Criticisms Should Remain Private

I have always held George Ray in the greatest esteem, and considered him a mentor while we worked together on the Cerritos Planning Commission. I learned much about the inner workings of City Hall from him and how to determine the essence of an issue and read between the lines of a staff report. When I made the decision to run for council in January of 1986, I did so only after Ray had announced that he would not run.

I wish Ray would have called me to express his feelings regarding City Manager Gaylord Knapp (Letters to the Editor, Times, March 21). The termination action that the council took was difficult. However, I feel that Mr. Knapp has the right to be treated in the same way that Ray or I would expect to be treated by an employer. Although the council has criticized Mr. Knapp, he has the right to expect that those specific criticisms remain private except to the extent that he chooses to publicize them. Neither Ray nor I would expect any employer, including the city of Cerritos, to publish the performance evaluations of its employees.

Ray knows me and he knows the other members of the council. He knows that they are strong, independent individuals who make decisions based on their own principles and sets of data. I make my positions known, but I do not lobby the others to change their views.

From my own perspective, I included in both of my campaigns the need for a more open and responsive city government and the need to eliminate the "you-can't-fight-City Hall" image of Cerritos. During my year as mayor, the many calls that I have received from Cerritos' citizens and business persons confirm that feeling. The termination action that the council took was difficult, and this time is trying. But I firmly believe that the future holds a much more positive and people-oriented city government for the city of Cerritos only if the city has a city manager that the council can trust and have confidence in--one who will work with the council as a team--regardless of differences on substantive issues.


Mayor, city of Cerritos

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