Gene James, San Clemente
British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once remarked, “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?” It is a leadership quote that is unfortunately lost on the lackluster San Clemente City Council.
There are so many issues in which our Council members are conspicuous by their absence on issues ranging from the county dumping vagrants into our great city to the growing problem of quality-of-life crime to taking a position on the Sanctuary State issue. Leadership is not a quality I have observed on this Council.
All of this with a backdrop of grossly underfunding our police services. When challenged about the ever-increasing effect of crime in San Clemente, Council members move to their comfort zone; finger-pointing and blaming others, which in this case is the state, for AB 109, Prop 47 and Prop 57. These are reasons to harden our city as its targeted and should not be used as an excuse on why crime is increasing.
Galvanizing our beautiful city against quality-of-life crime seems to be a concept that is just a bridge too far for Council members to grasp. To protect our citizens, it is imperative our leaders develop a comprehensive crime-prevention and security plan to ensure not only the safety and security of our citizens but of our businesses, as well. The plan must include police services, prosecutors, concerned citizens and business owners. With the continued increase in drug rehab houses and the growing problem of nonresidents with drug and alcohol addictions, we will continue to face an unacceptable and preventable increase in nuisance crimes ranging from panhandling to menacing individuals intimidating our citizens to human waste and needles being deposited in our parks and on sidewalks. Not only does this Council ignore public safety issues, there seems to be a frightening level of unawareness as it relates to the potential of a public health crisis.
Gen. George Patton once remarked, “Lead me, follow me or get out of my way!” I implore this Council to lead us and focus on our safety and security.