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Valley Perspective

City Council

November 14, 1999

At a Nov. 2 City Council hearing, I watched (on CityView, Channel 35) Rabbi Lawrence Goldmark give the invocation regularly heard on the first Tuesday of every month. The rabbi prayed for us all to thank God for our many blessings--our lives, our health, our dear ones--and "our orderly system of government." The rabbi shared how 2,000 years ago, one rabbi wrote to "always respect the government" and how "we all know that many times in history this has not been the case for many and varied reasons."

The first item on the agenda involved the controversial reopening of the Sunshine Canyon Landfill located within my council district. As referred to in "Decision on Landfill Is Disputed" (Nov. 3), City Council President John Ferraro unilaterally "withheld the item" over for one week, refusing to allow anyone to speak on the subject, totally ignoring Councilman Joel Wachs' repeated angry objections and pleas to allow discussion on the item. Wachs was the only one with the tenacity to speak out and yell out, "You're wrong. . . . You know you're wrong!" And "You want to know why people think so little of government, Mr. President?!" Without even blinking an eye, Ferraro went on to the other items on the council agenda.

Councilman Wachs got to experience what it's like to be ignored by the City Council as I and many others have similarly experienced when trying to be heard by Councilman Wachs and his colleagues.

Rabbi Goldmark got to see a classic example of how our local government is far from "orderly" and for the most part certainly not worthy of respect.

HARRIET K. BILFORD

Northridge

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