Blog Posts - June 2011


By Emilio, on Jun 30, 2011

Airport Manager Don French has resigned according to an anonymous source. Today is supposed to be his last day. Rumors are that he and City Manager Carlos Palacios may have had a falling out. Maybe this is indication that there is going to be allot of fallout from the Grand Jury Report.


By Emilio, on Jun 30, 2011


Due to the amount of information needed to explain the purchase of the fire truck a series of 3-4 segments will be written. Thank You for your patience.


~Emilio Martinez

The Grand Jury’s Mr. Steve Johnson explained at yesterday’s (Wednesday June 29th) news conference that a news article prompted the Grand Jury to look into the City of Watsonville’s practices. That “article” was probably written by Mr. Steve Bankhead whose op-ed in the Register-Pajaronian questioned the approval by the Planning Commission to allow Jalisco’s restaurant to construct an outside patio where hazardous materials existed. The Planning Commission, which I was a member of at the time, was not advised by staff (John Doughty and Keith Boyle) of the hazardous materials while recommending the approval of the Special Use Permit to Stella Romo.


By Emilio, on Jun 28, 2011


The ladder fire truck which has been missing for over 3 years may finally be rolling into town today…..on a lowboy trailer. According to an anonyms source the cost to trailer the fire truck is $6,000. Also, it seems that the truck may have transmission problems, and can’t travel faster than 20 MPH. Maybe the city should consider purchasing a tow-truck to get the fire truck to fires, but then it may take three years before the tow-truck is delivered.

The Grand Jury Report

By Emilio, on Jun 27, 2011


The much anticipated Grand Jury report was provided to our City Manager and City Council Members this past Friday. The report will be released to the public on Tuesday June 28th and a press conference will be held at the Santa Cruz County Building the following day, Wednesday, at 11 AM.


I want to extend my gratitude and a sincere “Thank You” to all the Grand Jury members who volunteered their time and efforts. Their report is reflective of a detailed oriented investigation.


Although I cannot go into detail at this time, the report hit the tip of the iceberg and hopefully the new grand jury will continue its investigation of Watsonville. In brief summary the Grand Jury underlined what I have been complaining about since I was a Planning Commissioner. That being that we are not provided adequate and sufficient information by our city manager and his staff to render the best fiscal decisions. But, that is putting it mildly. The Grand Jury Report didn’t pull any punches. 


By Emilio, on Jun 20, 2011

This article was written by Steve Bankhead. Steve Bankhead is a Watsonville resident and longtime contributor to the Register-Pajaronian.  

I’m still trying to decipher the code of ethics discussion at the June 14 city council meeting. Of course, Mayor Daniel Dodge’s support for killing its punishment phase makes perfect sense ... retain it long enough to slap Councilman Emilio Martinez around for the sake of addressing the complaints of Elias and Heidi Alonzo, who funneled $3,000 into the mayor’s council campaign ... and then support killing it when he becomes the target. After all, it’s never pleasant to be hoisted on ones own petard.

Then, however, Councilman Hurst urged preserving the punishment part of the ethics code, while also pushing for a vote to find Dodge innocent of any transgressions. Since there was little or no guarantee of other members voting that way after the ad hoc committee recommended at least an admonishment, I could imagine Dodge thinking: “Thanks a lot for the support, Lowell, but shut the heck up!”


By Emilio, on Jun 19, 2011

I can’t recall how long ago, but it has been around 4-6months since the trees in this center divider on Freedom Blvd near Crestview were possibly hit by a vehicle. The city responded by placing three cones were the trees once lived. The orange cones have been pretending to be trees for so long that they have weeds growing around them like many trees in our city. Can the city afford to replace the cones with real trees? Are we waiting for Redevelopment money? Maybe some of our executive city staff could give up one month of car allowances so we can have the three trees replaced.





By Emilio, on Jun 14, 2011



Some of you may have read today’s Sentinel Editorial. I wrote the following  Letter to the Editor in response:

The Sentinel’s Editorial “Hits and Misses” (June 14th)  now taking the position that Watsonville needs to focus on “job creation” and the “budget” instead of “bickering” is indicative of protecting their slanted politics. Only a few months ago the Sentinel basically poured gallons of gasoline to smoldering and dying coals with sensationalized and misleading headlines of the very same “respect standard” Ethics Code violation it now claims was unnecessary. The fact of the matter is that the councilmembers now being accused of Ethics Code violations, and rightfully so, are the very same ones that the Sentinel endorsed: Daniel Dodge, Manuel Bersamin, and previous council member and now Personnel Commissioner Antonio Rivas. And, the Sentinel endorsed them fully aware that these council members had a documented history of Ethics Code violations. During past city council meetings these three have told members of the public who voiced concerns to “take a leap off our 6th story parking lot”, to “Shut Up” and name calling. Reading the Sentinel the following morning after a Watsonville city council meeting makes you wonder if you had a bout of narcolepsy because some facts are usually missing or the article is misleading.


By Emilio, on Jun 6, 2011


 The City of Watsonville apparently does want to hear your voice according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel which wrote that the city’s proposed budget is available on the city’s website and asking for your input via email or a hotline. The “proposed” budget consists of 389 pages. The city actually wants you to read three hundred and eighty nine pages on a website and call their “hotline”?

Mayor’s Words Expose His Own Partisan Bias

By Emilio, on Jun 1, 2011

This article was written by Steve Bankhead. Steve Bankhead is a Watsonville resident and longtime contributor to the Register-Pajaronian.  


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