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No On The Recall

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The year was 1972 when I got involved in a local recall election against a city councilman. I was not a part of the recall committee but became a candidate when approached by the recall committee. He was being recalled for malfeasance of duty (illegal acts committed by a public official). What happens during these public hangings is no one really tells you the illegal act the person actually committed.

Little did I know at the time that most people do not believe in this aspect of the electoral process unless the elected person has really done something bad.

Something bad like taking bribes, stealing money, or becoming so arrogant that he totally ignores the wishes of the people. These are valid reasons for any of us to participate in the recall process.

Since this whole issue was raised to recall Governor Davis many Democrats and Republicans have expressed dissatisfaction with Congressman Issa’s approach to overturning the November election. None of the people I talked with are diehard Davis supporters, they just believe he should be allowed to serve out his term. I agree.

Davis does not have the greatest or warmest personality when you meet him. He is stiff and methodical in selecting his words even down to how his hands move. He is not direct with his staff when it comes to giving direction. However I can say, that he met with the California Black Media Association on several occasions to discuss issues that were of concern to us.

In one setting he had his appointed secretaries of various departments meet with over fifteen publishers in Sacramento to discuss issues facing small Black Media owners. This was very beneficial to us because it gave us access. We did not get everything we went after but we did not leave empty handed.

This is one election where you will have to examine your own conscience to vote for the recall or against the recall based on your sense of fairness. The one thing I know and that is that California has a whole heap of millionaires. What happens when another one decides to spend some of their money because they don’t like the elected official the people elected? It has not even been one year since we went to the polls.

The majority of those who voted in November selected Davis. Now we engage in a recall election that will cost the state over $50 million by people who probably did not vote in November. It has been stated that the leading candidate today did not even take the time to vote in the last five elections. Now we have other wannabe public servants seeking the top position in the most populous state in the union. Even if any of them are elected in October it will not change things.

I’m not saying that one has to have certain experience to lead the state, however they should have some kind of public servant involvement. Prior to my being elected to the school board in San Bernardino, I had served on many public commissions, boards and agencies over a period of twenty-five years.

Yet serving in the elected position made me realize public office responsibility is greater than what you want to do. I had to see to it that my policies took into consideration people who did not believe, behave, think, look, act or vote for me. I learned that every kid doesn’t learn the same way while every teacher is not motivated by the same stimulus.

I learned that an elected official must create an atmosphere that allows its citizens to reach their fullest potential within the norms established by the community. Make sure you know who you are dancing with on this recall song. Sometimes the tune is sweet while the lyrics leave a lot to be desired.

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