It was reported in the Sun Newspaper, that a meeting was held at the Arrowhead Country Club where 150 citizens met with Council Members Wendy MCCammack, Fred Shorett, Chas Kelley and Police Chief Handy and of course City Attorney, Jim Penman, was in attendance. The meeting was called out of citizens concern when a neighbor, (76-year-old White female) was murdered in her home. This also came on the heels of a cluster of murders numbering 40 and 41 throughout the city.
Crime has been a high concern in the city for several years and now the council is wrestling with bankruptcy and how to bring solvency to a cash strapped deficit budget. Some current council members have taken their marching orders from the rank and file police association and not the police chief but at this meeting it was the chief providing leadership and answering questions not the rank and file officers. This part of the city community has not had to holler about crime, at least murder as other sections have over the past couple of years but now it is clear we are all in the same boat and must find solutions that will work for all citizens.
This brings me to a statement made at the community meeting by the City Attorney “Go Home, Lock Your Door and Load Your Gun”, which is a coded, Mississippi way of saying shoot any Latino and Black person you see in your neighborhood first and ask questions later. For Mr. Penman’s information this is not the way to go after solving the problem and this neighbor was one of my son’s neighbors as well.
Mr. Penman’s response is similar to Mayor Al Ballard’s response back in the sixties to a public safety issue by placing guns on fire engines for firefighters when going into predominantly Black neighborhoods. That statement made national headlines but did nothing to help solve the problem. This is what Penman was hoping for but the citizens are having no part of that kind of grand standing. Our citizens want real suggestions from responsible leaders and not one who throws rocks during a crisis. Mayor Ballard’s actions did not solve the problems then and neither will this kind of vigilante style of government advocated by Penman.
We know for example that the passage of Assembly Bill 109 did release a lot of people from prison and we are not prepared to handle them nor citizens with no criminal record. We have no money to employ or train people for gainful employment but in my opinion, the city is suffering now from “A Lack of Courageous and Moral Leadership” which is different from the Ballard days. There were business leaders that could and did step up and come together with solutions. All industries and government agencies in the region put together programs that took youth and adults into employment opportunities.
Even the United Way had the service organizations put together programs that would serve all communities in order to reverse the negative trends and not a go home lock your door and load your gun mentality.
I want to commend the 150 citizens that took the time to come out and say they are concerned about crime and the direction of the city. But, these same citizens must evaluate their past actions of electing certain leaders to office that have helped keep the city from moving forward.
One of those leaders is our city attorney who prides himself on being the “watchdog’ but failed to recognize that he has neglected to see the financial crisis while increasing his budget at every opportunity. Penman’s antagonizing approach to the mayor and council has been a distraction for the past 24-years while supporting safety employee associations over management and the taxpayers’ interest by giving legal opinions that are tangled with a personal historical interpretation that serves his position in my humble opinion.
It is going to take bold elected and private leaders to come together and spell out what kind of community we are going to live in with our neighbors. It can be turned around but not with a city attorney making those kinds of irresponsible statements such as “Go Home, Lock your door, Load your Gun”.
Joe Baca is a Computer Virus in the Political Arena
We are aware of computer viruses and if not, here is the definition: “Computer viruses are small software programs that are designed to spread from one computer to another and interfere with computer operation.”
Hopefully you can prevent the virus from entering your computer by getting the proper anti-virus software installed on your computer. And even then you are told the best prevention is to not open any emails that you are not familiar with or don’t know the sender. However, have you opened an email from someone you know only to have them send you a virus?
What can a computer virus do; it might corrupt or delete information on your computer. It might attach on to your emails and travel to other computers and erase everything on their computer, which is why they warn you to not open unknown attachments. And once you get the virus from a friend you do not open their attachments again.
Well we will be faced with another election for state senator to serve out the unexpired term of Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. Currently we have Larry Walker Auditor/Controller for the County of San Bernardino, Former Assemblymember Norma Torres of Pomona both Democrats and Kenny Coble a Republican who said they are running. Unannounced at this time is Wilmer Amina Carter who is retiring due to term limits and defeated Congressman Joe Baca. Yes, Joe Baca is calling around trying to garner support and money for a campaign.
The Baca virus is knocking on doors but no one is clicking the mouse to let him in. He is sending out those who are attached to him but people are not opening any attachments from Baca. If you saw or read any of his campaign mailers then you know who is or was attached.
Remember what Baca did or did not do as an elected official and how he treated the people while in office. And please remember how your computer slows down before it completely shuts down, we do not want to infect our political offices with the Baca virus again.
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