Voters Outrage Continues;Residents Exploring Recall
May 10, 2018
Is the Culver City Council embracing a progressive-elitist agenda?
Last week, the new ultra-liberal council moved quickly, following the installation of the new councilmen, to control the agenda. Citing "it's just politics" by councilman Daniel Lee, the governing body skipped over Goran Eriksson who was next in line to be Vice Mayor and then Mayor in the last year of his first term.
The crowd booed and hissed when the vote was taken, with many observers threatening to recall the new Vice Mayor Meghan Sahli-wells for her part in the scheme. The city attorney's office has received complaints for a possible Brown Act violation.
The Brown Act forbids members of a governing body or those elected to that body from conducting or even discussing government business prior to public meetings. It is apparent this plan was hatched between the four councilmembers prior to the installation meeting and became the "worst kept" secret in the city.
Residents have also been exploring the possibility of a Recall, where a sitting person is removed and replaced in office by a special election. There is a process and a required number of signatures to initiate the recall process. While the newly-elected councilmembers are not subject to recall until they have held office for 90 days, both Mayor Thomas Small and Vice Mayor Sahli-Wells could be recalled
One blog has made attempt to show that council policy had not been followed in the past, yet the overriding path of fairness has always been that everyone becomes mayor before anyone else has a second turn.
The Culver City Observer was in error in last week's story citing that there could not be a Brown Act violation because the two councilmen-elect had not yet taken office. Section 54952.1 states, "Any person elected to serve as a member of a legislative body who has not yet assumed the duties of office shall conform his or her conduct to the requirements of this chapter and shall be treated for purposes of enforcement of this chapter as if he or she has already assumed office."
The election itself is under investigation by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) for possible violations by a secret committee known as "Ad Hoc Committee for Culver City Residents First" which launched a smear campaign against two of the candidate who eventually lost the election.
Attorney Les Greenberg, a Culver City resident, who claims to represent the phantom committee attempted to have myself and then councilmember jailed. Both the city attorney and los angels district attorney refused to file charges with city attorney Carol Schwab stating that all Mr. Clarke and Mr. Hadland were doing was expressing their views as protected as "freedom of speech and freedom of the press."
Mr. Greenberg launched a lawsuit against the Observer in retaliation for Hadland reporting Greenberg to the State Bar for threatening criminal action against myself and Clarke.
While many residents expressed shock and disappointment at the movement, supporters of Alex Fisch and Daniel Lee were openly critical of the move. One female voter stated, 'I voted for both Fisch and Lee, but I would never do it again."
Interesting, Goran Eriksson received a strong applause last week at the Culver City Education foundation's 'tribute to the Stars" dinner that was attended by hundreds of residents.
Judith Martin-Straw said it best in here online newspaper culvercitycrossroads.com under the heading of Ethics 101:
"So, when the first evening of a new council can get this crazy over something as trivial as who is running the meetings and wearing a title, I can't wait to see what happens when there is real property, or funding, or someone's job at stake. As a chess move, it's a very weak opening. This council has business to conduct that will be affecting the city's long-term future and knowing that ethics is not in the picture is deeply discouraging."
All eyes will be on the council to see where they turn from here.
We can only hope that ethics and fairness return to the council chambers.