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Thug Politics in Yorba Linda: Part II

Posted by Brenda McCune on October 22, 2012

The ongoing brow beating in the 2012 campaign, has given rise to a few themes.  The issues facing the city are not that dramatic or sexy, so the personal attacks are certainy present. Noteably, in the mailers, and as raised by Nancy Rikel in a few of the candidate “forums” is the fact that Gene Hernandez is retired from a career in local law enforcement, and as such, is drawing the pension that accompanied that career.

I’ve tried to find out all I can about the candidates, and I can find no evidence that Nancy Rikel ever strapped on a gun, and wore a badge for the purpose of public safety, so her comment that “I guess he earned it” are immensely offensive and uncalled for. You can see the Eastlake Homeowners Association Forum, as well as segments of the Chamber of Commerce Candidate Forum on YouTube. Search YORBA LINDA CANDIDATE FORUM. Bill Laing, a member of the Chamber, has edited the Chamber Forum, into segments by question, which is immensely helpful.

Gene Hernandez has a website that provides quite a lot of information about him, including his complete resume. An incredibly impressive resume, that sets forth his three decades in law enforcement, his education and multiple advanced degrees, as well as a lifetime of service, in addition to his regular job,  to children and others. Gene modestly included in his resume that he has undertaken “humanitarian travel”, without including the details of his trips to Mexico to build houses, and to India to deliver vaccines.

Interestingly, Ms. Rikel’s website includes precious little information about her professional life. From what I can tell, all of her greatest accomplishments in life occurred in the past four years. In her insistence of making an issue of Mr. Hernandez’ pension, she fails to note that she supplements her City Council stipend of $500 per month, with additional stipends from the other boards that she sits on, incidental to her City Council position, such as the water board and the Fire Authority. She emphasizes at the Forums and on her site that she is committed to public safety, and enforcing municipal codes that prohibit owners from having delapidated buildings. She fails to mention that the only owner that has delapidate building is the City of Yorba Linda. These buildings have been owned by the city since her buddies rode into office in 2006, and they have succeeded in doing exactly nothing with them. As to her professional life, it is very mysterious. It is my understanding that she works in her family’s business, but whether than makes her an “executive” is questionable. She makes much ado over her support of Measure Y, which was the Ethics measure for the city, prohibiting any candidate from taking any support of over $250 from anyone who may have a contract with the City.

Well, the $10 million contract she just awarded to the Orange County Sheriff was not a contract with the UNION, right? It is my further understanding that Ms. Rikel is claiming not to have “authorized” the Sheriff Union mailers, two I mentioned on the other “Thug” blog, and I now understand there was apprently one more. What an extraordinary stroke of luck for Ms. Rikel, Mr. Schwing and Mr. Peterson. How nice of the Union to step up and help them in that way. I will be interested to see the disclosures from the Union on those mailers, my guess is that about a $30k gift. That is quite a lot of appreciation and affection. I am also very fond of the way in which all references that Ms. Rikel makes on her website to the Sheriff contract are PAST tense. As if the anticipated savings and increased patrols have already occurred. I can’t wait to see.

Mr. Schwing has a website in which he vaguely tip toes around his experience on the Yorba Linda City Council. The elephant in the room is the term limit that he avoids due to the fact that his first twelve years on the council were prior to the enactment of the term limits. Transparency in government has been the mantra of Mr. Schwing and his cohorts, the other YLRRR councilpersons. Mr. Schwing also makes much of his current position as “Mayor”.   NOTE:  Mark Schwing is not running for MAYOR.  There is no elected Mayor in Yorba Linda, and John Anderson played this same game in 2010.  Mr. Schwing  fails to mention in his assertion of his Mayor-hood, that there has always been a rotation that was followed, in that each council person has an opportunity to be mayor once during his/her term. However, Mr. Schwing has served as Mayor twice during his recent term. That is because he and his cohorts dispensed with tradition and protocall and stepped over, first Jan Horton, and most recently Jim Winder, so that Mark Schwing could proclaim himself Mayor at pertinent times, such as after the 2008 fire, and during this election. Noteably, when they stepped over Jan Horton’s turn to be Mayor, they also stripped her of her board duties and positions.  Yes, those are the same ones mentioned above, that Nancy Rikel now has and gets the extra money for.  Schwing takes precious little in the way of positions on issues on his website, or makes any clear statements of opinions. Certainly that gives him less to have to back out of later.

Craig Young has a website, and a SmartVoter page. His background in corporate boards and management experience, makes him extremely well qualified for the rudimentary city council duties associated with the city council seat. His financial background, as well as his Lincoln Club experience, make him clearly more attractive as a candidate than any other YLRRR puppet.

Kennith Peterson, the new guy running with the incumbents, has tied his campaign to his law office website. Supported by the YLRRR and the Sheriff Union. Why do we want more people to play this game? Why not comply with the spirit of Measure Y, and run your own race, be independent and cut ties to the thugs? Apparently, Mr. Peterson is a Thug-in-waiting, riding the coat tails of the others.

Lou Knappleberger does not have a website or a SmartVoter page. I have only met him once and know very little about him.

Todd Cooper also, does not have a website or a SmartVoter page. I have not met him. What little I saw of his performance, he seemed competent and informed.

With Knappleberger and Cooper making such a lack luster effort, we seem destined to end up with at least one of the Thugs back on the council, which is unfortunate, but not disastrous.

With the sheep’s clothing of fiscal conservativism, the YLRRR candidates may sweep this election once again. However, if any of the voters in Yorba Linda is really interested in seeing what is up in Yorba Linda and if these folks are telling us the truth about all they are doing for us and how much they have “improved” life in Yorba Linda and are saving us money, just take a walk down Main Street. Walk a couple blocks over. Walk down Lakeview between Yorba Linda Blvd. and Lemon. Look around. This is the platform and issue upon which the YLRRR, (Used the be the “R” was for Redevelopment) got their start with.  They’ve now had control of the city for 6 years. Do you see any Redevelopment?

6 Responses to “Thug Politics in Yorba Linda: Part II”

  1. Hotbed of political activity it is, Yorba Linda elections always have their contentions. Much of it fueled by Ed Rakochy, and the YLRRR. Since I’m sure he’ll be here trolling this blog momentarily, and I return to real life on Monday morning like regular folks, and leave this (mostly) behind, I will shortcut that misery of post and reply for him here. So, In my best parody voice……

    ******
    I’m Ed Rakochy, and Brenda you have not checked your facts. Hernandez, Young and Knappleberger are in bed with the developers.

    Ed, all of my comments here are from my own reading of the information published by, or stated by the candidates.

    Brenda, That Town Center is moving along, you know there are plans in the works!

    Ed, The buildings have been boarded up and surrounded by chain link fences for years. I published photos of the same buildings in my 2010 campaign.

    Brenda, you know the Sheriff Union can do whatever they want to do, the candidates do not control them.

    Of course they don’t Ed, and the fact that the candidates who are being promoted by the Union, are the same Council Members who just four months ago awarded the Sheriff a $10 million contract, is just a lucky coincidence.

    Well, Brenda, you know your friend Jan Horton is lying and she’s completely nuts, and your buddy Jim Winder is full of hot air.

    Ed, neither Jan nor Jim are the subject of the blog, and they are not candidates.

    Well, Brenda, I am super glad that I lost that 2008 election by one vote, so that I could concentrate all my spare time following every Yorba Linda issue and pontificating about how I know eveything and how everyone who is not part of my YLRRR agenda is so incompetent and untruthful.

    Thanks as always Ed, for the meaningful dialogue and thoughtful input.
    *******

    Is it any wonder our council meetings go like they do. (Average length is about 5 hours)

    • edrakochy said

      Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Brenda for violating a few of the top ten rules of advertising I’ll let you figure out what they are. With friends like you, Hernandez, Young and Knappenberger don’t need enemies.

      • Ed:
        Please stand up for your statement like a man and right here disclose what Developers I stand up for?
        You say you care about this city but all we hear is negative talk, would you please be a part of the solution for once?

        • Ed Rakochy said

          Louis, For starters, one of the developers you stood for was Michael Dieden, the failed Town Center developer. I hosted a YLRRR meeting regarding the details of Measure B at the Community Center in June of 2005. After my PowerPoint presentation regarding the measure, you pulled me aside for a one on one at the close next to the stage in the Yorba Room and made veiled threats that we were going to fail at getting our signatures. You tried to talk me out of moving forward with Measure B.

          By the way, readers need to know you also own a commercial building on Eureka by the YL Post Office and you would have clearly benefitted from the rezoning by the Ken Ryan City Council. You were also involved in the attempted development of a commercial building on Kellogg Avenue, near Imperial, that came before the City Council a couple years ago.

          Interesting you mention solutions. Just last week, I was invited by City Staff to attend a meeting with Zelman Development Company at City Hall to discuss ideas and solutions in the Town Center.

          Since we’re in a questioning mode, I’m wondering if you could explain why you lied at the Eastlake Candidates’ Forum and said you supported the Council’s competitive bidding process on the police contract. I attended the Council meeting in November 2011 when the Council terminated the Brea contract in order to put the contract out for bid. You spoke in public comments at that meeting Louis and you said your were opposed to the termination of the Brea contract. Being a former Brea PD officer, I can understand your reasoning, but the Council couldn’t go out for competitive bidding unless they terminated the Brea contract. So, please explain how you could be in favor of competitive bidding when you did not want to terminate the Brea contract?

  2. edrakochy said

    Brenda, You never let the facts get in the way of a good post. I’m not going to hassle you on your endorsement of Mr. Wonderful and how little angels delivered him to Yorba Linda on a cloud. Nor, will I go in to detail of your childish trashing of other candidates. I do, however, need to clear up a serious distortion of the facts and that is your statement that this current Council is responsible for the condition of our Town Center since 2006. That’s a complete falsehood.

    It was the Ken Ryan Council, along with your good friend Jim Winder that turned the Town Center in to a DMZ, starting in 2001. They stole private automotive businesses through eminent domain and threatened other private property owners and businesses by reinstating the use of eminent domain in 2004. They leveled buildings, leaving vacant dirt lots and they overpaid for property in a haste to move forward with Ryan’s vision to turn Town Center in to 500,000 square feet of retail space or half the Brea Mall. This all occurred between 2001 and 2005. The current Council is not responsible for the mess. They’ve been trying to clean it up since 2006. This Council got a Town Center Specific Plan in place. This Council signed an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with a developer (Zelman) to move forward with a commercial project in Town Center. I guess you missed a couple meetings.

    Let me help you with one more thing. The State abolished redevelopment agencies. Cities no longer have the ability to bond to raise capital for redevelopment projects. And, we are still living through the worst recession since the Great Depression. Pssst. There’s no money. So, you can spare us your blame spin on the current Council over the Town Center. You don’t have the facts to back up your specious statements. Stick to your flowery statements of Mr. Wonderful climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and hunting tigers in India.

  3. met00 said

    Transparency in government has been the mantra of Mr. Schwing and his cohorts, the other YLRRR councilpersons. Mr. Schwing also makes much of his current position as “Mayor”. NOTE: Mark Schwing is not running for MAYOR. There is no elected Mayor in Yorba Linda, and John Anderson played this same game in 2010. Mr. Schwing fails to mention in his assertion of his Mayor-hood, that there has always been a rotation that was followed, in that each council person has an opportunity to be mayor once during his/her term. However, Mr. Schwing has served as Mayor twice during his recent term. That is because he and his cohorts dispensed with tradition and protocall and stepped over, first Jan Horton, and most recently Jim Winder, so that Mark Schwing could proclaim himself Mayor at pertinent times, such as after the 2008 fire, and during this election. Noteably, when they stepped over Jan Horton’s turn to be Mayor, they also stripped her of her board duties and positions. Yes, those are the same ones mentioned above, that Nancy Rikel now has and gets the extra money for. Schwing takes precious little in the way of positions on issues on his website, or makes any clear statements of opinions. Certainly that gives him less to have to back out of later.

    You know, you could easily re-write this and be talking about Troy Edgar. Gerri Mejia has been on the council as long as Troy. She has never been mayor. This is Troy’s second time. Sound familiar? Troy lists himself as “Mayor” in the AD-72 race, but like Yorba Linda the Mayor is NOT an elected position. It’s an appointment by the majority, which just happens to be in Troys pocket and gave him this fictional title just for the election.

    Political thug? Edgar to a “T”. And to think that he has all those many endorsements (almost all obtained before Allen got in the race).

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