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Viva Montageville.


Exciting Changes Coming to Beverly Hills.


It appears that the Montage Hotel project is going to be approved.  Someone has leaked some confidential City documents to me, and I am amazed by some of the plans for our future.


First, our City is getting a new name, “Montageville.”  


If you think about this, it makes sense.  There is no way that we should keep the name “Beverly Hills.” 


The name Beverly Hills is identified in the public mind as a place where people move to live in quiet luxury -- a place where the residents came first.  Our civic leaders have decided that this era is over, and we will generate greater tax revenues with a new name that signifies our commitment to a more commercial future. 


Also, to help defray the expenses of the Montage project, the City is negotiating with the City of Pomona to sell the name Beverly Hills” in exchange for 5% of their parking revenues.


Second, we are getting a new City theme song that proclaims our new civic identity.  Now that we are becoming a major destination, this seems only fitting.  After all, most major cities have at least one great song.  Who can forget Frank Sinatra’s New York, New York,” or Tony Bennett’s  “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”?


Even though I opposed the Montage project, I have to admit that our new theme song is pretty catchy.  The melody is the same as Elvis Presley’s hit song Viva Las Vegas

Traffic jam city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got lotsa tax dollars that're ready to burn,
So set those room rates higher
There's a thousand parkin’ spaces waitin' out there
And if they're all taken the devil may care
The city is a devil with traffic to spare…
Viva Montageville, Viva Montageville

How I wish that there were more
Than just seven stories on the way
'Cause even if there were twenty more
I couldn't sleep a minute away
There's traffic and car noise and a council who’ll deal
A once nice city with a Vegas feel
All you need's a lotta money and a nerve of steel…
Viva Montageville, Viva Montageville…

Viva, Viva Montageville!

It’s going to be expensive to license the right to use the melody.  This is going to cost the City 5% of parking revenues, but the lyrics will let the whole world know that our city has become an exciting place to visit.


Also, I like this theme song  a lot better than the runner up, “I Left My Car in South Montageville … the Traffic There, Too Bad to Leave”  which would have borrowed it’s melody from “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” 


This is not the only good news.  Beginning in 2007, the City will save $60,000 or so every two years by eliminating the need for City Council elections.  We will also save more than $240,000 per year by eliminating the position of City Manager.  Thus, not only will we be increasing our tax revenues, we will also be saving significant amounts.


Beginning in 2007, the City Council will be elected by the 33 members of the “Montage Association of Condo Owners” (“MACO” for short).  Instead of the normal $75,000 expense of a City election, this will only cost $15,000 for champagne and a gourmet meal so that the members of MACO can celebrate their political freedom.  Also, the manager of the Montage Hotel will automatically serve as the City manager.


I have to admit that this makes a lot of sense.  By cutting out the middlemen (the City Council and the City Manager), we can speed the process of “Montagification”.


This will also allow the City to streamline the next phase of the plan.  Once the new City government is in place, the Civic Center is going to be sold to the Montago Band of Indians.  Most of the Civic Center will be demolished, but the Indians will allow the City to lease back the police and fire buildings.


If you are wondering why the City would do this, you are not yet thinking like a Montagevillager.  


Two words – casino gambling!  Yes, if you thought that the hotel project will produce lots of tax revenues, just wait until you see the projections for casino revenues!  Also, Rudy Cole can’t wait to point out that, like hotels, casinos don’t generate a lot of traffic.  After all, anyone who has been to the Las Vegas strip can confirm this.


Last but not least, the new Montageville airport will kill two birds with one stone.  First, it will promote a steady supply of customers for the new casino and hotels.  Second, by condemning most of the houses south of Wilshire Boulevard to make room for the airport, the City will eliminate many of the citizens who have been opposing “rational growth.”  Fortunately, there is a backup plan for some of us to live in the lower levels of the new parking structure, like mole people.


My fellow future Montagevillagers: it’s going to be a great time to live, work and gamble in Montageville.  Whoops, I forgot.  The City is selling that slogan to Inglewood in exchange for 1% of their parking revenues.


Happy April Fools Day.


On a more serious note, I have received a number of letters regarding my recent columns, both pro and con, and plan to respond soon.


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