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NEWS FLASH: Compton Council Agenda rift with ‘Deceit of Riches’

Pay close attention to Agenda items 5 and 7; don’t be fooled by Mayor Brown’s, council cohorts’ deceit, hidden agendas, half-truths  By CYNTHIA MACON and SUSAN ADAMS The decisions presently before the Compton City Council will impact

Pay close attention to Agenda items 5 and 7; don’t be fooled by Mayor Brown’s, council cohorts’ deceit, hidden agendas, half-truths


The decisions presently before the Compton City Council will impact the city and its citizens for decades to come. One can only hope the council, aided by new City Manager Jerry Groomes, is not once again asleep at the wheel as they were for Measure P, given some of the most important and serious issues to shape Compton’s future are now coming before the dais.

The overriding public concern is Mayor Aja Brown’s proven deceit in fooling the city council with her signature “simple requests” followed by the unleashing her full-blown hidden agenda on the council and people. The “yes” and “no” votes escaping so effortlessly off the tongues of the council in the past and even now, have led to horrendous injury to this municipality and its people, and will continue to cause harm long after the elected or appointed official has left office.Therefore, the time for intense scrutiny of council agenda items, even simple ones, is now, not later.

While the city must move forward, the question remains unanswered, following whose concept of “progress and change” as it very definitely appears not to be that of the people of Compton. The mayor’s attempted passage of the commercial cannabis industry proves just how large the chasm has become between her concept and that of the people. Just listen as residents, one by one, go to the microphone at council and community meetings expressing their legitimate hopes and concerns, only to have the mayor and council ignore or vote for counter-intuitives as though community wisdom and expression are immaterial and an anathema.

As a result, the newest game in town has become questioning the integrity and capacity of Mayor Aja Brown and city councilpersons Isaac Galvan, Tana McCoy, Janna Zurita, and Emma Sharif to lead in the direction indicated by the people, especially on such a common sense issue as prohibiting the commercial marijuana industry in Compton. The mention of recalls and replacement of the entire council and city attorney is accelerating, while the rift Brown promoted and exacerbated in the community to advance her vision and to pass Measure P is closing. A shared love for the city and mutual concern about its future destiny has re-emerged bringing people, who have both been for progress, together again. The “pitting of you against me” as part of the mayor’s rationale has failed. It is time for the people to roll up their sleeves and work together again for their shared vision, not that of others.

To that end, two major agenda items coming before city council on Tuesday, Oct. 17 are of particular concern to engaged citizenry. The first issue is a proposed draft finally with line items detailing the specifications for the anticipated usage of Measure P tax funds with attached bonds (Item #5). Given the election campaign and passage of Measure P was fraught with untruths and questionable election results, public examination and scrutiny of Measure P continues unabated. Budget watchers and others are pouring over the details, scrutinizing every line as the mayor has proven to be deceptive in the past, hiding such last minute costly additions as bridges, a performing art center, and a new City Hall.

Other Measure P concerns surround the inclusion of multiple items such as parks and streets projects previously allotted funding; continuing questions about what happened to millions in prior funding for streets and parks during the Brown’s term given hardly any improvement in the city beyond the Brickyard; the deceitful conversion of an advertised sales tax into a bond; the impact of the debt and obligation being heaped upon the city without certainty of Measure P not being reversed in court; the priority being given projects, the usage of  “release and hold” as a method of eliminating further voter scrutiny on specific items; and the possible administration of bonds by Brown’s Measure P campaign contributor, signaling yet another in a series of conflicts of interest.

The second item of concern to citizens surrounds a proposed survey by City Attorney Cornwell purportedly to ascertain the will of the people on whether to allow the commercial marijuana industry in Compton (Item #7). Citizens see this survey as just another of Brown’s tricks and delaying tactics, as a costly and unnecessary action given the public has vehemently and loudly already spoken out against the idea; evidence of the council’s inability to lead and render responsible leadership, and a cover which will not work for any city council person hiding behind questionable survey results in order to ignore and disregard residents’ demand for a complete ban.

Residents are questioning the validity of even conducting a survey proposed and recommended by two city officials who have already demonstrated a biased viewpoint and desire to allow the marijuana industry in Compton. The city’s marijuana workshop in September was notable for Mayor Brown and City Attorney Cornwell willfully prohibiting Compton residents from speaking, while permitting pro-cannabis outsiders to espouse their business proposals. Nary a single opposite and dissenting view was included, telling of the mayor’s real intent. Now these same two city officials want to circumvent the expressed will of the people by using a survey as a ruse. Do they think the people of Compton are stupid? No, just the council.

To give credit, however, there is one decision made by council that has become a light at the end of Compton’s dark tunnel. The hiring of City Manager Groomes has led to tangible progress, sensible management, and competence in moving the city forward. And since Measure P money has not even been collected and delivered to the city, it is Groomes’ expertise and understanding that is making the difference. One can only hope this council summons the same fortitude, wisdom, and intellect that Groomes has demonstrated concerning the budget for Measure P and the prohibition of marijuana to advance the will of the people, first and foremost, beyond selfish personal gains or interests.

Cynthia Macon and Susan Adams are Daughters of Compton.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this commentary are not necessarily the views and opinions of the publisher and editor.



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