Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Disney and Anaheim Politics

Clearly the routine of donating to a candidate and donating to a PAC that then donates to a candidate circumvents the intentions of the law regardless of who’s doing it.

If a person wanted to give $18,000 to a candidate instead of the $1,800 limit, just set up 10 PACs or make use of 10 existing PACs for that purpose. Nothing really stops a person from giving $1,800 to a candidate directly, and then telling a PAC you want to give them $1,800 to be given to the candidate in the PAC’s name.

Repeat that process a dozen times and you’ve easily circumvented the intentions of the law. You can even tell the candidate that’s what you’re going to do so long as you don’t “coordinate” with the candidate about doing it. The PAC can even tell the candidate that’s what you did so long as the PAC doesn’t “coordinate” with the candidate about your doing it.

— Kburgoyne / Oct. 25

Lucy Dunn [treasurer of BIZ PAC] stated, “It’s important for business to maintain that economic growth in Orange County and having the right elected officials in place is part of it.”

If she was truthful she would have stated, “It’s important for Disney to control the Anaheim City Council so they can get sweetheart deals that benefit them, such as the $158-million GardenWalk Hotel subsidy and the $300+ million streetcar.”

Do these PAC’s think we are blind to their intentions?

— SaveAnaheim / Oct. 25

Proposition 30

If spending on education is low as the author suggests, it is a result of our Legislature allocating funds to other priorities. California already has the fourth highest tax burden of the states.

There is plenty of money. I agree more should be allocated to schools, but it should come from reductions elsewhere in our bloated state spending.

— Jchb11 / Oct. 25

The County’s $200-Million Computer Contract

If the Board of Supervisors approves this, they will have agreed to outsource Orange county taxpayers’ jobs to other states as well as increase our tax bill.

Why not use what the county has today and avoid paying millions of dollars more? What is the financial rationale supporting a yes vote by the Board of Supervisors”? From a taxpayer’s perspective, everything appears to be working now.

These companies are not even local Orange County companies or California businesses. They are registered here, but that is not where their profits stay. At a time of 11 to 12 percent unemployment, the board is approving more jobs to be outsourced to other states. Then the poor Orange County taxpayers will be stuck with the higher tax bills but also have fewer jobs locally.

Ask all of us, the unemployed county taxpayers who drive old used cars: At an economic time like this with thousands of unemployed Californians, do we really need this?

Whose side is the board on?

— PuclicVoice / Oct. 24

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Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Private Use of Public Resources?

Come on. This is so petty. Let’s be frank here.

Do you think if [Jordan] Brandman [Anaheim City Council candidate and school trustee] were a white-shoe boy Republican instead of a Democrat in Orange County that this even would get investigated and made public, particularly right before an election?

You folks in the public sector must know how much personal business goes on inside government offices. Come on. Be honest.

This is what happens when they start talking tough on political corruption in OC and spend millions of taxpayer money to fund a public integrity unit.

The fish that swim outside the school get eaten.

At best, Brandman’s run for political office has probably been greatly damaged by this negative publicity before the elections.

I couldn’t care less who wins the City Council race in Anaheim. And I wouldn’t know Brandman if he passed me on the sidewalk. But as an American who was brought up on the principle of fairness and equality under the law, I just think this stinks to high heaven.

— Beelzebub / Oct. 18

The Anna Drive Forum

What happened to the audience? Where are all the concerned citizens? The article quotes one resident from Costa Mesa. What does he have to do with Anaheim?

Seriously, we need to get the residents educated and involved in the voting process. There were hundreds that showed up to protest and riot and only 20 or so show up for a candidates forum. What’s wrong with this picture?

— Clara / Oct. 18

Clara, unsure if you were there, but the picture doesn’t give justice to the overall presence of community members.

By the second hour (and after parental religious education classes that are widely attended by moms in the area), there were a lot more attendees.

Also, the picture doesn’t capture the countless residents that were listening in on the forum from their yards.

— Get real / Oct. 18

County’s Huge Computer Contract

The Board of Supervisors is buying something they don’t even have any good data to prove they need. Walking into negotiations with a blank checkbook? The lobbyists are telling the county what we need?

Yes, technology has changed. The county must invest in technology. How do we know you aren’t again buying something that is already out-of-date?

The major voices missing are the county employees who can tell you about how the last 10 years have worked. How can the board move forward at this point without that input? Employees are iced out of all decisions.

The supervisors love competition? Ask the county staff to draft a proposal and then compare it to your outsourcers’ advice. My guess is the county staff have a better idea what the county needs, and since million-dollar bonuses are not allowed in the public sector, it will be a more affordable deal as well for the taxpayers. If this deal is inked, 10 to 20 million dollars goes for bonuses to Xerox executives, the guys sitting in the front row.

The current “architecture” of the proposal just has different lobbyists competing for the deal. How about two proposals — one by employees and one by outsourcers?

I have news for you: The private sector has almost nothing in common with the public sector. That’s why the last deal didn’t work. So picking the company that can make the most profit doesn’t actually improve services to the public. The Board of Supervisors and [former] CEO [Tom] Mauk have scammed the public again.

Thank you, Nick Berardino [general manager of the Orange County Employees Association], for making the only logical and obvious points to the bad idea of adding more money to the moving shipwreck. What a disaster.

— OCservant-leadership / Oct. 17

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Voice of Our Commentators

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Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Big Vote on County’s Big IT Contract

What we have here is a loss of confidence. Due to growing doubts about the Board of Supervisors’ ability to lead and manage added to strong issues regarding ethics and integrity, this must be done as a full disclosure — all documents made available to the public online; a swearing under oath by each Board of Supervisors member, CEO and IT [information technology] staff that they in no way have any possible conflict of interest. Let the public view and evaluate all aspects of this huge contract.

And 10 years is way too long. If sitting Board of Supervisors members are “uncomfortable,” then forget it; slow this way down. Call a public meeting, but give enough time for people to read and understand the contract.

— Insider2 / Oct. 11

A 10-year contract with an outside company that can continuously roll more and more costs into each year is 10 too many — not to mention that this is the first we are hearing about it.

Another “stellar” leadership move by this Board of Supervisors.

— Figgy1 / Oct. 11

How can a contract that large go through and now just get “mentioned”? This is a bad idea. And no contract should ever extend more than three years. Otherwise it becomes a cancer and impossible to remove.

— Loyal OC Resident / Oct. 11

The Board of Supervisors has already spent taxpayers’ money foolishly. The board could have invested the more than $2 million it paid to Avisant in upgrades and have county IT employees install the very services it’s looking to outsource.

Not once was there ever any thought given to how the county could save millions by doing all this internally. Most county agencies have their own IT staffs, so use them.

— ICouldaHadaV8 / Oct. 10

[Board of Supervisors Chairman John] Moorlach has to be about the dumbest businessman ever. He “relishes in the competition” [among vendors], but I assure you from IT proposals at the corporation where I work, the proposed vendor always, always compares your actual IT costs to his loss-leader, projected IT costs, promising to save you untold millions that never materialize.

Moorlach, after you outsource this, I have a bridge to sell you.

— 714Techie / Oct. 10

As an employee using the new software system provided by ACS, a vendor chosen by our Board of Supervisors, I have no confidence this board knows what they are doing.

In placing a no-bid contract, the supervisors are able to issue supplemental contracts in order to pay back favors and award friends contracts and then take a percentage off the top to line their pockets. These facts are all presently coming to light.

We now have a computer system within the assessor’s office that is inferior to the system it replaced and does not communicate with either the auditor-controller or the tax collector. Ask any of the taxpayers who have received tax liens because the computer system in the assessor’s office does not communicate with the tax collector. This $40-plus million was a total waste of money.

I find it very interesting that the Board of Supervisors continues to ask employees for monetary concessions when it has the money to throw away in this manner. These leaders — and I use this term loosely — should be prosecuted for malfeasance.

I hope the people of Orange County pay more attention to the way this board is wasting taxpayer dollars.

— Drbill / Oct. 10

Let’s see if history repeats itself, which, with this group in charge, it likely will.

The last IT contract was full of delays and cost overruns. Selecting the right contractor for the job may be just too far out of reach for these so-called leaders.

— Skullcrusher / Oct. 10

Fudging the County Hiring Process

If Orange County promotes the small-government Republican plan, why do all the Republican aides go work for the county government? Shouldn’t they seek employment in the free market economy?

— Gene / Oct. 11

The simple solution is to ban supervisors’ executive assistants [EAs] from applying for jobs in the county until at least six months after the supervisor leaves office. That way there is no undue influence on behalf of the EA. If they are truly that talented then they should get the job on their own merits.

— Don Draper / Oct. 9

Sensationalism without solutions.

Don’t get me wrong. The superficial media articles are great, and I appreciate the coverage very much. But most is a hit-and-move-on strategy.

I have seen commenters here analytically piece together the corrupted, intricate fabric of county government and expose it for what it is. Why can’t the media make all these connections in a nice investigative report?

Everything is always dished out piecemeal to focus the reader on each individual scandal. Humans have short memories, and that is the strongest ally of the scoundrel elite in county government. We need reports that weave it all together. Why don’t we ever get a snapshot of the entire landscape? Isn’t that what investigative reporting is all about — to take all the pieces and to create an intelligent complete story based upon the facts?

This seems to be a flaw in the reporting system, and it’s not just Voice of OC. VOC does a fine job overall. It is our entire media — local and national.

Don’t you think it’s strange that we no longer have reporters like [Bob] Woodward and [Carl] Bernstein or stories like Watergate? I think the talent exists, but I think they are reined in and controlled by the larger establishment. Certainly it is not for the lack of subject material.

I am not throwing my arms up by any means. I’m just pointing out the flaws in the system that restrain us from reaching solutions.

We’ve talked about this scandal enough. Let’s bury it like all those that went before it and go on to the next scandal. That seems to be the drill.  

— Beelzebub / Oct. 10

Santa Ana’s Farmers Market Forum

It was a very healthy debate and well moderated by friends of Grand Central Art Gallery. It is totally understandable why anybody would want to ignore or reject the mountain of downtown Santa Ana politics that are involved in the search for a simple carrot. But creating a more transparent coalition that will fight to ensure balance of economic opportunities and profits is absolutely the right way to go.

A coalition done right does not have to mean more burdens. It can create more efficiency, popularity and a broader market.

— Got your back / Oct. 11

Here’s a simple test to gauge Downtown Inc.’s contribution to Santa Ana, since some folks claim they created everything good in their four short years, even those things that pre-date their existence, like ArtWalk, the Dia de Los Muertos festival, etc.

Have Downtown Inc. go away for four years and see how downtown Santa Ana does without them. I’m sure it will do just fine.

— Real American / Oct. 9

Comments are closed.

Voice of Our Commentators

Print

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Downtown Inc.’s Farmers Market

Downtown Inc. is doing its job. The proof is in the year-end revenue numbers. The numbers have continued to increase for everyone running a business in the downtown. The people that are upset with Downtown Inc. know why. They will be exposed in time, and they know it.

Gentrification? Please. It’s called living in the present. The third-generation residents of those anti [downtown promotion tax] people are enjoying what’s going on. They were all at the East End [festivities] yesterday [Oct. 6].

Realize the truth. You only hold yourself down. It’s 2012. Grow up.

— Notbrown / Oct. 7

Downtown Inc. is clearly fudging their numbers, because the revenues for all galleries in Artists Village has taken a nosedive. Visitors to galleries and art exhibits are down as well.

Look at the empty storefronts on Main Street. Where was Downtown Inc. for them?

Look at the divisive politics perpetuated by Downtown Inc.. It’s damaged our community greatly.

If you want to bring your produce into a market that lacks community support and will be picketed by the very people you claim to support, thEn by all means move forward.

Most of the City Council shares our view that Downtown Inc. needs to die.

— Artluver / Oct. 7

Santa Ana needs a farmers market,. In fact, it probably can support multiple markets.

I don’t feel that Downtown Inc. or The Grain Project have a monopoly on opening a market in Santa Ana. There are many types of people in the City; all would benefit from having a market. If a community in Santa Ana wants a market, why should they not be allowed to have one?

If Downtown Inc. is the only group prepared to move forward, why should they be prevented from doing so? It has been five years, and no one has opened a new market. How long should the community have to wait?

If Downtown Inc. is able to get a market off the ground, nothing prevents another organization from starting an additional one. Many cities smaller than Santa Ana have multiple markets throughout the week. It seems like everyone can have their needs met.

Most importantly, this is an opportunity to have a discussion, a collaborative discussion, about the community and if a farmers market is wanted. It shouldn’t matter who initiated it, what they have or have not done. It doesn’t matter that someone may have thought of it first.

What matters is that there is an open opportunity for everyone interested to participate and to make an honest effort to do what is best for Santa Ana. I think it is time for everyone that wants to be part of the discussion to attend and work together.

— Holymoses / Oct. 6

Controversial Canyon Development Approved

This just goes to show that the “consent of the governed” and “the will of the people” are so, so yesterday. Today we have bootlickers in office that side with the big money — first time, every time. Even our newfound savior, [Orange County Supervisor] Shawn Nelson, folded like a cheap deck of cards.

If this were put to a vote of Orange County’s people, it would have been shot down by a margin of 30%. But your voice doesn’t matter anymore.

The citizens of the canyons got petitions signed with thousands of signatures and came out in force to argue their case at [the Board of Supervisors] meeting. All for naught. The board is allowed to change the rules in midstream and disrupt the rustic backwoods lifestyles that the fine canyon people were guaranteed when they purchased their properties.

This should be a lesson to all you peasants. At election time you have to open your wallets wide and outbid the white shoe boys. I know that’s a tall order. But otherwise you get hosed.

— Beelzebub / Oct. 3

The Fight for Special Education

As a retired California school district superintendent, principal and special education teacher, I find this article right on target but just touching the surface of how school districts treat special-needs children and their parents.

I am an education advocate who has represented over 1,100 families from the central coast south to San Diego. It is a dogfight with school districts every day trying to secure minimal services for special-needs children. We have managed to make great headway but only at the cost of never giving up, tenacity and my personal knowledge of how schools and districts operate from my 25 years of sitting on their side of the table.

It is important for parents to find an advocate who knows the law, then to do things in a very systematic way, documenting everything. And making sure you put the district on notice for everything you have documented.

— Education Advocate / Oct. 4

New Taxes for California’s Deficit?

The fact is that the California citizens are being used as ATM machines to finance overpaid government workers, to sustain illegal indigent foreigners who have no legal right to be here in the first place, and to backstop career welfare recipients in a state that has 12% of the nation’s population and 33% of the nation’s welfare recipients.

Until those facts change, all tax increases should be nixed until the oligarchs are forced to act responsibly.

— Beelzebub / Oct. 3

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