Abstaining councilmen

Dear Editor:At the May 12 City Council meeting, Mayor Luis Marquez and Councilman Fernando Vasquez sadly abstained on voting on the so-called "anti Wal-Mart" bill. ("City Opposes Anti Wal-Mart Bill," 5/12/11) When asked why, these two didn't even explain themselves as to why they failed to represent the people of their district by failing to vote? Abstaining on a vote is supposed to be for when you have a conflict of interest, and not simply to dodge controversy or to avoid angering their political party or union supporters. Here Luis Marquez and Fernando Vasquez think they are outsmarting us residents by not taking a position, but what they are really doing is failing us. If we elect someone, we expect them to vote on matters and take a stance for us except for very exceptional circumstances. They are supposed to be doing what's best for the residents of Downey and not what's in the best interest of their political party or those powerful groups who put them in office. They need to be more honest with us and with themselves. -- David Ramsey, Downey

Dear Editor: Why are the residents of Downey giving a pass to City Council members who are failing us miserably and not doing what they were elected to do? I follow our local politicians and time and time again it has become evident that Mayor Luis Marquez and Councilman Fernando Vasquez vote what is best for the political careers and ambitions, for the Democratic Party and for the powerful unions rather than what's in the best interest of the residents of Downey. Do they think we're not paying attention? Isn't that how Bell got started, with the residents asleep at the wheel? Why can't Marquez and Vasquez explain why they continue to abstain from votes whenever it involves unions or something that the state Democratic party doesn't support? I thought abstaining was supposed to be used when there is a conflict of interest and not because an official wants to chicken out and not take a tough stance and anger their supporters. Marquez repeatedly abstains from votes having to do with fire and police union contracts, which makes it quite obvious he is scared to anger the unions and probably figures the residents wouldn't notice. And Vasquez surely is following in the same footsteps as Marquez. Stand up Marquez and Vasquez and stop trying to dodge the tough issues or get out of politics once and for all. And stop abusing the ability to abstain or explain yourselves. -- Alicia Limar, Downey

********** Published: May 19, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 5