We would like to respond to the recent letter from George A. Ray (Times, March 21) regarding the firing of Cerritos City Manager Gaylord Knapp. As residents of the city since 1973, we have obviously seen numerous positive changes within our community. We're sure that Knapp deserves a share of the credit as well as Barry Rabbitt, Diana Needham and the other long-serving members of the City Council for planning the success of our community during its formative stages.
Ever since we arrived, and participated in the original Redevelopment Agency hearings, we have been faced with the five-letter word--"staff"--which Ray used. Our City Hall revolves around its staff, not its residents. On numerous dealings with City Hall we have been faced with an adversarial relationship--"us versus them" or "staff versus the residents." Whenever we brought a problem to "staff," the response was never to identify a problem and solve it, but only to placate.
It went like this: (1) There is no problem; (2) if we would not be persuaded, then the problem was not as bad as we thought; (3) if we persisted, we were given a telephone runaround and stonewalled until the problem went away. The words used on Step 3 were: "Well, you've finally reached the right person to handle this for you," but they never did. It was only after calling City Council members that action was ever taken.