Tornek Says Being Mayor is a Full-Time Job

first_img Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Top of the News Pasadena Now interviewed Mayor Terry Tornek and mayoral candidate and District 5 City Councilman Victor Gordo. The candidate and incumbent were asked one primary question.“What are the biggest pre- and post-election issues facing the city?”Additional questions were asked to flush out their answers.Mayor Terry Tornek told Pasadena Now that social justice, housing and the recovery of the local economy will be some of the primary issues facing the city after the mayoral election in November.“I think that as hard as it may be to believe, even with this remarkable and unprecedented environment that we’re in, most of the fundamental issues that confront the city will be the same after the election as they were before the election. It’s just that they’ll be more intense in some areas.“For example, the social justice issues that have gotten so much attention now were always important issues in the city. It’s just that the level of attention being applied intensified. Income equity and housing choices and the financial pressure that people are under and food security and police oversight, that whole list existed before the election. They’re not brand new issues.”Just the second elected mayor in modern times, Tornek was handpicked for the City Council by his predecessor Sid Tyler. Tornek served two terms as the District 7 City Councilmember before winning the mayor’s race in 2015. He also served as Pasadena’s Planning Director and helped establish the redevelopment plan for Old Pasadena and worked to update the city’s General Plan. erry was elected twice to serve as City Councilmember for District 7.Tornek and Councilman Victor Gordo are meeting in a runoff election on Nov. 3. Gordo finished first in the March primary with 18,586 votes, or 46.52 percent, to Tornek’s 16,607 votes, or 41.57 percent.“Housing was already a hot topic,” Tornek said. “Now it’s even more intense. There are some people that have not been paying rent. Assuming they can get back to work, they’re going to be challenged to pay not only their existing rent, but the back rent that they owe. There are a whole series of challenges that affect a lot of people in our community, and the city is going to have to intervene in some ways we certainly haven’t had to in the past. But the fundamental issue that underlies all of that from the city leadership point of view is if the city doesn’t have the resources to maintain its own services, it’s certainly not going to be in a position to help other people.”But even as the city plans to do what it can to help businesses and local residents, Tornek knows the city is in uncharted waters.“The problem that we have is that the storm isn’t over. We don’t even know how long this is going to last. So it’s clear that we’re going to be in continued stress from the pandemic and its associated economic fallout for an extended period.On the important issues…One of the crises we’ve been confronted with is social justice and the desire to have some additional civilian oversight. I identified that. I heard what the people had to say loud and clear, not just the people in the street, but people who had never been engaged in this issue in the past, who were now saying, ‘Gee, something’s not right here. We need to correct it.’“I signed President Obama’s pledge through the process that they suggested in terms of information gathering, and then reached out to the public to hear what they had to say, set a firm time horizon on it, and then tried to accomplish reform. I was criticized as politicizing it and not following the normal process to bring it forward. That would have taken months and months, maybe a year. And I weathered that. I showed real leadership.“We had a unanimous vote for the City Council. On the reforms that John Kennedy and I put forward, I think that’s what leadership is. It’s not being afraid to step out of the norm.I’ve spent this week, several hours talking with the City Attorney’s Office and with other people in the community about the language going forward. So there’s more work involved in figuring out what the language should look like to implement that ordinance. That work continues.“We can’t just do business as usual. Going forward with what the city is going to have to do to recover actively, I think that means taking a risk. I took a risk with Measures I and J. Proposing increases in taxes is not typically a popular political posture for a politician to take.“I laid the predicates forth in all my State of the City addresses and tried to bring information to the public about how the city spends its money and why we were coming up short and then I went for it and then ran that campaign and we won handily. That was political leadership. The same thing happened on civilian oversight. It’s the same way I managed the minimum wage campaign, another tremendously controversial proposition that I got another unanimous vote on. The votes of the City Council on those three issues, the minimum wage, Measures I and J, and now police oversight were all unanimous. That’s because I did the homework. I did the work with the people. I listened to the people, and I was willing to stake out a position that was very clear and direct and then I listened to my colleagues and it is necessary, and we got a unanimous vote out of it. And I think that that is the mark of an effective leader. And that’s the basis of which I go to the public and ask them for their votes for re-election.”On leading during the crisis…“In addition to campaigning, I have a responsibility to govern. I was on a conference call about changing the regulations. I was on the weekly conference call with Supervisor (Kathryn) Barger and Mayor (Eric) Garcetti and Mayor Garcia from Long Beach and the county public health officials talking about the rollout of the LA county’s new regulations. This is stuff that happens during my day. It’s not necessarily highly visible, but it’s my responsibility in terms of being the incumbent mayor of Pasadena, I have to continue to stay advised and participate in these discussions about opening businesses.“I only have one vote among the eight, but it’s a critical vote. And, it’s a matter of trying to do the work, to devote the time and the effort and the skill to actually doing the work. I think I’ve demonstrated my ability and my willingness to do the work and then work with my colleagues to get the right conclusion. Sometimes it’s not a popular thing to do and you have to be willing to take a punch. And you know, I’ve taken my share, but, I’ve listened carefully to what the public had to say on all of these issues and tried to find a place that the community could rally around.“And I think I’ve demonstrated my ability to do that. I haven’t had complete success in every step of the way. I’ve been criticized as being a little abrupt and, you know, not that warm and fuzzy. I accept that. My wife’s been telling me that for 52 years. But, you know, I know how to get things done, and I know how to listen to people to find out what they think needs to be done. I’ve earned the right to ask to keep doing the job.”On getting businesses open…“[Last week] I got to participate in a ribbon cutting for Randy’s Donuts, which is the first ribbon cutting we’ve had in I don’t know how long. It’s great to see a new business opening on Lake Avenue in Pasadena. We’ve got to have business reopening and flourishing if we’re going to continue to employ our residents and fund the city.“What was a kind of a booming local business economy is now much more challenged, particularly with regard to small businesses, restaurants, and other mainstays of our economy. Some of these businesses are not going to reopen over the next couple of months, They can’t survive. That’s particularly true if our friends in Washington don’t get off their duffs and pass another stimulus package because these businesses just won’t make it.“We have to be very vigilant and alert, and smart about how we manage our own finances. The only reason we’ve been able to intervene and help with some of these new programs is because we started with money in the bank. Now we’re spending that money. It’s there for emergencies, it’s there for a rainy day and it’s pouring outside. But when the reserves are gone, they’re gone. And if these businesses aren’t reopening and they’re not refilling the coffers, we’ve got a serious problem. So it’s a very challenging environment, for many of our residents and also for the city government itself.”Responding to COVID-19 crises…“We set up the surge medical facility at the Convention Center. Thank God we didn’t need it. In terms of the food security programs that we’ve been participating in with the school district and providing meals on the weekends, in terms of the small business assistance program that we did in conjunction with the Pasadena Community Foundation. Now we’ve got an arts assistance program that we’re funding through our own trust fund for the arts. We’ve beefed up our homeless services program in conjunction with the county in terms of getting homeless people off the street and into motels. I think there’s a lot of credit to go around.“The City Council has been willing to step into a bunch of areas that are new territory for us. The city staff, which has been somewhat maligned by some has done a remarkable job. The Health Department, which was criticized, as not being interventionist enough has really done incredible work in terms of all the things that they’ve done monitoring what was happening in the nursing homes. I think the city has been able to respond because we had the money to do that. And the reason we had the money to do that is that I have made the focus of my administration, making sure that the city is in good financial shape, and that we rebuilt our reserves.“We went to the voters and got more than a 70 percent vote in favor of Measure I and Measure J. That Measure I money has been what’s between us and having to cut services.”Final say…“There’s a lot going on all the time. My Zoom finger is worn to the bone in terms of trying to key in appropriate meeting numbers. It’s unbelievable what’s going on and the intensity of, of activity, but that’s what keeps us going. The city has to keep functioning no matter what. In terms of the pandemic or no pandemic, the city has to keep functioning. I made a PSA to urge people to participate in the census. There’s ongoing stuff happening. There are arguments over a project in the Arroyo. I’m glad there’s ongoing normal activity related to the way the city is operating, but people don’t necessarily see that. They just see the headlines. And there’s a lot of hard work that goes into being mayor. Being mayor is really a full-time job. And I am prepared to devote the time necessary to do that job.” Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadena Subscribe STAFF REPORT First Heatwave Expected Next Week Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Make a comment HerbeautyYou Can’t Go Past Our Healthy Quick RecipesHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty6 Lies You Should Stop Telling Yourself Right NowHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyNerdy Movie Kids Who Look Unrecognizable TodayHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Most Influential Women In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty10 Of The Most Notorious Female Spies In HistoryHerbeautyHerbeauty 14 recommended0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community Newscenter_img STAFF REPORT Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy CITY NEWS SERVICE/STAFF REPORT Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Community News Tornek Says Being Mayor is a Full-Time Job Incumbent believes today’s top issues will intensify after election By DAVID CROSS and ANDRÉ COLEMAN Published on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 | 12:46 pm Business News Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Donald CommunityPCC- COMMUNITYVirtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyPasadena Public WorksPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Community News More Cool Stufflast_img read more

Bronze and gone: In a shocker, Usain Bolt takes third in 100m at World Championships

first_imgOne final time, Usain Bolt peered down the last 50 meters of his lane and saw sprinter upon sprinter running footsteps ahead of him.One final time, the World’s Fastest Man furiously pumped the arms and legs on his gangly 6-foot-5 frame, desperately trying to reel in all those would-be winners as the finish line fast approached.WATCH FULL VIDEOThis time, the afterburners kicked in but not hard enough. Not one, but two overlooked and underappreciated Americans — Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman — withstood what was once Bolt’s undeniable late charge.This time, Bolt finished third in the 100-meter dash at world championships. That’s right: A bronze-medal finish Saturday night in the going-away party for one of the planet’s most entertaining icons and track and field’s lone shining star.”No regrets,” Bolt insisted, long after a result that stunned a pumped-up crowd into near silence. “It was always going to end, no matter what happened — win, lose or draw. It doesn’t change anything in my career.”Gatlin, who actually trailed Bolt at the halfway point, heard boos cascade loudly across the stadium when his winning time, 9.92 seconds, popped up on the scoreboard. The 35-year-old, who has served two doping bans and been widely cast as a villain to Bolt’s hero, went sprawling to the ground with a huge smile. Later, he bowed down to the man he finally defeated.”I wanted to pay homage to him,” Gatlin said. “This night is still a magical night for track and field and Usain Bolt. I’m just happy to be one of his biggest competitors.”advertisementColeman, a 21-year-old in the first major race of his life, was in shock, too: “To beat someone I looked up to when I was growing up. I was just happy to be on the line with him,” he conceded.Bolt, who finished third in a time of 9.95, accepted with class both the result, and the fact that, at 30, he probably is picking the perfect time to retire.”I did it for the fans,” he said after collecting a bronze to go with his three world golds at 100 meters. “They wanted me to go for one more season. I came out and did the best I could.”In the past, the scene after a Bolt race was really just an after-party masquerading as ceremony, filled with Bob Marley tunes, Jamaican flags and dancing. On Saturday, it felt surreal to anyone who’s been at one of these Bolt victories before.With house music playing softly throughout the stadium where Bolt won the middle three of his nine Olympic finals, Gatlin and Coleman passed through the exit tunnel while the former champion took a 10-minute trip around the track, then detoured into the stands for selfies with the Jamaican fans who came across the ocean to see him one last time.A few minutes after that, he stepped onto the track, kneeled down and kissed the finish line that he crossed in Lane 4.Then, he gave the fans what they’ve come to expect: The famous “To The World” pose, which used to be the cherry on top of a raucous, fun-filled night. But where in the past the stadium would have still been brimming, this time, it was about one-eighth full and emptying quickly.Bolt still has the 4×100 relay next weekend. He was asked if he wished he could run what is widely considered his best race — the 200, one of three events (100 and 4×100 are the others) where he holds the world record.”It probably would’ve been even worse,” Bolt said. “I’m not in shape to run 200 meters right now.”Should we have seen this coming? Maybe so.Bolt raced very lightly this year, and his best time coming into the meet was the same 9.95 seconds he ran in his finale.His first heat, on Friday night, was ugly. Though he won, he lumbered out of the start and later complained about the feel of the starting blocks.In the semifinals, he actually lost by .01 to Coleman — a rare defeat in any sort of race, but one that could still be chalked up to it being a tune-up, with the real race more than two hours away.But in the back of his mind, reality was setting in: “After the semifinal, I knew if I didn’t get my start, I was going to be in trouble,” he said. “I knew it. And when I left the blocks, I was like ‘Aaaah.'”He was the second-slowest starter in the eight-man field. Nothing new there, though his less-than-ideal racing shape, to say nothing of the fitness of the guys he was chasing, turned the usual comeback into something nobody’s seen before on this big a stage.advertisementThrough most of the race, it looked as if Bolt would be trying to reel in Coleman, the NCAA champion, who was in Lane 5, and got out faster than anyone in the field.While that chase was unfolding, Gatlin, out in Lane 8, was coming from behind.Two years ago at world championships, Gatlin had Bolt all but beaten in the 100 finals, but he leaned too early before the line and let the champion pass him for a .01-second victory.This time, it was Gatlin doing the passing, and now he is a world champion in addition to a trivia question: Who was the last sprinter to win Olympic gold in the 100 before Bolt? It was Gatlin in 2004.”You guys call it losses, losses, losses,” Gatlin said. “I’ll call it lessons, lessons, lessons.”The new champion spent much of his post-race news conference insisting he’d learned to tune out the booing that has followed him the last few years and explaining that he’s not that bad a guy.”I know you have to have the black hat and the white hat, but guys, c’mon,” he said.Bolt, meanwhile, was insistent that neither Gatlin’s win nor his own loss were disasters for track. He called the evening and the crowd “beautiful” — even if that medal he earned might not seem as pretty as the rest.You made millions of fans happy and smiling, being an example for everyone: thank you @usainbolt ! #bolt #London2017 ???? Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) August 5, 2017Irksome to see the great Usain Bolt bow out with defeat to a serial drugs cheat. #Gatlin #London2017 Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 6, 2017Americans Justin Gatlin and Christian Coleman defeat Usain Bolt in his final solo 100 meter race. Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 5, 2017last_img read more