Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Original Message -----
From: Christina Walsh
To: IJ Distribution
Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 1:17 PM
Subject: ACT NOW: Keep Susette Kelo and Her Neighbors In Their Homes!
Today, May 31, is the deadline for Susette Kelo and her neighbors to accept the City of New London's offers for their homes. TheDay.com, the website of The Day, New London, Connecticut's local newspaper, is currently hosting a poll entitled, "Should Fort Trumbull Plaintiffs Accept City's Offer?" The text of the poll reads as follows:
The city of New London has made monetary settlement offers with the six parties whose Fort Trumbull properties were taken by eminent domain. Since the U.S. Supreme Court sided with the city in the eminent domain case, the former property owners have remained in possession of the properties while the city owns them. If those former property owners do not accept the settlement by today's deadline, the city will revoke its Âoffer to forgive past-due real estate taxes, claims for use and occupancy and claims to collect rent from third parties.Â Should Fort Trumbull Plaintiffs Accept City's Offer?
Let the City know that America's property owners won't stand for the unholy alliance between tax-hungry governments and land-hungry developers in New London or anywhere else! Go to http://www.theday.com/, and scroll a quarter of the way down; the poll is to the right from the center of the page. Stand up for Susette Kelo and VOTE NO!
Also, send an e-mail to Governor M. Jodi Rell urging her to intervene on behalf of Susette and her neighbors, as the Hartford-Courant editorial below calls for. She has the power to save the Fort Trumbull homes, and has said before that she is in favor of preserving the homes and letting the development go on around them. You can send an e-mail to the Governor through this link: https://action.popuvox.com/default.aspx?actionID=268.
Together, we can help keep Susette Kelo and her neighbors in their homes, where they belong!
Assistant Castle Coalition Coordinator
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
P.S. Help the Castle Coalition grow! Forward this message to your friends. They can sign-up here: http://www.castlecoalition.org/join/index.html.
The Hartford Courant
Stop Shameful Eviction Plan
May 30, 2006
Gov. M. Jodi Rell expressed the views of many disappointed property owners when she criticized the General Assembly for being "largely silent on the overall issue of eminent domain."
After much justifiable Sturm und Drang about Connecticut's law that allows private land to be seized for private use, the legislature did nothing to change it. The status quo pretty much gives municipalities carte blanche to take a person's property if they think someone else will pay more taxes on it.
A flurry of good ideas emerged during a special legislative session to fix the law. It was called after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld, in a 5-4 decision, the city of New London's right to condemn the homes of working families in the Fort Trumbull neighborhood. The homes were to be razed for a speculative private development project to complement Pfizer's global research and development presence and a state-subsidized remake of the waterfront.
Several displaced residents who brought the lawsuit have steadfastly refused to leave. They have garnered national bipartisan sympathy, including Gov. Rell's.
They should be permitted to stay. Some of the residents have lived in that neighborhood for a lifetime. The city's attempts to put a price on that history misses the point. They don't want money. They want their homes.
Despite Mrs. Rell's plea to preserve the homes and let the partially state-sponsored development go on around them, the residents face a May 31 eviction deadline.
The New London City Council has ignored reasonable compromise, including the residents' willingness to move their homes to a neighborhood site that wouldn't interfere with the city's plans.
If the holdouts do not agree to terms for vacating their properties by the deadline, they will face nearly $1 million in penalties and lose their homes to boot.
Mrs. Rell must step in and stop this from happening. She should use her power to insist that the development plan be revised to include the remaining homes. The state's heavy investment in Fort Trumbull, its museum and the river walk give her the clout to insist on changes in the plans forged during the Rowland administration.
She alone can prevent this mistake from compounding.
What an image for Connecticut - to be a national example of how not to treat homeowners.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Complaint Type: PETITION
Filing Date: 05/22/2006
Complaint Status: ACTIVE
Party Number Party Type Party Name Attorney Party Status
1 PETITIONER CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE AND OPEN GOVERNMENT , JOHNSON & SE DLACK
2 RESPONDENT CITY OF GRAND TERRACE
3 RESPONDENT GRAND TERRACE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
4 RESPONDENT ESSCO ELECTRIC SUPPLY, INC.
5 RESPONDENT ESSCO WHOLESALE ELECTRIC
ESSCO v Specific Plan
Attorney, Raymond Johnson, who spoke at the City Council Meeting on May 11, 2006, stated that he had a fax confirmation stating that we did. He stated that one of the issues with the City is that sometimes the City Council will do one thing in public and then do something else when they think no one is looking. He feels that this project is a prime example. The project that is proposed is not consistent with the specific plan or the requirements of the EIR that was done for the OAC. He stated that the General Plan is inconsistent internally and that it is impossible to be consistent with it. With regards to the issue of noise, the EIR stated that the construction noise would extend over 1,000 feet from the edges of the property and feels that it will be higher than acceptable standards. The requirements in the General Plan EIR was that all projects in the portion of the specific plan must conduct an acoustical. It was also required to do a traffic study. When the EIR was done for the OAC Specific Plan it noted that in order to achieve acceptable levels of service on the area streets there were $170 million dollars of traffic improvements that needed to be made in order to accomplish mitigation to the acceptable levels.
The OAC's portion of those traffic expenditures was established at $10.2 million dollars. That is a lot of money for the OAC. This project represents approximately 3% of the OAC project and its relative fair share of that portion would be $330,000.00 to mitigate traffic impacts based upon the EIR that was done for the OAC plus the $24,000.00 that has to go to the County. There is approximately $350,000.00 worth of traffic mitigation that is required by the OAC EIR that is not being required of this project. If this project doesn=t provide their fair share and subsequent portions the developers of the OAC or the City is going to have pick-up those costs. If Council is concerned about the traffic they can=t afford to throw away $330,000.00 worth of mitigation. With regard to the street, he was incorrect. According to the Specific Plan, the minimum acceptable right-of-way according to the specific plan for that street is 122 feet which does not meet the minimum required right-of-way. He questioned if this is the type of use that they want to have at the entrance/gateway to the OAC. The OAC requires a very specific design on the walls and that is not what is being proposed. He feels that they have not complied with the design requirements.
He feels that there is a likelihood that there may be burrowing owls on the site. The EIR mitigation measure specifically required that protocol burrowing owl surveys be done prior to any project being approved. There are simply too many mitigation measures that are required that the City is ignoring. He stated that the project is not consistent with the specific plan and it is not consistent with the mitigation measures required in the OAC's Specific Plan or EIR. They have not done the necessary studies and therefore is not consistent with the requirements.
Mayor Ferre returned discussion to Council.
City Attorney Harper, stated that the issues that were brought up by Mr. Johnson can be addressed by staff.
Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if this piece of property is part of the OAC.
Mr. Johnson, responded in the affirmative.
Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, also responded in the affirmative.
Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, gave a background of the hearings that were held on the specific plan and the uses. He addressed the noise issues and feels that it has been mitigated to an acceptable level.
Councilmember Hilkey, stated that he feels that the OAC was a dead issue after hearing that the freeway access won=t be done until Phase III of Measure I.
City Attorney Harper, stated that the existing zoning of the property is OAC regardless of what might happen in the future. Any project that is considered today is bound by the existing OAC zoning.
Community & EconomicDevelopment Director Koontz, stated that the OAC project is not dead until the freeway is widened it is on hold until they figure out what to do with the bridge. Staff is working on interim solutions to address the traffic issues. The freeway itself doesn=t have anything to do with project being delayed.
Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if we take the existing properties out of the OAC then there will no longer be an issue.
Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, stated that the reason this area is included in the OAC is so that they can look at the landscaping and architecture so that it is consistent. Staff feels that they did a pretty good job.
From the Email Box:
From the minutes: Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if there is an entry in the budget that show utilities paid for by the library. City Manager Schwab, responded that is not shown in the budget but staff could provide a spreadsheet how much is incurred in expenses and how much money is distributed back to the City.
Shouldn't we all be able to know the answer?
Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if there was a way to shape the Law Enforcement Service package to suit the needs now versus the needs of 20 years ago. He stated that he spoke to City Manager Schwab earlier about cycling the traffic officers. He is getting the feeling that we don't have the faith in the Department like we use to.
City Manager Schwab, stated that his suggestion would be to set up a workshop to show the Council what the deployment looks like today and what the theory is for coverage. He stated that he was planning on adding a Deputy next year, however, if the Council would like to add a 40 hr car this year it is an option that can be added to the budget.
Where would the money come from?
Councilmember Garcia, stated that at the Council Priority Session they discussed performance and criteria. She stated that she doesn't know if the Department would be open to it but if there was a performance criteria established where they would make a commitment that with this amount of dollars this is what you get and if you don't perform there is a decrease in the amount that they get paid. She will be looking closely at the Sheriff's Service Specialist position. She stated that there is a new Fire Chief in the County of San Bernardino and suggested that we do the same with the Fire Department. She stated that the Library is a strong priority for the City. She stated that she wants to fight for a library in the Towne Center Project. She stated that she feels that there should be some money in the budget for a library.
We have measured her performance and she should be fired! There have been no complaints on the Fire Department response time. Just like asking the City Attorney to get involved in the Stater Brothers Shopping Center dispute, this statement is inept.
City Manager Schwab, stated that in any circumstance in order to fund a library there is going to have to be money. Staff was depending on the income from the center to help pay for debt service or rent depending on what is worked out. This was predicated on having a large enough revenue cash flow off of the project to pay either the rent or the debt service. Without that the money is not immediately there to do that. If the Council says this is what our priority is and they want to spend enough money to build a brand new building somewhere in the community they could do that, however, he feels that we have to balance the desires for a new library against the desires that he just heard for more police.
Councilmember Garcia, she stated that she would like another budget workshop if the decision would be between a new library and law enforcement. She stated that she would be willing to trim the budget to fund a library. She questioned when the Council can discuss the priority of a new library.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
In Brief 5-30-2006
San Bernardino County Sun
City manager gets a raise
The City Council has amended City Manager Tom Schwab's contract.
Schwab, who became city manager in 1986, will receive a 20 percent salary increase from $125,000 to $150,000 a year.
He also will get annual cost-of-living increases based on changes in the Consumer Price Index published by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Despite the raise, Schwab said his salary remains lower than many surrounding cities. A survey of 13 cities in San Bernardino and Riverside counties shows the average city manager earns about $180,000 a year, Schwab said.
The council approved the contract amendment at its meeting last week.
He was the negotiator for the Dodson property. Mrs Dodson is his sister-in-law and Carlstrom has a relative of his living in the house now, a city owned property, (I wonder who pays for the upkeep of the property and what the rent is) he is also Maryetta Ferre CAMPAIGN manager past and present. SHE SHOULD NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN IN THE ROOM DURNING THE DEAL.
Are you starting to catch on here John Q Public.Mrs. Ferre is not above using taxpayers dollars to benefit her friends and a lot of them. No wonder she violated the Brown Act as Councilman Hilkey stated at a Council meeting that the Dodson deal was done in ten minutes and Mayor Ferre lied when they came out of closed session and said there was no reportable action taken. Mr. Hilkey was angry and stated the City paid too much for the property and the City did not need the Dodson property. It was a favor to Carlstrom.
The City paid $540,000 more than what the property was listed, for that favor to Carlstrom. The property was listed for $750,000 and Mayor Ferre settled on $1,290,000 as what appears to be a political payoff to Carlstrom. Tom Schwab was the negotiator for the City with the Council. Mr. Hilkey voted against it and informed the community about it. Something Mrs. Ferre thinks is none of the voters business. Any guess as to what Carlstrom's commission was. What percentage do real estate agents make now.
I would guess he was paid more than what one of his employees would get.
In the budget minutes Councilman Hilkey expressed concern that Schwab is spending the 20% set aside for low income housing. What is he it spending it on? It's not supposed to be spent on anything but low income housing. The City is not to use RDA money for the operation of the City. It's illegal. I'm sure the Mayor will get right on this as soon as someone explains it to her. Here's a money saving idea. Find a different negotiator for the City. One that has the taxpayerÃ’s best interest at heart. Not the "good ol boys" and developers first, citizens last type.
I read Ferre's outburst in both papers on the long over due recalls. It is the same thing she said when she was against the voters choosing a Mayor with Measure E. Measure E passed overwhelmingly. Mrs. Ferre thinks the citizens or other council members have no business or right asking questions about what she does as Mayor.
This in effect was brought out at the last Council meeting by Miller and Hilkey when again they explained she just can't make up laws that don't' exist to stifle the council or the citizens. Mr. Miller read her the law and she appeared disinterested. This is what she has done trying to govern and stop free speech. The Citzens should be outraged. The Bill of Rights assures us the right to address our government. Mrs. Ferre takes that right from every American at every meeting.
In the last election the vote spread between Mrs. Ferre and the person that came in fourth, was less than three hundred votes. Mrs. Ferre and Garcia were not elected by an overwhelming margin. They were less than three hundred and less than two hundred respectively.
Supporters of recall:
So we have a recall petition. If this makes the ballot, and If these two individuals are recalled, I'll have to accept this as the will and voice of the people of Grand Terrace. And I will.
Here's the million dollar question!
I look forward to reading your statements, as mentioned above, because I predict that this recall never sees a voting box.
You in Gramps, ready to put the cards on the table? If the people choose to retain our two council members, will you respect that decision? No excuses.
Have a great weekend,
Brian, here is Granpa's Answer:
In this country even the "PEOPLE" can be wrong... I can hold my opinion, and practice my civil rights and be just as wrong as the "PEOPLE" I do not have to submit and give up. History is littered with examples of when the minority view ended up being right, and the Majority was Wrong. So no I make no such agreement. The document to recall only needed 10 signatures, there were 20. More were wanting to sigh, and will.
Don't blame the folks who have filed the suit. They are trying to get the Governing Individuals and City Management to follow the law and the city rules that have been established for ALL not just a select few to follow or to disregard at the whim of the City Manager,,, or Staff Recommendation. (Yes, we know who Staff is.)
Sure some of the city council may whine that a few people are picking on them... or the city, but these issues are in fact central to your individual rights as property owners, and citizens. When the City chooses to put a zone or plan overlay on your property it limits your full enjoyment or discretion to fully enjoy the right to property ownership and the pursuit of happiness, in addition limits or could limit the value of your property by artificially limiting the number of prospective buyers and future uses.
BUT, IF a Friend of the city comes up with a plan, restrictions and process are out the window. This is not how our government is supposed to work. The folks who have filed suit have done so to protect you from the oppression and ill deeds of this City Management and Council Members who permit the actions to go unchecked.
I have the document available in MS-Image File if you can read that type of file, I am still converting it to a TIF File... So if you want the entire thing please let me know...
The issues are the same as what were brought to the attention to the City Council prior to their voting to let the Essco Building go forward.
Recall in works
Grand Terrace council members told of effort
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
San Bernardino County Sun
GRAND TERRACE - A group of residents dissatisfied with the city's direction have launched an effort to remove two council members from office.
Bill Hays, a frequent council critic, handed notices of intent to recall petitions to Mayor Maryetta Ferre and Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia at Thursday night's meeting.
Ferre's and Garcia's terms are due to expire in November 2008.
Hays, 59, said he was asked by a substantial number of residents to present the recall notices.
"Some on the council have forgotten we have a representative form of government," Hays told the council. "You were elected to represent us, the taxpayers and voters of Grand Terrace. Sadly, the only people some of you have chosen to represent are the developers."
The petitions turned in by Hays each contained 20 signatures of Grand Terrace residents.
City Clerk Brenda Mesa has until June 8 to respond to the notices and ensure that other requirements are met, City Manager Tom Schwab said Friday.
If the notices are sufficient, the recall proponents will have 90 days to collect about 1,500 signatures, which equates to 25 percent of the city's roughly 6,000 registered voters, Schwab said.
The goal for the recall election is November, Hays said.
Hays said the recall campaign would have included Councilwoman Bea Cortes, but she is up for re-election in November and is likely to face opposition from other candidates.
Councilman Herman Hilkey, who is also running for re-election in November, and Councilman Jim Miller, whose term expires in 2008, are not targeted in the recall effort.
"Mr. Miller and Mr. Hilkey will listen to the citizens," Hays said Friday. "They are more willing than the others to work with the citizens and not treat them as the unwashed, huddled masses."
Hays said he was representing other residents who are afraid to speak out because they fear retaliation by the city.
Ferre said the recall effort is the product of a small group of people who don't represent the views of most residents.
"I think the people I know in Grand Terrace will look at this petition and say this is a distraction and is simply outrageous," Ferre said Friday. "The people who signed the petition are the same people who attack every project that's up for consideration. They attack the city staff, they make false accusations and they attack the council."
Recall proponents criticize Ferre and Garcia for supporting projects that negatively affect residents, including a proposed shopping center on Barton Road, an outdoor-themed retail center, a senior-housing complex and other developments.
They also accuse the council members of making inappropriate land deals behind closed doors and considering the use of eminent domain to build the shopping center.
"It's just been an accumulation of ignoring the wishes of the citizens," Hays said.
Garcia did not return calls seeking comment.
Ferre said she would address each of the complaints if the recall makes it on the ballot.
"Rest assured, I'll have no part of allowing a small group of people to make all the decisions for the 12,000 people who live here," Ferre said.
Recall intent given to mayor
GRAND TERRACE: A councilwoman is also named in the petitions, delivered Thursday.
10:00 PM PDT on Friday, May 26, 2006
By JULIE FARRENThe Press-Enterprise
GRAND TERRACE - The mayor and a council member were handed petitions Thursday notifying them that some citizens are working to oust them in what could be the city's first recall election.
Mayor Maryetta Ferre and Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia, who are up for re-election in November, are being singled out for reasons the petitions say include holding secret meetings and exposing the city to litigation through unnecessary developments. The petitions were delivered by city resident Bill Hays.
"Every allegation in this petition is false," Ferre said.
Hays would not identify the groups behind the recall effort. The notice-of-intent petitions were in city offices Friday, which were closed for the Memorial Day weekend.
However, Ferre said during Thursday's council meeting that the effort was organized by the same citizens who regularly attend council meetings to verbally attack city staff and projects the city is considering.
Garcia did not return several phone calls seeking comment Friday.
The recall also was spurred by residents' concerns that Ferre and Garcia do not adequately research topics before speaking at meetings.
"They do not read anything," Hays said. "They just take the city manager's recommendations and go with that."
City attorney John Harper said those behind the recall acted legally by serving the notices with the required number of signatures, a minimum of 10. They gathered 20.
The signatures must now be verified by City Clerk Brenda Mesa.
If the petition were declared valid, Ferre and Garcia would have 30 days to respond. The citizens could then prepare another petition that would include the responses and require 1,500 signatures to move forward, Hays and Cynthia Bidney, of Grand Terrace, said.
Once that is complete, the signatures would be checked. If valid, a recall election could be held, Harper, the city lawyer, said.
Grand Terrace has never had a recall, City Manager Tom Schwab said.
Approval of Form by Elections official Proponents must file two blank copies of the proposed petition with the appropriate elections official within ten days after filing of the answer to the Notice of Intention, or, if no answer is filed, within ten days after the expiration of the seven-day period for filing the answer.
discrepancies, the petition may be rejected.
CITY OF GRAND TERRACE, COUNCIL MEETING, in CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS, MAY 25, 2006, GRAND TERRACE CIVIC CENTER at 22795 Barton Road of the same city;
Citizen Bill Hays made the following statement and presentations:
Some on the Council have forgotten we have a representative form of government. You were elected to represent us. The taxpayers and voters of Grand Terrace, Sadly, it turns out, the only people some of you have chosen to represent are the developers.
From the on set of the OAC to Essco, at the last Council meeting, you have ignored hundreds of petition signatures and scores of citizens that have come into this podium seeking redress from their government.
At the last council meeting, as I mentioned, you ignored the law as it was explained to you by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Harper and allowed Councilwoman Cortes to force a vote that without a doubt will bring again another lawsuit onto the voters of Grand Terrace.
We feel that personal relationships between Council Members and City Management have clouded the judgment of some of you to the detriment of the citizens.
It therefore has become necessary, as is the right of the voters, to seek the removal from office of Mayor Maryette Ferre and Councilwoman Garcia.
Councilwoman Cortes would also have been included except election law would not allow it because she is up for re-election, should she decide to run. I will add that there are candidates we feel will defeat her in November and we will support them.
It is unfortunate that I stand here alone in place of many that fear retaliation by you and the City. I suspect I will no longer be welcomed on the traffic ad-hock Committee or will never see my curbs redlined. A small price to bring the voice of the citizen back to Grand Terrace. At this time with your permission, Mrs. Ferre I would like to approach the dais and serve you and Councilwoman Garcia with the signed Notice of Intent Petitions to Recall you both in November 2006."
From the Email InBox: .....
CALL FOR HELP WITH THE RECALL... AND RELATED EFFORTS.......
The Next Step is to gather enough signatures to have the Recall put on the Ballot. That will be done at various public places, and events. If you have a desire to allow the issue to be put to the People Please Sign the Petition and Let the Public Vote.
More signatures will be needed, and your help in collecting signatures is also needed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by email with your contact information and events will be organized to collect signatures.
ESSCO v Specific PlanAttorney, Raymond Johnson, who spoke at the City Council Meeting on May 11, 2006, stated that he had a fax confirmation stating that we did. He stated that one of the issues with the City is that sometimes the City Council will do one thing in public and then do something else when they think no one is looking. He feels that this project is a prime example.
The project that is proposed is not consistent with the specific plan or the requirements of the EIR that was done for the OAC. He stated that the General Plan is inconsistent internally and that it is impossible to be consistent with it. With regards to the issue of noise, the EIR stated that the construction noise would extend over 1,000 feet from the edges of the property and feels that it will be higher than acceptable standards.
The requirements in the General Plan EIR was that all projects in the portion of the specific plan must conduct an acoustical. It was also required to do a traffic study. When the EIR was done for the OAC Specific Plan it noted that in order to achieve acceptable levels of service on the area streets there were $170 million dollars of traffic improvements that needed to be made in order to accomplish mitigation to the acceptable levels.The OAC's portion of those traffic expenditures was established at $10.2 million dollars. That is a lot of money for the OAC. This project represents approximately 3% of the OAC project and its relative fair share of that portion would be $330,000.00 to mitigate traffic impacts based upon the EIR that was done for the OAC plus the $24,000.00 that has to go to the County. There is approximately $350,000.00 worth of traffic mitigation that is required by the OAC EIR that is not being required of this project. If this project doesn't provide their fair share and subsequent portions the developers of the OAC or the City is going to have pick-up those costs. If Council is concerned about the traffic they can't afford to throw away $330,000.00 worth of mitigation.
With regard to the street, he was incorrect. According to the Specific Plan, the minimum acceptable right-of-way according to the specific plan for that street is 122 feet which does not meet the minimum required right-of-way. He questioned if this is the type of use that they want to have at the entrance/gateway to the OAC. The OAC requires a very specific design on the walls and that is not what is being proposed. He feels that they have not complied with the design requirements.He feels that there is a likelihood that there may be burrowing owls on the site. The EIR mitigation measure specifically required that protocol burrowing owl surveys be done prior to any project being approved. There are simply too many mitigation measures that are required that the City is ignoring. He stated that the project is not consistent with the specific plan and it is not consistent with the mitigation measures required in the OAC's Specific Plan or EIR.
They have not done the necessary studies and therefore is not consistent with the requirements.Mayor FerrÃƒÃÂ© returned discussion to Council.City Attorney Harper, stated that the issues that were brought up by Mr. Johnson can be addressed by staff.Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if this piece of property is part of the OAC.Mr. Johnson, responded in the affirmative.Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, also responded in the affirmative.Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, gave a background of the hearings that were held on the specific plan and the uses. He addressed the noise issues and feels that it has been mitigated to an acceptable level.Councilmember Hilkey, stated that he feels that the OAC was a dead issue after hearing that the freeway access won't be done until Phase III of Measure I.
City Attorney Harper, stated that the existing zoning of the property is OAC regardless of what might happen in the future. Any project that is considered today is bound by the existing OAC zoning.Community & EconomicDevelopment Director Koontz, stated that the OAC project is not dead until the freeway is widened it is on hold until they figure out what to do with the bridge. Staff is working on interim solutions to address the traffic issues. The freeway itself doesn=t have anything to do with project being delayed.Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if we take the existing properties out of the OAC then there will no longer be an issue.Community & Economic Development Director Koontz, stated that the reason this area is included in the OAC is so that they can look at the landscaping and architecture so that it is consistent. Staff feels that they did a pretty good job.From the Email Box: Hey Paw,From the minutes:
Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if there is an entry in the budget that show utilities paid for by the library.
City Manager Schwab, responded that is not shown in the budget but staff could provide a spreadsheet how much is incurred in expenses and how much money is distributed back to the City.Shouldn't we all be able to know the answer?
Councilmember Hilkey, questioned if there was a way to shape the Law Enforcement Service package to suit the needs now versus the needs of 20 years ago. He stated that he spoke to City Manager Schwab earlier about cycling the traffic officers. He is getting the feeling that we don't have the faith in the Department like we use to.
City Manager Schwab, stated that his suggestion would be to set up a workshop to show the Council what the deployment looks like today and what the theory is for coverage. He stated that he was planning on adding a Deputy next year, however, if the Council would like to add a 40 hr car this year it is an option that can be added to the budget.Where would the money come from?
Councilmember Garcia, stated that at the Council Priority Session they discussed performance and criteria. She stated that she doesn't know if the Department would be open to it but if there was a performance criteria established where they would make a commitment that with this amount of dollars this is what you get and if you don=t perform there is a decrease in the amount that they get paid. She will be looking closely at the Sheriff's Service Specialist position.
She stated that there is a new Fire Chief in the County of San Bernardino and suggested that we do the same with the Fire Department. She stated that the Library is a strong priority for the City. She stated that she wants to fight for a library in the Towne Center Project. She stated that she feels that there should be some money in the budget for a library.We have measured her performance and she should be fired!
There have been no complaints on the Fire Department response time. Just like asking the City Attorney to get involved in the Stater Brothers Shopping Center dispute, this statement is inept.
City Manager Schwab, stated that in any circumstance in order to fund a library there is going to have to be money. Staff was depending on the income from the center to help pay for debt service or rent depending on what is worked out. This was predicated on having a large enough revenue cash flow off of the project to pay either the rent or the debt service. Without that the money is not immediately there to do that.
If the Council says this is what our priority is and they want to spend enough money to build a brand new building somewhere in the community they could do that, however, he feels that we have to balance the desires for a new library against the desires that he just heard for more police.Councilmember Garcia, she stated that she would like another budget workshop if the decision would be between a new library and law enforcement. She stated that she would be willing to trim the budget to fund a library. She questioned when the Council can discuss the priority of a new library.Council Minutes
posted by GrandPaTerrace at Thursday, May 25, 2006
The City even carried the paper on the house for several months before Schwab got his own financing. Now the City makes the Payments on the House as he is paid to live in the city. Michelle Boustede has an RDA house. She is a City employee. She received a silent second deed of trust that requires no interest or principle payments until the house is sold. These silent seconds are to be no more than 10% of the purchase price of the home. Hers was for $44,000 another violation of State RDA law. The City Manager will not release the salary of Mrs. Bousted, a violation of the open records act (Prop..59). On closing day Mrs. Boustede had quick claim deeds from her husband making the property her sole possession as a married woman. RDA law states a single person cannot make more that $39,000 a year to qualify for RDA. Schwab makes over $110,000, and was given a raise last Council meeting that will be divulged at the next meeting. A City contract does not trump State law. Councilman Hilkey at a Community Awareness meeting stated that he told the City it was illegal for the City to sell Schwab an RDA house.
The General Fund and the RDA monies are combined so no citizen can tell what is what on the monthly vouchers. Mr. Rollins is called a volunteer which he is not. He's paid from $1200 to 1400 a month and given a birthday bonus. There is no problem with the City paying him, it is the lie.
Councilwoman Garcia accepted campaign contributions from Mr. Jacobsen and his wife and refuses to recluse herself from votes concerning projects he has promoted in town.
Hundreds of thousands of RDA funds went into the OAC before the citizens were made aware of it after two years of keeping it a secret. There were over four hundred signatures turned in to the City asking for a different type development and ignored. The City plowed ahead anyway and not until last year when a different developer, The Grand Terrace Partners, came in and did a feasibility and market study, and found the project to be neither, would the Council listen. Mr.Megna has not been seen since.
All City real estate is given to Terra Loma Real Estate to sell. Gene Carlstrom a former Mayor, is the owner. Bob Bidney and Bea Cortes are employees. Bobby Forbes, president of the Chamber of Commerce, also works for him. A few weeks ago after a citizen asked about Cortes going into closed session on the Arliss street house, an RDA house, and being sold by Terra Loma did the City attorney tell her she could not be in the closed session and would have to excuse herself.
Why not list City property with all real estate agencies.
The Dodson property is another example. Mrs.Dodson is the sister-in-law of Gene Carlstrom. The Dodson property was listed at $750,000. They could not sell because of the OAC and most of the property is consider marsh land. Mrs. Ferre and Schwab decided as a favor to Carlstrom to buy the property with City funds. The Council went into closed session, and is the custom with Mrs. Ferre and in violation of the Brown Act, when they came out of closed session she claimed there was "No reportable action taken taken".
The next Council meeting a very angry Councilman Hilkey advised the community that Mrs. Ferre had not been honest. That within ten minutes of going into closed session with Carlstrom the City made a deal for $1.29 million. $540,000 more than what they asked. Mr. Hilkey told everyone that it is a property the City did not need and paid too much for. He voted against it.
You are now informed that people have documented for years the illegal actives of the City.
Mrs. Robles stated at the joint meeting of the Council and Planning Commission that the City takes in over $5 million a year in property taxes and a little more than 1/10 of that goes to the City. The rest all goes to the RDA to pay debt. These are taxes that should go for streets, schools, law enforcement and services the City is required to provide.
The RDA has not produced one penny of sustained revenue for the City. It is the only government agency that can issue tax allocation bonds without voter approval and has done so repeatedly. Councilman Miller wants to know why Mr. Schwab won't take bids on any project, but hand picks the developers.
The Senior Housing, again a good example. The Corp. for Better Housing calls themselves a non-profit, but are listed with the Attorney General as a charity, except their 990's show no donations to charity. It does show hundreds of thousand of commissions and fees to themselves.
Another no bid contract that $9 million of RDA funds went into. Ms. Silverstein stated the would make adjustments for the people on Brentwood and that the apartments would be for low to moderate incomes. After Schwab issued the check to them they left the plans the way they were and told us the apartments would be for low to low low incomes.
That would stop most of our seniors from being eligible for them Mr. Schwab lied to two citizens last year trying to conceal that he had placed the taxpayers of Grand Terrace $13,000,000 further in debt with an issuance of more RDA tax allocation bonds. The citizens asked at many Council meeting where our money was because it could not be traced through City records.
Brian, years of research and have been done had to get this much out of the City to get the truth you should listen to those that have learned much as to the corruption fact that guides the most of this council and management.
Mr. Koontz works two days a week for the City and three days a week for Nolte Engineering. Go check and see how many City checks over the last several years have been issued to Nolte Eng. I hope this enlightens you some what. The section on the agenda that Mrs. Ferre reads every Council meeting before the public speaking is a what she and Tom Schwab made up. There is no Ca. law that states a council member cannot answer a question from a citizen. The Brown Act states that the council just can't make a decision. Mr. Hilkey and others have brought this to the public's attention over and over and she refuses to remove it from the agendas. Take note Mrs. Ferre will never answer a question placed before her at Council. She always defers to Schwab. The limit on her speaking to the public issues raised is not due to law. There must be a different reason which she refuses to disclose.
Law Suits Pending as a result of Council Member's Actions:
Case SCVSS119897 - CITIZENS-V-CITY OF GRAND TERRACE ET AL
(Area known as Outdoor Adventure Center)
Viewed Date Action Text Disposition
06/22/2006 8:30 AM DEPT. S8 HEARING RE: WRIT/CEQA.
Case SCVSS131530 - CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBLE -V- CITY OF GRAND T
(Blue Mt. Senior VillaÃƒÂÃ’s)
Viewed Date Action Text Disposition
05/31/2006 8:30 AM DEPT. S8 HEARING RE: PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDATE(CEQA).
Case SCVSS130982 - FRANK H GUZMAN VS CITY OF GRAND TERRACE
(City Planning and Engineering Problem)
Viewed Date Action Text Disposition
06/28/2006 8:30 AM DEPT. S9 OSC RE: DISMISSAL
05/30/2006 9:30 AM DEPT. S7 MOTION RE: SET ASIDE RNTRY OF DEFAULT AGAINST CITY OF GRAND T FILED BY DEFENDANT CITY OF GRAND TERRACE
05/17/2006 CASE TRACKED TO LR7 Not Applicable
05/03/2006 MOTION RE: SET ASIDE RNTRY OF DEFAULT AGAINST CITY OF GRAND T FILED BY DEFENDANT CITY OF GRAND TERRACE. Not Applicable
05/03/2006 POINTS & AUTHORITIES FILED BY CITY OF GRAND TERRACE. Not Applicable
05/03/2006 DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL FILED BY CITY OF GRAND TERRACE Not Applicable
For More History go to the San Bernardino County Court Web Page.
Essco's Building and the methods used at the past Council Meeting just opens the city to yet another law suit.
The other justifications for recall can be searched out by putting in Tom Schwab House. Land Deals, and other key words in the above search this blog option at the top of the page. For those who want to know why a Recall.
Oh there is an issue with the continued employment of a known teller of false hoods as the City Manager. His continued employment is a Council Action, or lack of action as they can terminate him with cause or with out cause, and they have not done so. The Council choice to keep a known lier employed as the City Manager is an indication of their incompetence.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Brian Sent a 2nd Email and Replied to the First several times. I hope the presentation is readable...
Wouldn't you agree that there must be a rule for public speaking? Can you imagine how long these meetings would go if we had 25 people speaking with no limits. This is just common practice and common sense. Think about it guys, don't just oppose everything, think about it!
I assume your emails are all for the Blog in that you address the guys.
Actually I don't agree that people will go on and on. Public speaking is the least favorite thing for humans to do. It is unlikely that a person would speak longer than 5 minutes, Perhaps a rare individual would speak for 30 minutes like Mr. Johnson was allowed to during public speaking time. He was extended the courtesy of an extended time. He was not asked to summarize. The Mayor's practice of interrupting a summary to say "Please Summarize" is a demonstration of rudeness, and her need to lord her "Power" over the peons she rules over.
I think that council members should not be able to speak about non City business such as what restaurant they like, what service club they are associated with and so forth these items are not on the agenda and are not directly related to city business. I think that the Water Poster Awards and "Special Presentations" and Photo Ops with Jack Brown are a waste of the Citizens time. So if you are truly interested in speeding up the meetings these things should have limits, long before the public comment on agenda items, or non agenda items should.
Perhaps we can have a middle ground and say a 15 minute limit to be extended by ANY council member by giving the floor to the speaker to continue. I also think the issues raised to the council and staff should be put on the next agenda or answered by the staff and put into the next meetings agenda and responded to in writing not only to the individual but to the public. Of course, I think government should be done in the open, with the free and open sharing of ideas, concerns, and knowledge.
Brian Replied to Gramps Reply:
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply to Gramps Reply....
You may not think those in "Power" should practice the golden rule first, I do. I also agree that some public speakers out of frustration "Lose it". Know, that this is after many, many, many times of being treated badly by City Employees, City Council Members, and this frustration often is emoted at the Council Meeting without the Public knowing the back story of the frustrations.
I have never found returning poor behavior of any kind results in improved behavior or communication, but that is me. Your contention that the Council is Rude because the Public is Rude, is interesting. Perhaps it would be news to you that there was not a 3 minute rule untill the current Mayor established it. Grand Terrace Meetings went on without hard feelings, rudeness, and topics were talked out. That was before you moved to Grand Terrace in 2003.
I would think a person saying "Thank God for Eminent Domain" is as offensive as anything that has come out of the mouths of the folks who raise issue with the city's operations. As if those who are against the use of ED are somehow un-Godly, heathens. I am not one who would stop all speech I find offencive or rude. It takes courage for folks to speak and I am more interested in the Issues and Ideas trying to get through the communication, even when it is rude.
I am not going to address personalities of people who speak at the council meetings. They are the Public. I do consider the discussion of the Issues, decision making process, decisions, and public actions taken by Council Members, and City Staff appropriate. I don't care who ate mustard with their hot dog, however, I do hold them to a higher standard of conduct, as that comes with the Power they have.
Brian's First Email: Reply, Reply and Reply.....
Brian R wrote:
I've just began reading this blog and have a few questions. Why do all of the postings seem to be decidedly anti-city? I enjoy a good debate about issues, both local and national, but every issue has two sides (not just yours), and I've noticed that the majority of posts have no identifying information. If you truely believe in what you're saying...why no name at the end of a post? Its easy to propose wild theories, make baseless allegations, and have absolutely no evidence to back anything up, when you cower in the shadows of an unsigned rant. Just curious. Perhaps you do have good points, but they're buried in the pile of rubbish that you put out daily. Finally, what are these recall petitions about? Does anybody care to make a case, backed by facts and evidence of course, for recall, or is it simply another smear tactic?Thanks for your time, whoever "you" are,Brian Reinarz
Reply to Brian from Grandpaterrace:
I am going to Forward my reply to others why may want to add to Grandpaterrace's reply. I answer for myself. They may have their own answers. Here is mine:
Welcome to the Blog. Your question will be addressed in the order they were written.
Why do all of the postings seem to be decidedly anti-city?
Your question suggest that the "City" is for the use of Eminent Domain, Increased Debt, Almost No Services Provided to Youth past the age of 13, the use of the Redevelopment Agency for the purpose of increasing the wealth of a few individuals at the cost of lowering the Peace in Grand Terrace, the use of closed meetings to discuss what Could be spoken about in public, the non reporting of crime statistics, the use of the City Employees to intimidate individuals and business, then I'd agree this blog is anti-city.
However, I think this blog is pro-city, as I view a city as being a group of citizens who live in a local who should be participants in their governance.
I may have mis-spoken. I meant to say "anti-city government."
I may have missed it, but the city DID NOT ultimately use eminent domain.
Where are the posts congratulating the council on their compassionate decision not to use eminent domain in this instance. This seems to be proof that they do listen to all resident's concerns. I happen to agree that no government entity should take a private citizen's property for the economic gain of another private citizen or company. GOOD DECISION COUNCIL!
I like "Plan B."
I've noticed no "lowering of peace" in the city. I do agree however, that our Sheriff protection issue needs to be looked at. The deputies assigned to this city need to remain in this city, not in Loma Linda or elsewhere when they're needed here. I believe that we have next to no police coverage on most days.
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply:
I think You Missed it. The council decided to let Jacobsen Be the Developer, on April 13. He was directed to go ahead with Plan A and Plan B and was given the idea that there was not enough votes to support ED on the Property. In addition, the City's Legal Staff conceded that IF they were to use ED there would be considerable problems as a result of the Tactics used by the City up to that point.
It wasn't until after April 17 when there was a removal of the request for the use of ED by Jacobsen, that the City Manager announced it was off the table. The City Council did not Decide one way or the other on the ED Issue.
As a matter of fact. The only Council Member who stated he would be against the use of ED on the Town Center / Stringfield Property was Council Member Miller. Hilkey said he'd have to wait for more information if it came to that, and the others remained MUTE.
This not noticing a "Loss of Peace" may be because you are a rather new member of our community. Cars being broken into, car theft, public drunkenness, domestic violence, armed robbery, and the amount of drug use, and availability is new to our half a cop town.
I am not anti Plan B. I am anti more Drug Stores/Liquor Stores, More Bars dressed as Dinner houses.
I am against construction prior to the plans for the 215 and Barton Rd work is done, and the Status of GT Elm is resolved.
I enjoy a good debate about issues, both local and national, but every issue has two sides (not just yours),
I could answer this by saying its my blog and therefore it is my opinion. The people who write for the blog do so knowing the past behavior of the city includes harassment of many forms. Some of the writers are known to myself, some are not. However the only editing of what is posted is to insure that it is not X rated. No one stops a non conforming opinion to be posted. I being the blog master welcome all posts that say PLEASE POST. So if you have something to say and you want your name on it, I'll post it.
Brian's Reply to the Above:
Without evidence, I absolutely refuse to believe that this city, or any of its employees engages in harassment of any sort. These are just people trying to make a living. There is no dark conspiracy at work here.
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply:
You might want to ask Jo Stringfield about harassment. You might want to look into the use of Code Enforcement Officers as a tool against particular businesses, while other "Friends of the Council" are permitted to violate code after code.
You might go into the city office and ask for a copy of a particular document or letter. Perhaps one that may cause them to think you may consider them to not be acting in the best interest of the citizens and see what res ponce and result will be come your reality. As long as you fly under the radar with blinders on... all is well.
If you want to go further back as an indicator you may want to have a chat with Dr Halsteads family.
and I've noticed that the majority of posts have no identifying information. If you truely believe in what you're saying...why no name at the end of a post? when you cower in the shadows of an unsigned rant. Just curious.
I have already addressed the reason that some folks request not identifying information regarding their posts. Whether or not I believe what "I" am saying is not truly relevant is it? The purpose of my being a non-identified person is that there is no credit to an individual. Often the past the council members and city employees would try to somehow deride critics with the phrase, "they or she has political ambitions". Well Gramps has no personal political ambitions, so why bother putting a face on the blog. It is not about the personality of the Blog Master it is about the actions of the Council and City Management, and issues of Grand Terrace Governance.
Perhaps you do have good points, but they're buried in the pile of rubbish that you put out daily.
Your welcome to comment on the items you think are rubbish... I suggest if you only want to read a few articles about GT, and have them all supportive of the city's current management you should stick with the Blue Mt. Outlook, they have to look at GT through Rosy glasses as it is their goal to sell GT. My goal is to make Grand Terrace a place you want to Stay and live in.
What I want is INTELLIGENT debate. In the absence of proof, we should assume a rosy glasses outlook. No responsible citizen should just hurl theories and accusations out there. BACK IT UP!!! Show me, for example, that something was untoward about Schwab's home purchase, and I'll join you in the public denouncement of the transaction. BUT YOU JUST SAYING IT LOOKS BAD DOESN'T MAKE IT SO!! Do you understand that? You call people's reputations into question with no facts.
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply:
I have provided you with facts you have a right to rationalize them anyway you want, as do I. Fact is, You can't go into the city and ask them to use RDA funds to buy a house, then have the City Buy it, and let you work off the debt, or even make payments on it. IF you don't have that right, neither should Mr. Schwab. IN addition IF you had that right, the negotiation, purchase and sale should have all been done in the open, and announced in public. IT was NOT.
Fact: Loans made to City Employee with RDA funds.
Fact: Medical Payments Made to Council Members and Particular City Employees.
Fact: Tom Schwab Lied in PUBLIC to Council Regarding Budget, and Stater's Lease being Signed.
Fact: City Contracted Services for Planning Departments Mr. Koontz reek of conflict when HE also works for a FIRM who does business with the City.
Fact: Tom Schwab negotiated the above.
Your comment that you want INTELLIGENT DEBATE implies that I am not INTELLIGENT. I suggest that you don't trouble your self with the Idiots, dolts, un informed. For sure don't read the Blog... or ask questions of the Council or think about the issues raised. Follow the Dictates of Tom Schwab and the Council without question... Go Forth and be Happy.
You keep screaming about eminent domain. The council agreed and chose not to use it, but you keep right on. Give them the credit they're due. They agreed with you for crying out loud. WHAT DO YOU WANT??
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply:
Eminent Domain is still possible in GT. I am against the Possible use of ED for the purpose of transferring property from one private individual to another private individual. UNTIL the power to use ED this way is made NOT POSSIBLE in the city. I will continue to SCREAM. That is still an issue on the table. NO one in GT should have to be in the situation Jo Stringfield and her neighbors found themselves in.
Finally, what are these recall petitions about? Does anybody care to make a case, backed by facts and evidence of course, for recall, or is it simply another smear tactic?
First of all the petitions have the cause or reasons stated for the recall. To understand the reasons more specifically you may want to review the Large Budget Debts of the City, The land transactions of the city, the Law Suits the actions of the city have caused. The folks on this council those named in the recall are being recalled as a direct result of their actions and decisions which have been a detriment to the city and citizens of this city. Recall laws prohibit the recalling of persons who would face election in 6 months so not all offenders have been named in the recall effort.
Smear. If particular individuals feel "Smeared" perhaps it is due to the mud they have created by their own actions. The issues and documents provided are not fiction. If making their actions and statements public is smear, perhaps they whom feel smeared should adjust their actions.
In closing. Thousands of Emails, Hundreds of Posts and a year and a half and not one cent has been earned or paid to "Grandpaterrace". There is no financial reward for providing this blog to its readers. Council members get health care, and reimbursed for non covered medical expenses, travel, and other perks with the Power they have as they serve the citizens. It is the opinion of this Blog Master that the citizens have been ill served by the current ethics and practices of the City Council and City Management.
The Blog started as a result of the City Council and City Management saying they could not, or would not post the arrest and crime information of the city. Issues have grown to include Eminent Domain, Development, City Management, City Finance, and so forth. EVEN the 3 minute rule of the Mayor is of issue.
What budget debts. WE HAVE A SURPLUS!!!!!! HELLO!!!!!!
I've already addressed the land transaction. Show me.
The law suits are all filed by the same people who wring their hands about law suits. How crazy is that? If you want fewer suits, stop filing them. The money used to defend these suits could be used for...oh,I don't know...community youth programs. Let's be part of the solution, not the problem.
Recall is for extreme circumstances only, not the whim of a few. If you don't like the actions of the council, campaign against them and don't vote for them. Any decision that a public official makes is going to anger 30-40% of his/her constituency. We can't recall everybody because we don't like their decisions or leadership style. This would be chaos. Think about it. Run for office perhaps?
Gramps Reply to Brian's Reply:
Recall is for extreme circumstances. It is extreme when the City Manager, LIES to the Council and is retained. It is extreme when the combined budget is a large debt and that is in part due to the miss use of funds. The recall is because those being recalled will continue the current practices which quite frankly the city can't afford on many levels, financial and legal. There will be folks to run for office in an effort to Open the City Government up to the PUBLIC and Make a Full Audit and provide Accountability.
I haven't filed a law suit. I am part of the solution, I provide a place to show the documents the city wont post on its web site. These documents are provided by individuals who have suffered insults and harassment from the city employees when they ask for what should be public documents. I provide a place where actual arrests are reported and kept available. I assist folks find common interest in issues. What have you done?
Welcome to the Grandterracenews.blogspot.
Brian's Statement recorded in the City Council April 13 Minutes.
Posted on the blog:
Brian Reinarz, 13909 Vivienda Court, stated that he has been listening and reading about the Town Square Project for quite some time. He has read accusations of conspiracy that involved the City Council, the City Manager, Jacobsen Family Holdings,LLC and some people would have him believe that all three bodies are conspiring to destroy our way of life. He indicated that he works in a crime lab so the first question he asks when faced with any issue is why. Why would City leaders propose and support a project that would significantly damage our City. The only conclusion he can come to is they would not. To hear one vocal opposition group talk, everything that the City does is evil and has malice. He doesn't feel that this is a productive discourse and he feels that it is flat out not true. If you disagree with an issue or a position that is one thing but the baseless allegations and scare tactics such as hords of teenagers rampaging through town destroying everything that they can affects the credibility of the accuser. He feels that he speaks for the majority out there that doesn't have time to come to the meetings. He lives in Grand Terrace and his daughter goes to school here and plays soccer here and the residents that he has discussed this project with over the last year or so are firmly for the project and virtually all are in favor of Jacobsen completing the project. He stated that it is easy to say that there is a conspiracy when things don't go your way but doesn't feel that does anything to further intelligent debate no matter what the issue is or who you are debating with. He sees good people working hard to make out City a better place to live. I think Council has shown that they are really looking out for everyone in the City. He feels that once everyone cools off they will realize eventually that this project is good for the City and the Council will make the decision that is best for the City as a whole.
This has been posted in the Minutes Section of the Blog..
Monday May 22, Traffic Committee Meeting
7:00 to 8:30 PM
Community Room, GT City Hall
Chaired by Council Member Jim Miller.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
GRAND TERRACE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
Presents…“TASTE OF THE TERRACE”
Wednesday, May 24th, 2006
5:30pm to 7:30pm
COME SAMPLE TASTY DELECTABLES FROM
PARTICIPATING LOCAL AREA RESTAURANTS
Bring your Business Cards and Brochures
Everyone is Welcome!
No Host Bar
City of Grand Terrace, Community Room
22795 Barton Road
“Progress Through Partnership”
Grand Terrace Area Chamber of Commerce
21900 Barton Road
Grand Terrace, Ca 92313
Why should you go? EVERYONE is EVERYONE>>> and Food...
Town Center Concerns: Read and Use the Link
YOU May want to Read How Jacobsen Family Holdings Deals with others. Note in Redlands there is a Cost and Income Estimate in the presented data... How Much will it cost the City to have Jacobsen's Project in Grand Terrace. The Drug Store's Income is cut in Half by increased City Costs. So IF you use the same formula the 500.000.00 income will result in 250,000.00 of costs.. But, that is using a Drug Store example, not a Bar, or Lowes.. which no doubt would have a higher cost to the city.
From the Email InBox:
At the past Council meeting we got to watch three Council members show that ineptness can be turned into a fine art. Councilman Miller and Councilwoman Garcia were the only two that showed a lick of sense with a "NO" vote. Essco wants to build in project zone one in the Outdoor "Retail" "Adventure" Center. Except that the General Plan and the Specific Plan and the State and the County and the EPA and CEQA say "NO" and
Attorney Johnson spent a good 30 minutes explaining all the laws to them. That there are no options. What?, Do you think he just makes this stuff up and comes to the Council because he thinks your all so charming.
You cannot build in the project area until all the guidelines and compliance with the law and been met. Maybe you can get Mr. Jacobsen to build new burrows for the owls at cost. One is that Commerce street has to be extended to Pico street before a shovel full of dirt is turned. Schwab and Koontz may bamboozle the building in but the County by law cannot issue a certificate of occupancy. Also projects must be completed in the order they are started. By law nothing else should even be discussed until the OAC is built.
God love her, Bumbling Bea Cortes said, and I paraphrase " If it's good enough for the Planning Commission, it's good enough for the Council. Thank you Councilwoman Cortes. Where it usually took the whole City staff to get us into lawsuits you did it singled handed. When you have two lawyers telling you the numerous legal reasons why you can't build, I would suggest you listen to them over Mr. Koontz and Mr. Schwab. Don't be a sock puppet for anyone on the Council or in City Hall. Stand up and be your own sock puppet. You don't wrangle a vote if your totally ignorant about what is before the Council. Better yet, try reading something instead of always talking through your hat.
Think about it "Staff Recommendations" have been responsible for all the law suits you and the City are mired in. If you listen at times, even if you don't agree, an informed Council member will sound so much better than one who is trying to make people believe she knows what she is talking about, when after the first two multi-syllable words it obvious she doesn't. By not listening to Mr. Miller, who, by the way again was cut out of the information loop by Mr. Schwab, and Mrs. Garcia, you, without a doubt have given yourself an issue to be used against you in the next campaign, should you decide to run.
Mr. Johnson sent a letter addressed to each Council member, through Mr. Schwab, explaining where the City once again is in violation of the law and once again Councilman Miller spoke out that the first he saw of the letter was when Mr. Johnson handed him a copy at the Council meeting. Why would Mr. Schwab want to deprive Mr. Miller of this information? Perhaps Mr. Schwab is again misleading Mr. Miller as he has the City as a whole for years. If any public official was deserving of the bums rush it's Tom Schwab. If your spouse lied to you as much as Tom Schwab does to this community you'd divorcee them. Not here. We don't even get a trial separation, nope, we just get trials.
Lets see, whats left to sue the City over. The high school and the peaker plant and I suppose Essco will be forever grateful for Schwab and Koontz dragging them into a lawsuit. You can bet it's coming. Because of Councilwoman Cortes not having the foggiest idea what she is doing and if she did she conceals it well, she has left Mr. Johnson no choice but to sue. Instead of caution and study lets prove to everyone that you can be just as inept as the "Mayor" or maybe even more and that's a feat. I'll bet your Mammy Yokum boots, that instead of clowning around with the goofs at City Hall Essco will just pull up stakes. If they do I hope they take the fence down that Schwab let them build in the middle of Commerce street. You can't park a motor home on your own property but Essco can fence off a public street for storage. Maybe they don't know we have a self storage just down the street.
Here's another point of view. Mr. Harper does not loose money when he has to represent you at court. Going to court maybe be just a sideline to being a bond "counselor" but he does charge for trials I'm sure. After all he is a lawyer isn't he? There may be a reason he does not speak out with a loud voice and sound advice at Council meetings. They do distract from his Tex Messaging. Beep Beep Beep Beep or was that Mr. Schwabs Blackberry.
Look Who's Reading, Nearly Every Day:
Domain Name boomersparks.com ? (Commercial)
IP Address 64.168.120.# (Best Best & Krieger)
ISP SBC Internet Services
Now We know that Best Best & Krieger has the Mayor's Son working for them.
Now We know that Boomersparks is the Management of Castle Park in Riverside.
What we don't know is why Best & Best and Krieger is using Bommersparks.com as a IP Server. In the past their visits came from their Corporate IP Server.
Who get billed for the reading of the blog during BB&K hours?
BB&K started visiting the blog about the time the blog posted the Mayors Contribution Reports which do not indicate in detail the contributions given to the "Friends of ......" .
Interesting,,,,, very interesting.
From the Email In Box
Can you imagine walking out your front door and being greeted by a 10 foot wall only 10 feet awayand on the other side of that wall are idoling diesel trucks waiting to make deliveries at all hours of the night or day. That is what citizens of Pascal will be facing.
It is a sad thing to have so many children in Grand Terrace who can't get along without inhalers to help them breath. I know what I am talking about, because since moving here, I too have had to include regular doses of albuteral to my daily routine.
I have been approached by City employees, City Planning Commission, and City Council accusing me of hiring an attorney and placing the lawsuit on the City. I have been yelled at, told to go back to where ever I came from. I have been told that it is my fault for living where I am and that I shouldn't stop their progress.
All sanity has left our elected officials. They want to get the Lowe's in and don't care what it costs. What would cause such cannibalistic behavior. Why are the council members and members of the Planning Commission willing to do whatever it takes?
When asked why the projects the City puts in look so different from the proposed plan at the Council Meeting, they tell me Mr.. Koontz has free license to make any changes he pleases. So the Planning Commission and the City Council are just for show?
So, in order to answer all the acquisitions put to me by City Council, City Management and City Planning, No I am not grandpa terrace. But if you want to know who he is you can log on to http://www.grandterracenews.blogspot.com/
I am not "Citizens for a Better Grand Terrace" although I do support their efforts.
I support a safe Grand Terrace. I believe it is possible to build a "village" scale town center that will produce taxable income. That would be more enjoyable for the citizens. I believe it is possible to build a City Government that represent the majority of the citizens instead of themselves. I believe it is possible to protect the children and their children, who will be living here long after we are gone.
YOUR OPINION COUNTS
1. Should your tax dollars be used to help a developer acquire land in our City?
Yes or No
2. Should a city have the right to take private land for financial gain?
Yes or No
3. Should “big box” stores like Lowes, Walmart or Best Buy be built on Barton Road? Yes or No
4. Would you like to see a “village walk” shopping center with smaller stores and family friendly presentation on Barton Road? Yes or No
5. Are you aware that a large commercial development is to be built next to the freeway between Pico and Deberry? Yes or No
6. Are you aware that Grand Terrace Elementary is planned to be taken out and there is no plan to replace it? Yes or No
7. Are you aware that more condos are planned to be built on Deberry? Yes or No
8. Are you aware that a High School is planned to be built at the end of Pico next to the freeway? Yes or No
9. Do you want to see a 5,000 seat stadium at the high school? Yes or No
10. Do you feel the City: Planning Department, City Manager, City Council are representing the citizens accurately. Yes or No
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Taset of the Terrace Review:
Taste of the Terrace:
The participation exceeded the facility planning, people came, people ate, and music was played. The food was provided by many of the restaurants in Grand Terrace, and a few from near by on Mt. Vernon or Washington St. Californian (Mexican), Italian, Japanese, and Chinese Food choices were available. Oh and Do nuts for desert. There was a Bar, but not many options for drinks appropriate for children. Ice water would have been nice. It was nice to see who’s in the kitchen. Some of the restaurants just dropped off the food and their business cards while others provided a person or the owners of the business to provide the service.
Each person will have their favorites. So a culinary review will not be made. However the event as an event will.
This event was produced with contributions by local business, and attended by local citizens. It did not cause a traffic or noise problem, and it brought people together to break bread. I’d say it was a 9.3 of a possible 10.0. Yes, you’ll say I complain about everything. Not so. I do have some observations on what was well done and what could be done better. This is an annual event, so to those who are planning next years event knows you provided an event truly Grand Terrace and that is greatly appreciated.
The music was played at a volume where talk at the table was still possible. Volume control was greatly appreciated. So many citizens attended there was a need for additional seating. Folks were unable to sit and visit and socialize without feeling the need to vacate scarce seating. It was great that everyone showed up and the restaurants provided samples. Folks were eating out on the steps, and taking food home. The opportunity to socialize en mass was missed.
Success should build upon success and perhaps there can be seating in the Community room and the food set up in the foyer, or the City Hall Entrance and wrap around to the “Community Room” maximizing the use of the space for seating and gathering and chat amongst neighbors.
For those who need to avoid stairs the City may want to figure out how to open the other doors during public events such as this. Perhaps they can look into a way of closing off the “City’s Counter” in an attractive way (Perhaps a roll down net of some sort...) so access to handicapped persons is less problematic. Stairs are an impediment to many people, even to those who are not using wheelchairs.
Isn’t there an ordinance against the consumption of alcohol beverages on City property? Didn’t I see alcohol being consumed right there at City Hall? Children and adults attended this event. Many of the Adults in Grand Terrace live a Sober Life for one reason or another. Granted most were adults however it seems that City Ordinances should apply for the Chamber of Commerce as well as the common citizen? If the Chamber of Commerce has Private Meetings and Alcohol is serve, fine, but I’d suggest no on city property, and not at a Public Event where children attend. You’re sending mixed messages to the youth of the community.
The Cost of Fireworks a Bit of Information Excapes
All but seven cities in San Bernardino County — Adelanto, Chino, Rialto, Grand Terrace and parts of Colton, San Bernardino and Fontana — prohibit fireworks. County fire officials receive about 500 fireworks-related calls in the month around the Fourth of July, resulting in hundreds of pounds of seized explosives and hundreds of thousands of dollars in property damage, said Tracey Martinez, spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
Senior Center Move to take 6 weeks:
The Senior Center Move to it's temporary sight is to begin this Friday, and is to be expected to take 6 weeks.
IF these services are so vital to those being served why 6 weeks. Why isn't the site to receive the temporary buildings pre set for the receiving of the portables. OR have the food service at the City Hall for a Month... Perhaps rent a Mobile Kitchen to provide services.
No this city and the developer is not planning this well at all.
Should we say the closing of the Senior Center Predates the Court Date that has the very issue under consideration. Again, planning is questioned.
I feel sorry for all us seniors who will have to make other social arrangements at noon and so forth. I know new friends will be made in Colton, I just hope we organize and make sure any one who wants to go to the Other City to receive services and a place to socialize will be able to arrange transportation.
Presume that you read through the front page of G.T. News and the statements via S. Bros. as to what they want and what is being offered.
If, everyone will read hard, the S.B. management wants about 350 parking spaces, which seems appropriate to me. The City of G.T. was offering a bit over 1/3 of that number, and Anita has available about 1/2 that number. Considering that whole area of the Proposed G.T. city center, that means the spill over will have to park in the streets. The new un-named businesses will not be allowed to generate traffic, for there is no place to park their customers. In short since, about 1 1/2 acres of secondary building cannot be built.
Iff'n you will remember what I e:mailed your direction a good 3-4 weeks ago, the initial proposal of two biggie stores overwhelmed the parking spaces, and I had doubts that the smaller "One Big Store" even met the statistic. Once again, see, "Do as I say, not as I do" and the planning Dept. was trying to ram through a proposal with insufficient parking spaces. They were then going to lay blame upon the City Council for ever approving the new site. Kind of like receiving a speeding ticket, and blaming it on the Cruise Control. ....Wasn't my fault. I trusted the Know-it-alls. The City Council fell into the trap that they can't trust the public who outlines all the reasons why NOT to go ahead.
So, we get back to the original situation.
1, Does the planners remove all other stores on that site, just to meet the required parking space quantity? Does the city staff now hurry along and ask to condem even more property just to get the square area as required by any normal developer?
2, Does Staters downgrade their thoughts and build a smaller store, more suitable for the lot size?
3, Does the city staff go out an look for a vendor who will now fit the pad and parking specifications?
4, There was a mention that the city had to come up with a empty lot large enough to meet the desired parameters. Only lot I can readily think of is about where the O.A.C. was planned. 5, There was hint along an earlier situation caused by recent construction within Pigeon Pass. That being a biggie store within Riverside County, and being referred to as "The Grand Terrace Store" even though it is not. Then also, leave the present store in place, not upgrade, and we all get what we already have.
Item #5 would for my part be the cheapest way out for everyone concerned. The one I envisioned as being correct. Of course just looking over the five items noted above, and who do you think is to blame, and then will anyone up for re-election be considered again? Perhaps the G.T. News needs to run one of those full page ads on the backside, with Just Say No to Incumbants. Once they are gone, ol' Tom may not survive either, for who really made the decision as how to spend the city funds?
You and I do not often see eye-to-eye, but I think someone is going to figure out that G.T. is being run by a group of Non-professionals. My original statement. You are going to get your wish, but for now it looks a bit down the road. I am thinking here too that perhaps Jacobson had fell into the hype, and you could consider him either a victim of it, or an instigator. I was thinking here too, as have a friend who told me about a recent visit to Las Vegas. He seemed to be pretty lucky, for at one point was ahead by $1000. (Why didn't he stop then and there?) Later he admitted to coming home with about $50 less that he left with. Thus in his mind, he came out ahead. Apply this reasoning to Jacobson should he walk off today, and the property goes up for general sale. After all this time and effort, would he be ahead in some way or another? I think in perhaps 1-2 months now, even more information will appear in print as to how the G.T. center wasn't thought out all that well.
I notice that Warner Hodgen has been dressing up his Industrial lot in the NW corner of the city, including streets. Looks it is being prepared for sale now. He may be the smart one in this. S. Bros. may have been lead along, waited too long, and announcement as per newspaper comes at wrong time for City Council. - -Just before an election.
ALSO From the Email Inbox
You know by now I calls them as I sees them and I don't always agree with Council Member Jim Miller.
HOWEVER, I do appreciate Councilmember Miller's attempt to be deliberative and well informed. I hope you watched the April 11, 2006 Council Meeting.
You saw first hand the public is not alone in being ill treated by the Mayor, and City Staff. If this can happen to a council member, just imagine how JQ Public is treated.
Council Member Miller was cut off from making a motion to set aside the ESSCO decision. He was unable to regain the floor as the Mayor plowed through after allowing him to be cut off.
I am absolutely stunned that a delay in action got some support from a Council Member. Yet it was not from Herman Hilkey has often complained that the "BOOK" is not ready sufficiently in advance of the meetings, and to be forced to make a determination at the first review, and after Public Comment" is shoving a Scwhab and Staff Decision / Recommendation on the Council, yet he voted to push ESSCO ahead.
"OUR" city Attorney (A Schwab Hire), was useless to the council and public tonight. It is clear that Mr. Schwab's management of conflicting Planning Specifications, the General Plan, overlaid with the OAC Plan, and so forth has purposely put Mr. Schwab in a position to Dictate what is permitted to be built at his whim.
Remember Barney Karger being told not to plant a Willow Tree. Yet, ESSCO is in very short order getting approval, and the level of scrutiny is minuscule in comparison.
Are there any Council Members or Citizens ready now to be bold and put forth some ordinances which will close this dictatorship.?? No ED for Private Development, Limiting the RDA with the intent of elimination of its debt, and function, it is not working for the city. Clear and Fair Specific Plan, and no more Building by Special Ordinance.
Perhaps some one could get a look at the Police record of the calls to the dispatch. Savon Employees called to report the "strange customer" at 2:00, the call about the robbery was at 2:48 as reported at the meeting. The public and council are to believe that the phone call about the Stranger in Savon and the Report of the Robery were the same call? What were the real time of the first call from savon, and where was the officer when that call came in? What was the real call of the robery, and where was the officer when that call came in that it took ten minutes to respond? Where did the back up cars come from and how long did it take to get them here? The Council was told: The First Responder arrived at about 3:00. And an arrest was made in Rancho Cucamonga. Please give the name of the person arrested and a booking number. This report as presented to the Council does not add up.
If Tom Schwab got a reward a raise for his service to the city, there will be a recall of any council member who hold seats to 2008. Lets add it up. Debt, Lies, Law Suites,,, oh my .... we can go on but why...
You can bet there will be a suit filed on the ESSCO building. I don't have any particular gripe with the building. I have a gripe with the city's practices, and favor playing. As far as the statement a cement building cant look like Craftsman's Style... try looking at the California Hotel at Down Town Disney... looks like wood but it is concrete. IF the requirement is there make it apply, if your not going to apply it for one it should be removed for all. This includes the road. You want a wide road dumping into a narrow one? GADS... Tom Scwab is responcible for all of these problems and more.
You, nor the public should be treated as you were. Please know the public is angry about the treatment you received, and they receive on a regular basis. We aren't going to take it any more, are you? But don't worrie, the Members of the Chamber of Commerce are notified of Roads being closed, citizens have to wait.
Are you ready for action? Recall, and Specific Measures to Restrict the Dictatorship of Tom Schwab?
Email Gramps and I'll forward your name to the group you are interested in working with.
May 2006: City Council Agenda, Actions, Reactions
Agenda and Minutes
CITY OF GRAND TERRACECOUNCIL MEETING AGENDACITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS MAY 11, 2006GRAND TERRACE CIVIC CENTER
Doug Jacobsen of Jacobsen Family Holdings LLC and Grand Terrace City Manager Tom Schwab still have dreams of Having "Plan A" which includes a LOWES and the Mega Stater Brothers Market.
The Pre-paid add in the Grand Terrace City News ran again with the drawing of Plan A and the Misrepresentations of a Magic Library which requires no extra funding or even a budget. Now it may be a fact that the add was purchased before the April 13th meeting. It would have been appropriate to edit the add IF there is an intent to modify the PLAN to exclude LOWES, and Jo Stringfield's Property.
No the Add was left to run as purchased. The result is , the PUBLIC BEING DUPED. There is no Library Planned in Plan A. There is no budget, or Library Negotiation to be presented to the County which Runs our Library. There is no real Net Benefit to the City Known. Gross receipt Estimates of an Increase in Tax Revenue do not even guess the extra costs to the city for Law Enforcement, Hazmat Clean up and so forth.
Look what Jacobsen has done so far. Sav-on, Not Built as presented. Sold... Prior to finishing the project. Liquor Store Dressed as a Drug Store.... Mobile Home Property was allowed to become a slum, and weed abatement not done on Town Center Property Owned or "Controlled" by City and Jacobsen.
Jacobsen and Schwab need to get it straight, WE don't want LOWE's. WE don't need more Liquor Stores, Bars, or businesses which will increase crime in Grand Terrace. These businesses are a net loss regardless of the "Gross Increase in Sales Tax Revenue".
Schwab needs to figure out where Grand Terrace Elementary School will move to before he Manages the Redevelopment of Grand Terrace to Exclude a safe place for children to live, and attend school. Schwab needs to figure out that 20 percent of Redevelopment funds must be spent so that Low and Middle Income People have safe affordable housing in Grand Terrace. NOT just Seniors.
Don't be DUPED, or DOPED. Jacobsen and Schwab are not making decisions in YOUR Best Interest.
Also Read the Post Under Town Center For Mixed Message Jacobsen Family LLC Holdings:
David vs. Goliath or More Slanted Reporting Blue by Gramps
10:00 PM PDT on Saturday, May 6, 2006
CASSIE MACDUFF Red by Grandpa Terrace:
A single holdout on two acres may have scotched Grand Terrace's plan to lure home-improvement giant Lowe's to the proposed 20-acre Town Center on Barton Road.
That would be a big disappointment for the little city of 13,000, whose hopes were pinned on the project to boost sales-tax revenue. Who are you representing as being Disappointed, Citizens Speaking at the Council Meeting were OVERWHELMINGLY against a Lowe's, and the use of Eminent Domain to force the transfer of private property to a private party. Sure we are looking for tax revenue... However any revenue projections should include cost projections which the activity would also bring to the city.
After threatening for months to use eminent domain to force holdout Jo Stringfield to sell, the City Council choked, lacking the political will to take such an unpopular step. Perhaps this is Good Judgement and Citizenship?
Developer Jacobsen Family Holdings LLC is prepared to build around her parcel with a center anchored by a new Stater Bros. supermarket. (An older, smaller Stater Bros. up the road will close.) The threats have gone on for more than a year now. Perhaps you should check the dates on letters sent out of the city in the year 2003 suggesting land owners sell or face the possible use of Eminent Domain... You fail to mention that the current location of Stater's has offered to remodel the current site to fit their standard Large Store. You fail to state that Stater's Indecision to Rebuild in its current location has left the current landlords to lose leasing opportunities.
All of the parties have agreed to back off of their highly public battle for now, while informal, low-key talks continue behind the scenes. The citizens against the Use of Eminent Domain, and those against having a Lowe's here in Grand Terrace hold that opinion independent of what Jo Stringfield decides. Lowe's is not a welcome import to Grand Terrace. Increased Hazardous Materials, Day Laborers hanging out near an Elementary School are not welcome by any one. Even some of the Eminent Domain Use Supporters are against the proposal of having a Lowe's in Grand Terrace. Please don't miss represent the citizens.
"We don't know what's going to happen right now," said Stringfield's lawyer, Robert Ferguson.
Stringfield's David-versus-Goliath struggle evoked a lot of sympathy. People could identify with a local girl who returned home wanting to save her modest property from a big development.
"This was kind of my safety net here," Stringfield, 58, said of her home last winter when I interviewed her there one evening. (Her lawyer won't let her talk now.)
She'd planned to live out her life there. Besides, where could she find a house on two acres as close to her job in downtown San Bernardino?
Stringfield had moved back into the house in 2002 after her mother died. While she was growing up, there was a corral on the property with two horses. Leisure time meant rides up nearby Blue Mountain. You may have better represented the facts by saying the years she lived there and the short period of time she had moved out as most adult do only to return when her mother needed assistance and finally passed away. Your depiction is prejudicial in tone and minimizes her attachment and contiguous visitation if not actual residency to the property and her parents as an adult.
The first she learned about Town Center, Stringfield said in December (You should have the Year of that Letter), was from an official letter about the city's development agreement with Jacobsen. It said if she was interested in selling, she should call a real estate company it named.
She wasn't interested, so she didn't call.
Next came phone calls telling her she "must call." She ignored them. Then she heard from the city, saying it had the right to use eminent domain if a deal couldn't be reached. The news landed like a body-blow. "I didn't think (they) could really come in and take your property and give it to someone else to make a profit," she said.
Jacobsen and the city began making offers, starting at $770,000 and going up to more than $1 million. She turned down every one.
They told her she could find a similar property in Muscoy or Bloomington, Stringfield said. But she knew about controversial redevelopment plans in both areas. Why leave the frying pan to get into the fire?
She couldn't beat the forces aligned against her, so Stringfield eventually offered to join them, drawing up her own development plan. If anybody was going to profit from the land, why shouldn't she?
At the most recent council meeting, Stringfield withdrew the plan; an informal cooling-off period began. (Actually, there has been another Council Meeting so it is not the MOST Recent Council Meeting, This is why you should have DATES in your article.. The last time this was brought to the public was April 13, 2006. The "Next Meeting" Mr. Tom Schwab was not there, and days later there were "officials" saying ED was off the table at Jacobsen's request.
City Manager Tom Schwab said Lowe's looks to be out of the picture, but the door isn't closed and the Town Center plan could still come together. Lowe's will bring protest even IF Jo Stringfield sells her land on her own terms. Today's Sav-on Car Jacking is an example of why citizens don't want a Lowe's or another "Drug Store" or "Liquor Store that also sells Drugs" in town. There won't be enough tax revenue to pay for enough protection from what that development will bring to town. The citizens know this.
I hope both parties leave the table winners, not losers. Something should be worked out that's acceptable to the city and to Stringfield.
It is acceptable to the Citizens for Stringfield to stay right where she is as long as she wants to... The City is made up of Citizens who Respect the Property Rights of Our Fellow Landowners, Female, or Person who "Returned" and Inherited the property. IT IS HER PROPERTY We get that. How is it the "Officials" don't understand that?
Cassie MacDuff can be reached at (909) 806-3068 or cmacduff@PE.com
Online at: http://www.pe.com/columns/cassiemacduff/stories/
(back up and earase this) PE_News_Local_B_cass0507.8fb05f8.html
Sheriff Fails to Respond In Reasonable time to Sav-on Employees Call Results in Female Customer being robbed and car stolen:
Ok, here is the tick tock so far:
Hour 0 : Observant Sav-on Employees notice Suspicious Characters hanging out in Parking lot. Two guys hanging out one in a Mecerdes Benz, SUV. The other a tall Mexican that was hanging out in the store for a long time. The employees call the Sheriff to check him out and no one shows up for an hour.
Hour 1: Sav-on Female Customer was Robbed by the tall suspect in the parking lot and car jacks her Camery. Second Call to Sheriff Dispatch was made.
According to a witness to the events: the actual crime occurred about 3p.m. So first call I deduct was maybe about 2:oo pm. The Sheriff web site was check and there are no bookings by GT or L.L. at that time. Where were our Deputies? Where was the "Back Up". Was the call of suspicious characters so LOW on Priority that What Was the Higher Priority?
Unspecified time after 2nd report or call.
Two Sargents appear to take report. No Patrol Sheriffs
Our local Patrol nor Colton PD, nor the Loma Linda Sheriff Back Up to ours appeared in response to the first or second call. WHERE were they?
Have I missed anything? Please send details if you have any...
Inland roads on fast track
BONDS DEAL PASSES:
The region will benefit more quickly than other areas if state voters OK the plan.
10:00 PM PDT on Friday, May 5, 2006
By MICHELLE DeARMOND,
JIM MILLER and PHIL PITCHFORD
Bonds are loans that are sold to investors, who make money off the interest.
How would the Legislature's bond proposal work? California would sell the bonds to investors, who would provide the state with the capital it needs to do these projects. The state would pay back the lenders the $37 billion plus interest over 30 years for a total of approximately $84 billion.
How would taxpayers be affected? The money would come out of existing revenue to the state, not from new taxes. Financial experts expect the state to generate additional revenue during that time because of population growth, thus making it easier for the state to handle the debt.
Why do governments issue bonds? To fund projects they can't pay for all at once and to spread the cost over time instead of raising taxes.
Inland counties would be among the first to get road money from an unprecedented $37.3 billion bond package passed Friday by the Legislature, area leaders said.
If approved by voters in November, the massive borrowing package would be the largest in the state's history. It includes money for highways, schools, levees and affordable housing.
Billions of dollars would be available for Inland projects, such as road-widening work on Interstates 15 and 215 and Highways 60 and 91. Riverside and San Bernardino counties already have projects ready for construction and are eligible for special funds for traffic-congestion relief; both those factors help push the region to the front of the line.
"They want to see projects roll out and actually have an impact," said Eric Haley, executive director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission. "Projects that are ready to go get the early money."
The bond package is expected to receive strong voter support, especially in regions struggling with transportation gridlock such as the Inland area.
A poll by The Field Institute in February showed 56 percent of California voters liked the idea of issuing bonds to pay for new highways, schools and other infrastructure projects over the next decade.
The package includes four separate measures requiring voter approval: $19.9 billion for transportation, $2.9 billion for housing, $10.4 billion for education and $4.1 billion for levee repairs and maintenance.
"If you live in the Inland Empire -- we don't have to convince any of our voters how important transportation is," said Assemblyman Russ Bogh, R-Beaumont. "I think the provisions of transportation are extremely beneficial to the Inland Empire. ... I had hoped we wouldn't get shortchanged by Los Angeles and we didn't."
Haley said one major beneficiary of the bond proposal would be a plan to extend carpool lanes on Highway 91 from Madison Street to the intersection of that freeway with Highway 60 and Interstate 215 in north Riverside.
Another such project could be the planned reworking of the interchange in western Moreno Valley where Highway 60 and Interstate 215 split toward the desert and Southwest County, respectively.
Both of those areas suffer from significant gridlock as commuters funnel to and from multiple Inland areas and Orange and Los Angeles counties.
The money also could help pay for renovating several interchanges along Interstate 10 through the Coachella Valley, Haley said. Desert transportation advocates have sought money for such projects in the past but were told that state funds were not available.
The portion of the bond that allocates $4.5 billion in congestion-relief money for areas with high job and population growth bodes especially well for the Inland area, Haley said.
Projects that could qualify for such funds include planned widening of Interstate 215 between Moreno Valley and Temecula and between Grand Terrace and San Bernardino, as well as the expansion of Interstates 10 and 15, and Highways 91 in western Riverside County and 111 in the desert.
The November ballot package also will include a measure to make it more difficult for the Legislature to take money raised by Prop. 42 and use it to balance the budget. That money from the state sales tax on gasoline is supposed to be set aside for transportation, and ensuring it stays there will provide a more stable source of road money, Haley said.
Houses and Schools
The region also stands to benefit from housing and education bonds in the package.
Among the programs outlined are some that would subsidize construction of low-income apartments in the Coachella Valley and down-payment assistance for first-time homebuyers in Fontana.
Frank Williams, founder and president of the nonprofit Housing Action Resource Trust, said if Californians pass the proposed bond measure, the Rancho Cucamonga-based organization will compete for funds to expand its mortgage-assistance program and support a new project to build affordable housing in San Bernardino County for teachers, firefighters and other public service workers.
Borre Winckel, executive director of the Riverside County Chapter of the Building Industry Association, said some parts of the Inland area would benefit from funding to stimulate residential growth in existing neighborhoods. The strategy, often called infill development, allows workers in those counties to remain close to their jobs and off congested freeways.
While Winckel predicted Inland residents would not see an immediate effect on commuting patterns, he said local governments must build a better jobs-to-housing balance into plans.
The education bond measure also would benefit Inland school districts that use matching state construction funds, Inland officials said Friday.
"It makes our local funds go further," said Riverside Unified Deputy Superintendent Mike Fine.
For instance, a new Riverside school slated to be built in the next year or two, Citrus Heritage Middle School, relies on matching state construction funds, he said.
Politics and Pocketbooks
Local governments aren't the only ones that could benefit from these measures if they pass in November.
Gov. Schwarzenegger made infrastructure bonds the centerpiece of his 2006 agenda and has pushed for months to get the Legislature to approve a package.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican, is running for re-election in November, and the Legislature's passage of the bond package could buoy his campaign.
Friday's vote comes just two months after he and legislative leaders failed to craft a similar deal in time for the June ballot.
Although his original pitch was for $68 billion, Schwarzenegger praised the Legislature on Friday and called it "my strategic-growth plan."
The measures require his signature before going to the voters, and he's expected to sign them soon.
The deal that was passed pleased many of the state's Republicans, some of whom were leery of the original price tag. And financial experts have said the state's financial standing is solid and won't be harmed by taking on the debt.
"The state can afford this bond," said Bogh, the Beaumont Republican. "It's fiscally responsible."
Staff writers Kimberly Trone, Robert P. Mayer and Leslie Berkman contributed to this report.
Online at: http://www.pe.com/localnews/sanbernardino/stories/
add this to the above PE_News_Local_B_bond06.3ddee2a.html
Southern California Edison and PAR, (Edison's contractor) will be installing 11,600 circuit feet of 653.9AR aluminum conductor to the vacant position of nine (9) existing steel towers in the City of Grand Terrace. This work will take place at 6:00 A.M., Sunday morning May 7, 2006 starting from SCE's Vista Substation located at 22200 Newport Ave., Grand Terrace, heading east to a point 900 feet east of Reche Canyon Road in the City of Colton. SCE has acquired a freeway crossing permit from Caltrans. Freeway traffic will be stopped for a short period of time to install ropes. Par will be using a helecopter to install rope over the freeway crossing.
The remainder of the project in the City will be done by climbing each tower to install pull ropes. Once the rope is installed, the rope will then be used to pull in the 653.9ASR wire in place on the existing metal towers. Street closures can be expected on Mt. Vernon and Vista Grande Way for three (3) to five (5) minute intervals in the morning hours. The project is expected to take a full day if not longer.
Riverside Highland Water Company is upgrading the water storage facility at the corner of Palm Avenue and Preston Street. The project will involve a complete restoration of the facility inside and out. Palm Avenue street repairs should be completed within the next week. The water tank will receive a face lift incorporating new paint, electrical, fencing repairs and interior paving. The project should be complete within the few weeks.
GTTV Channel 3 Adelphia Cable is now showing the 3-D presentation of High School #3. See the proposed design, layout and landscaping for our first high school which is expected to be completed in 2008. The site is located near the corner of Main and Michigan.
Viewing times 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Channel 3 --every day with the exception of Thursdays.
We need to develop a new "message" (open government, good development plans etc.) we need a positive replacement message, and positive candidates-- WHO?
if the candidates do not have a natural following, they need a resume to advertise.
HELP: nominate candidates, WHO will
REFORM THE GRAND TERRACE CITY COUNCIL AND REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
RECALL AND REPLACE THOSE ON THE COUNCIL WHO ARE DUPED BY CITY MANAGER TOM SCHWAB
CANDIDATES WHO STATE THEIR COMMITMENTS REGARDING THE FULL AUDIT OF THE CITY MANAGER'S ACTIONS.
CANDIDATES WHO COMMIT TO REPLACING THE CITY MANAGER WITH SOMEONE WHO SUPPORTS OPEN GOVERNMENT TO ITS FULLEST.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM LOCAL BUSINESSES WHO ARE TIRED OF BEING ABUSED BY THIS CITY ARE WAITING FOR GOOD CANDIDATES TO STEP UP TO THE CHALLANGE OF RETURNING GRAND TERRACE TO ITS CITIZENS.