|Photo courtesy Terry Miller|
So we won't have Johnny GemCoins to kick around any more. Apparently we are now required to pass him on to the FBI, SEC, FPPC and all of those various other alphabet soup government law enforcement agencies. Places stocked with officials well-prepared to process and then package him off to someplace deep within the criminal justice system.
Unless he cuts some kind of a deal with the Feds we have probably pretty much seen the last of Mr. Wuo for a while. Except as a forlorn figure in occasional news stories detailing his experiences in Court, and then after that prison. Quite an abysmal end to a 12 year political career that included three terms as Mayor of Arcadia.
Even in resigning John Wuo could not bring himself to confess or admit to the real reasons for his departure and disgrace. Here is his goodbye statement to both the City Council and people of Arcadia, as transcribed on the Behind MLM blog (link).
I am resigned due to person(al) and health reasons. For the past 12 years I have enjoyed serving on the council with you. It has been an experience that I thank you for and will treasure. I love Arcadia and it is time to say goodbye. Best regards, best wishes, John Wuo.
No indication of what those health problems might be, though I suspect it may have been an overdose of FBI. Or perhaps the effects of a high speed collision with the SEC.
In many ways John Wuo had already left the building. Out of all the residents who spoke at public comment last night, not a single one said anything about his resignation. No thanks for the years of service, no goodbyes, regrets or any what might have beens. It was like the guy no longer existed, and had already been forgotten. A non-person. The people and government of Arcadia did not even bat an eye.
All anyone seemed to want to do was quickly move on. The now former City Councilmember and Mayor had already become irrelevant. Maybe even before he resigned.
If the development interests thought Wuo's resignation would somehow provide the public with what they really wanted, the sight of a disgraced and humiliated corrupt official resigning in shame, and then slinking off defeated into the night, I am afraid they were wrong. Nobody cared that much. Nobody celebrated. Nobody said a word. It was like nothing had happened.
And maybe it didn't. The endlessly colorful Arcadia development and land use debate will now go on as if John Wuo never even existed. The only question now being who will occupy the seat next, and will that person favor McMansions or something a bit more modest.
One thing that I found particularly disheartening last night was the unthinking rejection of democratic processes by those residents who spoke on behalf of mansionization. The concept of direct citizen participation in the pressing land use and development deliberations of their government, or putting something on the ballot so the people could vote and decide for themselves, all that seemed strangely abhorrent to them.
Like it was something no decent person would ever want to do.
Instead they appeared to demand that everyone just stop talking about it and let "the government and experts" handle everything. Even though it was the glaring failures of their government and its so-called experts to do anything about these very matters that led to so much citizen discontent in the first place.
To me that kind of unquestioning acceptance of government authority, no matter how bad or incompetent, was pretty disheartening.
Bonus Coverage: The Pasadena Star News Version
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