News of the San Gabriel Valley since 1966.

‘Town Tweets ‘

by Joe Castillo

By: Joe Castillo

Continuing Saga …. I’m not sure how long it takes to figure out someone’s residency but the San Gabriel City Council is setting a new record. Three days worth of hearings took place in council chambers to determine if Chin Ho Liao’s residence is within the city limits or not. The hearings have brought out growing concerns and frustrations with the legal process and council ineffectiveness. A group calling itself the ‘Coalition to Save San Gabriel’ is circulating a petition to place Chin Ho on the city council. Los Angeles area newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and Pasadena Star News, along with Asian Television stations, are covering the historical proceeding. Claims of civil rights violation and race discrimination have been voiced by angry and confused residents. The council chambers have been turned into a pseudo courtroom with council members acting as the judge and jury. According to the San Gabriel city website, the council will discuss the record and issue a ruling on the matter at a special meeting on Monday May 6th. I’ll be out of town and out of state that day, but don’t be surprised if council decides to allow Chin Ho to take his elected seat. I could be wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time, but I think that council members will come to their senses and in order to avoid any further embarrassment as well as possible lawsuits, will seat Chin Ho with only a slap on the wrist. This entire process could have been avoided if only the City and City Council performed its own due diligence prior to the March 5th elections. In the 100th anniversary year of incorporation of the city, city residents are witnessing something that has never happened before in their town or any other town in California for that matter.  By challenging the election results of the people you represent is an insult to the electoral process and our U.S. Constitution.  Makes you wonder why we even bother to vote if we end up with the council members we have today. …. A Private Press Conference?….. On Friday May 3rd, the ‘Coalition to Save San Gabriel’ held a news conference at the Mission 261 Restaurant in San Gabriel. The Coalition invited state local officials and other supporters of Chin Ho Liao to persuade council members to vote to seat Chin Ho.  But the press conference also had its own controversy and asked those who did not support Chin Ho to leave the restaurant. Also, the Chief of the Kizh-Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians was asked to leave the conference. Representatives of the tribe had been invited to the press conference to introduce themselves to the attendees of the conference but were identified as non-Liao supporters and were asked to leave. Whatever is happening in San Gabriel is not good. In my opinion, the City, City Clerk and City Council members did not do its own due diligence and investigated Liao before the election.  Then Chin Ho was not allowed to take his elected seat. I believe he should have been allowed to take his seat and afterwards an investigation held to determine his residency.  Instead the San Gabriel City Council made a mistake to handle the situation itself as they were involved in the mishandling of the situation from the beginning.  Watch for more controversy in the future….

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