ABSTRACT: Selected excerpts from a letter to the editor by former Mayor Ken White is juxtaposed against an “Update” from City Councilman Jason Burnett regarding City Administrator Rich Guillen and the City Council. A Comment is made about conviction politicians.
In the 10 September 2010 edition of The Carmel Pine Cone, former Mayor Ken White wrote, in part, as follows:
“As a former mayor and after 52 years in Carmel, I’ve never witnessed a scandal grip our community like the one created by Carmel City Administrator Rich Guillen’s misbehavior. His unacceptable conduct, in violation of our city’s harassment policy and Code of Ethics, caused the city to settle five separate claims totaling in excess of $1.1 million.”
“...the scandal now shifts to the shoulders of some indecisive city council members who cannot come to grips with right from wrong behavior...Rich Guillen has lost our trust and all credibility...The community cannot move forward until council members directly and decisively withdraw support of Guillen so he may announce his retirement.”
“...Have Carmel residents, complacent in comfortable lives, become so immune to misbehavior at city hall they will tolerate even the most egregious in our midst? For the good of our community, I urge everyone to request swift action of the city council to ensure that Guillen goes — one way or another.”
(Source: Guillen must go, Ken White, Carmel, The Carmel Pine Cone, September 10, 2010, 20A)
After the last closed session at City Hall on Thursday, September 23, City Councilman Jason Burnett wrote, in part, as follows:
“UPDATE: ...Some have asked why I have not yet said publicly what I think should happen. My best judgment tells me to wait so I don't jeopardize progress being made. I will take the opportunity to share my thoughts at the appropriate time. Right now, I am focused on getting the best outcome for Carmel even if it takes longer than any of us want.”
(Source: City Administrator review, Jason Burnett, Carmel-by-the-Sea COMMUNITY CONVERSATION)
• Conviction politicians take public stands; self-serving, politically correct politicians rationalize why they cannot take public stands. Moreover, by voicing strong opinions based on convictions, conviction politicians promote discussion of issues, such as sexual harassment, employment discrimination, retaliation, thereby involving all citizens in a robust, healthy debate, and most importantly, making an outcome an extension of the will of the people, not solely a decision of representatives meeting in secret closed sessions.