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.
Investigating Supervisors and CalOptima
Surprise, surprise. When the Board of Supervisors doesn’t agree with a report that exposes just how corrupt they all are, they don’t attack the facts. Instead, they feign outrage and attack the grand jurors who investigated them.
Isn’t that what former Public Administrator-Public Guardian John Williams said about the grand jury when they wrote a report that was critical of him — that they were too old and lacked the expertise to understand his complicated agency? And didn’t Williams end up resigning in shame after the Board of Supervisors found out that everything the grand jury wrote was true?
History repeats itself.
Let’s do a fundraiser for the grand jury. They need $20,000. How about we all get together and see if we can raise the money. Anyone willing? I am. Let’s do this.
And is it possible to enact legislation or put on the ballot a measure to separate the grand jury from this corrupt Board of Supervisors?
Take the ability to cut grand jury funding away from the Board of Supervisors. Make the grand jury independent. Provide them with the necessary dedicated funding to do the job and restore the stipend.
The grand jury is a vital watchdog. The current grand jury has done an excellent job and should be admired and commended. But the Board of Supervisors can’t stand anyone — and I mean anyone — calling them out and exposing their hypocritical actions and behavior.
This is disgusting and must be stopped.
I think in the drama of the grand jury we are missing some very important and troublesome facts.
The FPPC is investigating because these elected officials were having improper relationships with people with contracts with CalOptima. That means that the Board of Supervisors was wined and dined so that they would make favorable votes on contracts. It is sickening.
I wonder what they would find if they looked at all of their dealings? How much money did the board get in exchange for handing an information technology contract to connected insiders?
CalOptima is just the tip of the iceberg. Thanks, Voice of OC, for exposing this, and keep digging. This is just the beginning.
The Board of Supervisors needs to become accustomed to public scrutiny of their actions as all public officials do. Their childish whining did nothing to improve public confidence in their roles as our elected officials.
I’m glad they are being investigated. Their reaction makes one wonder what they are hiding.
— Get real
Attacking the Public Records Act
The government’s greatest ally is secrecy and concealment. And in many cases the media plays along with them and encourage the hiding of information or downplaying a set of known facts to assist the government in their efforts.
And it’s shameful. It makes of mockery of “freedom of the press.” Even on a local level we get many revealing stories on county and local governments that we would never get if not for a small publisher like Voice of OC.
I’m just saying that even if important information is made available, often it’s not reported. It’s no surprise that we haven’t had a Watergate-type media investigation for 40 years in this country. And don’t say it’s due to lack of material or opportunity.
The reason is complicity, plain and simple. So signing your name to this letter is fine. All I am asking for is that all those who sign their names, walk your talk.
If we allow this to happen, watch out. The foxes will devour the chickens. Without this information, taxpayers will be told to put up and shut-up.
If Gov. Brown allows this, we must vote him out.
Thank you for your efforts to shine a light on this issue that will irreparably harm all Californians.
“Voluntary compliance” is a joke. There is no voluntary compliance for getting a driver’s license, paying taxes, answering a summons or subpoena. This is a ruse to use an alleged budget problem to get out of a legal obligation.
Putting this on the ballot is such a waste of money when the problem can be fixed with very little money by the governor not signing these self-serving bills.
Editor’s note: The governor and Senate Democrats reversed themselves Thursday and abandoned their efforts to amend the California Public Records Act.
Anaheim’s All-White Charter Committee
I wonder how loud the bellyaching would be if all the appointees were Latino? Can you say, ‘The silence is deafening’?
People submitted their names and rolled the dice for being selected. The qualifications for the position were quite public on the city website, and nowhere did it mention Form 700 as a requirement. Now Mayor Tait is pissed off at the list of people and wants to make the selectees file the form.
No other committees are required to file, but he is so mad at [Curt] Pringle, a longtime confident and friend of his, he wants the Form 700 requirement. When he asked [the city attorney whether it was] required he was told it isn’t. But he went forward with it anyway.
All committees or none, Mr. Mayor, if it isn’t required, but expect your list of volunteers to shrink because most people don’t want to share personal-private information for just being a good citizen and volunteering.
And, Mr. Mayor, why was your selection not a Latino? You blew the opportunity to put your money where your mouth is.
— The Truth And Nothing But The Truth
And right on cue, [Councilman] Jordan Brandman appoints [lobbyist and former Mayor] Curt Pringle. He then goes on to list the priorities he wants the committee to review.
His first priorities are things like council responsibilities (look for them to cut the mayor off at the knees) followed by term limits and other issues related to how sitting council members run for Mayor (bingo).
I find it interesting that these are the most pressing issues to Mr. Brandman. Political power and how it is wielded — or abused — takes precedence over what should be first on the list: a review to ensure our charter has not fallen out of compliance with state and federal laws since its last update. (It has.)
As far as Curt serving on the committee, he kind of has to. Really, look at what happened at the [previous charter committee]. Even when they stacked the deck in favor of the pre-chosen outcome, they still did not arrive at the conclusion that the establishment preferred. So Curt is forced to get in there himself, because if you want a dictatorship done right, you have to do it yourself.
Thankfully, Tom Tait asked for each member to file a Form 700. Look for the majority to do a song and dance about how we do not want to be heavy-handed, draconian, big brother-type government and expect someone whose career is based on influence-peddling as a lobbyist to disclose connections that could become conflicts of interest.
Talk about putting the fox in charge of the henhouse This would let the fox redesign the henhouse.
— Cynthia Ward
If those who are injecting race and ethnicity — accidents of birth that we have no control over as opposed to our beliefs, knowledge, experience and character — into this equation can provide a compelling reason why those should be legitimate criteria in appointing individuals to a public body, then I am all ears.
— Matthew Cunningham
Brown to Supervisors: Cut Your Office Budgets
First, it is none of the governor’s business as to who does what in Orange County government.
Secondly, to demonstrate leadership, the Board of Supervisors should be leading the way and setting an example when asking employees to make sacrifices.
Good for [Supervisors Todd] Spitzer and [Shawn] Nelson to change their thinking. Now let’s see the rest of the supervisors get their act together as well.
State law establshes counties as political subdivisions of the state, not autonomous fifedoms of locally elected officials. Sounds like the governor’s office delivered a much-needed reminder of that reality.
— News Hound
This is getting stranger and stranger! The Board of Supervisors ignores the grand jury but listens to Jerry Brown. I’m falling down the rabbit hole.
Homeless Shelter Real Estate Deal
The county has a whole slew of real property managers and over 500 attorneys on staff, but the chairman of the Board of Supervisors steers his buddy to a sole-source contract from which he will no doubt receive a standard 3-percent commision of $93,000.
Yet Chairman Nelson wants to do away with the grand jury? I had such high hopes for you, Supervisor Nelson.
You’re spot on, Cacity. This is another one of those stinkbombs that warrants an investigation.
But don’t expect the internal auditor or the performance auditor to wrap their arms around it. The insiders wouldn’t touch it with a 40-foot pole. They know which side of their bread is buttered and who puts it there. The grand jury is our only hope.
Why in God’s name would he bring his high school buddy in on this real estate deal? [Supervisor Shawn] Nelson’s an attorney, right? Didn’t he give this some forethought?
He sure talked tough about being a change agent when he campaigned for office, didn’t he? And those first couple meetings he talked real tough too. Then he proceeded to slip right into the fold with the rest of ’em.
Sheriff’s Special Officers
The union is out to lunch on this case.
California POST [Police Officer Standards and Training] has determined that the special officers do not have either the qualifications or training to become full-time peace officers. Bottom line is, they are in fact Sheriffs Department civilian security guards with limited powers.
If these guys want to play in the big league, then let them apply to be a deputy and complete the appropriate screening and training process.
These special sheriff officers for 20-plus years have dedicated their careers to serve the public and have been recognized as peace officers in the state of California for all that time.
The last special sheriff officer graduating class from the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy has gone through an intense 18-week stress academy, the same length as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for its deputies.
These officers are the true ambassadors for Orange County representing our law enforcement community. They are the first law enforcement officers for approximately 9 million visitors that fly into John Wayne Airport. They are the first line of protection for the public and its employees for the county’s entire court system, the county’s probation offices, the county’s social service buildings and all the jails.
With the millions of contacts made by the public, I ask you small-minded people one question: How much have the taxpayers paid out in the millions of dollars to lawsuits caused by deputies versus these special sheriff officers?
Toll Road Editorial
There are so many things factually wrong with this “opinion,” but I’ll start by sharing that according to 2010 census data, people between 20 and 29 years old were less inclined to live in urban, walkable neighborhoods than their predecessors.
Except in transit legacy cities like San Francisco, driving habits are staying the same, and the next generation will not be giving up their cars, no matter what kind of central planning comes out of Sacramento.
Roads like the 241 must be built and balanced with environmental protection to accommodate well-known, predictable growth in population, in driving, in moving goods.
Just saying “no” is childish. Adults find a way to make things benefit both people and species.
Millions for the Tennis Center
Meh. I think there’s definitely a question here as to whether or not spending money on the tennis center is a good allocation of resources, but I’m not buying the class-struggle narrative that [Voice of OC reporter Adam] Elmahrek is trying to staple onto the side of this story.
The tennis center may be located in an ever-so-slightly “wealthier” neighborhood, but nobody’s going to confuse the corner of Wagner & State College for Coto de Caza.
Boysen Park right next door has its own share of “yellowing patches” of grass and graffiti-covered playground structures, although it does have a bathroom.
Honda Center Layoffs
This situation will repeat itself at Anaheim Stadium. Aramark is not renewing it’s contract with the Stadium, and it is rumored they may fire all the workers there and try to run the concessions with nonunion labor at a lower wage.
This is union busting at its finest. It happened at the Honda Center, it’s going to happen at Anaheim Stadium. Disney will be next to try and bust up their labor union.
— Watch n wait 007
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