OC Political

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

Posts Tagged ‘OCSD’

Puppets and Puppeteers in local politics

Posted by Brenda Higgins on September 19, 2014

Much has already been written about the Orange County Sheriff and the contract they won a short time ago to take over policing the city of Yorba Linda. While I opposed this effort, the world seems not to have ended. As a conservative, I believe that if things are not broken, you don’t fix them. Although there have been no serious issues with the department change and the transition, and the OCSD is really pleasant to deal with, there is no credible argument that citizens “saved” money. Accounting tricks are not savings, and all the new stuff that came with the sheriff moving into town, was paid for by someone, even if it did not get reflected in a line item in the contract.

The lingering question is though, was it really pay to play, and were the politicians acting on behalf of a Union who “scratched” their back?

The IE’s (Indepedent Expenditures) in the 2012 Yorba Linda City Council election, made it the most expensive in our city’s history. Our telephones and our mailboxes were bombarded with propaganda about what bad guys Gene Hernandez and Craig Young were.  In 2010, John Anderson’s words (Which I will never forget) related to the hit piece on Jan Horton, “I did not write that piece”, were just the beginning of a very ugly trend. Those hit pieces were paid for (and apparently authored by) the YLRRR. Of Course they were tremendously helpful to Tom Lindsey and John Anderson. Fast Forward to 2012, THEN we have the Police contract in play, the YLRRR hit pieces looked like child’s play compared to the big budget union coming into our town and our political process. In addition to the big budget slick mail campaign on behalf of their friends,  the union president and his wife, showed up to council meetings, repeatedly singing the praises of their favorite candidates, and never once disclosing their conflict of interest.

Those 2012 hit pieces, against newcomer Gene Hernandez, were for the specific purpose of returning to office the incumbents, Mark Schwing, and ….you guessed it, Nancy Rikel, Queen apparent of the current recall effort.

The issue of policing aside, is being in bed with the Union, something we should all be concerned about? Yeah, ya think?!? Additionally, I thought it interesting that Ms. Rikel did not seek the endorsement of the OCGOP in her current bid to return to office. The OCGOP, has been clear that candidates taking money from Unions will not receive an endorsement from the party. The additional problem that neither Ms. Rikel or Schwing have answered is the implication of their own legislative baby, Measure Y. The Yorba Linda ETHICS ordinance which PROHIBITS any candidate from taking any more that $250 from anY CONTRACTOR with the city. Hello? Anyone besides me bothered by this? The largest contract in the history of the city was awarded to the entity that employs the UNION who provided more financial support to the Schwing/Rikel campaign, as to make it the costliest election in the cities history.

“Well, what does that have to do with 2014?”, you say.

The Union President’s wife is a chiropractor. Yes, this is the same couple, with different last names, who appeared at the city council meetings related to the policing contract, and encouraged the council to approve the OCSD contract, signing the praises of John Anderson as “one of the good guys”. As it turns out, there has been a really nifty relationship with her and the union in her receipt of direct referrals of deputies injured on the job. You’ll be hearing about it soon enough and thankfully one of our supervisors are courageous enough to be undertaking an investigation. I am certain he will be issuing a press release sometime soon. It’s probably a safe bet, that it is not Sp. Spitzer. The point being, Yorba Lindans, wake up. Density is not, nor has it ever been the issue. The pandering and exchanging of favors in this organization seems to run far and wide.  Nancy Rikel and Mark Schwing  are eager to get their life time bene’s and keep making sure that contracts for things like policing the city and legal representation, get awarded to their buddies. You have fallen for the smoke screen. They knew you would. In the YL we so easily fall for their repeated carrot and the stick of the evil developers. Who really has their hand in your pockets, citizen? The time has come to wake up and look around.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Yorba Linda Police and Politics: A commentary

Posted by Brenda Higgins on July 22, 2012

Disclaimer, I was a candidate for Yorba Linda City Council in 2010. I ran against John Anderson, Tom Lindsey and Jan Horton. I was endorsed by Councilman Jim Winder. I have many personal friends who are employed by the Brea Police Department, by virtue of my residency in Yorba Linda for more than 36 years. I have many professional relationships with employees of the Orange County Sheriff Department by virtue of my job as an attorney who spends a great deal of time in Orange County Superior Court. I supported Sheriff Sandra Hutchens in her bid for reelection. I am a recently elected member of the OC Republican Central Committee, representing the 55th district. I am not a candidate for any public office at this time. I feel compelled to make this exhaustive disclosure because of the ubiquitous misinformation and spin that has characterized the recent police contract controversy.

My recent blog post on OCPolitical, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, July 18, 2012, was following the vote of the Majority 3 of the Yorba Linda City Council to award the contract to the OSCD for the next five years, to begin in May 2013. I have written about a dozen blogs on this subject, posted here on OC Political. I attended five candidate forums during the 2010 election in which this subject was discussed. I have reviewed the recent Ralph Anderson Reports, the “matrix”that compared the bids, the bids themselves and watched or attended the meetings in November, April and July in which the police contract issue was “on the agenda”. This is in quotes because the issue of actual notice of the ramifications of the discussion in November remains an open issue.

If you came to this blog to find ratification of your position, whatever that is, you look in vain. I have said before I am an equal opportunity offender. I am appalled by the behavior of almost everyone who has been outspoken on this issue. The advocates on every side have been disrespectful to each other, to the agencies, to the process of government and to the agencies involved and the men and women in uniform who serve us. Shame on all of us for allowing decorum and civility in our town to suffer this final and undignified death in our midst.

Sheriff Hutchens and The OCSD

There has been propaganda and commentary insinuating unethical behavior on the part of the Sheriff and/or the Sheriffs union. I have no empirical information to substantiate any of the allegations and have seen none provided by the opponents of the contract with the Sheriff. The scare tactics are prolific and these boogy-man type allegations and sound bytes presume the ignorance of our citizenry. There is no reason to resort to fabrication and embellishment, and this seems to be standard procedure in this fight. There is no evidence to support the allegations of any wrong doing on the part of the Sheriff. I am in possession of no information, nor have I met any actual witnesses to the alleged canvassing and campaigning allegedly done by the Sheriff and their union.

There was, at the meeting on Tuesday, an Officer Dominguez, who apparently is a representative of the Sheriff Union. He spoke and gave John Anderson the “thumbs up” and said that anyone who “puts bad guys behind bars is all aces in my book”, presumably referring to Mr. Anderson’s job as a Deputy Prosecutor. If Officer Dominguez was there to address any issues of the alleged conflict of interest, he accomplished nothing except to shoot himself in the proverbial foot. His adoration for Mr. Anderson being right out front, his lack of residency in Yorba Linda also fairly apparent in that he did not state his name and length of residency as speakers traditionally do. Whether or not there has been active canvassing and campaigning, my question is what is his “dog in this fight”. If the process is to be fair and objective, there should be no outside participation. All of this is also very curious in the face of John Anderson’s MEASURE Y, the ethics ordinance that was passed in 2010. The guts of that measure, as promoted by John Anderson were to stop special, and outside interests, or an AGENCY THAT HAD A CONTRACT with the city, from financially supporting a candidate. Well maybe not direct cash contributions from the union itself, but the presence of its members, leaders, and any number of personal and $99 checks to Mr. Anderson’s campaign or those of his two flunkies, would be appropriate under the provisions of Measure Y.

So, maybe being an effective lawyer and prosecutor is not only about putting bad guys behind bars, but crafting laws that appear to accomplish transparency and due process, while preserving access to your friends. If so, Mr. Anderson certainly is “all aces”.

I am in possession of no evidence that there is a personal relationship or professional advantage existing between the Majority 3 and Sheriff Hutchens. The rhetoric hurled at her seems to be just that. My knowledge of her is this. She was comfortably retired from a long term career in law enforcement in Los Angeles County. Her husband was also retired from law enforcement, they resided in LA County. After the melt down and criminal investigation that tarnished the OCSD, Sandra Hutchens, through a long and arduous process, was granted the job. Why she chose to take on this mammoth undertaking, and interrupt an otherwise peaceful and earned retirement, does not make much sense to ordinary people. Leaders who have the call of leadership, Public servants who have the call to public service, answer it. Perhaps there is no other explanation. She has undertaken a job that not many people would have wanted. My impression is that she has cleaned house, implemented new programs and procedures to make sure that the utmost in ethics and accountability occur in her department, and restored public faith in an agency that had lost it.

I get that people in Yorba Linda do not like outsiders. It is interesting that this is the platform and ideal that got the Majority 3 elected, but to disparage the personal and public reputation of the Sheriff agency or it’s leader without substantiation is uncalled for. The union is a different story, but still without substantiation, smoke and not fire, the rhetoric and scare tactics ought to be toned down significantly.

Brea Police and Actual Notice

Tom Lindsey articulately, and with pained honesty, set forth his concerns on Tuesday night about the manner in which this has proceeded. There has been very little due process in the process. I do know that the city staff has been tormented with this struggle and the veritable race to complete these reports, in the face of enormous emotion from the electeds and the citizens.

There was no actual notice to Brea PD or the citizens of Yorba Linda that there would be a vote in November 2011 to terminate the policing contract. There was no actual notice to the bidding agencies or to the citizens that there would be a vote to accept the Sheriff’s bid at the April 2012 meeting. That is the vote that was taken close to 3 am. “Actual” notice, as opposed to the proverbial writing on the wall. Feel free to peruse my previous blogs on this issue prior to the April vote, to some of us, it was NO surprise.

John Anderson was elected in 2006, six years ago. Since that time, he has consistently maintained that he was in favor of replacing Brea PD with OCSD. This was no hidden agenda, it has always appeared to me, to be a primary and fundamental goal of his candidacy. He has never at anytime that I have observed him in public, hidden his disdain for Brea PD and their contract with the city of Yorba Linda. Many residents and officers of Brea PD expressed to me during the 2010 campaign, their awareness of this.

My question then is, what have the city managers, electeds, and higher ups in the Police Department in Brea done to prepare for this? I was disappointed to say the least to see the presentation at the April meeting. It was lack luster in the kindest analysis. The proposed contract price was millions more than the others. There was an eleventh hour attempt to decrease the price, that was disregarded by the Majority 3 as too little too late. There was a flyer distributed in the city of Brea to residents when the offer to further reduce the price was sent, to express displeasure that Brea should subsidize Yorba Linda law enforcement. That was precisely the argument for replacing Brea PD in Yorba Linda that we were subsidizing them. It’s like fighting over space in the life boats while leaving the Titanic. Everybody can row together or we can all sink. The lack of coordination, the lack of cohesiveness, the lack of team effort, after a 42 year contract is astonishing. Everyone should have seen this coming like a train, and EARLY efforts to strengthen the relationship and spirit of working together should have been undertaken. The impression that came from Brea’s presentation in April was that they had already lost.

There is no way to quantify institutional knowledge. Starting over with new staff is a concept that is repeatedly and utterly lost on this Majority 3 council. They have consistently replaced each and every city official and contracted provider that they desired to do away with, and have replaced them with individuals or entities that appear to be beholden to them or at least Mr. Anderson, from lower level officials to the stated hit list positions from Anderson’s campaigns, included but not limited to the City Manager, (replaced 3 times during his tenure), the City Attorney and firm, and now the policing agency.

This probably won’t be the end of the world as the Brea PD supporters make it out to be. It will most certainly not be the extensive cost savings that the Majority 3 and the Sheriff advocates make it out to be. It was not in anyway properly noticed. It was not communicated to the citizens in a manner calculated to provide notice of the issue and right to participate, but it was, to those who know or should have known what’s going on at City Hall……100% predictable.

Recall of John Anderson

Really?!? Really. Of all the dumb things that the hyper-energetic politicos in Yorba Linda have come up with, this is the dumbest.

John Anderson, the “all aces” prosecutor who spends all day putting bad guys behind bars, then takes off his cape and trapses over to City Council Chambers to make the “hard call” on things like immigration and fiscal responsibility. To the uninformed voter, he’s the guy they pick off the list to vote for first. No one is against prosecuting bad guys and putting them behind bars. Even when the uninformed voter looks a little farther, they find he’s married for 30-something years to the same lovely wife, successful kids, church attender and Republican. Recall this guy? It will require a LOT of education on subtle issues that are not only hard to explain but hard to sell. He voted to reduce the city’s police contract expenditure by several million dollars. How do you sell “recall” on those factors. He was the top vote getter in 2010, this was his second term.

He is rude, condescending, manipulative and underhanded. There is no evidence he acted illegally, unethically, immorally in moving toward awarding the police contract to OCSD. A lot of people don’t like it, but a lot of people do. He disregarded appropriate public discourse and due process that should be part of an open and transparent government, but it does not appear he broke any rule or law or acted unethically. He was not nice, and probably over agressive in pursuing his agenda.

This is the type of rhetoric that backfires on his critics. They grab at thin allegations, and it works to discredit them and not him. For example, there have been allegation that he is biased against women. That may be true, but his personal behavior toward me has always been professional. We oppose each other and disagree on almost every issue facing the city, but he greets me with a hello and shakes my hand every time. My impression is that he may not like women being present in his forum, but if so that’s a personal feeling, not substantiated by his behavior. He directed biting comments my way during the candidate forum, as he did toward Jan Horton. Is that because we are women or because we were opposing candidates? We were the only ones directly opposing him and his positions. To extrapolate that into prejudice or bias against women is simply silly and insulting to the process of vetting viable candidates. It is not a supportable allegation and makes those propounding it lack credibility. Those who oppose Anderson repeatedly fall into this trap. They read into his behavior, he baits them, they fall for it, crying foul, and upon further examination, there are no facts only subtle inferences. They wind up looking like histrionic sore losers. These feelings and intuitions, the between the lines interpretations, lack real substance and do not a successful recall make.

There is a simple, cost effective way to eliminate the influential stranglehold that Anderson has over the council. STOP the re-election of his cohorts, Schwing and Rikel, and prevent any additional crony of his to obtain Jim Winders’(termed-out) seat. Without his yes-men of the Majority 3 behind him, he would be reduced to the one vote he is accorded as an elected councilmember, and would be forced to be persuasive and compromise like the rest of them.

The effort, resources and funds currently behind the recall, if redirected and put behind viable candidates, would accomplish the same goal of disarming him. The effect of the recall is to take resources, money and manpower away from creating an effective campaign against Rikel and Schwing. It again, appears to me, that the opposition has been “played” by Anderson. He’s got them angered and running in multiple directions, the recall against him is destined to fail, and without strong opposition, Rikel and Schwing sail quietly back into their seats. The classic bait and switch. Watch closely, Anderson and Schwing do it at EVERY meeting. Wake up, you’ve been played again.

I am an idealist. I think the process works, and good people do the right thing….once they find the courage and motivation to do it. In the current city council, all activities are driven by the Majority 3, and their opponents. In my opinion, even the opponents of the Majority 3 are firmly in their pocket as they are skillfully played and their misguided anger continues to get the best of them. This ridiculous status quo exists because we, the citizens allow it. The lack of citizen involvement because of the high conflict and animosity, is precisely the reason it rages on. If you are not willing to put a candidates sign in your yard, or write a check or voice your thoughts, or attend a meeting or become informed and form an opinion, because you fear retribution of one side or the other, then you can point fingers at the small percentage of involved parties mentioned here, but the bottom line is, you are the problem. Citizens sit home quietly while these personal agendas are carried out. So long as that continues, so will the status quo. It is currently John Anderson’s city, we just live here.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

Yorba Linda Has a New Police Service

Posted by Brenda Higgins 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 »

Yorba Linda Police Contract: The Latest

Posted by Brenda Higgins on April 29, 2012

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.

Posted in Yorba Linda | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

If only I were the wagering type…

Posted by Brenda Higgins 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.

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