July 19 2002


National City Councilmembers Lack the Courage of Their Convictions

The biggest problem with politicians today, elected leaders of the people, is that they fail to lead. Instead they choose to take the path of least resistance or the path that does little to upset their donor/support base. This lack of leadership is evident when you consider the energy crisis where our elected officials allowed their votes to be bought by the energy companies, allowing deregulation to pass. Not until the damage is done do they react. Locally, when the Chargers re-did their deal with the city, the city council let that boondoggle pass without one objection. These are just a couple of many examples of a lack of leadership.

And now just this past week the National City City Council failed to provide leadership on the issue of a Police Review Board, instead, they whimped out!

Going into last Tuesday’s council meeting the one thing that was certain was that the public wanted a Police Review Board. The fact was so matter of factly accepted that earlier in the year, the city council hired a firm, to the tune of $25,000, and empaneled a citizens task force to poll and draft a Police Review Board plan for adjudication by the city council. The city council had the authority of accept in whole or modify the plan after which the plan would have been put before the voters in November to accept, or not.

The National City City Council choose instead to do nothing. What they did decide to do was ask its legal department to create an advisory measure to ask the voters if they want a Police Review Board, something that had already been determined. The months of work by the task force - a waste. The money spent on the consultant - wasted.

Why the lack of courage to act. Simple, elections are in November, and the mayor and city councilmembers did not want to upset the police department, the one group that does not want to see a Police Review Board and an organization that wields political muscle in National City. So to appear to be doing something without really doing anything, the city wasted taxpayers monies and time, by seeking an advisory vote. And oh by the way, if the advisory vote comes back with a resounding yes for a review board, the city will have to hold a special election at the cost of roughly $60,000 payable by you the taxpayer.

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