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Blog: Monrovia's Incestuous City Council Relationship

It was an incestuous relationship born of a promise to "protect" the empty seat for their buddy, Councilmember Clarence Shaw, that led to a botched Monrovia municipal election.

Some of the fondest memories for me of living in the city of Monrovia are rooted in its people and their sense of civic pride and strong positive community values. 

My first job in Monrovia was as a newspaper boy working "crew" for the Monrovia Newspost.  I would come home from Mayflower Elementary School, eat, do my homework, and eagerly await the small flat-bed truck filled with the crew leader and other youths squeezed in the back.  Our purpose was to expand the readership by obtaining newspaper subscriptions.  The crew leader would designate an area and let two of us walk a neighborhood, one on each side of the block. 

I remember knocking on doors and being greeted by a friendly neighbor who may or may not subscribe but was always courteous.  Often they would tell me an encouraging story or offer to provide me with a drink of cold water.  I would return home feeling good about my efforts and with a few dollars in my pocket to share with my parents to help with family expenses.

While on crew, the people I met felt a duty to try to enhance my learning experience.  They treated me like one of their own children who they would want someone to one day take an interest in and be concerned about as their children sought to learn and grow into good productive citizens. 

These were undoubtedly law abiding people who would want a similar characteristic for individuals in elective office as a means for keeping the community safe and up-holding the civic pride and strong positive community values that they held so dear.  They expected their children to be treated fairly and they expected their elected officials to be fair stewards of the public trust.

The city of Monrovia is facing a crisis in leadership because most of our elected officials have only their own interests at heart and not those of the community.  This is evident in their inability to discuss the issue of replacing Councilman Clarence Shaw in a public meeting at the very beginning of his announced departure. 

Instead, the council decided in closed session or in a back room somewhere that they did not need to consult the community for its input on whether to fill the empty seat because each member would then have more power as an individual without another councilmember's vote to try to persuade to their side.  It was an incestuous relationship born of a promise to "protect" the empty seat for their buddy at all costs, even the financial well-being of the city.  At this time in our history, we need people in elective office who understand how to promote strong positive community values while maintaining the civic pride that is Monrovia.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Suzanne Leach January 21, 2013 at 04:47 PM
I've always described Monrovia to my family & friends who live out of state as "a small town in the middle of chaos" considering the busyness of the surrounding towns. Although I haven't been involved in the politics, I'm thinking that Monrovia is "a small town in the middle of a crisis"....What I'm reading, have been reading is that Monrovia's leadership no longer cares about our town, but only about themselves and slinging mud to make themselves look better. Well it's not working for anyone, so get it together "leaders" or we'll always be the small town in the middle of a crisis...I want our town to go back to being the small town wonder I fell in love with 15 yrs ago....
punkster January 21, 2013 at 05:18 PM
I totally agree...........Remember, Power corrupts...........Power Absolutely Corrupts. Term limits would be helpful too.........
Jill Pyeatt January 21, 2013 at 07:49 PM
I hope they re-open the filing period for more candidates for the city council's open seats. I'm sure some good people will step up and apply.
Erin Thorn January 21, 2013 at 09:02 PM
No one wants the job(s). Those who do are usually doing it for interests other than that of "the people." The may think they're wanting to serve the people but in the long run they seem to serve their own interests. We want small town. Their idea of small town now looks a lot like Old Town Pasadena, which looks a lot like LA. Nothing stays the same.
Dan Crandell January 25, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Thunder only happens when it's raining. Better way to say it is "Thunder only happens when someone brings brings the lighting" . Thank Dr. Begneris for bring it to last nights City Council Meeting. I save a seat for you at next the next meeting. Thank You.

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