Petitioners expected at City Hall

A group of petitioners are expected tonight at West Covina City Hall. Fred Sykes, one of several people who have been working to collect signatures protesting the end of the broadcasts of council meetings, said that there are up to 1,000 people that have signed it.

But at least from Councilman Mike Touhey’s point of view, it doesn’t sound like the council will change their mind. After all, Touhey said, the budget cuts have resulted in a loss of one fire fighter per engine.

 

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“Mike Touhey is for public safety,” Touhey said.

So is Councilman Roger Hernandez, the odd man out of the council majority said yesterday. It’s just that he also thinks there are other places in the city’s budget where they can cut and still be able to preserve the broadcasts, Hernandez said.

Here is the story I wrote today. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. tonight.

  • Nice campaign slogan, Mr. Touhey. Maybe you can teach the same thing to your good buddy, Steve Herfert, who said giving the first responders raises made him “sick.”

    But you know, it’s just like Touhey and his team to totally ignore the people who voted them into office. It would be a miracle if they took their opinions into consideration. Oh, there. See I just set myself up for being called “anti-public safety.” Just like a bunch of Republicans to manufacture fear so they can justify making bad decisions.

  • Ian Jones

    I’d really like to see how this comes out tonight. I’d like to watch the council meeting online but they stopped broadcasting them. I can’t go to the council meeting tonight because I have to go to class. Attendance is pretty strict in law school these days.

    But then Discover West Covina will reach me and tell me all about what’s going on in the city. Will it tell me how the council didn’t reinstate taping council meetings? No, it wont. Will it tell me how to keep mosquitoes out of my pool? Maybe. Would I learn about the mosquitoes at the council meeting? Probably not. One thing is for sure though, I would hear about BLD at the council meeting and it will be in Discover West Covina. Let’s all be thankful for small miracles.

    The two modes of communication are not comparable. You can’t compare apples and oranges. It is true that we lost a firefighter off each truck, but the council doesn’t seem to realize that clear, transparent government is the foundation of democracy. It is even more important at the local level than some might think. Local government has more impact on your day-to-day life then Congress or the president. Think, having your roads paved or sewer working vs. the regulation of interstate commerce or the promulgation of regulations relating to bankruptcy codes?

    When you don’t know whats going on in your community is when problems arise. That is when the environment is ripe for corruption and misuse of power. Transparency in government may not be more important than a firefighter/paramedic when you need one, but the foundations of modern civil society are important to everyone all of the time.

    I hope the council takes a serious look at this issue. But there is a part if me that doesn’t hold out much hope.

  • Glenn Kennedy

    I stand behind Mike Touhey and Steve Herfert for the great job they do for the city of West Covina.

  • Glenn Kennedy

    I stand behind Mike Touhey and Steve Herfert for the great job they do for the city of West Covina.

  • LauRuffian

    I don’t quite understand why (seemingly) so many people care about this. Who watches city council meetings on cable access?? In my 8+ years in West Covina, not once did I (or my husband) ever so much as pause on a City Council meeting. It was something to immediately skip over when changing channels. I know of no one who EVER paid any attention to these things in ANY city, though granted it’s not exactly a topic of discussion.

    The Discover West Covina magazine, however, I read, and kept for reference. But perhaps that’s just me.

    If you want to know in intimate detail what happens at a city council meeting, it would seem easy enough to either attend one or get a copy of the minutes. Nothing is hidden–it’s all *right there* for anyone who cares this much.

    If they bring it back, whoop de do. If it never comes back again, whoop de do.

  • Anonymous

    Who really cares? If you want to participate in your local government, get off your butt, put down your beer and go to City Hall. Are we all that lazy that we have to watch boring government meetings on a screen. For those who are unable to attend, an audio broadcast would work and would be a lot cheaper. Finally, nice picture of Mike Touhey.

  • gilman

    Yeah, that is a nice picture of Mr. Touhey..certainly looks like the pillar of integrity to me.

    What’s up with the gaul of these local citizens wanting to watch the business dealings that occur with the City Council? Oh thats right, it is THEIR business that the Council is conducting and they have every right to observe such proceedings. Too bad the Council doesn’t seem to get it…more access and information is better than less.

    But then again, Touhey has shown a consistent desire to keep folks in the dark…..the less the citizens know about what is going on, the better.

  • Average Joe

    Ian Jones said transparent government is the foundation of democracy for the televising of council meetings what’s the diffence between council meetings,school board meetings and water board meetings they are public agencies spending taxpayers money. Ian shouldn’t your argument apply to all government? Or is open government only important when you disagree with them. Your an elected offical does your central committee make there meetings available on cable or internet? Does the central committee publish a newsletter on what take place at your meeting? Do you have audio of your meetings? Does anyone know where they meet? Well your good at spinning things you’ll make a good attorney!

  • La Puente Watcher

    Gilman you always comment on La Puente so why are you interested in West Covina? This article is on cable tv and council meetings so what channel does La Puente broadcast there meetings on?

  • gilman

    Dear La Puente Watcher….I tend to comment on local government, not just La Puente. I am not privy to how, or if, La Puente broadcasts it’s City Council meetings…..would be interesting to know. In today’s world of modern technology, every city should be broadcasting their Council meetings…either via cable or the internet.

  • Ian Jones

    Average Joe:

    I have been a proponent of televising school board meetings for several years, dating back to 2003 when I became heavily involved in local politics. Any current WCUSD Board of Education member can attest to that fact, as can the public record. As for the Water Board, contact any of the three candidates running in this district. I would be interested to know what their position is on this issue.

    The issue becomes murky when you start dealing with agencies that do not have access to a recording system. The problem with the city council is that they have access to the equipment and services. The central committee does not receive taxpayer funding like the city does. We live off of private fundraising. We are also not a public agency, but an extension of the state Republican Party. I agree that all local government should be open to public review. I focused on the city because that is what the current blog entry focused on.

    But for everyones information: The 57th Assembly District Republican Central Committee meets the last Monday of every month at the Regional Republican Headquarters located at 200 E. Rowland Ave, Covina, CA 91722. Meetings start at 7:00 PM and are open to the public. The headquarters is located at the intersection of Rowland Ave and Second Street.

    On separate note, I am not afraid to sign my name to my thoughts and opinions. Perhaps others on this blog could learn from this particular 23 year old.

    I look forward to meeting you ‘Average Joe’.

  • Senior Resident in West Covina

    I think in these hard times there has to be cutbacks or we will have higher taxes, our West Covina city council did what they must do. Alot of people are even canceling cable in these hard times to keep gas in there cars and food on the table. I trust that the televised Council meetings will be back, but at the present time, I donot wish to have to pay more taxes, I am on a fixed income as are most of us seniors. I know Steve Herfert cares about all of us Seniors he has always been involved with the Senior center, not just at an election time.