October 26, 2007

Commentary:

NC Mayor Ron Morrison, One Year Later!

Political Reality, or Political Illusion?

Hands down and without a doubt; the worst political administration in National City’s (NC) history over the last 40 years, was ex-Mayor Nick Inzunza’s administration. Politically, Inzunza’s record will be soon be surpassed by recently elect Mayor Ron Morrison after serving one year in office. Mayor Morrison was elected on 2006 with a 12% political mandate out of 15,901 registered voters.

Nick Inzunza was literally run out of office after serving four years as mayor when the news media exposed his personal and political greed, and of being a “slum landlord.” Mayor Morrison in one year has been accused nationally by Sports Illustrated of being a bully, and the SD Union of lying, malfeasance, dishonesty, abuse of power, deceptive, and sleazy.”

On Thursday, November 1, 2007 Mayor Morrison will give NC’s annual State of the City address. The address I am certain will be rosy, slick, glossy, and a smoke and mirrors political presentation. In attendance will be vested interest individuals that survive at the city’s trough i.e., political contributors, developers, builders, city administrators, cronies and underlings. Mayor Morrison will most likely present a glowing political message of economic and political progress for NC, of course under his political leadership.

Politically and economically the above is probably true for out of the city and even out of the country developers, builders, Mile of Car ownerships, most Chamber of Commerce members, a majority of police and fireman and city employees, most who do not reside in NC. Residents, taxpayers, homeowners and small businesses that do reside in NC know that the opposite is true, due to the following anti-community and pro-business Mayor Morrison policies:

1. Proposition “D” the 8 ¾% sales tax, the highest tax for the poorest residents in SD County. Prop “D” was railroaded by Mayor Morrison (then a city councilman) with other vested interest proponents i.e. police, fire, and city employees unions, chamber of commerce, builders, developers, etc. The 8 ¾% tax was approved by barely 700 votes, costing $45.00 a vote and using political “scare tactics” i.e. a 6 million dollars deficit, needed city service cutbacks, etc. While imposing a heavy financial burden on NC’s poor, Mayor Morrison and the city council have used the tax to squander,

· Thousands of dollars to bring the Chargers to NC,

· Increased the salaries of political contributors, police, fire city employees and outlays to builders, developers that supported Prop. “D.” For example, NCPD received pay raises that will cost NC about $600,000 in the future and this does not includes other city employees,

· $20,000.00 in bonuses to over paid city administrators, city attorney, $22,000,

· $50,000 a year to the bogus “missing in action” Police Review Board,

· Possible pay increases for Mayor and City Council members.

2. 2.6 million dollar loan to Condo developer – Mayor Morrison and City Council incredibly approved a loan of 2.6 million dollar to an outside private Australian Corporation (Constellation Property Group) to purchase eminent domain property.

3. Eminent Domain –hundreds of NC residents, and small businesses voiced almost unanimous opposition (1 developer in favor) at 11 public hearings. Mayor Morrison and City Council (who also seat as the Redevelopment Commission) then without a political mandate voted to extended their eminent domain authority, and powers for 10 years!

4. Building and Safety “home invasion” Ordinance - Landlords in NC will pay a $68 dollar home inspection fee on over 10,000 rentals, in addition to the $55 dollar annual rental fee. The ordinance authorizes city inspectors to enter renters home without consent or notice from the city.

After Mayor Morrison delivers his rosy State of the City address the political reality for NC, the poorest city in SD County, 65% Chicano majority, 15% Filipino, 20% Anglo population, and highest crime rate will be that little will change politically or economically for residents. Antiquated policies that worked when Anglos were the majority are no longer viable. Residents familiar with Mayor Morrison rhetoric will begin a campaign to change policies that favor businesses over community needs, repeal of the 8-¾% sales tax, eminent domain policy, and disbanding of the Redevelopment Commission. After the mayor’s State of the City presentation the only remaining question is…. can NC with stand 3 more years of Mayor Ron Morrison’s political leadership?

Herman Baca
President, Committee on Chicano Rights

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