Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

October 19, 2018 19:00 pm · 36 comments


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.

Herbert Lee October 19, 2018 at 7:50 PM

There is a Concord City Council Candidate Forum on 10/22 at Fair Oaks Church, 1925 Risdon Rd, Concord, CA 94518.

District 1 candidates will do Question and Answer from 7-7:45 PM and District 3 candidates will do Question and Answer from 7:55 to 8:40 PM.

This forum is sponsors by Neto Community Network and League of Women’s Voters Diablo Valley. Both are 501c3 Non profits.

Come meet your next City Council Members and what they have to say before you vote on 11/6.

Old Mr. Rodgers October 20, 2018 at 9:28 AM

Too many forums, too late for me to care since I already mailed my ballot.

apollo idol prudence October 19, 2018 at 8:36 PM

no on martinez prop x – fiscal irresponsibility

Lars Anderson October 20, 2018 at 11:13 AM

I’m unable to go to the Concord City Council due to health problems. I’d like to see somebody ask city council candidates the following question. How good does the economy have to get before Concord voters get something – anything – for their hard earned tax dollars? I read this morning unemployment is at 3% in the bay area, presumably spending has spiked in local stores with all these people working rather than being on food stamps or unemployment as they were in the Great Recession.
I read yesterday in newszine Cal Matters the amount of property tax money going to cities and counties and local districts has spiked by 5 billion statewide, due to skyrocketing home prices. I recall last year city officials were bragging about this new shopping center built at the old Chevron site
Despite this – despite the robust economy – the City of Concord is broke, the city is actually teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Concord isn’t hiring new employees at the city, Concord is not building a new library, no new parks are being built, or in the planning stages. There are no plans to build a new swimming pool, a teen center, or decent basketball courts, or a new gym for the recreation department.
In fact, we are being told that Concord has a projected 16 million deficit is on the horizon. So while the bay area economy is booming Concord is still in the midst of a depression, there is no money to do anything. It’s really pretty unbelievable. How good does the economy have to get before city of Concord tax dollars fill up to the point where we can get a new library to replace our old rat-trap of a library (the shame of the city)? As I have pointed out repeatedly, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, San Pablo, and Clayton ALL have new library’s, and Pleasant Hill has one on the way. Where is Concord’s new library?
In fact, if you look at what is going on at the city of Concord – if you take the time to investigate the unbelievable high pay packages being paid to these managers at the city of Concord – and even rank and file city workers ( Police dispatchers in Concord, who answers phones all day, make 100K a year! No college degree required either. You just need to type 40 wpm!), you can readily see that the only thing these people that run the city of Concord can do is the following; they are very good at giving themselves big fat pay raises . The bigwigs at the city can’t figure out how to build a new library, a teen center, or build a gym, or build some low income housing for the working poor – they keep telling ujs there is no money for these things – but there appears to be plenty of money available when it comes to paying city workers, especially all these managers you got working at the city.
If voters want change, if they want to see a change in this culture of corruption you are seeing at the city of Concord – a culture where the bloated pay packages of city employees is considered far more important than building a new library or a teen center – it’s vital voters give Laura Hoffmiester her pink slip in November.
The reason Concord can’t get stuff done – like build a new library or decent basketball courts for the kids – is because we’ve had do-nothing Laura Hoffmiester dominating the city for 20 years. Hoffmiester is a do-nothing paper pushing slug – a career government employee, her leadership is the central reason Concord is in the sorry shape it’s in today.
All Laura Hoffmiester does, or wants to do, is give city employees pay raises. She has been so successful at this Concord is facing a 16 million dollar deficit soon, she deserves a pink slip right now. We cannot afford to keep the free spending Hoffmeister on the council she has bankrupted our city.

Anonymous October 20, 2018 at 12:57 PM


The City Mansger makes as much as the President of the Inited States, That is obscene.

mtzman October 20, 2018 at 1:26 PM

Actually, that is nowhere even remotely close to being true.

Rollo Tomasi October 20, 2018 at 4:09 PM

You’re correct – in terms of total compensation – but should it be as close as it is? In 2017 the Concord City Manager received a tick under 400K in total compensation.

Rollo Tomasi October 20, 2018 at 4:12 PM

Of course, after review, I realize I have no idea how much POTIS makes.

mtzman October 21, 2018 at 9:01 AM

What the OP did was compare the city manager’s total compensation including benefits with the POTUS base salary. While there is still a big difference in base salary (roughly 258 vs. 400K), when you add in benefits for POTUS — 50K expense allowance, 100K travel allowance, $19K entertainment allowance, housing, personal health care, security, transportation, pension, et al. — the difference is off the charts.

Rollo Tomasi October 21, 2018 at 1:23 PM

I still don’t know what POTIS makes.

lazyone October 20, 2018 at 4:10 PM

Martinez vote no on X and no to the school board. Both the city and school district need to realize the residents are not a blank check. Check your property taxes. The school district wants more. What it needs is to look at the money it wastes. A lot of money could be saved at the high school. Start with P.E. Why do student athletes need to take P.E? Some districts waive it after freshmen year. Why not offer an optional conditioning class before or after school. The cost of a morning or after school coach far cheaper than a teacher. Art classes are small and English large. That makes no sense. Some AP classes are small. It would be cost effective to just send those few students to DVC. Just a few examples of how to save money and there are many more. The district could make a few cutbacks and put that money to use making other classes smaller or hire another teacher. Send a message Martinez. Fiscal responsibility.

Anon October 20, 2018 at 6:44 PM

Totally Agree. Martinez “leadership” have all gotten way too big for their britches. The city is not providing the quality of life for the amount of Taxes that they are requesting.
Just say NO.

Lars Anderson October 20, 2018 at 7:22 PM

President Trump makes 400, 000 a year. Concord Police Chief Guy Swanger makes more than that annually, he has a 270,000 salary as PD chief, plus he makes another 144,000 in pension benefits from his previous police job in San Diego – bringing his annual compensation to 414,000.
As I have been reporting regularly on the Claycord web site, many of the folks that work at Concord PD have become millionaires keeping us safe. It isn’t just Chief swanger that is raking in the big bucks.. Ronald Bruckert who is the President of the Concord Police Officers Association, has made 290,000 dollars annually in salary and OT the last 36 months – his three year total was 873,000. That’s for 2015,2016,and 2017. He racked up 240,000 in OT in that 36 month period too.
I presume Bruckert is making that amount of money again in 2018 – who is going to tell the Concord POA President “Hey, no 80K in OT this year for you ” – Valerie Barone won’t do it, and neither will Mayor Birsan- so Bruckert, as I have reported previously, makes 1 million in salary from the City of Concord every 42 months. That’s what it’s costing to pay a Concord cop to give traffic tickets, arrest drunk drivers, investigate car-break-ins. And break up fights and bars, we must not forget that important job Bruckert performs regularly
As many are aware, City Manager Valerie Barone, Mayor Birsan and Laura Hoffmiester continue to tell us Concord is a poor city – we can’t afford anything in our city, a new library – a gym – nothing, yet when it comes to city employee pay we suddenly morph into this wealthy city.
Apparently the thinking at the city is this; because Concord is the largest city in the county, the 8th largest city in the bay area, the pay of city of workers should reflect that, yet when it comes to services of any kind or any major capital improvement project – like a new library – we suddenly become a poor city again. We residents should not expect anything from the city but bloated pay for the people who work at the city, that’s the reasoning of Hoffmiester, Barone, and Birsan! Oh do these three deserve pink slips!

Smith October 21, 2018 at 8:38 AM

The process whereby Measures and Propositions are placed on the California ballot has been co-opted and corrupted by special interests groups to fund their pet projects. Just know that any Measures or Propositions you approve will likely show up on your Property Tax bill … or your landlord’s Property Tax bill and be passed on to you as a rent increase. Propositons and Measures you approve are going to cost you.

J October 21, 2018 at 9:51 AM

The Contra Costa County Librarian makes $253,000 yr with benefits.

Smith October 21, 2018 at 9:18 PM

Let the incumbents know their ATM is really annoyed.

Anonymous October 22, 2018 at 8:18 AM


The thrust of your post is correct , you miss the mark when you criticize the Chief for having another source of income , a previous pension . Would you criticize anyone for having stock dividends ? I wouldn’t .

The point should be that the Chief makes $16,000 less then the Chief of LAPD. This is ludicrous.

Smith October 22, 2018 at 8:34 AM

Repeal the gas tax. Vote YES in Proposition 6. Take back what’s yours.

Pat October 22, 2018 at 10:59 AM

Stop paying astronomical wages and benefits to public employees and use THAT money to repair roads and bridges. Stop asking for more of my paycheck. Take from the governmental thieves instead!

Ev October 22, 2018 at 9:57 AM

Petiton to urge City of Concord to change the ordiance on sidewalks, and City to be responsible for sidewalk repairs

City of Concord Calif to take over repairing all sidewalks in Concord, making them the resposible party for repairs of all nature to the sidewalks. Petition PLEASE CLICK HERE ON THE BLUE IT WILL TAKE YOU TO THE PETITION

Concord Mike October 22, 2018 at 3:12 PM

@Ev, I applaud your initiative, but I won’t be signing this petition.

Concord is broke. Our streets can’t even get maintained to the point where they stop deteriorating. Concord is hemorrhaging money because of high employee salary and benefit costs, but unless that problem is solved or gold is discovered in Todos Santos Park, the city has no money to spare. Road repair should be a higher priority than taking on new work like sidewalk repair.

We can improve the current sidewalk repair program. The requirement for inspections is very costly. The city should certify 3-4 sidewalk repair contractors, have them bid their work competitively directly to the public, and not require multiple permit inspections for the work. Just spot check to keep the contractor doing it right. That could save a lot of money and get more sidewalks repaired.

Atticus Thraxx October 22, 2018 at 5:06 PM

I don’t understand why this should be the city’s responsibility. Please explain.

Rollo Tomasi October 23, 2018 at 2:35 PM

If I can close the portions of a sidewalk that are adjacent to my property and restrict or prohibit public use, repairs should be my responsibility. If the sidewalk is public property repairs are the city’s responsibility. I would add that if I’m directly responsible for damage (tree roots, for example) I bear some, if not all, responsibility for repairs.

Recall 'Em All October 23, 2018 at 10:03 PM

Yep – the City of Concord doesn’t and hasn’t for some time, taken care of sidewalks in front of residential areas. BUT, they have made available a program that eases the burden on the homeowner to correct the tree root problems common in some neighborhoods.
Agreed, Concord Mike, that the City is broke – but not just because of salaries and pension – it’s the allocation of Measure Q dollars toward pet projects of the Council, or projects that they are in over their heads for, like Lennar and the new Coast Guard property expenditures. Any road work that has been done is most likely not Concord dollars, but grant monies and gas tax monies. Check it out. . . in detail. Money from the new developments will not make it to the existing City for decades – we pay, they play!!

Ev October 22, 2018 at 9:59 AM

Please add my petition for making the City of Concord responsible for repairing our sidewalks.

Old Mr. Rodgers October 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM

Many, many streets in Concord don’t have sidewalks. Should people without sidewalks help pay for your repairs?

Smith October 25, 2018 at 2:09 AM

Clayton charges a Special Assessment to yearly Property Taxes to provide street lighting and landscape maintenance in the city. We have no street lighting or landscape maintained by the city on the street where I live, but we pay a ridiculously high Special Assessment for it which city leaders accumulate as a “surplus” and use it as a slush fund to finance pet projects like loaning money to Clayton Valley Charter High School for its “legal work.” What high school that you know of requires legal work? Well, apparently Clayton Valley Charter High School did because they were up to their ears in financial abuses of the Districts taxpayers.

Sidewalks? Be careful what you wish for … you may end up with a Special Assessment slush fund for certain city individual’s pet projects.

Randy October 25, 2018 at 10:03 AM

Do you walk on sidewalks or drive on streets with lights? Then contribute to their maintenance.

Kentucky Derby October 22, 2018 at 7:53 PM

If sidewalks are mandated for public use (in any city) then the city should be mandated to pay for the repairs. Period. Kudos to residents (of any city) that pressure the city, and succeed. The city has more money than the average homeowner, and anyone can utilize the sidewalks. Fine. Pay for the repairs.

WC Resident October 22, 2018 at 11:13 PM

Sidewalks are a scam in my mind. Last week I saw a guy with a contractor truck and clothes carefully documenting the state of the sidewalk on Putnam between Oak Park and Geary. I suspect his plan was to have the city of Pleasant Hell force the homeowners to pay to have every inch of that sidewalk brought up to 100% code, ADA compliance, whatever.

Jojo Potato October 24, 2018 at 10:00 PM

That stretch of Putnam is the border between WC (east side) and PH (west side). Which side of the street was this mysterious person examining? There is a very odd bump out in the curb on the WC side just North of the canal crossing that should get removed. The narrowing of the street there is hazardous to cyclists, such as myself.

Smirh October 23, 2018 at 10:08 AM

Concord City Council has gone out of its way to nemoralized the Spanish Colonial period in Todas Santos Plaza installing colonial-style arches and a statue of Spanish conquerer Salvio Pacheco. Then, to make sure we did not forget those who constructed this affront to historical Native American tribes of the area, they installed a plaque congratulating themselves.

Vote ncumbwnts out of office. They obviously do not respect the history of the area, rather, they defile it. The arrogance and ignorance is appalling, but not unexpected when you consider how long some have sat in service to developers, garbage czars, and special interests. Vote incumbents out of office for the betterment of Concord

Hope Johnson October 23, 2018 at 12:55 PM

Tim Grayson will be giving a presentation to the Concord City Council tonight on the status of SB1, the 2017 “road repair and accountability act” – the increase in the gas tax and vehicle reg fees that may be recalled by Prop 6. Did you know about $1 billion in truck weight fees still goes toward paying back the $19.9 transportation bond of 2006? Or that $706M per year for three years of the new tax over the next three years goes toward paying back transportation loans going back to 2002? All because the State general fund could borrow money from the transportation fund back then. Even though it is being paid back, it’s still money we couldn’t use for road maintenance so added to the bad road conditions.

Smith October 24, 2018 at 2:21 AM

Vote “No” on Measure J which will benefit Clayton Valkey Charter High School, an organization that was determined by audit to be financially irresponsible with taxpayer funds. For one thing they payed over $800,000 to to Director Linzey and his wife (who also worked at the school and reported directly to Linzey) to take a one year Leave of Absence after resigning, just one of many questionable practices at the school The City of Clayton made a loan of taxpayer money to CVCHS to fund legal work, a misuse of public funds. CVCHS and those assocuated with it have not earned taxpayer’s trust to fund them in the lavish manner revealed in the audit by the passage of Measure J. They have taken advantage of the public trust. Vote “No” on Measure J

Whoe Jim October 24, 2018 at 7:56 PM

Hello all… I would like to share some pertinent information regarding proposition 6. On the October 22nd issue of the Concord pioneer newspaper, our Mayor Edi Birsan eloquently described the fact that our road tax revenues were indeed diverted to other priorities. I for one appreciate his candor and find it refreshing for him to report the truth… that will put to rest the thoughts of a few who considered that all those taxes that were collected were being spent on road repairs only. We need more of this honesty going forward. But this is a good lesson that we shouldn’t always trust where they spend our money on their highly coveted propositions…..

Fred P. October 25, 2018 at 11:20 AM

If funds intended for sidewalks and roads have been diverted, then why should anyone pay more for the same thing…..especially when it was caused by the politicians essentially stealing the funds from their intended purpose.

If randy wants to continue paying over and over just because they’re being used, that’s his business. But I would prefer to hold the politicians accountable.

But if you want to keep electing politicians by their party, that’s your business. You can keep paying for their unethical behavior.

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