Some will call it bragging, but after being involved here for over twenty years, I may have earned the right to provide a point of view of this community that is slowly diminishing.
I love Aliso Viejo.
Since I never was able to have a family of my own, the City and community of Aliso Viejo has become my de facto child. When people say I am the mother of Aliso Viejo, I smile to myself and think, I could have done worse!
I hear parents hate to see their children fighting amongst themselves. I hear people give advice that family is the only thing you have in the end, so cherish your family.
Ok Aliso Viejo--let's cherish each other.
While it may be election time, that does not mean it is ok to perpetuate lies or half truths. My council colleagues will be the first ones to tell me that's am extremely quick to stand up for our staff members at City Hall. Darn right-I have walked in their shoes.
So when I read on Facebook that our Code Enforcement department had been directed by council not to remove campaign signs for incumbents, I had enough.
No one gets to insult the integrity of my family. That post was simply a fabrication-a lie. City staff did not break any laws by not going out to remove campaign signs on private property. To the contrary, they followed the law and respected private property rights.
And by the way, removing campaign signs from somebody else's property? That is against the law.
So, if you find someone placed a campaign sign, youth sports sign, garage sale sign on somebody else's property? Let the property owner know. It happens all the time, particularly during campaign season. We tend to look the other way when we agree with the message, but if we disagree...look out!
My family also includes my council colleagues. Sometimes it feels like I have several brothers- and for the most part we all agree on the direction of the City and how to get there.
At other times, we disagree. But unlike siblings, we walk away with mutual respect after disagreements and live to stand together at the next issue.
I have seen my colleagues taken to task on the Patch. Phil Tsunoda is being vilified for bringing to light violations of election law by a candidate. People responding to those articles are calling for his recall because of his "behavior." What about the issue he brings up--someone breaking the law?
I have seen Mayor Garcia blamed for what Phil Tsunoda is talking about. Again, I wonder why people are dragging the Mayor into the discussion when Phil has been the only one discussing the violations. Again, why are people blaming the Mayor? Are we becoming blind to the issue at hand and, instead, focusing on how the message is delivered?
It is a challenge to be an elected official. You are stifled by state law, by public opinion, and self-control. Elected officials really have to think before they speak. But, bloggers, regular people, anyone can say anything they want, often with no repercussions, about an elected official. While you may disagree with where he said it and how he said it, nothing he says is untrue. A candidate did break the law. That candidate did remedy the breach. But, recall Phil Tsunoda because he spoke the truth at a council meeting?
I challenge you, Aliso Viejo, lets raise the bar on our discourse. Let's look through the method of delivery, and examine what is really at issue.
Life in Aliso Viejo is fantastic. We have a healthy economy in our city. It is a gorgeous city. People are excelling here.
All of that makes me proud to be part of the Aliso Viejo family.