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12/31/07

Interesting perspective Firebug about the citygate report and Mr. Angelo's decision in favor of the local IAFF 1186. I have to agree about Wiggins and other pro old city agenda on tax and fee increases. I know firebug that you feel the firefighters union is the single biggest problem Vallejo faces, but I feel that it is our old school money and power hence agenda at work here. The IAFF local 1186 simply had a large supply of money, and those old Vallejo families that continually benefit from city tax breaks, fortuitous development deals are the true threat hence the brains of this despicable operation. All they did is to agree to provide money in exchange for the firefighter interests being made a priority. If you do not believe me just look at Hannigan and Wilson scrutinizing a desolate budget for COLA increases due to the already bloated and over fed firefighters contracts. Again I want to thank you for helping us with your abilities and in the end we will need to remove binding arbitration from this city’s charter if we can expect to have a fair and prosperous city.

Back to old school people, did anyone else read into Our Mayor's decision to postpone cuts until February? It would be fortuitous indeed for him not to have to make decisions about tax and fee increases, controversial cuts, and contract extensions for our safety unions. I believe Mr. Cloutier has 30 days to file and appeal and I believe that the questionable two vote margin will very well reversed leading us into a runoff election of sorts. It would be very unfortunate for Mr Davis to in addition to consorting with a band of scoundrels (Willie Brown and Elihu Harris) as well as the corrupt and disgraced Kevin Shelley he would also have to the endure the criticism of tax, fee increases, and contract extensions.

I believe this well orchestrated scouring of the books is nothing more than buying Mr. Davis the time he needs to survive a runoff election should Mr. Cloutier decide to exercise his legal option.

Silus Barnabe


12/30/07

OK burning fans, here’s my Sunday update. I hit the mother load of data on fire services last night. The League of California Cities has a website with consolidated financial information for over 300 cities. If you love data and use it to support your arguments, you need to check this out: http://www.cacities.org 
I was able to click through a link on cacities.org that took me to some great big spreadsheets on fire spending and fire staffing levels by city for the past 15 years. The link is here: http://www.californiacityfinance.com/#SPENDING . So I’ve just spent the last few hours cutting and pasting, dividing and multiplying trying to get some idea of why our fire spending is so high in relation to other data for Vallejo. I’ll post my spreadsheet with the calculations when I’m finished but here’s a few details off the top. Vallejo is spending a bundle for fire services. Not the top spender in California but clearly we are way up there. Now I know what you’re thinking, Doug is the last guy in town to figure this out but I needed to see the data for myself. If you look at fire spending per capita, again we’re near the top. Only Benicia spends more than us in Solano County (for the last year of data 2005): Benicia $175/person, Vallejo $167/person, Dixon $134/ person, Rio Vista $120/person, Fairfield $98/person.

Doug Sherman


Dear Silas,
Yes you understand my point! Like has been mentioned before the more safe less safe argument with no quantitative data to back it up (perhaps Zoo experts should have written the citygate report) is merely a tautology. Saying that having more firefighters makes it more safe is exactly what such an argument is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tautology_%28logic%29

This is what gave rise to the inflammatory statements from Parker and the Union leadership "people are going to die". Isn't that statement true regardless of how many firefighters we have or do not have on duty? Can't I say that with Vallejo having the worst roads in Solano County and they are therefore the most dangerous (this was in IAFF literature supporting the defeated Measure H tax for Solano County Roads and Highways). If safety is a priority why isn't it reflecting in our general fund spending? (3/4 for safety services) We need to distinguish what the arbitrators decision was and what the City Gate report was.

Angelo's decision wasn't about safety for the citizen (you and me) it was about safety of the workers which was not addressed by the citygate report. If you read Pat Wiggins editorial today about the State budget crisis and possible fixes she is consistant with Mr. Sherman that we need to increase revenues. Such revenue increases proposed by Ms. Wiggins are to raise taxes or fees. Adding to the confusion is the conflicting statements made by the union lawyer Alan Davis that there is not "budget crisis" and than saying the firefighters union had been willing to negotiate cuts all along. What this amounts to is raising taxes on a budget deficit that allegedly doesn't exist yet Mr. Sherman, and Senator Wiggins notion of raising revenue is as clear as the promises of new businesses made by Hannigan and Wilson.

Firebug


12/29/07

The SF zoo disregarded the "experts" recomendation for a 16.4' fence.
Why pay attention to the city gate "experts"?


My issue with the citygate report as it has been called is that there isn’t any study that shows what response times would be if we were to reduce staffing levels. In fact I found it quite pat that the closure of one firehouse and reducing the staffing from 28 to 24 was not addressed. I have always believed that this report omitted data, and after reading some of firebugs posts on vallejonews.com I have to agree that it is more than a coincidence that the Former Chief Parker stated he would only stick around to “protect” staffing., and a report was produced with he and his staffs input that didn’t even address staff reductions.

The report not addressing staff reductions and Parker not addressing staff reductions left me with more questions than answers. I feel cheated that we could not be given a measurement of what “less safe” means by losing a ladder truck. I feel that it was this omission that led to the arbitrator’s bizarre conclusion about reducing staff would make vallejoans “less safe” with no quantitative data to back it up except throwing bodies at the arguement of "more is better" rather than the measured effect of their absence. 

Silus Barnabe


Businesses will come when Vallejo is a safe, livable community and the demographics indicate there is some disposable income. The comment about the dispropotionate number of arson fires and aggravated assaults in Vallejo validate that the demographics trend, also disproportionately, to the lower economic and social strata. 

All those past lawsuits indicate that there were serious flaws in the planning process not the least of which is that City staff have a "siege mentality" where "public process" and the "facts" are viewed as impediments. 


Doug,
Actually it is someone on here that gave an excellent comparison between Fairfield and Vallejo. I argued this three years ago and, that argument with Fairfield was pointed out on Vallejonews.com by some of the firefighters union folks that post there. There was actually a poster that had the audacity to compare Vallejo to San Francisco (the Hilly areas) so I actually indulged their hypothesis, but in the end It costs more per firefighter in Vallejo than it does in San Francisco. If you read this thread there is a comparison of what it costs to fund fire services in Hayward compared to Vallejo (that was me). We spend the same amount for 25 less sworn firefighters yet Hayward is 20 percent larger in land mass and area. Also the “hilly” argument goes down the drain because the large high density of structures in the area of Cal State East Bay is comparable to the “hilly” areas of Vallejo namely our Mare Island and Heritage District. The thread is here:

http://www.vallejonews.com/forums2/Thread.cfm?CFApp=3&Thread_ID=46113&mc=109

In terms of violent crime and Police calls you have to ask yourself why does Vallejo pay more per cop than Oakland or San Francisco? I consider them to be moderately to more extremely dangerous than Vallejo. I think there was a study showing Vallejo’s pay compared to the 14 cities where we are on top. A recent San Francisco editorial supports that we pay tops in Vallejo.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/28/ED6MTJCNF.DTL&hw=shuts&sn=095&sc=148

A look at Hayward’s books, with a general fund of just over $104,000 with a population of 145,000 and Vallejo at less than 120,000 with a general fund of 82 million does not indicate a revenue issue to me. We both pay about $25 million for fire services with Vallejo employing 25 less firefighters.

http://www.hayward-ca.gov/departments/finance/documents/COH_2007_CAFR.pdf



I hope this helps,
Firebug


I’ve been struggling to understand the fire service comparisons between Fairfield and Vallejo. I’ll send a shout out to Firebug for first bringing this comparison up in the TH blogs months ago. At first glance the comparison of the two cities general funds, land mass, total population, number of fire fighters, etc. puts Fairfield in the lead in terms of cost per services rendered. It’s a subject that I’m very interested in and I thought I would share some of what I’ve learned and the early conclusions I’ve come to. The Vallejo tax payers paid for a very thorough analysis of our fire services back in 2006 and the final report is available here: http://www.columbusparkway.com/citygate_fire_report2006.pdf 
I highly recommend this document to anyone who wants to get at the facts surrounding staffing levels and the key metrics used to determine how each city measures up against recommended standards. One of the things that caught my attention was street layout. Vallejo has a non-grid street layout and hilly terrain in some parts of the city which can slow response times. This in turn affects how you staff your fire department and how you layout the fire stations. As I read through this document and continue to think about Fairfield in comparison to Vallejo, I come to the conclusion that it will cost more for safety services in Vallejo. How much more is an open question but to simply cite the lower Fairfield costs and then jump directly to a final conclusion is a useless exercise IMO. Digging a little deeper I found these consolidated government statistics on population demographics, income levels and crime. The links are here:
http://www.idcide.com/citydata/ca/vallejo.htm

http://www.idcide.com/citydata/ca/fairfield.htm
Notice that Vallejo has on average 2.5 times as many arson fires as Fairfield and 2 times the number of aggravated assaults. This tells me the community that we’ve built here in Vallejo is a more costly community in terms of emergency services. I’m firmly in favor of gaining concessions from the IAFF; I believe there should be some wiggle room in the compensation package to help the tax payers out. In addition, however, I believe will need to increase revenues. The folks who have worked so diligently to block business growth will also need to chip in. As well meaning as many intentions were, we sued, protested and obstructed our way to stagnating revenue growth over the last 10 years. This combination has contributed to the perfect storm we find ourselves in now.

Doug Sherman


12/28/07

The post from yesterday is just a sample of what we had to endure in the weeks before the election at the TH site. What a bunch of classless individuals, I am having similar misinformation coming from them here.

http://www.vallejonews.com/forums2/Thread.cfm?CFApp=3&Thread_ID=46731&mc=58

Lots of obfuscation on the Stout budget typical comapring apples to bananas and taking things out of context. They even attacked the slide Paul Norberg provided and our Disco Queen's notes on the Council meeting. I really liked JD MIller's My Turn in the TH today, another interesting comparison to Fairfield and supports Mr. Norbergs about the problem in vallejo is expenditures not revenues.

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/myturn/ci_7829307


Firebug


Protection from disasterous fires involves everyone. Heros include the maintenance crews that keep the roads paved so our heroic firemen can actually get to the fire and the fire hydrants charged so that fire hoses have water. Heros include the architects, building officials and contactors that build in the fire rated assemblies that keep buildings from collapsing long enough so that people can get out safely and give the fire fighters some security in their decision-making about entering. Heros include Code Enforcement officers who make sure that people are not living in substandard, unsafe housing. Heros include the prison crews that build firebreaks to protect the fabulous homes on the urban/wildland interface. Heros include ordinary people that notice the binging fire alarm in a neighbors house, quickly call 911 and then run to get their hose. Many heroic rescues take place long before the firemen get to the scene by everyday people who care and respond. 

We all risk our lives everyday when we walk out the door..... If risk is the only factor for incredibly high pay then I vote that we give raises to all the road workers standing out there with their shovels on the freeway with cars whizzing by. I would bet that a whole lot more of them die in the line of duty than firefighters with all of their fabulous equipment. It makes no sense to give all our money to the firefighters and then not have passable roads, a dependable water system and safe buildings because we can't afford Public Works, Building Inspectors or Code Enforcement. 


12/27/07

Unless you've done it, shut TFU. If you've never been in a burning structure with nothing but a airpack and a light, you can't talk sh*t. Too easy for a phoney, slacker to say these things. Live it and then talk.

Bob Langston.

In the interest of presenting a differing view I have included this comment with its profanity as written.  It is my hope Mr. Langston will enter into a more productive discourse so we can look at his issues.  Further profane posts will be deleted.    Marc Garman--Editor VIB


12/26/07

Day off? Not for everyone ... 
By SARA STROUD/Times-Herald staff writer 
I am suppose to feel sympathic to the firefighters working on Christmas!? They are getting double, or if not triple time, while their family members are visiting them at the station, or hanging out with their beatwives.
GCS 


12/25/07

County Supervisors’ Dec. 11th Meeting:
I would like to thank County Supervisor Barbara Kondylis, predominantly because it appears she is the only one of our County Supervisors who is upholding her oath of office (her promise to “We the People”)…to “Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States.” And, one of our most important rights the “Right to Vote” in unsullied and evenhanded elections. Presently, at least, in Solano County, the voting process seems, at best, flawed and/or threatened! 
Supervisors’ Reagan, Silva, Spering, and Vasquez, you may take this lightly. But, don’t forget, this is the same process that put you four in office. So, if any or all of you are simply going to sit back and ignore this, just remember at least three of you have elections coming up and I’m positive you’ll want to know, WITHOUT DOUBT, every vote for you is counted. Furthermore, I assure you if this is not fixed, I for one during your campaigns, will do my best to remind the voters of how all of you sat idle knowing that our voting rights were defective and in peril and did nothing about it!! Supervisor Kondylis is obviously concerned, (as all of you should be), and trying to remedy any and all possible discrepancies we are having with our county's ES&S ballot-counting machines and any other problems within the voting, counting, or recounting process. How many times does Kondylis have to state she has no motive other than to do her job and keep our voting process fair and just? We’ve heard Supervisor Kondylis publicly state, “Presidential primary election and the June local elections could be tainted if the county's ES&S ballot-counting machines being the blame for many discrepancies. This needs to be fixed now.” This was only after the Registrar himself, stated ballots were not counted due to machine irregularities.
During the first three hours of the Dec. 11th meeting the voters had to sit and listen to Supervisors’ Reagan, Silva, Spering, and Vasquez repeatedly tell us, “We know longer have power over the Registrar’s office or any part of the election process,” and “We’ve turned everything to do with polling, ballot counting and/or re-counting over to the Registrar’s office and now all phases of the election process is out of our purview…” Then, as if all of the citizens watching were too stupid to notice… the four of you voted to certify Registrar Rosenthal’s questionable recount!!! Sorry, but this stinks of ABSOLUTE involvment of the election recount process! Don’t Ya Think? 
Supervisor Kondylis said that after years of observing the elections and the County Registrar’s tallying process the votes were always the same no matter how many times they were recounted and added that it might be better if the Board of Supervisors go back to being involved to some extent as overseers to the political process/registrar's office.
Lastly, during that same meeting I was puzzled to hear three of you agree to one of the most ignorant statements I’ve ever heard!!! Daniel Glaze, one of the re-count observers said, “I disagree with Supervisor Kondylis! Voting and ballots should never be a part of the political process... this is an election and shouldn't be political, thank you!” HOW FREAKING STUPID!!! … If any of you can possibly achieve such thing, I’m coming to your next meeting because I want to see if you can take the wet out of water too…PLEASE! 
Supervisor Kondylis suggested to the Board moving their certification of the questionable recount to the end of the board meeting to hear whether or not the judge had ordered an injunction against the recount, Kondylis was merely suggesting this because, as she stated, I really don’t want to certify this recount and then discover in an hour the judge has placed an injunction on the certification of the recount… Well, this was totally ignored by the four good ol’ boys, for some reason they wanted to vote to certify NOW!
Kondylis asked County Counsel, Dennis Bunting “We are allowed to put this at the end of today’s agenda, right?” Bunting answered, “Yes you can, but… You [the Board] do have a public duty… again, it’s administrable but, you do have a public duty.” Your legal-ease is a little vague … Ya-think Dennis?
Anyway without missing a beat the for Good Ol’ Boys voted as if they were in a hurry to certify before hearing from the judge… So, now I ask you, … in reality which Board members seemingly had agendas that made them feel they needed to execute this certification SO QUICKLY? 
I’m NOT concerned with WHOM from the last recount… I AM only concerned with whether I or you should waste our time going to any of the polls in Solano County to vote in any future elections. If our County Supervisor’s do not care enough to make sure our voting process is ALWAYS kept fair and above-board… well, you get the picture!
D. West


Another difference between the City of Vallejo and Fairfield is that Vallejo has a total of Federally subsidized 4,019 Housing Choice (Section 8) and Project Based Vouchers and a waiting list of 6,000 more families. More Projects are in the planning stages. The City of Fairfield has a total of 851 vouchers. Using average household size provided by the Vallejo Housing Authority of 2.7 people per voucher, 9% of Vallejo’s population lives in subsidized housing. Vallejo's downtown census tract is 56% subsidized housing...mostly Projects. Like, you know, "the Projects". The Vallejo Police Department told me that they had 600 calls for service last year to Marina Vista alone so Vallejo's General Fund pays for safety services so out-of-town investors don't have to. 

So what do other communities do? (In addition to having a decent, up-to-date General Plan that dispurses very low income housing throughout the community rather than dump it all in the Old Town.) Napa charges property owners for the total cost of police services over a set number each year. That moves the cost of providing safety services into the right column and creates an incentive for good management. Oakland has a system where each rental unit in the City is inspected by the Fire Department to make sure the smoke detectors and the water heater work for a fee of $75 per unit. They also are trained to list other code violations. OK, so assuming Vallejo has 20,000 rental units, that works out to $1.5 million and would give our noble fire fighters something to do between heroic rescues.    (unsigned)


I found the letter to the editor by writer Tranquilino Martinez to be shallow,spiteful, and quite undemocratic.

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/letters/ci_7793986

In this letter it seems as though the writer is hoping the controversy of this election would be forgotten and now that the candidate apparently meets his favor is in office we should all just forget and move on. What I find disturbing is that this election including the trashed Ballot the reversal of two Ballots should be scrutinized has many doubting this election but also has certain supporters up in arms to hide the truth of what happened in this election. The right to vote is a one that should not be shrugged off, and the integrity of those that count ballots should be beyond repute. The mistakes and sloppy procedures of this election, questionable strategies from nefarious characters have elicited a reaction that should never happen in any electoral process.

Several voters, elected officials and even candidates have expressed their lack of confidence in the election office and leadership. Rather than taking the integrity of the voting process as a matter of pride, honor, and doing the right thing to restore trust in our voting institution; some supporters of the new winner, and elected officials apparently bent on protecting their own integrity have rushed to criticize, ostracize, and even boo individuals both elected and concerned about the integrity of our voting process.

Right now we have a terrible problem in Solano County, there are voters that feel their vote does not count and this makes a mockery of our constitutional principles. I would hope that every American that believes in our constitution and bill of rights embraces this challenge to restore the integrity of our votes or forever maintain the shroud of mistrust and deceit that shouldn’t ever exist in our electoral process. Letters like Mr. Martinez and others that make spiteful claims of lawsuits and other tools designed to silence those seeking to restore the integrity of Mr. Rosenthal’s office are at best not people that believe in democracy for all but rather democracy for only themselves.

Silas Barnabe


12/22/07


Guadalupe is WRONG The City manager gets a paltry 452,000$$ including bennies....JOKE JOKE !!!! HAMIED 


and another thought...Why is it during "spare the air" days that Marin County ferrys are free and Vallejo ferrys arn't?

and if you work for the City of Vallejo, employee's medical and family members are paid 100% , and in Marin County, employee's benifits are paid partually by the employer and out-of-pocket by the employee.?

the City Manager gets paid a whopping $400,000.00 annually?

NO WONDER VALLEJO IS IN A CRISIS!!

GAUDALUPE CONCEPTION SWARTZ


My recent post on the use of Redevelopment Agency funds was meant to clarify the use of these funds. It seemed to me that John Osborne was implying that the Redevelopment Agency could repay the general fund and help solve the budget crisis. Alan Davis the fire union attorney was quoted in the Times Herald as stating that “his clients do not believe a deficit exists and that the city has failed to prepare required audits and other reports.” Dick Benne and Silas Barnabe added their comments, and it occurred to me that residents might still be confused about the use of Redevelopment Agency funds. The source of the real answer to these questions is Rob Stout the city Finance Director, so I contacted him and he confirmed that the Redevelopment Agency money was not available for the general fund. As to the Hiddenbrooke Overpass fund, that money was set aside by the developer and builders at Hiddenbrooke to provide for the eventual widening and traffic signals at the I 80 overpass at Hiddenbrooke if it is needed in the future. Regardless of which fund is repaid first from the Redevelopment Agency, the money still wouldn’t go the general fund to help with the current deficit. We have a very well qualified Finance Director in Vallejo and it is frustrating to continue to hear comments about the city not providing information or suggesting funds earmarked for specific purposes will somehow solve the general fund problem. The budget update included with the city council agenda for the 12/18/07 meeting was very comprehensive, and it is time for the council to buckle down and deal with the issues.

Paul Norberg


Hello VIB-ers and staff,
With all the volumes of irony and hypocrisy these days it seems an entire book can be written about such in the coming months. After all with the election promises of our newly elected Henkettes and criticism of all the old Council there is so much of both filling the papers and streets of Vallejo.

Yet another example is found in our very own Times Herald this Saturday morning “Businesses say costs, delays are reason to avoid Vallejo”. This is a front page feature about business fees from the city being too high and services too slow to get. They compare Vallejo’s fees to Fairfield’s (see any hypocrisy there, they didn’t want to go there and provide a comparison for fire department costs or lack of public works monies) and that Fairfield’s fees are half of Vallejo’s does that ring a bell? If not please see an excellent comparison on this website of Vallejo’s fire department cost break down and Fairfield’s funny how the Times Herald missed that one.

I have to wonder if the permit office was staffed adequately from the general fund if fees would be lower and permits issued in a timelier manner(How could I have forgot 3/4 of the general fund and soon more belongs to the elephant). The Times Herald mentions this after an election where they supported and wrote favorable editorials to the firefighters union that helped put in pro safety union council majority that feel it is ok to have such poor roads (The worst in Solano county) and slow costly city hall services as long as we do not tackle the costs of safety services.

Could it be that the Times Herald is now remembering that outside the election these businesses pay to put adds in their paper? Hello Times Herald and Businesses! Welcome to Vallejo where we have sky high fees for water, garbage, and pay for our own side walk repair; and if you have the misfortune to be a non-profit forget about it the elephant never shares. The elephant recently went on a rampage and shirked paying its' fair share of $4.2 million part of this cities deficit, it poured hundreds of thousands into this election to put elephant lovers in office, and maligned any candidate that chose to be an elephant trainer. If you are the least bit concerned with fixing this Times Herald editorial staff please note what candidates you supported and what group you defended during the last two years and join us in making a change in Vallejo! Help us make Vallejo a great place to live and do businesses, not just a great place to be a cop or a fireman.

Silas Barnabe


12/21/07

I have to point out that Richard (Dick) Benne is number 97 on the
obscene list of 101 Vallejo fire fighters who made over $100,000
last year. His gross pay was over $110,000. - but that figure
doesn't include the even more obscene benefit package that goes on
top of his salary.

But to praise him on the other hand, he is one of the few FF's who
lives in Vallejo so I am glad that some of our monies are staying in
Vallejo.

So, Mr. Benne, how do you feel about the theft of hundreds of
thousands of OUR dollars being ripped off for use on non-union
business? Doesn't that make you mad at Henke & Riley, the thieving
duo?

You are right to put the focus on the budget but let's not be
disingenuous about it through your analogy. When we joke about
Henkeville, it is not unlike the Pottersville nightmare depicted in
It's a Wonderful Life because at this point in time, one person holds
quite a lot of financial power over our community. His capitulation
to reduce the raises of this year and next - without contract
extensions - will go a l-o-n-g way to improving our financial
situation and mending that much irritated fence. I think if
employees who live in Vallejo and those who are sick of Henke's
posturing put some pressure on Henke, we could have a solution to a
large part of our deficit.

No, it is not a panacea but it is the largest slice of the pie and
will stave off bankruptcy, I hope.

From Sparky


Here is the link to your letter Mr. Benne

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/letters/ci_7722288


The Vallejo City Council (Nov. 27) spent a portion of its meeting discussing the city's budget. There was a point brought up by a Mr. Osborn, from the speaker's dais. 
Looking at his statement, from a bank or business perspective, may illustrate that those asking to shoulder the burden, are not the ones primarily culpable for the problem. The statement he made was that Redevelopment owes the General Fund $7.1 million. No one from the city disputed that statement. It is my understanding that, unfortunately, the Redevelopment Agency does not have that in cash? 
The budget shortfall seems to be a moving target somewhere between $7 and $12 million. Public safety is about 68 percent of the city of Vallejo's workforce. 
Between salaries-benefits and vehicle maintenance-operation they consume about 73 percent of the General Fund. Therefore, they appear to be the area where the greatest amount of the "fix" can come from. 
An analogy occurred to me. If an employee of a small bank (i.e. John Smith) had made $7.1 million in bad loans, for Redevelopment purposes, it is possible that those liabilities could put the bank at risk. 
The bank may ask its employees and/or creditors for some relief (concessions) to help get through this financial crisis. 
The bank knows that the employees and creditors are not the blame, but are still asked to shoulder the burden of helping "fix" the problem. 
The bank employees may be one of the best paid bank staffs in the area? The creditors may have slightly higher than average prices for their services? However, the crux of the problem is not the staff or creditors, although their help is required for a successful solution. 
My point is: Where you find your solution is not always from the root of your problem. 
Dick Benne, Vallejo

“I am sorry if my wording was interpreted that the funds owed to the GF, when repaid, should be available for fire department salaries and benefits. My comments never refered to a specific department (or any department for that matter) and and the conclusion had nothing to do with funding salaries and benefits. That would be Mr. Norbergs opinion and not mine”

It is not a matter for interpretation if the money went back to the general fund it would go to salaries and benefits, and yes some would go to those employed in the fire department. Your carefully chosen word of “should” reminds me of putting someone in the lions den with starving lions but somehow trying to imply it was never your intention for the lions to eat the person.
Firebug 10 year Vallejoan


Thank you for clarifying the source of funds. <Paul Norberg: "A close reading of the Redevelopment Agency report shows that it does owe the city $5.4 million, but $4.3 million of that was used for the Empress Theater renovation and the source of the money was the Arts and Convention Fund and The Hiddenbrooke Overpass Fund. So, when the Redevelopment Agency recovers the money from the Empress Theater it will be returned to the Arts and Convention Fund and The Hiddenbrooke Overpass Fund not the General Fund, and will not be available for fire department salaries and benefits."> I am sorry if my wording was interpreted that the funds owed to the GF, when repaid, should be available for fire department salaries and benefits. My comments never refered to a specific department (or any department for that matter) and and the conclusion had nothing to do with funding salaries and benefits. That would be Mr. Norbergs opinion and not mine. 

I do not know what an "Overpass Fund" is and wonder if we have a fund for every overpass in Vallejo (13 in all?)? I thought the "overpasses" were a responsibility of CALTRANS? Is Vallejo resonsible to rebuild the overpasses in the event of collapse? They can collapse as seen in LA, but I always assumed the state paid to rebuild them.

My wife and I are regular attendees of community theatre. I am naive in the funding it takes to "maintain" a theatre as well at the annual amount of money it, takes-in, in excess of annual overhead costs. Is there a projection (maybe this is a question for "The aging Disco Queen") as to when the Arts and Convention Fund and The Hiddenbrooke Overpass Fund will be reimbursed? Do the two funds receive equal payments or is the Overpass Fund repaid first from the Empress receipts? 

Looking at the amounts owed to those two funds I find it a bit curious that the city would fund a concrete overpass (primarily serving only Hiddenbrooke) and the Arts and Convention Center at a ratio of almost 100x more than the FDC. But then again nothing in the way of funding and financing is ever simple or always obvious without knowing how it was developed and the details.

Dick Benne


12/20/07

After some reflections about the election and the City Council meeting on December 18 I observed the following. After months of listening to the likes of Erin Hannigan, and other bought Council members and the 1186 twinkies blaming the low-rent and section 8 housing for much of Vallejo’s fianncial problems and not bringing in revenues it was ironic to watch the Henkettes on the Council praise this development on El Dorado St..

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7769028

On another campaign lie, finally after the election does the Times Herald release a report from the Solano MTC that Vallejo’s roads are the worst in Solano County. In light of recent talk about contract extensions, I can’t imagine that our roads have been cared for from our general fund like other Solano county cities with these contracts gobbling up ¾ of Vallejo’s general fund. I think I know where the MTC is heading with this for yet a fourth run at raising Solano County’s sales tax, but with the $14 billion budget shortfall at the state level their sales tax hike might just eclipse poor Ken Hall’s (Solano county’s MTC top dog) dreams. So much for the lie from the Henkettes, 1186’ers and 1186 twinkies that Vallejo’s roads are no worse than any other city.

On that note did anyone else notice Mayor Davis tell speakers during the public comment period to refrain from “dressing down” Council members in public? For an elected official that barely won by two votes, aside from profanity the public comment period is a bastion of our right to free speech. He should take note that the ACLU loves to get involved when public officials try to stifle or interfere with the publics’ right to comment. I hope this behavior does not continue to extend to Council members Shively or Gomes. I also wanted to Thank Paul Norberg for uncovering the flaw in Mr. Benne’s letter to the editor and Mr. Osborne's redevelopment conspiracy theories. Thanks to all that spoke and attended those meetings you have my respect and deepest appreciation.

Silas Barnabe


Thank you, R.B. Point being; Mr. Brooks and others, felt Ms.Gomes and Ms.Schivley were merely spewing sour grapes, because Mr. Cloutier was not elected. As I responded to Eyvette Robinson in Tuesday's T.H.; its all about the election being compromised! Voting irregularities occurred. The validity of the re-counts were jeopardized. A ballot found in a trash basket. The issue is; the election and the hypocrisy is, anyone not believing the City of Vallejo got jobbed! Ms. Robinson called the two councilwomen, " HYPOCRITES " and I simply replied; when the vote fell in favor of Mr. Davis, after it had been favorable to Mr. Cloutier, Ms. Robinson wanted the vote certified, so who indeed, was the hypocrite? Anyone; who can think logically, would make the connection that Ms. Robinson and Mr. Brooks desired Mr. Davis to become Mayor, whether the election process was compromised or not!
R.B., have a great Holiday Season and more of the illogical thinking; from Vallejo's finest, could be seen by Mr. Bartee's tap dance on Tuesday, in conjunction with his proposal to further support his Firemen brethren and their contract!

Bill S


12/19/07

We have all been told that we should not rush to judgment and wait to see how our newly weds work out. It only took two meetings but as I watched the council meeting, the true colors emerged from Hannigan as she went after the FD's analyst, Pat Keener. She questioned why this position was needed after learning that it would be transferred to the Finance dept. After much discussion on the item on Tuesday, Hannigan stated that she was not comfortable voting on the amended budget, because she did not have enough information. Her only concern regarding the budget cuts appeared to be for the VFD employees and any cuts they would face and how that may impact their dept. Hmmmm!
If she needed this information in order to make a informed decision, why did she not voice this concern prior to the call to vote? My understanding is that Davis, Wilson and Hannigan met with the Finance director over the weekend to get up to speed on the budget. They then sat through an informational session called on Monday. Questions asked by the public on Monday night were answered in writing on Tuesday. The information she was seeking, could have been provided in one of the prior meetings, so why did she wait till the item came before them to say she still needed more information? The same would go for Sunga, as his familiar chant "I don't have enough information" is getting tired and old. 
One by one, the henkettes each placed a piece of the puzzle on the table. Hannigan going after Keener, Wilson planting doubt on the cuts, Sunga with his same old chant "I don't have enough information", not wanting to accept a budget that would have a negative balance, and Bartee bringing up the rear with his offer of an amended motion. A motion that would have eliminated the Deputy Fire Chief's position, currently being held by Acting Chief, Russ Sherman, combined the positions of Fire Chief with the Police Chief, putting Nicholini in charge of both departments, killing the court case for the binding arbitration, and eliminating any overtime for the employees. (Excluding of course the VPD and VFD) Which by the way not only changed the proposed amended budget, but also would have done so without any public input and without any disclosed fiscal impact. 
Gee, by eliminating the deputy chief position, guess who would be left guarding the hen house? Ray Dandridge who was hand picked by none other than……Henke. So all right, let's just say that this wasn't orchestrated by the henkettes. It sure appeared to be just that. Even if Gomes had not been absent, they would have had enough votes (4 to 2) to have pulled this off if it had not been for Davis' argument against it. It certainly seems suspicious and did little to dispel the notion that the bought and sold bunch aren't just that, bought and sold. I see contract extensions in the near future.
TRIOF 


After having reviewed the December 18, 2007 Vallejo City Council meeting, I have the following observations and comments:
Mr. Davis is to be commended for his efforts to be reasonable by suggesting to postpone voting on budget resolutions until February, 2008. He showed extraordinary wisdom by suggesting that the City Council view the budget from a more global perspective rather than attempting to micro manage budgetary concerns.
Ms. Schivley is to applauded for having questioned the political motives and/or hidden agenda of Mr. Bartee when he attempted to offer an amended resolution to remove both the Deputy Fire Chief and the interim Fire Chief from the current budget.
Mr. Bartee is to be lauded for having seen the sagacity of Ms. Schivley's observations but also to follow the lead of Mr. Osby Davis and withdraw his initial proposal.
During the public forum one person suggested that the fire fighter's union members consider donating some of their funds to bring some fiscal relief to Vallejo's nonprofits since the union was able to raise a considerable amount of money in order to support the political campaigns of Mr. Wilson and Ms. Hannigan.
I fully support the notion of the fire fighter's union contributing money to Vallejo's struggling nonprofits. I am confident that these funds would be much appreciated by these groups and would go a long way to help mend fences and help reduce the public perception that the fire fighter's union is greedy and self-serving. In the spirit of the holiday season and in the spirit of giving, perhaps Mr. Riley and Mr. Henke with the support of Mr. Bartee, Mr. Sunga, Ms. Hannigan, and Mr. Wilson ask the fire fighter's union membership to match the amount of money that was poured into this last Vallejo political campaign to be donated to Vallejo's nonprofits. It is not unreasonable to ask that those making six figure salaries to make substantial fiscal contributions back to the community and agencies that serve those most in need. 
Father Lou A. Bordisso


I WANT TO THANK ALL OF THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR WORDS @ LAST NIGHT’S COUNCIL MEETING...
JOSEPH TANNER
JOANNE SCHIVLEY
STEPHANIE GOMES (IN SPIRIT)
GARY CLOUTIER (IN SPIRIT)
LIAT MEITZENHEIMER
MARC GARMAN
MAYOR DAVIS
RUSS SHERMAN
KATY MIESSNER
DAVID CORBETT
MIKE WILSON
& SAM
This whole thing seems as if it’s been one long recurring nightmare that started 15 to 18 years ago for me. That’s when I first began trying to warn Vallejo to it’s pending financial doom, due to outrageous money grabbing by firefighters K.H. & J..R. My first allie was Joanne Schivley, before she ever became Councilwoman. 
In this nightmare, the plot always remains the same here; only thing that changes is “their” cast characters.
The last time we had four council votes and were this close to putting a stop to the raping of the general fund… 
…A couple of days before the vote was to take place… Pete Rey claimed Henke was making threats to him and pat, his wife. Seemingly, out of to fear, Pete was never to go against Henke again. Rest his soul, he was a good man. The Irony here is Tom Bartee fooled many of campaign supporters into believing he was totally against everything Henke & Riley were doing to Vallejo and its Citizens. Although, NOT by VOTE, Bartee, slithered into Pete Rey’s council seat, then blatantly showed every one of us he was his lips were never to leave Henke’s….well we all know the rest…
HE’s DESPICABLE and now, forever un-electable!!!
D. West
PS. I really think this long-long nightmare is coming to its END…
Thanks to a small group of people truly dedicated to saving Vallejo!!!!! 


12/18/07

I sometimes have differences of opinion with Mr. Brooks. I do believe that he uses good deductive reasoning and his articles are not sprinkled with critical thinking but rather seem to be built around it. That is why I find the following 'complaint' regarding his article (re: the election/subsequent recount and votes) to be far removed from V.I.B.s effort to promote intelligent discourse

"Also; the fact that Ms.Schivley and Ms.Gomes have an opinion about the election, only proves that you do not want accountability, for all Vallejoans." ...Bill S.

There is absolutely no way to draw the logical conclusion that Mr. Brooks does not want accountability because Ms. Schivley and Ms. Gomes have an opinion? Give the fact that: Ms. Schively and Ms. Gomes have an opinion, to ANY professor that teaches logic and none of them will conclude that Mr. Brookes does not want accountabilty. Even if you sprinkle in that Mr. Brooks may have a different opinion, one cannot come to B. S's conclusion. 

Intelligent discourse is at risk with that type of reasoning.5

R. B. 


I had a little chuckle after reading the TH article above at Union mouth piece Alan Davis who stated

“Public safety attorney Alan Davis said his clients do not believe a deficit exists. He said the city has failed to prepare required audits and other financial reports. 


"Then I read this article in the TH about PERBS ruling and Davis said this
http://www.timesheraldonline.com//ci_7650998?IADID=Search-www.timesheraldonline.com-www.timesheraldonline.com
“The lawyer for both unions, Alan C. Davis, has long said the city's appeals for relief from Angelo's fire ruling are a waste of time. He said firefighters are still willing to negotiate salary savings, which union critics are leery of accepting because past deferments have been tied to an extension of labor contracts already seen as too costly. “

So which lie is it Mr. Davis? If there is no budget crisis why offer concessions?


Firebug 10 year Vallejoan


Dear VIB

I was extremely disappointed in the lack of leadership demonstrated by our neo council, Council member Sunga ,Vice Mayor Bartee , and neo Mayor Davis. Last night I waited for some leadership around concerns expressed by Council member Shively, Council member Gomes, and a variety of citizen speakers at last nights budget crisis meeting. J.D. Miller’s plea for a sober look at our expenditures, along with the sage observations from our veterans of this budget crisis led me to a conclusion about flaws in our “funding” and “expenditure” models.

Public entities like our city, school district and county are allowed to “enter” into “binding” contracts yet the very treasure chest (The State) that funds them can’t keep its own promises as to how much it will fund year to year. This is proven with next years “mid year budget cuts” at the State level that are set to be passed down to our public entities because the state isn’t bringing in the cash they thought they would. I found it quite hypocritical that some of the very proponents of more “businesses” for our city kept a low profile at the meeting about these new pie in the sky revenues in light of the budget crisis at the State level. I guess it’s a tough pill to swallow when their campaign promises are evaporating into lies right before their constituents eyes.

The State also enacted “mid year cuts” back in 2003 when Gray Davis was recalled, with this knowledge I am saddened that there are those on our Council that wish to entertain “binding contract extensions” with our safety unions. I feel with the State’s inability to provide “binding revenue” that it is irresponsible for our Council to vote on “binding expenditures” like our safety union contracts. If Mr. Davis is truly working for the well being of Vallejoans he will put on the ballot immediately along with provisions for a runoff election, the elimination of “binding arbitration”. Our arbitrators are very aware that even our State can’t provide “binding revenue” so how can cities and other public agencies be expected to honor “binding contracts?” How our safety unions, arbitrators, and their public safety friendly Council members and Mayor answer that question will also reflect their integrity and commitment to the citizens of Vallejo.

Silas Barnabe


Mr. Brooks; Kenneth, Sir, please! Mr. Brooks; it is hard to believe you don't see the cloud, that looms over this election! With the article you wrote; you forgot to mention, that some ballots were brought out to Mr. Cloutier's observers and they were not allowed to watch the counting process, of those ballots. Strange that they were not privy to the same opportunity Mr. Davis staff was. How do you account for that? Also; the fact that Ms.Schivley and Ms.Gomes have an opinion about the election, only proves that you do not want accountability, for all Vallejoans. Don't we all deserve an election that hasn't been compromised? The mere fact the election ended in a tie; should have cast enough doubt for anyone, even you. No matter who the eventual winner is; the important result will be, assurance our voting process is in tact.


Bill S.                      Link to Kenneth Brooks article. (ed)   http://www.ethicalego.com/vallejos_ballot_recount.htm        


12/17/07


I don't approve of the recount process as it was conducted by the County idio-crats. As somebody who voted, I want to know that all of the votes were counted and that Osby is, in fact, our mayor. However, until we know (if/when Gary Cloutier files a complaint and there is another recount or runoff), Osby is our mayor.

I think we should let him prove himself before convicting him of being a Henkette. I know that there are people who have known him for years and have seen how he operates. That distrust is understandable. But let's look at his FPPC report (due in January?) to see if he took money from Henke and the union. And let's look at it again when he has to file next summer. Let's see if his house is suddenly paid off in the next few months before we accuse him of taking bribes. Let's see how he votes. Let's see how he conducts himself as a mayor who said he would be a uniter: that would include being inclusive of the "Council minority", not just his "five votes".

I will say that he's not exactly starting off great. Cancelling an already scheduled meeting with the bankruptcy lawyers: what's wrong with listening to the facts? Scheduling a last-minute "public study session" on the budget (announced late Friday afternoon) for Monday at 5:00 p.m. a week before Christmas. If this meeting is meant for the public, how does he expect Vallejoans to get off work and get to the Council chambers by 5:00? We are a town of commuters.

But let's just bide our time. Osby will prove himself one way or another. I hope that he surprises everyone.

~ER


I think Salise Barnabe should be Mayor. We like him over here. 
Carol 


To Mr. Buckless,
It sounds as if you have already begged the question to yield the answer you desire. If I am to understand what you wrote If Mr. Shelley was not in the Registrars office then the statement in my letter was "hyerbole". Every one knows he was not present so why not just call me what you will. It appears as if you did not read the "Matier and Ross" Article and I quote of Mr. Shelley in the M & R expose.

"He basically said you can always find votes somewhere," Davis said. 
Shelley also advised Davis on what type of observers to send to the recount and what those observers should look for."

To change the outcome of an election you must change the way the votes where counted, it looks like Mr. Davis took the advice from the devil to accomplish this.

"Davis called former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris - who infamously once gave out chicken dinners to voters - to get a number for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who once opened polling stations in the city's housing projects weeks early to get more votes.
After giving it some thought, Brown referred Davis to Kevin Shelley, the former California secretary of state who resigned under fire a couple of years back."

I sure wouldn't want the public to know I utilized the likes of such individuals if I invoke divine proverbs would you?

With much affection and admiration,
Silas Barnabe


After reading Kenneth Brooks Editorial attacking the character of those that did not believe the election results was wrought with conclusions and omissions I felt compelled write this. Omitted from Mr. Brooks Editorial was the Matier and Ross expose “New Vallejo mayor sought some not-so divine guidance” revealing the Façade behind Osby Davis’ apparently calm and cool demeanor ; this is where Brook’s and I disagree "where sound leadership values cracked". Mr. Davis having consorted with an individual with the character and lack of moral and ethical values to guide his recount campaign raises very serious questions about the ethical and moral stature of Mr. Davis let alone his leadership qualities.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/09/BAOLTQJO6.DTL&hw=cloutier+matier+ross&sn=002&sc=278

With that knowledge and the design of Mr. Shelley’s tainted advice on the strategy of the recount raises serious questions in my mind about the authenticity of Mr. Davis and the Shelley designed recount. I feel that Barbara Kondylis, Joanne Shively, and Stephanie Gomes provided the leadership I look for in elected public officials to demonstrate. Holding positions of elected officials I wouldn’t expect anyone with integrity to vote and certify an election where they doubt the authenticity of the results. In the wake of this aftermath we have a compromised leader that was not elected with a mandate that has demonstrated questionable leadership and diminished moral and ethical stature to consort with the likes of individuals like Shelley to win a controversial election reflects a man that wanted to be Mayor of Vallejo at any cost.

This historical election that now has the first African American in Vallejo’s history become Mayor of our great city leaves our new Mayor with a serious financial problem, and lowered moral and ethical standards to try to best serve the citizens of Vallejo. The stain of Mr. Davis actions cannot be cleansed by washing or by quoting the bible or keeping sober. One has to ask if Mr. Davis consorts with such individuals what other sort of individuals might he consort with? Would they be some of the unscrupulous one’s involved in the Union Business leave scandal? Might they be individuals like those that have sued city officials to shut them up? I feel cheated in this election because no matter whom I voted for I should always be able to give the winner the benefit of the doubt to make the right decisions best for Vallejoans, because of Mr. Davis activities with such nefarious individuals to win this election I cannot do this and for that I feel cheated.

Silas Barnabe                              Link to Kenneth Brooks article. (ed)   http://www.ethicalego.com/vallejos_ballot_recount.htm        


Question for Silas Barabe, with all due respect, on 12/16/07 it was printed in the Scream that you stated Mr. Davis hired Mr. Shelly to " change votes on ballots and remove ballots to change the outcome of the election". Was this hyperbole, or do really mean that Kevin Shelly was in the Registrar of Voters office with his hands on the ballots? I don't remember reading any candidate or staff reports that Mr. Shelley was at the Registrars Office during the time of the recount. Are you faulting Mr. Davis' asking for political advice from other politicians, I have to think that Mr. Cloutier asked for and probably received political advice from people whom he thought would be helpful. Just for clarification of the "record". respectfully Tom Buckless


Well, it didn't take long! However, yesterday morning, I spoke with 4 different people, three of which have been longtime dedicated Osby fans and the other, a newer campaign supporter/fan. All of which are back-stepping as if bolting a bit too fast toward what they truly didn’t realize was a 10,000 ft. cliff. It’s as if they’ve just have awoken out of a catatonic state and had realized that they might have been lied to about any possible Henke/Osby partnership likelihood “I would never be Henke or Riley’s allies” a repeated promise stated by, ”Terrye, Osby Davis and Foster Hicks. And, how embarrassed they would be if finding out now, they not only voted for him, but, as well campaigned to help put him in. My only reply to them was, ”If you guys are serious… not only did you Help to put him in… IT’S your four votes THAT PUT HIM IN! So Vallejo would be thanking them for the Christmas gift. Not proven, but one of them, along with one of my union buddies mentioned that it was “On the 3rd or 4th Riley and Henke offered to finance the recount for Osby.” And, NOW… I’m wondering if they’re letting Osby keep it, since that bogus recount was a freebee for him. Well CRAP! How much of our tax dollars has already been given to Osby through freaking UBL dollars… “cuzzz, I’m sure they feel we’ve been playin political games with them again.” Well, I’m sure if Osby’s already received bribes with UBL… It’s only a small chunk of how much he’ll be getting when Henke and Riley proclaim him their All New “Alan Davis.” Grrrrrreat Christmas present for each of them. Hey Osby! Was all this…Plus what you’re going to be promising them this Monday, also a part of the…. "Divine Plan That God Has For Vallejo”? 
Because we all heard you say… “It Was Never About Me."
PS… For those of you who were a around for Ms. Exline dictatorial dominion …. I PROMISE...
You haven’t seen anything yet.

THE NEW MISSIONARIES
P.S.S. OSBY!...CAN YOU SPELL BROWN ACT?


12/16/07


I think the article in the Times Herald today "budget prompts special session" was sprinkled with more of the same from the anti-Vallejo pro safety union propagandists. 

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7737810 

I had to laugh in Irony when I read the statement from Davis "Monday's 'study session is where new council members and the public can go through all the money and the funds to get an idea where we are ( is this supposed to be like Pamela Pitts "opening up the books idealogy?). We are inviting the labor unions, too," Davis said." According to campaign literature from Hannigan and Wilson there was no real budget problem, in fact along with Pamela Pitts they eluded that money was there just "hidden." At the end of the article "Davis said he doesn't want the discussion to cover bankruptcy -- at least not yet. He said doing so would send a "negative message." As I recall Davis won a controversial election by hiring a disgraced corrupt former politician named "Shelley" to change the votes on ballots and remove ballots to change the outcome of this election. I wonder after such dealings with such controversial individuals why all of a sudden now Davis is worried about having a negative image of Vallejo?

If the article above is a clue about the real intent of this meeting I see a group of newly elected politicans that ran on a campaign of "The budget problem in Vallejo that we need more businesses" now trying to re-educate the public that there is in fact a giant budget shortfall and it can't be fixed by simply bringing in new businesses. Let's hope these new revenues to be discussed aren't in the form of taxes, fees, and cuts around the elephant in our council chambers called safety services, but genuine and equitable cuts like the previous council sought.

Silas Barnabe


Take a look at todays Vacaville Reporter...Our city Manager is crying CUT CUT as he makes nearly HALF A MILLION per year in wages and bennies......What a JOKE this City has on its hands..HAMIED

Here is a link to the Vacaville Reporter article:  http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_7737682           (editor)


12/15/07


Everyone is watching you, Mayor-elect Davis. You wanted the job, you got it. You had better stop V-town from going down the disastrous path it is currently on. I'm not holding my breath, though. Sadly, I expect things will get progressively worse and Vallejo will soon be as bad as North Richmond or East Palo Alto under your leadership. Excessive public safety salaries & overtime are truly bankrupting this city. TAKE ACTION, Mayor Davis. And do it NOW! Remember, all eyes are on YOU. 

Remo Lue 
Vallejo


VIB Folks (hey Mark)

Here is a story that is critical to the future of the city of Vallejo.xc

Airport commission sends letter warning not to build Wal-Mart for 'safety' reasons
http://newsblaze.com/story/20071215083924tsop.nb/newsblaze/TOPSTORY/story.html

I would like to point out that the Wal-Mart in Suisun is a very serious encroachment on the flight path for Travis AFB. These encroachments add fire to the Base Closing Commissions in Washington. Another Commission is due to be established in the next two years and with the huge debt run up by Iraq and Afghanistan, the likelyhood of serious base cuts is great. We do not need to threaten Travis AFB (the biggest employer in Solano County) with an excuse to look harder at the continued operation of Travis. And let us not forget that if Travis closes, so does David Grant Medical Center. The county would be unable to provide enough hospital beds without David Grant being available to our veterans.

Finally, let us not forget that Travis was named for a Korean era pilot who crashed on takeoff and caused one of the biggest explosions in Solano County History.

By the way, great work on your new format. Your efforts at a time when the TH wants to censor citizens is outstanding. A big HUZZAH to you.


Joseph Feller


The little man pulling the levers behind the curtain for OZ (the great and the terrible) is working feverishly on the next act to take our minds off the last one. City Staff is inviting us to come on down and get involved in crafting the Downtown Parking Management Plan. City Council Chambers on January 10th from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. We will all be dazzled by the pretty pictures in the Powerpoint light show put on by the City's out-of-town consultants Carl Walker and team. There will be roadwork and parking garages to accommodate all of the tourists and rich people who will be flocking to our downtown soon....very soon. But first all the City's good friends, the road building contractors, have to fill up their pockets with Redevelopment loot and skulk back to their fancy homes someplace else.

So clap your hands if you believe and the downtown will come back to life. Or maybe we are all supposed to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

I can't decide. (Sorry for the mixed metaphors) 


12/14/07


I have been reading excerpts from author Mark Crispin Miller's book "Fooled Again," and the more I read the more disenfranchised I am becoming about our voting system right here in Solano County and widespread election fraud.

http://www.beggarscanbechoosers.com/2005/12/fooled-again-author-mark-crispin.html

This is really good reading, but beware it may make you depressed. If our provisional ballots were handled so badly I shudder to think how the electronic machines performed. We have no accountability trail in such machines and there is no way for the County to verify that my electronic vote was actually counted correctly.
Silas Barnabe


A recent post from Silas Barnabee referred to a comment made by John Osborne at a recent city council meeting and a subsequent letter to the editor at the TH about the Redevelopment Agency owing the city $7 million and the possibility of using that money to fund the fire department salaries and benefits. The city council agenda for 12/18 has a complete budget analysis of the city’s financial problems and also includes the financial statement for the Redevelopment Agency. A close reading of the Redevelopment Agency report shows that it does owe the city $5.4 million, but $4.3 million of that was used for the Empress Theater renovation and the source of the money was the Arts and Convention Fund and The Hiddenbrooke Overpass Fund. So, when the Redevelopment Agency recovers the money from the Empress Theater it will be returned to the Arts and Convention Fund and The Hiddenbrooke Overpass Fund not the General Fund, and will not be available for fire department salaries and benefits.

Paul Norberg


I wonder where all the 1186'ers and self-proclaimed do-gooders are in Vallejo now? Should Supervisor Reagan step down like was called for when Cloutier won the elction? Apparently he doesn't believe he should step down as he went right to work at 9:00 A.M. December 11 and voted (in a haze maybe?) to certify this election despite all the odd and peculiar circumstances around it.

Firebug Vallejoan 10 years


I understand the Restraining Order was Denied by the Judge. Is Mr. Cloutier & his campaign currently appealing the recount certification? Are we/the Citizens of Vallejo who are/were for the Cloutier campaign doing anything to change the results, i.e. meetings, signatures, writing or calling at the State level,recount? Gary's letter to the Board of Supervisors was right on target with many facts under the law that the Solano County Registrar of Voters failed to perform. What more facts does anyone else out there against the Cloutier Campaign need to know. We can surely confirm; laws, integrity, honesty and ballot procedures were broken and the integrity of the recount was jeopardized. It is easy for the other Campaign to say" Vallejo needs to move forward" at what cost however. This cannot be happening, you can see the Union interests have already made their way to the council. The facts do not lie, I have not just taken people's word about the Unions, Kurt Henke and their immediate supporters. We need to take action now! We cannot let this happen! We need to immediately reform and prove the ballot counting method was illegal. I can certainly, join efforts with the Davis Campaign and fully support him( I might not have another choice, I am a homeowner in this great town), but at least I will know I/we put up a good fight! Remember, It's not the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog. 

J. Manuel Saldana
Vallejo


The T-H editorial board holds Supervisor Reagan up as an example of a positive role model because he announced his arrest for driving while drunk instead of letting the media announce it first? Yet Gary Cloutier is raked over the coals, again, because he didn't announce that he was arrested for being intoxicated in public while on vacation over a month ago? (Not driving while intoxicated, mind you, but intoxicated in public.) 

First, Reagan was driving a car while legally drunk. He was endangering people's lives. Would the T-H editorial board be so lenient if Mr. Reagan had hit another car and killed somebody? Perhaps one of their family members or friends? 

How about the fact that the Palm Springs Police Department released a sensationalist press release on Sunday afternoon to every media outlet on the west coast less than 12 hours after Cloutier's arrest Sunday morning? We will never know what Cloutier would have done because the Palm Springs PD (most likely in cahoots with Allen Davis, Kurt Henke and Steve Gordon) took that option away from him. Reagan was arrested on Friday night and didn't announce his arrest until Monday morning. Quite a lot of time he was awarded to mull his options. 

And don't you find it interesting that the T-H has to point out several times that Reagan was driving home drunk after attending a local non-profit fundraiser? As if that makes a DUI more tolerable? How many times did we hear about the fact that Cloutier had been in a...gasp...gay bar? 

And the T-H editorial board shouldn't even try to speak for Cloutier's supporters. Nobody said his arrest should have been kept a secret. They said it was improper for the Palm Springs PD to create the news and sensationalize a story with hearsay and opinions just hours after the arrest. 

Why doesn't the T-H editorial board, the "paragon of virtue" in our community, ask why the Vacaville PD didn't release information about Mr. Reagan's arrest similarly to the Palm Springs PD? Were they trying to keep it quiet because Mr. Reagan is a straight, white, Republican elected official in their county? Where was their press release with attached mug shot? 

I disagree with most of what Mr. Reagan represents politically, but I believe that people should be able to make mistakes, admit them, pay for them, and move on. Thankfully he didn't kill anybody. But I will not behave as Cloutier's opponents did and use this mistake to beat the crap out of him by spewing judgmental, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou opinions about Mr. Reagan's character or personal life. 
4`
I thank Mr. Reagan for his apology and I accept it. He should be thankful that the news outlets aren't opposed to his sexual orientation or politics, or his drunken mug shot would be all over the newspapers and television news. 

D. Petrillo


Hello Tom we all know you as I recall you write to the Time Herald about once a month. I especially liked your letters when Clinton was still President (of course they weren't hate letters). I was also impressed with your financial comments around the Vallejo School Districts bankruptcy , and now the cities hiring of consultants because they have no staff (outside of safety services) to perform these duties. Lastly I believe it was you that said "vote for none of 'em) that pretty much sums you up.

Yes we do know you Tom and I am impressed with the leadership here tolerating such an annoying buzzing gadfly. I read with interest today a letter to the editor from (fireman?) Dick Benne citing that at a recent council meeting Mr. John Osborne stated that the general fund was owed $7 million from the redevelopment agency and no one refuted this, he also sprinkled his letter with odd percentages concerning safety services almost trying to convince us that there is no elephant in the room.

Where Mr. Osborne statement may be true I wonder how the letter writer concludes that $7 million one time would fix the $7 million ongoing raises and other expenses that safety services has contributed to this deficit? Since he has such a reverence about what is owed to the general fund perhaps there would be equal sensitivity granted to what funds the general fund owes. I am still disappointed that the general fund 3/4 of which goes to safety services has "borrowed" $500,000 from our garbage fees that is supposed to go to fixing roads. One has to wonder how much other general fund enhancement transactions have taken place (I am looking forward to more reports from our very own aging Disco-Queen intrepid reporter financial expert Katy Miessner). In the mean time I will be scrutinizing the books and waiting for all the money that Ms. Hannigan and Mr. Wilson promised they would bring into Vallejo.

Silus Barnabe


I suppose the T-H will stop at nothing to cast Cloutier in a bad light. Even after the election being over, they persist. Okay, we get it.You obviously have it out for him. So who exactly is "the editor?" Whose view is it? If they want to continue their attack on Cloutier, why not sign a name to the "Editorial" Ted, Jack, Mary or Ron Rhea? Or is it a combined effort to attack Gary? Whom ever it is, it is a large part of why the T-H is such a poor excuse for journalism. Their obvious bias has tainted almost every issue that is written by their staff.

What is the important issue, is the fact that our Voter Registration dept is poorly managed and has cast a shadow of doubt from this election forward that our votes really count. I really am disappointed in our County Board of Supervisors (with the exception of the lone dissenting vote - Kondylis). Even if their only option was to certify the recount, which I doubt, why not call for an immediate audit or investigation of the County department? Apparently this will ultimately have to come from the voting public. We cannot go into the next election without first assuring the public that our votes will be counted accurately and to the letter of the law. We are going to need to demand that this inexcusable flawed process be corrected and done so immediately.

The second issue, is the fact that the T-H is so ready to be judgmental without investigating the facts. (Why am I not surprised.) It isn't as simple as a trashed ballot. Did they contact the Voter Registration office to ask why no official was present in each room during the count as required by law? Did they ask why observers were able to handle the ballots outside of making an observation? Did they ask how a voting machine was able to count the same precinct twice? The answer is simple. No they did not. If they had they may have understood the outrage felt by not only Cloutier and his supporters but the voting public as well. No written instructions were presented to the Cloutier observers on the first day of the recount. Had that of happened, maybe the irregularities would have been brought to someones attention earlier. If you don't know the rules, how would you know that the process was flawed? Wasn't it the Registrar's responsibility for educating the observers as to the rules and process? With everything that was documented as "irregularities" in this flawed process, why isn't the Davis camp up at arms? Ah yes, because the numbers came up in their favor. The Kevin Shelly way. Why isn't everyone questioning what happened? The T-H chooses only to condemn the Cloutier camp for questioning the process. So typical of this biased editorial staff. They continue month after month to tell the citizen's of Vallejo how they should think and act yet never thinking that maybe we may have enough intelligence to form our own opinion. Instead of trying to dictate how Vallejoans should think, why not try to do some investigative journalism for once. Stop imitating the National Inquirer and start being a real newspaper with some journalistic integrity. Then the community may come to value "Your View." 

L. Meitzenheimer


12/13/07


About the election: I was concerned with the discrepancies in the total number of ballots between the initial count and subsequent recount. I emailed the registrars office today with questions about the counting errors and they responded with a link to the Board of Supervisors meeting where the Registrar gave his explanation. If you haven’t seen the video and have concerns, I highly recommend you listen to the Registrar explain where he and his staff feel the discrepancies came from. Follow the link and instructions below to jump directly to the relevant portion.

Good morning Stephen, I’m hoping you can help me with a question about the ballot misfeeds that we think are responsible for the 10 total ballot discrepancy in the mayoral race between Cloutier and Davis in Vallejo. I’m getting my information from a press release that is dated Dec. 5, 2007 and titled “Registrar of Voters results of Vallejo Mayoral race recount”. If there is updated information that has been published on the counting errors I’d appreciate it if you could send me a link to it. The thing that has me confused is the apparent over counting of ballots by the machine. I would assume the most common error in the total ballot count by machine would be an under count where two or more ballots stick together and pass through the machine resulting in a machine under count of total ballots. Is there a simple or “accepted” explanation of machine over counting? Thanks much, Doug Sherman

Mr. Sherman, The most recent information on the recount process and the ballots is the report from the Registrar of Voters to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. He gave quite a lengthy explanation, so let me refer you to the website where you can hear it directly. Click on this link and it will take you to a page where you can view past meetings. http://solano.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2 Select view video for Dec. 11. Under “Jump to” select item 12. Scroll the video to 1:42 and you will hear his explanation. Stephen Pierce, Solano County Public Communications Officer

http://solano.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=2



Marc,

So far you  have accused me of prejudice and hating, you don't know me and by your being so quick to judge, it's proof to me that you don't care to know me. So I am left to wonder just what kind of person would act the way you have toward someone who is inquiring about the rules of your little blog. Didn't the ex-mayor get arrested in Palm Springs? If so , then there presumably should have been an arrest record. If that is true then what is on that document would put to rest a lot of idol speculation about what happened don't you think?  Tom

 

Tom,

I'm still posting your comments, so I must not be that bad. Lets try to keep the chat substantive.

If you would like to get together for lunch sometime and talk about things drop me a line at vib.editor@gmail.com.

Marc Garman--VIB editor

 


Mr. Mark Garman,

I find it refreshing, although very interesting that since this blog-type setting announced, "We will try to be fair but remember--This is about promoting ideas not hatred." I have yet to notice any hatred or haters from the Vallejo Times Herald blog as of so far being present here! Hmmmmm! Sort-of tells me exactly from whom and where that hatred was being spewed... Thank you for enlightening us to this fact!!!

DWH


Dear Mr/Mrs.or Ms. "It’s not WHO but HOW",
If they only knew just how true the statements in your letter are and can still be. But, as far as local media helping in giving all the facts; Most of us already know this is not going to happen! As far as the rest of the information in your letter, it's still not too late in helping to reverse this last recount and its ill placement of a Mayor. Was the SF Chronicle article brought up at all, to anyone of the officials involved in this last decision????! If not it should have been, I’m sure it would have at least made one or all of them think twice to any possible of shadiness in the recount. If for no other reason than asking the Registrars office if Davis informed them of Kevin Kelley’s involvement in helping him with this recount, (this could be very intimidating to any and all Registrars’ job—Statewide).
When will we all learn? 


Marc, To your accusation of prejudice, I read your disclaimer. Please tell me how the statement " Shelley is a frigging thief" by J D Vallejo does not fall into the category of  " nasty or otherwise offensive " and if it doesn't and you will let that and things similar on your blog, well then I may just have to write in more often.  ps I have written to you with a question about the reason that a certian arrest record has not found it's way to the T H or your blog, any thoughts? thanks Tom Buckless

Well Tom,

If that's the most offensive comment you can find... I've done an exceptional job.  Let's see, no swear words...just a bit of slang.  I think I have clearly already exhibited better editorial judgement than the TH.  Check their now discontinued blog for example.

As to this arrest record you refer to?  Sounds a bit vague to me.  If you have some real fact or proof of something relevant please pass it along and we are likely to publish it.

I don't know why you are so set on hating VIB.  We are providing an open forum for the community that is freely accessible to those of differing opinions. Feel free to post any time.

Regards, Marc Garman--editor VIB


oh Tom...
As if the Vallejo Times Herald isn't slanted! The Vallejo Times Herald doesn't like anyone that is smarter than them or is more current than them.

Carol

 


When the first statements about suspected came out (ballots missing, thrown out, etc…), it was mentioned at this point it NEEDED be taken out of Solano county and to Sacramento and to the attention of the PRESENT California Secretary of State (DEBRA BOWEN  (916) 653-7244 ).  She and her office are especially aware to any and all possible implications to a candidate using Kevin Shelley to plot their course through a re-count.  Particularly, given that Kevin Shelley is presently being implicated for cheating in these types of goings-on, along with embezzlement 1.5+ of our tax dollars. 

And, with such admitted quotes as below:

 

 

An Article by Matier & Ross Posted in the S.F. Chronicle on 12/09/2007

New Vallejo Mayor Sought Some Not-So Divine Guidance

From the very beginning, lawyer and Sunday school teacher Osby Davis felt he had been ordained by God to be Vallejo's new mayor.

Still, even a chosen one sometimes needs a little earthly help.

And when the former Solano County supervisor came up four votes short in his run against Gary Cloutier after the Nov. 6 election, he enlisted the help of some very heavy hitters.

Davis called former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris - who infamously once gave out chicken dinners to voters - to get a number for former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, who once opened polling stations in the city's housing projects weeks early to get more votes.

After giving it some thought, Brown referred Davis to Kevin Shelley, the former California secretary of state who resigned under fire a couple of years back.

"I was hoping at some point that my tenure as Secretary of State would come in handy, and it finally did," said Shelley, who is now practicing law in San Francisco.

“Shelley's first advice for Davis was to ignore people who say recounts never change the outcome of races and to request one.”

"He basically said you can always find votes somewhere," Davis said.

“Shelley also advised Davis on what type of observers to send to the recount and what those observers should look for.”

The two men traded calls throughout the three-day recount last week.

"The information he provided was very helpful in at least giving me a sense of peace and ease with the process," Davis said.

When the last ballot was counted, Cloutier - who had already been sworn in as the new mayor - remained convinced he was still the winner by three votes, and said so publicly.

Davis was just as convinced that he was the one who had won by three votes. Turns out he was right.

But, as is his style, Davis remained very, very calm.

"It was never about me," Davis said. "It's all about the divine plan that God has for Vallejo."

From the very beginning, lawyer and Sunday school teacher Osby Davis felt he had been ordained by God to be Vallejo's new mayor.

Still, even a chosen one sometimes needs a little earthly help.

"It was never about me," Davis said. "It's all about the divine plan that God has for Vallejo."

A plan that apparently included a couple of devilish players.

 

 

 

    Another warning was:  “If this is simply left to be put on trial within Solano County, and the Board of Supervisors vote to certify recount, there would be no other officials within Solano county who would buck the Solano Supervisors ruling. i.e. “No Solano judge/judges would go against the Supervisors’ ruling!”  Again, this would only be possible with the help of outside sources.  Especially since all media omitted the very important and newsworthy information such as;  Kevin Shelley’s assistance to Osby Davis.

 

IT'S not WHO but HOW we got to this decision and it's fairness!

 


Marc,
Thank you very much I was once again impressed with VIB, I hope you intend to stick around and see this whole thing through to the end. I was listening to Mrs. Shively about ammendments to the charter and I am not certain yet if I agree about tweaking binding arbitration to put a decision out to the voters or if we should just eliminate it. Leaving it in only gives our bought and paid for 1186 majority the opportunity to say persueing it is too costly thus we the voters would not be given the opportunity to weigh in with a vote.

I am also interested in the runoff ammendment, but I would also like to see recall language changed so we can "write-in" any of the last election candidates rather than just accepting the top vote getter. I know this would not benefit us at this moment with Tony Pearsall as the next runner up, but it might give us the change to recall two candidates and write-in Tony Pearsall and Father Lou Bordisso. Limiting the write-ins from candidates outside the election cycle would also prevent special interests like the fireifghters union from putting in union twinkies like friends, spouses, realtives or someone that hasn't campaigned in the last election.
Silus Barnabe


I am reading with interest your readers comments, and am wondering when and if you are going to edit their comments like you claimed in your admonishment at the start of the" Daily Scream " letter section?  I suppose you will let the statements you support stay and if there is something written that doesn't fit YOUR cause it won't be printed.  Curious thing censorship, isn't it.

 Tom Buckless

 

Dear Tom,

Please feel free to post anything you like. You can even call me names if you want.  As VIB editor I will gladly accept your criticism and try to improve.  We will not edit your comments. PERIOD. As long as comments fall within the broad category of intelligent discourse they go up.  So, send us your comments.  And Tom, don't accuse me of censorship before you have seen it.  That would be called prejudice.

Marc Garman----editor VIB

 

12/12/07



How do we go about getting the Registrar of Voters fired? Surely, nobody ever deserved it more! The buck must stop somewhere & someone must be held accountable for the recount debacle. WE THE PEOPLE of Solano County must send a clear message to the Board of Supervisors that the disgraceful combination of fraud & ineptitude is grossly unacceptable & we will not sit still for it. 
Mariateresa V. Canosa


Did "Around Town--your local shopping guide" also make a mistake when they wrote, "Santa Claus will arrive via fire truck at 6:45" as well? Yes, I'm still stewing over this b/c my 3 year old wanted to see Santa in a fire truck.
Carol 


I was there last night amongst many people to watch the swearing in of Osby Davis and the exit of Mayor Cloutier. Whichever way I voted, I just wanted to commend Councilwoman Stephanie Gomes for speaking out about the failed election process and the real question everyone has on their minds --- Was my vote counted??

I was apalled by the boos and hisses from the crowd, and I wondered, would they have booed if Ms. Gomes said the same thing if a ballot for Mr. Davis was found in the trash? I believe in the midst of all this "peace talk" that Mr. Davis, Ms. Hannigan and other's try to blanket the city with, Ms. Gomes is the only one that speaks of the elephant in the room, not to mention that the Emperor truly has no clothes. 

Union President Kurt Henke was there last night. And boy was he vocal. After many months hiding behind the money that funded their candidates, he showed up, squeezed in, and booed along with many Ms. Gomes' attempt to speak about the inconsistent counting of ballots. We all know he was happy. He states that last night "represented a new hope and action in moving the city forward." Ofcourse it does. With 4 councilmembers bought and paid for, and a Mayor he favors, we all know how this story is going to end.

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7700994


In the midst of all this, I have hope that the courts will see the injustice that has permanently harmed all Vallejoans. Now that Ms. Gomes is the only one left (for now) that can call a spade a spade, let's support her in her quest to speak the truth no matter how much it hurts. 

2010


I am extremely disappointed in the Solano County Registar of Voters and the end results until now. What a devastating blow to positive reform. There is so much uncertainty, especially when one did not vote for the current council or new Mayor. We can only hope Mr. Davis & the new City Council members can immediately address all issues and take action. I do not trust one bit Tom Bartee, Erin Hannigan, & Hermie Sunga. Mr. Sunga is one of the worst council members I have ever witnessed( is Sunga just here for the ride). He should retire with the rest of the inepts before him. Recall anyone! You will have to prove yourselves to the citizens of Vallejo, so don't make yourselves to comfortable. Michael Wilson, you look like a decent guy, but you will be put up to the test as well.

For now the new council got their wish, so I hope they have a Marry Christmas. The new council will have to earn our trust and show competence and good judgment as Vallejo residents, now more than ever will NOT tolerate inaction or poor judgment. Please do not abuse City funds to sponsor any union events. If you do not keep your campaign promises, the Citizens of Vallejo will scrutinize, inspect, ridicule and confront your inactions and poor judgment as mentioned earlier.

Mr. Davis- I hope you can truly see the City of Vallejo desperately needs beautification of our streets, parks, buildings, Downtown, Marina, Tennessee Street, I-80 Corridor etc... I would imagine after being a lifelong resident of Vallejo that you would loose focus and believe our City if just fine. I did not follow your campaign & am now disturbed with the results. Again, I can only hope you can distinguish between a thriving City & a ghetto ghost town for lack of better words if no positive action is taken. What was former Mayor IntintoIi thinking all these years and the rest of his incompetent misfits unable to stand up to the Unions and clearly define the Vallejo's budget plan. 

J.M. Saldana
Vallejo, Ca.


Last night's city council meeting apparently was giving the henkettes some reason to dance in the hallways. Could it be that they are happy to have Davis in because they feel he will cave into their demands? Or was it because they hated Cloutier so much that they were happy to have anyone in his place? I hope that it was the latter. The public is still waiting to hear the "plan" that Davis has for the city as it was never discussed during his campaign. We still don't know what his position is on the safety contracts so we will apparently have to wait and see. Or maybe the henkettes know something we don't know? Time will tell. But one thing for sure, we will have to be ever vigilant and pay attention to what the next moves will be by this new council. 
TRIOF


I am concerned about our new mayor (latest one), Osby Davis, frequent
references to god in his public statements. He certainly has a right to
all his personal beliefs, but in my belief system god doesn't belong in
public policy, politics and/or government. Anyway, she's far too busy in
the mideast to concern herself with Vallejo, KM.


Yet again, the T-H is showing their political stripes with today's editorial/sanctimonious free advertising for the good old boys. They ask only half the question, the half that reiterates their political affiliations: 

"Perhaps Cloutier knows things we don't, but we're left with the perplexing question: Would he have challenged the re-count outcome as tainted with "malicious meddling" and totally without credibility had he - rather than Davis - prevailed?" 

How about being fair just for once. Also ask Mr. Davis and his throng of supporters in the council chambers last night, if he would have challenged the recount "in the interest of healing for Vallejo" had Cloutier -- rather than Davis -- prevailed, and a ballot for Mr. Davis was found in the trash can? 

Oh, oh, pick me, pick me, I can answer that one!!

D. Petrillo


I must beg to differ with Mr. Davis and his statement of this situation being; in effect, unnecessary.
What is necessary, is to honor the integrity of the election process! I wonder if he was in Mr. Cloutier's position, would he feel the same? There must be an election run off. One that is scrutinized and monitored; without the same personnel, who could not provide any results without mayhem.
I also would ask the 61% of the voting populous that did not cast a vote, to get involved. The 39% of Vallejoans that did vote, want more for their vote! We want to acknowledge that one of the few rights we still possess, won't be compromised by sheer ignorance. I think we would all like to believe that somewhere in this Government, at least one office could be trusted! That may be asking too much.


Bill S.


Hello, 911? I want to report a theft. An election has been stolen. The perpetrators can be presently found in the mayor's office in Vallejo and in the Registrar of Voter's Office in Fairfield. Please hurry!

Manuel Schwartz
Vallejo


Osby Davis may be mayor for now but the criminal investigation into the OBVIOUS FRAUD which took place during the recount must proceed. The Registrar of Voters and his assistant should be FIRED by the Board of STUPIDvisors due to their incometence and complicity in this mess. Moreover, I believe a new runoff election should be held. I am also VERY disturbed to learn that Kevin Shelley is such a close advisor to Mr, Davis. Come on, people, Shelley is a friggin' THIEF! Just Google him if you have forgotten what he did as a state official. Those of us who truly care about improving the financial health and quality of life of Vallejo really need to keep a watchful eye on Osby Davis and his shady cohorts. 

JD
Vallejo


12/11/07


Black, white, straight, gay, count, recount. FINALLY, Vallejo is on the map!
Let's just hope this all comes out in the wash. 
And I sure hope the State of California is watching. 

T. Brown


The quote of Osby Davis today left me a little unnerved. I had hoped there would be some real character beneath the seemingly quite demeaner of Mr. Davis.


"You can find a boogeyman behind any tree if you look hard enough," Davis told the Times-Herald. "I don't think there's any validity to an accusation of fraud. If there is some fraud, we need 
to see the actual acts of fraud." 

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/todaysnews/ci_7692611

Isn't this exactly what he did when he decided to work with Mr. Shelley. This speaks volumes for me. I have hopes that the media scrutiny of Vallejo politics continues.

That statement is so similar to what was reported by Matier and Ross.


"Shelley's first advice for Davis was to ignore people who say recounts never change the outcome of races and to request one.
"He basically said you can always find votes somewhere," Davis said.
Shelley also advised Davis on what type of observers to send to the recount and what those observers should look for.
The two men traded calls throughout the three-day recount last week."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/09/BAOLTQJO6.DTL&hw=osby+davis&sn=003&sc=624

Whether it is "votes" or "bogeymen" my impression of Mr. Davis is diminishing.
Silas Barnabe


Budget cuts--that's why VFD couldn't bring santa. Perhaps they were just too busy......fighting over the remote control.
ooh pleeeeeeeeeese. 
carol 


I am a bit curious on the choice of words the VTF and SFCron selected to run in their coverage of Mayor’s race. VTF reports: "malicious meddling" and "intentional fraud," while SF Chronicle reports a “cloud of suspicion and doubt". Does anyone know the actual statement made by Gary Cloutier? Even if both statements are correct, I find it interesting the choice of language each paper highlights. 

L. Hill
Vallejo

The words "malicious meddling" and "intentional fraud" are used in the letter Cloutier sent to the board of supervisors and attorney general.  You can see the comments on page 4 of the letter.

Click the link HERE to see the whole document or the link next to "Letter from Gary Cloutier to Board of Supervisors" on the main page. 

Marc Garman--editor


I echo calls for a criminal investigation by state Attorney General's Office into manner in which the Solano County Registar of Voters handled the recount of the mayoral election. There is no excuse for even one ballot ending up in the trash. There is the real possibility of fraud having taken place during the supposedly meticulous recount and the registrar's office seems to have been asleep on the job. Personally, I think a new election should be called in light of this alleged fraud. If the situation were reversed, Osby Davis would be just as outraged as Gary Cloutier. In any event, heads should should roll at the registrar's office over this mess. Are you listening Board of Stupidvisors?

James Damienson
Vallejo


12/10/07


Everyone needs to be aware that one week before Vallejo's Tree Lighting event, the Beautification Advisory Commission was informed by our City Manager that, in view of the current budget crisis, Fire Equipment could not be used to bring Santa in from the North Pole. A wise decision in view of the current divisive political issues. There was no hidden fire fighter agenda at all. (I am not defending, simply making sure the truth is out there.) There was a communication breakdown with the Times Herald. It was a mistake to put in the paper that Santa was going to arrive on a fire truck.

We can thank Cornelius/Wilson Dealership for donating, (in the final hour) a red, convertible mustang as transportation for the evening.

Next year we are going to try for Harley's or maybe bring Santa to the event in an ice cream truck. 

Is there a Harley club in town that would like to get involved? Anyone know an ice cream truck owner?

Ann (Mrs. Claus) Meeter


I think a review of the registrar’s office is necessary to assure the voters of the integrity of the election process. I’d also like to see this “trashed” ballot handed over to a crime lab so that finger prints can be lifted. Who’s to say that one of the observers didn’t bring this sealed ballot into the office and leave it in the trash just to raise a specter of doubt over the entire process? It doesn’t matter to me what name appeared on this ballot but what concerns is the apparent lack of ballot security or deficiency in handling protocols. If I’m a dedicated partisan and a member of the “review committee” in a recount, what security measures are in place to prevent me from bringing in a stack of ballots marked up to benefit my candidate? This whole episode unfolding so close to home also gives me a little insight into some of the opposition to electronic voting. I think most people are aware of the manipulation that has occurred in elections past where paper ballots have been found floating down some river or acquired a sublime state of mathematical magic where 2 ballots = 1 voter. A switch to electronic voting would introduce a whole new set of abuses to be sure but the traditional scallywags would be put out of the ballot tampering business. I hope Gary pursues this issue so the public has a chance to examine the quality of people and procedures in our registrar’s office. I’m willing to bet we have some good people in there but the procedures probably need to be updated.

Doug Sherman


("frankly, just want this to be over. I'm sure the public does as well. It doesn't look well for us and our city to go back and forth," Davis said.")
Mr. Osby Davis’quote on front page of Vallejo Times Herald.


Mr. Osby Davis, not only Vallejo but, all voters throughout the U.S. want haphazard and /or distrustful voting practices to stop, however, not at the point of just ignoring or simply forgetting missing ballots. And, worse is the blatant disregard toward sealed ballots in garbage cans. It’s only been in recent years that our County Supervisors nominated to spend hundreds of thousands of my Mom and Pop’s hard earned tax dollars to eliminate new voting machines that people feared would not correctly count ballots. In this election not only does the fear remain, but now their finding them irresponsibly trashed before they were counted. This was the first time I finally got to vote. The only reason I know it wasn’t my ballot is because I voted for you Mr. Osby Davis. 
Mr. Foster Hicks was my Political Science teacher and the person who really got me interested in U.S. Politics, the Bill of Rights. Mr. Hicks always use to tell/teach us, “The vote is one our most important rights and we should always protect it...” Once it loses it integrity we fail to live in a democracy! I also remember how Mr. Hicks seemed to get upset when he talked about the Florida election. I mainly remember this really well because my grandma lived in Florida and she along with many of her friends were cheated out of their votes in Gore vs. Bush election. Then, after being disenfranchised, the Republicans told them to “Shut-up and Just Get Over It!” I need not tell you the effect this act has had on almost all American voters since. While taking Political Science in Mr. Hicks’ class, I was one of the students that actually liked going to City Council meetings and taking notes, doing the reports weren’t quite as fun. But, his teaching was very instrumental and a large part of the reason I’ve chosen to get into a law profession (Constitutional/Civil/Election rightist). I was so excited to hear the recount swayed in your favor. The way you’ve both maintained a respectful dialogue toward one another, especially being only single digit numbers deciding such a close race. This respect you’ve shown to one another was seemingly the only inspiring moments throughout this whole campaign season. But, with all that said, I hope you, like he, do not take offense if the re-count is called again. He was ahead by five votes, and from what I’ve read in the paper or heard on the news he like most of us, totally understood why, of course would want a recount. So, now being there is only three votes in question, not to mention all the newest Registrar induced discrepancies which have been added into the mix, I hope you will extend to him the same latitude, or at least for those of us already in your corner. If it’s truly your win lets have it be yours WITHOUT DOUBT! And the same for him! 
I didn’t quite understand what you meant when you stated, “It doesn't look well for us and our city to go back and forth” Mr. Davis you are so right. We shouldn’t go back and forth. Which would mean that if there is to be a re-re-count, you can prevent this from “going back and forth” by leaving it the way it is until we all know you are the undisputable vote getter. Of course, this is probably the way you were going to do it in the first place.

May the better man win! We know who that is…
GCW Jr


Yesterday the Chronicle today the Contra Costa Times,

http://www.contracostatimes.com/search/ci_7682236?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com&nclick_check=1

Finally we are getting media scrutiny outside of the biased Times Herald.
Silus Barnabe


I hope Gary Cloutier fights this in court look at the type of people Mr Davis was dealing with specifically for the recount.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/02/05/MNGC2B6LOC1.DTL

Mr. Shelley isn't the type of person I would want the public to know counseled and advised me on anything that involved ethics. This is very disappointing for me as I really did beleive that Osby would be just as good as Gary would have as Mayor.
Wow!
Firebug Vallejoan 10 years


Link to related Matier and Ross article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/09/BAOLTQJO6.DTL&hw=sunday+school+teacher+Osby+Davis&sn=001&sc=1000

editor


12/09/07


I saw this comment in the MR  Editorial today I guess M and R didn't yet realize one vote was found in the trash can. How embarrassing for a duo that prides itself on accuracy.

imbidinator wrote:
You got scooped by the paper that got scooped yesterday http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7671276 by this website. http://www.vallejoisburning.com/ Before writing such a sanctimonious piece you might want to a little investigative reporting on what is really going on in Vallejo. From Perata's Ferry grab of the Vallejo Ferry and how it is benefitiing a rather large campaign contributor that happens to own the Alameda Ferry which was also (bailed out) taken over to Sen Pat Wiggins faux facts in this letter http://dist02.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC=%7B8A09EE4B-28DC-40D8-90C7-EF919D686CBA%7D&DE=%7BC87DE38D-856A-4D0B-B23D-0EDEF70CC5A7%7D To the seedy recount of an election some of the same major campaign contributors to Perata and Wiggins forced over $500,000 in propaganda down the throats of Vallejoans that caused many to vote against their own interests in favor of letting safety services not taking their fair share of budget reductuins.
Posted 12/9/2007 6:34:47 AM

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/09/BAOLTQJO6.DTL

A link to the article.

Silas Barnabe


"DOING THIS WILL ALSO HELP ALL WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE A CASE THAT 
"THE VOTERS (CITIZENS) ARE VERY UPSET!"
I WAS TOLD BY A FRIENDLY INSIDER (STATE CAPITAL) "IT'S IMPORTANT THAT ALL VOTERS' FEELING UNEASY ABOUT THE INTEGRITY OF THE RECOUNT CALL AND LEAVE IT NOW ON "......
IF DISENFRANCHISED ABOUT RECOUNT CALL
THIS PHONE # (916) 657-2166 Elections Fraud and Investigations
LEAVE MESSAGE DEBRA BOWEN PICKS UPS MESSAGES ON SUNDAY BUT FOR SURE WILL BE IN FIRST THING MONDAY MORNING



THEN MONDAY MORNING START CALL THESE NUMBERS "DEBRA" WILL REACT PROMPTLY. "JUST MAKE SURE TO ONLY GIVE HONEST FACTS "

STATE
California Secretary of State
DEBRA BOWEN 
Administration
Reception
(916) 653-7244
Legislative and Constituent Services
(916) 653-6774
Communications (Media Inquiries)
(916) 653-6575
Elections
General Information
(916) 657-2166
Voter Registration Hotline
(800) 345-VOTE


We vote, they count, We did, they can't, lets call the whole thing off.
Here's a novel idea. Lets vote all over again. Obviously the November 6 Ballots have been compromised and that should not be any surprise. I wonder how many votes were compromised in the City Council portion of this ill fated debacle? MMMMMM. I smell a rat! And I did on November 6, as well.
Bring in the District Court System, if you have to and resolve this issue.......NOW!!!!

Bill S.


Dear Vallejo is Burning:

Sadly, not many folks turned out to welcome Santa and his
Fire Slacker Elves on Saturday night. The good news was that
he did not arrive in a fire engine, nor were any VFD people
visibly in attendance.

The conclusion? Either the fire union backed out fearing a
confrontation with members of the public, or they preferred
a last minute disappointment for the kids when they were
told this good deed was to be done without being paid
overtime! (A possible third explanation is that they ran yet
another truck into a building.)

Either explanation is a good sign. In future, could anyone
hearing about up-coming fire slacker so-called voluntary
participation in any public event, please, please post it
here. If we can organize a picket at all such events we can
force either a face-off with them, or a face-down by them.
And don't worry, we won't be torpedoing any worthwhile
events. The fire slackers never provide any real effort,
they just turn up and look shiny.

Alun Whittaker


12/08/07


With the history of hanging chads, missing ballots, broke down transports, double counted and uncounted ballots, challenged and unchallenged ballots, one has to wonder if OUR votes are really making a difference. Now we have a mystery ballot? The Solano Registrar's office supposedly has a reputation for accuracy. So why so much confusion now? Where was this mystery ballot and why after "triple checking" did it take till Friday afternoon for it to show up? What is certainly odd to me, is that it apparently was one ballot, that represented one precinct. So when the tallies were counted, why didn't anyone question where that precinct's count disappeared to? It's not often that we have one single ballot from a whole precinct, so that should have raised a red flag in someones mind when it came up missing after making the first count. Are we now to believe that the missing 10 ballots are now reduced to 9 missing ballots? Are they really missing at all and who did these ballots count for? With a difference of just two now, I'd expect another recount with a more transparent process and with information given out to the public. 

Solano County is not accustom to having recounts, so it appears that the Registrar's office was not fully equipped to deal with this issue. After speaking with a number of the the observers there are a number of questions that continue to rise from the entire process. Especially on the instructions (or lack of) that were given by the County workers to the observers. The final piece that adds to this questionable process is this mystery ballot that no one thought to look for during the entire four day process. What is going on in this department? 

I now seriously wonder if my vote counted? Could it too be hidden away somewhere waiting to be discovered? This certainly has shaken my confidence in the that department's efficiency.What are we to believe about the past election tallies? If there is representative of that department's ability to handle a true tally of the voter's intent, how can I believe that Davis is our true Mayor? As time consuming as it may be, I'd want a challenge to move forward to the courts and if successful, then the people called in to handle this recount should be professionals that can go through the entire process under the scrutiny of both observers and the voting community and come out with a finally tally that everyone can feel better about and leaving little doubt of it's accuracy. This needs to be done right away and yes, though it may hinder Vallejo's ability to move forward slightly but I want to believe that the voting public should have some resolution to the questionable process we have gone through in this past month. If thee is this much confusion in a local election, what's going to happen when the next big election comes up? Do we believe that count? To the Voter Registrar's office, please don't continue to disenfranchise the voting public. Get your act together and get a better process on board. 

Liat Meitzenheimer


My sister and I voted for Cloutier. The other three members of our family voted for Osby. But, as long as all of my family and I have known Foster Hicks we have always liked him and trusted his better judgment. Our family have given time, money and all other support to each and everyone of his campaigns, even FULL SUPPORT to him while Kurt Henke and his union were doing anything and everything possible to destroy him and his reputation. I even wrote Kurt’s “Social-Mommy”, (Mayor Exline), two letters chastising her after she made a publicly televised comment that went something like this, “Hey Foster! What did you get your collage degree in, BASKET BALL?” She really knew how to embarrass a whole city with a single sentence, bless her wee little heart. Even with all this, after discovering Foster Hicks was Osby Davis campaign manager none of us ‘were’ worried about Foster ever allowing Osby to side with the likes of Henke and/or his wrath to bankruptcy on Vallejo… 

…But then, directly after the recount there he was, suspiciously enough, not even 30 minutes later. It was Osby Davis and his 3 votes on channel 5 news, arriving at Boci’s Bar and Resturant where dozens of his cheering fans were already waiting out front to congratulate him. THIS is when you could have knocked anyone of us over with a UBL dollar… The first person to jump into his arms in a mutual bear hug was ARIN HANNIGAN, Henke and Riley’s newest darling puppet to the council. WELL… Vallejo’s next two stops…. HENKEVILLE then BANKRUPTCY JUNCTION. Toot-toooot bye-bye! 

Hope I’m wrong! But, if not, thank you so much FOSTER… WE really owe you!


TRUSTING FAMILY


In light of your most recent posting: "Scratch That"
Unbelievable !
And really, I have to say this is quite frankly the straw that broke....

Is Vallejo destined to be the laughing stock of the Bay Area for all
eternity, is there /any/ level of competence to be
found countywide ? And who works for the Registrar of Voters anyway,
Kathy Harris ?

At this point it doesn't matter who gets the most votes, it's quite
obvious that we will never know for sure, and each
faction will be doubting the results for the entirety of the future
Mayors' stint in office.

Obviously Vallejo is facing bankruptcy in more ways than simple dollars...

Time to get the Feds in here and sort this stupidity out.

G Manicotti


Thank you VIB for clarifying and clearing up THE COPIED ballots debacle. The way the Assistant Registrar was quoted through The Times Herald made it appear all ballots were copied before counted, but obviously VIB was ahead of the VTH in getting it, and GETTING it right (Typical). At this point, as long as the firefighter’s choice for mayor didn't make it I am willing to be happy with either Osby or Cloutier. There are three other things I hope VIB can clear up for me and I will be totally satisfied with this last recount. Someone from Osby’s camp was over heard publicly boasting that, "Osby knew the outcome of the recount two days prior to its finish, a [political] lawyer assured him of that.” The other quote was, "Osby's attorney told him to make sure his representatives contested everything, and knowing when to stop contesting would assure him the mayor ship." Also, this one is paraphrased but went something like this, "If anyone from other side contests anything, Osby and his representatives are to stand firm until the other side gave up or until it went back to the registrar’s ruling… at which point they were to continue to protest it…” "If this is true it really is upsetting! 

So my three questions for VIB: 
1. Did Osby or Cloutier show up with or use any campaign/election attorneys during this process?!
2. Did either side seemingly contest every, or almost every one of the provisional ballots unfavorable to their side? (or in any fashion as stated above)?
3. Or, did either side seemingly contest every, or almost every, ballot that might have favored the opponent?
(In other words: How many times did each side contest ballots, either theirs or their opponents)?

I thank VIB for any clarification given me toward any above question/questions…
Or, if there’s anyone working for VIB who can positively deny all of the above as factually false you may simply dispose of this letter. 


STOP THE PRESS!
GAWD… what the…!
I just peered back at the your home page and noticed, “It seems the Registrar is still finding unopened ballots!!!!”

EVEN I KNOW this leaves the whole recount process null and void! And, as far as I am concerned, out of the hands of the REGISTRAR and BOTH CANDIDATES. If they wont,… I as a voter WILL be asking for any and all ballots to be LOCK UP immediately and taken away to have a COMPLETE audit by the State Attorneys Office (JERRY BROWN). 

This is the right and responsibility of each and every voter. I knew this process looked suspiciously defective from its inception!!!!! Why is there anybody even skulking around these ballots two days after the last so-called recounted ballot?!!!!

Also: You will see me at the next County Supervisors’ Meeting this Tuesday, they need to right this Immediately !!! 

DWH


12/07/07


Congrats VIB for yet again quickly getting the most current info. and
news to the people of Vallejo: well before the lumbering and lethargic
Times-Herald. What the heck are they doing at that "news"paper?
Certainly not reporting breaking news in one of the most exciting and
outrageous elections in Vallejo's history! Seems like Osby had more
than his God on his side, huh?

D. Petrillo


I have to concur with DWH. Why must the ballots be copied and who is watching that process? I understand the process, but haven't we seen this type of counting in previous elections? The interpretation; such as the example of someone marking an, X, rather than darkening the Oval shape, speaks to the lack of management, in the individual precincts. I was a precinct worker many years ago.
We arrived 2 hours prior to the poll opening. We had several meetings and training before the election.
My job was to instruct each and every voter how to use the machine, ( the old hanging chad type). We had the good sense to clean the machines before usage and there was no paper, dirt, or any other foreign matter that would keep someone from making a perforation. After each person voted, we made sure they verified their vote and that the perforation was complete. Once the polls closed, we divided into three teams and counted all the votes.When each team was done counting, the amount was verified and each team member signed off on that amount. Then all teams would do a re-count on the other teams ballots until all three groups had counted each precinct ballot and verified that count. That process allowed all of the votes to be counted and verified three times. Ballots were then sealed and taken to the County Clerks office for validation. Any and all questions of legitimacy were eliminated before the precinct closed. Time consuming, yes, but Never A Recount!!! 
The Candidates deserve better and certainly this town does also.


Bill S 


If my calculations are correct, the cost of a recount could be covered if everyone who voted for Gary sends in just $2.00. This small donation of $2.00 to Gary's campaign would add up to more than $11.000. Some of us can afford to give more and some a bit less, but all of us can contribute a little money to offset the cost of a new recount.
Count me in! Where do we send our donation?

Fr. Lou A. Bordisso 


The Editor
Dear Marc:

I welcome the new features, the format cleanup, and the NAME
on your masthead! In the past, anonymity has only served as
an -- in reality, meaningless, but nevertheless effective -
excuse for union mouthpieces to undermine you good intent.

I also welcome this place you have made for comments, and
hope that -- in the same spirit -- you publish only signed
submissions. The comment pages on the Times-Herald's web
site provide a clear examples of the puerile, libelous trash
that gets published when people are allowed to submit
anonymously.

Finally, please note that Santa Claus will be arriving on
the waterfront at 6:30pm Saturday (8th) for the Vallejo
Christmas tree lighting. According to the Times-Herald,
Santa will as usual arrive aboard a Vallejo Fire Engine. I
do hope that a few folks -- hopefully with "Vallejo is
Burning" signs -- will turn out to ask how much Santa and
his helpers are costing the tax payers in overtime and UBL.

Alun Whittaker


Vallejo's financial mess is not simple. It is incredibly complex and the tentacles extend back at least 50 years. Like the current real estate meltdown, it is caused by betting on continued "progress" and mortgaging the future to fund today's party. 

In wanting to give our boys and girls in blue great rewards for the promise of great valor, rewarding our public employees through fabulous retirement packages and perks beyond imagination for just about anyone from out of town, we wanted to believe that there would be pots of money in the future through Redevelopment...the great liberator. We believed it! We tore down 24 blocks of the historic downtown and built a necklace of subsidized housing projects (required for Redevelopment) strangling what is left of the downtown. Vallejo loves subsidized housing and Federal subsidies. Out of town absentee landlords benefit greatly from those guaranteed rents and so does the City's Housing Authority which takes a big cut. Businesses that can't survive leave for greener pastures because you need you need a thriving middle class to make a City work economically. Then because Vallejo is a "disadavantaged community", the Feds give the City more money to fund "improvements" ...that goes mostly to road building contractors from out of town. 

It is not working out according to the hype and promises. The downtown is still dead, the old neighborhoods are dying and we are going broke. So what does the City staff propose? More of the same. Redevelopment did not work out downtown? Do it again (more subsidized housing downtown) How about the Mare Island National Historic Landmark? Our one chance at a world class tourist destination? Bulldozers are at the ready. Special legislation was passed by Mike Thompson (wait, doesn't he represent the Napa Valley) allowing the formation of a Redevelopment Area on Mare Island for economic reasons alone. 

Connect the dots. Vallejo is an extraction zone run by out of town interests. We need money to pay the bloated salaries for our City staff that lives in Napa or elsewhere? Destroy our old town neighborhoods and Mare Island...jobs for out of town construction companies (North Bay Construction and DeSilva Gates), cheap rentals for out of town investors, lucrative consultant contracts, elimination of possible competition for tourist dollars. 

And of course, the out of town interests that benefit are well networked. The people that represent us...don't. Pat Wiggens (Santa Rosa) knew all about the ferry grab. She also passed legislation to give State Lands (lands owned by the State of California for the benefit of the people of California) to Callahan/DeSilva for private development. The same developer was represented by our own new mayor. Joe Callahan and the boys at DeSilva Gates are also good friends of Don Perata (D, Oakland) who orchestrated the great ferry heist. 
There is no real incentive to make Vallejo livable and prosperous. It is working out just fine for the vampires. 

http://www.bizjournals.com/eastbay/stories/2001/01/22/tidbits.html

To see the financial impact of concentrations of poverty see...

http://www.brookings.edu/papers/1997/06poverty_gyourko.aspx

For tips on restoring prosperity to older industrial cities see.... (guess what, Vallejo is mentioned) 

http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2007/05metropolitanpolicy_vey.aspx


Statement from Terrye Davis

Just a bit of clarification on the recount…… actual ballots were counted. There were some duplicates. As VIB has pointed out, there were some ballots which were duplicated because the machine could not read the original (damaged, wet, etc..). The duplicate was then scanned by the machine. The original was kept in a separate place in the event there was a question regarding the duplicate. Observers, including Mr. Cloutier’s, challenged the duplicate ballots. Originals were produced to authenticate the duplicate. The challenges were reviewed at the end of the day by representatives of each candidate. The observers agreed the duplicates were an accurate representation of the original. 

For the person who does not trust Mr. Davis, there is an easy solution. He is asking for citizen input. Instead of complaining, give him a chance. Join the team and let’s make Vallejo a better place. Neither he nor Gary could do this job alone. It is going to take all of us. Here is our office number should you want to talk: 707/644-7424. 

Terrye Davis


I am appalled by these comments:
"I want, first and foremost, to give praise, honor and glory to my
Lord and savior Jesus Christ," Davis said. "This campaign was never
about me and it never has been. It is about the things my God wishes
me do in this wonderful city of Vallejo."

And this quote too:
"This campaign is not about me; it never has been," Davis, a devout
Christian, said in thanking supporters and family who joined him at a
news conference Thursday night. "It's about the things God wants to
do in this great city of ours called Vallejo."

I have a huge problem with anyone - of any faith - saying that "God
wants me to be/do _____". Keep your faith to yourself, roll up your
shirt sleeves and get up to speed. Osby, you've done nothing
civically for 10 years and many of us lack faith in you - like 3/4 of
the voters. Keep religion out of the office, start mending fences
and DO NOT renege on your commitment to get safety union salaries in
line.

You'll have to prove it to the people that you are not all talk. The
good news is that if you deliver on half of what you promised, you'll
have strong support from the most politically active residents.

Sparky


December 6, 2007, at approximately 3:15, I logged on the KTVU website and saw a clipping of the outcome of the recount. At 4:30 p.m., I telephoned Cloutier's office and they were not aware that the results were already published.
Was there a leak from the County Register Voter's Office? 
Carolyn O'Keefe 

Carol,
KTVU and VIB were the only ones at the registrar's office early--at 2PM. So we knew about the results first (by around 3PM). 

Marc Garman--editor

Thanks for the reply back. I grew up in Vallejo and just moved back last month from Sonoma County. There are a few of us here in Marin County that finds this quite amusing. 
I appreciate this website--it's what Vallejo needs. Watch dog groups usually exist in more progressive cities, so maybe Vallejo is on it's way. 
Also, I do believe that Vallejo spends way too much on public safety--it's almost criminal! 

carol


This election and subsequent recount has spawned a movement that we need to modify our city charter for runoff elections when no candidate receives over 50 percent of the vote. The most disturbing issue for me is that this budget crisis hasn’t created the same relevance to our newly elected leadership that the city charter regarding binding arbitration should also be changed.. The recent arbitrator’s decision and PERB’s apparent flip-flop proves that unless action is taken to amend the city charter we will always be on an uneven playing field with our public safety unions.

When an elected official says the want to bring unions and others together to work this out they fail to realize they are already at a disadvantage with safety unions. The union negotiators have already put their offer on the table; the firefighters share the of the deficit is over $4,000,000 but they only want to help fix $2,000,000 and receive a contract extension in return That will mean that their share of the $2,000,000 will have to obligated by some other department or non-profit. This is an excellent example of why safety services takes ¾ of the city’s general fund. For the last decade that I have been here they have never taken their fair share of cuts leaving that to other departments and more recently non-profits because our elected politicians have said their hands are tied.

I hope that our new group of elected officials does not respond to this budget crisis in the same manner as their predecessors. I also hope that their idea of fixing this is with more fee increases, raiding redevelopment and water funds, or heaven forbid for their political survival a new tax. In short an elected official that says they are going to help Vallejo without leveling the playing field with safety unions is being naive at best and out right liars at worst, I wonder which will the appropriate name of our new council?

Firbug Jr. Vallejoan 10 years.


It is my sincere hope that Gary Cloutier will challenge the latest recount. If the S.F. Chronicle report is accurate this morning (12/7/07) about how Mr. Davis feels God has plans for Vallejo, then there is sufficient reason for concern for those us who are social and spiritual progressives. Let us hope that Mr. Davis will respect the separation between church and state and not attempt to impose his alleged fundamentalist right-wing Christian values on Vallejo. Gary Cloutier clearly understands and respects the fact that we live in a democracy and not a theocracy. Based on the S.F. Chronicle report, it is not at all clear that Osby Davis subscribes to the same understanding. It would behoove Mr. Davis to reassure the voting public that he does not intend to impose his version of Christianity or any religion on the good people of Vallejo.


Father Lou A. Bordisso, Ed.D.


12/06/07


I think someone confused Dan Sarna Jr. with Dan Sarna Sr.
Maybe before VIB bashes someone they should know who
wrote the letter first before shots are fired. I went back and read
the letter to the editor, and It said nothing about trading
the water fund, so I am not sure where that information came
from. I think an apology is in order for the comment about
W-2 wages due to the fact that Dan Sr. did not write the letter.
Dan Jr. wrote the letter and does not work for the City Of Vallejo.
When references to someone are made, maybe a little investigating
should be in order instead of shooting from the hip.

Joshua A. Moothart
Vallejoan-28 years

 

Joshua,

The comments in the Daily Scream are not written by the VIB staff.  They are public comment and do not necessarily represent the opinions or position of VIB. Thank you for voicing your concerns. I suggest you direct your comments to the author of the entry.  I hope I have clarified any confusion.    Marc Garman--editor


First of all: None of our votes were re-counted, merely copies of the original ballots were re-counted! When were these “20.000 copies” produced? Where and how many copiers were used? How many election workers did it take to copy 20.000 original ballots? WHY are we COPYING ballots in the first place!?? I can’t think of even one time I’ve made 100 copies of anything at Kinkos when the end count was correct. Paper either sticks together (eliminating bottom sheet), or when refilling copier with more paper, that the first page was re-copied. NOW… try to get the exact amount of copies 20.000 times. Who was present to witness copies being made; was it always the “ASSISTANT” Registrar, was the REGISTRAR present for ANY part of the recount of these COPIES? If an “ORIGINAL” provisional ballot is difficult to interpret how’s its COPY going to be any easier to decipher?!!! AGAIN, MAIN QUESTION: To all the above is: WHY ARE THEY USING COPIES IN THE FIRST PLACE?????!!!!!! And why wasn’t this questioned up front?!!!! So, I restate, nobody recounted my or any other voters’ ballot, but merely copies of…. and that’s only if my COPY wasn’t stuck under another… then again, maybe three or four copies of mine where counted. HOW come I have never heard of COPIES being used for a HAND recount, can you? Remember Florida; if counting the ORIGINAL ballots was good enough then why not now?! 
Besides, we were told yesterday the count was complete… Why and What were they counting at 3:00 pm today… more “COPIES of PROVISIONAL” ballots?
Even if the candidate whom was unsuccessful does not contest this re-count of copies… we the voters should challenge it until the actual ballots we cast are re-counted!!!!!! 
DWH

Please check our article HERE for some explanation of what a duplicate ballot is.  Marc Garman--editor


It's my understanding none of our ballats were counted. but, instead... "copies" of our ballots were counted. Who copied them, how many election workers were used to copy 20.000 ballots, was the "Registrar" present during the intire process or was it merely an "Assistant" registrar, When were they copied, How long did this copying process take. BUT, MAINLY; Why are we counting copies 

It's 3:30pm on Dec 6 and I just was informed that the recount resulted in Osby Davis winning the office of Mayor by a mere 3 votes. I imagine that there will likely be another recount and the way things seem to be at the Solano County Registrar of Voters it could flop back over in favor of Gary Cloutier. I'm not upset about the recount and the election process. I'm upset about how the people in Vallejo continue to vote into power those who represent developers or special interests. In fact I don't trust that Davis will do much of anything about what is wrong in Vallejo. I don't believe that he can even see what is wrong with Vallejo. It's like living in a house with 10 cats. Over time you don't realize your own environment and guests who walk in get floored with the stink. As a fairly new resident I feel like I can smell the stink of Vallejo. I can see what's wrong and what's right with it. There are many many things that are great about Vallejo. I like the diversity, I feel the people are generally very friendly and down to earth. I have more friends in Vallejo than I've had in my entire life. It's the only city that I've cared about to the point that I got involved in the community, worked on different campaigns and volunteered as much as I could. Vallejo also has it's faults. There are many people in this town who've held our progress down to retain a certain level of control. They are the good old boys that have profited from Vallejo. They network themselves and support each other to the detriment of the community as a whole. They count on being able to sway uninformed voters, and to keep their own in control. They've crushed Vallejo year after year with a majority in council while making decisions that suffocate us while the rich people in town profit. Don't believe for a second that the progressive people on council have participated in Vallejo's downfall. It's the good old boys, the old timers, and uninformed that have created the stink that seemingly only the newer residents can smell. That's my opinion and of course you are entitled to your own.                


Arbitrator’s fire ruling still stands


After Reading Silus Barnabe's letter I thought a little bit about this.
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7650998

I think there is more than is being said about PERBS recent decision to maintain the arbitrator’s recent ruling. Just last month PERB announced that it felt that the Fire Union committed an “unfair labor practice” 

http://72.14.253.104/search?q=cache:AHyaW1HfJioJ:www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7147854+perb+vallejo+firefighters&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

And now they have mysteriously changed their minds. I think with a little investigative journalism on this subject, the subject of our recent election, and the realities that our safety unions will not take on their share of the burden of $7,000,000 of the $9,000,000 deficit will reveal a gold mine of stories for the investigating news agency. Right below the surface of this murky sewer called Vallejo backroom politics there are bigger fish at work. Why comments from Senator Wiggins on this issue on November 17?

http://dist02.casen.govoffice.com/index.asp?Type=B_PR&SEC=%7B8A09EE4B-28DC-40D8-90C7-EF919D686CBA%7D&DE=%7BC87DE38D-856A-4D0B-B23D-0EDEF70CC5A7%7D

Why Comments of concern from Chief Ernie Loveless of CAL Fire worrying more about the labor dispute than the safety of Vallejoan’s? I think the possibility of corruption, quid quo pro and intrigue is more far reaching than our midsize town of 120,000 residents, and an investigative agency shaking a tree might just uncover a bigger issue.

As for Vallejo, we need a road map to financial recovery and the first item on that map is to put binding arbitration back on the ballot. Safety unions have already demonstrated they will never share their burden for cuts in the general fund. Having binding arbitration in our charter leaves us susceptible to the likes of arbitrator Angelo, PERB and the whole union machinery that is rigged in favor of safety unions. There are documented victories of cities and counties that do not have binding arbitration in their charters against safety unions.

http://www.meyersnave.com/mn.pl?p=resource&s=resources&t=app&rn=1159916397byo&rc=Publications&y=resourcebase.html

As shown binding arbitration has been found unconstitutional if it isn’t in the cities charter. The only way cities and counties have successfully challenged this arbitration process is not to have it in their charters. This leaves the decisions up tot the honesty and integrity of our State Courts which is above our lawmakers, and union arbitrators. If Joanne Shively wants to consider putting a runoff election in the city charter I hope she considers putting language to remove “binding arbitration” from our charter and leave the decisions of how money is spent on those we elect not “employ”.

Firebug


 

12/05/07


Newly elected candidates took their seats on the dais at City Hall last night. They are Gary Cloutier, mayor, and City Councilmembers, Erin Hannigan, Joanne Shivley, and Mike Wilson. All four of them made statements. 

Architecturally, City Hall follows a plan that is at least as old as the Middle Ages (Eurocentric History) where the important people, i.e., wealthy owners, are elevated and separated from the plebeians. Spatial disparity dictates that they command respect. 

Shivley, who has a grasp of the financial quagmire Vallejo is facing, came roaring out of the gates by giving the City Manager actual assignments, e.g., analysis of union business leave abuses by firefighters and possible reimbursement to go to community based organizations which had their funding slashed this past summer; organization of a public forum to study and understand the city budget, etc.. 

Cloutier, expressed his vision for Vallejo with details regarding the downtown, waterfront and Mare Island projects. He expressed his dismay at the inordinate proportion of the General Fund that goes to pay public safety employees stating that it should be more like 60% rather than the 78% it currently is. He symbolically descended the dais by requesting the involvement of Vallejo citizens in solving our problems. 

Cloutier also mentioned improving the appearance of Tennessee Street which is one of the main entrances to Vallejo from route 80. 
Tennessee Street is competing with Sonoma Boulevard for ugliest street in town. Why is Sonoma Boulevard called a boulevard? It's wide but otherwise lacks any features that characterize boulevards, Where's the landscaping and foliage? Go to Paris to see a boulevard. Better to call it Boring-Get-Ya-Thru-Vallejo-As-Fast-As-You-Can Street. 

Hannigan's and Wilson's statements were bereft of ideas and filled with the kind of fluff that characterized their appearances at campaign forums. Hannigan mentioned fielding the "hard" questions at some of the campaign forums. Many Vallejoans are disappointed in the format of the forums because questions from the audience are never allowed. They have families and are going to work hard for a wonderful, beautiful Vallejo which is very dear to their hearts. They have supporters too some of whom they thanked by name, but neither of them specifically mentioned the IAFF 1186 (firefighters union) who endorsed them and contributed a lot of money to their campaigns. 

We hope that somewhere down in the recesses of their consciences Hannigan and Wilson can reconcile their rhetoric with their funding sources. They will have to prove that they are more than just another mouthpiece for the IAFF (Tom Bartee; Hermie Sunga) and they will have to prove that they are not as inept as Mr. Sunga. Otherwise that dais means nothing to us plebeians. It would just be more of the best democracy money can buy. 

Al J. Love


Bay Area Residents are finding their new City to live in. We found ours!
Hi, 
I thought this was an interesting article about Vallejo, as it concerned new residents to our City. My partner & I are also new to Vallejo and feel we made the right decision to move here & purchase a home in the 94590 area. Great weather, affordable housing, our own Marina!! there's a distant suburban feel, yet so close to S.F, new projects for the City, short distance to Napa, S.F, Marin, Sacramento. Our home is an older Spanish/Mediterranean in an outstanding neighborhood with other unique, architecturally built homes. I purposely walk my neighborhood streets and make it a point to spend time at the Vallejo Marina, Downtown & shop locally. As new working class, middle class or wealthy residents move to Vallejo from S.F, Berkeley, Marin County, Oakland or other areas, they will improve Vallejo & expect higher class services, restaurants, shops and provide hope to Vallejo. Not to say the least, Gary Cloutier, our new mayor has a great new vision for our City. I am very optimistic about Vallejo's future & I noticed there are many people who care around here. I have great neighbors all around me, except for speeding motorists. I will feel very proud when I can pull in to a new, upscale restaurant in the Downtown or Marina area in my new Range Rover & consider using valet curbside service. I work hard & play hard that's all. Signs, more good quality residents are moving in to join the existing ones...okay, okay, so my partner drives a nice Volkswagen Jetta...so, I'm a car nut. :o)
Please read below; The Article below was written by a new resident to Vallejo, Ca. Just sharing with all you.

Sunday, August 5, 2007
Take Back the Night, Take Back Vallejo 
CJ and I had several friends and neighbors over for dinner the other night. After a delicious meal (I cooked several recipes from Cooking with Claudine which I should really review here) the conversation turned to Vallejo's reputation.

We are all transplants to Vallejo, one person has been here less than a week, one couple just over 15 years. We all had the same experience when we told our friends and neighbors in San Francisco and Marin County that we were moving to Vallejo. "Vallejo?" Or perhaps more typically, "VALLEJO!?!?!" 

We've all had the same basic experience once we got here, too. We found the people of Vallejo to be very friendly and unpretentious. We found the city had a lot more to offer it's residents than we'd been led to expect. The neighborhoods (We all live in older areas: Greenfield Terrace and the Heritage District) are beautiful with lots of old trees and wonderful old homes. Between the six of us at the dinner party we're involved in the local symphony, the Vallejo Gay Network potlucks, Friends of the Library, the Vallejo-Benicia Humane Society, the Vallejo Music Theatre. 

And none of us have had any serious issues with crime, certainly nothing worse than what we faced in San Francisco and Marin County. 

So why does Vallejo have such a bad reputation? we asked. We all agreed that the old-timers, people who've been here since before the military left, feed into the bad reputation. Why is that? Why are so many new arrivals Vallejo boosters, and so many old-timers Vallejo nay-sayers? I'm asking because I'd really like to know. Recent arrivals like us came to a city that is, admittedly, down on its luck. We've all been waiting for things to get better, and things have. We've noticed improvements, but the pace of those improvements is quite slow. Too slow really. Maybe that's why the old-timers have such a negative view of things. Clearly, they can remember Vallejo when it was better than it is now. It will probably take a very long time to get the city back up to the status is once had, let alone a status higher than that. 

But does the negativity help or hurt the process? I think it hurts. That's why I'm glad to see local participation in the National Night Out program. Anytime local people can get together and take action to improve their neighborhood I have renewed hope for Vallejo. After all, it was the people who drew most of here in the first place. Okay, that and the low housing prices, but it's the people who can make Vallejo a better place.
Posted by C.B. James                         LINK TO CB JAMES BLOG:    www.readywhenyouarecb.blogspot.com


12/04/07


I was really insulted by the column in the TH this week on Monday. The writer thought it was cute to use the term “mandate” and then make a side joke. It is these types of comments that promote bigotry and homophobia. I grew up with these types of code words that belittle minorities and the Times Harold found it okay to publish this. 
I work for a newspaper that is read by the legal community of the Bay Area and everyone that I showed the article was shocked.

Derrick Miller                                    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/richardfreedman/ci_7623655  (link to article added by ed.)


Dear VIB,
Nice feature! Why would the Times Herald suspend the comments section some are asking? Because of outside scrutiny as far as I can tell. With a Chronicle Editorial, and Matier and Ross coverage inside of a week devoted to this election, I think our distinguished friends at the Times Herald and 1186 are trying to keep this fragile cloak of deception about what has really happened here in Vallejo under wraps.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/11/28/ED6MTJCNF.DTL&hw=cloutier&sn=007&sc=087

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/03/BA8NTM4TC.DTL&hw=cloutier&sn=001&sc=1000

So fragile is this subterfuge the mildest of investigative reporting would reveal how much money was spent here, who the players were, what group stood to benefit the most, what group will benefit the least; and most of all, the lies, smearing, and hate that were in letters to the editor and posted on their comments section about Gary Cloutier, Tony Pearsall, and Stephanie Gomes. Even the Times Herald itself has found the errors of its ways (The fallout of supporting no cuts to safety service staffing, public safety contract extensions, and two candidates endorsed by public safety unions) and is now admitting that other City of Vallejo departments have been neglected with its article yesterday about the code enforcement department. 

In the end we have safety services refusing to pay their share or over $7 million of an over $9 million deficit, and old safety endorsed candidates Sunga and Bartee teaming up with neo purchased candidates Wilson and Hannigan to loot the water department and redevelopment funds, eliminate the maintenance department leaving other city departments to bear the brunt of the cuts (can you say more consultants)? Questions to ponder on:

Could Hannigan’s quote in the Times Herald today reducing all her election promises to “working hard” be a sign she can’t keep her campaign promises? Why would the voting public of this city vote against their own interests so a select few city employees can live like CEO’s? Could that by why they do not want media coverage and scrutiny outside of Vallejo? 

"I'm looking forward to publicly thanking my family for their support through my campaign," she said. "I'm going to let the community know that I'm going to work hard for them. I didn't make any big promises in my campaign other than I will work hard."


http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7631988


Silus Barnabe


12/3/07


Now that the frenzy of the election is over and the Times Herald wants everyone to just get along they see fit to write an article explaining the lack of staff in our code enforcement department. I found this particularly ironic and amusing since last June the Times Herald has encouraged our Council to make reductions for “safety first”.

Since the summer our now taxpayer first minority of the City of Vallejo Council have been saying that the reason they are forced to hire consultants and do with less in other departments is because our safety unions refuse to take their fair share of the burden in budget shortfall which $7,000,000 of a $9,000,000 short fall is from safety services raises and increased perks.. Code enforcement Nimat Shakoor-Grantham said her department is behind with over 2000 complaints that require 2 weeks to a month to investigate putting them behind by a month. The reason given by the Times Herald is that budget cuts have forced Shakoor-Grantham to divide the 40,000 Vallejo parcels among two staff, which makes her department re-active not pro-active as there isn’t the staff to find and enforce code violations.

Such a situation is why the state of our infrastructure appears to be more run down than just broken street lights and signs and potholes. We must remember that when a city official or union official tells you safety first, they apparently do not care how our city looks in the eyes of our prospective visitors and potential new businesses all they care about is that the raises and perks promised to them by former incompetent city employees by delivered promptly or else….

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_7623652

A Michael Biddle a letter writer appears to think that diversity and the right to dissent do not go hand in hand. Mr. Biddle comes to the flawed conclusion that defies our bill of rights which guarantees the right to dissent that if everyone agrees and is united on our council that our city could be the most diverse and best city in the USA (I think Riley and Sarna said that one before as well). I submit that Mr. Biddle should read our bill of rights and read the definition of diversity as defined is a condition of variety meaning differences, before he writes another letter perhaps a remedial U.S. Government class would be in order similar to the ones we make perspective legal immigrants’ take and pass as it is a shame that newcomers would know more about our government, the right to dissent, and what diversity is than a native like Mr. Biddle.

http://www.timesheraldonline.com/letters/ci_7623657

Firebug


12/2/07


Daniel Sarna Jr writes that he finds irony and confusion in the motives of a website known as vallejoisburning.com. Mr. Sarna exclaims that if a group that promotes itself as caring for Vallejo they should limit the scope of their care to simply bringing new revenues into this city without looking at the expenses the taxpayers of Vallejo have been and are being burdened with supporting. Mr. Sarna would have us entertain raid the water fund the Vallejo ratepayers were recently burdened with a large increase to their water bills be burdened with using that money to offset a $9,000,000 deficit $7,000,000 of which is from increases in raises and perks for our safety employees. The implication of raiding the water fund after the water Superintendent recently told Vallejoan’s he needed this rate increase or the water department would go bust leaves many a ratepayer like myself in shock and disbelief that if the water department has “extra” money to bail out the general fund that we where lied to about the dire need of a rate increase.

Currently two Council person’s Sunga, and Bartee supported this raid of water funds and of the redevelopment fund to bring in “new” revenues to fund the deficit. Mr. Sarna expresses confusion that the purpose of the vallejoisburning people should be to bring in revenues while scolding the old council for not bringing in new businesses. I have watched or attended city council meetings for nearly a decade and have yet to see where Mr. Sunga or Bartee presented a plan to bring businesses into this city that would bring in the revenue needed to fix the $9,000,000 shortfall we are experiencing. In fact embarrassed by that reality Mr. Sunga and Mr. Bartee state they do not believe we have a deficit problem, and are telling staff to inflate the cities revenue numbers (Does any one else remember Frank Reimcowitz and the Vallejo School District and the result of inflating revenues?) . Like fish out of water Mr. Sunga and Bartee thrash about one moment saying there is no deficit to worry about to asking that redevelopment monies and water revenues are raided leaves me to believe despite the promises made about new businesses coming into Vallejo it is going to be “business as usual” in City Hall after December 4.

Mr. Sarna believes we should ignore expenses, including his own W-2 salary with the fire department of over $160,000 and instead of looking for ways to bringing such a gigantic reward for his service down to a realistic wage this city could afford, we should simply find money somewhere. If the above actions of candidates endorsed by the firefighters union and Chamber of Commerce are sneak previews of what is to come we have been duped fellow Vallejoans. The promises of new business revenue coming to Vallejo just to deal with a $9,000,000 shortfall would have to be an industry that other cities in the bay area pass on. Gas Plants, prison’s, Casinos that are routinely rejected and left to other unsavory cities will be the norm in Vallejo because as long as the economic vision of this city is dictated by safety unions and the market or genuine innovators and entrepenuers, we would invite anyone to come to this town that will put forth a contribution to the city the safety unions have made us very aware is their fund it is called the general fund, and if you do not believe it belongs to the safety unions ask yourself why ¾ of it theirs and think about Tom Angelo’s message $4.2 million message to us. The only thing ironic and confusing to me Mr. Sarna is how you and your union told the Vallejo voters that your interests and my interests are one and the same…how ironic..

Firebug


P.S. To Mr. Sarna, I hope he holds Ms. Pitts and Mr. Davis to the same standard as he holds Vallejoisburning.com as I recently saw their signs still littering Admiral Callaghan Lane. Firebug       Link to Dan Sarna letter:   http://www.timesheraldonline.com/letters/ci_7617591   (ed.)


I was informed that, “Although, the more citizens’ complaints the better,…” it merely takes one citizen's, valid, provable and/or proven complaint... to any illegal or unethical act... by any individual county/city staff, county/city employee or county/city elected official... to have Solano's Grand Jury checkout, preside-over, judge and sometimes even sentence guilty parties… Especially when finding the guilty party/parties involved in/with the embezzlement and/or misappropriate use of city funds, i.e. the taxpayers moneys.

I say this success will be best when achieved “with our numbers”…
This Success equaling = The Total Unmitigated Public Outing of the Firefighters Misappropriate Use of any and all UBL (our taxed 100’s of 1000s’ of $$$$$)!!! 

DWH


11/30/07


I think Tom Bartee and Hermie Sunga have to be the most embarrassing council members in a decade. I do have concerns about redevelopment there is an older article here
http://www.redevelopment.com/norby/toc.htm
That explains much. I feel that many vallejoans have concerns about redevelopment because it is an invisible entity to valejoans and 10 percent of more of city revenues are going right into the redevelopment pot. My concerns like Bartee and Sunga ends there. I feel that if we "raid" the RDA monies they should go back into our public works budget. Unlike Oakland I think the number 1 concern in vallejo is the state of our infrastructure, I hear and read more about infrastrucuture than I do about public safety (could this by why the TH and unions have overplayed safety in our city?) Using water revenues to fund safety services is likely downright illegal and has always been the suspected goal of public safety when the "water" district was "integrated" into the city 10 years ago to "save money". Something I think we should focus on change the priorities of spending in vallejo is to change the charter language for binding arbitration. The following link give much insight on how cities work, both charter and non charter.
http://www.guidetogov.org/ca/state/overview/municipal.html
I think if VIB setup a paypal account many of us would be willing to "donate" money to this site for all of the volunteer staffs time and efforts to change our city.
firebug


11/29/07

Hi VIB --

Congratulations on the new feature! Now we can talk about the issues
and we don't have to provide all that traffic to the Times-Herald.
(Traffic to their web site is a currency to them, don't ya know?)

Not that we can post comments there anymore, anyway. Isn't that funny?
I find the paper's timing especially amusing in light of the letter to
the editor printed yesterday from Jon Riley, who I can only assume is
the same Jon Riley that is the vice president of the local
firefighters union. He practically begged people to go to the
Times-Herald's web site to see what sort of comments people would make
in response to his letter. Amazingly, only two comments were made and
the paper shut down the whole system!

I'll let you in on a secret, though -- you can still see the comments
if you know where to look. What could someone have said that would
have caused the paper to run and hide, its proverbial tail between its
legs? Here's the link -- and the comments are reprinted below in case
the paper tries to hide them again.

http://www.haloscan.com/comments/vallejotimes/7580337/

(begin posted comments)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From today's San Francisco Chronicle:

"Vallejo's firefighters are the highest-paid in the Bay Area. The city
spends a whopping 74 percent of budget on the police and fire
divisions, leaving little discretionary money for things like potholes
and public transportation.

"Unfortunately, efforts to break the union's hold have mostly failed -
the city lost a $4.2 million arbitration in September over fire
department staffing levels, and two union-approved candidates were
just elected to the city council. The finish for the Vallejo mayor's
race looks exciting to those of us who don't live there. But for
residents, the real race for improvement is just beginning."

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/11/28/ED6MTJCNF.DTL

Vallejo Heights | 11.28.07 - 9:09 am | #

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

And thanks, Mr. Riley, for suggesting that people look here for
comments. I think a lot more people will be reading that Chronicle
editorial, thanks to your recommendation.

Vallejo Heights | 11.28.07 - 9:13 am | #

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(end of posted comments)

So there you go! Someone posted a link to yesterday's editorial in the
Chronicle and suddenly, the Times-Herald decided that the whole public
comment thing just wasn't worth the trouble. Quelle surprise!

To deny the public such delicious irony is truly a tragedy, but thanks
to VIB, now you know what really happened.

Very truly yours,
Chip de Cow


http://www.timesheraldonline.com/letters/ci_7580337

I thought that Jon Riley's article to the Times Herald calling for civility on the web had to have been the best example of Orwellian logic I have ever witnessed. Considering he and his colleague Kurt Henke launched a documented smear campaign against Joanne Shively, and more recently Tony Pearsall,Gary Cloutier, and in the coming election Stephanie Gomes I for one would like to see a feature of this letter like the one that was done on Joe Athey's letter.
Thanks!
Firebug
P.S. 
I wonder what Mr. Rilley and his wife tell their daughters about his behavior concerning the Union Business Leave Scandal?
Firebug
The first thing I did after reading the SF Chronicle editorial is sent the link to Pat Wiggins. I think if more people call her attention to what the editorial says, she may just apologize for her Nov. 14 letter to the T-H.

Plainobserver