• cordycord

    This was a general tax. The city can say what it wants, but our sheriff count continues to go down every year while they’re now contemplating building a new City Hall.

  • 6eaie2

    The smoke for this alleged fire is manufactured for political purposes. Mr. Bieber is an accomplished political hitman who is spearheading harassment of members of the city council who displaced pro-development elected officials and who continue to oppose the build-now-suffer-later projects. The alleged offenses are no more grievous than passing gas on the dais. Past officials’ decisions lead to two of the most successful ballot measures in OC history. The first was Measure C, which went to the voters in Feb. 2008, following citywide uproar and signature gathering in response to then-City Council’s vote to change zoning of a golf course from recreational open space to condominiums, dumping 5,000 extra car trips daily on Ave Pico. The deed to that open space specifies the undeveloped land was never to be built upon, a condition of approval for installing the golf course. Residents reversed the Council’s decision by a 2-1 margin. The LA developer who purchased the property soon sold it to a golf course company. The subsequent 2008 General Election included Measure V, another big victory for San Clemente residents, who voted 72% to 28% to require any future rezoning of open space be first placed on the ballot. Soon after Measure C, another development fight arose as those same pro-development Councilmen schemed to sell a priceless public beachfront parking lot adjacent historical structures to Shaheen Sadeghi, founder of the L.A.B., for as little as $10,000, blocking ocean views from public land, and requiring the city to fund relocation of a major underground natural gas line. The city was so pro-development at the time they didn’t read the deed of the historic Ole Hanson Beach Club, which would have automatically revoked title to the Club had the Sadeghis been allowed to build upon the large grassy knoll encircling the historic structure built by the city’s founder, Ole Hanson. The L.A.B.’s development, Playa del Norte, lead to 2011’s Measure A, reversing the pro-development Council by a popular vote of 57% to 43%. To build that same parking lot decades earlier, the city had taken, by eminent domain, several small homes whose inhabitants were present at the founding of the city (I located one of the survivors who grew up there and whose family remains embittered, still, at the minimal price the city gave them for their beachside dwellings). Yet the 2011 City Council was willing to nearly give the land away to the Sadeghi’s L.A.B. to build a collection of shopping/dining businesses without replacing the lost parking (at cost of $40k/space is std). The pro-business/pro-development fight continues today, as new Councilman, Steve Swartz, was funded by $100,000 in donations from Craig Realty, the freeway outlet mall developer, and many other business and real estate entities. San Clemente is a sacred place in which to live–if you’re lucky–and residents are constantly forced to counter deep pockets of wealthy developers salivating at every opportunity to pave over the town. So, this VOC article is much ado about nothing. Today’s City Council is straight up with the residents, placing their interests first, and fighting hired guns like Bieber Communications, a mere proxy for wealthy corporations who don’t give a damn about local residents.

    • cordycord

      Word vomit. At least have the balls to write your real name…unless you’re a member of the council.

    • Jim Bieber

      I agree with your assessment that “The offenses are like councilmembers pumping out loud and large amounts of flatulence from the dais.” Stinky behavior that is thoughtless and rude to the public – BUT violating the Records Act to cover up violating the law forbidding the use of city funds to alter the outcome of an election is’t just rude or bad policy, its against the law. Thanks for the detailed percentage point analysis of past elections going back to 2008, you must be a very knowledgeable fellow.

  • OCservant_Leader

    This citizen deserves a Standing O!

    The City playing hide and seek with public records and their “misinterpretation” of said law — should cost them a pretty penny.

  • Sonja Morgan

    I think it is intersting that they are now trying to say that this was for more police. The agenda report from the city states, “WHEREAS, the TOT is a general tax, the proceeds of which are deposited into the City’s general fund. The general fund pays for essential City services such as police protection, fire and paramedic services, street operations and maintenance, library services, parks and recreation services, and general municipal services to the public;” http://san-clemente.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=27461

    No where does it read that it will be used specifically for police. They could use it for anything. Further more, review the OC Registers editorial on OO, “San Clemente’s Measure OO is a tax hike for the sake of a tax hike.The proposal to raise the city’s transient occupancy tax, or hotel tax, from 10 percent to 13 percent, will generate an estimated $570,000 per year in revenue. Though the City Council officially argues the city “will use these additional funds from the TOT increase to maintain and enhance public safety services, parks and our critical city infrastructure,” the tax is not designed to actually fund any of these in particular. As a general tax, the revenue generated can be put toward anything the city wants. If the city wanted to specifically allocate the funding to public safety, parks and “critical city infrastructure,” it should have opted to do so, even if it is less convenient.”

    And the last line speaks for itself.

    “It’ll be basically just a boost to our revenues,” Erik Sund, assistant city manager, explained to the City Council on May 3.

    It is completely disingenuous to rewrite history by saying it was for additional police and we voted it down.

    • David Zenger

      “They could use it for anything.”

      Not quite, Sonja.

      Anyhow, do the math. See how much the police cost as a percentage of your budget. That’s the minimum amount the cops would have gotten as soon as Hutchens set her sights on your new revenue.

      But if history is any indicator, the AOCDS would have been lobbying to get every new nickle.

  • LFOldTimer

    I like this Bieber fellow. Can I nominate him for the OC Citizen of the Year award? He caught the scoundrels red-handed and took action. Bravo. Above and beyond!

    “The city later dropped the recount after they learned that only a registered voter, not the city as an entity, can request a recount.”

    So are you telling me that the SC City Attorney gave the council a green light to initiate and use city funds for a Measure OO recount when it conflicted with State Law? Am I reading this correctly?

    You’re a good man, Mr. Bieber. If not for you it’s likely the City would have successfully pulled this off.

    How many other cities are getting away with skulduggery unbeknownst to the residents who are comatose in la la land?

    • Scott Webster

      Answer: a lot of cities are doing just this…like La Quinta here in the desert who just passed an increase in sales tax and are coming after a TOT increase next election! It is a money pit.

      • LFOldTimer

        The problem with most people is that they think once they vote on election day that they’ve done their civic duty and can put their government on auto-pilot for another 2 years. Then in the interim they’re surprised when the thieves they elected to office pile on more fees and taxes.

        Democracy is an active year round sport. Not a biennial event. Those who don’t participate really have no right to complain after the damage is done. In fact, they deserve exactly what they get.

        Politicians are like dogs. Without proper training they crap all over the house.

        • David Zenger

          “Without proper training they crap all over the house.”

          Greenhut used to tell me that politicians are like dogs. When they’re bad you have to swat them on the nose with a rolled up newspaper. When they’re good you praise them (with a nice story in an unrolled-up newspaper).

          • LFOldTimer

            That was back in an era when the OC Register editorial department actually did it’s job. Greenhut was at the tail end of an era when their editorialists were allowed to think and write independently without first clearing it with the front office. The Hoiles tradition. Today all of them run around with their tails stuck between their legs fearing that they might offend somebody in high office. The one female reporter got into a shoving match with Spitzer and soon thereafter found herself in the unemployment line. Poor girl. I wonder if she ever landed another job in journalism? No doubt it sent a big message in bold print to the rest of the journalists.

      • Marvin Harrison

        Now don’t go asking questions about how the City took 3 pages in the City subsidized Chamber of Commerce publication to promote measure G (sales tax increase) and how certain insiders and commissioners started a committee to raise funds to promote Measure G. We would hate to find collusion and Brown Act violations. There are reasons the City Manager is refusing to answer questions and the City Council likes it that way.

    • Jim Bieber

      Dear Old Timer –

      Thank you for your kind words. We certainly do have some colorful/odd elected officials in San Clement who could be interchangeable with any thuggy council member in less desirable places i.e. Fontana, Bell Gardens or Downy. Please take check out the lunatic yelling by Councilman Tim Brown who was upset that I displayed a map that showed the general location of electeds who are clustered in one neighborhood. The red dot covered several streets but apparently that put his wife in immediate moral danger. Don’t know what weird marriage dynamics are at play but I, like most men are comfortable with letting their wives stay at home alone after 6:00 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdFmmpoj_Qw http://www.ocdaily.net/pg/san-clemente-city-council-sued-for-private-e-mails-related-to-use-of-tax-dollars-to-overturn-measure-oo-election-result/

      • LFOldTimer

        My pleasure, Mr. Bieber. Every city should have at least a dozen citizens like you who are regular active participants in the public process to keep the kings and queens in line. Most of the kings and queens claim that they are pro-democracy and cheerleaders for civic engagement. But their behavior at the meetings and their attitudes towards the public tells a completely different story. The San Clemente residents are very lucky to have you in their city.

        And don’t let the push back bother you. Every council has a controlling blowhard or two. Your map showing that the council members live a stone’s throw away from one another was commendable and should have been praised, not chastised. Council members who are afraid to leave their families home alone at night should bring them to the meetings.

        In the meantime if the councilman believes that he’s so special that he deserves confidentiality in all public records he should go ask a judge to grant his request.