Something amiss in the city

To the Editor:

The DI [Daily Independent] owns the “Our View” editorial column and has the right to say anything they want in it. However, with today’s headline “City attorney needs to say shape up or ship out,” to the Oversight Committee, it has truly lost conscientiousness!

Advocating that the attorney jump in and hammer the so-called over-reaching, and it appears over-achieving (nearly everyone on the council says their work is very valuable), citizens back into shape is doing exactly what the DI says shouldn’t be done — inflaming and defaming citizenry trying to help keep the city on the straight and narrow. Those citizens are doing what is ethically “right” — what every elected official on the council said they were chartered to do if we passed Measure L.

The DI itself is fueling the fire with a very negative campaign to spin this as the fault of the citizens of Ridgecrest. This is belied by the continuing huge cross-section of our citizens turning out to support the Oversight Committee, people with a perfectly clear understanding of the intention of Sec. 3-2.117 of the Governing Ordinance even though the Attorney seems to want to make mince pie of it. Duties: “(a) The committee is charged with the following responsibilities: (1) reviewing all appropriations of revenues received by the City from the sales and use taxes imposed pursuant to the provisions of this chapter to determine whether such funds are to be used as provided for in this chapter and the voter approved measure that adopted this chapter.”

To “determine whether such funds are to be used...” the are to be is what the mayor and the city attorney (none of the other councilmembers have said they understand it otherwise) are trying to beat us all (the committee is us) into shape about or otherwise ship us out. “ Are to be”! Does anybody with more than a third-grade education really not understand that this means proactively, now, reviewing how the funds “ are to be” spent?

It is extremely demeaning to advocate that this means hanging around waiting to determine if funding was spent correctly. Verifying what “was” spent is the (2) part of this Section.

An analogy: In coal mines canaries were once used as an early warning that there was something amiss in the air. They would lose consciousness and drop dead. The Oversight Committee is our fiscal canary for Measure L. It is drop-dead simple to understand that you don’t bring the canary in after the implosion!

That is buzzard work and another “dollar short and a day late” for Ridgecrest and a muffled Ha Ha...gotcha! ... again!! from City Hall. We need the canary because there seems to be something very amiss in the air. We also need the ethically transparent high flying eagle mayor we believed we were electing ... not some chicken from a disappearing act that lobs half-baked grenades over the fence at conscientious citizen volunteers.

It is high time he shapes up, shows up and ships this controversy out!

Jim Fallgatter

Story First Published: 2013-02-06