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Citizen Apathy in South Gate

August 28, 1986

Fight back? Maybe on the David Horowitz show, but not in South Gate.

On the same night the city robbed the business community of its right to choose its own trash company, the city gave the Chamber of Commerce a check for $64,200. Needless to say, no businessman or woman protested the trash company issue that night.

Why didn't the citizens come out by the hundreds to protest the unfair but profitable garage conversion ordinances? It wasn't because they agreed with the city, it was because very few citizens were willing to risk having the city inspect their garages. They relied on the old theory "out of sight, out of mind."

Parking fines have been raised, water rates have been raised, sewer fees have been raised, and who cares? A couple of residents who tried to protest for the whole city's benefit accomplished nothing.

At recent meetings, our city officials claimed they must raise fees and write ordinances that will bring in more money because their budget is in trouble and they may not receive as much federal money as in the past. Obviously, the budget had a miracle cure because all the top brass at City Hall gave themselves a raise.

The city's agenda is ready on Friday and the council meeting is held on the following Monday. The citizens read the bad news after the fact in the local press.

Our local cable TV company never goes near the council meeting with a camera, and never films any local controversial issues. They do film our illustrious council members relating their latest opinionated accomplishments. That segment should be titled, "How Great Thou Art."

Why are our South Gate citizens so apathetic? How long will our city of nearly 80,000 people be controlled by a handful of controllers?

--DOROTHEA LOMBARDO

South Gate

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