- by John Bosch, SOC912
Does Business Owner Get Political Payback for Supporting Term Limits on the City Council?
Anyone attending the June 12th, 2012 City Council meeting had to leave wondering what the proprietor of the Laguna Hills Hotel, Mr Michael Mofid did to provoke Mayor Melody Carruth. All he was asking for was a permit for a new marquee sign, but to the Mayor it was so much more.
It was obvious from the start that the Mayor was opposed to the sign but it wasn’t immediately clear why.
The city staff testified it met with code requirements and the city attorney said it passed legal muster but despite those assurances, the Mayor dug in her heels and launched into a perfect example of a solution looking for a problem that stunned everyone in the chamber.
For example, what relevance did Mr Mofid’spast run-ins real or imagined with the city elite have to do with a sign permit other than to send a message. All Mr. Mofid asked for was a permit to replace an old, out dated sign with one that is modern, attractive and safer to use. The question — was her rant about the sign or was it something else? Could it possibly have been driven by politics? Was the ordeal Mayor Carruth put Mr. Mofid through political payback for his outspoken support of term limits and past criticisms of City Councilman?
Only after Councilwoman Barbara Kogerman admonished the Mayor to stop her tirade, and scathing criticism of Mayor Carruth’s conduct by local citizen Dr. Raghu Mathur, did the Mayor tone down her remarks.
As one who witnessed this ambush it’s my opinion that hers was not civil behavior, it was contemptible and conduct not becoming a Mayor of Laguna Hills. Mayor Carruth made a bully pulpit of her lofty chair and made clear the need for fresh voices and new ideas at City Hall.