Garden Grove, at one time, was known for the sweet smell of row after row of orange groves and many fields of even sweeter tasting strawberries. Those once pleasing aesthetics have disappeared into the past and we are now left with the stench of a rubber stamping factory also known as the current Garden Grove City Council.
Please allow me to explain what I’m writing about and why many others in our city have come to the same conclusion regarding this deep rooted political regime and the negative impact of same on our taxes, fees, charges and assessments.
Since 1998 the Garden Grove City Council has made four appointments to fill vacancies left by council members who moved on to other offices or were forced to resign their position. In all four instances, the council appointed people from the Garden Grove Planning Commission in an apparent attempt to keep the status quo, despite the voice of the people recorded in Advisory Measure B voted on and passed in 1990.
Where’s the proof of these allegations? Recall that Mark Rosen was appointed in 1998 by then Mayor Bruce Broadwater to make sure that the first runner up, Mr. Bob Dinsen, did not get back onto the council because Mr. Dinsen was perceived as holding back progress when he was actually looking out for the people. Also recall that Rosen then authored a term limits ordinance once on the council and before he left office, he re-wrote that ordinance to remove the term limits. Mr. Harry Krebs was next appointed but to quote the late Mr. Ray Littrell, “Harry is a good man caught up in a bad process.” Mr. Krebs is indeed a good man which is why he probably did not get elected back to his seat as he truly has the best interests of the people and he may be an exception.
The next appointment was given to Steve Jones and since he has been on the council, he has time and time again recused himself off of the dias because of what appears to be an ongoing conflict of interest with developers. Not enough proof? At one particular council meeting Jones wanted to lower if not eliminate park/green fees that developers are currently paying. If you are in doubt as what I am writing about, check the minutes of the council meetings and read it for yourselves.
And most recently, Kris Beard who was appointed by Broadwater onto the council because of what he says is “due to my work on the planning commission” which seems to be code for not rocking the boat. I find it interesting that Beard lives in West Garden Grove but his actions while on council appear to have him in lock step with the current machine when it comes to sinking our ever shrinking resources into the Harbor Corridor.
For proof of this, please read the 2012 Sample Ballot and you will see that Beard is in favor of increasing an existing tax that will “provide badly needed funds for police, fire and other essential city services.” I guess it doesn’t matter that since this tax was enacted in 2002, the City of Garden Grove has not added any more police or fire personnel to our staffing. Furthermore, we are at this time paying back $1.5 million a year until the year 2032 on a Certificate of Participation that our city took out in April of 2002 to pay for projects along the Harbor Corridor.
At a recent neighborhood ‘meet the candidates’ forum the incumbents were asked about the potential appointment scenario that could occur after November 6, 2012 and what they would do in such a case. All of the incumbents must have rehearsed this answer as every one of them said that they need to have a “cohesive” council all of whom “get along” so we can “get things done”. To many of us this sounds like another way of saying that the incumbents don’t want to deal with anyone who will question or challenge the current condition of our city.
While I am not endorsing or supporting any one particular candidate, when asked I am suggesting to folks that they should vote for any one who is not an incumbent. I also tell them that if we continue to allow the rubber stamping of the status quo, we can expect to see a very dark question mark on our future.