Mailbag: Are anti-masker protesters proud of their ignorance, or are they just hungry for attention?
No matter how much I try to understand the defiant display displayed by this parade of so-called Freedom Marchers in my beloved Huntington Beach, on the eve of the lifting of most mask requirements, I remain puzzled as to to their motivation.
Are they proud of their ignorance? Are they, like their beloved leader Donald Trump, in a relentless quest for attention and public disturbance? Please someone help me understand these petulant people. The answer might be as simple as this: Stupidity has gone viral. But if there are any other possible explanations, I would appreciate knowing what they are. Please share your thoughts.
I admit I’m a little nervous about the “call the cattle” approach that Huntington Beach City Council uses to pick their replacement for Tito Ortiz. While the nomination and interview process is certainly preferable to a special election (which could go awry), it does ensure a measure of civic drama and controversy that a direct nomination of 2020 local election favorites could have avoided. . I believe the community wants and needs a qualified replacement, able to work with fellow council members, representing the diversity and “new blood” that voters have reported as important, and who is motivated to serve the city and not just to use the office for personal or partisan purposes. As I mentioned earlier, this is an opportunity for city council to get it right. The future of our local government depends on it.
Even though I watched both the city council meeting where Tito Ortiz resigned and the special city council meeting called to discuss how his newly vacant city council seat would be filled live, I enjoyed reading journalist Matt Szabo’s concise overview of these events. While I felt his description of what had happened was correct, Szabo’s assessment of the current situation of Huntington Beach City Council was wrong.
Szabo correctly identifies the political leanings of the remaining council members and the equal division in terms of traditional party identifications. What he failed to mention, however, is that the current split in Huntington Beach City Council is not about party affiliation. Nope. The division within this board is between those members who have come together to embrace constructive governance and those who have not.
You see, HB’s city council has experienced a kind of renaissance since the last election. While previous city councils seemed to meander aimlessly, bouncing from one grievance-filled meeting to another, there appears to be a new direction since last December. Our current city council has defined its mission as supporting projects and initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life for HB residents while keeping an eye on the future of our community. Five reliable and consistent votes found common ground and acted to put our city’s interests ahead of political identity and partisan antics.
In appointing a replacement for the vacant city council seat, the HB city council should seek a candidate with constructive intent and a proven track record of public service. Someone who can help broaden the reach of representation in our community and complement the current constructive coalition with an affirmative voice for those who often go unheard.
This rendezvous could take place in one of three ways: 1) empowering with a constructive voice, 2) selecting a benign viewer, or 3) tolerating a new divisive distraction. And ultimately, the selection of our city council could have a lot to do with how we move forward.
Every Huntington Beach resident should look forward to a new member of HB’s Constructive Coalition.
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