The very first Patch.com Debate of Mission Viejo City Council Candidates provided the perfect image of why the city council race is important; it’s an image from the Realism School, done in black and white and not terribly difficult to interpret. For starters there are six people running for two seats, but only four candidates attended and only three participated.
Let’s dispense with Candidate Coleman first. He didn’t attend for the same reason he’s missed the entire campaign. Conflicts with his employment. Those conflicts won’t magically stop if he’s elected. This lack of forethought was painfully evident in two of the four candidates who did attend.
Cathy “Transparency” Schlicht also didn’t attend. She’s never been big on respecting the citizens of Mission Viejo. This year she attended the March Against Drugs only because she’s running for the council. She had her campaign manager and her other volunteer down on the corner of La Paz and Marguerite manically waving her campaign signs. I don’t know about you, but a candidate who would brazenly politicize an event aimed at educating our children about the dangers of drugs leaves the taste of road kill that’s been festering in the sun on a 103 degree day in my mouth.
Candidate Sachs did attend, but didn’t really participate. He introduced himself and then kept checking his watch. At one point he looked at the moderator, pointed to his watch, stood up and left. Clearly, his next appointment was far more important than the citizens of Mission Viejo.
Perhaps he had to run off and raise more money; he is, after all, over $10,000 in debt. That debt made his claims of “I know how to manage a budget…so I’ve got a real good handle on how the city can better manage budgets,” as hard to swallow as that road kill I mentioned above.
For the most part, Sachs just repeated Schlicht’s shopworn and completely false criticisms of the city budget, level of reserves, and yada yada yada. Like Schlicht, Sachs went to the Brad Morton School Of What’s Wrong With Mission Viejo. He has no positive ideas, no fresh complaints, and, to be honest, the room’s mood lightened when he bolted for the door.
The one thing Sachs should have done is tell us why he’s been allegedly violating election law. It was his second chance to come clean and claim it was a simple mistake. He failed to even do that. So much for the transparency he mentioned, in passing.
I do applaud Mr. Desi Kiss for actually participating in the debate. Like Commissioner Bucknum and Mayor Ury, Mr. Kiss showed that he wants to be on the city council, that he respects the citizens of this town, and that he’s willing to do the necessary work.
Unfortunately for Mr. Kiss, he hasn’t transitioned away from the oppressively negative ideas he learned at the Brad Morton School of Lies We Tell About Mission Viejo. Mr. Kiss spent way too much time complaining about things that have been refuted countless times. For example, he talked about the $2 million dog park. Every time a graduate of Brad Morton’s School Of Factual Dishonesty opens his mouth the dog park costs a million more.
The actual estimate for the dog park is between $600,000 and $800,000. The dog park has been on the council’s agenda since 2003 and the estimated cost was caused by stalling tactics on the part of Ladesma, Reavis, and Schlicht, all of whom were Brad Morton’s proxy on the council. The up side, as Mayor Ury pointed out, is that the city now has $9 million that can only be spent on parks and recreation.
The other two candidates, Commissioner Wendy Bucknum and Mayor Frank Ury, spent their time talking about positive things that can be done to enhance an already wonderful place to call home.
Ms. Bucknum talked about using a small portion of the budget surplus through the Community Services Commission in grants to non-profits that help local people in need. And she talked about ways we might increase the green belt in Mission Viejo. Both ideas struck me as positive and innovative; ideas along those lines will surely enhance life for everyone in Mission Viejo.
Mr. Ury talked in specific detail about forming partnership with neighboring cities in order to use modern business practices to improve and expand services while cutting costs. An example would be our animal shelter that provides services to neighboring communities thereby costing our city less to operate. Incorporating smart business practices is clearly where smaller cities need to go to improve and streamline government, because it will preserve the fundamental nature of government rather than subverting it.
Misreading Mayor Ury’s idea as “running the city as a business,” Ed Sachs launched into a doom and gloom tale of laying off people. Mayor Ury was actually talking about government adopting modern business practices. The distinction between the two concepts isn’t subtle or complex. The ideas are polar opposites and clearly illuminate the choice before Mission Viejo voters.
If you want people who talk in terms of destroying services by selling them off to private companies to run, people who don’t really understand the nature of government, and people who only see problems when they look at Mission Viejo, vote for Schlicht, Sachs, or Kiss.
If you want to be represented by people who understand the nature of government, who look at Mission Viejo and see a wonderful place to call home, and who talk in terms of enhancing our city, Vote for Commissioner Wendy Bucknum and Mayor Frank Ury.
The choice is really that black and white. For more information, please visit Protect Mission Viejo.