The Santa Ana City Council looks to be ready to take swift and decisive action Monday night against one of the two Park’s and Recreation Commission members responsible for bullying the student representative to that board causing him to resign. Item 13C on Monday night’s city council agenda calls for the removal of Tish Leon from the Board of Recreation and Parks.
As you may recall Leon, fellow Commissioner Julie Stroud and disqualified city council candidate Thomas Gordon hounded the 16 year old student representative to that board so badly that the youngster chose to resign rather than subject himself to their harassment. The young man stated to my fellow blogger Art Pedroza that the bullying began because they were angry that he would not support their candidate, Thomas Gordon, for Ward 6 on the Santa Ana City Council. And both Leon and Stroud demanded that the high school student stop reading the Orange Juice and New Santa Ana blogs and de-friend Pedroza on Facebook.
Why on earth would these folks be so concerned about who a 16 year old was going to support in an election that he could not even vote in? Perhaps Gordon should have spent more time focusing on those that were registered voters within his ward and perhaps he would have been able to collect the 20 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot.
Pedroza and I have both met with the young man and a number of councilmembers have spoken to him about the repeated bullying by Leon, Stroud and Gordon. He told Pedroza and myself that he has phone records to document the repeated calls made to him by these folks as well as other documented evidence.
There are others in the local blogosphere that are attempting to spin this and mislead the public as to why Leon is being removed. The truth of the matter is that the council and others find the treatment of the 16 year old reprehensible and unbecoming behavior by a city commissioner. If they allow Leon to remain on the board it would reflect poorly upon the community.
Personally I believe that Stroud, who was appointed by David Benavides, should be removed as well. Councilmember Michele Martinez who appointed Leon likely agreed to the action Monday night and that is why the council is willing to move forward with it. Benavides probably balked at the removal of Stroud and that is likely why she remains. Folks should know that Stroud’s husband has given money to Benavides campaign and both Leon and Julie Stroud are listed as supporters of the councilman.
I certainly hope that the young man bullied by Leon, Stroud and Gordon stays involved in our community and that this unfortunate incident didn’t sour him on community involvement. He is a terrific young man and give me hope that our city’s future is in good hands if he and others like him are involved. I am going to ask the council to rescind his resignation and put him back on the Parks and Recreation Commission. His voice needs to be heard.
The meeting, scheduled to begin at 6PM, will be held at the Yost Theatre, 307 N. Spurgeon, in downtown Santa Ana.
How appropriate that the meeting is being held in a theatre, rumor has it that Leon’s supporters and the rest of the “usual suspects” will display their theatrics in her defense at the meeting.