Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

February 8, 2019 19:00 pm · 17 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.

Forsythe February 9, 2019 at 1:37 PM

For those of you who think that government could somehow create competent and well managed green policies, think again. The more complicated government gets, the worse it becomes.

Look no further than Fastrak. It is green, in that it strives to reward people who have electric cars and engage in ride sharing.

Toll lanes are being built all over the SF Bay Area, including 680.

I looked up FasTrak on Yelp. It is rated 1.5. There are obviously some major problems. But FasTrak isn’t accountable to the voting public, so no one cares.

To quote one reviewer:

“I can’t wait for the day these people are replaced by machines. I’ve never dealt with a more incompetent organization. FasTrack is a collection of individuals that evolution would have snuffed out had our current social structure not deemed all human life of ‘equal value’.”

So please think twice before you think green. “Green” to anyone with half a brain means: heavy handed, incompetent bureaucrats. Everyone else gets rolled.

Chubby February 9, 2019 at 5:17 PM

I wish you said what your specific beefs with the Fast Trak organization were. Larger transportation policy aside, I can only bear witness to my own experience: I recently got a ticket in the mail for running the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza. Apparently this was because my Fast Trak wasn’t linked to my new car. I hadn’t registered my new car on my Fast Trak, so this makes sense. However, it is also perplexing because I’d previously grabbed my Fast Trak transponder to use in other people’s cars, and never had a problem. (or my friend never told me that it doesn’t work and he’d get tickets in the mail?)

But aside from the annoyance and inconvenience of getting the ticket at all, clearing it up was easy enough and they didn’t give me any guff. The wait to talk to an actual person wasn’t so bad, and the young woman that came on the line was courteous, efficient, cancelled the ticket, and registered my new car. She was highly competent. Just my experience.

Forsythe February 10, 2019 at 7:05 AM


Your experience is reassuring. A couple of friends told me that their accounts were charged various fees without their being notified first. I have been thinking about getting FasTrak. Which is why I looked at the Yelp reviews.

But I am going to delay the inevitable as long as possible.

Lazy One February 9, 2019 at 8:09 PM

Did anyone go to the town hall in Martinez today with Thompson and DeSaulnier? I am curious how it went.

Lars Anderson February 10, 2019 at 12:53 PM

A homeless man died a couple days ago at a local shelter while interacting with some Concord police officers. When I was reading press accounts of the incident I noticed that police officials in Concord declined to talk to East Bay Times reporters about the incident, nor did the department issue a press release on the matter. I find this troubling.
Anytime a local citizen winds up dead as a result of interaction with members of the Concord Police department I believe the department has a duty to explain what happened to family members of the deceased person. Members of the community also should be provided with this information.
I read today in the EB Times Vallejo Police officers shot and killed a man in the drive through of a Taco Bell, the man apparently had a gun in his lap and he went for the gun, so VPD officers had to shoot the guy to protect themselves and others. Vallejo PD issued a press release the following day explaining what happened. This type of transparency is vital in these types of incidents. The public has a right to know what happened.
As many are aware, our new District Attorney, Diana Becton, has set up a new policy where all information the county has in it’s possession in regards to officer involved deaths be made public; county officials are no longer hiding information from the public in situations where somebody dies as a result of an encounter with the police in our county. This is a good policy.
Did this homeless man at the Concord homeless shelter die as a result of a choke hold? That’s a question I have as a citizen, – I have seen reported cases in the media of this happening in other cities. The fact that Concord police officials are mum on what happened in this matter seems a little questionable to me, it suggest they are possibly trying to get their story straight. Had police officials put out a press release explaining what happened – like Vallejo PD officials did in this Vallejo shooting yesterday – that would allay any fears citizens have that Concord cops are being careless when arresting people.
As some are aware, the City of Concord paid a million dollar settlement in 2018 to the family of an Antioch man who was killed by Concord police officers in 2013. In that incident Concord PD officers gunned down a suspect in Antioch who has a warrant out on him. The suspect apparently was running away – a fairly routine thing that happens when police officers try and apprehend suspects. After the man was shot multiple times, a Concord police canine dog started chewing on the guy as he lay dying. This questionable arrest, which including a deadly forced being used when it wasn’t even needed by the officers involved, cost a young man his life.
In that matter it was alleged by lawyers who filed suit against the city that Concord PD officers where “coached” by members of the Mark Peterson led Contra Costa District Attorney’s office, it was also claimed other witnesses were intimidated as well. Don’t know how true any of this is, but the whole matter had a sour odor to it, the lawyers representing the City of Concord obviously thought so too, which is why they settled with the young mans family for a substantial amount of money.
I also think it worth mentioning Concord PD settled 550,000 worth of law suits in 2017 year that pertained to questionable arrests by the department, including a Concord officer being involved in this “Dirty DUI” scandal that rocked law enforcement several years ago. In that matter a Concord PD officer, since fired, was helping local divorce lawyers set up men on DUI’s so the wives could be better positioned in child support and custody battles
Given this history, and our new DA’s Diana Becton stated policy of shining the light on all deaths that come as a result of interaction with the police officers in Contra Costa County, was it appropriate for Concord police officials to not bother to inform the media of the circumstances of how this homeless man ended up dead?
As many may have noticed, the Concord PD – which is grotesquely over funded by the Concord City officials (PD budget has gone from 40 million to 60 million in just a few years) – has in recent years developed this costly and expensive public relations wing of the department.
The department has these high level paper pushers, who make a quarter million a year, churning out press releases all day long trumpeting the good works the department is doing in the community. Police officials even have a new “movie division” of the department, run by this this PD Captain William Roche, a bigwig who apparently fancy’s himself as the next Otto Preminger.
This Roche fellow – who makes 220,000 a year (more than almost all the PD Chiefs in the CoCounty) – has been busy directing films that highlight the departments works, such as the famous lyp-sync video; retiring officers are also getting films of their final day at work , which includes wall-to -wall footage of the officers retirement parties – and all their co-workers giving them “high fives” to the officer as he rides off into the sunset with one of those 100K pensions the officers now get, pensions that are bankrupting the City of Concord.
While Concord PD never tires of promoting itself, when it comes to answering questions about how or why some homeless guy ended up dead while interacting with Concord PD officers the big PR machine they have at Concord PD comes to a grinding halt. Concord PD officials won’t even answer reporters phone calls, let alone explain what happened, and why.
The silence you are seeing in regards to how this homeless person ended up dead – while interacting with Concord PD officers – is just another example of the total lack over oversight of the Concord PD by the City Council or City manager Valerie Barrone.
Concord PD, increasingly, answers to nobody, not to the press, not to the public, not to the city council or the city manger. Concord PD has morphed into it’s own separate agency, an agency that is not subject to any civilian oversight at all. And, of course, the agency doesn’t feel like it needs to explain why homeless people die when they are arresting them. February 10, 2019 at 1:42 PM

@Lars Anderson – The Concord police department did issue a press release on the death of the homeless man.

Cowellian February 10, 2019 at 1:45 PM

Well, there goes that entire narrative!

S February 10, 2019 at 2:05 PM

Rant…. Ax to Grind?????

Lars Anderson February 10, 2019 at 8:16 PM

I worked as a reporter for a period of time. The Concord Police Department NEVER answered the telephone when reporters called to get information, on any matter. The bigwigs that run this department are arrogant beyond belief, as you would expect of any public agency that is not supervised by an civilian entity . If you are a private citizen and you call Concord PD about ANY criminal matter you will NEVER get a response, ever.
The cops in Concord, most of the time, won’t answer telephone calls, you will get an answering machine 90% of the time. Cops in Concord, I should mention, are often on vacation, or out on disability. I should mention there is no published list on the internet that explains who is available to talk to should you need to talk to an officer in Concord. There is also no information – of any kind – that would explain the hierarchy of the department. You have to play detective to figure out what is going on at the Concord PD, the only information you get from Concord PD is the department patting themselves on the back on what a great job the Concord PD is doing.
I follow the Concord PD pretty carefully. I have seen little evidence that the Concord Police Department is an effective PD, especially in light of the huge amounts of tax dollars we citizens are paying to fund the Concord PD. When is the last time you read in the newspapers about a “cold case” murder case the Concord PD solved? Seen any big drug bust done by the narcotics division of the Concord PD lately? How about the Concord PD vice squad? Seen any prostitution busts lately by the Concord PD? How about this big arson fire that happened across the street from the PD a couple of years back? Concord PD played no role – whatsoever – in the arrests of the suspect in that matter. The Concord PD was clueless on this million dollar arson fire that took place 50 yards from the police station.
As I have been trying to explain to Claycord readers, there is no civilian oversight – at all – of the Concord PD. You have no cost controls going on at the Concord PD whatsoever, the people working at the PD are setting their own salaries – they are telling wimps like city manager Valerie Barrone or City council members – like gasbag councilman Tim McGallian – what they are going to make, and if the people at the city managers office don’t like it – they are told we will get rid of you.

Turn N Burn February 11, 2019 at 6:53 AM

I bet Radar would not of had a problem. He’d of had an interview and pictures.

Pat February 10, 2019 at 11:53 PM

EXACTLY what Lars said.

Lars Anderson February 11, 2019 at 11:06 AM

As a followup I thought I’d mention Concord PD has not been able to solve the recent attack on the Concord PD station. Recently somebody fired a weapon at the PD station, possibly an automatic rifle, they didn’t say in the papers. This incident, apparently has moved to “cold case” files at the Concord PD. As I have been reporting, Concord PD officers are being paid these massive pay checks yet they can’t even solve a case like this one, where you had criminals open firing on the departments facility with weapons, possibly even automatic weapons. lol.
As I have been explaining, there is zero oversight of the Concord PD by the city manager or the city council. The department has been given a blank check by these police labor union stooges on the council to fight crime – criminal gangs – but the department doesn’t appear – to me – to be especially effective. Our city has been spending all this money to fight gangs, yet nobody in the department seems to know how may gang members Concord has, what the names of the gangs are, or even where they live in Concord! We are spending all this money fighting gangs yet the department can’t even give us the names of the gangs!

KAD February 12, 2019 at 9:11 PM

I am so disappointed that Hope Johnson was not selected for the Planning Commission.

Silva February 14, 2019 at 4:33 PM

It is very disapointing!

Giddyup February 15, 2019 at 1:45 PM

It is disappointing, but not altogether surprising. They want people on the Planning Commission who are passive, compliant, and cooperative with the current City Council’s “vision.” That you don’t think for yourself or question the status quo is a plus.

The “vision” these city councils are aiming for has been handed down from much more powerful agencies above them in the governmental bureaucracy and they dare not resist. Sad but true that the future of Concord is being decided by those in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, and they have constructed a path the city will follow for decades into the future.

Jo February 14, 2019 at 3:25 PM

Kad- who was elected besides the 2 incumbents? Kenji would have been good, but probably too controversial just like Hope.

KAD February 15, 2019 at 6:43 PM

I don’t remember his name. Never saw him before. An engineer I believe. You can watch a replay of the meeting if you like.

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