There is a facebook page promoting a recall effort of the 3 council members who voted last week to terminate the 42 year relationship between the Brea Police Department and the Orange County Sherrif. I have at other posts on OC Political, expressed what I know and my thoughts about how this vote to terminate the contract with Brea PD came about, so I will try not belaver those things further. However, the debate rages on, with not uncommon alignments. There is still the Pro-Brea PD facebook page I mentioned earlier, which now invites its readers to visit the Recall page. While the Recall page gained pretty a pretty rapidly expanding fan base in the first few hours it was up, it’s growth and popularity seems to have sputtered.
Two of the three who made this decision, (again from prior posts on OC Political, note that these three are the majority controlling vote on every issue, systematically vote together and annihilate any opposition) are up for election in November.
Schwing and Rikel have made it public that they will seek re-election, in November 2012. That is only 7 months from now, and in a Presidential election year, voter turnout should be high. Even before their vote on the Police contract last week, they both were touting their accomplishments as “fiscal conservatives” in seeking a competitive bid process for the police services. The writing has been on that wall for years now. Mr. Anderson and his cohorts have made their agenda to replace Brea PD with OC Sheriff no secret. Also not surprising in the “competitive” bid process, Anaheim PD, cheaper than Brea, closer than the Sheriff, already staffed and housed in close proximinty to Yorba Linda, received no votes. Competitive bid process indeed.
John Anderson, the third vote on awarding the contract to the Sheriff, was just elected to his second term in November 2010. He was the top vote getter in that race, just 18 months ago.
I am hearing rumors of a referendum in the works, but have seen no actual information, website, literature or anyone claiming responsibility.
I can not imagine where a Recall effort will go. The voters in Yorba Linda, as in many local political climates, have a fairly short attention span. While this is a shocking development to many, there are those who are as enthusiastically bidding Brea PD farewell. The usual political actives in town have been very vocal and involved, attending and speaking at every meeting, but those usual disgruntled few, do not a Recall make. There is also no bank roll for any of this Recall/Referendum effort as we have seen in other successful local recalls.
My disclaimer is this, I lost in that November 2010 election to John Anderson. I have a tremendous dislike for his politics, what has seemed like a clearly personal agenda on every issue, and the thug politics tactics employed by his supporters. During that campaign I was daily contacted by residents who vowed their vote but for a variety of reasons would not in any way publicly disclose support of someone other than Anderson. The reasons ranged from being an employee in the same County department as Anderson, needing a variance or permit, or road work in their neighborhood, to having a client or customer who was a member of the YLRRR, being afraid of losing a contract or funding from the city, the list goes on. The agressive retribution of this group has been well known.
John Anderson was however, elected by a clear margin and in this situation with the police contract vote, I see no evidence of wrongoding, nothing illegal or unethical in the maner in which this vote came about. I think it was inappropriate, somewhat underhanded, and am sad that Brea Police were not treated as a team member and efforts made to improve the relationship, service and shared economics. It is also amazing to me that 3 elected officials in the course of one 5 hour meeting can award a five year, $10 million contract, but there is no evidence that any legal bar exists to prevent it. This self serving behavior and tactics have been par for the course with John Anderson’s cohorts and any candidates of the YLRRR, but Recall?
At the time of the 2010 election in spite of the ample evidence that this was the manner in which these council members would continue to, and had done business in this city, Anderson was re-elected. Since he and his companions have dominated the council, the city has been through 4 city managers, rewritten a long standing contract and replaced the city attorneys, (Again, no secret that Anderson intended to and did replace the prior law firm with one of his choosing) and in general they have micromanaged and criticized every city department and/or contract that was in place when they came to power. A wholesale effort to replace anyone and everyone who was not “one-of-us” was undertaken. We as a city, elected and re-elected them.
To me, a recall effort only furthers the dissention and distrust that currently exists in and with our city government. The inflammatory histrionics that necessarily come with a recall effort are going to be much like scratching an open wound. I won’t support any recall. I don’t like this council, but we have the government we elected. Sore losers are neither effective or persuasive and responding to thug politics with more thug politics is disrespectful to the process, and something we should be working to avoid and not encourage.
The contract with Brea PD does not end until May 2013. There will have to be determinations about transistions and logistics. I am eager to see how these things pan out and watch as the Sheriff attempts to implement their very enthusiastic and overly ambitious proposals, including setting up a whole new station while saving the city over a million dollars each year over the next 5 years.
If the costs are amortized over the life of the contract, then who bears the actual start up costs? The simple answer would be the County. As a resident of Yorba Linda, I am also a resident of the county right? So, I pick up the tab either way. It just seems that now, when there’s an overrun, my neighbors in the farther corners of the county are going to help me pick up the tab. I sure appreciate that.
I also wish that all the Sheriff fans would stop talking about all the impressive special forces and technology the Sheriff will bring to Yorba Linda. Please carefully read the proposal, most of those impressive services we already had access to. Nothing new, not a bonus, we already were getting them as county residents.
I understand there is another city staff report in the works, presumably related to implementation and transition. I have not been able to get the links on the city website to work, but the information, the staff report when it’s done and an agenda for the upcoming meeting are always found there on the city website. The next Council meeting is Tuesday evening May 1, in the City Council Chambers. Public Comment on non-agenda items is generally first. If you have something to say to your elected officials, you should get there early and plan on staying for the duration. It is not uncommon for these meetings to go well past midnight. This issue of the police contract has garnered a good deal of public input. Pretty much all of it ignored, but if you want to exercise your right to say something, it is there for you to exercise.
Be clear on the fact that in November, there are 3 seats open on the Yorba Linda city council. Anderson is safe. Shwing and Rikel are incumbents running again, but could be replaced. Winder is termed out, so his seat is open. If we follow the trend of blindly re-electing incumbents, we will have the same exact council we have now, the 3 who control and 2 who should just stay home because their vote and their presence does not matter. Imagine this, we could also elect 3 independent thinkers, unalligned with any political action committee and citizens might then have an atual voice with the goings on in our city. If you were one of the majority of the supporters of Brea PD who attended the meeting last Thursday, you know what it is like to be ignored. Vote and support independent candidates who are not owned by YLRRR, this seems the only viable option at this point, but whether residents will actually stand up and speak up remains to be seen.