Culver City Observer -

Columnist Wants More Transparency In Local Governmernt


February 25, 2016

There shouldn’t be a question in anyone’s mind that for all the right reasons I feel Marcus Tiggs can bring a new common sense approach to our City Council. Transparency in local government needs to make a comeback.

Another breath of fresh air is Meghan Sahli-Wells, who has countless new ideas to move the city along. We need strong women who can take charge and make improvements as necessary.

It has been 65 years since Earl Lloyd became the first African American to play in the National Basketball Association. On October 31, 1950 Lloyd took to the court for the Washington Capitols.

Los Angeles police are a tough bunch. Take, for example, the lawsuit filed by Lamark Ferguson on October 26, 2015. An officer stopped Mr. Ferguson in South Los Angeles driving his car while off duty. And what duty was that? Well, it seems Mr. Ferguson was a police officer for seven years, had a department identification card, and had his uniform and badge on the back seat. It seems Lamark was detained 20 minutes while things were checked out. Upon release, LAPD Officer Ferguson drove two blocks, whereupon the same officer held him for another 20 minutes, insisting he needed to verify his employment. When the African American cop filed a personnel complaint, the LAPD retaliated by assigning him temporarily to another division where he was assigned to administrative traffic duties.

I just know you haven’t heard on television or radio or read in the newspaper what Mr. Mac Taylor said on November 25, 2015. Mr. Taylor is the independent legislative analyst and he feels California could end fiscal 2016 with nearly $12 billion in its rainy day fund if the state’s economic recovery continues and lawmakers don’t commit to major spending increases.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said on Monday, November 30, 2015 that the Sheriff’s Department will release information on deputy-involved shootings for the past five years, as well as data on use of force, public complaints and employee discipline. Although the data will not contain the names of the deputies involved, McDonnell has appointed the first chief data officer for the department to facilitate the flow of information.

Some people are suggesting the present City Council of Culver City will drag their heels and let the new members deal with storm water runoff. The money as mandated by Washington will be so much it will bring tears to your eyes and to your wallet as well.

New research finds that the United States death rate for all causes is continuing to decline, aided by drops in fatalities from leading causes like hearth disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and accidents. Between 1969 and 2013 the death rate for all causes declined 43 percent from about 1,279 people for each 100,000, says the study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Five of the six leading causes of death declined during the study period. Death rates dropped 77 percent for strokes, 68 percent for heart disease, 40 percent for unintended injuries, 18 percent for cancer and 17 percent for diabetes.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has named the Southwest Museum site as a National Treasure, according to their website.

Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Chairman of the Legislature’s Black Caucus, said, “Every 28 hours a black American is killed by police violence.”

Twenty years ago the average United States car got 20 miles per gallon. Today it gets 35. The proposed estimated gas tax revenue in Governor Jerry Brown's budget will decline by roughly $1.2 billion between 2014 and 2016. Meanwhile, 33 million vehicles are registered in the Golden State. In Oregon they are experimenting with a pilot project that charges motorists 1.5 cents per mile while rebating the gas tax. It’s just another way to take more of our money.

Perhaps you saw some of the new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2016. Prompted by the University of California Santa Barbara mass shooting in 2014, police will, without any prior warming, be able to seize your guns if a judge decides there may be a potential for violence. The new law would allow families to obtain a gun violence restraining order and the factors a judge can consider range from the act of purchasing a gun to threats of violence.

In other new laws, the minimum wage rises to $10 per hour, sex education is mandatory for students unless a parent seeks to opt out, all public school children will be required to be vaccinated, and hoverboard riders will have to be 16 or older, wear equipment to make them visible at night and not travel faster than 35 miles per hour.

Although the application period was January 4 to January 15, 2016 to become a member of the Santa Monica Fire Department, those interested should keep in touch for the next open filing period. Call (310) 458-8998 and go to For those who choose a career in fire service, the pension is fantastic, to say the least. Culver City Fire Chief Sellers retired recently and gets a pension over $200,000 per year.

For those who missed an article, all my commentaries can be found at by placing Rubenstein in that website’s search box.


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