Cypress needs new faces, new ideas

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Thirty-seven years ago, my wife Jan and I began looking for a nice, friendly and safe city to start a family. Our search ended when we discovered Cypress. We purchased a home and a year later, our son was born. We had started to put down roots. Both being school teachers, we helped out at our son’s elementary school when possible.

Our son worked at Park and Recreation and went to Cypress High, where he played on the basketball team and won two league championships. After I retired, I volunteered at Luther Elementary where I started a Chorus program for fourth through sixth graders. Jan would help out with sectional rehearsals. The amazing Luther Singers performed at many city functions and also performed at Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland. Later I worked for the school district as an adviser for their new elementary music program.

We loved our city, we were proud to live in Cypress and were happy to give back, even in a small way, to the students in Cypress and the city. When people would ask where we lived, we were always proud to say, “We live in Cypress.” Recently, however, we have been dismayed, even embarrassed, at some of the things that have been happening in our city. Don’t get me wrong. We have a deep respect for the city workers: the police, fire, park and recreation and above all the wonderful teachers, administrators and school board members whose dedicated work molds the lives of our youth. We support them all, 100 percent.

Our problem is with certain members of the City Council. All too frequently, when I pick up the News Enterprise, the Orange County Register, or even when watching Channel 5 news, I am confronted with stories and images that I never thought would be associated with Cypress. Our city being sued for violating voting rights; a lawsuit that could cost millions in tax payer money. A pending law suit for violating the Brown Act. A public city maintenance yard being used as a dump site for unauthorized waste, in close proximity to residents and an elementary school. Council members receiving five figure campaign donations from a trash company and later giving that company a long extension to their contract. This done without going out to bid and costing Cypress residents a 32 percent increase in trash fees.

Throughout this long ordeal, one person has stood up for the citizens of Cypress. Dr. Frances Marquez has single handidly and against huge odds, fought against the special interests and asked for transparency from her fellow council members. She has not been afraid to question how our tax money is being spent. It seems evident to me Dr. Marquez has been on the right side of every issue, following the law and speaking out against abuses of power. We need more like Dr. Marquez on the City Council. It’s time to look for some fresh faces, some new ideas. Let’s elect some council members who will put an end to the constant bickering and negative headlines. Here’s hoping the voters will vote for change. Here’s hoping that our family, as well as other Cypress families who have been upset with the City Council’s actions and negative headlines, can once again say, “I’m proud to live in Cypress.”

Brian and Jan Dennis