Sunday, April 5, 2009

{And The Beat Goes On………}

And The Beat Goes On………

Today is yet another sad day in a long string of sad days in San Bernardino politics. What is it about this county that drives us to continue to elect and re-elect these arrogant politicians? The list is as long as your arm, from the Colton City Council to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors…now to the Colton Joint Unified School District. From Jerry Eaves to Ramon Hernandez to Bill Postmus, we continue to pick the wrong people.

The events of today clearly revealed to me that we’ve done it again with the Colton School Board. Now, let me be clear; this IS about the naming of the new Grand Terrace High School after Colton resident Ray Abril; but it’s also about much more. We’ve already covered all the pertinent ground on the high school name. We’ve already established that this school should be named after the city in which it will be built and for the students who will identify the school with the City of Grand Terrace. And, we’ve already established that, as Grand Terrace residents, our wishes and pleas have been completely ignored…even mocked by members of the school board and school district. So why am I writing this? What’s my point? There is more.

Now…back to my point on arrogance. Today I attended the official ground-breaking ceremony for the new Grand Terrace High School. I watched…stunned… as School Board Member Mel Albiso smirked and waved from the podium as Grand Terrace residents expressed their displeasure with this naming decision. I watched…stunned…as the other board members who spoke, completely dismissed the fact that we were upset…that we were even present. I waited patiently for some healing words from Kent Taylor and David Zamora, the Grand Terrace representatives on the school board. Those words were not to come…they did not speak. The argument of the school board is, and has been, that this school is to serve the entire district, not just Grand Terrace. My response to that argument is, “I know we’re not the entire district but aren’t we still a part of the district?” Should we not still be heard?

I watched…stunned…truly saddened…as members of the Abril family waved their sign which, directly counter to Mr. Abril’s claim of humility, stated in bold letters, “IT'S RAY ABRIL HIGH SCHOOL, GET OVER IT!” My sadness deepened when two Abril family members yelled to us, “There is no Grand Terrace High School, and there never will be.” Then they “gave us the finger” as they walked back toward the Abril photo shoot. That was the second time that Grand Terrace residents were given “the finger” at this ceremony. The first was the collective figurative finger given by the members of the Colton Joint Unified School District.

And I felt a great sense of loss for the entire City of Grand Terrace as I stood quietly and watched as Ray Abril and his extended family were photographed with the school board members breaking ground on our new high school. They took from us a moment that was meant to be shared by an entire community…not a single family. This was a moment that has been a dream of many in Grand Terrace and Colton for many years…and it was yanked from our grasp at the last minute by this school board. I guess what I’m not getting is why the school board and Abril family can’t at least understand the reason for our anger and hurt as a community.

Keep on smirking Albiso…keep on smirking. Your day will come and when it does, I’ll be in the front row with a big smirk of my own. This is simply another instance of San Bernardino County politics in play. It’s just more of the same…back-room deal making, coercion, lies, betrayal, and mocking of the public who is to be served. This school board has made it clear, through their words and deeds, that there is nothing we can do about this…that they are in no way accountable to us.

THEY ARE WRONG! I think that, based on these events, a recall is warranted. It’s a long tough climb and, even if we fail to remove anyone from office, we can make them quite uncomfortable. We must remind them that they are indeed accountable to the people…yes, even to Grand Terrace people. This is clearly wrong and we have to do something…they’re daring us to…telling us that we have no voice. Let’s come together and show them some voice. Let’s show them some democracy. If we don’t do something than we are indeed as helpless and weak as the Colton Joint Unified School Board would have us believe that we are.

I will end on the one bright spot of the entire ceremony. When it was her turn to speak, Grand Terrace Mayor Maryetta Ferre at long last gave us our voice. Looking in the direction of the school board members, she stated how disappointed she was with the school board’s decision to name the high school after an individual. She then turned directly to us and proclaimed in a loud and clear voice that the name should be GRAND TERRACE HIGH SCHOOL. That was a very courageous stand to make in this corrupt county but Mayor Ferre, unlike our school board members, is keenly aware of who elected her… and she has always been aware of what is right and what is wrong.

Brian L. Reinarz
Grand Terrace Resident


Wendy said...

What a great letter...You are so right.. This is only the beginning...

Anonymous said...

Arrogance is an understatement for how the board members reacted to the crowd. They should be embarrassed of themselves for the words which continued to flow freely from their mouths as they taunted the crowd.
Maryette ROCKS! She embodies a truly caring politician who represents the PEOPLE!

Anonymous said...

It is really sad that the arrogance of some board members clouds the occasion that should be joyous for those of us who have waited for our own high school for over 20 years. A truly "humble" person/people would never have allowed his family to be on the spot to begin with. When I think of humble, I think of my grandfather, a man who worked hard every day for his family. He never asked for accolades. He never asked for compensation. All he asked was that we lived our lives according to what Jesus would ask, humble, loving and forgiving. I NEVER once heard my grandfather speak ill of anyone, he chose to give people the benefit of the doubt, everyone bears his/her own cross, we will never know until we walk in their shoes; all lessons my grandfather lived by example every day of his life. It just goes to show that the really great people are those among us. Our community, as a whole, is the deserving namesake for this wonderful addition to our city, not a single man who -- from this eyewitness account -- needs to work better on teaching his family the true meaning of humility.

Darcy said...

Great letter.

And many kudos to Mayor Maryetta Ferre and her boldness to speak up for the voices clearly being ignored.

Anonymous said...

Great heart is very saddened to hear of the behavior on behalf of the Abril family...for after all...they are one and the same. Remember, the apples don't fall very far from the tree. It's the Colton Board mentality. Seems to me they could have taken the "higher road" and sat quietly while being honored. Grand Terrace will prevail...the have too! I am really glad that Mayor Ferre finally stood up. I was beginning to be concerned as to what her part was. She was to quiet for my likings of a Community that has been wronged.

Silence DoGoodie said...

And The Beat Goes On... “Let’s show them some democracy. If we don’t do something than (sic) we are indeed as helpless and weak as the Colton Joint Unified School Board would have us believe that we are.”

First and foremost, we are a Constitutional Republic. We are not a democracy; majority and/or mob doesn’t rule our city. But as a Republic, we the people have every right to remove a representative that doesn’t or won’t represent their constituents to their liking. That means recall. It must start at the grass roots level, with a petition.

The petitions must be available at any time. Was there a petition at the protest? According to Sun Reporter Trunnell “around 200 people carrying signs, showed up at the site that will soon be transformed into a new school” (The Sun, Protesters disrupt groundbreaking for new school, April 4, 2009). Did someone capture those 200 signatures?

Most people won’t tolerate smugness or arrogance. If “Board Member Mel Albiso smirked and waved from the podium as Grand Terrace residents expressed their displeasure with this naming decision” and this disdain was reinforced by conduct reportedly displayed by “...two Abril family members giving protestors “...the finger as they walked back toward the Abril photo shoot,” were multiple still cameras and video cameras present to capture their arrogance? This is the conduct that can be captured in video and printed form to demonstrate what type of people they really are.

The notion of passively waiting “...patiently for some healing words from Kent Taylor and David Zamora (the Grand Terrace representatives on the school board)” is like waiting to be slapped in the face once again. Haven’t you had enough yet?

What is apparent is that other people seem to have their fingers in the Grand Terrace pie when they should have no say in it at all. I certainly believe that Grand Terrace will become a cash cow to fund projects at other schools throughout the district. Never mind renaming the high school: we’ve lost our represented voices from Kent Taylor, David Zamora and the rest of the C.J.U.S.D. board. RECALL... NOW!

Has anyone suggested a meeting to discuss and map out an overall plan of action? Let’s not bother inviting the mayor or city council members to attend until we the people see the official letter with their signatures which was allegedly sent to the C.J.U.S.D. Members of the Board of Trustees. It’s time to quit being patient and trusting others to do the right thing.


Silence DoGoodie

Amanda Betten said...

I to was given the bird by a passenger in a black Hummer as they left the ceremony. I was sitting on the tailgate of my truck, wearing my Grand Terrace High School Tshirt, when they drove by and flipped me off. Is this how the supporters of the Abril name act in public? This is why they want to name a high school after people who can't act professinally or responsibly as adults? If I had my camera ready a picture would have been taken of the person and license plate. But, there was only one brand new black Hummer (lifted) at the ceremony. It seems to carry over from the rudeness and taunting comments made by School Board Members during their speeches.
Maryetta did Grand Terrace PROUD! Thank you!
Amanda Betten

Brian Reinarz said...

I have no idea who "Silence DoGoodie" is, but he/she sounds awfully agressive and smug as well. I am aware of the structure of our nation, but thanks anyway. We got the signatures in addition to the many that we already had. Whoever you are, you're way behind the curve on this one. We've already had a meeting and already have a plan of action. So please don't attempt to condescend me and my efforts unless you're prepared to attach your name. We're not children and don't need to be spoken to as such. I will decide whether or not to take you seriously when I know who you are and know what exactly your agenda is. Thank you for the comment, Amanda.

Silence DoGoodie said...

Mr. Reinarz,

Since you have chosen to place yourself in the ring with your personal attack on me (April 5, 2009 10:55 PM) --- this entry is a refutation to your unprovoked response.

First, I have no agenda other than what is the absolute truth. Others before me have utilized their option of anonymity. Is it up to YOUR discretion whether or not their opinions are to be taken seriously? I haven’t attacked you or anyone else on this discussion board. Yet you seem to have taken issue over my words. You, sir, are the smug one.

Your petty attack will gain this response and then a curt dismissal. The ideas that I have brought to this forum have in the past helped to successfully correct local governmental injustices where I have lived and worked as an integral part of the local community.

Who’s being condescending with the statement of my being “way behind the curve?” If I’m way behind the curve because I missed a meeting, I’d like to see the pictures and video of the claimed arrogant conduct exhibited toward Grand Terrace residents at the high school ground breaking ceremony. Again, where is the official letter with signatures and letterhead that was allegedly sent by the Grand Terrace City Council? Questions, yes, questions which need to be addressed as part of the overall plan. If you’re arguing that there exists an absolute plan of action that has no need for anyone else’s input or assistance other than whom you choose to consider, then you are the one who is not only condescending toward varying ideas but also acting like a spoiled child.

Furthermore, it is quite obvious you DON’T KNOW the structure of our nation in the very fact that unpopular speech is recognized by the first amendment of the Bill of Rights. Personally, say what you will but let it ring with truth and fairness; otherwise you’re no different than the despots that have seized control of the representation of Grand Terrace’s constituency.

Good luck with your personal endeavors, futile as they might be due to your arrogance in attempting to effect substantial change.

Silence DoGoodie

Brian L. Reinarz said...

No further comment.