Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Folks: If you are going to drink to "Celebrate the New Year" please don't Drink and Drive, or come home and be violent towards one another. Also note that there has been a Graffiti Spree and a rash of home/business burglaries.
Also notice that some of the crimes were committed out of Grand Terrace, the person arrested lived here.
We have often heard the number of 1.6 million in "reserve" well folks here is the reason for float if in fact we have that much. With those funds we will have to pay for the upfront costs of all the repairs and then ask for refunding or reimbursement of those costs via federal and state and insurance underwriter.
We need to provide City Manager Betsy Adams with the best City Council possible in order to be sure that the funds are spent properly, accounted for and claims for reimbursement made and accounted for when they do arrive.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Grand Terrace Road remains closed by flood damage, she said. Temporary repairs will cost $40,000 and a permanent fix is likely to be as much as $100,000. Mount Vernon Avenue may reopen today, officials said. (MT. Vernon is Still Closed) (Barton Rd. still has a utility pole that needs to be replaced). (Expect work crews and Safety Inspectors).
The rest of the story is at:
I suggest you read it as it gives you a good idea of where not to drive during and after a storm.
Note, that the mighty Cal Trans had to close the freeway due to water damage and flooding. How is it we trust Jacobsen/Stater's to get run off estimates more accurate than the grand old Cal Trans? The City's waiver of fees, and deposits for construction by LARGE Contractors and For example Riverside Water Company results in the short shifting of funds on reserve to resolve future unforeseen infrastructure corrections caused by the construction. Please let's hope that large construction projects or those covering the land with hard cement or pavement provide either those deposits, or sufficient insurance to cover the damage they contribute to in the event of rain and excessive run off.
It will be nice to know what is on that long list of repairs needed. But, the PE does not cover things in that detail.
Keep dry folks. Stay out of standing water or moving water... If you must drive in the rain, check the effectiveness of your breaks often and give your self plenty of time to get there, Drive SLOW, and Start your Stops well in advance of your NEED to Stop.
Sunday, December 26, 2010
To spend any State Grand Funds or Funds of the City or the RDA to purchase that land is a kick back to Doug Jacobsen. It also remember was land he acquired in order to replace the Mobile Home Units he removed on Michigan. So Stater's whom Jacobsen was an agent should now assume the responsibility of providing low and middle income housing don't you think?.
Jacobsen's obligations and promises he made in public should all transfer to Stater's who has bought the entire development area.
If we lose the grant money because Jacobsen does not donate the land, so be it. The State of California should not be paying off Jacobsen any more than Grand Terrace should. Of course he'd get a tax right off, and in my opinion that is generous enough.
Well, now here is her challenge. Where's the Grant. I hope within the next few meetings she includes in her Council Report, the Name of the Organization and the Grant and the Application deadlines for funds to specifically open the government records and provide a reply or play on demand the city council meetings. Note, the pdf files as made available now are not search able and this obscures information.
The beginning of this blog was in part due to the difficulty in getting information from the city, and having a transparent government. We must recognise that some changes have taken place. However, there is still room for improvement.
Crime & Arrests Reporting: We should be able to look at the city web page to know there was a Forced Entry of a Home,... that is why the Helicopter was flying over head and saying to a suspect "Come out from Hiding", last week. Sure it is a small town, but part of living in a small town is that if your arrested, everyone knows. This knowledge has an impact on behavior.
City Council Meetings are difficult to review, and although the availability of the City Council Agenda & Packets and the following Minutes are much improved there are side comments that are not included in the Minutes that at a later date become important to the citizen's understanding of an issue. These visual records should be on the Internet.
Election Documents and Financial Reporting should be on the Internet.
More detail on the payments made and received by the city should be available on line. The use of the city Credit Card, and Payroll Accounts are not reviewed by the public in any real detail.
This is only the start. IT is OUR GOVERNMENT, we should know where every dime of money goes, and for what. We can know that without knowing an individuals Social Security Number, or the Color of their Eyes. However, citizens should be able to see how every last cent is spent by their government. We count our pennies at home, it is time we require the same from our government.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Said Special Meeting shall be for:
Grand Terrace Council to appoint new member
The 3-1 decision, with Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia dissenting, came following extended discussions at a special meeting Tuesday and the previous week, when the City Council delayed the decision to avoid an apparent 2-2 stalemate over whether to hold a special election or appoint someone.
"Everybody was surprised that we were able to come together," Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz said afterward. "See, we can agree. People shouldn't be afraid that one group is trying to get power over the other."
Many of the citizens advocating for an election had expressed concern that the four council members would be unable to agree on a fifth member. Some also worried that if they chose the most-recommended appointment suggestion - Sylvia Robles, who lost in November by 1 percent - she would align with Stanckiewitz and Councilman Bernardo Sandoval to overpower the remaining two council members.
Others said allowing the council to choose its own member was undemocratic.
But the majority of residents said the city could not afford an election, which the registrar of voters said would cost $31,000 to $50,000.
The council voted Dec. 14 to ask the registrar if money could be saved by consolidating the election with another city's, but no cost-cutting methods were found.
Any registered voter in Grand Terrace can fill out an application from City Hall, the library, the Grand Terrace Childcare Center or www.cityofgrandterrace.org.
"I think there's somebody out there who all of us will be happy with," Stanckiewitz said. "Are they somebody who ran? Maybe. I doubt it, because there (are) a lot of hard feelings on both sides."
Applications must be submitted by Jan. 4. The City Council will interview candidates and vote to accept one at the next meeting, Jan. 11.
Clearly Sylvia Robles is the desired Council Member by much of the community. Also as clear Neither Council Member Garcia nor Council Member McNaboe will approve her appointment. Even if a Boy Scout Hosted Election under the upervision of a Certified Public Accountants were to result in a vote for Sylvia Robles, Darcy McNaboe asked if the council would have to approve that indicating that she would not comply even if such an election selected Sylvia the popular vote. Perhaps this was why she went along with the appointment rather than an election. She feared that Sylvia Robles would have won an election of any sort, after seeing the number of supporters attending the two city council meetings. She selected appointment with several times assuring Council Member Lee Ann Garcia that there was little likely hood that three Council Members would find a candidate they could vote for and thus the seat would remain open.
Well, given the above it would make since that Sylvia Robles in spite of public support saves the public and the council's time and just waits on an election period that will count and neither McNaboe or Garcia can avoid the election results. Let's hope that the low election results for Wilson, Schwab and the others who ran in the last election also prove them unworthy to be seated and that a person who did not run may be the only option that could possibly result in an appointment. It should also be a person not previously serving on the Planning Commision as all those servings are in the position due to a selection process tainted by the Schwab Era of Administration.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Yes this is a heavy rain... No it is not unusual this happens about every 10 to 40 years and if we fail to build for it we will repeat and repeat and repeat the flooding conditions and road damage and so forth and it will just be or should be a part of our budget to expect to pay for road repair and flood damage.
Posted on: December 22, 2010
TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURES
Posted on: December 21, 2010 ROAD IS NOW OPEN BUT EXPECT FUTURE CLOSURES AT ANY TIME
Road Closure - Grand Terrace Road from Vivienda Ave. to Newport Ave.
To help you find your way to San Bernardino Area appointments you can still make your way North and into the San Bernardio / Metro Loma Linda & Redlands areas by snaking your way around via La Cadena for now...
Shopping can still be accessed in Riverside via the freeway and or La Cadena or Michigan to Iowa.
Be careful out there folks.
Also if you see a clear patch on the Doppler 7000 look how fast it is moving and judge your travel time to be when the rain has ended. Drive slow and make sure you have space enough to stop with wet brakes.
Posted on: April 29, 2010
511 Travel Information System Launched
Applications are available in the City Clerk's Office, at the Grand Terrace Branch Library, at the Grand Terrace Child Care Center and on the City's Website.
Applications must be received by January 4, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.
Applicants will be interviewed at a regular meeting of the City Council held on Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Click below for Application
Click below for Press Release
Doug Wilson has run for Mayor and applied for City Council and has been rejected several times by the voter and the past city councils. His aspiration is to be Mayor and we already have a Mayor and a Mayor Protem we don't need a Mayor Prothree sitting at the council seat. I don't mind some one with political aspirations being appointed, I just don't think the Current Mayor or Council needs a 3rd Mayor wannabee.
Sylvia Robles received over 1700 votes from folks who could have not marked their ballots. These were Intentional Votes she received. For the sitting council members to ignore this fact is a slap in 1700 faces, that will sting for the next two years. The voters will remember, this blog will remember.
If you want to read up on past appointments there was one in 2007 January that was covered by several posts on this blog. Note that all the past appointments were during a time that Mr. Schwab met with each council member prior to the Council Meeting to "go over things" his influence as to who was on the Planning Commission and the City Council by appointment was excessive and often a rejection of the voter's intent, or public support. At least that has changed.
I still support the appointment and hope for the appointment of Sylvia Robles. I think there should at minimum be a motion to appoint her and have the record clear as to the action of the Council Members. This should be done regardless if she applies or not for an appointment. Her supporters that spoke in public clearly want her on the council and she did run and was vetted by the Public and the Press during a long campaign. You never saw a news paper article where she was unavailable to the reporter's questions. But hey that is my single opinion and it is apparent that regardless of how many voices are heard, the sound lands on deaf ears.
What I heard Council Member Lee Ann Garcia say is that in the past times she was involved in appointing people to the City Council it was a forgone conclusion by the City Council that the appointment would come from a person on the Planning Commission or who had prior experience. Why then did they pretend to have an open application to all interested parties.
Was she not offended by the process used in the past sufficiently to object or raise issue with it? I am troubled by the revelations of her lengthy description of the past and her current logic regarding this appointment that is pending. Has she and Council Member Darcy McNaboe already predetermined that there will be NO appointment as they assured each other that they had high level of doubt that 3 of the 4 would find an applicant they would approve. Thus they collectively demonstrated how difficult a 4 member council will be.
I hope the "Trust" that was given to them is not betrayed and that they will try to be accepting of one of the applicants who they do not find so repugnant as Sylvia Robles, the apparent choice of the people in attendance and the voters of the most recent election. Note to them, no one shut out the "Other's who sent email". When it was time for PUBLIC Comment "they" should have made their comment public or not have it counted in higher regard than those who came to the PUBLIC Meeting gave their names and stated their views. Certainly Garcia & McNaboe aspire to have more credibility than this blog... or do they?
Interesting points, If not Sylvia.... who that clearly is the question now. They have heard Public Comment, seen the vote results, and there is nothing those who support Sylvia could say or do as individuals or en mass to shift their decision so be it. Pick a person to break the ties that clearly will plague this sitting council. Or vote to agree to a coin toss with no added conditions after the coin has been tossed. Information, and public comment is clearly not an issue for either McNaboe or Garcia, as evidenced by the desire to limit the number of questions to make the meeting not run later than 9ish. My head is still spinning on that idea alone.
City will fill council vacancyGRAND TERRACE: A councilwoman wants voters to decide, not leave it to an appointment.
10:00 PM PST on Tuesday, December 21, 2010By DARRELL R. SANTSCHI
The Grand Terrace City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday night to appoint a fifth council member rather than call a special election.
Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she wants voters to decide who will serve the two years remaining in the vacancy.
The vacancy opened when Councilman Walt Stanckiewitz won election Nov. 2 as the city's new mayor. He replaced Maryetta Ferre, who did not seek re-election.
The decision came after nearly two hours of debate over how to fill the seat and what process the council will follow when it interviews candidates.
Thirteen residents commented, with some calling for the council to appoint Sylvia Robles, who lost a seat to former Planning Commissioner Darcy McNaboe by 50 votes in the November election.
Others, including the council majority, contended that the city's budget is too tight to spend at least $31,000, and as much as $50,000, on an election.
The council opted to give candidates until Jan. 4 to apply for the vacancy and to interview them at a Jan. 11 council meeting.
Reach Darrell R. Santschi at 951-368-8484 or dsantschi@PE.com
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
During the first meeting Mayor and Council allowed a short extension to allow the speaker to finish a rather long concluding sentence but this too was done in a quick and unobtrusive way as to not be disruptive of the speakers train of thought or points that were being presented to the council and the public.
Let's hope this new climate of the city council meetings continues.
Mayor Stanckiewitz also allowed each and every council member to fully express their views and concerns on the topic. He neither rushed to a motion, or bullied his point or view. By allowing all the council members to continue to consider the issue and situation before them they were able to reach a decision. Then they were able to agree upon the process to carry out that decision.
How that decision will turn out, who knows for sure. However we can see he is not an impediment to the process of council discussion and finding consensus.
City Manager Betsy Adams should also be noted for providing information without a hint of "Telling" the council how they should act. This is a giant step forward to an improve government for this city. Let's all work hard to try to keep GT afloat while the damage done is repaired. It will take time. But, things are looking better than they have in a long time.
I kind of think that all questions should be asked of all applicants. The city council members should not limit the amount of information they or the public has prior to making a decision because a meeting may run late. That sounds like there is a lack of wanting to be fully informed prior to a decision. Let's hope Council Woman Garcia isn't either so rushed to make a decision that she doesn't gather all information prior to a vote or that she has closed her mind to the possibility of an appointment and she has intentionally debased the process by suggesting a time limit as to her capacity to serve in a long meeting.
Council Member Darcy McNaboe seems to hold little hope in finding a person that could attract 3 votes. These predetermined attitudes will be a challenge for any applicant to overcome. It is kind of like them saying, if they think the applicant is acceptable to Sandoval and Stanckiewitz they will vote against supporting that candidate just for that reason alone. They have set a high bar for the applicants and they may find that they will have to aspire to that same bar themselves in their next election. Grand Terrace City Council is if nothing else interesting.
Council Member Bernardo Sandoval kept inviting input from the other council members. This is an example of a person who listens well, and first tries to broaden his understanding of others positions. He showed maturity in drawing out the issues clearly was willing to hear out all sides and points of the other council members.
Mayor Stanckiewitz, also did not rush into a motion that would just end in a 2/2 vote for the sake of getting it on the record and then moving on. This shows a desire to have issues resolved and not end in a stalemate.
So there is some hope, but it will require many long meetings in the future.
Did Council Members Lee Ann Garcia and Darcy McNaboe indicate they received email input on an open agenda item that influenced their decision? Will this email be in the public record of the minutes? Clearly the public that came to the meetings on 2 occasions supported appointment of Sylvia Robles and for some reason they were clearly opposed to that suggestion and so much as said by their comments that IF Robles applied for the appointment She would not get either of their votes regardless of how much public support was at the City Council Meeting or the 1300 votes she received in the last election. There is some sort of false logic that in a 2 way race people only have 2 choices. The voters could have Not voted for Sylvia Robles and that would have left a larger majority for McNaboe. The vote was a near split perhaps it would be most representative if Robles and McNaboe serve on the same council as counter weights to each other.
The apparent rejection of the voter input, and the input of the public that showed up to not one but two public city council meetings is telling. There was no blockage of other people from participation in the public discussion of the issue.
Council business starts at 6:00 and if parties are interested in the agenda they stay till the close of the meeting. That is what is required. It would be helpful if the agenda is only on city business and not full of presentations and awards when there are business issues that are time consuming. There should be a full questioning or interview of all applicants not limited to time. There is a thing called coffee if you get sleepy. There is a fitness requirement to serve on a City Council and yes some times that requires a long meeting, and a late night.
Yes, they did mention being influenced by email, and they did not provide copies for the public record to the clerk at the time of the meeting. This was an open Agenda Item so there may be justification for the inclusion of the emails on that topic to be included.
In some ways, the only decision we got out of the City Council was that there will not be a costly election. They will try to appoint a council member but Garcia and McNaboe have all ready stated a belief that there is no person in all of Grand Terrace that would get 3 of the 4 of them to vote for them. They eliminated the option to have a ranking that would kind of let an applicant float to the surface using a statistical model like a decision matrix, but no. The appointment process as designed by Garcia and McNaboe is intended to result in a 2/2 split and an open seat for 2 years. Each applicant will know in public who is thumbs up or down on them.
What will be interesting will be how many issues are not decided during that 2 year period because of a 2/2 vote.
The Blog received the above statement... it will take the action of a Citizen to make the request.
The Results of the City Council Meeting Are:
McNaboe and Garcia insulated that there was no way that they would support the Appointment of Sylvia Robles in spite of the clear public support at the two Council Meetings and the near 50 percent of the voters who voted in the last election. They each sited email input as being part of their justification to support an election or support for candidates that were not being supported in public at the City Council Meeting.
Lee Ann Garcia was and is willing to leave the seat vacant for 2 years in the hopes to prove to the Citizens that the current council can agree and manage the city's business when they have the appearance to be representing two different factions of the community. This she contends would upset just as many citizens as an appointment of a fifth council member from one side or faction or the other.
Darcy McNaboe was holding out for an election but did vote for an appointment provided she and Lee Ann's Conditions and Process for an appointment be approved. The conditions are:
1) The candidates or applicants will apply
2) Each will be subjected to the same questions.
3) The questions will be written by staff and council members but only 2 of the staff will know the questions prior to the night of the interview. Council members will select from a list of questions which ones they will ask, and they will ask the same question of each candidate. (Applicants will be sequestered in the Library during the interviews of the other applicants.)
4) Public Comment will take place after the interview process. (Applicants may or may not want to join the community during the public comment phase.)
5) Each Candidate will be voted on approved or eliminated. The first getting 3 positive votes will be seated. There was no provision to consider any remaining candidates if some had not been voted upon. This disallows for a tie, or a person who may have 4 votes but came randomly after the first person who got 3 votes. (All applicants will or may be in chambers when voting is done.)
6) If the council can not select one of the applicants with a majority vote of 3 or more, then the seat will remain vacant for 2 years.
There was to be no ranking of candidates or a provision for a run off between 2 or more candidates that may receive 3 votes or 4 votes in a tie situation.
Applicants will be self selected via an application available from the City Clerks Office.
There was discussion that the number of questions asked be limited so that the meeting does not run long and the discussion and selection process run into the late hours of the night past say 9:00 pm.
Notice of the Appointment Application will be made in the Local News papers and on the City Web Site and on the electronic sign board.
Email your thoughts on the above.
Next Meeting January 11th, 6:00, bring a snack... it may be a long night.
Norco's $500,000 auto dealer loan may be a loss.
10:00 PM PST on Monday, December 20, 2010 By BRIAN ROKOS
Norco no longer expects to recover much of the $500,000 loaned to a car dealer, City Attorney John Harper said.
In December 2008, the city Redevelopment Agency loaned $500,000 each to the owners of Norco Mazda and Frahm Chrysler Jeep Dodge. The dealerships were in peril of going out of business, which would have cost the city sales-tax revenue that helps pay for public safety and other services.
Frahm Dodge is current on its payments, but the Mazda dealership stopped writing its $7,000 monthly checks in November 2009 after closing that May.
The Redevelopment Agency has sued Mazda owner Jeff Wilhelm, who had operated the business since 2005, in an attempt to recoup its money. The dealership first opened in 2001.
Harper updated the City Council on the collection efforts in a closed session Wednesday.
The city had been hopeful that payments could be worked out, but in an interview Friday, Harper said it is clear now that much of the millions of dollars of Wilhelm's personal assets that were used as collateral are gone and that he also owes almost $2 million to others.
Wilhelm had investments, property and business holdings, Harper said, but as the economy fizzled, those assets dwindled.
Wilhelm owes Ford Motor Credit $1.1 million and the state Board of Equalization, which collects sales tax, $800,000, Harper said.
The city at one point grew concerned that Wilhelm had spent the money on personal uses, but he has since proved that he spent it on the dealership, Harper said.
Wilhelm's attorney at the Irvine-based Horizon Law Group could not immediately be reached for comment.
The City Council members present on Dec. 3, 2008 -- Kathy Azevedo, Frank Hall, Richard MacGregor and Malcolm Miller -- approved the loans after a public hearing.
Even the late Lois "Granny" Loock, the noted critic of city spending, encouraged the deal, according to minutes of the meeting.
Redevelopment Agency dollars typically are used to help businesses expand or locate within the city.
Azevedo said Friday that she is still hopeful that Wilhelm will repay the city.
"I know he's trying really hard not to file bankruptcy," she said. "The decision in the past was made at a different time in the economy. We had no idea it was going to be of the magnitude that it is now."
Azevedo added that a similar agreement in the 1980s saved a dealership then.
More than a dozen Inland dealerships closed between March 2008 and May 2009.
Reach Brian Rokos at 951-368-9660 or brokos@PE.com
Grand Terrace Road between Newport Avenue and Vivienda Avenue has been closed due to a road failure. Residents will still have access to their homes. The City will be investigating the cost associated with the repairs. The road will remain closed until further notice.
This is an example of the type of repairs or infrastructure improvements that would be covered by Developer Fees or Building Permit Fees. Some construction impacts are not known until tested by Mother Nature.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I say go ahead have an election. Then Sylvia Robles will be elected and be done with it. Sure it would cost 30,000 to 50,000 but, hey that is nothing compared to the money they gave Jack Brown and Stater's to buy a big chunk of Grand Terrace for a mini Stater's Ville right on our own main street. The Non-Competitive nature of the Stater's Complex will have a long term business impact that puts Stater's Interest ahead of Business Interest in Grand Terrace. So go ahead and spend down the reserve on this election. This city no longer needs to exist, we have become Stater's Ville thanks to Jacobsen and Schwab and Jack Brown and the RDA. We've been assured that all sorts of tax revenue will result from this development... so we will be in the money as soon as next summer when the new market opens all financial problems will be gone.
It costs twice that to fix the brand new kitchen at the Senior Center, or buy an electric sign, or to pay Tom Schwab to retire quietly.
At a minimum, elections are good for local printers of campaign signs, and fliers. Make my day lets have an election. I want to vote for Sylvia Robles again, and I will work harder to get more people out to vote so she exceeds the number of votes she got in the last election to bring home the point of her public support. I will make sure to tell the voters which city council members voted for the need for an election and the spending of 30 to 50,000 tax dollars for a "Special Election". I will also tell folks that this is the type of excessive spending that should be stopped or made unnessassary by a person with a eyes trained to be critical to details like Sylvia Robles has.
I have space in my yard for a yard sign all ready.
A voter who will vote again for Sylvia Robles. If there is an election I know right now I will not vote for either Garcia or McNaboe in their future election. That is also a fact.
Gramps Reply With A Note:
Well, folks there is the other side of the same coin if ever I read it. Interesting point of view.
IF you look at the past appointments that Lee Ann Garcia made you'll have to agree they are interesting. First of all the appointments went to people who pledged not to run for the seat in the next election, protecting the sitting council members in their own campaigns. The people were also flash backs to the past prior members of the council and no doubt people who were not "Independent" as Mr. Hilkey suggested the appointment needs to be this time.
Lee Ann Garcia was comfortable with the appointment process when it resulted in an appointment that served her political security and network. Now only the big price tag of an election is her inducement for accepting an appointment if applications are taken and the field is open to all comers.
We have no way of calibrating Council Member Darcy McNaboe's conduct or decision making. At some points in her campaign she claimed she can work with anyone... Is she showing that she is putting her foot down, disregarding public support for Robles, that she is of a temperament that all though she "can" work with anyone she "won't". In her election she said she was a candidate that would be mindful of the financial limits of the community during this slow economy. Spending our limited funds for an election when Robles has the clear support of the community as a glimpse into the mind or motivation of our new council member. Quite frankly she is not providing many of us with much hope she has Grand Terrace as her primary focus. Let's hope she has had a week to reflect on the choices and the responsibilities she has assumed as a City Council Member.
If either of the Council Members who's term expires in 2 years, (Garcia-McNaboe, and the appointed or elected replacement) think that running in 2 years would be easier if Robles is not the appointment they are kidding themselves. While they are doing that they are also denying the public the service of a person who has a skills set to bring to the City Council that can not be found in any of the other 4 members of the council, and thus by function and capability she is "Independent" as well as has significant public support. Sylvia Robles should be the appointment to the empty seat on the City Council. We need her expertise that NONE of the existing Council Members bring to the pool of talents and expertise.
PS Thanks for the blog...
As the clock is running down on the 30 day dead line in filling the empty council seat perhaps it would be wise for Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz to call a Special City Council Meeting every day until the decision has been made. Perhaps he should include Weekends and non "Official Holidays".
In order to facilitate this he may have to ask the City Staff who attends the meetings to begin their work days at 1:00 pm so they are not on overtime hours. (Management in most businesses do not get paid overtime or hourly, so that only affects those who are compensated hourly.) All other management should put in the extra hours without additional pay. No Comp time. It is part of being a manager.
Please encourage all citizens that can come to Tuesdays City Council Meeting to show up and encourage a timely decision. We can't afford to pay 30,000 to 50,000 for an election. That is a waste of money that should be held in reserve for a real need or a long term asset that will serve the community longer than 2 year appointment to city council.
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/19/2010 06:08:19 PM PST
GRAND TERRACE - The City Council will decide whether to elect or appoint the fifth member of the body at a special meeting starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The council was scheduled to decide how to fill the seat, which opened up when Walt Stanckiewitz became mayor, at its regular meeting Dec. 14.
But with two of the four members indicating an election was necessary to give the people a proper voice and two saying the city could not afford the price tag, they agreed to meet again after checking to see if that price could be lowered by scheduling the election alongside another city's.
The county registrar of voters said no - the election would still cost $45,000 to $50,000, or $31,000 if the city used mailed ballots.
Seventeen residents spoke about the issue at the last meeting. Most argued the council should appoint Sylvia Robles, who lost November's two-person council race by 45 votes. Five said the city deserved an election.
Council members avoided coming down definitively.
Councilman Bernardo Sandoval said he wasn't sure the city could afford the election - which would come out of a General Fund reserve of nearly $1.6 million - but was sensitive to community members who thought Robles would form a bloc with him and Stanckiewitz because they based their elections on similar issues.
"I have talked to Sylvia probably on four or five occasions," he said. "We have fundamental disagreements, especially on the school board."
Councilwoman Lee Ann Garcia said she had a good dynamic with all of the sitting members, but also said there were too few people present to represent the city.
"In my heart, I think the fair thing to do is to let the people decide," she said.
Five of the city's six past vacancies have been filled by appointment.
FROM THE EMAIL INBOX
Gramp Please you have to remind us that on Lee Ann Garcia's first appointment she voiced no such thoughts the Citizens should have a vote. Nor did she when she appointed 2 other appointments during her terms in office. This new found position is interesting given she has at least some evidence of who the voters want where as in the past she made a selection and appointment without the aid of a recent election.
What is happening is that she is fearful of losing the support of her voter block by appointing the Voter's Choice, and fearful of a loss in the next election if she doesn't appoint the Voter's Choice.
Sandoval is right Sylvia is different than he and Stanckiewitz. Folks that see them as linked at the hip are just wrong. However, Sandoval and Stanckiewitz do see the facts that she would most likely win an election, and did get support from a significant portion of the electorate in the last election.
The concept that Robles shares with Stanckiewitz and Sandoval is that there needs to be a full accounting and correction of the past and to move forward with an open, clean and financially responsible city government. We must ask Garcia and McNaboe what of that list they do not support. Then in two years ask do we want them on the council during a "Normal" Election Cycle.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Jacobsen owns nothing in the Barton Rd. Towne Center.
Jacobsen still owns the 2-story house that was next to the ex-mayor's house on Michigan.
That property was never in the Towne Center project.
Grand Terrace Council sees fresh start with Colton school districtRyan Hagen, Staff Writer Posted: 12/16/2010 5:24:25 PM PST
GRAND TERRACE - City Hall was crowded with new faces and new words.
Shortly after the swearing in of Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz and City Council members Darcy McNaboe and Bernardo Sandoval, the standing-room-only crowd began to disperse.
But four members of the Colton Joint Unified School District board, including the board president, stayed afterward to pledge a close working relationship with Grand Terrace.
"I want to be clear this board will be transparent above all," said Patt Haro, the new school board president. "You will hear anything and everything."
Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz, who has served on the City Council since 2008, said afterward that he couldn't remember a school board president addressing the City Council in recent memory.
"It's just a whole different outlook now," Stanckiewitz said.
Relations between the two bodies had become frayed in recent years, with tempers flaring over such issues as the the naming and the construction of Grand Terrace High School.
Other developments at the Tuesday night meeting:
A development agreement with Stater Bros. Markets was adopted that locks in fees. Construction on the long-debated market in the city began in October.
City staff was directed to meet with the county registrar of voters to see if costs could be reduced for a potential special election to fill an empty seat on the council. On Thursday, City Clerk Brenda Mesa reported no money could be saved and scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday to decide whether to hold an election or appoint someone to the seat.
Departing Councilwoman Bea Cortes and Mayor Maryetta Ferre received awards for their service to the city.
A decision on which members would represent the city on various regional agencies was delayed.
From In the News: CJUSD Board Members Taken To Task:
Navarro claims officials broke lawComplaint filed against Colton school boardPosted: 12/20/2010 09:13:57 PM PSTUpdated: 12/20/2010 09:19:29 PM PSTAn unannounced appearance by four Colton school board members at a Grand Terrace City Council meeting broke state law, alleges a complaint filed Monday with the county District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit.
Gil Navarro, a member of the county board of education, said the Colton members violated the Ralph M. Brown Act, which requires local legislative bodies to publicly post an agenda 72 hours before a meeting, when board president Patt Haro and three of the board's other six members attended the Dec. 14 City Council meeting.
Brown Act experts say it's unlikely the school board members violated the act.
"For the board president to take it upon herself to have a private meeting without advising her constituents - that's why we have the law in place," Navarro said. "The public has a right to know when a majority of the board members are taking on an issue."
During the public comment section of the meeting, Haro and board members Randall Ceniceros and Pilar Tabera congratulated the newly elected council members and pledged to work openly and cooperatively with the city, which in the past has tangled with the school board.
Another board member, Kent Taylor, watched the beginning of the meeting before leaving.
"I came to say goodbye to the existing mayor and council and also to see the incoming mayor and council being sworn in," Taylor said. "I came for an intended purpose, and that wasn't to communicate with other board members. I shook their hand, I waved `hi,' and that's it."
The act contains an exemption allowing members to attend another body's public meeting "provided that a majority of the members do not discuss among themselves, other than as part of the scheduled program, business of a specified nature that is within the subject matter jurisdiction of the local agency."
That would probably cover the school board's actions, said Terry Francke, general counsel of Californians Aware, a group that fights for open access to government.
"I don't think there's a Brown Act issue there," Francke said after hearing a brief summary. "Those expressions of goodwill don't constitute anything substantive."
But Navarro said the comments were not part of the "scheduled program" because they did not address an issue on the council's agenda.
The complaint asks the four board members to apologize in writing and attend a workshop on the Brown Act.
The Rancho Verde High School was packed with Colton supporters - standing room only.
It is the first time since 1978 Colton has won the CIF.
JO STRINGFIELD and MATT FLEMING
Friday, December 17, 2010
Stater Bros. upbeat Grocery chain makes $5.9M in 4th quarter
Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/16/2010 07:04:36 PM PST
Profits at Stater Bros. Holdings dropped over the course of the chain's most recent fiscal year, but a fourth quarter increase may signal better times ahead for the grocery business and Inland Empire, company chairman Jack Brown said.
"We're hopeful that the economy is turning around," Brown said Thursday morning. "There are some housing starts out there. There are 50 homes being built up at Cal State, so people are going back to work."
Brown referred to the Pinnacles at University Hills project, which Seal Beach-based J.R. Watson and Associates is developing for future construction atop a hill near Cal State San Bernardino.
In terms of Stater Bros.' performance, the company reported $24.6 million in profits for the fiscal year ending Sept. 26. That amount signified a decline of about 29 percent from the previous year's figure of $34.8 million.
During the fourth quarter, however, Stater Bros. recorded a $5.9 million profit, which was higher than the $5 million earned during the same three-month period in 2009.
The better numbers came in part from new computer systems that improved managers' ability to track shrinkage, Brown said.
"None of the improvements came from pricing," he said.
Stater Bros. experienced an overall decline in sales during the past fiscal year, but most of that decrease was not the result of reduced business at the company's 167 supermarkets.
The company reported year-over-year sales
dropped by about $159 million, although all but $66 million of that decrease resulted from its sale of Industry-based Santee Dairies.
In terms of Stater Bros. customers, Brown said shoppers are still filling their carts in the same ways they learned to do in the depths of the recession. That means budget meals and store brands.
"Most people are still holding on to the hamburger," he said. "It will probably be summer before you see families starting to move up again." email@example.com 909-483-8550 Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/business/ci_16879103#ixzz18Ns2bu4f
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Agenda and Packet are now available on line.
Click below for the Agenda
Click below for the Packet It contains a short summary of the Public Comments made at the prior meeting. Staff contacted ROV and Jeff McC was not right about a discounted election being possible. I have been informed the Public Comment on the topic of filling the seat will be opened during the meeting.
This is a Special Meeting it will start at 6:00 p.m. There are only 3 things on the agenda. If you wish to speak you should be there on time.
Filling Council Member Vacancy
Approve Council Board / Committee Assignments
I was reading the staff report on the council vacancy and noticed something very interesting. Lee Ann says she wants an election to make sure the people have a vote, yet in 1996 Councilman Gene Carlstrom resigned and she accepted an appointment to the day seat the very next day. Who is she beholden to, the voters or the camp that got her appointed? Also, I do not see Herman Hilkey's name and he said he was appointed at the city council meeting when he spoke on the filling of the vacant seat.
This is worth considering for Grand Terrace, Herman Hilkey was appointed by the "ruling class" as was current councilmember LeeAnn Garcia.
Hilkey served about 18 years and LeeAnn 14, with 2 years left in her current term.
The "ruling class" demonstrated at Monday's meeting, they only want an election when they do not like how the voters have spoken.
Parade will honor Colton football team
Colton will hold a parade for its CIF-SS championship football team Saturday at 10 a.m.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
I thought I'd share a different view on the Appoint or Elect to fill an empty seat question.
This week in Grand Terrace Politics we can see that there already needs to be a change. Council Member Darcy Mc Naboe's position that there should be an election to fill the seat vacated by an election proves to be a avoidance of one of the current responsibilities of a council member.
Given the past precedent of prior appointments and those appointments being acceptable practice and that the voters just recently voted and expressed support for candidate she happens not to like she is willing to saddle the community with a 30,000.00 to 50.000.00 expense to avoid the challenge of working with some one who ran against her in an election, some one she may or may not personally like.
McNaboe and Garcia are clearly leaning on the side of the fence that would be characterized as being a personal decision not a representation of what the community of voters wants. Time will tell how they resolve this conundrum. Do they do what the people want or do they do what they want? This decision will tell the voters a lot about how the next few years will be.
For sure there is something to be learned here.
The rules of the election process may need to change. If a council member is going to run for Mayor that council member must resign effective of the election or in time for the seat to be vacated is also on the ballot so there is no empty seat caused by an election. Or an alternative may be like the Recall Election for Governor had a Yes or No for Recall, and IF the Recall Passes who would you vote for. So if a Council Member runs for Mayor it could be, IF the Council Member is elected this person is to replace him kind of a vote. Not a guaranteed opening and filler but the people would have a voice and there would be an election and not an large additional cost to fill the seat.
Perhaps Grand Terrace has a pool of people that can't be trusted to make an appointment in this case or in the future and that option should be eliminated for all future situations where their is a need to fill a seat.
Until there is a change lets hope the city council members will use wisdom in their decision making and that may include appointing some one the public support. If one was being political, just think of the next election that says Vote for 3. Well if you appointed a person that the majority of the public supports your likely to pick up a few votes of gratitude. On the other hand if you don't you may find yourself on the lower end of the vote count, without an empty seat to fill.
We have a Republic form of Government and when our elected officials don't represent us or refuse to do their duty in an effective way they eventually are replaced, at the next normal election cycle.
I tried to sum up the Council the best I could for a friend who could not make the meeting or see it on TV.
Thought I would share it with you. It is not perfect, but I tried.
It was a long night. At six there was a city birthday party with food and desert and speakers. I did not go to that, but it looked full.
The council meeting started at 7:30. The place was packed. Lots of family and friends there for the swearing in.
Cortez was there. Maryetta & Bea had a special going away recognition for there service to the city. Bea & Maryetta good bye speeches.
- Maryetta can hardly wait to shop at the new Staters (quote).
- Then swearing in of Walt, Bernardo & Darcy.
- By now it is after 8:30 PM. Jacobsen and Slatter (Staters rep) had to sit through all of this nonsense.
- Recognition of father & son that are in the service.
- Approving minutes etc.
- Debra Hurst spoke about having question about the register.
- I think that was it.
A few for public hearing.
- Darcy asked about the check register showing $52,400 to Jacobsen. Joyce said it was for commercial improvement of getting rid of blight. (Might be a RDA grant or fund, not sure).
- One of the staff discussed the open house SANBAG had about the fwy construction, including the Barton Rd. offramps.
- Christmas lights on GT homes.
- Now Staters had to sit through all this and more.
- Then they got to the dev. agreement.
See if I can get this straight, not in order:
Staters is done with escrow.
Going to terminate previous agreement (2005) & have a new one
The City got a letter from Staters, stating the City could pull the two parcels to the east of me out of the DDA agreement.
When Slatter spoke he mumbled something about the city could have the right to bulid, but couldn't use the lots to compete with them.
Apparently, the two lots were in escrow hold all this time.
After all that they approved it.
Now on to Empty Council Seat:
- Walt and Bernardo were so wisy washy about making a decision to appoint anyone (Sylvia)
- Garcia went on and on about having people apply for the position.
- Bernardo was on the fence. Wants the residence to know the new council is going to be fair.
- Darcy made it very well known she did not want Sylvia appointed.
- People got up and spoke for and against making an appointment. Most in support of a Robles appointment.
- A couple thought they should have a special election, no matter what the cost.
- Jeff McC got up and said he call the register of voters and GT could piggy back on another election so it wouldn't cost as much as alone.
- Then the council decided to wait and have staff look into that.
- After they find out for sure, there may be another council meeting next week.
- One of the ladies said they thought the 4 of them could get alone just find without filling that position.
- Wait until the 2 yrs is up.
Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 12/14/2010 08:09:49 PM PST
Ray Abril Jr., a long-time school board member sometimes known as the "godfather of the Colton Joint Unified School District" for his extensive mentoring and encyclopedic knowledge, died Tuesday morning. He was 78.
Abril joined the board in 1973 to end what supporters say was institutional discrimination against Latinos in Colton. By the time he retired in 2001, he had broadened his vision and shaped a generation of students, educators and administrators.
"He was an icon in Colton and beyond," said Herb Fischer, who was superintendent of schools in Colton from 1991 to 1999 and county superintendent of schools from 1999 to 2008. "His legacy lives on."
It was at a breakfast meeting with Abril - even after retirement, he met regularly with dozens of people - that Robert Armenta Jr. decided to run for the retiring lion's seat.
"It's because of him I'm on the Colton school board," said Armenta, then a staffer in the State Assembly. "He made me realize we didn't need professional educators on the board; we need people who care about the district."
Abril never taught in a classroom. He graduated from Colton High School in 1950, then dropped out of business college after one month to join the Navy.
He worked for Griffin Wheel Co. and San Bernardino County, joking he had a PhD from USC - the University of South Colton.
But Abril ardently supported higher education. During his six years as school board president, district officials say, the percent of district students to attend college rose from 16 to 54 and dropout rates declined from 12.4 percent to 1.6 percent, helping him earn both the San Bernardino County Education Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Award in 2000.
Abril's accomplishments also drove the school board to consider naming a high school in Grand Terrace after him, drawing fierce criticism from residents who wanted to honor the city. When completed, the school will be known as Grand Terrace High School at the Ray Abril Jr. Educational Complex.
Abril had six children, 19 grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren. His daughter, Melinda Medina, said he taught them the most important lesson: "Do not be afraid to speak up. People will love you for who you are."
A memorial viewing service will be held Dec. 20 in the Colton High School auditorium.
Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_16860406?IADID=Search-www.sbsun.com-www.sbsun.com#ixzz18DxSgskN
Ray Abril Jr. served all the people of his community and CJUSD, not just the Latino students or community. When we all can see that the seeds he sprouted will have taken firm root.
What is up with CH3... off and on coverage... then it totally stopped prior the the end of the meeting.... HELLO YOUTUBE any one??
I did hear Bernardo Sandoval suggest that the city look into a better way to communicate with the public. He included streaming video of the City Council and Planning Meetings and much more. Let's hope some of this vision is brought into fruition. Seems like there was no progress on sharing of information until this blog kind of made folks notice that information can be posted and made available.
It was nice to see that the election has resulted in a warmer relationship between the City of Grand Terrace and the CJUSD Board. It is about time. Change on both the Council and the Board may just have been the nut that needed to be cracked. Let's keep watch on them...
If Sylvia Robles is not appointed, she should run for office in 2012 perhaps she'll find those extra 27 votes. Clearly Doug Wilson hasn't been that close in two elections. When McGuire said why not Doug Wilson she should have gotten an answer:
Doug Wilson was not running for City Council.
We don't need 2 Mayors on the Dias
Doug Wilson in a two way race might have gotten close to 49.3 percent of the vote, but there is a chance that some of those who voted for McGuire, Sternberg would have voted for Stanckiewitz rather than Doug Wilson.
Doug Wilson has tried 2 times and has missed the mark significantly both times.
Just a few answers to the ladies question.
Tell folks that we have a REPUBLIC not a DEMOCRACY. It is well within the frame work of our Republic and the City's Charter that an appointment is made. Herman Hilkey himself was an appointment as was Lee Ann Garcia. Where were their opposition to an appointment then. Where was Thelma then? Did they request a vote or an election? Nay.
Cindy Bidney made a terrific point. How about it folks at the city, can the citizens impacted by a development get something in writing that will hold up longer than a head scratch of an answer...
Sylvia Robles ran an independent campaign and as an independent candidate why is there any doubt that she would be independent as Mr. Hilkey tried to imply?
Gramp Answer: Perhaps the linkage started with the Blog making the three a recommended selection for the campaign. Your right Sylvia ran her own campaign, and only occasionally was included in overlapping events like the Rally against the flier. She holds a much more conservative view on some issues, and she has a background of work experience and a Masters level of education that is particularly appropriate for service on the city council.
Who was appointed to what committees? The Ch3 didn't come back on.
Gramp Answer: I don't know. I am as frustrated by the media black out as you are. Hoping it would come back on I was subjected to watching old old old tapes. Hey now there is a Scout Project for some one.... How about some home made coverage: This is your fire house, this is your school this is the park... YouTube for City Council and all Public Meetings... we can hope.
Why didn't Sandoval or Stanckiewitz make a motion and force a vote on an appointment of Sylvia Robles when it is clear that she has the public support?
Gramps Reply to all the above email:
I think either Lee Ann Garcia or Darcy McNaboe should step up and make a motion that Sylvia Robles be appointed to the empty seat on the City Council.
Why? Well, for no other reason than their own interests perhaps. They would be better off running in 2012 as an also run than against a Robles candidate. The three seats will be open and the vote will be select 3, type of election. Or back to normal. Not appointing her now would tarnish the feelings of 1300 voters who's vote they disregarded.
Why? Well, how about because she is independent, and will speak her mind and hold their feet and the city's feet to the fire of accountability. They should want this for the city.
Why? Well. some times it is easier to manage folks given the authority of a decision than to leave them on the outside of the power base.
Ultimately, you'd have to ask them why. I don't have a crystal ball that reads into their mind.
Walt Stanckiewitz knows that if he were to force a vote early that it most likely will result in a 2-2 split. I am guessing he is letting the conversation exhaust itself and hopes that one or both of the ladies will come to the conclusion that an appointment is the responsible fiscal choice and then also make a motion that Sylvia is the appointment. Note these are two different decisions and may not happen that quickly. The motion may be to have an appointment, then open for applications or just go ahead and appoint Sylvia Robles. The council does not have to take applications if there is already a consensus by then. I don't know if Walt or Bernardo Support a Robles appointment they too are hearing the public views on the issue. So there may be an alternative name that could get 3 votes. Don't know, like you I am interested to see how it concludes. I do hope it is and appointment and done without an election. I would like it to be Sylvia, but know that she'll run even stronger in 2012 and pick up from there if need be. I'd rather she be on the council right now.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
2. Of the six mid-term resignations all were filled by appointment except for the Miller seat as it coincided with an upcoming election.
3. This is the first time the council is faced with having to consider how an electorate voted when looking to fill a seat. You are very right in challenging Darcy's view of democracy. You are very right in challenging Leeann's own ascension to the council by appointment.
The issue in this election and all others for Mayor or Council in which there was only two-contenders, the winner garnered over 60 percent of the vote. If Mr Wilson was in a 2 way race he would have gotten only 40 percent of the vote at most. Where as Robles got 49 percent. Wilson has already lost prior elections, by wide margins.
Bernardo and Walt face two years of a 2-2 dead lock if there is not an appointment. The public has seen the difficulty of having only 4 people on the council. It takes 3 votes to approve anything.