by Margo Sturges/Yucca Valley, Ca.,- I am concerned with the sparse turnout predicted by many for the upcoming November election. Nine candidates tossed their hats entering the race for three seats on the Yucca Valley Town Council.
Appointed Councilman, Merl Abel, started his campaign back in May raising funds after declaring he would NOT run for office. His recent “tent event” at his real estate office worked out well to promote his business with a turnout of fellow realtors. This small gathering of attendees enjoyed his ice cream social as Abel flitted around in his red shirt bashing two other candidates running for town council. Abel violated his own signed pledge to conduct his campaign abiding by the rules of ethics he signed when he pulled his papers. He must feel those rules do not apply to him.
Voter apathy, or disgust, will allow those candidates with the most money to purchase the most radio airtime and send out the most mailers to prevail. The candidates receive large campaign donations to take hold of the reins of government. Some elected officials are good people…gone bad.
Endorsements come and go raising eyebrows for voters to question why, if only for a brief moment. These endorsements and letters to the Editor are orchestrated by public relations firms as hired guns to sway public opinion.
Take for example the “overwhelming endorsements of the Yucca Valley Town Council” for the defeated Measure U, a 1% General Fund sales tax for 30 years that could not be dedicated or earmarked. Each council member personally contributing large amounts of money towards the YesOnMeasureU political action committee to raise $34,000 in addition to the $199,000 of public funds they authorized to spend before Councilman Bob Leone was elected to the dais to stop the madness. Document>460_doc
The chamber stepped into the political arena to promote the worse sales tax with only 12% of the members responding to their in-house survey. In return, these same Yucca Valley Council members endorsed a clueless Chamber candidate that could not even pick up one precinct!
Yucca Valley appointed councilman, Merl Abel, posted his shock and dismay the citizens did not heed his endorsements. His praise of integrity and good character of his fellow church member proved otherwise.
Voters-remember this: Abel was on board to give the ex-Town Manager Mark Nuaimi, a sweet 3 year employment contract and bonuses while cutting quality of life community programs. Five months later, Abel was in support of the severance package of $126,666.00 to fire the disgraced Nuaimi and declared he was fed up.
Having declared he would NOT seek re-election, Abel went back on his word to declare he would run again.
What a disappointment he could not keep his word…he has become entangled in politics as a willing participant.
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