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.

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comments (2)

  • Well written and well said.

  • Folks, this person clearly doesn’t have a grasp of how things work or how things really are.

    They are correct about there being an absence of leadership by the state government.

    The crime study published by an independent organization found that crime was not what the perception shared above is. Part of it relates to how people think more things should be crimes that are out of step with how the voters were tricked into voting for laws that caused this.

    There is very little discretionary spending that cities have, in our case it pays for the upkeep and management of parks and recreation. Since no one wants to close beaches…it is a non-starter.

    Platitudes and disingenuous comparisons combined with spreading fear, and attacking police & city officials will never improve any of the concerns expressed above. It will not work because it completely ignores the causality.

    If you want the issues expressed above to be addressed residents need to stop ignoring the reality and work with other like-minded people looking to reverse the downstream effects of failed state leadership. Residents need to look to partner with others throughout the state who are looking to enact changes to replace failed policies.

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