Elect New Replacement Council Members to Replace Ferre and Garcia Please Read the PE Articles Aug 22 regarding Recall Protect your Property Rights, and Your Rights to have Elected Representation.
Don't Let Council Member Ferre DENY You Your Rights as she tries to AVOID a RECALL Fair Government For All Grand Terrace
This blog provides city documents, state audit documents and other reasons for the recall effort. Recall Resons: Not just Personality, not one Single Issue
Documents and Reason for the Recall of Council Member Ferre.
Lack of oversight of Mr. Schwab and City staff. Disregard of Citizens concerns. Favoritism of Gene Carlstrom, Mrs. Ferre campaign manager, a former Council member and owner of Terra Loma Reality, the only company that is allowed to handle City property. Mr. Carlstrom employes Councilwoman Cortes and is the employer of recently retired Planning Commissioner Bidney. Coming out of closed session on real estate deals and telling the community that "No reportable action was taken" or " They do not have to divulge until escrow closes" which is a violation of the Brown Act.
A prime example the Dodson property. Listed for $750,000. Mrs. Dodson is a relative of Mr. Carlstrom. The Council went into closed session and bought the house and property for $1,290,000. $540,000 more than it was listed for.
Mrs. Ferre in violation of the Brown Act said "No reportable action was taken. Councilman Hilkey, at the next Council meeting stated that the City had bought a property it did not need and paid too much for it and the deal was done within ten minutes of going into closed session. Mr. Hilkey was angry and stated he did not vote for it. Mr. Miller at a later Council meeting reversed his vote.
2. The allowing of Mr. Schwab to purchase RDA/City house without proper Public Hearing on the sale of the RDA or City Property. Michelle Boustede also has an RDA LOAN and the City will not release her salary. Mrs. Boustede also received a $44,000 silent second deed of trust. There are no interest payments or principle payments on a silent second deed of trust unless you ever sell the house. That debt is forgiven after a specified period of time. A silent second is not to be more than 10% of the purchase price of the house. Mrs. Boustede's is three times the amount allowed by law. Mrs. Boustede has quick claim deeds signed by her husband on her closing day that make her the sole owner as a married woman. Mr. Schwab's house went from the owner, to the RDA, to the City then to Mr. Schwab. The City carried the mortgage for several months. They justify this clear violation of RDA law by saying he is required to live within the City limits. A City contract does not trump State law. His contract does not "REQUIRE" him to live in Grand Terrace. IF it did the City should retain the ownership for the use of the next City Manager. An RDA house is for low to moderate income people. A single person must make $39,000 a year or less and be a first time home buyer. Mr. Schwab just went from $125,000 a year to $150,000 a year and is not a first time home buyer. This cheated a low income family out a home.
3. Even at the more recient Council meetings Mrs. Ferre refused to take criticism for or responsibility for the stiffling of the Council and members of the public by restricting the Council from engaging the public at Council meetings. Mr. Hikey again reminded her it was her doing when she was selected as Mayor.
4. Taking the word of Mr. Schwab and Mr. Koontz over that of two lawyers on the Essco project. By law it cannot be built. Again her ineptness brought a lawsuit on the taxpayers of the City.
5. Refusing to bring Mr. Schwab to task for deliberate lies to the Council and the Community. I quote." I have seen the signed long term leases signed by Lowes and Staters in Mr. Jacobsen's office". Jack Brown, President of Staters answered this at a joint Council/RDA meeting with the Planning Commission. Mr. Brown stated " Jack Brown has signed nothing. If you want to know what Jack Brown has signed ask Jack Brown". Lowes did not even appear because they have not signed long term leases either and Mr. Schwab is allowed to tell these untruths with her blessing. Mr. Barney Karger and I asked at several Council meeting where is the money. Mr. Schwab told us we have a $13,000,000 portfolio. As it turned out we did not have a portfolio we have a $13,000,000 RDA debt. The $13,000,000 are tax allocation bonds issued by the RDA and on the say so of Mr. Schwab that require no voter approval or knowledge.
6. The City brings in about $5,000,000 in revenue a year. According to one of our citizens that spoke at the joint meeting and is a retired Government Budget Analysts $4,500,000 goes to the RDA to pay debt that grows each year. Also RDA money and General fund money is run together so it is impossible to tell how much RDA money is actually being used for the everyday operations of the City. The Senior Housing. They told the seniors here it would be for low to moderate income seniors. After the no bid contracts were signed for $18,000,000 of which $9,000,000 comes from the city it has been changed to section 8 housing.
7. Continued transfer of RDA land to Developers (Jacobsen) without proper public hearings continued as reciently as in July 2006.
Mrs. Ferre refusal to make staff comply with The Open Records Act. To wit. Refusal to tell what became of the vehicle that the city buys for Mr. Schwabs personal use that was replaced with a new one. They claim no document exist to tell what happened to it, we have been given only a verbal esplanation no documents to support the transaction as Mr. Schwab now details. Her refusal to read anything that pertains to development projects in the City. Every one of them has been stopped by law suits because of the City manager and Planning Director's failure to abide by the law.. Mrs. Ferre us of a chink in the election law armor that allows her not to list the donors to her political campaigns. Allowing Developers that have projects pending in town to contribute to City funded functions. Corp. For Better Housing and Jacobsen Family Holdings. The list is endless including she continues to be Pro Eminent Domain, and has not put the issue on the AGENDA.
Reasons for Recall of Council Woman Garcia:
She is the Board member for The League of California Cities for this area. The League is a private corporation that opposed and lobbied against limited use of eminent domain. They lobbied against any amendments to the State Constitution that would limit the use of eminent domain that would not allow a government to take private property to give to developers. The League's partners are all land use lawyers, construction unions, tax bond companies, utilities and those that stand to make a profit from the unlimited use of eminent domain.
The Community, even those in favor of the Town Center voiced their objections to the use of eminent domain. The League looks at the "Anderson" initiative that will most likely make it on the November ballot to give voters the choice to limit eminent domain as troublesome. Ms. Garcia has charged back her travel expenses for League business to the taxpayers of Grand Terrace for years. This should anger voters when they learn the true nature of the League.
2. Ms. Garcia accepted campaign contributions from Doug Jacobsen and his wife and then refused to recluse herself from the vote on his project The Town Center. She allowed Jacobsen to contribute to City functions with the knowledge he had business pending in front of the Council.
3. As a member of the General Plan Task Force she has allowed projects that violate the General Plan to proceed. She has voted for projects that even after being shown the proof that they violated State and Federal Law. The OAC. Manhole and The Blue Mt. Villas.
4. She comes to Council meeting uninformed. She ask questions of the City manager on projects that she should be able to answer if she took the time to become informed as to what the City Manager is doing. She, as Ferre does, just takes the "staffs" word on everything. This shows an incompetent lack of oversight.
5. She is part and parcel of the Schwab House deal, the Dodson House deal, the Boustede House deal and allowing Mr. Carlstrom and Terra Loma Reality to use the City for his profit. This shows an utter disregard for the citizens and using her position to profit a former Council member. They have allowed the RDA to become a revenue devouring monster that produces nothing but debt. Debt that takes money away from schools, streets, law enforcement and the services the taxes the citizens pay should be receiving. This is just a partial list of why the voters of Grand Terrace know it is time for a change.
The days of "Good Ol Boy" politics is over. We will replace them with candidates that will place the community and the well being of it citizens above those of their developer friends. Here are some thoughts from others. Lack of Competitive Bids Nolte Engineering/ Koontz Improper Planning Commission Oversight, and Practices Threats of the intent to use Eminent Domain being Overlooked by the Council long before authorization to negotiate was issued by the Council Failure of the Council/RDA Board to act as responcible oversite to the pracices and procedures utilized by the City Manager RDA Director Tom Schwab. Use of Terra Loma Realy for Management of Property Non Reporting of Sales of Land, Houses Allowing the miss use of Low and Moderate Income Funds Allowing Developers to contribute to City Community Development Department Activities when they have Issues before Planning Department, and Planning Commission.
Failure to PUBLICLY Repremand City Manager for telling out right lies to the Council and Public. Failure to attempt to find a better qualified City Manager to provide Management of the City. Failure to Require General Plans and State Required Reports to be filed and current. Failure to act upon Citizens Concerns related to Safety and Code Violations.
Hilkey and Cortez are up for reelection in November so they can’t be recalled but the issues should be addressed in their campaign. Herman Hilkey has chosen to retire from the City Council. Jim Miller is new to the Council, and was not party to or associated with the past actions.
The Recall Petition has been distributed signatures are being collected. This means all of the supporters will be collecting signatures, and checking them twice. 1509 signatures plus are needed.
IF you have a desire to join this not so small group of people wanting to give the Citizens a Vote on the Continuance of the Services of Council Woman Ferre and Council Woman Garcia Please contact GrandTerraceNews@yahoo.com, and send your name, email and phone number so your efforts can be included in improving Grand Terrace and Providing Citizens a Voice and Choice. Good Governence for GT is what we are concerned with.
Make notes as you read. Try and ask specific questions related to the documents provided on the blog. See what non answers you'll get. Sure, GT is small time interest to some. For those of us who live here, we deserve the best governance of our community as possible.