By Edwin Kraemer
I spent the night at another very disappointing city council meeting. At least it was open session; yesterday, I asked a friend if they were still holding the Concert on the Green in open session.
This meeting was a charade where the same 4 members held a choreographed, “censure” performance of the standout, citizen’s representative Dr Frances Marques. There were some rehearsed speeches made about an untimely response to a monstrous public record request.
I don’t understand why a practically volunteer council member is expected to shoulder this burden; but regardless, I want to know if Marques’s PRA response was even above average in response time?
Are there other PRA responses that have been extended? And, it takes two to tango. I’ve seen no mentoring, but instead a very judging and hostile response to Dr Marques’s participation and suggestions. She is there as a citizen representative and deserves respect from the other members.
Again, the council members postured that the city management is above reproach. There was a statistician that presented a conveniently timed survey that asked about living in Cypress. Of course; lots of back-patting. I wasn’t included in the survey.
The city is great; I LOVE Cypress; it’s the leadership and management I feel I need to question or have suggestions that I want heard. At 300k+/year I expect more than reactive management. Decades ago, the California governor made law that requires housing allotments.
This is a decade old law that we know about and should prepare strategically for. We should have had 3 well thought-out what-if plans in place for 2020 RHNA (not just target the LARC property that’s burning-a-hole in the city’s pocket). The Quimby act requires developers put in public parks; but, our city had in place, a liberal in-lieu-of; Ovation should never have gotten its PRIVATE oasis of a park.
We should not have votes and discussions in closed door meetings; just because it’s possibly legal under the Brown Act. Our 20 acres of dirt that we got from rezoning $450M in PS-1A land rights as a gift to LARC owners should have come finished and larger. Then, the city should have worked with the school district to put in a POSH stadium on Cypress school grounds where our kids play instead of on the new community park land. (Cypress high school has no stadium; but should).
We could have updated our middle school fields; maybe with $4M of California grant money like Buena Park got from Sacramento (yes; it’s still available). We need our city and schools to work together. What’s more, we should not be selling school properties to pay operating expenses. HB-OVSD never sells school property; they recently repurposed an old school into a public park.
We should not be spending $40k on propaganda diversions about redistricting yet STOP community input at 140 responses!? (0.28%). That’s not community input. Our trash service gets less and less but costs more and more; and, we let them out of a contract then sol-sourced them after failure!!??
And, the solution to BioWaste (huge landfill methane problem) mostly skipped over the reduce, reuse, recycle program and went straight to a box on people’s counter; this is amateur at best. Recently, when I supported Dr Marquez’s suggestion to transcribe meeting minutes for the deaf, I was told it was offensive and shamed. How’s that for civility. Squelching ideas is POOR leadership!
Sorry, I just don’t like someone who makes 3x the median Cypress salary running a reactive, secret, chastising, command and control government. Please attend your council meetings, see what your government is up to, and please, support Dr Marquez she truly is a good egg.
Editor’s Note: According to Transparent California’s database, Cypress City Manager Peter Grant received approximately $387,000 in total compensation in 2020. $241,042 in salary, $59,425 in “other” pay, $32,540 in benefits and $53,776.25 in pension payments for a total compensation amount of $386,783.25. Source: www.transparentcalifornia.com.