Politics or sincerity regarding Azusa helmet issue?

At last night’s Azusa City Council meeting there was a bit of politics … and it had nothing to do with Vulcan. (I know, right! Who would have guessed?)

The issue dealt with an 8-year-old child who is in the hospital after he was struck by a car while riding his bicycle Friday evening. He was not wearing a helmet.

I haven’t received an update today on the boy’s condition, but the last I knew he was still being treated in critical condition in the hospital.

Two speakers during public comment directly spoke to the issue of helmet safety, City Council regular Mike Lee and former council candidate Paul Naccachian.

Both speakers were critical of laws regarding helmets for children riding bicycles and asked for more efforts, stronger laws and raised awareness.

When the council responded to public comments, Mayor Joe Rocha said the city has taken great efforts to provide helmets to residents who can’t afford them.

But it was Angel Carrillo that added some political fervor.

Carrillo said it was in poor taste “that some people would try to turn this into a political issue and try to spring board off it.”

Being that Mike Lee isn’t a political candidate, it would seem the comments were directed toward Naccachian. If Naccachian runs again for council in March 2011, he would be facing off against Carrillo and councilman Uriel Macias.

“In context of two people speaking, I could see how people would believe it was indirectly toward me,” Naccachian said. “I was just being sincere.”

While he was critical of the council, his intent wasn’t too use the issue as a political maneuver, he said. The issue is one of importance to the community and his point was that work to date hasn’t worked, as evidence by the most recent accident.

“My outspokenness has never been about my desire to take public office,” Naccachian said. “I think they missed the whole point.”