Bert Perello, the newest Council member in Oxnard, was sworn in for his first meeting last week, a meeting that lasted until 3 a.m. and included a scene straight out of Alice in Wonderland with the Red Queen. Of course, some consider this just deserts as Perello has been part of some very strange Council meetings over the past decade or more. He is one of a gaggle of gadflies who comment regularly on the agenda items. Oxnard’s Council process allows citizens to comment for up to three minutes on each agenda item, and some folks take full advantage of that, whether they are commenting on the agenda item or the color of the bus benches or some other unrelated topic.
Mayor Tim Flynn is generous with these citizens and often appears to be paying rapt attention. (The Spotter cannot blame the other councilors for checking their e-mail or playing Words With Friends during these moments. You can take only so much expert opinion from the cheap seats.)
But Flynn went off on some tangents of his own at this meeting, jumping from one city lily pad to the next, and connecting the dots as only he can. When it got to be too much for Councilman Bryan MacDonald, he interrupted the mayor to note the midnight hour and ask him to stick to the task.
Flynn fired back with a pounding gavel, an explanation of why his comments were cogent, and a threat to have McDonald removed if he interrupted again. Ever wise, McDonald drew in his horns and probably texted cancellations of his meetings for the next morning. Good thing. The meeting then ran until 3 a.m.
Mayor Flynn said he believes in giving all issues a fair hearing … and a lot of time.
Remember, Mr. Perello — you wanted this job.