Some of the fondest memories for me of living in the city of Monrovia are rooted in its people and their sense of civic pride and strong positive community values.
My first job in Monrovia was as a newspaper boy working "crew" for the Monrovia Newspost. I would come home from Mayflower Elementary School, eat, do my homework, and eagerly await the small flat-bed truck filled with the crew leader and other youths squeezed in the back. Our purpose was to expand the readership by obtaining newspaper subscriptions. The crew leader would designate an area and let two of us walk a neighborhood, one on each side of the block.
I remember knocking on doors and being greeted by a friendly neighbor who may or may not subscribe but was always courteous. Often they would tell me an encouraging story or offer to provide me with a drink of cold water. I would return home feeling good about my efforts and with a few dollars in my pocket to share with my parents to help with family expenses.
While on crew, the people I met felt a duty to try to enhance my learning experience. They treated me like one of their own children who they would want someone to one day take an interest in and be concerned about as their children sought to learn and grow into good productive citizens.
These were undoubtedly law abiding people who would want a similar characteristic for individuals in elective office as a means for keeping the community safe and up-holding the civic pride and strong positive community values that they held so dear. They expected their children to be treated fairly and they expected their elected officials to be fair stewards of the public trust.
The city of Monrovia is facing a crisis in leadership because most of our elected officials have only their own interests at heart and not those of the community. This is evident in their inability to discuss the issue of replacing Councilman Clarence Shaw in a public meeting at the very beginning of his announced departure.
Instead, the council decided in closed session or in a back room somewhere that they did not need to consult the community for its input on whether to fill the empty seat because each member would then have more power as an individual without another councilmember's vote to try to persuade to their side. It was an incestuous relationship born of a promise to "protect" the empty seat for their buddy at all costs, even the financial well-being of the city. At this time in our history, we need people in elective office who understand how to promote strong positive community values while maintaining the civic pride that is Monrovia.