email as it is, I know, but we are told all the time by folks – especially those who live in apartments and condos, where newspaper delivery is extremely challenging -- that they don’t get or don’t see the paper.
Signing up for the monthly email will take care of that. If you ever hear someone say they haven’t seen an article or don’t get the paper, tell that person to go to BrentwoodNewsOnline.com.
Towards the very top of the page, on the far right, is a button to click on, “Join Our E-Mail List.” Once on the list, you can receive the Brentwood News in your inbox. You can unsubscribe at any time and we won’t sell or share our list. We’re just trying to make sure everyone who wants to get the Brentwood News, can.
I promise we won’t send out an email every time a coyote is sighted or there’s a car accident in the Sepulveda Pass. We’re going to start monthly and only send out emails in between if they are really, really important.
If print ever goes away, having this email capability in place will help us transition to the future.
In another move that should make finding the Brentwood News a little more convenient, we just moved some of our newspaper racks into more visible locations. With so many print publications in decline, lots of old racks have disappeared in recent years, opening up new slots.
Look for the Brentwood News in the following locations: in front of Starbucks in Brentwood Village; next to Coral Tree Café (NW corner of Darlington and San Vicente); in front of Cheesecake Factory (or whatever that place is about to become); in front of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (SE corner of Barrington and San Vicente); in front of Starbucks (NW corner of Barrington and San Vicente); just behind Peets Coffee (Gorham and San Vicente); in front of Jamba Juice (Montana Ave and San Vicente Blvd); in between Early World and Vincenti, on the south side of San Vicente; and in front of Starbucks (on the south side of San Vicente, close to 26th Street).
We also put stacks in lots and lots of stores throughout Brentwood.
It’s now March – not too early for high school and college kids to be thinking about summer internships. The Brentwood News has always been a cool place to hang out in the summer, so if any student you know might be interested, have that individual send me an email: email@example.com.
Speaking of students, Brentwood’s high school seniors are about to learn where they’ll be spending the next few years. Fingers crossed for all of you!
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