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Sam Romero is a dignified and direct man, and he had the mayor of Dana Point sympathetically nodding--slightly--tonight as he criticized the Dana Point city attorney for an offensive set of remarks and acts in Santa Ana on Feb 4.

The Dana Point city attorney, Patrick Muñoz , had appeared before a group of Logan business owners and residents "and described the houses in [historic] Logan as ‘crummy shacks that should be torn down,’" according to Gustavo Arellano in the OC Weekly on February 5. "To top that off," Arellano adds in his story on the incident, "Orange Juice blogger Thomas Gordon also claims Muñoz yelled ‘F**k you’ to him and gave Gordon the finger.”

"I am from one of those 'crummy little houses' in the neighborhood," Sam Romero began in his comments for the council.

Muñoz did not look at Romero as he spoke, but the rest of the council did. Romero quickly reminded them that Logan was built by Latino Californians who had nowhere else they were allowed to buy in the then racially segregated city of Santa Ana. He reported to the council that Logan is not a crime-ridden or run-down neighborhood, but instead is a low crime area that the community takes pride in. "It really hurts to have the neighborhood described that way," he said.

Romero gave a local history book to Mayor Joe Bishop, who thanked him.

Sean Mill, of the Liberal OC blog, has been raising awareness about Muñoz's actions. Mill actually spoke first. City council offered a sign of the stir Mill has successfully created when it felt the need to announce to the room quickly, just before Mill spoke, from prepared text, that there should be no personal attacks and that all comments must be addressed to the council. Though nobody on the council made any response to any of the speakers tonight, that warning was all the confirmation needed that the road trip was a success.

Though revealing, the council's anxiety was misplaced. Sean had come with a prepared text that was a professional and respectful credit to Santa Ana. But Sean spoke as a private citizen, not as a Santa Ana official. He reported what Muñoz said and did, as it can be found in the public press. He requested an apology from Muñoz and suggested that failure to do so should give the council pause as to whether they think he's fit for their service.

Thomas Gordon of the Orange Juice! blog also spoke, as did Pam Andrade. Both of them calling for an apology.

Actually a small contingent of "out-of-towners" showed up. Mill, Gordon, Joe and Pam Andrade, and Sam Romero as well as me, Albert Martinez, and Albert Castillo of Chican@s Unidos. The bunch of us exited in unison after our commentary was done. It was very dramatic. All the better since the local Dana Point paper had reported the impending showdown, and several people apparently recognized Mill and Gordon from their blogging.

Whose gonna be the first to hold their breath for that apology?

BTW, here's the flier left behind and handed to each council member and staff person:

Dana Point’s city attorney in the news:

1 – A. Patrick Muñoz on Santa Ana’s historic Logan neighborhood:

“Ware attorney A. Patrick Muñoz… rose before the group of 50 or so Logan-area businessmen and described the houses in [historic] Logan as ‘crummy shacks that should be torn down.’ To top that off, Orange Juice blogger Thomas Gordon also claims Muñoz yelled ‘F**k you’ to him and gave Gordon the finger.” (OC Weekly, February 5, 2008). Is that proper behavior for your city attorney?

2 – A dirty mouth for a company with a dirty past and present:

Ware Disposal, Muñoz’s client, has a controversial operations site in the Logan neighborhood. According to the Orange County Register, Santa Ana “city attorneys are investigating whether… Ware Disposal has violated the city code” governing garbage disposal in the neighborhood. (Register, Jan. 19, 2008). Ware has been cited before for a “checkered” record in recent years, with “significantly more citations” than four other regional companies (OC Register June 13, 2007).

Tell Muñoz and Ware to clean up their mouth and their act.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 20th, 2008 07:18 am (UTC)
Dana Point Trip

I must agree our trip to Dana Point was a good one. Thank you for the fliers and your support tonight it was greatly appreciated. And thank you to everyone else who showed up at the meeting tonight.

Councilwoman Lara Anderson told Munoz that she felt an apology by him was in order and she did not feel that it was too much of us to ask of him.

The folks in Dana Point were great. Thomas and I waited for the meeting to end and had an opportunity to speak with the Mayor and several of the councilmembers. They were all really nice and very sympathetic to our cause and our fight against Ware.

Thanks again.

Sean H. Mill
Feb. 20th, 2008 07:23 am (UTC)
Re: Dana Point Trip
It's good to hear some there thought it's reasonable. Seems like it is... but you never can tell... Mayor Bishop strikes me as a decent guy.

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )