I'm just a regular guy who lives in South Pasadena. Some people say I have a quirky sense of humor. I'm from San Francisco—San Mateo to be exact—and I came of age in the '60s. When I was 15, I met Martin Luther King. I grew up on the Beatles and Bob Dylan, and I paid attention to what they were saying.
I'm just an average citizen. Until December 2009, I knew almost nothing about South Pasadena's government. Now I know too much.
I have no agenda other than common sense, openness and honesty. I assumed that people in City government were just regular citizens who were there to serve. There are a lot of folks like that in town. Unfortunately, there are also people with hidden agendas who represent special interests, and don't have the best interests of the city at heart. Some of them serve on the City Council. Some of those people seem to think everyone has a hidden agenda. They're wrong.
In December 2009, I saw a copy of the on a table in a local business. A headline caught my eye. It said that the City Council had decided not to renew . I knew Dan Watson. Not well, but we had exchanged emails from time to time. It all started when he told me that he'd lived in San Mateo when he was a little kid. In fact, he lived right next to my elementary school.
I asked Watson what was going on. He gave me a little information and gave me the name of someone who might give more. I learned that some on the City Council wanted to remove Watson, and replace him with a retired sergeant named . This was December 2009 remember, and no search for a new police chief had begun—but the name of the new chief was already known. How could that be?
In the following weeks and months, I was to learn a lot about the story. I began to write letters about it and to speak out at the Council. Most of them don't listen. That's not their understanding of why they're there.
We now have an election upon us. It's the first election since the City Council removed Watson. That was done for purely political reasons. It was not done because the city manager wanted it done. It was done because David Sifuentes and Mike Ten wanted it done. I will be explaining that in the days to come.
Now we have an opportunity to clean up this city as best we can. We can start by electing good people to the Council. Good people without hidden agendas. We need to keep Dr. Richard Schneider on the Council. He's an honest citizen who has stood against the Council's back-room dealing. And we need to elect other good people who aren't under the sway of special-interest groups.