Two issues will be put before Long Beach voters on the November ballot--citywide election of a full-time mayor and district elections of school board members--and it is my hope that the handful of people who show up at the polls soundly defeat both propositions.
If these were "up" times I am sure that I would feel differently about both causes, but we are in "down" times if, in fact, we have not achieved "advanced collapse"; and history teaches that arbitrarily taking things apart when one is not in a position of ascendancy only invites trouble.
In Long Beach, the council-manager form of government and the Board of Education have both reached a finely honed state of imperfection; to advance them to an anarchic state at this time, it seems to me, would be bad timing.
To be sure, it would be fun to watch a strong mayor and a determined manager go at each other. And politicizing the schools--pitting board members against both the taxpayers and the classroom teachers--could be entertaining. But let's save the fun and games for good times and, for now, concentrate on the job at hand; preserving the sheen of our polished imperfection.
--DOUGLAS A. KERMODE