Sunday, October 13, 2013

2013 Vallejo City Council Elections

Halloween, 2013, meet some tragic and terrorizing politicians in Vallejo!
Rozzana Verder-Aliga, destroyer of Vallejo Public schools, finds acceptance with Vallejo's Christian Dominionists [link]

United Democrats of Southern Solano County President, Jonathan Gordon, explains that, as an atheist yet spiritual man, he sees the value in everybody, including those of an opposing and militant ideology who want the Democrat Party to be rid of the influence of men and women like him!

"Disagreement over the endorsement of Anthony Summers -- 10/19/13" video from "IBVALLEJO" []:

"Who is being "destructive, divisive and an obstructionist? Malgapo, Dew, Verder-Aliga and Summers Denigrate Public Service"
2013-10-14 message from Vallejo City Councilwoman Marti Brown []:

When I received my Jump Start Vallejo direct mail this weekend, I was stunned, deeply disappointed and hurt to realize that the powerful Democrats that represent the City of Vallejo and Solano County signed on to the Jump Start Vallejo Political Action Committee (PAC) to denigrate my public service to the citizens of Vallejo. Service that I have offered with honesty and integrity for the past four years. 
Unfortunately, since Malgapo, Dew, Verder-Aliga and Summers are part of the Jump Start Vallejo PAC, I can only assume that they too condone Jump Start's description of Vice-Mayor Stephanie Gomes and myself and also think that we have been "inactive obstructionists" to Vallejo's progress and future success.
In good times and bad, I have been a steadfast supporter of the everyday Vallejoan. I have stood by you and tried to set policy in our collective best interests. I have also asked you to stand with me and the rest of the council to address our most crucial community needs. I've asked you to participate and get involved--at every level of government and through community service--so that, together, we can rebuild our city with mutual respect, collaboration, cooperation and as a collective reflection of everyone who lives here.
Jump Start Vallejo, its slate of candidates and its endorsers have accused Vice-Mayor Stephanie Gomes and myself, two life-long Democrats elected to public office, as having "destructive control over the City of Vallejo" and as being "obstructionists, inactive and divisive." 
I hope you see through these lies. 
Jump Start Vallejo's endorsers include:
* Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla 
* Mayor Osby Davis 
* Solano County Sheriff, Thomas A. Ferrara
* Supervisor Erin Hannigan
* Supervisor Jim Spering 
* Supervisor Skip Thomson
* Supervisor John Vasquez
* Solano County Superintendent of Schools, Jay Speck
* Solano County District Attorney, Donald A. du Bain
* Vallejo City Councilmember, Hermie Sunga
* Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Hazel Wilson
* Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Raymond Mommsen
* Vallejo Unified School Boardmember, Rev. Dr. Tony Ubalde
* Solano County Assessor-Recorder, Marc Tonnesen
* Solano County Board of Education Boardmember, Larry Asera
* Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Michael Wilson
* Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Tom Bartee
* Former Vallejo City Councilmember, Cris Villanueva
* United Democrats of Southern Solano County President, Jonathan Gordon
Comment from Anonymous:
The officers list for United Democrats, as cited, is outdated. Having said that, and if I were still VP of United Dems, I my votes would be to endorse Liat, Joanne, and Katy. No other candidates even come close to the level    of dedication these candidates have for Vallejo.   I am baffled as to how the current United Dems or the Solano Democratic Central Committee could officially endorse candidates with positions and/or Trojan Horse motives that are not consistent with either the California or national Democratic platforms      "United Democrats of Southern Solano County"? That is a  political club. Clubs are chartered by the Central Committee, but are independent of the Democratic party and are not deemed to be affiliated and are not financially supported by the Democratic Party. I went to the Southern Solano Democratic Club website and there really isn't much info there, but here is a list of their "officers" Jonathon Gordon, Lou Bordisso, Jim Stevenson, Donald Hill, John Lewis. It looks like it is probably a really small group and I can't speak as to what their motives are in getting involved in a   Council race.      If a club fails to support, or tries to cause  the failure of a democrat to be elected, the clubs charter can be revoked. (see S.R.10 of their rules)
Does anyone know who on the United Democrats of Southern Solano County voted for the JumpStart Slate? I heard few voted and that two of the pro jump people were Jon Riley and Burky Worel.

"Vallejo May Have to File Bankruptcy Again, Warns Official, Citing 'Public Safety Unions' Holding City Hostage, and 'Buying Elections'; Other U.S. Cities Face Similar Fates"
2013-11-01 message from Vallejo City Councilwoman Marti Brown:
Vallejo, CA--
The City of Vallejo -- which in 2008 became the largest California city to file for bankruptcy -- may face a second bankruptcy soon because public safety unions are buying the upcoming NOV. 5/TUESDAY Vallejo City Council elections with dirty, outside money, charged an outgoing city council member.
"I don't have a conflict. I am not running for office," said Marti Brown. "But, I want to warn our citizens that public safety unions and other Political Action Committees (PACs) are buying the elections of their future employers - city council members. In Vallejo, they've already contributed more than $100,000 to a race that would normally cost $30-40,000 per candidate."
Brown said that this is the story not just in Vallejo, but all over the U.S. where cities are being held hostage by public safety unions as these cities struggle to make ends meet and unsuccessfully fund unsustainable public safety labor contracts. Without a doubt, she added, the country will face more municipal crisis and bankruptcies if these unions continue to flood local elections with special interest PAC monies.
"With the city's current structural deficit, Vallejo may face a second bankruptcy if public safety unions continue to go unchecked and determine the outcome of city council elections. Their PAC funded candidates will be beholden to the special interests that funded them, including putting binding interest arbitration back into the city's charter," Brown said.
"Vallejo's story is every American city story. Too many pressing needs and not enough resources. Too many powerful politicians, political parties, and civic organizations all sleeping together to get ahead and get re-elected while the average citizen and American city lag behind and suffer from a lack of services and programs.
"It's about powerful Democrats and Republicans with lots of money behind them -- public safety unions and corporations -- and very little regard for the 'every day American' trying to make ends meet, paying their rent or mortgage, and getting their children safely to school," added Brown.
Stephanie Gomes, another outgoing Vallejo City Council member, said that when she was running for office in 2005, she was asked by public safety unions if she would stay "bought."
"I was naively shocked then. I'm not shocked anymore. This is what ultimately created Vallejo's financial imbalance," Gomes said.

"Abort the port, abort the port! And beam me up, Scotty!"
2013-10-31 message from Vallejo City Council member Marti Brown:
'Support the Port' candidate, Chris Platzer, would have us all believe that if we just push the "port" button on holodeck 9 of the Starship Enterprise, we'll live happily ever after in this perfect world of 10,000 new jobs, ever-increasing revenue, and no adverse impacts to the city or Vallejo citizens.
Holodeck 9: Where all your 'port district' fantasies come true.

Chris is a smart and articulate candidate. I supported him more than once when he applied for the City's Planning Commission. So, I was really surprised when he came out with this far-from-new idea of developing a port district. After all, we've heard this type of "silver bullet" approach to our economic development woes more than once, but they've always fallen short. 
But one of the most alarming aspects of Chris's campaign is that his one and only campaign contributor, the Mare Island Rail Service (MIRS), is funding his campaign to the tune of $80,000! And, to add insult to injury, MIRS is suing the City of Vallejo. Not exactly a good business partner.
Putting Chris's campaign financing aside for a moment, however, let's take a closer look at some of the extreme challenges with the proposed port district:
* A "port district" is a taxing entity. Who do you think would be taxed with a Mare Island Port District or Authority? Vallejo citizens? Mare Island residents and businesses? Aren't we all taxed enough?
* Port districts/authorities are like "little cities." They don't follow many of the surrounding city's zoning regulations. Once established, they mostly develop their own regulations. With the Mare Island dry docks so close to a residential community and Touro University, I wonder how those groups will feel about unrestricted development and industrial activity. How would the air and water quality of Mare Island and the rest of the city be impacted? Unlike other port districts that frequently face open water, our potential port area is in a strait facing our city and our other pristine waterfront on the "mainland." 
What will our immediate surrounding residential communities look like? The residential communities surrounding the Oakland and Stockton ports, for example, are in pretty bad shape suffering from high crime and poverty. Is that what we want on Mare Island? How would the Mare Island residents and Touro University be impacted by such a Port District? If they're in the "sacrifice zone" of a port district, chances are they won't get much say about the district's future.
Also troubling is the harsh reality that it would take approximately a decade to complete the State's Environmental Impact Report and permitting process. And there's only a 50-50 chance that the results would be favorable and give us the port district that Chris envisions. Do we really want to put all our eggs in that basket and wait for a decade to find out if Chris's "silver bullet" is going to be approved?!
When it comes to economic development, we all want a silver bullet, a home run and a touch down. But truthfully, we're fresh out of all three. And sustainable economic development is incremental, builds on a communities' assets and focuses on existing businesses first - helping them to expand. It's not about sinking all our future economic development eggs in one basket.
Most of us learn at some point in life that we should develop a diverse financial portfolio. Economic development is no different. To ensure the successful financial and economic health of the city, we need a diverse portfolio that builds on the community assets and industries we already have: light manufacturing/industrial, health care, tourism and higher education.
Stop looking for "pie in the sky" answers to good economic development and start looking out our back door, working with and supporting the businesses that are already here, as well as our developers to bring long term, sustained business to Vallejo that advances the things we know we're already good at!
Finally, let's not forget that the City of Vallejo has a "Mare Island Reuse Plan" approved by prior City Councils AND the residents of Vallejo. And that plan does not currently include zoning regulations that would allow for the development of a port. I wonder why? Could it be because Vallejoans already decided that they do not want that type of heavy industry on the island? And, therefore, designed a reuse plan focused on residential, commercial and light industrial/manufacturing development instead? 
I have an idea!
On November 5, vote for candidates who actually do their homework, are not a "one-trick pony," and are not supported by one single financial campaign contributor (who is suing the city) and with no other individual donations.
I have been advised by the General Counsel of Tri-City and Olympia Rail Company that the information I provided in my most recent opinion piece entitled, "Abort the port! And beam me up, Scotty" regarding campaign contributions to Chris Platzer's city council campaign by the Mare Island Rail Service is "blatantly false" and "libelous" (see attached letter) [].
This letter is to serve as acknowledgement that I falsely cited Mare Island Rail Service (MIRS) as contributing nearly $80,000 to Chris Platzer's campaign when in fact MIRS has only contributed $300.
It is Mr. Randolph Petersen, President of Mare Island Rail Service, who contributed a total cash and in kind contribution in the amount of $78,000 to Chris Platzer's campaign. You can read the same information and numbers in the Vallejo Times Herald's recent article on campaign financing: "Finance report details spending in final days of Vallejo City Council race" [].

T&O Railroad Company, Inc.
[2579 Stevens Drive PO Box 1700 Richland, Washington, 99354]
Telephone: (509) 371-8313, Ex. 307
Fax: (509) 582-4964
Paul J. Petit General Counsel
October 29, 2013
Councilwoman Marti Brown City of Vallejo 555 Santa Clara Street Vallejo, CA 94590
Via Email and by Personal Delivery
Re: “Abort the Port”
Councilwoman Brown: I write this letter on behalf of and as General Counsel for T&O Railroad Company, Inc. (which does business in California as Mare Island Rail Service). On October 28, 2013, your “Abort the Port” pamphlet was published via email and possibly other means to a substantial number of persons in the Vallejo area. That pamphlet criticizes a candidate for City Council and makes the following blatantly false statement: But one of the most alarming aspects of Chris's campaign is that his one and only campaign contributor, the Mare Island Rail Service (MIRS), is funding his campaign to the tune of $80,000! Even a cursory reading of the campaign finance disclosure statements should have informed you that Mare Island Rail Service has made a total contribution to the campaign of this candidate in the form of services in an amount less than $300. Your false statement that Mare Island Rail Service is funding a campaign “to the tune of $80,000” is libelous. My client intends to pursue all legal remedies regarding that libel. You can avoid such action only by publishing a statement advising those to whom you sent a copy of “Abort the Port” that your statement regarding Mare Island Rail Service was and is false. In order to be effective in precluding legal action, that retraction statement acknowledging the falsehood must be published to all persons who received the false “Abort the Port” pamphlet in a format and manner equivalent to the “Abort the Port” publication and published by no later than 5:00 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2013. A copy of that statement must be provided to me at the email address shown on this letterhead.

"Supervisor Hannigan; Attacks without Facts"
2013-11-01 by City of Vallejo Vice-Mayor Stephanie Gomes, posted to "Vallejo Independent Bulletin" []:
Note: All opinions expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.
I'm not quite sure why Solano County SUPERVISOR Erin Hannigan is sniping at and lying about her constituents like a 9th grade school girl sitting at the side of the gym at her first high school party watching the smarter, prettier girls get asked to dance. Poor Erin, she must feel intimidated by the strong, intelligent women she has maligned who are the antithesis of her -- women who don't have to define their value by whether they have had children or not.
Hannigan's letter includes some unfortunate and easily provable lies (how not shocking the Times Herald printed it without checking the facts – even though they required “fact checking” when former Councilmember Joanne Schivley was running for Mayor in 2011).
As my representative at the County, I have some serious concerns about Hannigan's lying -- if she'll lie about people she represents, what else will she lie about? And correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't think Marti Brown and I were running for office this year -- so why the election eve cat claws?
To summarize her points, Hannigan asks people to vote for her candidates because it’s important to them that Measure B funds are spent on public safety, improving streets while retaining and attracting jobs to our community. Wow! That's exactly how our current budget spends Measure B funds! Thanks for the compliment, Erin.
She also notes that her candidates care about safe neighborhoods, balanced budgeting and bringing and retaining jobs to Vallejo. Every one of the candidates running for office this year cares about those issues. Every candidate in every election year cares about those issues. Regurgitated campaign platitudes are all she has to offer that make her candidates the best ones for the job?
Oh, and Hannigan talking about balanced budgeting is like getting medical advice from a car salesman. How easily she ignores her own giveaway of Vallejo Police Officers Association (VPOA) raises and 100% City-paid health care while the City was in bankruptcy, resulting in the lay off or elimination of 17 vacant police officer positions! Coincidentally, those positions cost just about the same as our current $5.2 million deficit. And that deficit nearly doubles next year. If Hannigan cared about balanced budgets so much, why did she vote for those permanent VPOA raises in 2009 when a $12 million deficit was staring her in the face?
With that background, let’s correct Hannigan's many erroneous statements:
(1) Katy Miessner supported the approved fiscally responsible Solano 360 plan and is an active member of the Solano County Fair Board. And I was on the Solano 360 committee from its inception (for over four years). Pippin Dew did not work on crafting the Solano 360 vision or advocate for the project until this past year when a run for City Council was in her very near future. I'd hardly call that a "vocal advocate" of the plan.

(2) Hannigan describes Anthony Summers as a "job placement specialist, father and local pastor". Sounds so benign and simple, doesn't it? Summers (along with Dew) begged to bring the Parolee Day Center to Vallejo that Hannigan shoved down Vallejo's throat like a poison pill. Why? Summers works as a PAROLEE job placement specialist in Vallejo. How convenient for him.

(3) Liat Meitzenheimer never spoke on the subject of the recent waterfront office building proposal. So how can Hannigan say she opposed it?
Unlike Summers, who Hannigan says would have sold our precious and unique waterfront property for $1 to build an office building. Office buildings don't need water views. They belong in the downtown. Hopefully, this building will end up there..
That aside, I hope Meitzenheimer did oppose it, like Brown, Miessner, Schively and I. If Hannigan, Summers, Malgapo, Dew and Verder-Aliga had been the "deciders" on last summer’s waterfront office building project, they'd have sold the City's precious and unique waterfront property for $1 just to have another ugly box office building (like the State Farm office) blocking our waterfront access all in the name of "jobs". (And probably another lawsuit because the building would have violated the legally agreed-upon waterfront plan.)
But because Brown and I, along with our colleagues Bob Sampayan and Robert McConnell, made the decision to deny the project and ask staff to assist the developer to find a downtown location for his project, we now have the opportunity to create new jobs AND still preserve our precious waterfront property for public uses. Instead of a “rushed yes” to a poorly conceived development project on our waterfront that ultimately sells the public short, we said “how about looking at our downtown where office buildings really belong.” As a result, everyone is winning with a development project that fits its location, benefits local business and creates jobs.
Hannigan and her candidates Malgapo, Summers, Dew and Verder-Aliga, are a part of the "anything is better than nothing" campaign. They will "give away the farm” to anyone and at any price. It doesn’t matter the offer price, the appropriateness of its location or the benefits to the community. Brown, Meitzenheimer, Miessner, Schively and I -- we believe Vallejo deserves better. And like last summer’s proposed waterfront office building, we proved that Vallejo can set its terms and ultimately negotiate a better deal for the City and the citizens of Vallejo.
I like Verder-Aliga. Indeed, she’s done good work in our community. Unfortunately, however, she is also the person Hannigan refers to as a "consensus builder". When the Vallejo Unified School District school went bankrupt, Verder-Aliga built consensus. She and her fellow Trustees tried to keep the School District’s financial problems a secret until it was too late -- because it was an election year and the truth would have hurt Trustee re-election campaigns (from the Solano Grand Jury report). Instead of building that consensus around secrecy and abusing the public's trust, she should have been more like Schively, who isn't afraid to bring up uncomfortable subjects, ask tough questions and stand alone on issues because it’s the right thing to do for the citizens and the city. I just think Verder-Aliga is too nice to be a strong, independent voice who can say "no" to powerful people.
Vallejo doesn't need more rubber stamping "yes"council members; it needs strong, independent leaders who will question staff recommendations and challenge them to offer more and better. We had the “rubber stampers” who were buddies and had “happy, pleasant” council meetings. And, ultimately, we went bankrupt.

(4) There was no campaign against Measure B, there was no money spent, no booths at the Farmer's Market, no glossy flyers. Schively and I wrote the argument against it -- for reasons that are being proven true today.
Thanks to Hannigan and her City Council majority, we knew the City had wasted the opportunity to restructure all of our employee contracts (80% of the general fund) while in bankruptcy and under protection from litigation. Therefore, the City had not resolved the structural deficit that had pushed the City into bankruptcy in the first place. Pouring additional money into the City’s general fund without solving the structural deficit was just kicking the can down the road again. Unfortunately, because we're in litigation with the VPOA over negotiations of their new contract, I cannot say more about this right now. In a few short months, however, I’ll leave office and be able to speak more freely.
As for Brown and I "hijacking" Measure B money for our pet projects -- is Hannigan accusing us of malfeasance? Because it takes at least four council members to pass a budget. So let me explain this so maybe Hannigan can understand. We operate in a Democracy. A majority of the people in Vallejo voted for Measure B and it won. This increased the City’s General Fund by approximately $10 million over the next 10 years until the tax expires. This year, The City Council voted unanimously to pass the budget -- a budget that included Measure B money. That's not called hijacking, that's called governing.
If Hannigan didn't want Measure B monies spent on upgrading the Florence Douglas Senior Center, adding more cameras and lights on our streets, increasing library services or filling pot holes (these so called "pet projects"), she had the opportunity to make Measure B a tax only for police and fire services. But polls at that time showed that tax wouldn't pass because the people wanted their additional tax dollars to give back some of the services that had been chopped to balance the City’s budget. So Hannigan chose to make Measure B a tax that could be spent on any legal government project or service versus just public safety.
I’m proud to say that this City Council is following the will of the people in spending Measure B monies.
Hannigan is just pouting because she can't pay her campaign donors back with Measure B monies and more raises. Perhaps Hannigan should have completed the remaining three years of her four year City Council term instead of going to a higher (and better paid) office, and she would have had a vote in how this Measure B money is being spent.
Hannigan telling us that we can't cut our way into prosperity is a joke. She once suggested getting rid of the entire public works department and gutting the economic development department to one person so she wouldn't have to cur police officer raises. When Hannigan bailed on local government for a higher office last year, she left the City with a $5.2 million deficit because she had voted with her Council majority to overspend the City's available revenues back in 2009. And she tells us not to cut anything? The irony.
And as far as Hannigan's "shop local" policy, three of her four chosen candidates printed their signs and mailers outside of Vallejo. Dito Dew and Summers' treasurer and campaign consultant. Talking the talk but not walking the walk. Again.
I really wish Hannigan had chosen to take the high road and write an endorsement for her chosen candidates based on their strengths instead of attacking her candidates' opponents and her former colleagues. It would have been far less divisive and focused on the strengths of her candidates instead of highlighting her own public office weaknesses. Then again, maybe her candidates don’t have enough strengths making them the best choice to hold public office.

"Finance report details spending in final days of Vallejo City Council race"
2013-10-26 by Jessica A. York from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
One candidate running for Vallejo City Council is going toe-to-toe in fundraising efforts with a large labor- and real estate-backed political action committee in this year's campaign.
The political season's second major campaign finance reports show that while JumpStart Vallejo, backing candidates Pippin Dew, Jess Malgapo, Tony Summers and Rozzana Verder-Aliga has reported raising some $63,000 and spent nearly $84,000 on the four, as of Oct. 19, Platzer's campaign has raised $81,000 and spent $78,000.
The committee has also spent funds in opposition campaigning against candidates Liat Meitzenheimer, Katy Miessner and Joanne Schivley.
JumpStart Vallejo has spent much of its independent expenditures on advertising for and against candidates, phone banking, consulting, campaign signs and voter polling, according to its reports.
A closer look at Platzer's campaign finance report, which was due for all candidates and committees Thursday, shows a large chunk of his support came in the form of donated paid campaign worker labor.
Platzer's primary backer, Mare Island Railroad Service President Randolph Peterson, has donated so much to Platzer's campaign that he has filed to become a registered "major donor." Of note from Peterson are the more than $10,000 in cash donations to Platzer, and nearly $68,000-worth of campaign worker labor.
On the opposite end of the spending scale are candidates Tony Mapalo and Herman Blackwell, who are reporting neither campaign contributions nor spending over $1,000 for the year.
Of candidates running for three open full-term council seats, reports show:
* Malgapo: Raised more than $62,000 and spent more than $38,000
* Dew: Raised $50,489 and spent nearly $18,000
* Miessner: Raised about $42,000 and spent $43,000
* Meitzenheimer: Raised $20,000 and spent more than $19,000
* Summers: Raised more than $16,000 and spent nearly $18,000.
Malgapo and Dew, both Realtors, also showed large non-monetary contributions to their campaign efforts with more than $16,000 each from the National Association of Realtors Fund for phone banking, consulting and voter lists.
Separately, three candidates contending for a single two-year seat showed two candidates neck-and-neck in campaign spending, while a third trails.
Verder-Aliga has raised nearly a total $33,000 and spent more than $24,000, while Schivley raised $16,544, but spent nearly $21,000. Ronald Johnson Jr. raised a more modest $3,311 and spent $3,510.
Candidates spending more than they raised were covered by previous cash balances in their campaign committees.
Also of note in this campaign reporting period, running from Sept. 22 through Oct. 19, is the involvement of the Vallejo Education Association, which donated $1,360-worth of labor in cell phones and phone banking for JumpStart Vallejo. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 1186 political action committee changed their designation from a state to a local committee this round, due to the high percentage of its expenditures going toward Vallejo's election. It has raised $17,000 this year and spent about $15,000, and paid $10,000 to JumpStart Vallejo
The Vallejo Police Officers Association Political Action Committee also belatedly acknowledged a $10,000 donation to JumpStart Vallejo, made on Sept. 21.
A continuously updated source of campaign contribution and independent expenditure reports is the Vallejo City Clerk's office, which is posting the documents online at, under "elections."

"VPOA Conflict of Interest Complaint against Vice Mayor Gomes Goes SPLAT!!"
2013-10-21 from the "Vallejo Independent Bulletin":

In a letter just issued by the FPPC (Fair Political Practices Commission), the agency has made clear that they "will not pursue" the complaint brought against Vallejo Vice-Mayor Stephanie Gomes by the VPOA (Vallejo Police Officers Association) President Mat Mustard. The complaint, alleging a conflict of interest on the part of Gomes opened the possibility that eighteen months of negotiations between Vallejo's police union and the city could be negated through litigation. In light of this most recent correspondence, any legal action against Gomes going forward seems unlikely.   
Read the full FPPC response  []

"Jump Start or Jump Back?"
2013-10-21 by Councilmember Marti Brown, published by "Vallejo Independent Bulletin":
 A vote for Jump Start Vallejo (JSV) is a vote to jump back into bankruptcy.
I like and respect all of the candidates on the Jump Start Vallejo slate. And I know they have good intentions for the city. But good intentions are frequently derailed by the debts owed to those who get candidates elected to office, especially Political Action Committees (PACs).
PACs expect their candidates to promote and/or prevent legislation that advances their professional interests (e.g., placing binding interest arbitration back on the ballot, deregulating real estate transactions), including increasing salaries and benefits of public employees regardless of whether the city can afford them.
Our city cannot afford to owe anything to anyone except to each and every Vallejoan, and to our collective hopes and aspirations as a community living in a post-bankruptcy world and facing a more than $8 million structural deficit over the next two years.
So far, Jump Start Vallejo has contributions by the Political Action Committees (PAC) of Vallejo Police Officer's Association in the amount of $10,000, the Vallejo Fire Fighter's Association in the amount of $5,000, the San Francisco Fire Fighter's Association also in the amount of $5,000 and the PAC of the California Realtor's Association in the amount of $8,000. Meanwhile, the PAC of the Vallejo Chamber of Commerce contributed $1500 to each Jump Start candidate, which is basically the same as if they had contributed $6,000 to Jump Start Vallejo.
To add insult to jury, the vast majority of these PAC members do not live in the city of Vallejo. I mean seriously, do you think the PAC members of the San Francisco Fire Fighters and California Association of Realtors live in Vallejo and care about the future of our great city?
So, what does all this mean for you and Vallejo?
Unfortunately, if the Jump Start candidates win, they will owe their benefactors the following and Vallejoans will pay the ultimate price:
At a minimum, Jump Start candidates will be expected to place binding interest arbitration (BIA) back on the city's ballot even though the voters approved removing it from the city's charter in 2010. This will result in more Wisconsin arbitrators deciding our financial future like the city's very last arbitrator who was from the State of Wisconsin and knew nothing about California Cities' tax structure, but still decided a portion of our fiscal future. To add insult to injury, it will cost Vallejo tax payers at least $200,000 to place BIA on the ballot. An increase in salaries and benefits for public employees, especially public safety, regardless of whether we can afford it.
Who would support these two initiatives?  Public employees and other unions. Many of which are financially backing Jump Start Vallejo.
Deregulation of real estate related transactions including real estate management (e.g., no rental inspection program, no property registration program for vacant or foreclosed properties) resulting in more power and control by the real estate industry unfettered by local laws or regulations. And no accountability or responsibility for vacant properties owned by out-of-town property owners.
 Who would support this? The Vallejo Board of Realtors and the California real estate industry. And both are backing Jump Start Vallejo. Selling the waterfront for $1 - any development, in any location, and at any price is good, right? Last summer the majority council voted down a development proposal that included selling a portion of the waterfront for $1. Isn't our waterfront worth more than that? Aren't we worth more than that?
Who would support this? The Chamber of Commerce. Also, endorsers of the Jump Start Vallejo PAC.
Placing a "Strong Mayor" initiative on the ballot and a removal of term limits. In California, there is no city with a population of less than 300,000 that has a "strong mayor" form of government. More than 95% of California's towns and cities have a City Manager-Council form of government like Vallejo. Not only that, the City's very own 2009 Charter Review Committee already recommended to a prior council that a "Strong Mayor" form of government would not be a good fit. Again, to place this on the ballot will cost the citizens of Vallejo at least $200,000.
Who would support these two initiatives? Mayor Osby Davis. And he is also an endorser of the JSV PAC.
And lastly, sheer power and political dominance by adding the Solano Democratic Central Committee to the endorsement list. The Democratic Party of Solano County wants to be on the perceived "winning team" and pull along other powerful elected Democrats from outside the city even though one of the Jump Start candidates is a self-identified anti-choice candidate--and anti-choice is NOT a Democratic Party value. Once again, these elected Democrats don't live in Vallejo, but are using their power and influence to take us back into bankruptcy.
Who would support this? The Democratic Central Committee of Solano County and other elected Democrats who just want to "join the crowd" and endorse JSV.
Remember, until the last two years, the PAC interests of Jump Start Vallejo HAVE BEEN IN CONTROL for several decades and you didn't get what you wanted then. Do you really think you will now? Have they really changed?
I apologize that it has taken more than 21 months to unravel more than 40 years of poor city management. But recommitting to the same broken system that got us into the mess isn't the answer (e.g., municipal bankruptcy, ongoing structural deficits).
But don't listen to me. Review the financial filing statements of Jump Start Vallejo and each and every candidate at the city's website and at the City Clerk's webpage. And think about what it will mean for all of us if Jump Start Vallejo's slate of candidates wins.
When it's time to vote on labor contracts or a rental inspection program or another $1 development deal on the waterfront, will Jump Start Vallejo candidates think of you and me? Or will they think of those who got them elected?
This job is tough enough without being beholden to interests that only care about their bottom line and NOT about ours. Vallejo City Council candidates must only be beholden to Vallejo Citizens period - not anyone else, including San Francisco Fire Fighters or realtors who live in LA.
Please vote on November 5 for independent candidates who are only committed to you, the citizens of Vallejo.

"Bankruptcy & the November Election: How Not to Repeat the Mistakes of the Past; Outgoing Council Members Stephanie Gomes and Marti Brown to Hold Community Forum"
Vallejo City Council Members Warn of 'Outside Special Interests' Planning to 'Buy' Vallejo Elections, Set Special Community Forum on 'Bankruptcy" and 'Special Interests'...
Vallejo, CA --
Two Vallejo City Council members -- including Vice Mayor Stephanie Gomes and Council Member Marti Brown -- are warning that Vallejo is facing powerful "outside special interests" that are trying   to buy this November's Vallejo elections.
On Wednesday, October 9, 2013, Vice Mayor Stephanie Gomes and Council Member Marti Brown will hold a community forum on the subject of bankruptcy, special interests, and how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past in this year's election.
Gomes said, "When I ran for Council in 2005, during the union endorsement interviews, they asked me, 'If we endorse you, will you stay bought?' I was naively shocked then. I'm not shocked anymore. This is what ultimately created Vallejo's financial imbalance."
Brown said, "JumpStart Vallejo is a coalition of outside and local Political Action Committees and other groups who want to dictate to Vallejoans who their next city council should be and they want to do it through outside special interests. This forum is about shedding light on this assault on our local politics through money, power and influence."
Gomes said, "We've come too far, we've worked too hard, over the last eight years to see this election bought by well-funded special interests that will take us back to fiscal crisis. You're either for the people, or you're for the organizations that funded your campaign. You can't be both."
Date: Wednesday, October 9
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Location: Dance Unlimited, 510 Georgia Street, Vallejo, CA

"Don't Fall for the JumpStart Lie!"         
2013-10-07 posted by "Vallejo Deserves Better" []:
Outside forces say they want to JumpStart Vallejo but they really just want to hijack our city AGAIN.    These are the same out-of-town big money special interests that brought bankruptcy to Vallejo.   
Summers, Dew, Malgapo, Verder-Aliga.   
They're bought and paid-for.   
Outside backers hold the purse strings and the puppet strings.   
Say NO to outsiders controlling our city government this November.   
Don't get burned.   
Say NO to the JumpStart lie.   

No comments:

Post a Comment