I have remained quiet since San Gabriel's April 12 City Council election. My reason was to give the newly elected councilmen, whom Citizens for Responsible Development campaigned so hard for, time to initiate the changes they promised.
CFRD members, including myself, have fought the urge many times to comment prematurely. After the Aug. 18 article in the Los Angeles Times, I think the time has come to set the record straight.
Mayor John Tapp has used his position to discredit his fellow councilmen and to attack the very organization that got him elected. He now denies ever needing CFRD's help.
Our biggest disappointment was to see that those who helped him coordinate his assault were some of the same bunch of former city officials, developers and good ol' boys who have fought CFRD from the moment it was founded.
At the July 19 council meeting, I submitted a list of seven significant building violations in the city. I managed to get through most of the list despite repeated interruptions by Tapp and Councilman Sabino Cici, which were reminiscent of the tactics of the old regime.
My point was to prove the appearance of negligence by former city employees who reported to City Administrator Bob Clute. There seemed to be a pattern of violations followed by denial, then whitewash, then another violation of zoning requirements.
The city administrator's response was another in a long series of classic San Gabriel gloss-overs to cover up mistakes and oversights, which have been increasingly common in recent years.
In your article, Tapp accused me and CFRD of a host of things, including "racism." That charge was made because one CFRD member expressed her disagreement with the mayor's plan to lower the American flag in order to fly the Taiwanese flag over City Hall for a week.
In regard to his other charges, CFRD will remain issue-oriented instead of attacking personalities. Our main focus will continue to be controlled, planned development. If Tapp really believes that CFRD is following a different agenda, then he should grant CFRD the courtesy of addressing us, as we have requested on numerous occasions.
If any council members become sidetracked from implementing the strong mandate from voters in last April's election, CFRD will be there to remind them of those goals. If necessary, CFRD will also be willing to go to the voters and point out where the council members' performance fell short of those campaign promises.