Anne Marie Whalley: Wanted: honesty in governance
An attendee raises her hand to ask Congressman Steve Knight a question during a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on April 18. Katharine Lotze/The Signal
By Signal Contributor
Thursday, June 15th, 2017

I attended the Steve Knight town hall meeting held recently at Canyon High School, and I was very surprised by the attitude of most people in attendance. Some questions asked were of importance, and it would have been nice to hear the answers of our representative.

The congressman was willing to speak, but the crowd cut him off systematically. That was too bad because we could have learned more from him if the disrupters had not been there.

Disappointed by the majority of people who went there only to disrupt, I went home and searched for answers on my laptop to the few questions asked.

Out of politeness, I have been taught not to interrupt someone who was speaking. I was really intrigued by the impolite attitude of many people in attendance.

When we are good listeners, we are able to learn more. After all, we are all free to be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or other. Does that mean that we must agree 100 percent with all the ideologies of the parties? Each of us is allowed to develop his or her own ideas and philosophies; that is the beauty of our democracy.

Numerous people seem to think only one party way; all other parties are stupid and wrong entirely. If I take the example of our recent duly elected president of our United States of America, the Democratic Party seems to have only one focus, and that is to impeach Donald Trump.

That seems counterproductive, disruptive and disrespectful to our country and our fellow voting citizens.

The term “civil society” comes to mind and is mostly used to proudly describe our diverse national society in the United States.

In theory, the best answers for everyone in this nation require “civil” discourse between all, cooperation, and working together to acquire the best answers to solve the nation’s challenges in the most timely manner. Sound Utopian? Yes; but why not come as close as we can?

One such opportunity is Measure H, a sales tax hike approved by voters in March and funded by a vote of the Board of Supervisors this week. The taxpayers are looking for effective solutions and programs to greatly reduce homeless problems. Bottom line is we wish to be proud and trust that our government can develop and succeed before moving on to future costly problems requiring more taxation. Is it too much to ask?

I recently saw Gov. Jerry Brown on a video with a big smile criticizing the “other party” and blessing the Democratic Party for a vote on new gas and auto taxes to remedy the needs of our infrastructure repairs in California.

He said the money will be used only for that purpose. I read Senate Bill 1 and saw some disparities between what Brown said (with a big smile) and what was written in the bill. We have heard this many times over decades, using the same excuses, and good results have been minimal.

It seems that our gasoline costs are among the very highest in this nation. We look for relief, not higher costs.

Before the bill passed, I read that some elected officials were promised money from the project to their districts if they voted for the bill.

We expect transparency, not secret backroom deals.

To the California Democratic Party I have three questions:

1. How can we offer free health care to all residents of the state –legal and illegal, according to Senate Bill 562 – when it is a federal offense to be illegally in the United States of America?

2. How can Gov. Brown pursue the Paris Climate Accord with China when our president has just declared that we will not continue to be part of it due to economic reasons? Since the United States would contribute the greatest amount of money, and most other countries very little, and some of the greatest polluters have exemptions to the reduction rules but we don’t, it puts our country – one more time – under unfair financial disadvantages.

3. The third question is this: assuming a climate deal with China, how is the state going to pay to encourage research and development of new technologies for renewable energy – in addition to supplying free health care? Would it be possible that China will partner with California in developing “green” technology?

Whom will it ultimately enrich – China or California? As I have not yet seen a report on what went on with the governor at his China meeting, I am just wondering.

Lastly, I expect transparency, cooperation, honesty, and loyalty to the people of California from all our elected officials. After all, we the hard-working, honest citizens are the ones who end up paying for all free and costly federal, state, county and municipal tax programs – and for our governance.

Anne Marie Whalley, an American citizen born in France, immigrated to the U.S. 26 years ago. She is a Canyon Country resident and a proud wife, mother and grandmother.

About the author

Signal Contributor

Signal Contributor

An attendee raises her hand to ask Congressman Steve Knight a question during a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on April 18. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Anne Marie Whalley: Wanted: honesty in governance

I attended the Steve Knight town hall meeting held recently at Canyon High School, and I was very surprised by the attitude of most people in attendance. Some questions asked were of importance, and it would have been nice to hear the answers of our representative.

The congressman was willing to speak, but the crowd cut him off systematically. That was too bad because we could have learned more from him if the disrupters had not been there.

Disappointed by the majority of people who went there only to disrupt, I went home and searched for answers on my laptop to the few questions asked.

Out of politeness, I have been taught not to interrupt someone who was speaking. I was really intrigued by the impolite attitude of many people in attendance.

When we are good listeners, we are able to learn more. After all, we are all free to be Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or other. Does that mean that we must agree 100 percent with all the ideologies of the parties? Each of us is allowed to develop his or her own ideas and philosophies; that is the beauty of our democracy.

Numerous people seem to think only one party way; all other parties are stupid and wrong entirely. If I take the example of our recent duly elected president of our United States of America, the Democratic Party seems to have only one focus, and that is to impeach Donald Trump.

That seems counterproductive, disruptive and disrespectful to our country and our fellow voting citizens.

The term “civil society” comes to mind and is mostly used to proudly describe our diverse national society in the United States.

In theory, the best answers for everyone in this nation require “civil” discourse between all, cooperation, and working together to acquire the best answers to solve the nation’s challenges in the most timely manner. Sound Utopian? Yes; but why not come as close as we can?

One such opportunity is Measure H, a sales tax hike approved by voters in March and funded by a vote of the Board of Supervisors this week. The taxpayers are looking for effective solutions and programs to greatly reduce homeless problems. Bottom line is we wish to be proud and trust that our government can develop and succeed before moving on to future costly problems requiring more taxation. Is it too much to ask?

I recently saw Gov. Jerry Brown on a video with a big smile criticizing the “other party” and blessing the Democratic Party for a vote on new gas and auto taxes to remedy the needs of our infrastructure repairs in California.

He said the money will be used only for that purpose. I read Senate Bill 1 and saw some disparities between what Brown said (with a big smile) and what was written in the bill. We have heard this many times over decades, using the same excuses, and good results have been minimal.

It seems that our gasoline costs are among the very highest in this nation. We look for relief, not higher costs.

Before the bill passed, I read that some elected officials were promised money from the project to their districts if they voted for the bill.

We expect transparency, not secret backroom deals.

To the California Democratic Party I have three questions:

1. How can we offer free health care to all residents of the state –legal and illegal, according to Senate Bill 562 – when it is a federal offense to be illegally in the United States of America?

2. How can Gov. Brown pursue the Paris Climate Accord with China when our president has just declared that we will not continue to be part of it due to economic reasons? Since the United States would contribute the greatest amount of money, and most other countries very little, and some of the greatest polluters have exemptions to the reduction rules but we don’t, it puts our country – one more time – under unfair financial disadvantages.

3. The third question is this: assuming a climate deal with China, how is the state going to pay to encourage research and development of new technologies for renewable energy – in addition to supplying free health care? Would it be possible that China will partner with California in developing “green” technology?

Whom will it ultimately enrich – China or California? As I have not yet seen a report on what went on with the governor at his China meeting, I am just wondering.

Lastly, I expect transparency, cooperation, honesty, and loyalty to the people of California from all our elected officials. After all, we the hard-working, honest citizens are the ones who end up paying for all free and costly federal, state, county and municipal tax programs – and for our governance.

Anne Marie Whalley, an American citizen born in France, immigrated to the U.S. 26 years ago. She is a Canyon Country resident and a proud wife, mother and grandmother.

Upcoming Events

Jan
12
Fri
all-day Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Domes – Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library
Jan 12 – May 11 all-day
Domes - Art Exhibit @ Old Town Newhall Library | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Local resident Naomi Young, is the artist featured in the latest exhibit at the Old Town Newhall Library. The exhibit features original paintings and multimedia by Young, an artist born and raised in Jerusalem, Israel,[...]
Feb
1
Thu
all-day “The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarit... @ Valencia Library
Feb 1 – Jun 1 all-day
“The Golden Oaks of Santa Clarita,” Art Exhibit @ Valencia Library  | Santa Clarita | California | United States
“THE GOLDEN OAKS OF SANTA CLARITA” ART EXHIBIT BY BRAD SERGI ON DISPLAY AT THE VALENCIA LIBRARY Library hours: Mon-Thu 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 10 a.m. – 5[...]
Feb
14
Wed
all-day Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Tickets Available Now for 41st A... @ Dodger Stadium
Feb 14 – May 12 all-day
Tickets Available Now for 41st Annual SCV Dodger Day @ Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles | California | United States
SANTA CLARITA DODGER DAY TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Tickets Start at $25 and Benefit Local Schools and Non-Profits It’s time to step up to the plate! The Santa Clarita City Council invites residents to purchase[...]
Apr
19
Thu
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 19 – Apr 22 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
Apr
20
Fri
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 20 – Apr 23 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
7:00 pm Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Hart High School Presents ‘Bye, ... @ Hart High school Auditorium
Apr 20 @ 7:00 pm
Hart High School Presents 'Bye, Bye Birdie' @ Hart High school Auditorium | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Spring Musical Coming April 2018! Hart High Theatre is proud to present Bye Bye Birdie! April 19, 20, 27 & 28 @ 7pm April 28 & 29 @ 1pm When the draft selects rock star[...]
Apr
21
Sat
all-day Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival Co... @ Event Locations Vary
Apr 21 – Apr 24 all-day
BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR COWBOY FESTIVAL CONCERTS – Locations, Times & Prices Vary 25th Annual Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival offers ticketed performances and special events Get ready for some toe-tapping, two-stepping, guitar-picking musical performances![...]
10:00 am Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Astronomy Day @ Valencia Library
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
The Local Group Astronomy Club and The Santa Clarita Public Library present our free annual Astronomy Day Celebration. We will be at the Valencia branch of the Santa Clarita Public Library from 10am to 3pm.[...]
10:00 am Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Resource Parents Needed to Foste... @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Resource Parents Needed to Foster or Foster-Adopt a Child @ College of the Canyons, Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center, Room 222 | Santa Clarita | California | United States
Adoption is a meaningful way for individuals and couples to fulfill their dream of parenting.  There are approximately 64,000 children in foster care in California.  Los Angeles County’s foster care population exceeds 21,000 children with[...]
10:00 am The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Ann... @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park
Apr 21 @ 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
The City of Lancaster’s 27th Annual California Poppy Festival, Sat & Sun @ Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park | Lancaster | California | United States
On April 21 and 22, the City of Lancaster will host the 27th annual California Poppy Festival™ at Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park (43063 10th Street West). Drawing more than 40,000 attendees and spanning 35[...]