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MARTINA MCBURNEY-WHEELER, San Clemente

As we say goodbye to 2021, it’s important to reflect on the years past and ask ourselves on how we as a city can do and be better.

There are opportunities for us as citizens to seek and demand not only more effective leadership but to limit reckless spending from our government. San Clemente city management and various councils have not shown themselves to be mindful stewards of our tax dollars and assets.

Last May 11, 2021, our city spent $900 to host a luncheon with the “leaders” (city managers, mayors and mayors pro tem) of the tri-cities—San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano—to discuss homelessness, of all things.

This meeting did not appear on any city calendar, nor was it accompanied by an agenda or agenda report. It’s almost as if this meeting never happened, other than, of course, the $900 AmEx charge.

It should also be noted that during the time, our city was still under a “state of emergency,” and only allowed citizens to attend City Council meetings in person the week before with the caveat (or precaution) of wearing masks and sitting 6 feet apart.

Evidently, I guess, $100-per-head lunches are resistant to COVID-19.

This frivolous disregard for not only our tax dollars has the tone deafness and sensitivity of Marie Antoinette. One would think after the sand in the skate park went national, our city leadership would pay closer attention to optics.

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