We find ourselves living in an era of rapid dynamic changes in technology, employment opportunities, climate change, and economic and political polarizations — not to mention a pandemic. The rampant “us-versus-them” mentality has led to facts and science denial, social media “news” tailored to our biases, and mistrust of experts, government, corporations and organizations.    

There are some citizens who wish to return to some idyllic fantasy of their past Redlands lives, whether it be the 1950s, ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s.  Regrettably perhaps, unfolding change is a constant in our human and material world.

A recent letter in this publication warned “Don’t let the City Council ruin Redlands.” I am trying to understand the meaning of this message.  

• I should mistrust and oppose the decisions made by our duly elected City Council members. They do not understand public service, the people of Redlands or the present pressures and issues affecting this city.

• I should discount and dismiss the processes, committee planning and financial recommendations by our full-time city staff and hired professional consultants. What do they know?  

• The “planned destruction of our historic downtown” is the council’s agenda. Who knew this and when?  

• Construction of multi-story housing to help alleviate some of our local housing shortage will completely block my view of the mountains and Redlands will “become another casualty of an ever-expanding Los Angeles.”  Those are mighty tall buildings — hundreds of them.   

• Sad.      

What’s next?  Build a wall around our town?  

I’m reminded of a verse from a song penned by one of America’s most prolific and successful lyricists:  

   

  “Come mothers and fathers

       Throughout the land  

       And don’t criticize

       What you can’t understand

       Your sons and your daughters

       Are beyond your command

       Your old road is rapidly agin’

       Please get out of the new one

       If you can’t lend a hand

       For the times they are a changin”

                                          — Bob Dylan, 1964      

Jim Bacca, 35-year citizen of Redlands