The New York Times parachutes into Vernon, only to discover that outsiders aren't exactly welcome. The story focuses on the city's first contested election in 26 years that has Vernon officials refusing to count the ballots. That's a stalling technique as they await final resolution of a suit filed by the insiders against the outsiders who dared to run for City Council. As the NYT discovers, there's no getting up close and personal with Vernon's top dogs:
Vernon business owners eat at La Villa Basque, owned by Mayor Leonis C. Malburg, who has been on the Council since the Eisenhower administration. The restaurant is next to the Leonis Malburg Building on Leonis Boulevard a few blocks from Malburg Way. Mr. Malburg, the grandson of John B. Leonis, Vernon’s founding father, warmly greets lunch patrons at La Villa Basque, which has had the same décor and some of the same employees since it opened in 1960. But with outsiders, city officials seem guarded. When asked for comment after a recent City Council meeting, the mayor just smiled and walked away. Silence, in fact, appears to be policy in Vernon. Other city officials said nothing when asked their names or if they would comment on the lawsuit and Judge Muñoz’s ruling. Phone calls requesting comment were not returned.