An Elephant In The Room – Part 2

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Response to part one was almost entirely positive, supportive.  The only real question that remained was, “How will a city council as broken as ours ever successfully address the mounting fiscal concerns facing us today?”

Great question.

I’ve always subscribed to the old adage that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Conversely, if it’s broke, fix it.  Last November, voters had the opportunity to “fix it” but they didn’t.

Looking back, it seems we might have made better choices selecting who we put in the council seats and passing Measure U along with Measure T would have greatly enhanced our leverage today.

Water under the bridge. Where do we go from here?

Here’s a summary of the non-fiscal issues respondents sent to me.

  • File a complaint with the OC District Attorney regarding the possible collusion that occurred prior to and during the recent council reorganization, behavior that clearly appeared to be a Brown Act violation.
  • Review and revise the Code of Conduct (Goldenrod) which dictates how council and staff perform their duties and interact with each other. Return control to the council where it belongs.
  • Implement all aspects of Measure T without attempting to subvert the obvious will of the people and without threatening litigation.
  • Turn away from the old “check the box” mentality that was satisfied with meaningless public engagements. Begin to provide regular and convenient opportunities for the public to express their opinions and make every effort to address them in the decision making process.
  • Demand more accountability from staff, including greater detail and clarity in reports and recommendations and the elimination of bias and misdirection.
  • Demand a complete and thorough follow-up report on the reorganization of the Brea Fire Department, including it’s cooping of command staff with Fullerton and an accurate accounting of any savings generated. Has the plan fulfilled any of numerous  promises made?
  • Demand a full investigation of how Brea lost the law enforcement contract with Yorba Linda, especially the overcharging publicly acknowledged to the Yorba Linda City Council by Tim O’Donnell, including a comprehensive and intelligible explanation of how Brea will implement and afford a “Brea Only” police agency.
  • Demand a review of contracted costs and obligations to Richards, Watson & Gershon, including a return to the public posting of their rates, with the results determining whether their contract should be renewed or that RFPs be solicited from other law firms providing city attorney services.

It seems the people have spoken.

The overriding impression one gets reading these issues is that the people will no longer stand being pushed around or dismissed. There has been an awakening, at least in some circles, and the status quo has been put on notice.

garcia_sturgis_150We have a Mayor who could not articulate why he is best suited amongst his peers to hold the position, or even how he wrangled the opportunity away from the more senior council member truly deserving the position. (See BreaNet #639)

brett_150We have a Mayor Pro Tem who is no more capable of handling the job now than he was when first named MPT a year ago.  Seriously, who doesn’t see the blatant political maneuvering designed to position him as Mayor when running for reelection in 2014?

Watch the video again.

Mayor Garcia, in “nominating” Murdock, references this to such an extent that he may have been guilty of making a double motion.  Did Markman put the screws to Roy Moore and then fall asleep on this one?

ron_garcia_brea.jpgSpecifically, Garcia blurted out, “… make a motion that Brett serve as Mayor Pro Tem which would give Brett Mayor, to serve as the Mayor, in his 4 year term.”  Yeah, as usual, Garcia’s grammar and logic are all screwed up, however he appears to have nominated Murdock for Mayor Pro Tem for 2013 and as Mayor for 2014.

Just guessing, but this “metedura de pata enorme” may come back to haunt the new Alcalde.

We have a perpetuation of a three vote majority prepared to ride roughshod over their constituents as they dutifully carry out the whims and desires of the City Manager.  This is neither a myth nor conspiracy theory.  Pay attention.  Attend or watch the meetings.  Try to have a meaningful dialog with a council member.  Test the open door policy.

“The general population doesn’t know whats happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.” ~ Noam Chomsky.

It is said that communities get the governance they deserve.  Brea deserves better.  Much Better.  Please try and remember that the next time you have your ballot in front of you and a pen in your hand, about to make history.

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6 thoughts on “An Elephant In The Room – Part 2

  1. Rick, great article… again. I hope you realize how much your doing to bring a balanced approach to the issues facing our truly wonderful city. Please be encouraged and keep up the excellent work.

    • Rick… comments like yours fuel the fire and are deeply appreciated. There is a growing number of folks like us, unwilling to sit by idle while Rome burns. That’s a good thing.

  2. I transcribed Mayor “Rob” Garcia’s acceptance “speech” from the December 18 meeting. Some real mindless drivel if you ask me.

    Garcia: Moving on to item 19… we have the election of Mayor Pro Tem.

    Ummm… one… thank you… Brett… for the confidence and ummm… giving me the opportunity to serve as Mayor of the city of Brea again ummm…

    This is my second term on the city council… I won… ummm… 6 years ago… so I’m in the middle of my second term and so this would give me an opportunity to serve this community as Mayor for a second term.

    Ummm… there is a… glitch in the system… that we have here… we generally have ummm… five folks that are seated up here but we run for four terms so unfortunately the seats sometimes don’t get adjusted the way that they would give everybody an opportunity.

    Brett has not had an opportunity to serve as Mayor yet… I had an opportunity to serve once… and some of my colleagues have had an opportunity to serve multiple times… which gives me the least… the feeling that they felt that I was at least deserving of the oppportunity to serve at the second… ummm… in the second term…

    So thank you Brett for that and thank you for those that voted for me.

    With that… ummm… taking into consideration that Brett, for whatever his reasons were… chose not to serve as Mayor this year… ummm… I would like to re-nominate… ummm… make a motion that Brett serve as Mayor Pro Tem which would give Brett mayor to serve as the Mayor in his 4 year term.

    We never are guaranteed that we’re going to win a seat the second time… so i would like to give Brett that one more opportunity to serve in the honor of this community as Mayor so I would make that as a motion and if their is a second…

    Marick: I’ll second

    Moore: No.
    Murdock: Yes.
    Marick: Yes.
    Garcia: Yes.
    Simonoff: No.

    • Stephen… a dark day indeed. Thanks for taking the time to transcribe that, it must have been difficult at best.

      Garcia’s saying, “… I would like to re-nominate… ummm… make a motion…” is a clear indication, at least to me, that he must have been coached not to use the traditional method of nomination, which does not require a second and allows that multiple nominees may be considered.

      By turning from traditional nominating to the process of making a motion, Murdock and Garcia essentially used Robert’s Rules of Order to strangle the Council and intentionally limit their options.

      Considering the misdirection given to Roy Moore by Markman, just prior to the moment, I can guess where the coaching might have come from.

      Someone with a little residual OC clout, like Lynn Daucher, Bev Perry or Glenn Parker, ought to point the OC District Attorney in this direction and request an investigation into the possibility that one or more violations of the Brown Act may have occurred.

  3. It (the coup d’etat) happened so fast that I almost missed it. I repeatedly asked myself, “What did he (Garcia) just say? Then, after the vote, I asked myself, “What just happened?”

    Now that I’ve listened to what Garcia said and seen what happened, I am of the strong opinion that Marick should be ashamed of herself and owes her supporters an apology.

    And Markman? I can’t begin to say how I feel about Markman. If I did I’d probably get sued for slander, so I’ll just say that I’d expect an attorney to demand clarification after such an incoherent “speech” as the one given by Garcia.

    If a normal person like myself had difficulty interpreting Garcia’s blathering “speech” as a motion, then how could Mrs. Marick so quickly and calmly second the “motion” without seeking clarification as well?

    I am also led to deduce that there was collusion on the reorganization and that the parties involved were such amateurs they could not pull it off without it being so obvious.

    A more pitiful state of leadership now exists in the city of Brea. And, I thought it couldn’t get worse than before the election. I was wrong.

    • Stephen… you’re lending a public voice to the dozens of emails and phone calls I’ve received since posting this thread. We can all only hope that, as the saying goes, “… it is always darkest before the dawn.”

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