In Rosemead [and in most General Law cities], the city council elects a new mayor and mayor pro temp from among their membership once each year. In most cities, the rotation is automatic and non-controversial. After all, the positions are largely ceremonial. But, in Rosemead, nothing happens without controversy.
At the city council meeting on Marh 28, Gary Taylor, mayor pro temp from last year, was elevated to mayor. John Nunuz was elected the new mayor pro temp. Both votes were by 3-2 margins. Councilmembers Taylor, Imperial, and Clark formed the three-person majority voting for Taylor for mayor, while councilmembers Clark, Nunez, and Tran formed the three-person majority electing Nunez mayor pro temp.
The outcome itself should not have been controversial. In most cities, the outgoing mayor pro temp is elevated to mayor pretty much automatically. And one of the junior members who has not yet served as mayor is pretty much automatically elevated to mayor pro temp.
Unfortunately, our new leadership team was at odds almost immediately.
The most appalling thing from that meeting was listening to Gary Taylor tell us why he wouldn't vote for John Nunez for mayor pro temp. Gary apparently thinks that the city council should not exercise any oversight over the city staff. Wal-Mart, as far as he is concerned, should be able to do what ever it wants to do, and city council members have no responsiblity and no duty to be sure that the terms of Wal-Mart's construction permit are fulfilled.
Now, if you weren't actually at the city council meeting, you probably think I am exaggerating. Sadly, I am not. Of all things, Gary chastised John Nunez for asking questions of city staff regarding the activities going on at the corner of Rush and Delta Streets in Rosemead. According to Gary, this was "the one reason" why he did not vote for John Nunez for mayor pro temp.
Shame on you, Gary Taylor, and not only for your own abdication of responsibility and your own refusal to represent the interests of your city's majority. Shame on you for criticizing one of your colleagues for actually doing what he was elected to do. John Nunez was elected to represent all of the voters of Rosemead. Unlike you, he actually thinks that Wal-Mart should abide by the rules that it agreed to when it came before this city council in public session.
So, thank you John Nunez, for asking the questions that need to be asked.