I attended last week’s council meeting to speak in support of better bike lanes, and was incredibly disheartened to witness the Council’s dysfunction first hand. Mayor Pro Tem Negrete’s recent op-ed to defend her actions at the meeting is even more disheartening, because it makes numerous claims that collapse under the weight of the facts.
Pro Tem Negrete writes that Council “strayed far away from the council rules for one group” and to “refer to our January 24, 2023 meeting at 4 hours 32 mins into the meeting where agenda management occurs and restaurant workers who waited nearly 5 hours are told the item they came to speak on will be moved to the next meeting”
But Council never voted on a rule change or to pull the item that restaurant workers had come to speak on; they unanimously agreed to keep the item and take public comment (2023-01-24 4h 46m). Many public commenters were still allowed to speak despite repeatedly interrupting the meeting and being threatened with expulsion.
At the same meeting, the Pro Tem says Council has met late into the night before but it’s what they signed up for. (2023-01-24 4h 43m)
Pro Tem Negrete writes that it’s not a big deal that the public’s agenda was never heard “as the City Manager confirmed before we adjourned, there were no urgent matters that had to be voted on by 9/12.”
But she voted to end the meeting (2023-09-12 5:59:42) before the Mayor and City Manager clarified that there were no urgent matters that had to be voted on! (2023-09-12 6:00:38)
Pro Tem Negrete writes that “postponing our deliberations was the responsible choice to give the items the attention they deserve.”
But this rationale was never given at the meeting. All we hear from her is “I have to be up at 5” on a hot mic. (2023-09-12 6:01:54)
Pro Tem Negrete writes that we should “focus on solutions instead of trying to create gotcha moments.”
But this is exactly what she did when she accused the Mayor of “making a political move here, to serve political debts” (2023-09-12 4:48:02) when the Mayor insisted that all members of the public who had been waiting for hours be given their turn to speak. Moreover, much of her op-ed is dedicated to attacking one of her critics!
Last, Pro Tem Negrete implores us to stop “distraction politics which ultimately destroy our local democracy”.
On this point I fully agree. The Mayor Pro Tem should do her job instead of trying to distract us with alternative history.
Brad Ewing, Santa Monica