When the Palo Alto City Council election occurred, a mere three months ago, I had no idea who of the candidates were Republicans or Democrats, or who they, as candidates, were endorsing for president. It was not, and should not have been, an issue.
That is why I am upset that on Monday night Mayor Larry Klein issued a statement that said, Obama, D-Ill., offers the best possibility for transforming "the toxic, partisan bickering in Washington.
"We believe that Barack Obama has the vision, passion and ability to change this unhealthy Washington atmosphere," said the statement signed by Klein, Vice Mayor Peter Drekmeier and council members John Barton, Pat Burt, Yoriko Kishimoto, Greg Schmid and Yiaway Yeh.
Councilmember Sid Espinosa said he was supporting Hillary Clinton; Councilmember Jack Morton said his constituents are "more than capable of making up their own mind" without his endorsement.
Hooray for Morton!
I think most of us have made up our minds who we are going to support on Super Tuesday, and we don’t need the help of the Palo Alto City Council.
Which brings me to the larger question that frequents council discussions. Should the council vote on national issues?
Some are purists, saying never. Others are enthusiasts, saying always.
I would say occasionally, with cautious consideration. Yes, when this country is about to get involved in a war in Iraq. Yes, because maybe the president needs some feedback from constituencies like Palo Alto and other cities on major events affecting our country – like wars.
But no for most other issues.
And I go back to my original theme – we did not elect our city council members on a partisan slate. We elected them as individuals, without knowing their political points of view. They should remain nonpartisan.
Let’s keep it that way.