While studying my absentee ballot, I was reminded of the joke suggesting that democracy should amount to more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
This is particularly true as related to the incumbents running for office in Atascadero.
Although I know that it is a citizen’s patriotic duty to vote, when considering these choices, I can’t simply hold my nose and fill in the bubble. Common sense will not allow me to do this, not when I have seen, firsthand, the instances of unethical behavior and mismanagement condoned by incumbents O’Malley, Fonzi, and Kelly.
All three are mired in the Atascadero controversies involving Kelly Gearhart, FEMA fraud, questionable votes on Redevelopment Agency projects, large cash settlements to former employees, and the council’s stubborn refusal to address the vacation accrual problem wherein the city has allowed an unfunded liability of a quarter million dollars, in direct violation of their personnel rules.
Although I stood up to these abuses and spoke to the impropriety, my words fell on deaf ears.
The facts that support the controversies cannot be clearly articulated with the allotment of words here, but I would suggest that they indicate incumbents who have turned public service into self-service.
In summary, I represent that I cannot in good conscience vote for the incumbents who have a track record of participating in and condoning unethical behavior and fiscal mismanagement.
Rather than holding my nose and checking the ballot, I will simply withhold my vote—and I encourage others to follow your own conscience. To do otherwise is to condone a continuance of failed governance in Atascadero.