Saturday, December 29, 2012
Person Of The Year 2012
It's time again to select our "Person of the Year." Without further ado La Sanbe proudly presents Charlie San Miguel, an elected official whose days seemed numbered in a year that saw an end to the Mayan calendar, and supposedly an end to mankind. On all counts, finality was merely a tease.
Mr. San Miguel set out early to make his mark. If he wasn't being tough on the police chief, or suggesting council pray before the start of each meeting, he was penning an OpEd piece on the importance of ethics in politics. He wanted to make his presence known so he fastened his Jesus fish and hit the ground running. Unfortunately, his eagerness was soon matched by his ignorance of policy, procedure, and etiquette.
Throughout 2012 Charlie San Miguel's answer for everything was "I didn't know." (See LareDOS -- Eduardo Garza vs. Hector Farias: The Three-Tent Circus Gets a Fourth) When questioned about conflicts of interest, San Miguel cited amnesia. When he took home money from a fundraiser, he claimed ignorance. It all came to a head when he called a press conference. It seemed like he was going to resign after allegations of nepotism arose, because his sons were hired by the fire department. If it was a choice between him or his sons quitting, it would be him. But he stayed on after receiving multiple, supportive text messages from his constituents. That and the fact that he felt he was being bullied by his council colleagues.
Charlie San Miguel was toxic. I thought he would surely resign, or that city council would sanction him for his lapses in judgement, but the worst he received was a tongue-lashing. City council, including the mayor, was careful in its handling of San Miguel. If they acted too sternly, they would be seen as thugs. But I have to question their awareness of city charter specifics as well. When I asked Mike Garza about the nepotism question on the fire department application, his reply was, "Standard applications for all city employees I would assume. It's a standard question at UISD also and insure it applies at LISD, LCC and the County."
With weaseling friends like these, who needs to resign?
Yes, Charlie San Miguel came in as a moral champion of ethics. Little did he know that the cause he supported would be used to keep him in line. Charlie San Miguel made a splash in 2012 but for all the wrong reasons.
He wears his religion proudly. To call him out on anything means that dirty politics is at play. For someone who's supposed to be a political newbie, he sure knows how to play the game. The bungling mayor is on his last leg, but we'll still have Charlie San Miguel.
Congratulations, Mr. San Miguel. You are LaSanbe's 'Person of the Year.'