The Call to Serve

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GUEST OPINION: By Mission Viejo
Mayor Pro Tem Greg Raths

I have a proud history of public service instilled i n me by my parents, from my experiences as an Eagle Scout as a teenager, to military service a s a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps. Throughout my life, I’ve never hesitated to answer a call to serve our nation. I’ve had the grand honor to serve under a number of great leaders, gaining incredible insight into effective leadership skills. I flew combat air missions with amazing Marine and Navy pilots off an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf with temperatures souring over 130 degrees, yet I witnessed no Sailor or Marine complaining. We worked as a team, fought as a team and won as a team. Under the duress of war, separated from spouses and family for what seemed like eternity, fighting our nation’s battles halfway around the world, I was blessed to be able to return to my birth country safely to retire.

Yet, I decide to forego a comfortable retired life. Why?

Because once again that repeated call to public service rang loud and clear. I soon found myself running for Mission Viejo City Council. I campaigned to provide effective leadership to the City. I championed the successful achievement of our City’s most important municipal objectives: keeping our city safe and financially strong, while retaining universal respect for the City of Mission Viejo as a well-planned, welladministered community.

Unfortunately, none of the positive leadership I’ve provided has taken place without a great deal of consternation caused by a small group of egocentric political activists spewing their “our way or the highway” ultimatum.

This historic counterproductive opposition troubles me, as it should all Mission Viejo residents.

Self-identified “watchdogs” disserve our city by creating an intimidating atmosphere for elected office holders who simply don’t agree 100% with their political agenda. A single vote by the City Council majority inconsistent with the “watchdog” objectives results more often than not in vicious public attacks against City Council members and, as recently demonstrated, against Council Members’ families. Constitutionally this may be viewed as protected free speech, but I can assure our Mission Viejo residents, that slanderous rhetoric should never be a hallmark in Mission Viejo.

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