A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

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A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Pseudo Pop – Who is Pomona’s Mr. Burns?

Illustration+by+Anthony+Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano
Illustration by Anthony Solorzano

In a city that reflects Springfield, who is the one in charge of spreading evil?

Headphones recommended

 

Transcript


HOST: Hi, welcome to Pseudo Pop, where we use pop culture to give real life some context. I’m your host Anthony Solorzano. Let’s talk about C. Montgomery Burns – the most evil, devious, greedy and richest person in the fictitious town of Springfield.

“The Simpsons,” satirizes American culture and society. The sitcom takes place in Springfield – a small town in anywhere-USA. Just like Pomona. If that’s the case, who would be Pomona’s Mr. Burns?

BLUE-HAIRED LAWYER: Your Honor your honor, my client has instructed me to remind the court how rich and important he is and that he is not like other men.

MR. BURNS: I should be able to run over as many kids as I want.

HOST: Mr. Burns is the owner of one of the biggest companies in Springfield. A fair comparison might be the biggest corporation in Pomona–the Fairplex.

The nonprofit enterprise serves as a “place, a convener and a creator of memories to strengthen the community and economy through arts and entertainment, agriculture, education and commerce.”

Every year, the Fairplex runs the LA County Fair, bringing in millions of dollars on fried Oreos, frog legs and diabetes. They must be filled with greed.

According to the LA Times, in 2016, the Fairplex President and CEO James Henwood, Jr left his position after it was reported he was receiving millions of dollars in compensation as the nonprofit organization kept losing money.

MR. BURNS: Excellent

HOST: But that was eight years ago. Since then, that level of greed has gone down to lower levels. Looking into their tax forms from the year 2022, the current CEO Walter Marquez was only paid a small total of $422 thousand dollars. The Fairplex uses roughly 88% of their revenue on functional expenses like rent, maintenance and security.

The Fairplex and its CEO are not Mr. Burns.

HOMER SIMPSON: D’oh!

HOST: Since it’s not an organization that works to carry out evil in a city like when Mr. Burns tried to cover the sun, maybe it’s an individual with an abundance of money.

According to Transparency California, the state employee that made the most amount of money in 2022 was Pomona PD corporal Billy Q. Dinh. His total salary was $390,000 and that’s not including his benefits, which makes sense because about 48% of the city budget goes to the police. In comparison, last year the city of Montclair, which has a higher crime rate than Pomona, only used 15% of their budget for the police.

In 2022, the city of Pomona’s Crime rate was higher than 91.5% of cities from around the US, according to City Data dot com. It appears that continuing to police a city will not lower crime.

The Department of Sentencing reports that crime can be reduced by:
Steady income, through employment or public benefits.
Access to safe, stable housing
Access to care and services

MR. BURNS: A dollar for eternal happiness, I’d be happier with the dollar.

HOST: Let’s dive into these elements. The median income of a household within the city of Pomona is $73,000 according to Data Commons but the new houses being built are priced at higher than $800 thousand.

According to Zillow, the average home value in Pomona is $654,261, which is an 8.5% increase from the previous year, making it hard for people to afford safe, stable housing. The people of Pomona have steady income but not enough to buy homes.

The city of Pomona uses 3% of its budget on general services. Only 1% of the budget goes to the library. The place that holds information for a city only gets 1% of the budget. In comparison, the city of Montclair doesn’t put money aside for its library, specifically. It sounds like the city of Pomona is sticking a crayon up the people’s nose.

DOCTOR: Mr. Simpson, I’m afraid you have a crayon lodged in your brain.

HOMER: There’s a crayon in my brain.

HOST: So, if there was someone in the city of Pomona that’s made of evil, devious choices and money like Mr. Burns, it wouldn’t be anyone in particular. Congrats, Pomona, you did it!

But the city of Pomona is far from perfect.

City officials continue to throw all the money at the wrong places to try and make Pomona a better city. Instead of investing most of the city’s budget on a police force that doesn’t help lower crime, they should invest in the people of Pomona. They should create more affordable housing.

Officials should invest more money on services for the community. On May 6, the city council approved an exclusive negotiation agreement between the National Community Renaissance of California, Arteco and Village Partners for the sale and development of 351 new apartments in the downtown area. Only 81 of those 351 apartments will be categorized as affordable apartments.

Just another developer coming in and building housing no one in Springfield can afford but Mr. Burns. The city council should instead build a…

MOB SINGS “MONORAIL”

HOST: At least then the city would be the one getting swindled and not the people. For Pseudo Pop, we out.

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About the Contributor
Anthony Solorzano
Anthony Solorzano, Opinions Editor
Anthony Solorzano is the Opinions Editor. He has been pursuing journalism since he realized he hated his job. Anthony loves to tell stories using humor. He finds pop culture to be the truest form of pretentious art.

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