HERE ARE SOME OF MY THOUGHTS AS WE ENTER A CRUCIAL ELECTION YEAR OF 2016 WITH THREE FULLERTON COUNCIL MEMBERS UP FOR REELECTION, FITZGERALD, FLORY AND WHITAKER.
BY BARRY LEVINSON
Question? Can any elected official expect real change when they do not hold elected officials serving with them accountable for their special interest voting record, knowing that the special interest politicians hold the voting majority? For if the same people or their allies keep on getting elected, how can we expect any different and I would add better results going forward?
As Albert Einstein once said: Doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity…. and I would add self-delusional as well.
I would argue that those elected bodies frequently act more like a Private and Exclusive Club than a representative body of the people. Their votes so often ignore the will of the people, but help the well-connected special interests. They also seem to have this unspoken rule, not to openly and publicly criticize colleagues on their respective votes, even when those votes do not agree with their campaign slogans and/or promises. Does this rule help the people or does it shield the politicians from justifiable criticism on their voting records? Are elected officials trading their silence for future political support?
Part of the reason for bad government of course, is the public’s lack of involvement with the political process. Political mailers that have little connection to the truth can fool many voters. So in fact, the public needs to realize that their ignorance of the facts results in many bad choices at the voting booth.
However, this article is not about what the public could do better to effectuate a better government but what our elected leaders can do to make for a better and more representative government for the people.
Question? If a politician runs for office as a fiscal conservative and votes for deficit budgets rather than making changes to live within the taxpayer’s means, should not that politician be held accountable by their fiscally conservative colleagues?
I say emphatically yes. For if that same elected official wins reelection touting their fiscally conservative record, I believe one can state that the other elected officials’ silence aided and abetted that person’s reelection.
Well in Fullerton, we have 3 Republican elected council members’ Whitaker, Fitzgerald and Sebourn. In fact, Fitzgerald was the swing vote to pass a two-year $2.8 million deficit budget. This $2.8 million deficit is actually understated because it excludes major costs such as the cost of water for the entire city of Fullerton and all the unfunded pension and retiree medical care costs. Why do you think Ms. Fitzgerald cast this deciding vote? Is it because she votes in support of her special interest friends, the public unions and the real estate developers? Overwhelmingly, these groups do not live in Fullerton. Why then should the public unions be allowed to bleed us dry of our tax money? Why then should the high-rise real estate developers be allowed to destroy the quality of life Fullertonians have cherished for decades?
I have not heard one word from the council dais from either Council member Whitaker or Sebourn pointing out why a supposed fiscal conservative council member, Fitzgerald would vote for budget deficits. It is not to late for either or both gentlemen to go on the record with this very justifiable criticism of Mayor Fitzgerald.
Saying what you mean and more importantly doing what you say is what makes for an honorable council member. Without it, we the public, are not voting for trusted public servants but rather for an illusion painted skillfully by a less than honest politician. In 2016 let us speak out as one and hold all our elected officials accountable. Remember Fullertonians that when a council member lets a fellow council member off the hook, it too often means that we the people have been placed on that hook.
Finally, I like to leave the readers with one last thought. If we as a people can’t elect a majority of representatives who put the welfare of the people before the special interests on the local level, how can we ever expect anything better on the state and national levels?
I report, you decide.