One of the things that people find frustrating about politicians is that they seem genetically incapable of answering a simple question.  Case in point is Councilman Jay Imperial at the June 27th City Council Meeting.

On the 27th, a Rosemead resident (not a member of SOC) asked the council about graffiti removal and the steps that the city could take to prevent graffiti from occuring.  This resident had addressed the council two weeks previously on this same question.  At that time, Imperial said that part of the problem was that, even if vandals are caught and prosecuted, the penalty is only "a slap on the wrist."  The resident said he had reflected on the information he heard two weeks previously, and wanted to know exactly what the penalty was for vandalism.

Imperial repeated the same story from two weeks previous:  "If they get sent to Pasadena, it's a slap on the wrist.  And if they get sent to El Monte, it's a slightly harder slap on the wrist."  But the resident was persistent.  He wanted to know exactly what was meant by "a slap on the wrist."  Imperial repeated for a third time that the penalty was "a slap on the wrist if you get sent to Pasadena, and a slightly more severe slap on the wrist if you got sent to El Monte."

The resident, showing a great deal of restraint, politely again asked, "Yes, but what do you mean by a slap on the wrist?  Is it a fine?  Is it probabation?  What is a slap on the wrist?"  For a fourth time, the ever-incisive Mr. Imperial repeated that the penalty was "a slap on the wrist."

An exasperated audience member finally shouted out from the gallery, "BUT WHAT IS THE PENALTY?"

Mr. Imperial scolded her for speaking out of turn.  Then he repeated, for a FIFTH time, that the penalty if you get sent to Pasadena is a slap on the wrist, but that the slap on the wrist was slightly more severe if you got sent to El Monte.

Talk about thick-headed.  Answer the question if you know the answer.  Defer to somebody else if you don't know the answer.  But don't repeatedly waste our time by speaking meaningless platitudes and telling pointless stories.