Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

March 16, 2018 19:13 pm · 30 comments

voted1

This special post is “Talk About LOCAL Politics”.

Please use this post to talk about LOCAL politics, and keep state and national politics out of this thread.

Thank you, and be kind to each other.

Please Note: Users who use multiple names will be deleted. Please choose a name so others can easily chat with you. Users must provide a name in the ‘name field’, please do not use the ‘@’ symbol in the name field.

CSS March 16, 2018 at 7:45 PM

Indict Libby Schaaf and disbar her…

Recall 'Em All March 16, 2018 at 8:22 PM

Just curious if you park in red zones, walk your dog off leash, cheat on your taxes, come to a complete stop at stop signs, keep your trash bins “out of sight” . . .

Ray Lewis gave me a used suit March 16, 2018 at 10:03 PM

^^^^^^^^
None of those come close to her crimes.

Clasping Forehead March 16, 2018 at 11:12 PM

People! PEOPLE !!!
This is supposed to be a LOCAL politics thread, but
Oakland is way over there through a tunnel, for pity’s sake.

Lars Anderson March 18, 2018 at 6:30 PM

Concord Police Officer Ronald Bruckert’s – who also does double duty as powerful head of the Concord Police Officers Association – the departments labor union – earned $ 221,000 in 2015, and 2016. His base salary was 129,000 each year but he earned another 80,000 each year in OT, plus an additionall 10,000 for “other pay” so his salary for those two years worked out to $221,000 a year. Bruckert, it’s worth noting, is a lowly patrolman! But he is apparently a very well connected patrolman, because he made pretty close to what the Concord City manager, and the PD Chief made in those two years. According to Transparent California, Bruckerts total compensation for 2015, and 2016 was 291,000 per year – this includes pension and benefits, so city taxpayers had to pay Bruckert $582,000 over a 24 month period to Bruckert. As a patrolman, of course, Bruckerts duties involve a lot of busy work – he gives out speeding tickets, he drives over to the mall to arrest shoplifters, and he sometimes breaks up fights at bars. He also gives out DUI’s. Sometimes Bruckert gets involved in a dangerous situation at work – as he did the other day – but mostly Bruckert does the kind of normal BS stuff cops do everyday. This is all work that needs to be done of course, but I wonder why City of Concord officials can’t seem to figure out a way to get this work done cheaper. Is it possible city officials don’t really want to? Are they even trying to keep spending on the PD down to something reasonable? I don’t think so. The fact Bruckert made 81,000 in OT in 2015-2016 – almost to the dollar – also looks very fishy to me. This hints he may have been “gifted” the money. It seems to me if he was working real OT – OT that was needed – he might have made like 90,000 in one year, and maybe 70,000 another year. Simple common sense tells you that. I also don’t recall any big crime waves taking place in 2015 and 2016, why was Bruckert working all this OT? Was the department short of officers? That doesn’t seem too likely, the city laid off 25% of the city work force several years ago – yet not a single PD officer lost his job. Concord police officers, as many are aware, can’t get laid off. That’s not written in the city charter, but that’s the reality of the situation. When’s the last time a PD officer in Concord got laid off? They get fired once in awhile, but lay-offs – never. If any reader is wondering why I am bringing up patrolman Bruckerts fabulous compensation in 2015, and 2016 is to highlight the obvious corruption going on in the City of Concord. The reason patrolmen Bruckert is being paid such fabulous wages has nothing to do with crime- Concord has always been a reasonably safe city (one murder last year) – the reason he’s paid so much is because he’s a big shot in the PD labor union, and because the PD labor union runs the town of Concord now, and has run it for some time. Two people who could do something about Bruckerts excessive wages – which includes all this questionable OT – would be City manager Barrone, or our PD Chief. I mean they are supposed to be in charge of things. In fact, the PD labor union wields such clout in the city now they have the power to fire both the City Manager and the PD Chief – and they would likely do so if any city officials starts messing with their pay. So the city manager and the PD chief just look the other way. The City of Concord, far from being a well run city, is a city steeped in corruption and cronyism. The obnoxious police department labor union- comprised of officers that mostly don’t even live in the city – runs the town of Concord – has run it for many years, and has all but run the city into the ground with their greed(see dumpy Concord library, our crummy city hall, our rank rec programs, parks that haven’t got built). That’s a sad state of affairs, but that’s the truth. I hope the switch to district elections will shake things up, maybe we will get some new blood on the council that will replace PD labor union stooges Hoffmister and McGallian. The city council and the city manager in Concord – they are supposed to be in charge of our city – they are supposed to be steering tax dollars back to us residents, but that’s not happening because of the greedy out-of-control Concord PD labor union. As it stands now the city is run by the PD labor union, and as a result almost all public dollars in the city are flowing into PD officers pockets, with just crumbs left over for anything else (see patrolman Bruckerts pay in 2015, 2016).

Concord Mike March 18, 2018 at 10:02 PM

Lars makes a good point with respect to excessive overtime. A well-managed department is just not going to have employees with $80,000 in overtime in any one year. The only exception to that would be in a catastrophic natural emergency like the Houston floods where search and rescue and electrical power disruptions go on for a month or more. In that case yes you can blow your overtime budget out of the water.

I wouldn’t call out any specific officer for ridicule, though. I would presume the OT was authorized and worked. When an individual officer (or several officers) are allowed to work excessive overtime the buck stops with the chief and the city manager, who report to the city council.

O. M. Rodgers March 19, 2018 at 8:14 AM

The Chief of Police reports to the City Manager, only the City Manager and City Attorney report to the City Council.

Lars Anderson March 22, 2018 at 7:01 PM

As I have been reporting, the median average salary of Concord employees is 158,000 – that’s salary plus benefits. Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek have a median average salary of 133, 000, about that anyway. So Concord employees are paid 25,000 more. As many may recall, voters passed this bond measure – it was supposedly desperately needed because our city is so “poor”- they are using the bond money to do infrastructure spending, the normal stuff cities are supposed to do with our tax dollars. You can readily see city leaders, like Laura Hoffmiester, lied to us voters. Passing that bond allowed everybody at the city to get these fat raises (see Bruckert), which is why Concord city employees make way more than surrounding cities. As I have been explaining, the big winner has been the PD, morale is sky high at the PD, officers are getting promoted to make work management jobs, you have all these unneeded Sgt’s. now, the cops are getting all this OT – like Bruckert – who is getting 80K a year in OT, I mean spending on the PD is out of control , it’s been out of control for years, that’s why I keep talking about it. The city has starved every other department at the city to pay for this wasteful spending being done at the PD, they laid off 25% of the city work force, city officials fobbed the Pavillion – Concord’s crown jewel off to some company, we can’t build a library, rec programs are a joke. In Concord they break out the champagne when they can build a single bathroom at Ellis Park – laughably they had the PD all mixed up in this bathroom, I mean you got all these managers at the PD – they have to dream up stuff for them to do, same with these Sgt’s, they send them over to the senior center to hang around and give seminars on mail theft. While you have all this profligate spending going on at the PD, City manager Barrone and the council won’t make a peep about because they have all been put in their jobs by the PD labor union, if any of them were to start asking tough questions about PD spending they would all be out of a job in a hurry, because the Garaventas and the PD labor union put them in their jobs. Laura Hoffmiester – she works at the City of Clayton, cops in that city make 1/3 rd less. if Clayton could fill cop jobs for that pay, so could Concord, simple common sense tells you that. Yes, Clayton has more turnover, so what, entry level PD officers work less that guys like Ronald Bruckert. Because the PD labor union runs our city the whole city revolves around the PD now, the city manager is just a figure head – she has little power, she can buy pencils for the offices, hire a few people to work at the city, she has no power – at all – to reign in spending at the PD – she works for the PD, not the council. As long as Barrone keeps the gravy train going at the PD she can have that job forever – the PD likes weak city managers they can push around, they also like care taker city managers that do a whole lot of nothing, like Lydia Du Borg.

Keep all three barrels up March 19, 2018 at 8:27 AM

Not cool Lars!!!!

Anonymous March 19, 2018 at 9:22 AM

The Chief of Police in Concord makes twice the governors salary and $40,000 less then the President.

I’m sure glad I voted for an increase in sales tax to save the police department.

Anonymous March 19, 2018 at 9:37 AM

Here is another fun fact:
Chief of LAPD ( an agency a little bigger then Concord) makes
$372,000 a year

Chief of Concord makes $356,000

Thanks City council

Concord Mike March 19, 2018 at 3:34 PM

This Tuesday’s Concord City Council meeting (3/20) includes a presentation from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors about their plans to introduce marijuana processing and sales to unincorporated areas, including a commercial area adjacent to Concord north of Highway 4. They have not finalized any plans, but instead are taking this presentation around to neighboring cities for feedback.

The most notable distinction between the County plan and the Concord City Planning Department’s plan is the County is presenting two separate maps with different (and significantly larger) buffers for schools, playgrounds, parks, and residential areas.

Here is a citation from page 6 of the County presentation:

“Contra Costa County Code currently restricts the establishment of new tobacco retail establishments within 1,000 feet of any school, playground, park or library and within 500 feet of any existing tobacco retailer. Buffers for the County’s cannabis ordinance could range in distance. The appropriate distance could be determined based on a variety of factors such as use, location, parcel size and type of sensitive sites the County chooses to identify. The Preliminary Cannabis Use Maps show two alternatives, one that includes 500 foot buffers from residential zoning districts along with 1000 foot buffers from schools, community parks/playgrounds, libraries, drug treatment centers, and homeless shelters and one that includes the 1000-foot buffers but omits the 500-foot buffers to residential zoning districts.”

So the obvious questions are:

Why is Concord city management using the bare minimum state buffers of 600 feet from schools and “amusement parks” and no residential buffer distance at all?

Why is Concord using buffer distances for marijuana production, testing, and distribution which are significantly less than existing buffer requirements for tobacco stores and liquor stores?

Why isn’t Concord city management at least following the County Supervisors’ example of presenting our City Council with several maps showing different buffer scenarios?

Will be interesting to see if this buffer issue is addressed during the presentation on Tuesday either in public comment or when the city council members discuss the presentation. It is the elephant in the room.

Forsythe March 20, 2018 at 5:34 AM

“Why is Concord using buffer distances for marijuana production, testing, and distribution which are significantly less than existing buffer requirements for tobacco stores and liquor stores?”

Answer: The impact on the citizens of Concord just isn’t that important. The potential tax revenue is.

Concord Mike March 20, 2018 at 10:07 AM

Forsythe, I am afraid your answer is correct. This is about tax revenue. This is not about medical marijuana uses at all. This is about making Concord “weed central” for recreational users along the 680 corridor and all BART stops east of the Caldecott.

An “Interdepartmental working group” of city employees with the blessings of the city manager and police chief came up with this scheme to push Concord full tilt into the pot business.

The city employees want the revenue for obvious reasons. They want their pensions funded and enough revenue left over to assure regular pay raises. That is understandable, but it is up to the elected city council to look after the best long term interests of Concord.

We will see which Council members really care about Concord’s reputation as a kid-friendly, family-oriented city when they vote on this issue at the council meeting April 10.

KAD March 20, 2018 at 5:59 PM

Concord Mike – I can’t find this on the agenda for tonight. Can you tell me which item it is on the agenda?
Thanks

KAD March 20, 2018 at 6:45 PM

Sorry, I found it on the agenda.

WC resident March 20, 2018 at 12:38 PM

I’ve never seen much value to 1000 foot buffers. A teenager is willing to walk or bike a couple of miles to score some junk and so the buffer should be closer to 15,000 or 20,000 feet.

Concord Mike March 21, 2018 at 8:45 AM

WC resident, Of course I would also prefer a larger buffer… like one which extends to the city borders. But politics is the art of compromise, so buffers help us keep obnoxious and dangerous products out of our immediate neighborhoods when city hall lacks the resolve and common sense to keep these products completely out of Concord.

I have seen the map with the 600 foot buffer from schools, and a buffer like that would allow marijuana storefronts in most of our neighborhood retail strip malls. A 1000 foot buffer that also includes parks and playgrounds would spare most of our neighborhoods from this blight.

Walnut Creek residents and Clayton residents should care about what happens to Concord. We are neighbors and problems in Concord will have a negative impact on surrounding cities.

It March 20, 2018 at 12:58 PM

This is exactly what I mean when I say that interlopers will trash the area and leave the people who have lived there peacefully for years bloodied in their wake, and them move on to some other area which is more acceptable to them and start over. Concord now has the potential to move closer to Pittsburg and Antioch and the drug-infested Delta in cultural sophistication, and away from Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Alamo, Danville, and Orinda. Rather than elevating the city they are proposing a major step backwards to line their own pockets just as they did with the CNWS plan. The current City Council will be long gone by the time the consequences of their actions are fully felt in the area. Clayton citizens should be on high alert because they too will be sucked under as Concord goes down.

Hope Johnson March 20, 2018 at 8:22 PM

Concord City Council should not be considering any type of post employment benefits to be one time expenditures that can be paid with Measure Q funds. These payments are due every year and are not “one time.” There is a huge deficit so the payments will be ongoing.

The post employment expected interest earned is way too high and the taxpayers have to make up the difference. The expected interest needs to be lowered.

Anyone who wonders why there is no money for services need look no further than this. Measure Q funds should be used for services and infrastructure.

KAD March 21, 2018 at 12:58 AM

You are correct. I will never again vote yes to be taxed after seeing how they are using the money. They need to do a better job of balancing their budget. Why is our Police Chief making almost as much as the LA Police Chief?

Jojo Potato March 21, 2018 at 11:24 AM

Well, can I just say duh! Politicians life blood is money and they crave it just like vampires. And money comes from taxes and like good addicts that’s their source. And they know that after the tax is approved it’s all gravy. They can use it for whatever they want which is generally whatever makes money for themselves. Hasn’t anyone noticed that local governments are controlled by real estate/insurance/developers ? We have been ripped and our communities destroyed by this crowd for a long time. I’m sick of it.

PandoraHD March 20, 2018 at 10:06 PM

The fashionable trendy “School Walkouts”. Face it; these kids would not attend and “march/walkout” if they were held after school hours. It is just an excuse to legally skip class.

Schools across the United States sanctioned it, so it is not actually a walkout. It is young people conforming to government authority by repeating a government-approved agenda in a government approved venue. That agenda is that citizens should have their rights taken away by the same government whose agenda they are expressing.

Young Americans are legally skipping school to attend a fashionable trend of “marching” to demand fewer freedoms from their government and everyone is pretending that their actions are somehow courageous and strong.

This is how indoctrination works.

Fred P. March 21, 2018 at 7:00 AM

@Pandora – agreed.

And I’m willing to bet that NONE of those students KNOW why they’re walking out – other than because of the mantra fed to them by the schools.

Critical thinking is lost on today’s society.

mtzman March 21, 2018 at 8:12 AM

The timing of the walkout happened to coincide with many schools’ morning break. At some local schools, such as Alhambra HS, the students were released two minutes early, and, thus for the most part students participated on their own time.

You are correct about one thing, though: this IS how indoctrination works, only you’re the one doing it.

Forsythe March 21, 2018 at 6:51 AM

Last night’s televised Concord’s City Council meeting was sad to see. Our City Council members seem to believe that they can control the upcoming marijuana nightmare.

Concord’s City Council has become complacent, and compliant.

One public citizen/advocate even claimed pot is “just as safe as sugar.”

The city council didn’t question this blatant lie.

But you can BET any kids watching last night’s City Council meeting might remember that statement when they see a legally purchased “edible” sitting on the kitchen counter.

There’s nothing on Concord’s marijuana web page that addresses the potential for teen drug abuse. Instead, Concord is is trying to fast track the opening of pot stores. Please read: http://www.cityofconcord.org/marijuana

Concord Mike March 21, 2018 at 9:11 AM

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and good women) to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

I will be at the city council meeting on April 10 to state my objections to this sell-out of Concord to the marijuana industry.

I will be listening carefully to the council members comments and will be taking note on how they vote.

I hope you can make it too.

Forsythe March 22, 2018 at 6:41 AM

Thank you for the invitation. I will try to be there also.

Jojo Potato March 21, 2018 at 11:15 AM

This discussion about buffers is pretty funny. According to my 8th grade grandson the pot trade is conducted “out behind the school”. Whoever brought the product can get it from pretty far away so this buffer argument is a nonstarter. And furthermore I doubt that the school yard dealers are buying their product from legal sources anyway. It’s too expensive. How legal pot and real world school usage got intertwined is a mystery to me. They are completely independent.

Forsythe March 22, 2018 at 7:24 AM

California’s Marijuana Debacle

Prop 64 supposedly gives communities and cities the ability to regulate and even ban the pot industry and its drug dealers from setting up shop where unwanted.

But here’s the reality: towns are being intimidated by the marijuana industry. When cities push back, they threaten lawsuits, or fund ballot initiatives, backed by drug money, to force cities into allowing distribution, and sales with even weaker regulations.

Prop 64 is supposed to reduce and nearly eliminate the black market. Really? Where is the evidence? In Colorado, marijuana arrests are up 380% since legalization.

California is not warning the public about the dangers of high potency THC products, dabbing and edibles — the crack cocaine of marijuana. California has done nothing to warn teenagers about the impact on young adult brains.

It is time for federal intervention before California collapses under its own weight of incompetence.

To find groups that are fighting back, visit: https://calmca.org

Parents, please educate yourselves! Visit:
http://momsstrong.org/home/resource-list/books/

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