Council Junket, Gangnam Style.

Back on September 20th, Brea Matters commented on the taxpayer paid vacation Don Schweitzer, Brett Murdock and Tim O’Donnell made to Anseong, South Korea and Hanno, Japan. Terri Daxon had a good piece on the same topic in the Star Progress the same day, but someone at the OCR felt it wasn’t worth their ink so it never made it into the Register’s print or web editions.

The total of the final tab remains a party secret, but airfare alone was $5,000 bucks.  An almost comical attempt at justifying the trip was made during a Sister City presentation to Council and now, 48 days later, the Orange County Register has graciously reprinted a city press release that, except for a sensationalist headline, paints a rosy picture of the junket.

Way to keep up with the news folks!

The CIOFF – International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals and Folkarts are the promoters of the Anseong “World Folkloriada.”  The first such event was held in 1996, and there have only been four others since then, including Anseong.

It’s hardly an ancient and treasured event.  I have t-shirts older than that with far greater sentimental value and some representing a memorable cross-cultural exchange.

According to the CIOFF website, their objectives are to:

  • Promote the intangible heritage, through forms of expression such as dance, music, games, rituals, customs and other arts.
  • Serve the objectives of UNESCO.
  • Support the activities of its members and those of non-governmental organizations working in the areas of folklore and cultural heritage.  (Note the non-governmental reference and the absence of any reference to commerce or trade development.)
  • Serve the cause of peace and non-violence through the implementation of the above objectives.

Unlike the OCR’s reporting that, “The trip was a chance to learn from people in the sister cities and make contacts that could lead to commerce between Asian and Brea businesses.” – the sponsoring organization has nothing to do with commerce at any level.  For Mayor Schweitzer and friends to suggest this trip was about business is either hugely naive or willfully false.

Shame on the Orange County Register!  This is about as blatant a reprinting of a city press release as anything I’ve seen in the OCR.  Michael Mello, staff writer I guess, seems to have taken the Ryan/Reimer release and printed it verbatim.

What has happened to journalistic integrity? Would Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley or Bernstein and Woodward think this was a solid story? Not on your life.

How arrogant and totally presumptive, in his final days in office, for a Mayor to stick his hand in the cookie jar one final time.

How insulting that he passed out free cookies to his best friends… especially when there aren’t enough cookies to go around anymore.

10 thoughts on “Council Junket, Gangnam Style.

  1. I am so tired of Tim O’Donnell’s shenanigans and blatant disrespect to Brea citizens. Just remember this: Tim O’Donnell needs your vote for Christine Marick so he can continue to manhandle the Brea City Council and serve his own purposes.

    • Stephen… This post speaks exactly to what you’re saying: “The Heart of the Matter.

      Now that she’s elected, Christine has the opportunity to show how independent she really is. Feedback about a campaign planning meeting held at Lynn Daucher’s home suggests Christine may well have a real backbone and can be counted on when the chips are down.

      • Interesting response, Rick, regarding Mrs. Marick, that is. I hope your intuition is correct.

      • Stephen… look, she won. I would have to say fair and square if I allow myself the luxury of separating her from the Old Guard.

        The ball is in her court now. She can live up to her campaign promises of fiscal conservancy and her desire to represent the majority’s mandates.

        If the latter is the case, we’ll know. Christine will not support putting Murdock into the Mayor’s seat when he so obviously lacks the skills or experience for the job and she will work towards prompt adoption of the provisions of Measure T over the whining objections of O’Donnell and Markman.

    • Maria… Thanks for the encouragement! We’ve just weathered another rough and tumble, and very interesting election. Once the dust settles, perhaps we’ll see a shift in the control to cooler heads who really care more for the people of Brea than they do their own bureaucratic careers and perks.

    • Tereza… yes, there will always be those that are hungry and those that are gluttons. We just need to stop electing/hiring the gluttons.

  2. It is really appalling what some of our leaders think is a valid use of our money. Honestly, I hope that our newly elected leaders can really see what the citizens of this country want. Someone who will treat our vote and our money with respect.

    Also, love the title. Oppa Gangnam Style!!

    • Mindy… Until politicians find a cure for their myopia, their narcissism will likely continue unabated. Thanks for the “Oppa!”

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