(Victor Valley)–I read with interest David Keck’s, from the Daily Press, article on Wednesday (No Fuss over MLK naming) as he made the case that the council was in some way ducking the issue of naming the interchange after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although Mr. Keck is entitled to his opinion as the editor of the paper I felt compelled to respond with some additional facts that seem to have been left out of any of the reporting on this issue.
As was indicated at our last council meeting each member of the city council has been lobbied by various members of our community to either name the interchange after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, former mayor Jean DeBlasis, the Veterans, a member of the military from our community that lost their life in line of service and the list goes on. I also received an e-mail from a gentlemen that Nisqualli is the name of a Native American tribe. Countless e-mails, phone calls and in person conversations with members of this community whom seem to all have a different opinion on who the interchange should be named after.
Clearly as I have pointed out numerous times the city council has no authority to name the interchange but rather this lies in the hands of the state legislature and governor. Although we could encourage this process to occur through the passage of a resolution we would not be doing our jobs as elected officials if we did anything but encourage all interested parties to lobby either Assemblyman Tim Donnelly or Senator Steve Knight regarding the naming of the interchange. However the reality is that this issue has quickly become the most divisive issue I have encountered since being elected to the city council and I am sure my colleagues would agree. One very important requirement the state has when it comes to the naming of state highways or interchanges is that it has to have overwhelming community support and be without controversy. I can assure you that none of us on the city council could represent that to the state.
The council has debated this issue long enough and it is now time for us to move on to more important things like public safety, job creation and improving your quality of life. Three members of this council (Angela Valles, Gloria Garcia and myself) made it clear at the last meeting that we are done discussing this issue. It’s time to move on.