At tonight's special City Council meeting (March 22), Mayor Mary Ann Lutz responded to Councilman Tom Adam's criticisms of her and of the proposed $39.6 million land sale - which he had stated earlier in a letter ( http://goo.gl/heLVN ) because he could not attend the meeting - by reading this prepared statement:
"I'm sorry that Mr. Adams is not present with us this evening. And I am equally sorry and disappointed that he chose to write a letter that was cc'd to the press - but to none of his Council colleagues - to protest our special meeting tonight.
"As the Mayor, I feel I need to respond to portions of his letter.
"Mr. Adams' letter refers to this special meeting as 'rushed' and even comments that the proceedings, in his opinion, are less than transparent. He seems to divorce himself from the fact that he has been a party to all of the Council discussions leading to this point. He believes that the value for the land, which we are considering tonight, is too low. He also has some choice words for me, as Mayor.
"Truly, I am the Mayor. And as Mayor, I have to try to lead this Council the best way I know how. We don't always agree on this dias, obviously. But we have always prided ourselves on knowing how to disagree; that is, what has historically set Monrovia apart - in my opinion - is that over the years diverse groups of people have been able to overcome personal differences and work toward the common good."
[Lutz diverged from her prepared statement at this point to say that Adam's comment about asking neighboring cities to help bear the financial burden "was never said and is not realistic." She said Monrovia is negotiating with the Gold Line about the land sale, not other cities.]
"Mr. Adams disagrees with the direction of the Council on this matter, and he is surely entitled to do so - as long as we all understand that there is a difference between his opinion and our reality. He's upset with me personally, and that's ok too. But Monrovia doesn't need petty squabbles, it needs leadership. Even more, it needs teamwork - healthy disagreement and honest debate, for sure - but teamwork, most definitely.
"That's all I'll say about Mr. Adams and his letter tonight.
"These are nearly unprecedented days we are living in California and Monrovia, and I don't believe that we have time for two sets of facts, or two policies for every issue, or two Mayors for this Council. I think Monrovia deserves better.
"Now, let's move on..."
- Brad Haugaard