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Like a breath of fresh of air, it is refreshing to see the Hawaiian Gardens City Council take appropriate action against an out-of-control member of city government. Hawaiian Gardens has been inundated with arguments from both sides, for and against censuring Mr. Bruce. Yet, we have not been able to pull back the curtain and thoroughly examine Mr. Bruce’s claims of corruption and municipal malfeasance. Mr. Bruce is a master of using fallacies and the art of verbal illusion to beguile the public. His bombastic approach to problem solving is testament to his megalomaniacal tendencies. It is time to pull back that curtain and take a look at how his statements are in fact the words of a depraved mind that through seeking absolute, unquestionable, and unchecked power has lost his way from the higher goal of making his community a better place.
Mr. Bruce stated that he is against gentrification. Gentrification defined: is the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by upper- or middle-income families or individuals, thus improving property values but often displacing low-income families and small businesses. Though this concept can be seen as unconscionable by many poverty right advocates we must also take into account the actions of the local government that is entrusted with protecting its residents. Most pro-gentrification municipalities would not designate valuable resources to educate their residents and provide programs that not only enrich their residents’ lives but help them achieve their full potential. Is not the job of a responsible city government to work tirelessly towards providing their residents a community with high property values where every resident can unequivocally be described as a member of the middle class? Or do we want a poverty stricken populous that lacks the intellect to make responsible decisions thus falling prey to the fallacies and empty promises of ego driven, power hungry bullies. Mr. Bruce sees Hawaiian Gardens’ residents as a flock of the sheep that need to be led as he sees fit. While the city council majority led by Mayor Gomez see residents as unique individuals who are intelligent and hardworking that want to make their community a better place. Hawaiian Gardens is a city that wants to improve the lives of its residents and believes in collective achievements. Keep in mind that our Mayor cannot be considered a member of the privileged class. Mayor Gomez is the son of a farm worker who raised his family while running a small pool cleaning business. Mike Gomez understands the daily struggles of the common worker. He would never displace low-income families, because after all he was once one of them. With a mayor who understands what it feels like to struggle financially and rise above adversity how can anyone accuse his city government of ruthless gentrification?
Mr. Bruce accuses the Los Cerritos Community News of printing lies and advocating a secret agenda. I have been a weekly subscriber of the Los Cerritos Community News for over 2 years and read their online and print editions daily. I am also a loyal reader the Los Angeles Times, Long Beach Press Telegram, and Wall Street Journal and numerous other publications. I can confidently say that Los Cerritos Community News is one of most unbiased and balanced. Though they make editorial considerations about what stories to print and pursue that I sometimes disagree with, I can always count on impartial and unprejudiced reporting. Excluding the editorial section, I have never read an article in the Los Cerritos News that spins the issues or advocates a certain agenda. I challenge Mr. Bruce to prove me wrong and show me such an article. For Mr. Bruce to accuse the Los Cerritos News of publishing lies is preposterous and is evidence that he does not read the Community News or any other reputable periodical. It is clear that Mr. Bruce only consider news outlets that portray him in a positive light as the ones that are fair and balanced. I guess he’s still looking for that newspaper. Best of Luck to him!
Mr. Bruce accuses Hawaiian Gardens’ city employees of being corrupt and lazy. Hawaiian Gardens’ city employees are some of the hardest working government employees I have interacted with. From managerial/supervisory staff to the common but very important maintenance worker, I have yet to encounter a city employee who does not take their job seriously and understands the important role they play in making Hawaiian Gardens a strong and vibrant community. Each department understands their role and makes every effort to provide the best service they can. One of those outstanding departments is the City Clerk’s office managed by city clerk Sue Underwood and assistant city clerk Lucy Colombo. Mrs. Underwood and Mrs. Colombo have always provided me and others with knowledgeable and timely service and even though we have had our disagreements in the past I know that I can trust them to make competent and judicious decisions. I have witnessed them refuse Christmas presents from well-intentioned seniors in our community because they thought it would be inappropriate in their capacity. They have done and continue to do their jobs with the highest moral character and any accusation of impropriety can only be met with justifiable skepticism.
I can categorically fill a book with all the reasons why Mr. Bruce’s arguments and discourse are wrong, unsubstantiated or lack irrefutable evidence. However, one cannot waste such precious time on such a trifle and unimportant bully like Barry Bruce. There is only one thing I want Hawaiian Gardens’ residents to consider. Are you animals to be led by Barry Bruce to the slaughter? Or are you a unique individual who thinks for themselves and act according to your own conscious and moral character. The choice is ultimately yours.
–Daniel Rowe, Resident, Hawaiian Gardens
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