The following letter to the editor was published in The Beach Reporter newspaper (TBRnews.com) on Thursday, April 24, 2014 in the Letters section. The Beach Reporter has a 250-word limit for letters excluding the title.
Post-election Council meeting
The El Segundo Council meeting after the election should have been a straightforward ceremonial passing of power from the old to the new Council. However, defeated Mayor Bill Fisher made the meeting all about himself, and then his ally, Marie Fellhauer, made it all about attacking newly elected Council members, Suzanne Fuentes and Mike Dugan.
Fisher used his bully pulpit for the last time. He gave a long-winded speech repeating his campaign material, taking credit for the work and accomplishments of others including Carl Jacobson and even myself. As usual, he stated numerous falsehoods and, without any proof, accused others of lying even though they backed up their statements with evidence.
Police union member Marie Fellhauer put an item on the agenda designed to achieve a political end. It read, “Consideration and possible action to discuss the salary and benefits that the City Council members receive and whether such should be reduced or eliminated either voluntarily or through formal action.”
Eliminating Council pay and benefits will make it difficult to attract honest, competent, independent candidates. This will help the police and fire unions elect their own candidates and pack the Council with union puppets. It will also help Fellhauer and Atkinson run for re-election with minimal or no competition.
The election might be canceled due to a lack of candidates, as in 2006, when Fisher was appointed after potential candidates were intimidated by the unprecedented 2004 union and special interest campaign spending. It would have happened this time, if not for Dugan.