Readers comments: December 23, 2022
Remembering Joe Lyons
To paraphrase Shakespeare, “the good that Joe did will live after him.” Joe Lyons believed in social justice. As colleagues on the Claremont City Council, we knew where Joe stood on issues. He did not play political games.While sometimes we had different approaches to solving problems, Joe was not afraid to state his preference without being disagreeable.
I will remember Joe as a man who cared about his fellow citizens, especially those who were less fortunate. May he rest in peace.
I send sincere condolences to his family.
Opanyi Nasiali was a Claremont City Council member from 2011 to 2019, and served as mayor from 2013 to 2014 and 2018 to 2019.
Best of luck to MWD’s first Latino chairman
On December 12 the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California finalized the election of a of new chairman of its board of directors: Adán Ortega of the San Fernando Valley. He becomes the first Latino to hold the position in the district’s 94-year history.
Ortega’s appointment has been well received at the Sierra Club, which promoted him as a pro-environmental candidate who consistently rallied for underserved communities. The Sierra Club also acknowledged the contributions made by outgoing MWD Chair Gloria Gray as the first woman of color in that position, saying she was “an inspiration for many little children like her,” on its website.
The general public has been out of the loop on many problematic issues facing MWD. Ratepayers are only familiar with drought proclamations, employee lawsuits, selective promoting to department heads, discrimination, and a culture of internal retaliation that has festered over the years. A state audit is in effect.
Ortega’s new team includes the promotion of Michael Camacho of the Inland Empire Utilities Agency to a key post, and the creation of a leadership structure that includes women, Latinos, Latinas, Asians, and Black persons to diversify MWD leadership.
Best of luck to Ortega.
Thank you, Steven Llanusa
It was 1980, and I was a full-time music professor at the University of La Verne, as well as conductor of the Bonita High Chamber Singers. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I had four choirs and subsets of those choirs cheerfully running all over the Inland Empire, from luminarias to service club holiday gatherings, performing dozens of times, singing songs of the season. Occasionally we were fortunate enough to have some kindhearted community member hire us for a private party. That was great because it meant funding for costumes and transportation.
Often, one gig would start late or run longer, and then there would be holiday traffic going from point A to point B, so we often arrived at the last gig of the evening behind time. Rather than greeting arriving people at the door, we would pivot to serenading during their happy hour.
I don’t know that this is what happened at Steven Llanusa’s house, but I choose to believe that it was a timing and logistical problem, as well as a momentary failure to supervise that recently drew controversy. The degree to which people have demonized him is unfortunate because it taints his 17 years of dedicated service to our school board and community.
I’ve been with him in meetings, and he can be annoying, usually because when he believes in a principle, he is like a dog with a bone and won’t let go. But that’s also why he has added a lot to organizations over the years.
Thank you, Steven Llanusa, for your decades of service to the community.