As a longtime homeowner in Carson, it has been a puzzle to me how the City Council has managed to make decisions that seem to be in conflict with common sense. That is, until I realized how the council has allowed itself to be mired in the darkness regarding some aspects of the city’s operation and yet totally focused on the less mundane and politically expedient “sweetheart deal” that has captured its attention recently.
On the one hand, we see that the council has eliminated 10 jobs from the befuddled bureaucracy only to find that, oops!, somebody forgot to tell the people who were holding those jobs. This at a cost of approximately $100,000 to the city. Mayor (Vera Robles) DeWitt says, “Beats me. I’m just a policy-maker,” when asked by the Los Angeles Times (Feb. 15) to explain this occurrence. Councilman (Michael) Mitoma in the same article says, “Administratively, this city, the way it’s run now, is a disaster.”
On the other hand, we see that the council, as the Redevelopment Agency, attempted to make a $1.2-million gift of city funds ($228,000 of City Development Block Grant funds and $967,800 as a Redevelopment Agency loan) to 170 residents of the Imperial Avalon Mobile Home Park in order to help this select group of residents own their homes at minimal cost to them. This gift was actually approved by a 2-1 vote, Mitoma and (Councilwoman Sylvia) Muise in favor, Councilwoman (Kay) Calas opposed, and Councilman (Juanita) McDonald abstaining, but failed to carry only because the expenditure of funds requires three affirmative votes.
At a time of severe cutbacks in positions and services by the Parks and Recreation Department, which have impacted thousands of citizens, the mere consideration of such an enormous amount of money to benefit one-fifth of 1% of the population is abhorrent.
Needless to say, those of us in the nonselect and unfortunate position of being mere homeowners in the city have not received like considerations of our needs. Would it be foolish to suggest that appropriations of funds of this magnitude to Parks and Recreation or social services-related causes would benefit a much greater number of residents? Indeed, the powerful minority of residents who reside in mobile home parks in the city of Carson seem to speak in a voice for which the council has a particularly finely tuned ear. It is time that the Carson City Council realize that it is accountable to a greater number of residents than just the organized minority of mobile home park citizens.
JOHN E. GONZALES