I’m concerned that the common issues being used to figure out where candidates stand may be clouding the much larger, central issues driving the 2014 election.
Vertical issues are important.
I’m not diminishing the significance of continued discussion about unfunded pension liabilities, balancing the budget, senior services, affordable housing or public safety. These are always on the agenda. Other perennial hot topics include staff salaries, traffic congestion and a robust business environment. And, these emerging major issues demand revisiting – transparency in government, the drought tolerant garden, water conservation and fracking.
These are pressing matters that will only be properly dealt with if Operation Clean Sweep is successful and we’re able to seat three new Council members. Not just anybody but the pool boy… but skilled, experienced, imaginative people who clearly make our best interests their priority.
The broader issue of electing a healthy Council.
Roy Moore introduced Operation Clean Sweep, describing Council as a dysfunctional environment. Recent examples of childish conduct include the fracking discussion and demonstration garden project. Both issues became contentious because Council provided no meaningful opportunity for public engagement.
Dysfunctional might be an understatement. Murdock, Marick and Garcia, during Matters From The Audience, fiddle with their phones and couldn’t look more uninterested. Council members make no eye contact with each other, cast the royal stink eye at each other whenever possible and there is no civil discussion.
Oh we’ve had our advocates. Both Moore and Simonoff, repeatedly, have attempted to convince Murdock, Marick and Garcia to seek public input.
But because MM&G fear their pet projects might be challenged, ridiculed or attacked, they always deny the requests. Their mantra seems to be, “Better safe than sorry.”
So, what is ground zero in this election?
A complete reboot of Council by replacing all three incumbents. With Moore retiring and Garcia scared off, Operation Clean Sweep boils down to denying Murdock a second term. He’s done nothing to deserve it.
My complete disdain for Murdock and the unbroken string of poor choices he’s made for four years is no secret. Go give Brea Clean Sweep a quick read. It will give you an idea of what many of your friends and neighbors have come to believe.
You would see a larger number of “No Murdock” signs all over town if someone wasn’t intimidating business owners to remove them and systematically taking them down at night. Wonder who that might be?
Where do I stand on the candidates?
It’s time to put ink to paper and get my absentee ballot in the mail. After lengthy, detailed and balanced consideration I am absolutely comfortable and confident in making the following endorsements.
Steve Vargas – Mellowed and matured since he last held office, Steve has always supported the issues and choices that would have helped bring Brea to a better place today. His military service, including three tours in the War on Terror, have molded him into the team player we need on Council.
Steve is the only candidate to publish firm stands on today’s issues, in his campaign literature and on his website. As a grandfather of 5+, including an energetic set of triplets, serving others has become a way of life. Steve has earned my respect and my vote.
Cecilia Hupp – A Brea resident and small business owner for nearly three decades, Cecilia knows this town inside and out. This may be her first foray into local politics but she brings proven business and leadership skills to the table. Even a quick chat with her, over coffee or during halftime, confirms she has the personality and management assets we need to reboot Council.
Her campaign has centered around the issues of community engagement, financial stability, economic development and quality of life for all Breans, from this summer’s beautiful baby to cranky ol’ geezers like me. Cecilia has won my heart and my vote.
Glenn Parker – Okay, this one was hard for me. I’ll be honest, I’d labeled Glenn one of the old guard and unfairly dismissed him as a viable candidate.
Then I listened to him.
Glenn has remained continually involved in local government since exiting Council in 1998. Glenn hasn’t missed a beat.
You’d be hard pressed to find an issue he doesn’t clearly understand or for which he hasn’t found a practical solution. He’s a numbers and no nonsense guy who’s reputation has been built upon public engagement and sound fiscal practices. I believe in Glenn and he has my vote.
Now it’s your turn.
Like Dennis Miller always said, “That’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.” The ball is in your court. Do your homework, understand the issues. Only then, when you have come to an equally considered and committed position on the candidates of your choice, fill out your ballot.
Nothing has the power to wreak havoc on Brea’s future and our quality of life more than an uneducated vote.
Pick a team because you love the school. Pick a horse because you like the jockey’s colors.
Pick Council members because they will listen to the people, strive to be a team player and will make personal agendas and legacy building things of the past.