City of Carson acts out again

Dear at Tuesday night's meeting, in screen grab.

The small cities scattered around Los Angeles County are a mix of professionally run, modern municipalities and dicey (at best) operations. Then there is Carson. The latest is a public spat between the new city council and the former mayor, Jim Dear, who was elected in March as the city clerk. The city clerk's power is over elections, and Dear is holding back on certifying the election of a new city council member he apparently doesn't like. The city council voted to hire an outside election consultant to finish counting the ballots, but the council enacted this with just votes, at a meeting attended in person by only two council members. Dear sued on Monday, and while any court action is pending, it all came to a head in small-town political theatrics at last night's council meeting.

Dear tried to stop the council from swearing in a new member and, as the Daily Breeze puts it in the lede, interrupted the meeting with "an incoherent rant." A council member who backs Dear walked out of the meeting in hopes of breaking the quorum, but the remaining two council members voted anyway to declare Jawane Hilton the winner of the election and seat him as a new member. Mayor Al Robles, who was orchestrating the council's steps, is a particular target of Dear's ire.

“I’m going to answer the false accusations and lies that this corrupt little Al Robles has brought,” Dear told the audience, though they booed him. “I’m not going to surrender Carson to the corruption of Vera ‘the evil’ Dewitch, who is (Robles’) handler.”

Vera Robles Dewitt is a former mayor and community activist who confronted Dear on Monday morning with a group of residents who went into his office and demanded answers about the election delay.

Dear then asked the audience if anyone had read “Lord of the Flies,” a novel about a group of teenagers marooned on an island who resort to torturing each other. He compared Dewitt to the novel’s antagonists.

“If I have to filibuster, I guess I’ll filibuster,” he continued, refusing to allow Robles to conduct the meeting. “I will sue (Robles) and I will sue Lula Davis-Holmes. And I will win again in court.”

When Dear kept ranting, Robles told him to leave.

But Dear continued: “Try to remove me, an elected official, from this meeting and you’ll have a lawsuit like you wouldn’t believe. I’m the elected city clerk. There’s a lot more I know about your background that will be revealed in due time. The people of Carson will not put up with this tomfoolery.”

It would seem the real tomfools here are the people who elected these jokers. No wonder the Chargers and Raiders looked to Carson for a football stadium deal.

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