RINO Witch-Hunt Against Placentia’s Conservative Yamaguchi?
Posted by Chris Emami on August 26, 2013
There is a weird controversy that has been taking place in Placentia this summer. Councilman Jeremy Yamaguchi is being attacked for his role in one of the City of Placentia’s concerts in the park. Basically, Yamaguchi is being accused of having a conflict of interest with his status as a Councilman and his activities as a VOLUNTEER for the City.
The issue really is much ado about nothing: there is no kind of financial conflict of interest that took place because volunteers inherently have no financial interest.
Yamaguchi has worked for companies that have provided sound services for bands that participate in the concerts in the park and Yamaguchi has been providing his services to the City as a VOLUNTEER. I think it is rather refreshing for a Councilmember to provide volunteer services that don’t involve simply showing up at an event, smiling, waving, and/or gracing everybody with their presence.
According to a memo from Placentia’s city attorney quoted by the Orange County Register:
“In summary, we cannot state with certainty that conflict of interest laws have been violated; however, Mr. Yamaguchi’s income history, coupled with his activities as a volunteer, could lead one to believe that an appearance of a conflict exists.”
What a strange quote. The city attorney basically says, “We can’t find a conflict but somebody might think there’s a conflict.”
Yamaguchi’s activities as a volunteer should have no effect on what he can and/or cannot do as a City Councilmember in the City of Placentia. If he is not profiting in any way financially, I don’t see what the issue is.
One thing that caused me to raise an eyebrow is the fact that Yamaguchi is currently the conservative minority on the Placentia City Council along with Councilman Chad Wanke. The non-conservative majority of Scott Nelson, Connie Underhill, and Joe Aguirre are all technically registered Republicans.
More often than not, when city staff and a Council majority are questioned, they don’t like it. This sometimes leads to efforts to try to discredit the dissenters by making them look bad at both Council meetings and in the media. I’m not sure if this is the case in Placentia, but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.
What I do know for certain is that Jeremy Yamaguchi has been an excellent vote on the Placentia City Council and obviously cares about his community. People like Yamaguchi should be applauded for their efforts and not dragged over the coals.