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Editorial: Cerritos Needs Trusted Leadership

Embattled Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen.

Embattled Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen.

 

EDITORIAL

If you have read our coverage in the past, we have reported time and time again how Cerritos Council-members have used their trusted position as an “elected representative of the people” to benefit their personal agendas.

It is time for real leadership.

Los Cerritos Community Newspaper is urging the defeat of incumbent Cerritos City Councilwoman Carol Chen in next Tuesday’s election.

We don’t take this decision lightly, but we stand firm in our position.

And so do others. Here are our reasons.

Leaders must compromise. Here is what the hard working Cerritos Employees Association, Local 619 said about Chen on their website just one year ago:

“Mayor Carol Chen, adding insult to injury, required everyone – including the state dignitaries who showed up to speak – to wait three hours until the agenda item was even addressed.”

“Mayor Carol Chen scolded Congresswoman Linda Sanchez at a heated city council meeting and for inappropriately requiring residents – many with children in tow on a school night – to wait so long for an opportunity to speak about a city employee union agreement?”

Leaders do not abuse city finances. Chen did, as witnessed by the “Travelgate” scandal LCCN published two weeks ago where Chen, Barrows, and Edwards dined on $65 halibut and $32 steaks when on a trip to Washington D.C. And we presented many other trips where the same amounts were spent on meals.

Leaders help the city. LCCN has obtained a memo from Michael Kodama, Executive Director of the Orange Line Development, who gladly promoted the fact that Chen was responsible for coordinating a trip to Mainland China to, among other things, “examine potential public/private investment opportunities.” Chen defended her mission to China. We called it for what it really was, unnecessary and a misuse of public funds.

Leaders do not mislead voters. Chen has misled voters in her mailers about the fiscal condition of the city.  She claimed the city has cut $40 million from the budget. She used accounting tricks and cumulative numbers.

Leaders solve problems. LCCN has obtained documents that show the CCPA has lost an astounding $22 million since 2008. Not one word or proposal from Chen.

Leaders do not take donations with strings attached. LCCN obtained Chen’s campaign statements this past week and found a Chinese developer, who had built three large projects in Artesia, donated $5,000 to her campaign. That is a huge sum of money for a local council race and begs the question of what Chen will do to pay the developer back.

Leaders are not hypocrites. Chen supported fee increases at our very own taxpayer owned facilities here in Cerritos, and then backed off when she saw voter outrage.

Leaders lead. There are some city councils that take no money from the city; they feel it is a public service to be a council-person. Other councils take very little money, like La Palma. Chen, Barrows, and Edwards were caught recording mileage expense while getting a $400 monthly car allowance.

If they do that, who knows what else they will do with city money.

And that’s not the type of leadership we need here in Cerritos.

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