Mike Naggar, The Councilman Who Listens

In today’s installment, we have emails from Councilman Naggar.  But first, our disclaimer:

This document has been obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from City of Temecula Records and passed on to Stop Summerhouse.

In our first EMAIL of the day, Councilman Mike Naggar asked Shawn Nelson, City Manager whether the BRIDGE project had been vetted enough before a contract was voted in.  This question was asked the day before the City Council voted.  He was the only one on record asking that question.  He also recognized the controversial nature of the project.

The second EMAIL was Naggar’s response to an email sent by “Carol” to the Mayor on August 12, the day after the vote.  “Carol” was upset over the Mayor’s statement after public comments were heard.  (If you want to hear the Mayor’s comments, THIS LINK will take you to the video on the City of Temecula Website.  Her comments begin at 1:38:00)  “Carol” told the Mayor that her lecture was a blatant abuse of her position.  Naggar told Shawn Nelson that some on the City Council have to watch how they behave, and that they gave the impression the project was a done deal.  He also said that the Council needs to remember it answers to the public, otherwise it is just a dog and pony show.

In the third EMAIL, Naggar asked the City Attorney, Peter Thorson, and Shawn to instruct the Mayor and Ron Roberts in proper communication through email.  This was one week after the first vote for BRIDGE.

A series of EMAILs follow between Naggar and Aaron Adams, Assistant City Manager.  The first email (on page 3) was sent soon after Naggar returned home from speaking with a group of protesters at the Summerhouse site on Saturday, August 22.  Naggar said that for the project to get his support, they would need the support of the community and that the opposition want answers before their representatives vote to approve it.  He said that was a fair request.  Aaron responded that he too saw the protest, but did not engage them.  He recognized that Naggar was listening with an objective ear, but went on to say that the protest was the same as the opposition to the hospital.  Naggar responded with a list of 18 excellent points, and that the people asking questions have valid concerns, and are not heartless or cruel.

The fifth EMAIL is Naggar responding to Jim Palmer, president of the Orange County Rescue Mission’s request for a private meeting.  Naggar responded that Palmer needs to take the facts to the public, and to bring a project with a ribbon, not a tempest.  Above his response are some interesting comments from city staff.

The final EMAIL is a similar request for a private meeting, this time made by Brad Wiblin, BRIDGE’s representative.  Naggar asked Shawn Nelson, City Manager, to handle BRIDGE for him, and asking him to find out what Wiblin wants.

Mike Naggar was the only City Council member to meet with protesters in a public location.  He patiently answered questions from several protesters, and remained composed.  He commited to see questions answered before he would vote on the project.  When the rest of the City Council was asked, Ron Roberts also made that commitment, but Naggar was the first.  Based on the emails above, Naggar is the City Council member who listens to the people.

Lots more to share, please check back tomorrow for more!

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