Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Anaheim Voters Get Their Chance for Council Districts

As a charter city the council cannot just make something this significant happen. I understand that it has to go to the voters for a charter change. (And thank God for that. Can you imagine how bad things would be if they could mess with our charter as badly as they play fast and loose with their giveaways?)

But that leaves us having to approve a vote through an election system already shown to be gamed in favor of the money machine. When special interests who like their lock on power start laundering funds through the chamber [of commerce] — which seems to be their only reason for existing anymore — and that money then funds a huge push back against districts, the charter change will go down in flames as badly as past grass-roots candidates have done.

How do we get out of a rigged system when the only option is to win the rigged system? My head hurts.

— Cynthia Ward

Cynthia is right; this is going to be a tough campaign to pass. When voters realize that with an electoral district council they are only going to have only one council member and the mayor actually accountable to them for their vote, I don’t think they are going to go for it.

It’s frustrating and hard, and having to play against big money sucks. I get all that. I just don’t know if enough voters who consistently show up at the polls every election, year in and year out, are going to want to only cast a vote for one council member and the mayor. I don’t want to have police funding, street maintenance, zoning issues, all of the stuff that directly affects my neighborhood, be in the hands of council members I can’t vote in or out of office.

— OCTaxpayer

[Anaheim Councilwoman] Kris Murray, please stop with your comments about how great this is. Let’s just look back at the record and see how hard you tried to stop this from happening and even went against the citizens panel recommendation for districts.

Just own that you helped waste about $2 million. Lie, lie, lie — that’s all we hear.

— ShadyHU

Nothing like a string of court decisions going against entrenched powers to get them to budge a little. Now, everyone, keep an eye out for “ethnic” candidates funded by the powers that be. That money comes with strings, my little puppets.

— Smith2

Testing Violations at Anaheim High

Personal opinion: One of the serious problems in public schools is the fact that public school administrators have the ability to manipulate test scores of students to make themselves look good in the eyes of the public. When students score above satisfactory levels, it is school administrators that experience career growth and toot their own horns, not the hard-working teachers and/or students.

Someone needs to investigate why Superintendent of Education Paul Sevillano did not immediately share the letter [from Educational Testing Service] with the appropriate district officials and most important, the district’s general counsel and school board. One would think that the letter was playing hide and seek until an investigative journalist requested copies. Thanks again to Voice of OC.

Hopefully, it is not dedicated teachers and/or students that will be punished for this type of violation, and let’s hope that district officials and administrators responsible for placing the integrity of an AP program at risk are held accountable immediately. Students work too hard for this type of B.S. to interfere with their education, and teachers should never take the fall of administrators that play hide-and-seek with matters involving the public’s interest.

— CaliGrammy

Bustamante Records to Be Revealed

So, what are we going to do about it? I know. Nothing. We will re-elect the usual suspects as we have time after time.

All of these folks on the Board of Supervisors have played musical political chairs. Many times, worthy opponents are bulldozed by big money spent by the dominant political machine. We have the vote. We have the Internet, but we don’t use either effectively.

What kind of county government do we have? Exactly the one we deserve.

— Regularguy7

Time Limits for Public’s Speech

Costa Mesa’s residents are trying to keep their meager three minutes. The City Council moved public comments to the end of its meetings for all but 10 residents who are selected by the Mayor Righeimer.

Keep in mind the meetings often end after midnight, so the residents who are elderly or rely on public transportation get the shaft.

And since public comment comes after the council member’s own comment, no direction can be given to city staff. The mayor also requires comment cards or he won’t let you speak. The First Amendment means nothing to him.

— StraightEdge

StraightEdge, have you considered taking legal action against your city?

In Anaheim we have had it with the heavy-handed tactics of leaders who dismiss our pleas to stop giving resources to their friends while covering, refusing to disclose, and/or altering and misrepresenting documents and facts.

Anaheim’s citizens are standing up for ourselves. No, it is not fun or easy, but it is necessary, and perhaps the citizens of Costa Mesa might consider the same.

Good luck to you. I wish you well.

— Cynthia Ward

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