I’ve known for some time that the Brea City Council was dysfunctional, I’ve written about it in Brea Matters for some time. Last Thursday evening, upon checking my email, I found I have a true compatriot in my friend and long time Council member Roy Moore.
I began reading Roy’s six hundred and ninetieth communication to his constituents, that’s more than 40 newsletters a year during the 16 years Roy has served us. He had my full attention by the end of the first paragraph.
With permission, here is Roy’s newsletter.
Brea Net No. 690 – July 24, 2014.
As you know this is an election year for Brea. Three Council seats open up. Nomination papers are available at the City Clerk’s office and must be returned by August 8 at 5:00 p.m. This is often called the “Silly Season.” As the campaigning begins I must confess that I have been struggling for some time with some issues and I would like to open up and share my honest concerns.
Brea is an excellent city. We are blessed with excellent services: Police, fire, parks, street maintenance, solid finances and so much more. City staff, though reduced in size, does their very best. So what is my dilemma? Our City Council is dysfunctional.
Some of our members literally do not speak to each other except during meetings. Although council members should not be expected to vote in lock step but to vote their consciences, when they do they are sometimes criticized and punished by bypassing them in the Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem rotation or removing them from Council committee assignments. The word “cooperation” is limited and respect for the other’s opinions often elusive. Personal power and individual prestige seem more important than the needs of our residents.
This dysfunction creates unnecessary animosity between council members, inhibits working in a collaborative way, to reach compromise on issues and creates stress for the City Manager and his staff as they struggle to run our city. Because of this situation some staff are rumored to have considered leaving the city.
Needless to say I am disheartened by this situation and reluctantly come to the conclusion that the solution is to NOT vote for any incumbents but to bring in three new faces and charge them with changing the atmosphere at City Hall. I would call this Operation Clean Sweep. If you feel this is an issue I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to your Brea friends.
I have been honored to serve as a council member for 16 years. The last four being difficult. I believe when you stop having fun and your frustrations seem to increase it is time to retire. I have made the decision not to run for reelection. I do plan to monitor the campaign and plan to point out misstatements, exaggerations or out right lies being promoted by the candidates.
Moore next time, Roy
The inmates are running the asylum.
Silly Season, an apt description for the frenzied campaigning we witness from August through November every couple of years.
I like Roy’s definition better than “the rough and tumble of elections” phrase that emerged during the Koos v. Clough conflict and subsequent legal battles of 2010.
Pointing out that our Council is dysfunctional, Roy gives voice to what many Breans have grown to understand… particularly in recent years. One only needs to scroll back through Brea Matters to find proof.
Council has danced perilously close to the legal limits of the Brown Act and repeatedly exhibited a complete disregard for long standing policies and traditions. Koreagate. FPPC violations and fines.
Operation Clean Sweep.
Excellent idea Mr. Moore, and one I will run with from now until the last vote is cast. It is an apt rallying cry for Brea voters. Residents, employing a little ingenuity, will hopefully find ways to express this campaign slogan with their friends and neighbors.
Like you, and I hope many other Brea voters, I will be keeping a close eye on candidate’s statements, claims and promises.
Those that fail to steer a path well inside ethical boundaries will have no problem with me. Those that don’t will find themselves exposed here.