Four years ago I wrote to you to express my concern over the reluctance of the Old Arcadians, of which I am one, to accept the fact that our Old Arcadia has changed dramatically. We seem to be unable to accept the New Arcadians into our society. This in face of the fact that two-thirds of the residents are now New Arcadians. The Old Arcadians represent only 20% of the residents, yet they control the city council. Alas, last Tuesday the City Council missed a great opportunity to be statesmen and to bridge the gap between our two societies by passing over Sho Tay for Mayor. While not unprecedented, it is seldom done and is unfortunate. Traditionally the council members elect each other in turn as Mayor. Not so this year. Sho Tay is the Mayor Pro-Temp and the obvious choice for Mayor. It is “his turn”. And yet the Old Arcadians on the Council turned their backs on him. There is still time to correct this unfortunate error.
Sho Tay was the obvious choice to be Mayor. As a New Arcadian he represents two-thirds of our residents – over 38,000 people. He is their only voice on the Council. Short-sighted politics at the City Council level of government can lead to many major changes in Arcadia when the New Arcadians control the Council. With the new district voting that change may come much sooner than any of us had contemplated,.
I look back so fondly on the Old Arcadia – the Arcadia of 60 years ago – I regret the changes that have occurred in our city, but I am a realist and understand that those changes have already occurred. We all have new neighbors. They are delightful people. They come from a heritage much older than ours. The New Arcadians are adapting to our way of life, while at the same time retaining much of their own. This, I think is as it should be.
It is time for all of the Old Arcadians wake up to the fact that a profound change has already occurred to Arcadia, and that there is no turning back. Now is the time to build bridges to accept our new neighbors and to create friendships with them. Try it, you will like it!
Jim Helms, Former Mayor