Monday, December 29, 2008

Beyond The Usual In Lompoc

Life between Santa Maria and Santa Barbara is interesting, especially the political life in Lompoc. Now, some change is in the air.

After ten years in the Mayor's office, my impression was that "the good old boys" running the city included city council, mayor and others. I thought that included the Lompoc Record columnist and outspoken local civic critic and long-time resident, Ron Fink.

Dick DeWees, Lompoc Mayor
Got a big surprise Saturday when I opened the Lompoc Record's letters to the editor page. Took me aback to see--in print--the Lompoc Mayor, Dick DeWees, disagree with "local activist" Ron Fink. I thought they were always on the same page.

DeWees, who narrowly won re-election in November, explained why he did not appoint Mr. Fink to the city planning commission.

The Mayor's problem, in his words, was how Mr. Fink's "columns frequently distort or manipulate facts, or provide misleading or inaccurate information." 

Can't help agreeing that a newspaper columnist encourages people to view that columnist as an authority figure.

Public officials have the responsibility to "convey accurate information to the public they serve," wrote the Mayor. "Based upon his journalistic history, I am convinced that Mr. Fink would be unable to fulfill that obligation."

Mr. DeWees, thank you for knowing the importance of how real qualifications for office require an honest person who really can tell the public the unvarnished truth.

And thank you for saying it to Mr. Fink, in print!

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