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In Defense of Censured Official

October 22, 1987

I am more disappointed than usual by the action of four members of our City Council. They were uncommonly quick to act without full knowledge of the facts.

Their censure of Councilman Robert Wagner for purportedly "tricking" former Councilman Robert Veir is absurd. I was in Wagner's office to discuss opposition to a utility tax measure when Wagner made a telephone call to Veir. Wagner told Veir that he had a statement opposing the tax measure which he would like (Veir) to sign; that the tax would generate much more money than was required and that since the other council members and the city manager refused to state the specific uses for which the money would be spent, this measure should be defeated. He then asked Veir if he could come to his home and talk with him.

Wagner took with him a statement opposing the tax measure.

I am not well acquainted with Veir and have learned of his health problems only via newspaper articles, which stated that although Veir has difficulties, he is able to read, perhaps with the help of his wife, who was present during Wagner's visit. The document was not confidential, and there was no reason Mrs. Veir could not have read it to her husband.

The visit lasted over two hours. Wagner did not just run in, get Veir's signature and run out.

I strongly support Veir's right to change his mind about opposing the tax measure, and whether he did so with or without prodding from "City Hall" is immaterial.

HELEN SIMMONS

Former Councilwoman

South Pasadena

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