We want to join with the family and friends of Robert Jenkins and welcome him to the city council representing the people of the second ward. We join him in his desire to bring jobs with business opportunities to the city and keeping public safety as a priority. We also wish him well in an attempt to bring civility and remove a personality-political driven atmosphere from the council meeting.
Again welcome Council Member Jenkins.
It’s “Just My Imagination Running Away With Me” on Penman and McCammack
Just My Imagination running away with me was a song made popular by The Temptations of Motown. It came into my mind while viewing the latest San Bernardino City Council Meeting, as Council Member Wendy McCammack, said I have to abstain from voting on this agenda item because this is a client of mine. My imagination went into overdrive because McCammack had been abstaining from voting a lot of agenda items because they are seeking contracts with the city.
I recall a matter that came before the council by he San Bernardino Unified School District and she had to abstain because they were a client of her company. Then the Imagination made a leap that McCammack is a very close friend of City Attorney Jim Penman whose wife, Judi Penman is a school board member and is also the Executive Director of the Camber of Commerce. Then my imagination went into rocket blast off by wondering how many of those clients that she cannot vote on, became her clients after she became a council member. How were they recruited by her or how were they directed to her and by whom? How did these clients get contracts with the city? What was the process and who else made bids on these city contracts? Like the Temptation said in their song it is just my imagination running away with me.
Have you let your imagination run away with you? Then I thought of the last two meetings where McCammack brought up the county grand jury report with the same points that you guessed it, Jim Penman expounded on for 15 minutes accusing the mayor and some council member of corruption, even thought the report was explaining another county agency governing body. The other meeting involved an agenda item of relocating the In and Out Burger Enterprise from 2nd to 5th Street because of the expansion of the 215 Freeway. Other council members wanted to know when was the ribbon cutting ceremony, how many employees would they have and the cost of this redevelopment project. The mayor explained this is what redevelopment is suppose to do, remove blight of two hotels that was in the business of renting rooms by the hour. Let your imagination take you to what happens at a one hour motel.
Then along came McCammack and said I don’t want to rain on your parade but I don’t think we, taxpayers, got a good deal. Our kids and grandkids will be paying for this all of their life, even though I am going to vote for it. Immediately up pop’s Penman hand as though there was a legal issue on what was being proposed: your honor, I think what you guys just did was a waste of taxpayers money by giving money to a hamburger joint, to paraphrase Penman statement. I thought to myself this is what he calls a joint, an establishment that will employee 75 to 100 local employees, pay taxes that will pay his salary, and he referrers t it as a hamburger joint. This was in my opinion, the city attorney’s concept of “legal advice” to the council. My imagination said to me this is a political statement with disparaging remarks against a legitimate thriving business in the city and is a poor representation from our city’s legal office. The mayor and council had another meeting (workshop) last Thursday evening to work on policies and procedures on how they will conduct their meetings and treat one another. One would think that it would involve only council members and the mayor, wrong; here you had Jim Penman sitting next to his favorite council member McCammack so they could exchange thoughts and allow Penman to operate as the eight councilmember. Now I don’t blame Penman for pushing his way into the meeting but I do blame the mayor and council members for allowing him to interject his personal thoughts into how they ought to run their council meeting. Once again, maybe it is my imagination running away with me on how I think the council members and mayor should conduct business.
Then I thought what if there is something to what my imagination is thinking. What if, McCammack and Penman do meet before the meetings and to plan what they are to say? What if, McCammack is being steered clients because of her position as a council member? What if she is helping those clients get contracts with the city and acting like she is innocent by not voting on the agenda item? What would an investigation reveal to us if that information was released to the public about her clients? How did she get them? When did she get them? How did they get city contracts? I don’t know; it is just my imagination running away with me.
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