Blog Posts - October 2011

CITY COUNCIL NOTES, RUMORS, THE HEEBEEGEEBEES or BOO!

By Emilio, on Oct 31, 2011

During this past Tuesday’s city council meeting, two Watsonville High students got the giggles and so did I when Council Member Lowell Hurst in his loud “give me attention” type ex-school teacher’s voice said something like “Trees Breath”. When they started to laugh and repeated “trees breath?” I started to laugh too and now we couldn’t stop laughing unless we didn’t stare at each other. Continually Mr. Hurst hits comical “homeruns” with some of his statements and quotes.

FLUORIDATION BIDS or PULL A LITTLE STRING

By Emilio, on Oct 20, 2011

The bids to fluoridate Watsonville are in and they are over approximately 1.5 million dollars more than anticipated when last submitted back in 2002. Imagine that: a 9 year-old handwritten estimate not holding up? Thus, it seems that unless the California Dental Association (CDA) is willing to fork out the additional million plus big bucks, fluoridation may be a no-go!

 

The bids submitted, according to our city manager, are as follows:

Mountain Cascade          $2,797,000.00

Preston Pipelines             $2,945,996.00

Anderson Pacific              $2,998,602.00

Don Chapin                      $3,124,500.00

Block Construction                  $3,474,300.00

 

Karma? To no avail, I have been asking Mayor Daniel Dodge to place the fluoridation matter back on the Agenda considering the continual questions of fluoride’s possible detrimental effects to the poor by by Andrew Young and most recently LULAC (League of United Latino American Citizens).

 

But, maybe, Mayor Dodge is just following the instructions of his crony Assembly Member Luis Alejo who received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from affiliates of the CDA.

STRAWBERRY SHORT-CAKE and a FIRE TRUCK FOR CHRISTMAS?

By Emilio, on Oct 14, 2011


Have Watsonville’s Strawberry Festivals been profitable for the past three years? According to documents provided by the city it seems that in 2009 our city didn’t issue a Form 1099 to two Bandas after paying one $6,000 and the other $4,000 cash money for each of them to perform for one hour. One hour? You would think that the city made a mistake forgetting to issue 1099s for the ten grand, but, in 2010 the city did it again. They paid another Banda $6,000 cash money to perform for one hour, and again it seems the city failed to issue a Form1099.

 

We do know that this year we had $18,650.00 cash money floating around to pay bands and for other miscellaneous items related to this year’s festival which came from the city’s “Petty Cash” fund. It leaves one to wonder how much “Petty Cash” was used to operate the two previous festivals and from what account these monies actually came from.

 

I asked for the city’s Petty Cash policy and was provided with one page from the city’s Rules and Regulations. It seems that the rule’s basic intent is to reimburse city employees for their out of pocket expenses. Any amount exceeding $100 has to be approved by the city manager. Nothing was provided that is indicative that City Manager Palacios approved any of the checks issued for Petty Cash at any time. This year, in a one month period from July to August, the city issued four “Petty Cash” checks totaling $22,590.10. “Changer Order” was signed on the back of three of the checks. I don’t know an employee by the name of “Change Order”, but then what do I know? The $18,650.00 check was issued by city employees Marissa Duran and Patricia Rodriguez on July 27th and cashed by Ms. Duran on August 2nd four days prior to the festival. Who had possession of the $18,650.00 cash money for four days and where was it kept?

 

“SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” REVISITED

By Emilio, on Oct 7, 2011

Rumor has it that ex-City Council Member/Mayor “I jus wanna say ”Antonio Rivas may be considering running for County Supervisor when Ellen Pierre retires. It seems that he is calling around fishing for information and support. Was George Ow Lobbyist Elias Alonzo stood up by Rivas at the Green Valley Grill last week? Heard that Alonzo ended up at the bar waiting for Rivas. Wonder who paid for that bar bill? George Ow?

Some of you may remember “El Senor Rivas” (as he addressed himself in his cell phone answering message as a council member) resorted to name calling; he called me a “Coward” when I wouldn’t entertain city staff chastising me because I questioned their compensation. And, some of you may recall when he screamed “Shut up….Shut up!” to constituents during a city council meeting who were displeased with fluoridation. Not only has ex-Mayor Antonio Rivas resorted to unprofessional and conduct unbecoming, he may have firsthand knowledge of what really constitutes a “Coward”.

Back when I was first elected, “El Senor Rivas” called me asking to meet with me. He wanted to be Mayor again and said that if I voted for him, in return, he would vote City Council Member Dale Skillicorn for Mayor Pro-Tem. Wonder how many council members he called? Did he violate the Brown Act?

But, newly elected City Council Member Luis Alejo also had an eye on the Mayor’s seat because as we now know, he was planning to run for Assembly. After being elected Mayor and rambling on for what seemed eternity, Rivas was going to cowardly renege on the deal and vote Alejo as Mayor Pro Tem. But, City Council Member Kimberly Petersen decided it was time to “cross the isle” and voted Skillicorn for Mayor Pro-Tem and Rivas had little choice but to follow along.  After that city council meeting Ms. Petersen received calls at her home from upset Alejo supporters, one of which may have been from now Mayor Daniel Dodge, chastising her for  voting for Skillicorn. The incident may have been one of the reasons she decided not to run again.

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