By Cynthia Ward
The leader of the pack in trying to elevate the tone of civility is Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait. His response to vicious attacks sets a standard for others to follow. We have no clue how much venom he faces, day after day. I do not know if I could show up at City Hall and push the button for the 7th floor, knowing what waits for me when the doors open. I am very glad he does it.
Many evil things have been said about the man, primarily by those too gutless to put their names on their posts at other websites, curiously funded by unnamed sources. Their accusations of a Mayor run amuck with a staff equally as out of control are unfounded, and baseless. One of these “writers” has taken great joy in filling my email inbox with venom aimed at the Mayor, and aimed at me for defending the Mayor. The charge is that if I would simply look into some of these allegations with an open mind I would see who he really is. The most recent accusations about the Mayor were particularly brutal, and needing to back them off I ran a Public Records Request, asking for information relating to events brought up by someone clearly immersed in the anti-Tait KoolAid. If there was anything to the allegations it would come out with these records.
Well the records came back, primarily emails, a few City documents, enough to tell the tale of who is creating problems at City Hall and who is not. On 3 different occasions that Tait had been blamed for bad behavior, I could clearly see the fault was not with him, nor was it with his staff. In pushing me to investigate, the Flying Monkeys inadvertently exposed the exact opposite.
News of Public Records Requests travels like wildfire, and before long Mayor Tait checked in with me. Now keep in mind at this point he had to know I was in possession of documents that could give a very bad time to people who had thrown immense resources into tormenting the man. It would be easy to let me print, to encourage me to print. A lesser man would have sent me those messages himself, knowing they would reveal some incredibly bad behavior from those intent on his demise.
Anaheim is fortunate that Tom Tait is not a lesser man.
Instead he asked me not to escalate the battle. The information was not linked to anything that makes a difference to the average taxpayer, money was not misspent, there was no public good to be had in outing those who see him as the enemy. Could I please help him keep the peace?
The gentlemanly gesture from Tait is more than the other side deserves. But because it is Tait, because I can see how hard he works to be the diplomat, I will respect his request. I am sure he would have preferred that I not say anything at all. But I want them to know that he covered for them. I want them to know that they owe him one. Big.
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