Library Commissioner Arthur Plourde Targeted for Dismissal
The agenda for the upcoming Council meeting includes a recommendation from the City Manager to remove Arthur Plourde from his Commission post for “advocating a personal agenda while representing himself as a City Commissioner.” No further details are provided in the agenda material.
There are always two sides of a story, but Plourde, for his part, believes the City is railroading him out of a Commission appointment due to his desire to keep his “oath of office” requiring him to uphold the Constitution of California.
That Constitution establishes English as the official language of the state. In what Plourde views as a violation of this constitutional provision, he claims the library is “constantly accommodating … requests for books in home languages of immigrants who are supposed to be here as Americans not as travelers.” As evidence of this, Plourde noted that the library right now has “requests for books in Farsi.”
Plourde further went on to say that, “much could be saved in taxpayers money if the Library was not so accommodating … to people who live and work here and refuse to learn ENGLISH. He also queried, “Why should Taxpayers have to put up with this? Even the Torrance Transit has signs on board their buses in Spanish and that is not necessary either.”
It is for pushing this concern with the City Librarian that Plourde believes he is now being labeled a troublemaker and removed from his position. When asked about this situation, the City Librarian declined to comment.
Plourde was appointed by the City Council to the Library Commission only a few short months ago on January 27, 2015. Plourde, now retired from Boeing, is a well-recognized face within local Republican groups as he has volunteered on the campaigns of several local republican candidates and been active in the Tea Party movement.
The Torrance municipal code does allow the City Council to remove commission appointees by a majority vote of the Council. Absent further information from the City, however, Plourde’s plight does present an interesting dilemma. It is clearly within the Council’s right to remove Plourde, but should they? What type of precedent will removing Plourde set for current and future appointees? At what point does expressing your firmly held beliefs, no matter how someone on the Council might disagree, rise to the level of unduly advocating a “personal agenda” thereby necessitating removal?