Deborah Gavello issued a press release late Wednesday, saying she has chosen not to run for a second term. Citing family responsibilities of a single parent and an increasingly toxic atmosphere from the gang of three, Gavello said 4 years is enough.
It is with mixed emotions that I have decided not to seek re-election to the Tustin City Council. Under the best of conditions, four years of public service can take its toll on any elected official. As a single parent, juggling family, work, and council duties it is especially demanding and made ever more challenging by the toxic atmosphere created by a majority of its elected officials.
I am proud of the grassroots campaign I ran in 2008 becoming only the fourth woman and first democrat to be elected to the Council. From the onset it was apparent that my colleagues were not going to put partisan politics aside to work together for the best interests of the community.
Despite the challenge of having unequal access to information, being barred from serving on outside committees, having few resources, and withstanding the brunt of repeated bullying, I am proud of my service, my strength, and the independence I brought to the dais including:
- Calling for the end of no-bid contracts
- Spotlighting Treasurer’s violations of our investment policy
- Questioning the value of “consulting contracts”
- Opposing the water rate increase
- Supporting consideration of replacing city water service for more effective service from IRWD
- Assisting residents with their concerns and issues
- Advocating for public parks and open space
I leave the council with the hope that new members will allow diversity of ideas and perspectives and return the discourse to a level of professionalism that our residents deserve.
I remember first meeting Deborah when she walked up to my door with a yard sign in hand. She had no money and a small band of supporters. With that, she withstood the political machine to win a spot on the dais. It was probably the best and, looking back on it, the worst day of her life. She never gave up and she finally did what she should have done years ago. She called the bully out and showed him for what he was.
I imagine her last months on the city council will be no better simply because the gang of three will now have to gloat. But, she does not have that sword hanging over her head and she can walk away knowing she made a difference in exposing the corrupt, good old boy style of politics that has become second nature to Amante and his machine. And, she stood up to his bullying tactics as well. That makes her the better person. We wish her good luck and Godspeed wherever life may take her.