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Patch Blog: Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

How an average guy became a vocal citizen and where we need to go from here.

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.   

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Forgive my humor October 10, 2011 at 10:05 PM
You’ll find Dan Watson’s correction to Ten's "version" of events in the comments section. 9:25am on Monday, October 10, 2011 http://southpasadena.patch.com/articles/candidates-forum-discusses-former-police-chief-710-freeway#comment_1578972
Barbara Eisenstein, Contributor October 10, 2011 at 10:29 PM
Mike: Your comment surprises me. Whether a concerned citizen is a volunteer or not is totally beside the point. When a citizen takes the time to express concern and look into how his/her government is working, he/she is contributing as much to the city (state and country) as anyone else, and more than most. Democracy is based on this. Let's try to stick to the matter at hand. Why did Dan Watson leave his post as police chief, were there any governmental improprieties, and what did each of the city council members do during this period?
Ellen Daigle October 11, 2011 at 03:17 AM
I was very concerned to learn from Dan Watsons post today that he was told 2 days after the election that his contract was not renewed.TWO DAYS AFTER THE COUNCIL ELECTION DO I HAVE THAT CORRECT ? That needs answers. WHY.WHAT Changed we need an explanation.
Ron Rosen October 11, 2011 at 05:01 AM
Ellen: Actually, it appears that the unplanned, and now we know illegal, closed session occurred the day after the election. If this had come out before the election, who knows what might have happened? Of course they weren't going to bring it up before the election. It was planned months earlier. Let me make clear what Sifuentes' and Monical's objectives were: 1. Get Payne not to run against Putnam and Cacciotti, by dangling the chief's job in front of him. 2. Help Putnam and Cacciotti to run unopposed so that they would owe Sifuentes and to prove that he had power. We know that helping them run unopposed was an objective because after Payne decided not to run, Bill Sherman decided to run. Monical spent a half hour on the phone trying to convince Sherman not to run. 3. Get Watson out because they thought Payne would be more supportive of the union agenda, and to make good on the payoff to Payne. These were the objectives. This was the work of the Council - specifically Sifuentes and Ten, with Putnam and Cacciotti following along. Dan said it was the work of the Council at his luncheon. It was always clear to Dan that the City Manager didn't want to do this. He was pleased with Dan's performance, but he did it because he wanted to keep his job. I have been saying this for two years. I've been studying this carefully, connecting the dots, and talking to people who know the facts. Today, for the first time, Dan Watson has confirmed what I've been saying.
tom fisher October 27, 2011 at 06:47 AM
I'm back Ronney! Really, is this what you were looking forward to do when you retired? Isn't there anyone else like a love one (far fetched) that would listen to your nonsense? Please tell me that you have other interest, chat with you soon chubby....

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