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It was June 2014 when Mayor Bob Kellar voted to spend $204,000 taxpayer dollars to hold a special election to override a successful referendum that put a stop to digital billboards along our freeways.

It seems that our mayor wanted the people to decide. It wasn’t enough that people had packed our City Council chambers protesting the city’s billboard proposal. Heck, even L.A.-based TV news stations covered this.

I thought it would have been clear to our mayor when a signature-gathering referendum successfully collected more than 16,000 signatures and put a stop to the city’s plan. But Mayor Kellar voted to spend the people’s money to have a special election and possibly override the referendum.

This effort failed miserably at the ballot box and the taxpayer money spent on a special election was wasted.

Fast forward to present day. We have an open seat on our City Council. It appears that Mayor Kellar believes this seat should be filled by the council choosing someone and not by having a special election (“Appointment, not election, likely path to filling council vacancy,” Nov. 30 in The Signal).

Well, Bob, you can’t have it both ways. It seems when you don’t like something you feel free to spend the taxpayers’ money to fight it. Now, suddenly, you are being frugal.

Let’s be honest here. Of course you don’t want the people to decide who joins the council. Who cares that having a government chosen by the people is one of our most important principles? Certainly not you.

If the people were allowed to decide, we might end up with another TimBen Boydston. We might have someone who asks questions. We might have actual debate on issues.

And, gasp, we might have someone who disagrees with our mayor on certain issues.

I know dissent is something Mayor Kellar doesn’t want. So I expect he will try to spin his reasoning for not holding a special election. But I, for one, will take a pass on drinking the Kellar Kool Aid.


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  • Missy Havisham

    I would make one slight correction to this article; that taxpayer money was NOT wasted on the billboard referendum. Quite the opposite. Our citizens were able to choose the direction our city should take on that important issue, as they should be able to choose who fills the vacant City Council seat.

    Some day, not too far in the future, perhaps we will also have representative City Council districts, for which we can elect our true representatives.

  • phil ellis

    With Council districts, you will only have one representative – the others (who you won’t be able to vote for) will be representing other parts of the city and will not need to care about your views. With five council members elected city-wide, they all will care about your views – they just might not agree with them.