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By Brian Hews
The more things change the more they remain the same. The circus rolled into Cerritos City Hall on Wednesday night. Yep. You can’t make this stuff up.
It was the annual Cerritos Mayoral Transition.
San Juan Capistrano have their “swallows” that return like clockwork each and every year and, well, here in Cerritos we hold a lavish, dragged out city council love fest where people travel from far distances to shower plaques, prizes, awards, certificates, even yellow fire-man jackets and hats to the lucky guy or gal who is going out of office as mayor.
It is like a time honored passage here in Cerritos. For generations, as winter turns into spring, the back patting goes into full swing at the annual transition.
Incoming Mayor Bruce Barrows promised that the meeting would be over in a timely matter. Barrows must have had his fingers crossed behind his back, because this meeting seemed like it would never come to an end.
And nobody checked for convicted felons at the party either. I am sure Edwards was very proud to receive a “certificate of service” on behalf of a state senator from representative Mario Beltran who was convicted in March 2007 for filing a false police report in a case involving visits to a prostitute in a seedy downtown hotel, later passing out drunk in the hallway.
Then there was the mayor of La Palma who was shadowed by a local busy body gadfly/former reporter who wrote an article bashing Tony Medoza’s wife and was fired over it. “I brought along this guy with me tonight,” a befuddled La Palma Mayor Steve Hwangbo told an embarrassed Edwards.
After sitting there for two hours, finally the residents got their first glimpse of incoming City Councilman George Ray.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper is a fan of George Ray. We supported his election. Ray knows what it is like to run a business and make payroll, unlike some on city council, including the new Mayor.
But he could not stop Council-woman Chen. In an arrogant maneuver, Ray was upstaged when Chen barged into his moment in the spotlight by demanding that the two “take our oaths together.”
It was embarrassing and awkward for Ray and his family. They were forced to watch from a distance instead of being allowed to be by his side to capture this important moment.
Carol Chen stole George Ray’s special moment. As she giggled next to Ray, she awkwardly took her Oath of Office with her left hand instead of her right hand like all elected officials normally do here in the United States of America.
Chen also suffered from political amnesia. She showed Cerritos residents just how happy she was to be re-elected to the council. How? This past Tuesday she held her campaign celebration at the Muse Chinese Restaurant in Artesia that was attended by more than 55 people.
That’s right readers, she held her campaign celebration in Artesia.
Muse is located in the same center that was built by Zion Enterprises, a company that gave $5,000 in late campaign cash to Chen. This was documented in this paper Feb 22, with campaign statements online.
We got an email Tuesday night telling us of the dinner. Just to make sure, I called the restaurant Tuesday night, asked what time the Chen party was tomorrow night, and the employee politely laughed and said, “it was tonight, they just left.” . Reporter Randy Economy called a few minutes later and was told the same thing. When contacted by LCCN, Chen denied the dinner, denied knowing the developer, and even said she did not know where Muse was.
The more thing change the more they remain the same.
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