Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thank You, Chief Watson

Today is Dan Watson's last day as Chief of the South Pasadena Police Department. It's no mystery how I feel about it, or about the circumstances leading to the Chief's decision to leave. It's also no mystery why Mammoth Lakes jumped at the chance to lure him to the mountains. (His first day as Police Chief of Mammoth Lakes is next week. You can read all about it here.) The powers that be in Mammoth recognized Dan's leadership, experience and wisdom in every way the powers that be in South Pasadena did not.

But the people of South Pas know Dan's worth. We know how lucky Mammoth is to have him. It was evident at yesterday's farewell lunch as hundreds lingered in not one but two thunderous standing ovations. How fitting that the event was held at the War Memorial building, a structure built for the purpose of honoring heroes.

Chief Dan is one of South Pasadena's heroes.

My father used to tell me to make sure I always left a place better than it was when I got there. I don't think I ever really understood what he was talking about until I met the Chief. Dan is much more than just the best police chief our city has ever had. His community involvement reached way beyond official duties. There is a common joke told around town that goes something like this: if you need to find Dan Watson, just go to wherever somebody asked for volunteers.

Chief Dan, you are leaving South Pasadena a better place than it was before you got here. We're a better city because of your guidance, and we are better people because of your fine example. Thank you. I consider myself lucky to call you my friend, and I know I stand with a crowd of others who feel exactly the same way. I think I speak for the entire city when I say that no matter where your adventures take you, we hope that you will always consider South Pasadena home.

We'll leave the light on for you.

19 comments:

Leslie Saeta said...

Thanks Laurie for saluting Chief Watson! He was such a wonderful asset to our city. Such a huge loss for South Pasadena and an amazing gain for the city of Mammoth. We will miss him (and the Chieftess!!!).

Mister Earl said...

Wonderful tribute, Laurie.

Mike said...

We are going to miss Chief Watson.

Petrea said...

Dan, Kathy, I'm so lucky to have met the two of you. I'll repeat myself: South Pasadena's loss is Mammoth's gain. South Pas residents can count their blessings in that they had your honest and generous influence for a while. Let's hope it sticks.

TheChieftess said...

Dan and I are humbled by your support and well wishes. We are looking forward to our "Grand Adventure." We will miss you all!!! TGFI...Thank God for the internet!!!

Cheyne Gateley said...

Thanks for the link, Laurie :)

altadenahiker said...

Bye, you two lovely people.

Anonymous said...

What a fitting tribute to a wonderful police chief.

Judy Williams said...

Best of everything to Kathy and Dan. Big hugs coming your way from Texas.

Shanna said...

Although I never met you, I feel that I know you both.

I look forward to reading your comments on Laurie's blog in the future. Right, Chieftess - TGFI.

dbdubya said...

Thank you, Laurie, for your support over the past few months. More important, your friendship has meant a lot to Kathy and me. We will miss you, Jon, and Raine, along with a host of others as we move off to deal with the bears and bars of Mammoth.

Thanks also to many of your followers, especially Mr. Earl, for your words of support and encouragement.

I was especially delighted to receive the Leslie Saeta painting at the farewell luncheon yesterday. I can't think of a better way to remember South Pasadena than an original piece of art from South Pasadena's own artist-of-the-day.

Much has been said around town about the reasons for my early departure. I'll simply repeat some of what I said yesterday - police chiefs work in a political environment and sometimes the political winds change direction. The decision to move me out to reportedly make room for someone else was the work of some on the Council, and no one else. Perhaps someday we'll know the reason why. Regardless, I have to accept that as elected representatives of the residents of South Pasadena, the Council should have the people in leadership positions they want, and I respect and honor that concept. It's the public's responsibility to evaluate that decision and if they don't think it was a good one, say so at the next election.

Leaving South Pasadena is bittersweet. There are many people we will miss, including the members of the Police Department. But, the opportunity to work in Mammoth Lakes takes away some of the bitterness. We are looking forward to moving into our new home and getting acclimated to 8200feet of elevation and 40 feet of snow in a year. If we can handle that, we may remain for a few years. Regardless of how long we're in Mammoth, we'll be making return trips and of course stay up to speed through Glimpses of South Pasadena.

Thank you again, Laurie, for your blog - the sepctacular photography and text that goes with it, along with introducing all of us to many different people through your followers.

See you in Mammoth!

Dan

Mister Earl said...

Wait just one cotton-pickin' minute! Are you telling me that dbdubya is actually Police Chief Dan Watson??? Holy crap, batman!

Love you, Dan and Kathy. ;-)

Virginia said...

WEll I"m all the way down here in little ole Birmingham but I want to send my love to Dan and Kathy. I was lucky enough to meet both of them in April when I visited the Denas. What a great twosome they are! I can certainly see why all of you are so sad to bid them farewell.

I will look forward to following them to their new home and can't wait to see what awaits them.
V

PS I"m with Earl. Who knew Dan was dbdubya! :)

Laurie said...

DB and Chieftess, you're the BEST kind of people.

And don't forget to check the Chieftess for a new and exciting blog. (Don't know if you've made it official yet, Chieftess, but when you do I'm all over it!)

Bellis said...

Farewell, Dan, Kathy and Daisy. You're going to love Mammoth, and what a good time to go, just as it gets too hot here for dogs to bear. Daisy will be running around the forest and jumping in the lakes like a puppy.

Mister Earl said...

Thanks for making a difference ...
In Our Lives

Pasadena Adjacent said...

sweeeeet
good luck guys

Diana said...

Dan and I go back to his LAPD days and I was so delighted when he took the South Pasadena post. He's been treated shamefully in return for the many positive changes he's made in South Pasadena and, as you say, it's no surprise that Mammoth Lakes snapped him up. I'll miss those lunches at Mike & Anne's Dan, but I hope you have a fabulous time up in the mountains!

Anonymous said...

WHO CARES!!!!! LEAVE! Get out of town! Like the SP CC said, South Pas will find a better and more qualified (and hopefully less arrogant and pompous) Police Chief! I'm looking forward to new blood and a new perspective on the SPPD and I know many others are as well!!