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By Brian Hews
A public comment from a Mexico-born Huntington Park City Councilwoman has sparked a controversy after she blamed “the Americans” who served as past elected officials for problems with residential and business water meters.
Councilwoman Rosa Perez, who was elected in 2011, stunned the mostly Spanish speaking audience in attendance at Huntington Park City Hall last week when she blasted residents with the comment “I wanted to come into (elected) office, and to see what the problems are in the city and try to bring solutions to them. A big problem is that people think that when the Americans were in office everything was all great and when the Latinos came in, then all the problems came in.”
Perez continued in Spanish by claiming, “but the Americans did a lot of these contracts that are costing us (Latinos) much money.”
Several residents immediately reacted with loud yells in protest to the comments.
Perez went on to say in Spanish that “people are asking where the money is going?”
“Most of the money is not going to pay the chief of police or the city manager, maybe the (city) attorney is making a little more money, but, ah, this is not where all of the money is going. (And) I didn’t make these contracts, the contracts are from years ago, I have always said that I don’t need power, you know me, you know I got in here to help the city,” Perez said with her voice rising louder and arms waving in the air.
“The city has to pay its own expenses. I don’t expect you to pay for the water I use, but don’t expect me to pay for the water you use. We are not happy about this,” Perez said.
Perez was reached by Hews Media Group on Friday at her office at County USC Medical Center where she serves as a mid level manager in order to get a clarification about her comments.
“I have lived in Huntington Park for 37 years, and I am new to this city council. It hurts me to see that residents blame me for everything,” Perez said.
“You are going to print whatever you are going to print. I can’t stop that,” she said.
“I am not going to apologize for anything I said in that meeting. I speak for my people, and we have real problems here in Huntington Park,” Perez said. When asked for a clarification Perez said, “It means whatever you want it to mean.”
Perez said that there is an active campaign to discredit her and other city council members who have political ties to former Mayor John Noguez, who is the embattled current Los Angeles County Assessor.
Noguez help fund Perez winning campaign for city council in 2011, as well as the campaigns of his cousin, Vice Mayor Elba Guerrero and another political alley Councilman Andy Molina.
Linda Guevara, a former HP city councilmember, told Hews Media Group that she was “outraged” by the comments of Perez. “What the hell is wrong with this councilwoman? Huntington Park is located in the United States, and we are all Americans,” Guevara said.
Another longtime Huntington Park resident Marilyn Sanbria, a Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International member said it is “disheartening that a woman of this caliber, and of that position, to make such a racial statement.”
“Her statement shows a lack of knowledge of the history of leadership in Huntington Park and a divisive comment that does not reflect the professionalism of her position,” said longtime Huntington Park Karina Macias.
(Copyright. Hews Media Group. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper. Republication Granted With Proper Attribution).
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