Claremont Insider: Judy Redux

Monday, July 23, 2007

Judy Redux

As we observed on Saturday, former Claremont Mayor Judy Wright, who doubles as our self-annointed town historian, seems to be spinning out of control.

Saturday's Claremont Courier featured a letter to the editor from Wright that had a number of obvious errors, omissions, and misrepresentations regarding Claremont's Landscaping and Lighting District assessment.

So far, Judy's two-for-two and is leading the league (of Women Voters?) in the foot-in-mouth category.

One last point needs to be mentioned regarding the letter.

Wright and the Claremont 400, including current Councilmember Linda Elderkin love to talk about "process." The criticism in Claremont has been that too often process amounts to not much more than dog-and-pony shows consisting of endless strings of council, commission, committee and sub-committee public meetings featuring beautiful Powerpoint presentations by staff that are filled with carefully massaged statistics that will support the predetermined decision the Claremont 400 has already decided upon at one of their private Friday night dinners.

As a result, the public becomes disillusioned and disaffected because every important decision is a "done deal." The public input has no effect, unless that input belongs to the parade of Claremonsters that the 400 have lined up to get their talking points across. Stand out in the council chamber's foyer during a public hearing over any controversial issue, and you'll see a Diann Ring or a Valerie Martinez coordinating the speakers they want to get out there.

The 400 deny that this sort of manipulation goes on, but take a look at this comment from Wright's Saturday Courier letter:

The early decision-making was done in 1989 before the finance committee met....

Wright is talking about the LLD, which was sent to the city's Citizens Finance Advisory Committee for consideration before it was voted on by the City Council. That council vote occurred in 1990. Yet, here Wright claims that the decision was already made before the Finance Committee ever met and before the Council voted on the LLD.

If Wright's comments are to be believed, all the public meetings of the Finance Committee and the City Council were a waste of the public's time - the votes had already been cast, so to speak. In other words, public participation is a bunch of hooey in the minds of the 400.

No wonder they were able to ignore the 7,000 signatures resident Les Boring and others gathered on a petition against the LLD. Or city staff's observation that of the mail the city received on whether to implement the LLD, 60 supported the assessment and 475 were against it.

Thank you, Judy, for making our point.

Incidentally, a member of that Finance Committee emailed us with his take on the whole sub-committee experience a month ago, and it unsurprisingly confirmed what Wright's letter stated.


Wright, according to the Courier, sent along 126 pages of documents in support of her claim that she never made a motion to sunset the LLD and also claimed that the council never voted on that non-motion. Yet, the Courier also noted that Wright was careful to omit the minutes of the 1/23/90 Council meeting where Wright in fact made the motion she denies, and where the council, including Diann Ring, approved the motion.

Wright is really telling us, all of us, to abandon all hope of a rational argument ye who enter Claremont. Wright has the great advantage of being able to erase history, including her own, and to be unaccountable for her words and actions. But, then, this is really why this blog is here in the first place - to present those hypocrisies in all their glory.

Thank you once again, Judy.