December 15, 2006

Opinion:

Let’s Start Fresh and Reinvigorated

By Romeo P. Marquez

It’s a major turning point in the history of the City of National City that a new mayor, Mr. Ron Morrison, has been elected, and two incumbents, Messrs. Louie Natividad and Frank Parra, won reelection as council members.

The three gentlemen have worked together for years and the fact that voters have chosen to keep them only means their performance as council members were at the least, satisfactory, if not outstanding.

As Mr. Morrison is pushed up the ladder of leadership, his council post became vacant, necessitating a search for individuals who hold the promise to match, if not surpass, the hard work that dedicated council members have put in to serve the community.

Two options are available to the council. One is to appoint from a pool of applicants, and another is to call for special election.

I would rather have an election. Reasons of economy do not quite add up to justifying a denial of the right of the electorate to pick the person who will serve the remaining two years of Mr. Morrison’s term. However, the council did not seem inclined to choose this.

The other alternative, which is to appoint, may prove to be a contentious and divisive process. In fact, we believe it could ruin the new political leadership because it would show political biases and personal prejudices.

Messrs. Morrison, Natividad and Parra are already being drawn into the political melee by supporters of a Filipino aspirant and by those who oppose an appointment for many reasons.

Last night, Dec. 12, Filipinos of dubious political colors and motives tried to show unity by expressing support for Ditas Yamane. But evidently, that was pathetic. The purported unity is artificial.

I believe the council is starting on the wrong foot here. If in fact this Filipino gets the appointment, the council would have unnecessarily alienated a good number of people.

The clean slate that the election brought to the National City Council would be tainted by the unresolved issues that have been haunting this Filipino aspirant for at least three years now.

This aspirant’s baggage involves mostly monetary transactions that also linked three Filipino community organizations and several individuals who may have benefited financially from the deals.

The Filipino community has hardly recovered from the past improprieties of a duly-elected councilman, Fred Soto, who resigned his post and surrendered his lawyer’s license over the issue of bilking monies from people.

This is hardly the time to have a new a new council member – not this Filipino aspirant, please – who has the early makings of another Soto.

Let us not be swayed by sweet talks and innocent smiles. Let us not be drawn into false promises and shrewd tactics.

Like everybody else before, let them sweat it out and show why voters should put their trust in this aspirant.

Let’s choose one who would bring a new perspective in leadership, somebody whose knowledge goes beyond the linguistic accent, the color of skin, the tribal associations and the promise of instant fame and fortune.


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