Mea culpa mayor … No’Block of Four’, but Secret Council Meetings are OK?

Dear Editor,
Gilroy Dispatch, Front Page
… Mayor Al Pinheiro, regarding the city’s recent use of
rarely-used CGC Section 54956.9(a) completely contradicts
himself,

I don’t think we need to apologize
… We’re not hiding anything from the citizens.

Dear Editor,

Gilroy Dispatch, Front Page … Mayor Al Pinheiro, regarding the city’s recent use of rarely-used CGC Section 54956.9(a) completely contradicts himself, “I don’t think we need to apologize … We’re not hiding anything from the citizens.”

The definition of hiding, from Webster’s Dictionary:

1. To put or keep out of sight; secret.

2. To prevent the disclosure or recognition of; conceal: tried to hide the facts.

3. To cut off from sight; cover up: Clouds hide the stars.

4. To avert (one’s gaze), especially in shame or grief.

From Roget’s Thesaurus synonyms for hiding are: camouflage, concealment, deception, shelter, trap, trick, waiting, and waylaying. There are others as well.

If the people have absolutely no true indication of the reason for or content of the meeting in question, has something not been hidden? If the city government provides absolutely no indication of the subject matter, and holds the meeting behind closed doors, is it not hiding something from everyone, especially the residents? Furthermore, if, as reported, the meeting was to discuss the potential future damage to the city of Gilroy in response to what has now been ruled to be an improper termination of Mr. Rex Wyatt, why are the people who will end up paying the bill not able to sit in and see how much it is going to cost them?

Will the persons responsible for the mistake publicly own up and open their own wallets to compensate the victim of their actions and protect the city they are sworn to and paid to defend and protect? No, they will hide behind closed doors.

In the recent election, our mayor publicly raised the issue of wanting to avoid a “block of four.” As long as he was not in the block, that is. He now claims not to be hiding anything from the people of Gilroy. I see a repeating trend here. Our top city official lambasted several councilmen for meeting in private, yet blatantly repeats the same, and seems to like closing the door(s) on the people whom he serves as mayor. Yes, Pinheiro’s claim was that the councilmen should only discuss city business in chambers, but the flavor and feeling of his words, “private” ring true here.

Does our mayor forget he is but a city servant? He is elected by and serves at the will and pleasure of the people, not the reverse. I had the opportunity to witness our mayor in action at a local coffee franchise very recently. In speaking to his table-mate he was leaning over so far he nearly spilled his coffee. The very image of a mayor whispering to another person in such an animated gesture reinforces the growing public view that our mayor has somehow forgotten he is accountable to us, the residents of Gilroy.

The mayor feels an apology is unnecessary. By his words, we will probably not receive one. I know I am, and hope others are as well, growing quite weary of the cloak-and-dagger mentality of our city government. To the councilmen who share chambers with the mayor, without hearing your demands of change from our mayor, I have no choice but to assume your consent to his wishes and actions required.

As a start Mr. Mayor, your mea culpa is required.

Benjamin Anderson, Gilroy

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