Thursday, September 30, 2010

Not Enough Money for Building a Park


Above is parkland in northeastern Leucadia. There are official plans for a park. There have been plans for a park for many years. The council has made zero progress on this park.

Why is there no progress on the park? Despite what Dalager and Stocks have been telling the public, cash at city hall is getting thin and they can't build the park. The city can't even afford to keep streets maintained. Its been tight for a while. In 2005 Dalager & Co. snuck through a $20 million bond debt to pump the budget back up.

Here is the Piraeus park budget page out of the current budget. The city has determined that it is short of park space AND playing fields. The city is not putting money into starting the design of the park until 2013! There is no money set aside for building it. Are there NIMBYs to blame blame for the delay of the Piraeus park? I've never heard of any objections.

There are NIMBY by the Hall park and they have caused delay to the park's development. Its growing increasingly clear that the city council is responsible for much of the delay.

Just like with the streets maintenance report the city sat on a materially completed Hall park EIR for at least six months, maybe up to a year (the city hid the records after we started looking). If we are in such a rush, why delay one day the release of the EIR?

The design of the park is being dragged out now. Which candidate will say that hiring a park designer without contractually establishing deadlines for the when the park design needs to be completed is a good idea? I'm not voting for that person.

As long as the council can blame NIMBYs and say we're making progress they don't have to explain to people that the city doesn't have enough money budgeted for the Hall park. They've had years to set the money aside AND the city took out a $20 million bond debt and still they weren't able set aside the money for the city's crown project.

Dalager's mantra has consistently been about how people have gotten in his way of building the park. Maybe he's got a plan. If the council majority has a plan, it is illegal and unethical for them to not develop the plan in the public's view. Now he just says have faith.

If we go by his record he's got a plan and its a secret because it won't stand the scrutiny. Maybe another sweetheart deal for the "Park Place" position in the New Commons? Or, maybe the school site is Park Place.

BURNING QUESTIONS
Which candidates have a finance plan for the building Phase I of the Hall park?

Which candidates have pledged to not redesign the approved Park plans?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Calaware Questions

Who wants to email the candidates and see if they agree with each of the Calaware principles below?

1. I will be second to none in supporting open government and free expression on matters of public concern.

2. I will not consent to withholding governmental information from the public unless convinced -- by publicly available legal analysis supported by specific statute or case authority -- that the information may be lawfully withheld and that failing to do so would more likely than not seriously injure an identifiable public or private interest. I will always insist on hearing -- publicly -- what is the worst case possible resulting from public disclosure.

3. I will not consent to holding meetings that exclude public attendance unless convinced -- by publicly available legal analysis supported by specific statute or case authority -- that excluding the public is lawfully permitted and that failing to do so would more likely than not seriously injure an identifiable public or private interest. I will always insist on hearing -- publicly -- what is the worst case possible resulting from public attendance.

4. In attending meetings of the body I have been elected to, I will use no electronic communications technology until the means have been installed to record and store all voice messages for subsequent public review and to display in real time and in the same room, all text messages or other traffic on the device I am using.

5. I will resist any attempt to prevent particular persons from voicing particular views, or to shut down public communication generally without excellent reason and readily available equivalent opportunities, whether in general public forums such as the streets, the plazas and the parks or in speech-dedicated forums such as government meetings.

6. As tempting as private briefings on pending meeting topics may be, I will decline to accept them from staff on any routine basis, and will instead be prepared to "ask the dumb questions" publicly, in the open meeting, for the benefit of the public's understanding.

7. I will do whatever I can to see that officers and employees of my agency understand the laws protecting whistleblowers and that a whistleblower hotline is maintained to receive and process reports of improper governmental activity, protecting the identity of the reporting party to the maximum extent permitted by law.

8. I will fully support citizens' efforts to draft, publicize, circulate and enact a sunshine ordinance that makes my agency more accommodating to public access, information and participation than under the minimum standards in the Brown Act and the California Public Records Act.

9. I will insist that the following financial data pertaining to the relevant officers and employees of my agency be posted on the agency's website and updated within five days of any changes, and until this disclosure practice is adopted, I will make my own data available on a personal website I will launch and maintain at my own expense:
• A summary of all compensation and benefits in all forms.
• The Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests.
• Any campaign contributions received, with all information required to be disclosed by the Political Reform Act.
• All agency credit card statements and/or annotated expense reimbursement claims.

10. I will do what I can to see that the immediacy, economy, convenience and power of all forms of electronic communication are devoted to the inclusion and involvement of the people in their own government, and never to their exclusion and alienation.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sprinter Update


From SDrosta:

The Sprinter update!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010
posted by Jerome Stocks 
 
The final accounting for the Sprinter rail project is in. The final federally approved budget was $484.1 million dollars, and the project is now closed out. The final tab was $477.628 million.

The Sprinter opened for service to the public in March of 2008,  was the lowest cost per mile rail project in the U.S.A., moves a lot more people than the bus routes it replaced using fewer employees, and has an excellent on-time performance record.   

On another, somewhat unrelated note, the Board of the North County Transit District voted on September 16th to reduce fares to the riding public on a promotional basis for the year 2011. It’s nice to have a public agency reduce fares instead of increasing them!


Poway Roger says:
As I recall, the Sprinter was quite a bit over budget (Correct me if I am wrong here). While the “Final” budget might be more than the actual tab, when you keep adjusting figures up and up, of course the Sprinter will look like a financial boom.

But let’s look at the original price tab and then compare it to the final tab and then ask yourself if it was really worth it.

DUDEBRO, sucks to be called out by a real conservative who has the balls to speak his principles.

  1. The projected Sprinter ridership was 12,000 — I believe it is running at under 7,000. Over 3/4 of the ridership are former bus riders, and does not have the flexibility of bus transportation.
    The Sprinter backs up traffic as it crosses various roads. That wastes time, and increases auto fuel consumption.
    So why spend almost half a billion dollars to get maybe sixteen hundred car riders off the road per day? That’s less than the typical one year increase in Hwy 78 traffic.
  2. Of course, the sadly humorous part is this puff piece touting the efficiency of the Sprinter. It gives the absurd impression that this train construction actually came in slightly UNDER budget. Au contraire!
    When the Sprinter was first envisioned 20 years ago, the projected cost was around $50 million. When construction grew closer, it was more like $160 million. It came in at just under $500 million.
    Stocks talks about the purported low cost of operation — but ignores the sky high capital cost, with no sinking fund for equipment replacement. The nuttiness of the Sprinter becomes apparent when comparing the total taxpayer per passenger mile cost of the Sprinter with the cost of subsidizing bus transportation — including the amortized capital costs of both modes.
  3. I must apologize for my first post. I think I misrepresented the effect of the Sprinter.
    I said that the Sprinter would remove “maybe sixteen hundred car riders off the road per day.” I now realize that could be interpreted as 1,600 cars off the roads. OOPS!
    Assuming people using the Sprinter (or driving) are doing round trips, that’s only 800 cars a day removed from the North County roads. And in turn that 800 figure is too high because it assumes that there’s only one person per car. The average is a bit over 1.2 persons per car.
    Again, my apologies for my sloppy implication concerning the benefit (albeit limited) of the Sprinter train service.
See Also:
Jerome Cheats Another Award Process for the Sprinter
More Mail Order Awards
Sand Lobbyist Awards Own Project

Thursday, September 23, 2010

More Mail Order Awards

The city pays out hundreds of bucks to file for "budget awards". The council likes to trumpet the award because they sound super good and most people think that the award is for financial wisdom or something like that. That would be totally incorrect. The city of Vallejo got one of those suckers when they were driving the city into bankruptcy. The City of San Diego got one while running skim funds.

The csmfoa award is given to any city that meets the minimum criteria and forks over cash. Anyone can review the the criteria.The first is, "Is there a table of contents?" and the last is, " Does document display exceptional format clarity & presentation effectiveness?"  The review is about the document, not its contents.

What is absolutely bonkers is the City of Encinitas filed for the award for last year's budget. Why is it totally nutty? The budget that Dalager, Bonds, Stocks, and Houlihan approved in the last 2 year budget cycle was totally deficient for a huge chunk of the CSMFOA criteria.

They budget document was deficient regarding criteria Section A items 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 18, & 19  and Section B items 3, 5, 10, 11, & 12 at the time the budget was made available for public discussion and adoption by the city council.


The budget had blank pages. Stop. Entire sections were left blank. These are important sections, so much so that the CSFMOA thinks they are minimum requirements in a budget, things like the list of capital improvement projects that are funded and projects that are unfunded. My favorite section, the section that outlines the budgetary assumptions... blank. That is the section that a council can use to "balance" there budget by using the magic of over-optimism. This is a highly overlooked part of the budget.

The budget was adopted weeks early and with lame explanations for the blank sections. Only Barth said no to this terrible way to proceed. Yeap, she's the crazy wild dissenter.

So how did the city get the award?
That's what Kevin C wondered and looked into. He first emailed Jennifer Smith, the city's director of finance at the city. When asked if the city got the award she wrote back yes. Then when asked if she turned in a budget document other than the one that was used for discussion and  approved, no response.

The whole point of a good budget presentation is that the document helps the public and the council make informed decisions. Submitting a budget document other than what was used and approved smells really bad.

Jennifer must have thought so too. That is why she didn't respond to the question.

Kevin C followed up with the CSMFO and asked what had been submitted. Well, they couldn't even have imaged that a city would do what the City of Encinitas did. The city turned in a different document than the one the four council members approved. The CSMFO had no rules against it but they sure realized that it was wrong.

Melisa Dixon of CSMFO wrote:
...the CSMFO Executive Committee discussed your email this afternoon during its meeting,  and the matter continues to be under review.
Later,

We have updated our forms on the website to indicate that they are certifying that the budget being presented to CSMFO is the same budget presented to City Council.
 
Note to city: when you don't respond to questions the public will think the worst of things. In this case they were right.  

Even Kerry Miller Sees the Pension Problem

Former city manager has changed his mind. He is now for pension reform.

See also: Calpensions and Pension Tsunami, and the Encinitas pension boost of 2005.

Those who voted for the 2005 pension boost will not easily adopt pension reform because they will loose face over their 2005 action. They could have been leaders in 2005 and been ahead of the game, instead they made things worse. Only Barth and Kranz are willing to say that something must change.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Faith-based or Fantasy-based Budgeting in Encinitas

Instead of saying how the city is going to fund the Hall park phase 1 construction, Dalager is telling people they have to have faith.

We have not had the money to build the Hall park, even though Dalager, Stocks, Bond, and Houlihan used the expensive "lease-revenue" scam to avoid voter approval to borrow $20million in bonds to build the park. They borrowed millions promising to fund the park, but the OFFICIAL budget shows we need another $10 million dollars to build phase 1.


click to enlarge

Maybe the city has reevaluated the costs of the Hall park construction, but that would be just a DRAFT budget rewrite that the public has not had a chance to evaluate. Tom Brown, the well respected owner of Sierra Pacific Engineering ran his council campaign on trying to correct the city's "fantasy budgeting".

Maybe Dalager has a faith validating plan. Betcha, it is a secret plan approved by a majority of the council in violation of the Brown Act. Otherwise, shouldn't we have been talking about the financing. It sure seems like they have a plan. Maybe they don't have a plan and they are just hoping nobody notices that didn't budget wisely. Good thing they have those NIMBYs to blame.

All signs point to a fire sale of city property to save face and reward their bros. It has been another year and the city still keeps its plans for Quail Gardens Drive secret. That ain't the right way to handle public property.

The big question for Dan will be, should we use the money for recreation or to keep our basic infrastructure from falling apart?

PS Don't forget how the city wanted to sell part of the Hall park as a way to finance its construction. That sure sounds funny now.

Activist and Candidate Pry Open Report

 The city finally released its pavement management report. Here is the conclusion:


The analyses indicate that $47 million (over 5 years) in pavement maintenance and rehabilitation is needed to  repair all streets and eliminate any backlog. By doing so, streets then can be maintained in good condition with on-going preventive maintenance. 
The city has not been fully funding street maintenance and has accumulated almost $18 million in deferred maintenance. Most of this was built up during the years the city was seeing massive revenue increases.


The city is only funding street overlay at a rate of about $1million a year from the general fund. The general fund has about $50 million a year. The city gets another million in matching funds and external state and SANDAG funds.

Ten million over 5 years leave a big gap to reach $47 million to catch up on the deferred maintenance.

Thanks to the city activists and candidate Kranz for putting pressure on the city to release this document. It would have been hidden from the public, like the City Wide Traffic Study was in the 2006 election, without their efforts.

If your street is in poor condition, check the report to see if the report is accurate. You can download it at the ETA blog.

See Also: Encinitas Taxpayers Blog

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dan, is that a denial or admission?



The Lecuadia Blog prize for a photo tour of Dan's kitchen has reached $200. Sounds like Dan wants to be open with the public, so this is like free money. Tell your friends.
 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Nice Things to Say Friday

What are three good things about one or each of the candidates?

Snarky remarks barred. Negative comments will be  removed from this thread.

You don't need to sign in to post into this moderated thread.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Overpaying Smells Really Good in Encinitas


Dalager schooled the Leucadia Blog last night. The candidates were asked if they thought the city needed a change to real estate practices. The Leucadia Blog had a post about crazy real estate transactions that Dalager had been involved in yesterday. We'll we thought that because the public and Barth had asked for the city council to take up the issue and they never did that nothing changed. 

Blog readers informed the LB that Dalager made cosmic claims last night. 

The first was the city has learned from their mistakes and they have made changes. Wow, I wonder what those changes are? Did the public get a chance to make suggestions to those changes? Did Dalager publicly, or secretly approve the changes?

The second was Dalager's take on the Mossey purchase. He said that the city came out "smelling like roses." Dan says this about many projects that are mismanaged and overpriced. If they are usable in the end. It doesn't matter the cost. 

I have a really cool iPod.


My iPod works great. If I had bought it for $1,472, it would still be a great iPod. I would have paid way too much. 

Our public works yard is great. We went over budget for the yard and paid way too much for the property. So, where is Dan's business sense?

Dan even said that Mossey was desperate for a buyer and was having a difficult time selling the dealership site. We should have walked away with millions left on the table. Instead we got cleaned out. We could have used that money to open the Hall park.

The city must have planted a lot of bareroot roses last fall if the public works yard smells like roses now.


At least CM James Bond was willing to fess up.

Here is what Councilmember Bond said about the purchase, “Now, I guess we’re in somewhat of a situation of buyer’s remorse.”

See Also: Works Yard Finally Turn-key

Battle of the Papers

UT 4
NCTimes 3
TCN 0

Henry of the North County Times scores one point for doing some footwork looking into Dalager's rental units. Dalager had been ordered to get his rental into compliance. He had an illegal 3rd rental unit.  Henry contacted the city and the city says that Dalager did come into compliance. From exterior, it still appears as if there are three units, because there are three active entrances, mailboxes, and addresses. Thanks to the NCTimes for clearing Dalager in their article about the candidate forum last night.





Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lessons Not Learned

There have been many silent scandals at Encinitas City Hall. Chief among them are the millions of dollars funneled to city hall cronies through real estate transactions.

Real estate is how Duke worked his corruption.  Its telling that Danny Dalager came to the defense of Randy Cunninghnam's character during the 2006 Leucadia Town Council Candidate's Forum.  Cunningham had already been convicted of bribery for national defense contracts, and Dan though we should look past that little detail.

Should anyone be surprised if Danny pushes the ethical gray zones into dark territory?

In 2006, the press wouldn't look into the stench around the city's real estate transactions. The stories are outlined in this 2006 pamphlet.
Encinitas Views September 2006


Many a Dalager supporter said at the time, I'm sure he will learn from his million dollar mistakes. We can see how well that went in this video.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New Hoodlink

We post editorials from any camp. If there is any grassrooting for Dalager, let us know and will post stuff from that camp.

Here is an editorial from Hoodlink, titled Oh Dan.

with a majority’s dogma unable to violate the
rights of a minority, of even one, to have their
voice heard.

What our current representatives in the
majority on the Encinitas City Council have
done is to exclude all issues from the agenda
which were not chosen by the majority. The
vote was, wait for it… 3 to 2… with Dan
Dalager, Jim Bond, and Jerome Stocks voting
to require that three members of the Council
must agree to adding an item to the agenda.
Those three have been telling us for years
that omnipotent knowledge is divined by
counting to three. Now, in addition to telling
us that they have no responsibility to listen to
an opinion they do not hold, they have voted
to totally exclude items from the agenda that
they do not want to be officially discussed.
It is time to break up that poisonous
triumvirate. Regardless of what a friendly guy
he may be, or how long he and his family have
been in town, we need to step into a better
future by voting Dan off the Council. Now!
~ the editors

Entire September Hoodlink Issue [clicky clicky]

Dalager Kitchen Photo Contest Prize Grows

Dear Dalager supporters,

The Leucadia blog's reward for a photo tour of Dalager's kitchen has grown to $175. Info on the contest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Dalager to Run Squeaky Clean Campaign

The UT just ran an article on Dan's "consulting". We find out that he does work on commission. It doesn't look good for a guy who was forced into a corner to take a private loan for a $100k to turn around with no real job to start relying on account commissions.

Dan did say that he realized that appearances regarding such things matter. It would look a lot better if the bank transferred Dan to another branch and only gave him commissions for non-encinitas accounts.





J.Q. Public to Dalager: This would be a really bad time to send out a lot of campaign mailers filled with distortions and flat out lies. If you try that again, you're going to get pounded by an army of motivated ground troops. Stay away from the distortions and keep it clean.

Events

Master Composter Course
The Master Composter course provides in depth training in the art and science of composting and how to teach it to others. Certification depends on class attendance and completion of 30 hours of community outreach. We encourage people of all ages and abilities to apply.
 
The course will be held in Encinitas. The class will be held five consecutive Monday evenings, from 6:00-8:30pm. Class dates are September 27th and October 4, 11, 18, and 25th. Optional field trips will be discussed the first day of class.
 
Course cost is a $30 material fees and the purchase of the course book The Complete Compost Gardening Guide by Pleasant & Martin.
 
The Master Composter Course is provided by the City of Encinitas and the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation.
 
Space is limited. An application is required. To download application or find out more information about the class, please visit www.solanacenter.org or call (760) 436-7986 ext. 225.
 
I5 Expansion Meeting
Burning Question: How do we send cars using the 101 back to the I5 when the I5 becomes more backed up? 
 
Why won't we get more cut-through traffic if more lanes are not added to the I5? What viable alternatives will keep commuters off the 101... Vulcan and then our other residential streets?

Thursday, September 09, 2010

UT Takes the Lead in Encinitas Council Scandals

Dalager forgot that he had a $100,000 loan from a developer (Shelley). Twice.

Once when filing his disclosure forms.

Once when voting for the developer's request for dropping some fees.

Watchdog writes:

But the mayor abruptly ended the interview when he was asked about his vote to reduce the fees following Shelley’s testimony.

“I don’t have too much of a memory of this. I’m going to have to go down and check on those records,” Dalager said just before hanging up a telephone. “I don’t want to talk anymore.”
Score
UT: 2
NCT: 1
TCN: 0

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Council Candidates State Their Positions

The Leucadia Blog and Encinitas Undercover bring you the candidates' ballot statements

Encinitas City Council Candidate statements November 2010 election

Leucadia Blog Candidate Evaluation Criteria
How many generations have you lived here?
Do you like taking sunset walks on the beach?
How many booster clubs do you socialize with?
Do you enjoy a nice quality of life?
Can you balance your checkbook?
Can you sound good without taking a position on anything?

Reward Grows

The LB offering for an exclusive photo shoot in Dalager's kitchen has grown to $150 thanks to a generous donation of another Leucadia Blog reader.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

flea market

SECOND SUNDAY FLEA MARKET @ The DUCK
Encinitas, CA September 2, 2010

SECOND SUNDAY FLEA MARKET @ The DUCK returns Sunday, September 12, 10:00-4:00. We are resurrecting the Olde Leucadia Flea Market, 
in the parking lot of Ducky Waddle's Emporium, 414 N. Coast Hwy. 101 in Leucadia. Several vendors will offer a selection of vintage 
goods, to discriminating buyers and collectors, covering a wide range of interests. This event is ongoing on the Second Sunday of every month. 

For additional information on FLEA MARKET @ The DUCK, contact 
Jerry 760-632-0488 or visit www.duckywaddles.com 

Ducky Waddle's Emporium, North Coast San Diego Art Gallery, Book Store 
and Center for Cultural Studies.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Leucadia Blog to Help Fund Dalager Campaign

The Leucadia Blog's $50 honorarium for usable photos of Dalager's "crap" kitchen has been matched by an anonymous blog reader. That brings the reward for documenting the kitchen to $100 bucks. Send your pledge of matching funds to

The Leucadia blog will pay $300 for video of Dalager taking a bat to his new appliances


Before the story broke, the rumor was Dalager got a whole kitchen remodel, not just a set of appliances. This rumor wasn't posted to the blog, because it was just another rumor about Dalager at that point. At this time, Dalager says he wants to be open, but he won't let the press inspect his kitchen. That makes the rumor relevant and necessary to note, because the current status of the overall kitchen must be revealed in the photo set to receive payment. The  photo set must also allow viewers to determine the model of each appliance and their condition.

The photos must be authorized by a Dalager family member. Dalager has three reasons to not let the Leucadia Blog into the house:

1) half-truths
2) choking hazards
3) ass covering.

Dalager is not going to let just anyone in to see the kitchen. But he's not going to say no to possible campaign donations from his trusted supporters! That would look really really bad if he said no to campaign money in exchange for clearing his name. That is WIN WIN!



If you are a Dalager supporter, head on over to Danny's house for a photo shoot. You can let Danny know that you'll use the honorarium to make a contribution to his campaign. Everyone knows how friendly the Dalagers are. They'll be happy to see you.

If you know a Dalager supporter please let them know about this offer for freeeee money. Here are a few of our friends who might want to give donations to Danny:


Craig Arnold
John Jgata (Gjata ?) 
Chris and Marie Cote
Chad Dinenna
Gary and Joan Hanel

Brett Farrow
Mike McGill
Tom Pellegrino
Vince Jewel
Tony Hawk
Mark and Melissa Howard
Justin and Jamie Machado
Don and Shirley Hansen
Woody Eckstrom
John Carney

Charlie Marvin
Mike Clark

Keith Shillington
Scott Brown

Joey and Sianna Randall
David and Leslie Cothran
Dave and Vickie Brookes
Betty Putnam
Morris Pike (Captain Book)

Don and Sheila Frank
Jim and Susan Comforti
Pat ‘Trish the dish’ Dugger
Charlie and Shelly Sougias
David Agaygos
Lonnie Madrid

Linda Benson
Doug Goad
Tom and Cathy Staver
Peter Curry
Chris Hicks
Terry Sisson
Larkin Hatfield
Brian Geary
Bobby Virk
Tim and Carolyn Cady
Cal and Cory Ellisor
Col. Jack Kelly, USMC (ret)
Shawn and Carol Holder
Jim Babwe
Mike and Lauri Scott

Paul Ecke
Amy and Robbie Roberts
Mary and Coach Ed Wiley
Dan O'Shea
Don Hubbard
Walter Schaefer
Andy Brown
Keith and Sara Harrison
Cheryl and Ken Harrison
Doug and Karen Long
Ken and Anne Ritchie

Bart and Dee Smith
Don Heiser

Judy Hansen
Mark Anderson
John and Mary Slingerland
Chris Calkins
Phil Kessler
Mark and Paula Allen

Linda and Tim Finnell
John Conover
Candy and Rocky Brown
Jan Grice
Gene Arrant
Bev Clausen
Warren Raps
Reverend Mike Roberts
Tony and Cindy Brandenberg

Free Campaign Dough for Dalager ...well, almost freeeee

Sunday, September 05, 2010

A Little More Leucadia

A Little Moore Coffee shop is one of Leucadia's breakfast traditions. It is along on the northern 101 and once we get pedestrian rail crossings it will be within legal walking distance of all northwestern Leucadia.

.
 I dare say that the thick tree canopy along the street sets the ambiance of the dining experience.

The folks running the cafe are super nice. You can tell that they really enjoy being able to play a small role in the life of Leucadians.
 It's a family run shop. Share the love.

My kids always love it. Pancakes are always right on. Scrambled eggs fluffy and good to go. Sometimes the french toast is a little wet, but we're still happy.

It's a good place to start your day and run into a few fellow Leucadians.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Battle of the Papers: Tied Score



UT Watchdog, 2 point opening shot

NCT Henry,
2 point response
NCT star, Henry, savvy to the wrinkles in the home team defense, finds that Dalager's loss in the kitchengate vote was overridden by the referees "dropping the ball". Its not the first time a game changing call going Danny's way smelled funny.

Warming up is the local favoriate, the Coast News. Scouts have high hopes for a 3 point shot from the scrappy little paper on the the 101. Could we see photos of Danny's kitchen? It could turn into a Cindera story.

Score: 2-2-0

Friday, September 03, 2010

Council Perks: Stuff for Freeeeee



LA Mayor Villaraigosa gets to go to all sorts of cool events, like the Lakers games, for freeeeee.


Supervisor Slater-Price goes to super cool entertainment events for freeee.

Pam Slater-Price is rich and can afford the tickets, but its much more fun to get gifts, especially from organizations that you like so much that you point tax dollars toward those entertainment organizations (she's also taken heat for the plaques she gets from the organizations she funnels tax dollars to).

Now What?

The LA Mayor asked for his actions to be reviewed by the FPPC.

Slater-Price was found to have violated FPPC rules and had to pay a fine.

Supervisor Horn has had all sorts of sleazy scandals and he'll probably get reelected.

Jerome Stocks got caught taking "funny money" from Barratt American.

From the NCTimes: Later, Stocks revealed in campaign financial disclosure forms that he declared 11 returned payments, which he said resulted from accidental overpayments to his re-election campaign that exceeded the $250 limit.
Stocks said, "I think maybe I'm a better candidate than a treasurer."
Stocks' reelection was untouched by the admission that he isn't good handling his own moolah.

Slater-Price, Horn, and Stocks have not been abandoned by the voters. Most voters don't know or care. If they care, they care less for their opponents (who are usually of a different philosophical persuasion, partially because of our system of incumbency).

Half the LB audience are Slater-Price campaign supporters. Do the voters care about ethics violations?

If they do, lets make things really simple. Elected officials should not take gifts or bro deals from anyone who has any sort of connection to the city. Period. They are there to serve the public, and with that comes some responsibility to take their actions beyond reproach. It is a good idea suggested by others in the County.

What Dalager did looks bad, but as you can see, it is far from career ending.

The whole thing would blow over for Dalager if he would let the press inspect his kitchen. His refusal smacks of a cover up. Logan Jenkin's was willing to write that Dalager's kitchen didn't match the story being weaved about the appliances.

It was all “old crap,” Dalager told me.
Really?
I’ve seen his kitchen and the brushed-steel stove setup looked pretty sleek, modern and functional to me. In short, this is the best cooking crap I’ve ever seen.

Did Dalager trade for a vote? I highly doubt that it was necessary to bribe Dalager for that vote. And, the Gordons apparently give bro deals to a select few around the city. However, that bro deal is not available to the public.

There should be no appearance that access to bro deals is a perk of being Mayor.

The Gordons have lots of reasons to keep Dalager happy. Well, they had that famous vote you already know about. The Gordons also have their very own Taxpayer subsidized government liaison.

Our city along with other cities pay Steve Aceti's salary to run CalCoast (a lobbying firm, sort of). CalCoast is government funded and directed by a board of elected officials. Steve Aceti turns around and uses CalCoast to represent the Gordons at city hall.  (Aceti also promotes a pro seawall agenda and the Gordons have expressed their extreme pro-sea wall views to at least one city council candidate).

The day I went to meet Aceti to talk about what CalCoast does for Encinitas, he interrupted our meeting to start a phone meeting with City Attorney Sabine and City Manager Cotton. The topic of that conversation? Well, it was the Gordon's issues with the engineering department. Aceti was clearly heavily involved in the issue.

The Gordons are enjoying a personal taxpayer subsidized lobbyist at city hall, and Sacramento. If you're not a bro, you don't get one of those.