King of Loyalton

If I were
King of Loyalton

If Loyalton were my kingdom and I could simply wave my hand and people would do my bidding, what would I do to improve my kingdom?

Clearly there is a lot to do, but there is also a lot to work with. With my nearly unlimited power, here are the things I would do:

  1. I would give the owner of the Loyalton Hotel three choices: fix it, tear it down, or deed it to me. The Hotel is not only a horrible fire waiting to happen, it is a visual blight on the town and has a negative effect of visitors and residents alike. How can the town be alive when the heart is cold and empty? I’m a king who believes in private property rights until those rights detract from the rights of others, such as the right to live in a pleasant town. If, after a few days, they did not make a choice, I would send my lawyer knights to cut off their income.
  2. I would recruit and train people to do medical transcription and other online and on computer jobs. These jobs are miserable, hard to do and don’t pay well, but if the workers were organized into a coop, people could work when they wanted to, day or night. The coop would train workers, market their skills, provide computers and telephone when necessary, insure quality standards and pay the contractors. This wouldn’t be a temp service, it would be a coop. The workers would not work for me, but for themselves; I would simply give them the tools.
  3. I would extend my influence over the lands of the mill and put a medical marijuana coop in at the business park. I would lease the facilities to business people who had clients and paperwork and I would sell to medical marijuana users who are now going to Susanville or Colfax. As King, I wouldn’t deal with clients or medicine, I would simply provide the facilities, including necessary security, for a nice fee. I care nothing for the King of Nevada, and if his people brought the necessary documents, they would take away medicine and leave money. I would be King of Loyalton, and not Bishop of Loyalton or Physician of Loyalton, and I would not dictate to my people their moral or medical decisions.
  4. As King of Loyalton, I would want to take other monies from the people of Nevada. I would institute festivals to entice them to Loyalton to make merry and leave gold. I would conspire with local cookeries and meat inspectors, and we would celebrate "I eat Beef" day, when the revelers of Nevada would come and gorge on the meat of the Valley. I would send a challenge to the kings of Nevada, saying "your beef is the other white meat. Our beef is fit for kings." They would come, or live in shame.
    One drunken hobo away from a town fire

    If I were King of Loyalton I would realize my people are under terrible burdens. I know that kings of other places tax heavily, and in order to avoid having the King of California send his lawyer knights to lay waste to the city, I would tax them for water and sewer. We have no choice.

    As King of Loyalton, I might entertain ideas like laying waste to Highway 70 between Beckwourth and Vinton, but these things would be foolhardy, so I would be honest about the reality of my Loyaltondom. I would cajole my people to make them light of heart. This would lead me to the fifth project I would undertake:

  6. I would gather my people on warm summer evenings, and we would walk the streets of the town, admiring how beautiful our gardens are, how stately our old houses are, how warm our people are. In fall we would wander the town smelling rotting leaves, admiring ripening pumpkins, sharing apples. In winter we would pull our children on sleds and the apples would have become hot cider. In spring we would walk the town looking for buds, for daffodils and paperwhites, for the first yellow blooms of the harrison roses in abandoned yards. These local riches we shared would strengthen us, make us closer, make us value those things we have that are free of prosperity or debt: the beauty of the town; the richness of the land; the faces and hearts of our neighbors. We would also live longer, no kidding.

Fix it, tear it down, or deed it to the King.

I would do these things, the reader will notice, as King of Loyalton, not mayor of Loyalton, because mayors live in the real world. In the real world, running a city like Loyalton is gut wrenching, exhausting, nearly thankless work. There are roadblocks at every turn, and not the least of which are some of the grumbling, complaining people of Loyalton itself (not you, it’s those other people, we all know who they are). The mayor can’t put someone in stocks for bitching but not pitching in. The City Council scarcely gets the support a king could command; indeed, the council as people and as a body is burnt out by the effort. The council isn’t even full; how could it be, who wants to lay awake staring into the darkness and thinking about sewage, about lifelong residents who can’t afford to flush. The council chambers fill when people want to complain, but the tide washes out when the tiresome business of paying bills comes up.

If I were King of Loyalton, I’d give some of you a public spanking; the mayor can only be polite.

Since I’m not King of Loyalton, I’ll take a turn as Soothsayer: You folks better fill your council as soon as possible, with people who are motivated. An unsupported council will become a nest of vipers. Support your City Council; drag yourself away from the tube and attend the meetings, educate yourself on the burdens of the office, on the nearly complete lack of authority to do anything except what the law requires. Far from being a king, the mayor of Loyalton is a serf with a hundred masters, from our masters at the state, to the disgruntled and fearful of the city.

I’ll even go farther: if there happens to be a recent graduate of Loyalton High lingering about town, grab them and make them run for the council. The council needs the kind of optimism it’s hard for the experienced to muster. Besides, the young represent whatever future Loyalton has.

If I were a critic of the Prospect I would point out that the Loyalton City Council meetings aren’t covered by this paper. I have a response to that: Jan Buck is the Queen of Loyalton. Our coverage of the meetings didn’t have the depth of experience that hers do. Further, the problems of Loyalton are a study of their own, and we don’t have the time. Why do a poor job when someone at hand is working from experience?

PS  My Castle would be Edith Huntley's house.

A legal, well run medical cannabis operation would improve the neighborhood.

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