Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Next Step?

Although I wasn't a Rothman supporter, I was approaching the post-election days with some optimism that he could see the bigger picture. A new leadership could offer a new direction or perspective that would help in leading the city out of this decades long morass the city finds itself in. Unfortunately, after this drama, I'm afraid of the possibility that at least four on the Council see the Pomona problems very differently from me. Perhaps, some misconduct on the part of the Chief could justify his dismissal, but if that was true, couldn't Linda Lowry have secured his resignation rather than tossing him out the door? Would the Chief have defiantly resisted giving his resignation or to slowly transfer power to a successor if he had been given that option? Maybe I totally overestimate the Chief's character.

Based on the previous comments that I read, I'm not nearly as forgiving as some of you regarding the actions of Linda Lowry. I'll reference the Spike Lee movie title "Do the Right Thing". Is this the 'right thing' for her to do? If this decision transpired at a meeting that didn't include the entire Council, shouldn't she have suggested that all the voices be heard? Let's think for a moment about the message this sends to the rest of the city employees. Piss off a Council member and risk losing your job. This city is her ship and I'm completely lost as to what direction she is taking it and like most of you, I have my house and family at stake.

A Few Thoughts About Recall

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the funny thing about recalls is that the person in 2nd place can actually be the winner. In the last mayoral election, the majority voted against Rothman, but he still won. If we take those election results and apply them to a recall, George Hunter would be the next Mayor. As I understand it, Rothman must have a majority of the voters cast ballots against a recall to stay as mayor. Even if 49% of voters support him, the 51% who vote for the recall will remove him from office and the next mayor will be one of the candidates listed on the ballot which can't include Rothman. Hypothetically, the next mayor could get less than the 49% of voters who support Rothman remaining as mayor and still win the election to be mayor. If I'm right, don't we have a beautiful system.

If Chief Romero wants to make a lasting change in this city, being willing to support a recall effort may be the best way to do it. Sending notice to those in public office to focus on the real issues and rallying the public voice that 'yes' we do need to participate in the politics of our city may be the monumental gesture that broadcasts to both the public and private world that Pomona is ready to turn itself around. If we allow pettiness and cronyism to define the "new" Pomona who are we to complain. It won't be easy and it might be a little ugly, but an individual who has given decades of his life for this city deserves to see that we also want it to change.

Just Ed's (always optimistic) two cents.


Anonymous said...

Ed, you are correct.
We as citizens should not just sit on our hands with our mouths closed.
I think Chef Romero is a classy guy and would probably not lend his name to a recall but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't happen.
Less than one month in and Rothman is already a disaster. What is worse is that he doesn't even care about what his citizens think about his actions.
God knows what we are in store for.

John Clifford said...

I just checked the recall info online and it would require about 11,000 signatures (actual signatures needed would be 20% of city registered voters, which is 49,089 as of Oct, 2008, or 9817 signatures. You should have at least 110% of required so as to eliminate any problems with bad signatures which takes it to 10800, so I'm suggesting that it would take at least 11,000 to qualify).

Once all the notification were made, one would have 160 days to collect the 11,000 signatures.

Not only would it be a Sisyphean task, it would require either lots of money or a veritable army of volunteers, and then an election couldn't occur for 7 months (and that's after the 3 months you'd have to wait before you could even file for a recall.

Not suggesting or recommending anything, just putting out the information for everyone.

As calwatch noted in a comment, if our registered voters were over 50,000, it would only require 15% or 7500 signatures as opposed to the 9817 figure. So we're 911 eleven voters short of making that number.

John Clifford said...

If you don't find the numbers above too daunting, there appears to be a movement for recall. There is a blog at where you can sign up. I'm NOT involved with that site in any way. I think it might be a good idea for whomever is to ID themselves. While you might worry about retribution, there will have to be a committee of at least 10 names that go on the paperwork before the real signature gathering takes place.