Update: The video finally arrived on the city website. Barring any technical difficulties, you can see Ms. Keller’s remarks beginning at time stamp 32:55. We would post it here but we haven’t figured out how to pull it from Silverlight yet. -JKG
A hat tip to our good friends over at The Liberal OC who wrote a great article on Last Night’s Tustin City Council meeting. Early yesterday, we had heard there would be a special speaker at the meeting. However, we wanted to wait until the video was up so that we could see it firsthand before writing about it.
By coincidence, the video took over 24 hours to appear on the city website. I say coincidence because the same thing happened a month ago at the city council meeting where Councilmember Deborah Gavello accused Councilman Jerry Amante of threatening to “take her down”, vowing never to work with her. She also, to her credit, offered an olive branch which Jerry promptly snapped in half and threw back in her face. Jerry publicly and adamantly denied making any type of threat whatsoever, saying that he only challenged her because of his sense of service. He also challenged Gavello to bring anyone forward that might have heard these threats (Dan Chmielewski from The Lib and I had a bet that the video might never show).
So, she did.
Shortly after that meeting, The Liberal OC wrote about how former Fullerton City Councilmember, Pam Keller, saw the video and decided to come speak at the next city council meeting. She was unable to make that meeting but her speech that she planned to make was published by several blogs, which you can read here.
So, Hizzoner must have thought he was off the hook and thought everything would die down. It might have, except Keller was intent on letting Amante know, up front and personal, just what she thought of him as she attended and spoke at last night’s meeting. Suffice it to say, the right side of the dais sat there in stony silence as Keller made her accusation, largely as it was originally written. Pam was eloquent and succinct in her gentle reminder to Jerry about their conversation three and a half years ago. When she was finished, there was light applause from the audience as Jerry’s mouthpiece, John said, “Please, let’s not have outbursts here.” I guess it is OK if you applaud for one of the Gang of Three but not if you applaud for the truth.
Jerry is supposed to be a lawyer. But, he has forgotten the first thing they teach you in lawyering school: never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. This episode has shown just how unethical and boorish our former mayor and city councilman is. We are fortunate that we have only a few more months of the blathering blabbermouth and he will be finished. Of course, the right side of the dais can always appoint him to a commission or committee or something so he can continue to keep his hand up the back of our good mayor who will be happy to speak for him. Time will tell.
In the meantime, it was good to see that Deborah, who must have been feeling vindicated, took the high road and did not gloat. She should know that Hizzoner probably won’t let up and will keep the pressure on. Just the same, it is also good to know that there are enough political pundits out there who will keep any future political career he might have had in check. Maybe he can ask to be placed on the board of the Tustin Community Foundation where he can work his magic with John’s wife and the CDBG funds they claim they don’t manage for the city (hint, Erin, check the minutes of the last city council meeting).