In last week’s State of the Union address President Barack Obama laid out a bold agenda for congress to work on for the American people. He challenged congress to get it done for the people and not for any political party. He advocated for immigration reform, becoming a magnet for new jobs in manufacturing, building a “fix it first” infrastructure program, funding early childhood education, voting rights reform, passing climate change legislation, passing the Violence Against Women Act, increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.00, and other issues. However, it was during his call for sweeping change on gun violence that saw the chambers erupt with a standing ovation as he called out the names of those killed or seriously injured by guns: Hadiya Pendleton, 16 years old of Chicago whose family deserves a vote, former Congresswoman Gabby Gilford deserves a vote, the families of Newtown where 20 children and six teachers were killed deserve a vote, the families of Aurora deserve a vote, the families of Oak Creek deserve a vote, the families of Blacksburg, Tucson and countless other communities deserve a vote.
I would like to add a few names to this list that deserve a vote for gun reform: Riverside police officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino Sheriff detectives Jeremiah MacKay and Alex Collin deserve a vote; Monica Quan and Keith Lawrence who were to be married deserve a vote for stricter gun regulations in America. While Christopher Dorner, with his law enforcement and military history, could have easily passed the background check, legislation that would make it more difficult for civilians to obtain assault weapons, could have possibly made a difference.
So I join President Obama, hundreds of law enforcement leaders, and surviving family members of lost and injured loved ones in saying these citizens deserve a vote.
The Leadership of San Bernardino is Misguided
The citizens of San Bernardino deserve better leadership at city hall. Everyone knows that the city has filed for bankruptcy and that means you do not have any money to spare. So what does the city attorney do? He asks the city council to hire a litigator for $6,000 a month retainer while guaranteeing him 25% of whatever he can obtain by taking people to court. If he is as good as the city attorney says he is, why not give him 30% or 35% of what he litigates without the retainer fee obligation. By the way the litigator currently works in the city attorney’s office and lives in Palm Desert. Enough for keeping the citizens’ tax dollars in the city.
The city council approved the request on a 6 to 1 vote while in their next breath asking for all citizens to buy local and shop in the city to help the city out. Fred Shorett was the lone council member that voted against this give away of public money. You may or may not know that currently the public safety employees take over $40 million dollars out of the city each year in salaries because they do not live in the city.
If the city is broke how could you agree to such a request by the city attorney if you do not have any money? It does not add up or make any sense. On top of that, the mayor and council are asking citizens to consider voting for an increase in their refuse pick-up fee. I am actually in favor of that proposal because of all the employees who work in this department that live, shop, pay taxes and send their children to schools in the city.
Before investors put up their money in stocks they first look at the company’s management team. If they have faith or trust in the company’s leadership they will invest in the stock. If the City of San Bernardino were on the stock market no one would invest any money based on the leadership from the mayor, council and city attorney.
They should be recalled, but it would cost the city money that could be used to provide what little service they are currently providing.