Who lobbied city hall?

I stepped off the elevator on the third floor and turned left as usual. Then it hit me, I must be in the wrong building!¬†Where were those ugly low 1950’s modular couches, the memorial fountain and the dogeared copies of the Star Progress?

Then, from behind her new rosewood workstation, came the receptionist’s customary greeting, “Hi Rick, who are you here to see today?”

Someone has been doing some serious lobbying.

Overnight everything had changed. Out with the old, in with the new. Walls were washed or painted, council member’s mugshots were reframed and moved, Mr. Fox’s fountain had a new home with an Ikea rug and private seating, a conference table appeared out of nowhere and the vintage cluttered literature rack was, delightfully, nowhere to be found.

I’m all about home improvements.

But in this tight economy, with the city begging for donations at every turn, where did we come up with the money to turn this sow’s ear into a silk purse? Was Ty Pennington here and I just missed him?

I thought about the cuts to kids and seniors programs, fewer concerts in the park, fewer summer movies, reduced family services and I couldn’t help wondering, “Who’s bright idea was this?”

I wondered if it was a gift from the city manager, a heartwarming way to tell the people of Brea thank you for the big raise and bonus check.

Did I miss this on the agenda?

Nope. Never on the agenda, never discussed. No public hearing needed, not a council decision apparently. Just another one of those little things that magically seems to happen when no one is looking… municipal government chugging along like it has for decades.

Bus driver! Move that bus!