There has been a lot of boohooing lately about the future of the County’s Human Relations Commission. As usual, it seems that those doing the biggest drum beating for the continued taxpayer funding of this love fest are the folks who don’t want to chip in for the cost.
Right now the County pays $302,000 a year to the Human Relation Council (a 501(c)(3)) to provide “staff” for its Human Relations Commission. The reason why these folks think we need a Commission at all is that they believe having the County seal on their letterhead confers some sort of governmental prestige and gravitas. That’s how these folks think about government.
The Council employs a fellow by the name of Rusty Kennedy about a hundred grand to be the Commission’s Executive Director, a job he used to hold as a public employee of the County, and a job for which he now pulls down an annual pension of over $120,000 per year. Yowza! $220,000 a year!
Ironically, the very failures of Kennedy and his commission are being touted by him as success stories. The most egregious of these alleged successes are the race tagging of Santa Ana Councilwoman Claudia Alvarez after she made a boneheaded comment about Adolf Hitler; and of course even worse, the diversionary scam known as the Homeless Task Force, at the behest of the cover-up artists on the Fullerton City Council. In the first case, after he played the irrelevant race card, Rusty had a neat interracial controversy to address. Nice. In the second case, a genuine hate crime, perpetrated by his pals in the Fullerton Police Department against Kelly Thomas, was glossed over.
By focusing on the fact that Thomas was mentally ill, and homeless, and that many others are too, the Task Force conveniently ignored the fact that neither his homelessness nor his mental illness were the proximate causes of Thomas’ death. That responsibility lay with the City and its goons, it was a murder – a fact that would necessarily be awkward for Kennedy and his Task Force to address given his cozy relationship with the Establishment and with the police chiefs of Orange County.
Fortunately, the City’s attempted sleight of hand failed; the recall and subsequent legal actions will demonstrate who did what, and when. But this failure should not cause us to forget the craven role of Mr. Kennedy in this shameful episode.
The time has come to defund this useless operation. Let the non-profit Council peddle its race relations mission. It collects charitable contributions from people who believe in its mission and its behavior. Time to get the rest of us off the hook.