Speak Up, Mr. Mayor, On Governor's Unwise Edicts. You Can Do That And You Should
by Doug Krikorian
Mr. Krikorian, an award winning journalist and author of two books, earned multiple awards in his 22 years of writing for the Long Beach Press-Telegram and 22 years for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. He is happily retired in Naples.
|Total positives (red dots) and deaths (black dots)||Daily reported positive cases||Fast Face Mask: With Bandana/Woven Cloth + 2 Rubber Bands|
|(May 15, 2020, 5:41 p.m.) -- Among Long Beach restaurateurs, saloonkeepers, hairstylists, manicurists, apparel store owners, hotel proprietors, real estate landlords, waiters, waitresses, bartenders, clerks, valets, gondoliers, gym owners, etc., etc., etc., there is a raging debate now roiling among a gravely growing number of local residents about the stunning muteness and inertness of our illustrious mayor, the Honorable Robert Garcia.
I haven't spoken to one person who thinks Mr. Garcia has been a glowing light in this dark crisis, failing disastrously as the top officeholder in Long Beach --- totally failing to advance the interests of Long Beach.
Why is that so?
Now I understand Mr. Garcia has a legal obligation to follow whatever nonsense the despotic California governor, Gavin Newsom, dispenses with his emergency powers decrees, but Mr. Garcia also would seem to have an obligation with the powers he's been granted in Sec, 202 of the Long Beach voter-enacted City Charter to "provide community leadership and become as a focal point for the articulation of city-wide perspective on municipal issues."
In other words, Mr. Garcia can voice public disagreement with the continuing lockdown dictates of Mr. Newsom or, after a closed door session with the City Council and City Attorney, the City may even bring a lawsuit against the Governor as others have done, but sleeping infants make more noise than he has on the lockdown issues.
At least Mr. Garcia, finally, blessedly, if not belatedly, opened Long Beach's beaches, parks and tennis courts this week.
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It seems to be an overwhelming opinion among the local cognoscenti that Mr. Garcia isn't capable of standing up to either Mr. Newsom, or the ghastly Los Angeles mayor, Eric (You Gotta Wear A Mask Or Off To San Quentin!) Garcetti.
Does Robert Garcia have even the faintest bit of empathy for those in this city who have been suffering, have been furloughed, have been laid off, have been kept in a constant state of despair?
I walk through Belmont Shore every day---and it's become a ghost town. I wonder how many businesses throughout our city won't be returning. I wonder about the mental state of the owners of all the shuttered establishments. I wonder how many of the unemployed in this town, despite the kindly government handouts, will be able to find employment when this nightmare ends.
I seriously wonder if Robert Garcia even cares, since he so disdainfully hasn't done anything the past few weeks other than refine his blossoming ventriloquist skills (he's become an expert at mimicking Messrs. Newsom and Garcetti).
Now I have nothing personal against Robert Garcia. He seemed like a nice enough fellow when Bob Maxson, who was then president at Long Beach State, introduced him to me when Garcia was student body president at the school. And I've been around him on a few other occasions across the years.
But he certainly hasn't evinced the charisma or even the stout resolve of a couple of other Long Beach mayors, Beverly O'Neill and Bob Foster, I knew well when I was a columnist for the Press Telegram.
I've always felt the imagination Mr. Garcia has displayed is reminiscent of the imagination of a respected hay and feed dealer. His virtues are quite indistinguishable from a county court clerk. And his risk-taking, well, let's just say he'll never be referred to as the Gen. George Patton of politicians.
Garcia has become a laughable lapdog for Mr. Newsom and won't dare stand up to him to boost the welfare of our city that elected him mayor, refusing to follow in the rebellious footsteps of the courageous, risk-taking mayors of Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, Will O'Neill and Lyn Semeta.
Mr. Garcia's defenders will tell you he has been shackled by Mr. Newsom, and that he can't pursue a civil disobedience tack since Mr. Newsom is in charge of an eventual $90 million payout from the state supposedly destined for Long Beach.
Maybe so, but Robert Garcia, an ambitious fellow who has higher aspirations on the political stage, not once has called Mr. Newsom's hand.
Mr. Garcia has done nothing of a memorable nature during these awful times to enhance his career other than expand the widespread perception that he cares more about pleasing Messrs. Newsom and Garcetti than the nearly 500,000 people he's now misrepresenting.
Previously by Mr. Krikorian:
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