Rosemead Recall Election Date Set: Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Rosemead City Council met in special session yesterday, Tuesday, June 6.  At that meeting, Councilmembers Jay Imperial and Margaret Clark were joined by Mayor Gary Taylor in voting to set the recall election date on Tuesday, September 19, 2006.  Councilmember John Tran and Mayor Pro Temp John Nunez voted no on the September 19 election date.  They preferred August 29, which was the date that the city clerk had reported she could have the city ready for an election, with a cushion of four days to meet any unforeseen developments.

It is, in my opinion, a travesty that the election was not set for the earliest date at which the election could be held legally and feasibly.  We had this recall election restrained less than three weeks before it should have occured in the first place (February 7, 2006).  Instead, Councilmember Imperial sued the city of Rosemead.  He has cost the city taxpayers several hundred thousand dollars, and all so that he and Mayor Taylor could continue to feast at the taxpayer's teat for a few more months.

They still do not understand that setting an election date is not a gift that they are granting from on high.  They have a legal and moral obligation to fulfill the letter and spirit of the law.  Instead, they only get concerned about the details of a law when they're searching for a loophole to wiggle through.

I was particularly disappointed by the performance of Councilwoman Margaret Clark.  I had hoped that she would be an honest broker.  I don't expect her to stab anybody in the back, nor do I expect her to kow-tow to anybody.  But to see her pull out her written statement and grasp at various straws in a futile attempt to justify setting the election on September 19, 2006 was really beneath her.  It's not her job, nor is it Gary Taylor's job, nor is it Jay Imperial's job, to see to it that a Wal-Mart Supercenter can open in Rosemead.  They didn't get elected on a platform of buiilding a Wal-Mart, and they did not take an oath of office that entailed defending the Behemoth of Bentonville against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Her responsibility is to represent all of the people of Rosemead.  They were deprieved of their right to an election on February 7.  Why should they have to wait a single day longer than absolutely necessary before they can exercise their franchise?

Yet, there she was.

1) "The en banc hearing in Padilla v. Lever might disrupt the election if it's held on August 29."  How does pushing the election back three weeks change that?  Besides, let's face facts:  Courts don't ask to rehear a case just so they can say, "We were right the first time."  The fact that a majority of the judges on the Ninth Circuit asked for a rehearing tells you that a majority rejects the reasoning of the three-judge panel's majority.

2) "Having five poll workers at each polling location could allow the non-English speaking poll workers to tell non-English-speaking citizens how they should vote."  How does that change if you move the election date three weeks back?  Are you saying you want two people who can speak every language at every polling place?  Or three?  Or four?  Because the county of Los Angeles seemed to think that having five poll workers was enough (that's all they had at my polling place this morning), and no one's suing them for failing to comply with sec. 203 of the Voting Rights Act.

3)  "I might be personally sued if the city violates the terms of the consent decree."  No, because you're only personally liable if you fail to use due diligence in exercising your discretion as a city councilmember.  If your city clerk, your city attorney, and all the people who have the experience and the responsibility to know what can and can't be done tell you that August 29th is a feasible date, with a margin for safety built in, then the only reason to vote for a later date is because you want to shield your senior colleagues from facing the will of the people for three more weeks.  There is no due diligence being demonstrated, certainly not if you don't specify what you are going to have done in the intervening three weeks that will prevent your putative problem from arising on September 19th just the same as it would have on August 29th.

Besides, if you thought the city needed as much time as possible to prepare for the election, you could have had the city council meet the previous week.  That would have given the city six more days to prepare for the election, regardless of which election date was selected.  Why didn't you push for an earlier city council meeting?  Obviously, because you were in no hurry to start preparations for the election.  A transparent kow-tow to Mike Lewis.

Yes, it was yet another sad day for democracy in Rosemead.  But, especially, it was a sad day for Margaret Clark.  I expected better from you.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune Article on the recall

This story appeared in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune on Saturday, June 10, 2006.

I have to admit to agreeing with part of what Wal-Mart sock puppet Steven Ly had to say:  "I think it's utterly ridiculous that seven months before a regularly scheduled election," we need to have a recall election.

Yep, you're right, Steven.  It *is* ridiculous.  If you and your boss hadn't formed your own little cabal to try to thrwart the democratic process, we could have had this election four months ago.

What's the matter?  Don't you trust the voters of Rosemead to make up their own mind?  Don't you find it ironic that you intend to pursue a future in elected office, but you don't respect the electorate enough to let them decide for themselves what path they envision for Rosemead?

I have faith in the people of Rosemead.  Why don't you?


Just a bump to the thread to remind folks that the recall election is set for Tuesday, September 19, 2006.  YES ON RECALL!

Another bump



Remember, you need to vote YES to recall Jay Imperial, THEN vote for Polly Low.  Then vote YES to recall Gary Taylor, THEN vote for Victor Ruiz.  You need to mark your ballot on those four spots if you want to help reform Rosemead.


Another bump, to keep this link on the front page.  This election is more important than ever.