February 8, 2011 4 Comments
Last night, at a Sunnyside City Council workshop, Mayor Restucci rudely belittled the work experience of a Council Member. It happened during a discussion about recommendations from the Public Safety Committee to the City Council. Pablo Garcia questioned the proposal to hire additional police officers. Don Vlieger chimed in, and mentioned that he had seven years of experience in law enforcement working specifically with gang suppression. Mr. Vlieger said that we need to strengthen the suppression side of enforcement at this time.
In this exchange, Mr. Vlieger argues for making suppression a bigger part of enforcement in Sunnyside, followed by the Mayor belittling his experience.
Mayor Restucci interjected and said “and when was that, about twenty years ago?” Mr. Vlieger replied in the affirmative, and then Mr. Restucci sneered: “Well, I want to hear from our police chief.”
Listen to this clip which runs just under two minutes:
Mr. Vlieger was the subject of a Los Angeles Times newspaper story on May 11, 1989, entititled: ‘Deputy Don’ is the first to be assigned to full-time anti-gang counseling and policing duties on campuses of the ABC Unified School District. A link to this article is at the bottom of this post.
I bring this up to point out that even though it might have been a few years ago, Mr. Vlieger was a pioneer in using both prevention and suppression in fighting gangs. Mr. Restucci’s claim to fame is that he has voted to cut police officers, and prevention, while spending $500,000 of money, not in the budget, for city attorneys in a single year. His misguided attempt to belittle Mr. Vlieger is out of line for what the City Council calls a “workshop” that is meant to facilitate discussion of issues.
While Mr. Restucci may feel that the Sunnyside Police Department does not need more officers, he should not be denigrating the relevant work experience of one of his colleagues. That was out of line, and I told the Mayor the same following the meeting. He replied saying, “I am the Mayor, I chair the meetings, and I didn’t think we needed to hear any more from him.”
- ‘Deputy Don’ is the first to be assigned to full-time anti-gang counseling and policing duties on campuses of the ABC Unified School District (Los Angeles Times)
- Public Safety Driving City Council Agenda (blogsunnyside.com)