Election 2022, and the race for Torrance Treasurer has cashed in on some growing interest.
Five people are running for Treasurer this year, a position which was uncontested four years ago, with Dana Cortez running unopposed, presumably because she was doing such a great job?
Or because no one was paying attention.
Torrance residents are starting to pay attention to their city council and mayor. For the last eight years, the city of Torrance has suffered under unprecedentedly bad leadership. Pat Furey has been an embarrassment to this city.
He was taking campaign money from McCormick Ambulance, and then he was the deciding vote to kill the city's ambulance contract with Gerber. He was busted in campaign violations connected with the PAC working with McCormick Ambulance. His son, Patrick Furey (Jr.), has quite a dirty reputation, as he faced numerous campaign violations over his career. Thankfully, he was pushed out of the campaign consulting business in 2015 following the reports from the California Fair Political Practices Commission--and we got him off the Torrance traffic commission, to boot!
But what about the Treasurer position. Why so much interest now?
Dana Cortez, the incumbent, has been missing in action for the last four years. She got elected, and then she stopped doing her job. She refused to show up to work, issuing doctors' notes and other excuses why she wasn't coming to city council, and why she wasn't answering emails. When the city and the staff faced a budget crisis in 2018, they had to take unprecedented steps to divest power away from the current Treasurer position and give the key tasks to other civil servants in the finance department. The situation was so dire, because at the time Cortez was the only person who had access to the city's bank accounts to pay bills and manage investments.
Cortez put herself first, ignored the needs of the city, and harmed the residents. The funny thing is that I met her while going for a walk one afternoon in late 2017. She was very supportive of me, of all the things that I had been writing about and sharing with city residents. Of course, all her nice words don't make up for her dereliction of duty. It's quite an embarrassment that one of the key elected officials never bothered to show up for her work during her second four-year term on city council. Because she's elected, the voters have to fire her, just as they had hired her.
For the last four years, Deadbeat Dana Cortez has been collecting a paycheck and benefits, and doing no work. I connected with a group of people in the city who wanted to recall her. Unfortunately, such an effort required collecting a minimum of 10,000 signatures, and even then the voters would have to vote to fire her.
To add insult to interest, Cortez is running for re-election! How stupid does she think the voters are? This is really insulting!
But the insults don't stop there.
Let's consider who else is running for the Treasurer position:
1. Mike Griffiths, city councilman.
2. Tim Goodrich, former city councilman
3. Melissa Wright, Cultural Arts commissioner
4. Rick Marshall, former planning commissioner
Mike Griffiths is probably one of the most arrogant people on the city council today. He has routinely scolded residents in the city for not making purchases in brick-and-mortar stores in the city, which "deprives" the city of sales tax revenue. Since when does a resident owe the city the necessity of purchasing goods in a building as opposed to online? All of this condescension connects to his push to raise the sales tax. He and his colleagues for the past eight years should have been cutting costs and reducing spending when they had the chance. He refused to make the tough choices, and now he expects the already cash-strapped residents to pay more. It's outrageous!
The last straw for me was his attitude toward passage of a Resolution of No Confidence in pro-criminal LA County District Attorney George Gascon. When I spoke to him about this issue last year, he made nothing excuses, and he just shut me down about the whole proposal. I exposed his arrogant resistance to this very popular proposal last year--and he sure changed his tenue a few months afterwards when he joined with four of his colleagues to approve the resolution.
Mike Griffiths does not respect the will of the voters, he doesn't take the lead to build revenue, he wants to tax residents more, and he has the audacity to run for another office simply because he wanted to run for mayor, but could not compete against Cliff Numark or George Chen. Let's state the truth plainly: Griffiths wants to be treasurer so that he can position himself to run for mayor in four or eight years. This is not about serving the city. This is about serving himself. I don't like Mike.
Adding further insult, we have former Torrance city councilman Tim Goodrich running for the treasurer position. I mean ... really? This guy quit his job as city councilman last year because the demands of his job were too great for him, and he could not devote the time needed to the job. In other word, Tim Goodrich has the "Quittin' Cliff" syndrome.
Goodrich didn't even live in Torrance for the greater part of his life. He is a carpet-bagger from Buffalo, New York. Torrance is better than this.
Tim Goodrich also protested the troops but then (attempted to) cover up his unpatriotic record as he wrapped himself in the American Flag, all while pushing left-wing causes and raging against the country and the military. Really sickening, really insulting. Unfortunately, the voters didn't pay attention then.
Hopefully, they are paying attention now. He quit his job on the Torrance city council last year--LAST YEAR!--and now he is running for another position on the city council. Why should anyone believe that he will stick to his word and stay on the job? Why should anyone trust him on anything? This whole thing is a joke. Really, I am so tired of these social-climber politicians who leave office when the going gets tough, or the promotions get few and far between. There are many reasons why Torrance voters should say "No" to Tim Goodrich.
Then there's Melissa Wright. She has a long record of service in public and private efforts in the city, and she has plenty of accounting experience. She is not a quitter. I am grateful for her record of service. But she has two strikes against her, and one of them is quite insulting, too.
First, she is endorsed by "Creepy" Pat Furey, the retiring failed mayor of our city. He has been an absolute disgrace to the city of Torrance. Any candidate running for office should repudiate his endorsement, and she has not done that. The second problem is that she supports the tax increase, as do Griffiths and Goodrich. What is the matter with these people?! The residents, the business owners in this city are struggling enough as it is. Why make it worse? High gas prices, staggering inflation, sluggish business growth, all of this is weighing on the minds and wallets of Torrance voters. Enough is enough. The city leadership needs to take the necessary steps to cut taxes, cut spending, innovate public services, and streamline other costs in the city. There is no excuse for our elected leaders to keep passing the buck and putting the costs on We the People.
Melissa Wright is probably a "No" for city treasurer for anyone who finds Pat Furey disgusting, and for anyone who does not want a sales tax increase, too.
What about Rick Marshall? He has accounting and budgeting experience as an employee at UC Irvine. He has served on the city Water and Planning Commissions. He has stated clearly and unreservedly his opposition to any sales tax increase.
And he led the effort, as frustrated as it became, to recall Do-Nothing Deadbeat Dana Cortez. I wish Rick Marshall the best in his latest bid for office in the city of Torrance, but I am not sure he can pull this bid off. He has not served in any major capacity for the last two years. Furthermore, he has a strong following, but there are many people in the city who simply do not care for him.
What is the best path forward for the Treasurer position? Who should replace Dana Cortez?