On Friday, the cold face and iron fist of authority came before the City Council to declare time had run out, there would be no more talk, the merchants of Olvera Street would sign on the dotted line and pay up — or get out.
On Monday, the clock was still running, there was plenty of talk with representatives of the merchants, the mayor, the Council and even the hard-asses from the City Attorney’s Office and the El Pueblo staff.
By Tuesday’s Council meeting, it was a lovefest with the three most objectionable of the seven last-minute issues brought up by El Pueblo management and city legal staff deleted.
Merchants leader Vivian Bonzo and others praised the Council for their new-found understanding about storage space rates, about needing approval to introduce new items for sale and most of all, for their dropping the effort to evict six merchants on onerous demands for paperwork that meets city standards even when the deficiencies were the city’s fault.
There’s a lesson here: You can fight City Hall and you can win.
Get organized, get a lawyer and never let up the pressure.