OC Political

A right-of-center blog covering local, statewide, and national politics

  • Custom Campaigns

    Custom Campaigns
  • DMI

  • Allen for Assembly

  • Posey for Huntington Beach

  • Lalloway for Irvine

  • Sachs for Mission Viejo

  • Huang for Yorba Linda

  • Glasky for IUSD

  • Lee for CSD

  • Contact Us to Purchase an Ad

  • Lincoln Club of Orange County

  • I Voted

    I Voted

Posts Tagged ‘yorba linda’

Yorba Linda Recall: Young and Lindsey Receives IE Rescue

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 23, 2014

The Southern California Coalition of Business and Taxpayers (SCCBT) has recently established an Independent Expenditure (IE) on March 28, 2014 with a FPPC number 1365006.

The SCCBT has already raised over $100K for the purpose of supporting and/or opposing candidates in state and local offices.

On May 16, 2014, the SCCBT has spent resources at a total cost of over $13,000 on literature on behalf of Yorba Linda Mayor Craig Young and Yorba Linda Councilman Tom Lindsey.

Below is the IE expenses of $8,204.66 for Craig Young:

image

Below is the IE expenses of $5,072.94 for Tom Lindsey:

image

It is possible that this is just the beginning.  All IE late contributions are require to report some activity with the Secretary of State and local clerk and in this case would be the Yorba Linda City Clerk.

Posted in Campaign Finance, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Yorba Linda Recall: Signatures Count and Verification Begins

Posted by Allen Wilson on May 15, 2014

Recall

The Yorba Linda City Clerk has determined that the group seeking to recall Councilmembers Craig Young and Tom Lindsey has exceeded the 8,100 signatures requirement.   Now, the Orange County Registrar of Voters will proceed to verify the signatures to determine the validity of those signatures whether or not it triggers a recall of the duo Councilmembers.

The YLRRR (Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation) has announced they have collected 9,670 signatures to recall Craig Young and 9,495 signatures to recall Tom Lindsey.

 

 

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Can’t We All Just Get Along: Politics as usual in Yorba Linda

Posted by Brenda McCune on January 23, 2014

I hate to quote Rodney King, but it just fits. There are too many important races coming up this year and too much at stake to not take an early look at alignments, tactics and issues.

In my little town of Yorba Linda, we have the usual onslaught, yes, already, of Republican on Republican verbal violence. It makes no sense, and literally everyone loses in such a battle. There is a movement afoot, to recall two council members. There is no allegation of abuse of power, of violation of law, of conflict of interest, sexual or moral misconduct, the gist of this movement is that they did not keep their campaign promises.

Really. Shocking. Whether they did or didn’t, just shocking that such an allegation would arise.

One of the Council Members targeted in the recall is up for re-election in NOVEMBER. Mark my words, the candidates and their supporters who are behind this, will run in November beating the drum of how they are the “real” fiscal conservatives. Please consider the cost of this recall effort. Even if it goes nowhere, the city staff still must count and review the signatures obtained and the application paperwork.

Recalls should be reserved for serious and egregious conduct, not just because you don’t like who’s in office. That is precisely the situation with this one, as well as the last unsuccessful recall effort (that would be the ‘other’ side who tried that last cycle) The current recall literature is couched in terms of high versus low density zoning. This is a perennial issue in Yorba Linda which has existed as a very contentious one for more than two decades.

News Flash: Nobody wants HIGH Density zoning. The proverbial, NOT IN MY BACKYARD attitude prevails. The best spin doctors on this issue, many years ago, used the term, “low income” housing. Which is confusing and lead people to have images of a Harlem style development, also formally known as Section 8 housing. Higher density does not mean Section 8 housing.

The one true statement that appears in the literature from both sides is that it is gonna happen. The part that is not true, is each side attributing ‘fault’ to the other. The real villain in the scenario is Sacramento. The state mandates that the city have some land available for building homes that are “affordable”. Last time I checked that was the theory of housing for a family of four with an income of about $40,000 per year. We can’t be sure where the Sacramento brain trust came up with such an imaginary family, but I can assure you, regardless of what they build in Yorba Linda, it is not likely to be affordable for that family under any circumstances. The theory though, requires that the “density”, or the number of homes per acre, must be raised to more homes per acre than Yorba Linda has had historically, in order to satisfy this State mandate.

If Yorba Linda does not in some way comply, there will be litigation. State of California vs. Yorba Linda, is not a case that I want to see filed anywhere. It is likely to be very costly and the bottom line is, Yorba Linda loses. I suppose there is a tangential argument (Translation of tangential: Ridiculous and unsuccessful) that we Yorba Lindans have a proprietary and constitutional right to all have low density zoning, anywhere and everywhere in our town because that is what we bargained for when we moved in here and paid all this money for our lovely homes.

This has been tried before. The U.S. Supreme Court block busting cases, Kraemer, and it’s progeny, basically said what we all already know, our constitutional rights all have limits. All of them, even the ones related to ownership of property. Keeping people out on the basis on economic impediments is likely to go as well as keeping people out on the basis of race. Likely result of the litigation is the California law will be upheld and Yorba Linda will foot the bill for the whole fiasco. The city’s law firm, and the numerous law clerks who would work on the case would be imminently pleased to have learned so much about constitutional and municipal zoning laws, at our expense. So, if you think High Density will have a negative impact on your property taxes, just wait till City Hall gets our lawyers involved with litigation with the State and see what happens to our city’s otherwise bright financial future.

The city’s coffers are not the piggy bank of politicians to take up and take on ridiculous issues for the purposes of keeping their names in the paper. Look around residents, it has become the status quo. Everytime you see a Yorba Linda politician in the paper or on the news it is usually NOT about an issue that has a close nexus to something that is in the best interests of the city.

Everybody in the race this year is likely to be Republican. Everybody in the race this year is going to be waving the flag of being a “Fiscal Conservative”. PLEASE PAY ATTENTION to the spin, here because in general they are all SAYING THE SAME THING.

We don’t want HIGH Density, but we DON’T want litigation either. We must walk this fine line between getting what we want and placating big brother. Anyone who is telling you something different, anyone who is blaming the other guys and saying it is THEIR fault and THEY broke promises, and I can give you the proverbial “chicken in every pot” (or a half acre for everyone in the case of Yorba Linda), well they are just not being truthful with you.

The bloodsport of politics in the city of Yorba Linda is likely to be as ugly as any year prior. Be informed, tell the people standing in front of your grocery store that you are informed and that there presence is decreasing your property value as much as anything.

The only thing to be gained by any of this posturing is to ruin some candidates and get attention for other candidates. We as citizens encourage this by tolerating and ignoring it. These ugly and contentious races have kept away good candidates and very much work to minimize public participation of those who fear retribution. I don’t know about you, but my intent is to be aware and not support the negativity and histrionic shenanigans of these people. We should all make that known to the candidates as they announce their candidacy in the coming weeks.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Yorba Linda Councilmembers Young and Lindsey served Recall Notice

Posted by Allen Wilson on January 5, 2014

Recall

As many were prepping for the holidays last month Yorba Linda Councilmembers Tom Lindsey and Craig Young were served with recall notice at the December 17th city council meeting.

The signature requirement for the recall of Yorba Linda councilmembers is 20% if the registration is less than 50,000, but at least 10,000.  The last report of registration by the county election officials to the Secretary of State was on February 10, 2013, which shows that there were 40,501 registered voters in Yorba Linda.

The recall proponents will need to gather 8,100 signatures to mount a recall campaign against the two councilmembers within 120 days.

Councilmember Lindsey was elected in 2010 and stands for re-election this November.

Councilmember Young was elected in 2012 and stands for re-election in 2016 who is also running this June 2014 for State Assembly in the 55th Assembly District, which will be problematic as recall could hamper his Assembly prospects.

Orange County Register reported late summer of 2012 the recall efforts of Councilman John Anderson failed because the proponents did not get enough signatures.

 

Lindsey

NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE RECALL PETITION
(Served to Tom Lindsey on December 17)

 

TO THE HONORABLE Thomas H. Lindsey: Pursuant to Section 11020, California Elections Code, the undersigned registered qualified voters of Yorba Linda, in the State of California, hereby give notice that we are the proponents of a recall petition and that we intend to seek your recall and removal from the office of City Councilmember, in Yorba Linda, California and to demand election of a successor in that office.

 

The grounds for recall of Councilmember Thomas H. Lindsey are:

 

Broke his campaign pledge of low-density development.

 

a. Voted against an urgency ordinance, which would have placed a moratorium on high density development and that would help further a ballot measure to eliminate or reduce high-density housing sites that include 4-story buildings with heights up to 50 feet.

 

b. Refused to listen to concerned residents and deal harshly with the County regarding development of over 500 homes in fire sensitive land near the northeast corridor of the City.

 

c. Lindsey’s vote to kill the high-density moratorium is an abandonment of his signed statement in his 2010 Contract with Yorba Linda, which pledged to voters that all infill development projects would be consistent with their existing and surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Is fiscally irresponsible and unethical.

 

a. Put the City at risk for a $19 million breach of contract lawsuit with the County and the Sheriffs Department in an ill-fated attempt to renegotiate Yorba Linda’s police services contract with the Brea Police Department, after the police contract was signed and approved by both the City and County.

 

b. Participated in a public smear campaign of three fellow councilmembers, voting to publicly disclose confidential closed-session information used during the November 2012 election.

Councilman Lindsey responded to the recall:

PLEASE, DO NOT SIGN THE RECALL

 

It will cost Yorba Linda taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in filing fees alone. This recall is a misguided attempt by a narrow special interest to bully council into adopting extreme policies that will hurt our economy, kill jobs and also cost residents hundreds of thousands in attorneys’ fees.

 

A city-wide moratorium on new construction in response to this special interest group’s opposition is a disproportionate reaction we cannot afford.  It’s the same kind of reactionary policy-making that takes place in Sacramento which is driving so many businesses from California.

 

This recall is a reckless erosion of council’s independence from bullying special interests.  It’s an intimidation tactic that sets a precedent on future councils’ willingness to do what is right for ALL residents, not bend to the will of special interests.

 

I’m a low-density housing advocate who carefully negotiates as opposed to recklessly abandons the fiduciary responsibility owed taxpayers and I’m fully supportive of the diligent efforts by our Sheriffs.  I’ve worked hard to help get our finances in order, already saving us millions in interest, and am disappointed this group would waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on this unnecessary effort.

Yorba Linda Mayor Craig Young

NOTICE OF INTENT TO CIRCULATE RECALL PETITION
(Served to Craig Young on December 17)

TO THE HONORABLE Craig Young: Pursuant to Section 11020, California Elections Code, the undersigned registered qualified voters of Yorba Linda, in the State of California, hereby give notice that we are the proponents of a recall petition and that we intend to seek your recall and removal from the office of City Councilmember in Yorba Linda, California and to demand election of a successor in that office.

The grounds for recall of Councilmember Craig Young are:

Broke his campaign pledge of low-density development.

a. Voted against an urgency ordinance, which would have placed a moratorium on high-density development and that would help further a ballot measure to eliminate or reduce high-density housing sites that include 4-story buildings with heights up to 50 feet.

b. Refused to listen to concerned residents and deal harshly with the County regarding development of over 500 homes in fire sensitive land near the northeast corridor of the City.

Is fiscally irresponsible and unethical.

a. Put the City at risk for a $19 million breach of contract lawsuit with the County and the Sheriffs Department in an ill-fated attempt to renegotiate Yorba Linda’s police services contract with the Brea Police Department, after the police contract was signed and approved by both the City and County.

Betrayed the trust of Yorba Linda voters and his 4-year commitment to the community to serve on the city council.

a. Declared his candidacy for State Assembly in August 2013 within just 8 months of being sworn in for his first term as a city councilman. Ironically, his November 2012 campaign statement specifically stated he had no hidden agenda and no axe to grind.
Mayor Young responded to the recall:
PLEASE, DO NOT SIGN THE RECALL

 

It will cost Yorba Linda taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in filing fees alone. This recall is a misguided attempt by a narrow special interest to bully council into adopting extreme policies that will hurt our economy, kill jobs and also cost residents hundreds of thousands in attorneys’ fees.

A city-wide moratorium on new construction in response to this special interest group’s opposition is a disproportionate reaction we cannot afford. It’s the same kind of reactionary policy-making that takes place in Sacramento which is driving so many businesses from California.

This recall is a reckless erosion of council’s independence from bullying special interests. It’s an intimidation tactic that sets a precedent on future councils’ willingness to do what is right for ALL residents, not bend to the will of special interests.

I’m a low-density housing advocate who carefully negotiates as opposed to recklessly abandons the fiduciary responsibility owed taxpayers and I’m fully supportive of the diligent efforts by our Sheriffs. I’ve worked hard to help get our finances in order, already saving us millions in interest, and am disappointed this group would waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on this unnecessary effort.
The Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation (YLRRR) responds to Lindsey and Young:
We do know how much it costs. Did you know that ALL Yorba Linda taxpayers are paying over $100,000 a month to subsidize the underpayment of landscape maintenance fees by certain districts in the Landscape Maintenance Assessment District? These districts are supposed to be self sufficient and pay their own way. Craig Young and Tom Lindsey support these subsidies.

Did you know that high-density housing has increased 70% in Yorba Linda and that it is decreasing ALL of our property values in the millions? There is absolutely no way a 4-story, 125 unit, multi-family apartment complex is going to increase property values adjacent to single-family homes. When presented with an opportunity to place a moratorium on high-density development so voters could correct high-density zoning issues, both Young and Lindsey cow towed to developers and voted against the moratorium.

Did you know that Young and Lindsey put the City at risk for a $19 million lawsuit with the County of Orange because they both made an ill-fated attempt to renegotiate our police contract with the City of Brea? The City had a signed contract with the Sheriff’s Department and both Young and Lindsey were willing to violate the terms of that contract and pay more for police services from Brea.

Lindsey and Young are costing our city millions. A recall is a drop in the bucket.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, State Assembly, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Thugs and the illusory promise of a free press

Posted by Brenda McCune on November 6, 2012

Jim Drummond writes a column for the Yorba Linda Star. He is and has been the only political commentator on Yorba Linda Politics. Well, that is, until I started writing for this blog.

In 2010, when I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council, Mr. Drummond approached me at one of the candidate forums and made clear that he did not like me, that he did not like my consultant and that I would receive no favorable treatment in his column. He made good on that promise and on several occasions printed information about me that was completely inaccurate, without contacting me at anytime to verify anything.

A list of his recent columns appears here. http://jimdrummond.blogspot.com/

Notably absent from this list is any mention of the mammoth expenditures made in this recent election by the AOCDS. The union of our newly contracted police service, the Orange County Sheriff.

In spite of the overwhelming support of the Yorba Linda voters for Measure Y the “Ethics”ordinance, in spite of the overwhelming support of many citizens for keeping the Brea PD, and in spite of his alleged “objectivity” in the process as a ‘journalist’, an expenditure that dwarfs the spending of many individual campaigns, in not worthy of mention during this election cycle.

Voters in Yorba Linda should look very carefully at who is running their city, because it is clearly not the voters.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Yorba Linda Has a New Police Service

Posted by Brenda McCune on July 18, 2012

Yorba Linda City Council held a meeting to review and vote upon the contract with Orange County Sheriff this evening, Tuesday July 17, 2012. The meeting was fairly predictable both in the vote, the alignments and the participants.

Clearly the city anticipated a large turn out and had overflow seating in City Hall, in the event the Council Chambers could not house everyone. It was however, not a substantial overflow crowd.

The public was provided with a time for comments and the commentary as well as the crowd, were unusually well behaved. The only commentor I felt I could firmly get behind, was my friend Jeff Winter. He praised each and every one of the Council members for their participation and dedication to this community, and thanked them for it. Ed Rakochy praised the majority 3 who have voted to end the policing contract with Brea and begin a new relationship with OCSD, and called them “courageous”. Tony D’Amico stated that having the OCSD policing Yorba Linda was the “next best thing” to having our own police department. Julia Lawson put the majority 3 “on notice” that a variety of legal remedies were being sought against them including complaint to the office of the District Attorney and convening a Grand Jury if necessary, stemming from alleged Brown Act violations. Greg Gillaspy asserted that Council should have spent more time doing research and consulting with sources like OC Watchdog. Jan Horton fired off a plethora of facts, figures and details, as well as restating her offense that Nancy Rikel provided email addresses to ‘Protect Yorba Linda’, an organization supportive of the OCSD contract being implemented in Yorba Linda.

At the close of public comment, Jim Winder reminded the audience and Sheriff Hutchens of his many years of service with Brea PD, in which he managed the contract with Yorba Linda for more than 11 years. He asked some fairly simple questions and had some difficulty getting responsive answers. He expressed concern about “transparency” which really amounted to the repeated complaint of some of the commentors, that there was a serious lack of specificity in the contract. There was discussion of the hiring process and timing of that, which seems obviously unanswerable without resolution of whether the contract was actually being granted or not. The more troubling discussion came when Winder questioned the Sheriff about unfunded pension liability. The bottom line of that discussion was this, Anderson, Protect Yorba Linda and other proponents of the contact with OCSD continue to state that the OSCD and the contract with Yorba Linda has “no unfunded pension liability”. The Sheriff in an uncharacteristically unpolished fashion, repeated her non-responsive answer several times, essentially that there is no ADDITIONAL cost added for unfunded pension liability. In essence, Mr. Winder was looking for what is the PERCENTAGE of the payments under this contract are attributed to the unfunded pension liability, the answer finally came from one of the support staff at the meeting with the Sheriff, which was that it’s about 20%. Mr. Winder also commented that he had been involved in the implementation of the Brea PD substation at Arroyo Park, indicating that it is sorely inadequate for the purposes that the Sheriff’s proposal indicates it will utilize that facility for.

Mr. Winder’s displeasure with the process and inevitable outcome was apparent.

Mr. Anderson only posed a few questions in his portion of the discussion. These were contrived and were really questions to the Sheriff representatives about the Brea PD proposal. Mr. Anderson is a litigator but apparently is not aware of the “lacks foundation” objection. In the kangaroo court manner in which this has proceeded, Brea was excluded from participation in this meeting.

Four more weeks is all that Tom Lindsey advocated in a pre-written statement that he read. I generally am not a fan of speech reading, but this was very nicely stated. In an equivocal and dignified manner, which is atypical of any presentation at a Yorba Linda City Council meeting. He set forth the facts and the timeline which effectively and politely pointed out the magnitude of the problems with how this has all transpired. Mr. Anderson’s later proclamation of transparency rang hollow after Mr. Lindsey’s calm and polite articulation of the facts.

Nancy Rikel’s irrelevant, rhetorical comments, were typical of Councilwoman Rikel, not typical of citizen Nancy Rikel when she was a regular at the podium. Polished and articulate, she said essentially nothing, except that she will vote predictably with the majority

Mr. Anderson, in characteristic fashion, begins condescending and snide, drawing a predictable reaction from someone in the crowd. Mark Schwing, in their usual good-cop/bad-cop routine, stated that it had been such a nice evening of civility that someone should not ruin it now. He did berate Brea PD in a variety of ways, while he said he meant no disrespect to Brea PD. He mentioned the recall effort against him and noted there were “numerous” (?) Political blogs and facebook pages directed at him.

 

Mr. Schwing (who technically is the current mayor, but only because he and his two buddies decided it would be neat to step over Jim Winder when it was his turn to be mayor) rambled off some more statistics and his spin on them, selling his view that it’s “time” to get this contract signed.

The rhetoric that has erupted on both sides of this issue have been outrageous, often inaccurate and unnecessarily angry and combative in its tone. From the looks of the crowd in attendance tonight, the propaganda has been pushed forward by the usual participants, along the usual us and them lines. An Officer Dominguez was present and spoke, he did not mention whether he was a resident of Yorba Linda, but it was confirmed that he was with the Sheriff union and represented to the council, when questioned, that none of the efforts by Protect Yorba Linda were funded or orchestrated by the union. It was effectively raised as a real concern by Mr. Lindsey that the implementation of the OCSD service would introduce a large union influence in Yorba Linda that we have previously been fortunate to avoid.

Just as the rest of the evening, the end was entirely predictable and no surprises, no acquiescing, no thoughtful consideration of the other side of the argument and no indication that time and/or restraint and research may reveal evidence to change anyone’s mind. In a vote taken at 12:21 am, Wednesday morning, the majority 3, Anderson, Schwing and Rikel voting for the immediate signing of the police contract with the OCSD.  Winder and Lindsey voting against.  Lindsey’s motion to table the vote for 4 weeks was run over and ignored.

The implementation of the contract is uncertain and not set forth in the contract. The contract with Brea officially ends in May 2013.

Posted in 55th Assembly District, State Assembly, Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

If only I were the wagering type…

Posted by Brenda McCune on April 25, 2012

Not good news for fans of the Brea Police Department. 

In a not surprising alignment, Winder-Lindsey voted in favor of renewing with Brea PD, Anderson-Schwing-Rikel voted to begin a new contract with OCSD.  If anyone reading this is surprised by this result, I have some ocean front property in Arizona I’d love to speak to you about. 

Many things were not considered in the evaluation of the bids.  The overall sensibility seems the most overlooked.  A new station is needed, new squad cars, new equipment, guns radios, phones, desks, copy machines for any agency that replaces Brea PD …..and the OSCD per their proposal is going to staff up and set up all of this at a reduced cost, saving the city of Yorba Linda $1 Million dollars each year, $5 Million over the life of their contract.  That is more than $80,000.00 per month, less than the department who has been providing this service for 42 years, and they are fully equipped and staffed up.  That’s fantastic, and the county officials who developed this bid and business model should really be consulting in private industry because in this economy, we could all use some advice on how to do that kind of magic. .

Anaheim was never realistically in the running, which is sad, because they had a great presentation, and a sensible, believable bid.   They impressed with their availability of services, special teams and technology, as well as their knowledge and shared geography with Yorba Linda.  I can not imagine why it was never proposed that Anaheim be awarded a partial contract for East Yorba Linda.  The response time for Brea PD to East Yorba Linda has been an ongoing complaint.  There are many occasions that Brea and Anaheim jurisdiction and enforcement overlap, why not apportion service geographically?  The Anaheim station on Wier Canyon road is not realistically a good match  for the West side of Yorba Linda given the long, so why not split it? This was not considered.  A wholesale replacement of the entire contract was the only consideration.  No kind of holistic approach, reworking or restructuring the relationship with Brea was undertaken.  I assume, as many residents do, that it is because the contract was destined to go to OCSD.  The public opinion on keeping the contract with Brea seems, as with many issues, to have been largely ignored by the 3 majority council.  

I am saddened and at the same time inspired that 50 residents had the wherewithal to stay till the 3am vote,  God bless them for their stamina, but I’m surprised they thought that their opinion mattered. 

I wish I had different news to report.  I wish I had written this blog a week, a month, a year ago, because I could have. (or even 6 years ago, Brea, who was passing out the Koolaid then?)  No  surprise of any kind here.  Democracy  and due process have died a slow painful death in Yorba Linda.  Every resident has the option to be active, get involved, and vote in the next election. Each time I see this Kangaroo court convene I hope that this is the time that the mainstream residents in Yorba Linda become aware of the situation at City Hall and the utter dominance of one special interest group by virtue of their ownership of three seats.  Nothing will change, the status quo will easily be maintained if the voting public continues to show apathy and fear of the YLRRR, which was so pervasive  in the 2010 election.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Policing Yorba Linda

Posted by Brenda McCune on April 15, 2012

Where we’re at now

For more than 40 years the city of Yorba Linda has been policed by the Brea Police Department. The current contract with Brea PD ends in June 2012.  In November 2011,  the Yorba Linda City Council gave Brea PD a Notice of Termination.

There is currently an ongoing bidding process to renegotiate to continue with Brea, or replace their contract with a contract with the Orange County Sheriff or Anaheim Police Department. Competitive bids have been received from each of the three agencies and can be viewed on the city website.

The “Keep Police in Yorba Linda” is essentially the pro-BreaPD group. They have a facebook page and a website, look for Yorba Linda Police.com. The Pro-Sheriff group is Protect Yorba Linda. They are essentially the YLRRR, the group behind Councilmembers, Anderson, Rikel and Schwing.  They have a website and their members have been as active and vociferous as usual on the OC Register website and “Keep Police in Yorba Linda”  facebook page.

How’d we get here

In 2006, a group of Yorba Linda citizens, concerned about redevelopment and a pending plan for a new Town Center organized to elect council members supportive of their efforts, and to pass low growth measures. Since that time the YLRRR has expanded it’s agenda and influence. This group has dominated the last 4 elections, having 7 out of 8 of their candidates elected. They continue to control the current council with 3 of the Councilmembers voting consistently together on their agenda. After the 2010 election they believed they would have virtual ownership of 4 of the 5 council seats, but Tom Lindsey (who seemed not to notice the retribution this group affected upon prior dissidents Jan Horton and Hank Weeda) has shown himself to exercise his own judgment on the council even after accepting the support of YLRRR in the 2010 election.

John Anderson, one of the first candidates supported by this group, and one of it’s founders in 2006, has made no secret of his desire to oust the Brea PD. In 2009, in an effort to move forward with that agenda, a feasibility study was conducted. During this period, the council pursued a plethora of feasibility studies on a variety of issues, spending into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The police study was upwards of $50k.  The police services study essentially found that the replacement of the Brea PD was NOT FEASIBLE nor cost effective. Specifically considered in that investigation was the implementation of protection by the Orange County Sheriff.   The most cost efficient option, as opined by the expert retained by the anti-Brea PD Councilmembers, was to maintain the arrangement with Brea.  This conculsion was based upon the millions of dollars it would cost to staff up, and acquire equipment for any new organization to police Yorba Linda.  Depending upon the means of the gearing up, the opinion of the costs of starting up with a new agency ranged from $16-30 million.

In spite of that 2009 recommendation, On November 1, 2011 the council voted to issue the Notice of Termination to Brea PD. The item on the agenda for that November meeting was #11, “Potential Future Options”. Sheriff Sandra Hutchens was in attendance at that meeting, prepared with a power point presentation. The public attendees of that meeting have repeatedly used the word “shocked” to describe their response to the vote to terminate the 40 year Brea PD contract and the presence of the Sheriff with her presentation.  No part of the agenda indicated that the Sheriff would be providing a presentation.  Whether the vague description of the agenda item was intended to mislead the public, the fact is that it did.

What’s gonna happen next

On April 24, 2012, at 6:00 pm at the Yorba Linda Community Center will be a public meeting. The three agencies will give presentations, then the floor will be open for public comment.

Whether or not the council will vote on the proposals that night is not known. Again with the ambiguity. The Brea police contract expires in June.

There has been some debate about whether Councilman Jim Winder should or will vote on this, as he is retired from Brea PD. The answer is, who cares. Jim could stay home from every meeting from now until his term runs out, his vote is irrelevant. The YLRRR owns this council and the 3 will vote together.

It is hard to guess, but it will not go to Anaheim. They should stay home with Jim and Tom, they are not even realistically in the running. This council has been courting the Sheriff for some time. It is possible, I think unlikely, but possible, that if there is enough of a public outcry that the council votes to keep Brea. This council has a history of this kind of exacerbated game playing, i.e. create a side show, a fire, and then save the situation so that they can cry from their soap box about how they saved the situation from the fire. Political grandsstanding and publicity whoring has become a specialty of this group.

Up until the mandated annexation of unincorporated areas of Yorba Linda in 1994, many neighborhoods in Yorba Linda were policed by the Orange County Sheriff. No one anywhere has discussed this. I lived in one of those areas for 13 years. The service was abhorrent. They were slow, non-responsive and not in any way interested in the remote area of Yorba Linda. The funny thing about the rhetoric and alleged “information” provided on the “Protect” (YLRRR) web site, is that they indicate that if we retain the service of the Sheriff, Yorba Linda will be provided with a police station and ownership of the police cars, all at a cost savings of $1 million dollars per year. Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and Obamacare will cure the national deficit as well.

I am sure they will be serving Kool-Aid at the April 24 meeting, if you beleive that adding and staffing up a new agency will save the city money, drink up.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments »

The Plaintive wail of Civility

Posted by Brenda McCune on April 11, 2012

Disclaimer: I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council in 2010. THIS is an opinion piece, intended for entertainment and reality checks. I am an equal opportunity offender, read at your own risk.

I have a great deal of respect for only one of the members of the current city council in Yorba Linda and that is Jim Winder. He has served, and resided in this city for decades. His service has come to us at great personal cost to him. He has been disrespected, unfairly accused and periodically ridiculed without cause. Yet he shows up consistently, is polite, prepared and concerned for the well being of our city. These things can not be said about any of the other council members.

John Anderson’s mean spirit and agenda of personal vendettas has never been well hidden. Nancy Rikel and Mark Schwing answer to and for him. Their public discussions consistently appear unnatural or rehearsed. The clear impression is that they are Anderson’s mouth pieces. They all portray themselves as “fiscal conservatives”, they have given that term a foul sound and connotation. If fiscal conservative means that they only agree to spend money on their pet projects or the pet projects of their friends and supporters, then okay, they are fiscal conservatives. However their pattern of spending would embarrass many a democrat. They vote together, they were elected together, they have each others back in a twisted and dysfunctional way.

The mayor in Yorba Linda is voted in on a traditional rotating basis by the council, generally in order of when they were elected. Not so since Anderson has controlled the council. On each occasion that it would have been the turn of a Council member who was “not-one-of-us”, that council member was stepped over in favor of “one-of-us”. In 2008 that was Jan Horton. As the councilmember next in line, she was passed over in favor of John Anderson. By 2008 Jan had already become the “not-one-of-us” and was on the hit list. She was deprived of the opportunity to be mayor and that also enabled Mr. Anderson to be able to run against her for re-election as Mayor Anderson. In 2012, it was Jim Winder, whose turn it was to be mayor, but Anderson’s majority passed him over in favor of Schwing. Mark Schwing will now be running for re-election as Mayor Schwing. In his last year, after many decades of service to this community, the Anderson lackeys could serve up one final dose of indignity to Jim Winder and deprive him of his last tenure as Mayor. Winder is termed out, and will not run again. All it really accomplished was to confirm that they are pandering jerks.

Tom Lindsey portrays himself as the “true” conservative. That would be highly relevant if any issues of social import or civil rights issue come before the council, but that’s not likely. The majority of Andersons’ council has abandoned Lindsey and he is left to align with the lame duck portion of the council alongside Jim Winder. Lindsey’s view on fiscal or any issue is rendered largely irrelevant,. A difficult lesson to learn for Lindsey, as he aligned with Anderson in the eleventh hour before the 2010 campaign began. They ran as a “slate”. During the 2010 campaign, when questioned about the ugly hit pieces and robo-calls directed towards Jan Horton, both Lindsey and Anderson diverted their eyes from the crowd when they answered. Mr. Anderson’s “I did not write that piece”, may essentially, technically, be true, but it clearly made him uncomfortable to say those carefully chosen words. Lindsey, for whom the 2010 campaign was his second try for a council seat, was intent on being elected. I have not asked him how he’s feeling now in 2012, with 20/20 hindsight, about his 2010 choice to align with Anderson. I have observed him to suffer the same punishment that Jan Horton and then Hank Weeda did. If you run with “them” and then acquire any different view or opinion, you are ostracized. So much for the fantasy that once we’re elected we can have collegial respect for differing view points.

Jan Horton is not a member of the council at this time, but her effect is no less pertinent than those seated. She is a regular attender, proclaiming accountability, tranparency and spewing her point of view of the incompetence and lack of ethics of the current council. The existing situation, with the Anderson wing, disrespectful of Winder, and indignant for Lindsey and his turn coat antics, is smoldering fire anyway. Then Jan shows up and brings the gasoline in the form of her vitriole, her repetitive and shrill allegations, her husband with a camera, and her allies. She shows little in the way of tact and self control and she manages to stoke the flames of contention, discord and animosity on every issue, and at each council appearance or online discussion.

The counterpart to Jan is Ed Rakochy. Unelected, regular attender, but “One-of-us” along with the regular appearance of other YLRRR (Yorba Linda Residents for Responsible Representation) members. The vigilante group that originally got Jan Horton and John Anderson elected, (yes as with any true rivalry, they began and friends and cohorts), has its regular and scripted attenders, commenting favorably on the moves of the Anderson majority, standing on their soap boxes and waving their flags, pretending this is even handed democracy, and proclaiming how ‘fiscally conservative’ the current majority council are.

I have rarely been able to stomach a whole meeting of this circus atmosphere, it’s a charade and not open democratic discourse. The pontification goes on for hours.

I am acquainted in some fashion with each of these individuals who are driving the toxicity in our city government, and this I know. Each and every one of them believes firmly that he/she is doing the “right thing” for the city. My opinion and observation is that they are each blinded by their own adrenaline rush from this ongoing combat. The salient point that they keep missing, is that the majority of the residents of the city are not “one-of-us”, and are also not the constantly contentious “one-of-them”. I don’t see any of these regular players stepping away from their entrenched positions long enough to have a healthy discussion on points upon which they might actually agree.

This is not good for anyone. This is not good for our city. I can only hope that voters refuse to get caught up in the rhetoric, that good and independent, unaligned candidates step forward in the next election. Politics is like square dancing, if you get too attached to your partner or your moves, you’ll eventually step on your own toes and get kicked out of the dance. We can only hope.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,031 other followers

%d bloggers like this: