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By Jeff Pack
Writer 

Rahn, Naggar resolution still a hot topic at Temecula council meeting

 

Last updated 5/17/2019 at 6:52am

Three weeks ago City of Temecula Mayor Mike Naggar and councilmember Matt Rahn presented a resolution to the council titled Resolution 19 and was described as "A resolution of the city council of the City of Temecula reaffirming the principals outlined in the Constitution of the United States of America."

Mayor Naggar had announced the resolution days earlier on his Facebook page, writing "Council Member Matt Rahn and I have placed on the council agenda for Tuesday 23rd, a Resolution denouncing socialism/communism, upholding the elements of the constitution and the oath of office and reasserting that anyone who wishes to change our government without proper constitutional amendment may be considered an 'enemy' either foreign or domestic including elected officials."

At the time, the post drew a lot of attention, both in opposition to the wording included in and the necessity of the resolution and other commenters who supported the action

At the April 23 meeting of the council, after hearing from two dozen members of the community, the council decided to kill the item altogether.

"Clearly, we're not going to vote on anything tonight and clearly our attempts to mitigate our interests in the Constitution strayed into territory that created strife within our community," Rahn said at that meeting.

Councilmember Maryann Edwards went a step further.

"I would just like to see this just go away," Edwards said.

After Naggar suggested he and Rahn could circle back to the issue at a later date, Rahn chimed in.

"I just have to say that I really like the idea of letting this die," Rahn said.

"Fair enough," Naggar said.

However, supporters of the resolution were not so willing to let the issue die and showed up in force at the Tuesday, May 14 meeting of the council.

"I have a suspicion that there's a lot of the speakers on a topic that was covered at our last council meeting," Rahn said at the opening of the public comment portion of the meeting. "It's important to also note that if it is what I'm thinking it is, having to do with a resolution we entertained at our last council meeting about three weeks ago, that item is not on the agenda tonight, so while we're going to listen intently, no action can be taken on that item, but I can assure you, you'll have the council's 100 percent attention."

In all, 16 speakers spoke in favor of bringing the resolution back for another council vote in some form or another and this time three spoke against the resolution and what they perceived of it's intent.

"I apologize I was not here last time to defend your proposed resolution," said George Rombach. "The resolution as I read it, it really only memorialized the laws upon which this city was founded, as a general law city. And under the constitution of the Republic of California, which is even cited on our banner, we are to follow the constitution of California and the regulations of the state which incorporate some of the provisions of the U.S. Constitution."

Resident Rick Reese said, "I do support Resolution No. 19, I think some things could be reworded, reworked. I'm here because my natural freedoms divinely gifted to me, they're not up for negotiation, they're not for bargaining, and they're certainly not to be sacrificed on some politically correct alter of social justice or some kind of idea of social utopia."

Luis Reyes took a more aggressive stance in addressing the council, telling the dais that he thought the council caved in to the pressure of the people speaking against the resolution.

"What I came here to say is the City Council of Temecula, and it's known all over the state and in other states, that you folks cowered to the pressure that was placed on you by the socialist/communist," Reyes said. "I am shocked and you cannot believe some of the communications I've received about that. I thought Temecula was a lot different.

"I'm appalled at how the city council, certain members, I'm not blaming everyone one of you. ... But there are certain people here on the council that just sat there and cowered.

"Let me tell you something, bottom line, it's the constitution, the constitution trumps socialism. We need to go by that and you need to implement that resolution and let us vote on it, if you can't get it done, we can get it done."

Dr. Liam O'Mara spoke in opposition to the resolution at the first meeting and returned for this one.

"Once again I am speaking to the absurdity of this proposal," Omara said. "Once again, Democrats are not Marxists. This resolution is aimed at unicorns and leprechauns, it is pure fantasy. What seems to be happening here is a development of a slippery slope fallacy based around a misconception that social democratic policies will lead inevitably to communist tyranny."

"As I see it, the two of you put together a resolution denouncing socialism and communism and attempted to justify doing it by wrapping it in the constitution of the United States," Ira Robinson said. "As your resolution had nothing to do with the business of the city and even less to do with the constitution of the United States I think your action was unwise, it was unnecessary, it was divisive. And I think we see the evidence of that here tonight. I believe it was an exercise in politics and one that should not have been allowed to see the light of day."

David Burrus talked about moving to the city two years ago and how he and his family have enjoyed the freedom of living in what he considers to be an open-minded society, despite isolated incidents regarding what he said were racist remarks directed at his family.

"But I don't think there are any enemies in this room, I think we're all Americans," Burrus said. "And there may be some doubts about the affiliations or the identity or the political beliefs of some of the people here but I believe there are sincerely good people in this room.

"What seemed to happen with this resolution is it seemed to stir the pot, and point fingers, and a lot of people felt threatened by that. One woman spoke very eloquently about how there's an effect where someone could be made to be 'the other.' And once that happens, it's easy to rationalize mistreatment. Hopefully, that might stop at some macho posturing or a veiled threat, yet I think we see all too often that things escalate and people get hurt."

Resident John Willis talked about what he perceived to be the Democratic Party's socialist agenda and how those aligning with the party are supporting "wealth redistribution scams."

"I wish they would just be honest that they are a bunch of communists they do not want to secure our rights to free speech and to live as we will," Willis said. "They call everything we do 'hate.'

"That poor man talked about his daughter being victimized, I denounce that, but you ought to try walking around a Democratic-controlled area with a MAGA hat and you're going to find out what real racism is. It's uncalled for and it's all outrageous. I wish you would please support this resolution 19."

"Mr. Willis, right on time, jolly good," Mayor Naggar said.

The council then continued on to the remainder of the items on the city council agenda without comment from councilmembers.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at [email protected]

 

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