So, you may have read my recent post on Tustin Councilmember Jerry Amante and Laguna Hills Councilmember Alan Songstad and thought, “No, it can’t be true. Not Jerry…”. You may have thought I was alone and, being a small town blog, that my opinion didn’t mean much.
Now, JerryAmante and his dog and pony show have hit the big time. In a scathing letter to the editor of the Orange County Register, political activist and self-appointed watchdog, Shirley Grindle, has said virtually the same thing about our good former mayor. Grindle, whose criticism of county polticians is well known, says the attempts by the two to quash a Brandman University report on city manager compensation, and abuse of their office:
These two officials owe professor Fred Smoller a huge apology for their unethical behavior. Then they should resign from office as they have clearly shown a lack of judgment and an abuse of their power as elected officials.
Public officials should not be able to use the access their office affords to influence an academic curriculum, which is what Songstad and Amante succeeded in doing. The Association of California Cities, that went along with their efforts to do so, should have had the fortitude to say no as this is clearly not an area that a taxpayer-funded government organization should participate in.
Grindle goes on to say the two should apologize to Professor, Fred Smoller, and then resign from office. We agree, of course. This latest stunt by Amante is just another display of the corruption that he is willing to engulf himself in to push his own agenda throughout the county.
It is interesting to note that, in Tuesday’s city council meeting, Mayor John Nielsen brought up the fact that the city would be required to respond to the original Orange County Grand Jury Report. During his brief comment on the issue, he never once mentioned Jerry’s name or exactly what the issue was they were required to respond to. I almost fell out of my chair laughing when I heard Nielsen remark, “We have to respond without prejudice, make sure this is clean and not political. And so, I’ve asked the city manager and city attorney research this issue, particularly with the law involved in this and… report back with findings and recommendations.”
So, the grand jury report is public information as will be the responses by the various cities and other entities. Does Nielsen intend to do the right thing by placing any discussion about the report on the Open Session calendar so the public may have input and so there will be no subterfuge by Amante and his cronies? Don’t bet on it.
One bright spot during the city council meeting this week: Our most famous double-dipping pensioner, Chistine Shingleton, is finally being cut from the city payroll. I guess they didn’t need her expertise as much as they thought they did. Good luck in retirement,Christine, and don’t let the door slap you on the backside on the way out.