OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

The Plaintive wail of Civility

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 11, 2012

Disclaimer: I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council in 2010. THIS is an opinion piece, intended for entertainment and reality checks. I am an equal opportunity offender, read at your own risk.

I have a great deal of respect for only one of the members of the current city council in Yorba Linda and that is Jim Winder. He has served, and resided in this city for decades. His service has come to us at great personal cost to him. He has been disrespected, unfairly accused and periodically ridiculed without cause. Yet he shows up consistently, is polite, prepared and concerned for the well being of our city. These things can not be said about any of the other council members.

John Anderson’s mean spirit and agenda of personal vendettas has never been well hidden. Nancy Rikel and Mark Schwing answer to and for him. Their public discussions consistently appear unnatural or rehearsed. The clear impression is that they are Anderson’s mouth pieces. They all portray themselves as “fiscal conservatives”, they have given that term a foul sound and connotation. If fiscal conservative means that they only agree to spend money on their pet projects or the pet projects of their friends and supporters, then okay, they are fiscal conservatives. However their pattern of spending would embarrass many a democrat. They vote together, they were elected together, they have each others back in a twisted and dysfunctional way.

The mayor in Yorba Linda is voted in on a traditional rotating basis by the council, generally in order of when they were elected. Not so since Anderson has controlled the council. On each occasion that it would have been the turn of a Council member who was “not-one-of-us”, that council member was stepped over in favor of “one-of-us”. In 2008 that was Jan Horton. As the councilmember next in line, she was passed over in favor of John Anderson. By 2008 Jan had already become the “not-one-of-us” and was on the hit list. She was deprived of the opportunity to be mayor and that also enabled Mr. Anderson to be able to run against her for re-election as Mayor Anderson. In 2012, it was Jim Winder, whose turn it was to be mayor, but Anderson’s majority passed him over in favor of Schwing. Mark Schwing will now be running for re-election as Mayor Schwing. In his last year, after many decades of service to this community, the Anderson lackeys could serve up one final dose of indignity to Jim Winder and deprive him of his last tenure as Mayor. Winder is termed out, and will not run again. All it really accomplished was to confirm that they are pandering jerks.

Tom Lindsey portrays himself as the “true” conservative. That would be highly relevant if any issues of social import or civil rights issue come before the council, but that’s not likely. The majority of Andersons’ council has abandoned Lindsey and he is left to align with the lame duck portion of the council alongside Jim Winder. Lindsey’s view on fiscal or any issue is rendered largely irrelevant,. A difficult lesson to learn for Lindsey, as he aligned with Anderson in the eleventh hour before the 2010 campaign began. They ran as a “slate”. During the 2010 campaign, when questioned about the ugly hit pieces and robo-calls directed towards Jan Horton, both Lindsey and Anderson diverted their eyes from the crowd when they answered. Mr. Anderson’s “I did not write that piece”, may essentially, technically, be true, but it clearly made him uncomfortable to say those carefully chosen words. Lindsey, for whom the 2010 campaign was his second try for a council seat, was intent on being elected. I have not asked him how he’s feeling now in 2012, with 20/20 hindsight, about his 2010 choice to align with Anderson. I have observed him to suffer the same punishment that Jan Horton and then Hank Weeda did. If you run with “them” and then acquire any different view or opinion, you are ostracized. So much for the fantasy that once we’re elected we can have collegial respect for differing view points.

Jan Horton is not a member of the council at this time, but her effect is no less pertinent than those seated. She is a regular attender, proclaiming accountability, tranparency and spewing her point of view of the incompetence and lack of ethics of the current council. The existing situation, with the Anderson wing, disrespectful of Winder, and indignant for Lindsey and his turn coat antics, is smoldering fire anyway. Then Jan shows up and brings the gasoline in the form of her vitriole, her repetitive and shrill allegations, her husband with a camera, and her allies. She shows little in the way of tact and self control and she manages to stoke the flames of contention, discord and animosity on every issue, and at each council appearance or online discussion.

The counterpart to Jan is Ed Rakochy. Unelected, regular attender, but “One-of-us” along with the regular appearance of other YLRRR (Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation) members. The vigilante group that originally got Jan Horton and John Anderson elected, (yes as with any true rivalry, they began and friends and cohorts), has its regular and scripted attenders, commenting favorably on the moves of the Anderson majority, standing on their soap boxes and waving their flags, pretending this is even handed democracy, and proclaiming how ‘fiscally conservative’ the current majority council are.

I have rarely been able to stomach a whole meeting of this circus atmosphere, it’s a charade and not open democratic discourse. The pontification goes on for hours.

I am acquainted in some fashion with each of these individuals who are driving the toxicity in our city government, and this I know. Each and every one of them believes firmly that he/she is doing the “right thing” for the city. My opinion and observation is that they are each blinded by their own adrenaline rush from this ongoing combat. The salient point that they keep missing, is that the majority of the residents of the city are not “one-of-us”, and are also not the constantly contentious “one-of-them”. I don’t see any of these regular players stepping away from their entrenched positions long enough to have a healthy discussion on points upon which they might actually agree.

This is not good for anyone. This is not good for our city. I can only hope that voters refuse to get caught up in the rhetoric, that good and independent, unaligned candidates step forward in the next election. Politics is like square dancing, if you get too attached to your partner or your moves, you’ll eventually step on your own toes and get kicked out of the dance. We can only hope.





8 Responses to “The Plaintive wail of Civility”

  1. met00 said


    Come and move to Los Alamitos…

    Let’s see First it was Grose (Edgar Pro-tem), who lasted a month and a half before his racist e-mail exposed the klan hood he hides so well (there is another one in addition to the Obama e-mail that was generated to the public via a public records request, seems he is an eqial opportunity racist) and he was forced by Troy to resign in disgrace (but not to worry, he is the city perpetual candidate, expect to see him on the ballot for the fifth time this Novermber, we all do). Then Troy Edgar picked himself (Poe pro-tem). Then for the 50th aniversary we got Queen Poe (Stephens pro-tem). That was followed by Ken Stephens (Edgar pro-tem) and now Edgar again. That’s the fearsome threesome (Edgar Poe and Stephens) who were involved with the trash litigation. But what of Mejia? She was actually elected twice now and was Mayor Pro-Tem for the year before Grose was anointed by Edgar.

    Well, you see, Mejia is actually known as Council Member Cellophane. When she states she wants something on the agenda, it never appears on the agenda When she states she would like a position representing the city on a Commission, she is assured to be denied it. And even though she is on her fifth year and was mayor pro-tem, but not yet Mayor, Edgar wanted it so he could use “Mayor of Los Alamitos” on all his campaign materials in his run for Congress^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H Assembly.

    A whole bunch of us are all hoping Edgar gets elected to the Democraic run Assembly where he will be totally ineffectual, because it will get him the heck OUT of Los Alamitos. If we are really lucky he will move to Huntinton Beach as well. That would be a good thing.

  2. Harrier Callahan said

    IS it true the contract for police services is a scam to get the Sheriff’s endorsement for Anderson’s next political move? Does anyone know why Hutchens met
    the the Brea Police Union?

    • I’m not sure if you are asking me or just any reader. I don’t think anyone knows or ever will kow if it is “true” that Anderson planned all of this to get Hutchens endorsement. This is the first I am hearing of this theory. However, Mr. Anderson has always been clear that he is not a fan of Brea PD. It is ridiculous after spending an exhorbitant amount of money on the 2009 study that showed a complete replacement of Brea PD was not economicallyh feasible for the city, that the council moved forward with the notice to terminate

      • Ed Rakochy said

        Your point about economic feasibility is untrue and moot.

        First the untruth: The 2009 Ralph Anderson & Associates study said: “Service from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is an excellent option, except service would likely be from their main facility in Santa Ana. The City of Placentia does not appear to be a good option from a financial perspective. The City of Anaheim would appear to be the best option outside of the City of Brea given its size and substantial resources and the proximity of one its substations to the City. Generally, however, this report concludes that Yorba Linda probably would be best served by continuing its service with Brea.”

        The mootness: There’s new information that was not part of the RAA study, as the police contract is now up for bid. The Sheriff’s Department offer of $9.8 million that includes a Yorba Linda substation is still lower than Brea’s lowest offer of $10.3 million. And, Brea’s offer of $10.3 million is really $10.4 million, because they didn’t include the new equipment costs of $103,000 in their summary total.

        Before drawing any further conclusions, I would suggest you read ALL the proposals and the RAA report on the proposals which is forthcoming this week.

  3. Ed Rakochy said

    Brenda, You neglected to disclose that you’re a candidate for the OCGOP’s Central Committee. I would think this blog is a great way to get name recognition.  By the way, keep throwing things against the wall. Nothing appears to be sticking.

  4. Sidney Mangual said

    Very good article post.Much thanks again. Want more.

  5. Ruben Zachery said

    Hey, thanks for the blog.Really looking forward to read more. Fantastic.

  6. Denver Tastet said

    I simply want to mention I am just all new to blogging and definitely savored this blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your site . You really come with good articles. Thank you for sharing with us your website page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: