What’s in Store for the Future
The king is dead, long live the king.
So goes the traditional saying when power is transferred from one monarch to another in the succession of heirs. In modern times, about the only thing missing is the bloodlines (although in some cases we are not so sure about that). In the last meeting of the Tustin City Council for 2011, Mayor Boss Tweed Amante handed over his scepter, uh, I mean gavel, to his heir apparent, Mayor pro tem John Nielsen. John, in turn, conferred princely status on rookie councilmember, Al Murray. This is an important step here in Tustin which, for the past two years, has had their own brand of tyrant ruling the dais.
Jerry has always had his fair share of problems ruling the middleclass here in Tustin. He was visibly upset when Deborah Gavello ascended the dais three years ago and had the nerve to challenge the right-wing noise over investments. Never mind the next most likely candidate would have done the same thing, the questioning of fiscal practices at Tustin Tammany Hall wound her up in the doghouse. She was stripped of virtually all committee and board seats and relegated to the far left of the dais, where her microphone appeared to have a special switch controlled by Jerry. And, Jerry did not mind spending taxpayer money on toys for the council while touting his fiscal conservativeness. He didn’t even mind that the money came from our reserves (reserves, smerves, let them eat cake). And, Jerry (along with his hatchetman…, er, person Elizabeth Binsack) hates Old Town. He went after residents there with a vengance that has continued most of the year while it gets sorted out in hearings. He refused to allow mediation and refused to settle.
But Jerry’s troubles ran much deeper. Last year, many citizens who were fed up with his brand of obnoxious behavior, banded together in an effort to recall the good mayor. And, although the Recall Amante folks made a great run, garnering thousands of signature, they fell short of the number needed and Jerry continued to rule. Jerry, who couldn’t tell the good guys from the bad just decided to call them all bad and falsely accused his arch-nemesis, Deborah Gavello, and a few others of being part of the recall effort. The recall folks have stated they will continue as a watchdog group for the city. That is probably not a bad idea.
So, what do we have in store for the future? John Nielsen must already step into a quagmire as T-Mobile has chosen to sue the city over the cell towers in Cedar Grove Park (and here we thought they were just going to take their ball and go home). He also has to contend with the current lawsuits between the city and the school district. Hopefully, he has something better to bring to the table than their recent lame attempt to settle. These lawsuits need to be settled and both sides need to quit spending taxpayer money on attorney fees. The grading permit issue may ultimately have to be decided by a judge. Both sides have valid points and, it may appear, conflicting law on their sides. That would require a judge to decide.
At least he has help. After a long search and a false start, the city council finally hired a new City Manager. And, aside from the shenanigans Jerry and his kids played with his pension, Jeff Parker looks like he may be a good fit for the city. The councilmembers, even Jerry, like him. He has great credentials and he has lots of experience. As we told him before, he just needs to lie low until Jerry departs next year. So, good luck to you, Jeff. You are going to need it.
Thinks have slowed down around Our Town Tustin. But, we are gearing up with new articles and lots of political discourse for our fair city. We recently sat down with the new Mayor Pro Tem, Al Murray, and will have an article out about his view on the city over the coming year. No, don’t ask. I won’t tell, other than to say that Al is nice guy and I like his views on our town. We are still working on getting an interview with our new mayor. Please, John? Al will tell you that I am real nice in person. In any case, congratulations.
Posted on December 18, 2011, in Local Government, Politics, Recall Amante, Tustin City Council and tagged al murray, Amante, city manager, cronyism, deborah gavello, Jerry Amante, John Neilsen, Old Town Tustin, TUSD, Tustin. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on What’s in Store for the Future.