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LOCAL VOICES: Compton leaders give lip service; nothing meaningful

Compton City Council meetings are pointless because they've become the dog and pony show; city leaders give lip service By MICHAEL HILL I totally agree with Chris Petit ("LOCAL VOICES: One view to transforming Compton into a

Compton City Council meetings are pointless because they’ve become the dog and pony show; city leaders give lip service

By MICHAEL HILL

I totally agree with Chris Petit (“LOCAL VOICES: One view to transforming Compton into a great city, again,” July 11, 2016). We’re all seeing the same thing, and no real concrete effort to change — even the little things. As if “they,” whoever they are, [Compton City Council] local leaders, and have no clue as to what to actually do to change things for the betterment of us all.

City council meetings seem pointless because they’ve become the dog and pony show we’ve become accustomed to hearing about; everywhere I go, at least. The apathy is deafening, at times. It’s as if, leadership gives lip service, say nothing meaningful, and think they’ve done something marvelous. There’s a name for it. Delusional thinking. Egocentric in its execution and at times, unfortunately, sounding a bit dismissive as if we’re dumb and they’re smarter.

This is no way for public servants to comport themselves. No way at all. But they do so with abandon. I’ve lived [in Compton] since birth the mid 50’s and have seen the erosion of the city and it makes me both angry and sad. We want the same things, all of us. Maybe new blood, local products with the burning desire to do much good for residents, with the energy and drive of an Elon Musk, let’s say, needs to become the next wave of our real advancement.

Now I’m reading my words and laughing to myself. Sounds pretty, those words, and sometimes I’m a bit ashamed of my use of them — because words are one thing, actions another. There’s still a disconnect between City Hall and our residents and as I drive back and forth, I try to assess who’s living where and thinking, what is it that they want? Wish I could poll them all from homeowner to renter to street thug to drunkard, and everything in between just to find out their thinking and reasoning. Then taking all of that information and with a think tank of very bright and informed individuals, brainstorming ideas based on reality, not flights of fancy.

We have to start at the ground and work upwards on this one since the infrastructure has been neglected for so long. Central Avenue is great, now that they’ve begun working on its restoration. But with 10 square miles of roadways to go over, and poor lighting on all of them, literally, it’s taking a very long time now. But I’m still hopeful for a coalition of new ideas from the residents, themselves since the present elected officials seem to have issues with petty infighting and jealousy, which is a divider, not a glue.

Same faces come to the council meetings and get raucous with their comments, only to go home and watch themselves online or on cable. Silly, all of this, really. It only gratifies the ego and serves no one, really, but themselves. Meanwhile, voices like Chris Petit’s and mine get largely ignored as if we don’t exist. At least that’s how it’s been feeling for awhile. Crime is everyone’s problem and everyone’s responsibility at some point. Police can only do so much and as the police chief in Dallas so aptly stated, [police are] often called to do a lot more than the pay grade ranks. Ask any cop and find out for yourself.

Lighting, I think, is key to changing the immediate environment. We blew it last upgrade. Time to get it right for once. Bad decisions inside city hall do us a disservice. Good decisions do us good. Simple as that. Bad decisions at the poll get us “less than.” Better decisions, if we’re offered such, only if we’re offered, benefit much. Our demographics tell the real story. That’s why I’m so interested in knowing who lives here, who visits, who rents and why who are the business owners and where they take the money they earn. Usually elsewhere. That’s part of the problem too.

I’d also like to know why [the city has] two chambers of commerce instead of one that is united? Things like this bug the crap out of my brain, as I travel outside of the city limits, seeing how other communities thrive and then come back home and dodge potholes that are all over now. Is it frustrating — heck yeah! Answers, nothing perfect, but let’s start with lighting shall we? Inadequate lighting on main thoroughfares is like inviting the devil to supper. Something most of us would never do in our right minds, right? Let’s start there. Do you agree? It’s a start…not commercial complexes and promised jobs, as most political types are so used to resorting to, thinking they are all that. They are not. Humility isn’t something you proclaim, you have to demonstrate by being diligent and consistent in actions. Actions do speak much louder than sound bites, any day. Peace.

Compton Herald is a digital news publication providing clear, fair and current news, information and commentary about Compton, the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Los Angeles County, California, and the world.

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