Morro Bay and Holiday Reflections

Just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe holidays.

In the spirit of the holidays, I’ve made a conscious effort to reach out to the Morro Bay residents, especially those I was critical of during our most recent election season. I’ve also decided to formally withdraw my Fair Political Practices Commission complaint against former mayor John Headding and current councilmember Jennifer Ford. I wrapped up all additional and relevant investigations as there was insufficient evidence and conflicting witness accounts that made it difficult for me to move forward. This is a decision I personally made without any internal and external interference.

The best way to handle issues with elected and government officials is to focus squarely on the issues, not the person. The previous incarnation of the Morro Bay City Council made it extraordinarily difficult to engage in conversations on an issue-by-issue basis. There was a lack of communication. I found myself working in an information vacuum to determine whether or not there were actual issues with our elected officials, so I felt obligated to bring in a politically neutral and bipartisan commission to see what, if any, violations occurred. This resulted in members of the City Council feeling that I was being “mean” or “bullying” them, categorizing my initiatives as some elaborate personal and politically motivated attack.

Had they communicated with me openly and directly, had my microphone feed not been cut when I raised potential issues of conflict of interest — that could’ve been easily and readily addressed at any given time — there wouldn’t be any issues. I would’ve preferred to have debates and conversations about community-wide issues that fall within the purview of the Council because, quite frankly, I’m more comfortable having those discussions in the public square. It never feels right to put any one person, individual or organization under a microscope unless there is ample reason and evidence to do so.

Now that the 2022 elections are behind us, I want to focus more on increasing public participation and civic engagement in issues that directly impact our quality of life here in Morro Bay. But in order to do that, I have to push the reset button on my relationship with City Hall. Part of that reset initiative is to establish a clearer understanding of where I’m coming from and not let misconceptions run rampant. Similarly, all of us need to come together now to collectively put our best foot forward. All of us want what’s best for the community, and it takes a village to realize our hopes and dreams for a better future. I hope you can join me on this productive endeavor.

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