JAY GRAY TO COUNCIL: ‘UP TO YOU TO BRING JUSTICE TO THIS COMMUNITY’By Los Cerritos Community Newspaper Group
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper this week acquired Jay Gray’s full public statement to the Cerritos City Council regarding his June 4 altercation with Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Barrows.
Barrows had admitted to pushing Gray on the shoulder after the two exchanged heated words following a budget study session. The Los Angeles County District Attorney decided not to seek felony charges against Barrows, instead referring the case to an Office Hearing Program. The two presented their sides of the story last month.
A vocal critic of the council, Gray recalls another instance of a city leader getting tetchy with a constituent: in late 2006, former councilman John Crawley impersonated Mayor Jim Edwards in scathing email to a resident who complained about a C-17 flyover during the Veterans Memorial Dedication ceremony.
Gray’s statement is as follows:
“Many of you have read about he incident in LCCN that took place between Mayor pro-tem Barrows and myself and I am here to comment on that.
He (Barrows) represents our city and what he did was unconscionable. For a resident such as myself to have the courage to come up and speak about issues (and it is not easy) and then to be verbally abused and assaulted is wrong. He represents this city.
This is my city; this is where I grew up. And to see many of the things I see that this City Council is doing as far as the money spent, the millions of dollars wasted and then to get up and speak out about it and be accosted for my beliefs to exercise my constitutional rights and then to have this council sweep it under the rug?
Not long ago there was city councilmember who was censured for sending an email under Edwards name but yet when one of your residents that you are sworn to represent gets accosted, you sit quietly by and do nothing.
And I know some of you know I am not the only one who has undergone verbal abuse (from Barrows). I have been contacted by at least one other person that a couple of you (city council) are aware of, and you know who that is.
It’s up to you to bring justice to the community. For the council to sit quietly and not speak up for me, is not speaking up for all the residents. This guy is Mayor pro tem, he will be Mayor in one year. To sit there and not doing anything? What message does that send to this city, other cities, governments agencies, to not talk about it and sweep it under the rug.
What message does it send to our schoolchildren here in Cerritos, we have distinguished schools; where it is as much about academics it is about good citizenship.”