Like many of my neighbors, I have been appalled by the changes in our city council during the past two years. Rather than focusing on the quality of life, parks and open space for our kids, replacement of aging city facilities and sound fiscal management, we see council members injecting themselves into national issues, using tax resources to reward their contributors and injecting a coarseness in our public discussion that never existed before.
No one more embodies these changes than Councilmember Scott Peotter. He has insulted his colleagues, insulted leading residents who disagree with him, and has blatantly disregarded our laws regarding campaign contribution limits, disclosure of closed session information, campaign reporting and the use of the city seal.
He has been the leader and instigator in making our city government more partisan. For example, he changed the rules so that his political allies could serve on the city finance committee. This led to the appointment of his political friend and convicted felony embezzler Jack Wu to the committee.
Normally, I would be willing to wait until the next election to address Peotter’s record. But the costs are simply too high to wait. This year he is proposing several items that would have long term financial consequences to our city. For example, selling the old City Hall property would eliminate a long term Tidelands revenue source that would fund public improvements for generations, much like the long time lease for the Balboa Bay Resort. Peotter wants to cut our libraries, fire stations and community centers. This will cause these projects to cost much more in the future. Two more budget cycles and two more rounds of commissioner appointments are too much for me.
What really put me over the top however was how Peotter reacted to the Museum House project. Not only did he vote for this project twice, but he conspired to place in the petition more than 3,700 unnecessary pages to try to frustrate the people’s right to petition the government. Even after 14,000 signatures were submitted he refused to rescind the project and engaged in a round of insults and name calling against the citizens leading this effort. We should demand more from our councilmembers.
Recalling Scott Peotter now will help restore civility, focus the council on city issues and allow us to move our city forward in a spirit of community.