Pinocchio Award for May

Pinocchio Award for May
by Larry Gilbert

It's time to award the Mission Viejo Pinocchio Award for the month of May. The only problem is which of the following council members deserves it: Mayor Kelley or Councilman Ury.

At 6:07 p.m., during Mission Viejo's May 5 council meeting, Mayor Kelley explained why two of our five members were absent. Member Reardon is out for medical reasons. The mayor states: Council member Ury will be joining us, hopefully, sometime this evening. He is still at work and you may or may not know this is supposed to be a part-time job---some of us work at it full time but some of us up here have full-time jobs. Mr. Ury will get here as soon as he can."

Fast forward to when Member Ury arrives at 7:42 p.m., as verified by simply viewing the council meeting video. A few minutes later Trish announced: "We have had council member Ury join us ---back from work and a busy day at work." Sitting next to Frank, Council member Schlicht asked: "Frank, were you at work?” His snarky response: "Who cares." This is followed by Trish stating, "I said I assumed he was at work." If she didn't know, he left her out to dry.

The irony is that between 6:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., Frank Ury and I were with approximately 20 Republicans in Tustin at the OC GOP HQ meeting of the endorsement committee where we both spoke. He was seated less than 10 feet away from me. I guess we could agree that campaigning is a form of work, but this begs the question "did Trish intentionally or unintentionally" deceive the public? Did Frank Ury notify our mayor and/or the city clerk that he might be late as he was at a Republican Party activity while our city council was in session? I seem to recall the Party making a consideration for council member interviews on dates that didn't conflict with council meetings.

To verify the above timing simply read Chris Nguyen's blog report that includes the time of specific council member's participation. [ ]

Frank Ury was angry because Robert Ming had just received the committee's 4 -1 recommendation of an endorsement to replace Pat Bates in the 5th District office of the Board of Supervisors. 

As a result of this communication that was sent to council and city manager, I can report that Frank Ury now speaks up saying he left her a message that he would be late. I have no way to verify that comment other than saying that it was pointed out that the Agenda was very light. Add that to traffic that evening, and he might have arrived after the meeting ended. Amazing. Member Reardon’s response was, "Did you ask Trish for an explanation?" Explanation. As neither Rhonda nor I were at the meeting, we expect the statements made during the meetings to be factual.

Trish has apologized and said she "assumed" Frank was at work. We give the Pinocchio Award to member Ury, as Cathy gave him an opportunity to clarify Trish's statement of his absence, yet his response was typical for him. He became agitated and made a nasty comment that you can see and hear on the city meeting video. Member Reardon, I would not have to contact Trish if Frank had provided a simple reply to Cathy, but that was not going to happen and it didn't.