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This is what government blackout looks like

I wanted to point folks to my editorial for this week. It comes with an assist from John Ullom, who originally requested the information. Here it is:

Web Link

I won't repeat it all here, but suffice to say the attachment is one of many redacted pages submitted by attorneys working for the Coastside Fire Protection District. Those attorneys are taking the stance that any description of their work whatsoever would amount to a violation of attorney-client privilege.

I think it's outrageous. And I would respectfully like to ask district directors to advise their contractors to supply the public information. They may of course redact anything of true privilege. I just can't believe that includes every single charge on these pages.


Web Link

If Louie Castoria is the best unpaid humor columnist around, then JCU takes the title of the best unpaid investigative journalist. Maybe the Review should stop paying all of its journalists.

John gets some credit for current work, but George has been doing this for far longer and has helped make folks aware of many, many more important issues over the years. John is riding some coattails (i.e. he has Vince to thank for his interest in CFPD).

But George is incredibly boring. My money's on JCU.

And BTW, Clay - I was just kidding about not paying your guys ;-)

John is riding some coattails (i.e. he has Vince to thank for his interest in CFPD).

That is true. Mr Williams had this all figured out as far as I can tell back in July of 2011.

At the the time the board had 7 members. They were all unanimous in their support of buying out of CalPers. Then something funny happened. Burke, who was the biggest proponent, went on vacation. Suddenly an emergency meeting was called. Everybody except Burke, who was not there, switched their vote. No record exists of this meeting because it was called so quickly, nobody was available to video it.

Vince was the only citizen at that meeting. He has been exposing this far longer than anybody. He does deserve the majority of the credit for figuring this out.

I know how folks like Mackintosh think. It is really easy for me to find questions that a man with his intellectual abilities and ethics would not want asked.

But Mr Williams was the Canary in that Coal Mine. He deserves credit. I'd shake his hand but he does not like me and refuses to work with me.

Don'y fret John. Most times I don't think Vince even likes himself. But he did some extraordinary work on this and never stopped.

Gold Star for you both and thank you.

>>No record exists of this meeting because it was called so quickly, nobody was available to video it.<<

Hey John,

What was the date of that July 2011 meeting? While I do remember having someone else film for me that summer while I was traveling I don't recall missing any meetings where anything of substance was to be discussed.


August 16th, 2010 comes to mind: -- Web Link

Frankly, I don't think the review has a lot of credibility here. The criticism from Clay and Friends has been across the board and often inaccurate.

These types of issues are what Newspaper editorials and investigations are really for. Unfortunately, the Reviews ability to do this has been severely compromised by its involvement in the more petty arguments of this issue.

In other words, you shot your wad about a year too early. Now it just sounds like more *****ing from the anti local option newspaper.

The Fireboard - all five of them - should be recalled and imprisoned for this nonsense. But again, the recall was wasted on something silly and petty.

I guess we'll try again next time. There's no shortage of foolish politicians to recall or humungous mistakes to criticize.

Now if the Review would take the same position on Mayor Alifano crying attorney-client privilege on the Build America Bonds scam they would at least be consistent.

Web Link

I posted this to Clay's online Editorial:

Another good piece, Clay; and thank you to Mr Ullom for the efforts and exposure.

Frustrating, isn't it? Even maddening, right? and it should be.

I should be surprised - but I'm not. This is yet another example in a long string of examples we've seen by government agencies that seem to forget a few things, like:

* that check they get is our tax money

* those supplies they use are paid for by us

* the building they appreciate - yep, we paid for that too

* the sweet benefits package they enjoy...another example of us footing the bill

* the engines they just bought? we paid for those, too.

But 'they' know best; they know better than we and are willing to prove it. The blatant arrogance alone is enough to make my neck hair stand, but we've seen this before, under several guises, from other local agencies.

The one that most resembles this clever little move by our completely transparent (I hope they're reading this...transparency - might want to write it down) Fire Board majority would be the City's purchase of the 22 acres abutting 92 for $3.1 Million we didn't have, and calling it a park. The Due Diligence Report, prepared by the then City Attorney firm Meyers Nave, with Adam Lindgren as our local face of representation, pulled the same stunt. Why? Well, because he thought he could and because that Report contained some pretty damning evidence.

HMB residents sued, and won, to get a peek un-redacted. Still, the City would not comply.

It is a very dangerous path to take when those that we pay, and provide all the tools, shelter and necessities to do what we pay them to do hide information that we paid for from us. The only winners in cases like this are the attorneys. Seems they can rack up some decent hours recommending this action to the Board they serve.

Everyone else loses, with the public losing the most. One measure of public loss is disenfranchisement. Another, as we are currently witnessing, is the public resources it requires to recall those that created this mess.

Why is transparency so easy to say, yet so hard for some to understand and even harder to comply with? The energy it takes to sell a lie and maintain it can't possibly be efficient as telling the truth, can it?

Thanks, Clay, for a great editorial! I added more under Comments there.

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Perhaps one reason these folks think they can get away with obfuscation and secrecy is the pervasive public apathy that surrounds local politics. I don't know what it would take to change this; officials can waste out money by the train load, and everyone I've heard from is shocked that three sales taxes passed here on top of the Measure S boondoggle, but still nothing changes. Hopefully when ballots for the recall are finally available, enough of those people will at least take notice and stop even more useless money hemorrhaging. I can't afford it, can you?

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