Thursday, February 25, 2010
In a closet-sized office with orange-and-yellow walls, two Seasiders stuff envelopes while Al Glover hauls a full bin to the Post Office. Helen Rucker orchestrates the movement of volunteers in and out of the new University Plaza office of Citizens for Transparency in Government.
The group’s mission: to get rid of Seaside City Manager Ray Corpuz.
CTG aims to send letters to the homes of about 10,800 registered Seaside voters. One thousand went out last week, 1,000 more will be mailed this week and the rest will hit mailboxes as fast as group members can prepare them, says Rucker, who along with Glover and several local businesspeople is funding the campaign.
The letters describe a “citizen movement which is designed to demand more openness and accountability from our city government,” and include a petition of non-support for Corpuz, with a return envelope.
The group cites a list of complaints about Corpuz, including his handling of the recent City Hall-Police Department showdown that led to a termination settlement with former police chief Steve Cercone.
“If he didn’t do anything wrong,” asks CTG member Bernard Miller, “why did the city pay him to leave?”
The group also objects to the deterioration of city parks and roads, declining Auto Center revenue and low city employee morale under Corpuz’s leadership.
“I think it’s my democratic duty to protest when I see something wrong in my community,” says Rucker, a local school board member and former councilwoman. “We want people to take notice, look what’s happening to your city.”
Corpuz says he’s tried to set up a meeting with Glover. “I’ve done my outreach; they haven’t responded,” he says. The letter, he adds, is “full of misinformation.”
Mayor Ralph Rubio has the city manager’s back. “Most of the things here are budgetary cuts and personnel matters,” he says.