By Guest Columnist Michael Ceremello, former Mayor/Council member of the City of Dixon –
The citizens of Dixon have arrived at a crossroads, whether they are aware of it or not. Many of us have come to this small town for a reason. It may have been because you wanted to raise your children in small city, a city with rural values and a slower lifestyle. Some of us have come here to escape crowded city life. Whatever the reason, most of us prefer Dixon to San Francisco, Oakland, or even Sacramento.
Many of you have been paying attention to what is going on politically in our town. For those of you who can’t be bothered, I remind you of that saying, “”Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you. (Pericles)” Your town is being changed from Mayberry to what we all came here to escape.
I was watching the commercials for the old tv show station on rabbit ear Channel 3.2. There was Don Knotts as Barney Fife talking about Andy Griffith’s character, Sheriff Andy Taylor. It reminded me of how John Cox performed his duties (former Police Chief). The same love and admiration for this fictional character is what I saw being expressed by Cox’s supporters. The question is do we want the hard nosed policing endorsed by the entire council and pushed by a hateful mayor or do we want a constable who works with citizens rather than intimidating them with force?
Yes, this comes down to force … power and control … and ordering people around to make yourself feel superior, Jack. The council did this when they wouldn’t allow you to vote. The council did this when they limited your speaking time for no good reason. Yet somehow some of you don’t see any of this as a problem.
I am not surprised that there are those of you out there who ask, “what is the reason for the recall?” I am gratified by those of you who have already signed the recall petitions and who honked and waved at me while I sat gathering signatures this weekend. What befuddles me is how certain people in this town who are otherwise functioning adults can continue to give these four passes no matter what actions they take. But I have seen this before.
Actually, I have heard it before. Have you ever heard of the term “ideologue”? My buddy Rich Geertson provided me with these two related definitions: Ideologue: A true believer rarely dissuaded by reality and Demagogue:
One who exploits fantasy in an effort to change reality. This leads me to ask the question again, “what will it take for you to recognize that Jack Batchelor, Jerry Castañon, Steve Bird, and Scott Pederson have betrayed the public trust? I also know the answer to that question.
The answer is nothing short of personal individual humiliation will change your minds. Much as the majority of the nation believes Hillary Clinton is an untrustworthy liar and unindicted criminal, there are still many out there who believe the admitted facts have some other explanation which justifies the reality that Hillary is still a free woman.
The point is there are those “true believers”, those ideologues, who can’t admit their error in supporting their supposed friends no matter what they do simply because their fragile egos can’t handle being incorrect.
I rarely go on Facebook anymore because I do not have the time to waste responding to these types of people. I believe they have been called “time sucks”. I was made aware of Dixon 411’s new page entitled “politics”. I spent about an hour attempting to educate those less versed in local politics than I. Tiffany Morlin nee Wing is the moderator of this site. She is so interested in the recall that she did a good portion of the posting I encountered. I have no problem with this.
I find it very interesting that those of you who don’t like the prior ambience of my columns specifically the name calling have no such problem doing that yourselves. It is also interesting that the rope I give you to hang yourself with comes back in such a pretty pattern displaying your inability to reply intelligently. I give credit where it is due but somehow the ideologues can’t accept my compliments for fear that those laudatory remarks somehow taint them.
A good example is the reaction from Ian Arnold, a truly out of touch with himself person, who now calls the
Independent Voice the “Incoherent Noise”. While the term may seem “catchy” to some of you, it is extremely inaccurate. The word incoherent means “expressed in an incomprehensible or confusing way; unclear.” Perhaps the problem here is the lack of a dictionary or studiousness on the part of Arnold.
Many have told me I write at too high a level for the average reader. As an educator, I refuse to continue feeding pablum to those who are no longer infants. I don’t use multi-sibyllic words to impress you, to massage my ego, or to demonstrate by education. The words are carefully picked to convey the appropriate message. Alliteration, using the same starting letter throughout a statement or point, is used for comedic purposes. A little humor keeps the column from being too dry.
I am not trying to pick on Ian. I did not solicit his opinions but I will not stay silent and be cowed by accusations of being a bully or putting people’s name in the paper if they say something to or about me. You can’t have a debate if one party is silent. Nor should you expect me to give you a free pass, as you do this council, when you make a verbal mistake.
One issue that really struck me as delusional, ideologically speaking that is, was Ian’s comment about Measure N, the failed Sunshine Ordinance. Ian seems to think that the ordinance would have made the city government nonfunctional. The measure’s purpose was to make the council “accountable” and “transparent in their actions”.
What about the Chief Cox venture was either of those, Ian?
So Ian got upset with the council for not allowing applause during public comment. I agree and agreed with him that this is a violation of his and our constitutional right to freedom of expression. I am getting tired of using the “blind squirrel” analogy, so I will just say Ian got this one correct while ignoring the bigger picture. Maybe Ian is one of those who doesn’t mind absolute power of the ruling elite as long as he is part of the elite.
I can hardly dislike Ian even though he is the political antithesis of my beliefs. I met him at school board meetings when he was the SEIU’s representative along with another person whose name momentarily escapes me. Both of them filled a need which was the rebuke of problem trustees impacting employees as well as student learning. Ian’s political and economic positions aren’t as incoherent as they are illogical or just plain incorrect. The point here is I recognize his flaws and note that I have my own in areas in which I have little to no expertise.
At this point, the reasons for the recall have been well publicized by myself and others. Do you like your higher sewer and water bills? You haven’t seen anything yet as the impact of dealing with yet another mandate from the State Water Board hasn’t arrived. Those being recalled don’t have the ability to say no to this out of control agency nor do they have the ability to fight. Wait until their so called waste water treatment plant solution explodes to tertiary treatment. You will wish for the day when your bill was only $200.
I do want to return to Mayberry. Dixon has a general plan endorsing the idea of small town charm and the morality which goes with it. If there is no other reason than maintaining this one goal, these four people need to be recalled.
There is no morality. There is only corruption, ignorance, and incompetence. As Scott Pederson continues to bleat from his seat, “we all just need to get along”. The only problem is Scott isn’t pushing for us to be “neighborly” or to create relationships with neighbors. He only wants us to sit back, shut up, and never question stupid decisions.
The next round of attacks has already begun. Those who have placed these individuals in power positions now worry that I will be one of the candidates to replace them. Others speak of the cost of an election so close to the regular one. Let me briefly respond.
I would prefer not to run. This is not what I intended to do with my life as I note the ingratitude and opposition to giving some moral rectitude to government of, by, and for the elites in Dixon. If you want government as it stands, you are part of the problem and no amount of facts will dissuade your from your delusional belief that this is how it has to be.
Those who speak of cost to allow the citizens of Dixon to speak through their votes are those hypocritical supporters of the status quo who spent $200,000 of sewer fund money to haul the Dixon Chapter of the Solano County Taxpayers Association into court. Did they object to giving the city manager, Jim Lindley, a four year contract which will cost the city an extra $100.000? The inaction of this council as to the condition of our city streets alone will cost us all millions of dollars or at least it will cost grant giving agencies that much as we can’t do simple road maintenance as a city function.
This recall is far more than an attempt by any of us to attain a position on the city council. It is a statement from the public in Dixon, a microcosm of what is happening throughout our country, that we are fed up with the government we are being forced to accept. We don’t need “professional” politicians when those people are heartless, soulless, and immoral elitists whose destiny is to rule us all into some common misery. This is not the America I grew up in.
When we were cold, we turned up the heat. We weren’t told by the politicians to get use to the cold because there was only so much energy. The free market saw the demand and increased the supply. Now we are told humans are a virus attacking Mother Earth and we need to go. Enough already.
If you haven’t signed the four petitions as of yet, make an effort to get over to Pitt School and A Street this weekend. There are also signature gatherers at the Post Office during some mornings. You can also contact Dave Scholl at 678-8917. I almost forgot to thank those of you who picked up petitions to sign up family or neighbors.
Again, how much more will it take before you realize you are aggravating the problem with your inaction. You know the difference between right and wrong. What was done to Jon Cox wasn’t right. What is being done to your household budget isn’t right.
Mayberry or San Francisco … the choice is yours …