By: Herman Baca
Amidst the smoke, mirrors, hype, puff and spin provided by business interest, contributors, city employees, and carpetbaggers, National City’s (NC) millionaire kid mayor Nick Inzunza announced in his State of the City address (3-09-04) that all is well and, “the 60,000 people in National City feel truly inspired that the city is changing.”
Unfortunately the facts are that after one short year of the election of the Mayor and his “rubber stamp” City Council little if nothing has changed (except for the color) for National City residents. National City comprised of over 65% persons of Mexican ancestry, is the second oldest city and poorest incorporated city in San Diego County with close to 2/3 of its residents living in official poverty. A city with a myriad of unresolved social, economic and political problems, a crime rate that ranks as one of the highest in the county, the worst police community relations, highest unemployment, housing, youth, senior issues and numerous pressing social needs.
One would assume that with all of these inherent problems that the newly elected Mayor and City Council (four who are brown) would be addressing these pressing issues. Instead, the newly elected brown politicians continue to do what the old (white) politicians used to do, currying favor and representing the interest of business, the mile of cars, city bureaucrats, police/fire unions, contributors and developers (most who don’t reside in NC) over the interest of residents who do live here. The new “Hispanic” controlled regime policies continue as past Anglo administrations to allocate city funds ($7 million to fund the commercial districts, and a 5 million dollar bond to complete financing for the library, fire station, etc.) to ignore the interest and needs of its residents.
The Mayor’s much-touted 10 project goals are basically business ventures while only 2 (the so-called community councils and supposedly providing more home ownership have no money allocated), are for residents.
That NC residents clearly understand the city’s spending priorities is reflected by the old saying that states, “if you want to drive on a street in NC that does not have a pothole, drive on the Mile of Cars.”
Even more insidious than the city’s policies of favoring businesses over residents has been the disconnect of residents voters/taxpayers (the people) over the last year with a city government that has become increasingly arrogant by conducting secret meetings, refusing to answer correspondence on public policy, and ignoring and manipulating the vote of the electorate (Prop L), which is documented in the following ten actions and votes below:
1. The new mayor (with a $9.3 million dollar personal portfolio) and his “rubber stamp” city council unanimously vote to increase their salaries by 18% (for attending 2 meetings a month), after being in office for 2 short weeks.
2. Raised (May 2003) residents and small business trash fees without public input.
3. Raised and doubled (June 2003) city’s sewer rates for residences from $16.08 to $32.08, 18% to 25% for businesses, and 105% increase for mobile home owners over a 3-year period, without public input.
4. Appointed (July 2003) Lt. Craig Short who shot in the back, and killed Luis “Tato” Rivera in 1975, acting Chief of Police.
5. Ignored (October 2003) for one-year, voter’s petitions and vote approving (70%) proposition “L” calling for a community elected controlled police review board with subpoena powers. In place of what voters mandated a bogus police controlled board was finally approved. To date the bogus police review board has not held one public meeting or taken one official action.
6. Failure (since November 2003) to conduct a felony investigation of the NC police officers actions in enforcing immigration laws, and promising to conduct a public forum by the newly created bogus police review board of the JC Penny incident.
7. Failed (December 2003) to date to conduct an investigation and audit of the use of city funds for the Mayor’s “tamalada” Christmas party given for political cronies, contributors and supporters.
8. Failed to respond officially and to investigate resident’s complaints, whether city has a “fleecing” policy to target residential areas to cite vehicles for the sole purpose of increasing revenues due to city deficits and State of California cutbacks.
9. Holding “secret meeting’ that require only 24 hours notice, to insure limited public scrutiny.
10. Failure to address Old Town (west side) resident’s complaint and petitions, calling on mayor and city council to stop their plan of bulldozing residents homes to make way for industry and businesses.
The above 10 points are a direct response from residents/voters and taxpayers to the mayor and city council’s 10 business policies. Residents/voters and taxpayers in response also demand a change of attitude, priorities and policies at city hall to address National City being the poorest incorporated city in San Diego County, having the highest crime in the county, worst police community relations, highest unemployment, housing, youth, senior issues and a myriad of unresolved social, economic and political problems, which have historically been ignored and continue to afflict our city.