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All aren’t asleep: Eyes on Compton governance

If nothing else defeat of 'Measure P' revealed the truth about Compton residents The defeat of Measure P revealed one truth if nothing else; All of the people aren’t asleep. Many are watching the shenanigans that

If nothing else defeat of ‘Measure P’ revealed the truth about Compton residents

The defeat of Measure P revealed one truth if nothing else; All of the people aren’t asleep. Many are watching the shenanigans that occur in government among those who are elected to serve, to look out for the welfare of the people, in this case, the City of Compton.

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is publisher and editor of the Compton Herald

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is publisher and editor of the Compton Herald

Most residents in the city have no interest in attending City Council meetings. Most residents are content to allow those elected by the people, to run the affairs of the city — its fiscal budget, budget allocations, and disbursements et al.

That’s par for the course in most any city and town in America. Most people who work 40 hours a week just want to retire to their households after a day’s work with the assurance that bills are paid and household needs like food and clothing are taken care of. Elected officials most likely will never hear from roughly 86 percent of the populace because on average only 14 percent or less of the people vote in local elections. And less than a smidgen of that ever attend a council meeting.

On any given Tuesday, less than minus 1 percent of 1 percent of 1 percent of the city populace show up to hear the mayor’s and council’s diatribe. And those representatives of the community are the familiar gadflies that brave rain, sleet, the din of night, and gunplay.

The things that do have a tendency to rattle idle ears of even the most apathetic Comptonian, however, are threats to raise taxes.

That’s what happened with Measure P. The audacity to tell people that they should vote affirmative on a measure that would raise their overall city tax to 10 percent to shore up matters in the city like streets and parks — promises made years ago to the present, underscored by city monies that just vanished to “nothingness!”

That only served to infuriate a lot of people who thought they could trust the leadership to get things done, not condescend and assume nobody was watching. This time, residents were not about to fall for the Okie Doke.

Most were aware the 1 percent tax would have gone into the General Fund, for which it could have been diverted from the intended purpose and used for anything the city deemed fit.

No, people are awakening and wising up. And Compton City government is going to have to REGAIN the trust and respect of at minimum 50 percent of the VOTING public. We want to see integrity, honesty, transparency, forthrightness, morals, and ethics return to governance in Compton.

If city officials feared God, that would cover all of the aforementioned. We’re not singling anyone out — our sights are set on the mayor and each councilmember. Get it right because, just like the ‘60’s group Sly and the Family Stone sang it yesteryear — We, the People “are watching you!”

“Ever stop to think about a downfall
Happens at the end of every line
Just when you think you’ve pulled a fast one
Happens to the foolish all the time

Somebody’s watching you
Somebody’s watching you
Somebody’s watching you
Somebody’s watching you…”

—Sly & the Family Stone, 1969

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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