Councilwoman Trish Kelley has taken another shot at those recalling Councilman Lance MacLean. On July 22, her email to a distribution of undisclosed recipients was quickly forwarded to recall proponents. Those who received the email said it was probably written by MacLean’s political consultant, not Kelley.
The email begins with an attack against signature gatherers, saying they seemed to pressure people into signing the petition with misinformation. However, it gives no examples of misinformation. As a laughable statement, the email says, “the [recall] workers did not know why they were asking voters to sign.”
In fact, signature gatherers have given each voter a flyer – reasons to recall MacLean that are a matter of public record. Identifying a politician who enriched himself and sold out residents isn’t rocket science.
Kelley’s email doesn’t defend or deny any of the petition’s eight reasons to recall MacLean. She says she’s supporting MacLean because they voted together for “key improvements” to the city. Incredibly, she mentions “road widenings,” as a plus. The council’s failure to manage the Crown Valley Porkway widening has been a primary reason residents have signed the recall petition. Ironically, Kelley attempts to credit MacLean (Mr. Assault and Battery) with Mission Viejo being a safe city. Residents signing the petition simply don’t buy the idea that MacLean has made Mission Viejo a better place.
Perhaps the reason Kelley doesn’t address MacLean’s negatives is that she is guilty of nearly all of them except for his assault and battery on a co-worker. Kelley voted along with MacLean to double their council pay. The item that raises voters’ ire is the council majority members’ (MacLean, Ury, Kelley) vote to give themselves lifetime medical benefits after three terms of part-time service.
Kelley’s self-enrichment is in some ways worse than MacLean’s because she’s deceptive about it. From the dais, she indicated she shouldn’t be criticized for bestowing lifetime health insurance on herself because she is covered by her husband’s insurance. Privately, she says she is entitled to the city benefit. However, what Kelley doesn’t reveal is that she’s currently TAKING THE MONEY instead of the coverage in the form of deferred compensation! She can receive a lump sum payment for opting out of the city’s healthcare plan. The sum amounts to $825 per month, and her Kool-Aid drinking fans should ask her about her “secret” cash award at the expense of taxpayers.
As the signature drive has evolved, residents have consistently asked a key question. When signature gatherers mention the votes for self-enrichment, some residents have responded by saying “they all did it.” In fact, they didn’t all do it. In November 2008, only MacLean, Ury and Kelley voted for lifetime healthcare, and they’re the only ones who could qualify for it. Ledesma will term out before he’s old enough to qualify, and Schlicht has adamantly opposed it.
In the early weeks of the signature drive, a few residents stated that MacLean had been unfairly targeted when other council members were equally guilty. The reaction is similar today, but the tone has changed. Instead of wanting to give MacLean a pass, they want others recalled as well. Not everyone agrees on which other ones should be recalled, but nearly everyone says that MacLean should be removed from office. If Kelley wants to tie herself to MacLean, that’s her prerogative.