BRIAN RICE, San Clemente
As a former city councilmember and mayor of San Clemente, I see a great injustice occurring in our city. San Clemente has always had spirited debate, but at least councilmembers showed respect for their colleagues and for the office itself. To be on the city council requires the highest code of conduct. This includes telling the truth to the public.
We have a new councilmember, Laura Ferguson, who likes to attack other councilmembers. Her comments in print and online are deceptive, and she seems to have no understanding of how the city is run or what the Brown Act entails.
Her most recent letter to the editor against Kathy Ward has taken our city to a new low in city representation. A councilmember should conduct city business at city council meetings with decency, and should not go online or in the newspaper to lash out personally at other councilmembers. I saw Kathy Ward’s response to her letter, and it was respectful and informative and did not call out Ms. Ferguson by name for trying to torpedo the city budget.
Laura Ferguson comments online that Chris Hamm and Kathy Ward could have been at the town hall on homelessness. They could not attend, and here’s why: you can’t have a quorum of the city council present when city business is being discussed outside of a public-noticed council meeting or other city-sanctioned events. To do otherwise violates the Brown Act.
Ms. Ferguson seems more than happy to mislead the public and allow them to think that Chris Hamm and Kathy Ward aren’t doing their jobs. Before our mayor passed away, he was also wrongly attacked. In addition, Ms. Ferguson spread falsehoods about city employees that disrespect the employees who provide critical services to our community. She does this as a way to justify her last-minute budget proposals. This reckless and unprofessional behavior needs to be stopped.