Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

March 15, 2019 19:00 pm · 15 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.

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concord grape March 15, 2019 at 8:03 PM

Welcome to California,illegals. We are a Sanctuary State, If you kill someone, not to worry, the Governor’s got your back. Room and board for the rest of your life.

Concerned March 16, 2019 at 12:58 AM

What is going on in the Dublin Unified School District? Board members are leaving and many are saying they have lost faith in the board.

Winston March 16, 2019 at 8:25 AM

It looks like the developer of the green house property on Willow Pass has thrown in the towel on their market rate (with 10% below market rate to cash in on the state density bonus) project and is getting permits to make their property salable to one of the housing “nonprofits.” So expect more city subsidized welfare housing downtown. This project was killed by a last minute CEQA lawsuit filed by a union who objected to the developer’s plane to use non union labor (the stated reason for the suit was that workers might be exposed to chemicals from a dry cleaner that existed on the site years ago, but really it was just harassment)

I guess housing reserved to people who have made a lifelong commitment to being on government handouts is better than a vacant lot… Maybe…

Gittyup March 16, 2019 at 11:36 AM

Promise them anything, but give them Section 8. Gentrification in Oakland had its consequences … more Section 8 in Concord. ABAG has picked Concord as the new Oakland.

Concord Mike March 16, 2019 at 4:18 PM

I feel sorry for the developer who spent so much time and money acting in good faith, only to lose to unscrupulous union tactics.

I wouldn’t mind seeing habitat for humanity build some sweat equity ownership housing there… but please no more cheap apartments with inadequate parking.

Hope Johnson March 16, 2019 at 7:07 PM

The developer hardly acted in good faith. It slowly purchased each plot of land because one of the property owners didn’t want to sell. Years went by and the developer let the land it owned get and stay run down while it waited out the remaining property owner. Then the developer partnered with another buyer who finally purchased the last part of the property and sold it to the developer. If the developer had actually cared about partnering with Concord and acting in good faith, then it would have scaled down the project and built on what it had. Instead, it wanted one of those get rich mega projects that are much harder to finance than smaller projects.

BagsFlyFree March 16, 2019 at 9:35 AM

This block can’t catch a break. Single family homes are not what this block needs, and the city should negotiate with the unions on a % of the new builds to leave a fraction off limits if necessary to get shovels in the ground within the next two years. This building would have been a nice anchor to the corner of downtown, and offer neighboring properties to update their properties.

BFF Out!

Cornelius von Witherspoon Esq III March 17, 2019 at 3:45 PM

can someone tell me what parcel we’re talking about? Where on Willow Pass?

Winston March 17, 2019 at 4:37 PM

The parcel across the street from the abandoned blockbuster video bounded by Willow Pass, Port Chicago, Salvio and East

CuriousCity March 19, 2019 at 12:24 PM

Lars concern about the Council and the PD is misplaced. The only constant in the City leadership equation is the City Manager – since 2013!

Kirkwood March 20, 2019 at 2:59 PM

The City Manager is hired by, and responsible only to the Council.

Lars Anderson March 21, 2019 at 8:55 AM

Normally a city manager is “hired” by the city council but in Concord the “power” of the council has been un- surped by the police department. Valerie Barone was hired by officials at the PD, not the City Council .Barone, in fact, is actually an underling of these big shots at the PD. Barone has about as much power at the city as a popcorn fart in Concord current power structure.
Concord is now “run by a loose group of un-elected actors, which includes Patrolmen Ronald Bruckert, powerful head of the Concord POA, Concord PD Chief Swanger, and Captain’s Garret Voerge (nicknamed Champagne Gary due to the fact he makes more than almost all PD Chiefs in our county) and police Captain William Quinn.
While the Concord City council and City manager Valerie Barone are supposed to be running the City of Concord, more sophisticated observers in Concord know it’s officials at the PD that are making all the decisions now. All “big decisions” the city council makes – or City Manager Barone makes – have to be “cleared” by these guys running the PD.
The best evidence of this – that the PD is now running the City of Concord – is those whopper salaries you see at the Concord PD; Concord cops are being paid gargantuan wages even though Concord has little serious crime! The city budget has been “rigged” to rain money on all the Concord police officers.
The huge salaries you see at the PD have happened because there nobody is “in charge” in Concord, the PD is running the city now, so the Concord Cops just decide what they want to make – what they think they can get away with making – and then they just inform city Manager Barone of what she is going to pay them to keep them happy.
The President of the Concord POA, for example – a lowly patrolman – has been making 300,000 a year for many, many years now. He has become so wealthy he is on the phone with his stock broker half the day. Another example is Chief Swanger, he is making 50,000 more than his counterparts in Martinez and Walnut Creek. He too spends the bulk of his day managing his stocks and investments. As I’ve already mentioned police Captain Gary Voerge – he makes 225,000 – more than all the PD Chiefs in the county, except the PD Chief in crime wracked Richmond.
Morale, of course is very good at Concord PD. It’s part of Concord corrupt political culture that the people working at the are paid breathtaking wages – whether we have a lot of crime in Concord or not. If you try and raise this as an “issue” all these cranks come out of the woodwork yelling “We back the blue”.
In fact, Concord is headed for bankruptcy Court soon if the city doesn’t get over spending at the PD under control, but there is little political will to do that. City manager Barone, and Council members, live in total fear of the Concord POA and Chief Swanger so they spend a lot of thier time trying to curry favor with them.
The worst is this councilman Tim McGallian, when any decision comes before him McGallian has to make a call to the bigwigs at Concord PD to get his marching orders.
I recall when he got the appointment to the Concord City Council reporters asked him what his goals were, and he said, “I don’t know yet, they haven’t told me yet”. As I understand it, McGallian is the Concord POA’s “spy” on the council, he supposedly gives regular reports to the POA bigwigs in regards to his fellow council members views on the massive Concord PD budget (which has gone from 40 million to 60 million in just 4 years).
If, for example, anybody on the council says something like” Why are Captains at the Concord PD making more then PD Chiefs in surrounding cities” – which is really a good question – McGallian will get on the phone and tell the guys at the POA. McGallian is an “informant” for the POA – he informs on fellow council members if they show even the slightest skepticism about the Concord PD’s skyrocketing budget, which has been going through the roof, even though serious crime is down by 50% in California (the more crime goes down, the higher the ?Concord PD budget goes!)

Kirkwood March 21, 2019 at 9:53 AM

Whoa! Talk about hair trigger…

Lars Anderson March 21, 2019 at 11:38 AM

Kirkwood, there is a very good story today in the SF Chronicle about Juvenile crime numbers going way, way down in the state of California. Juvenile Halls are increasingly empty, the story reports.
This article dovetails nicely with the statewide trend of serious crime going downward all over the state. As I continually report in Claycord, serious crime is down in California 50%, according policy experts (only a few PD Chiefs are disputing that this trend is happening).
Despite these trends the Concord City Council – and Valerie Barone – at the behest of their overlords at the PD – continue to pour astronomical amounts of city money into the Concord PD. The money is being used to fight what amounts to being a fake crime wave in Concord, but the real goal – all along – has been to drive police pay and benefits into the stratosphere, which has happened.
As I keep reporting the Concord PD labor union is really running our city behind the scenes – the council people and city manager Valerie have very little power. The power of the purse – that’s the big power the Council and Barone are supposed to have – but neither Barone or the council have much say on where Concord’s taxpayer dollars ultimately go.
Some of this is not their fault – this big build-up at the PD started many years ago, but the current council and Barone normally should be able to reign in some of this profligate spending you are seeing at the Concord PD, notably these ridiculous high salaries (entry level Concord Cops make more than aerospace engineers and rocket scientists!) – but they are choosing not to for political reasons.
What we need in Concord, badly, is an intelligent “conversation” about crime and policing in Concord. How much crime do we really have in Concord? Has Concord, as a community, gotten carried away with policing (local library a broom closet, PD station as big as football field) Should our entry level PD officers in Concord make 40,000 more per year than veteran Clayton officers? Should veteran PD officers in Concord make more than the Clayton PD Chief? (Clayton PD Chief makes 129,000, veteran Concord officers make 139,000). Do we really need to pay Concord’s PD Captains more money than Police Chiefs in surrounding communities are making? Are Police Captain pensions, expected to be in the 200,000 a year range when Captain Garret Voerge – “Champagne Gary” they call him – and William Quinn retire, too high?
While the council, and Valerie Barone, ought to be talking about these things – asking tough questions about all this profligate spending going on at the PD (Dispatchers make 100K and up) – while they should be looking closely at the downward trends on crime (which means you can get away with less spending on the PD) – happening all up and down the state – there are refusing to do that, instead they want us taxpayers to have a conversation about “roads”. As the PD spends the city into oblivious they want to talk about roads!
If we taxpayers don’t continue to fund the Concord PD’s gravy train – these unusually high salaries, which includes budget choking generous pensions, city officials are now threatening to stop fixing Concord’s roads. Edi Birsan has already made that threat; he said if Concord’s taxpayers don’t re-up Measure Q – even double the amount of taxes we residents have to pay – the city is going to retaliate and stop fixing roads.
Nobody sitting on the council, or City Manger Valerie Barone, I should mention, is making an effort to explain to taxpayers why the average salary of Concord’s city employees – per employee – is 25,000 to 30,000 more than city workers make in surrounding cities, like WC or PH. Nor will any city officials explain why city workers salaries and benefits went from 116,0000 per employee in 2011—- to 154,000 by 2017 – during a time when we taxpayers are being asked to pay more tax dollars via this Measure Q funding vehicle.
The reason nobody wants to talk about this stuff – the huge salaries being paid to city workers, who do not even work that hard, because if they did they would be lifting the veil on the obvious corruption going on at the City of Concord Concord.
Concord City officials continue to look the other way – they refuse to confront the corruption (brought to us by the corrupt Concord POA)- but I am writing about in Claycord, hoping that we can have a real “conversation” in Concord about budget priorities, not that kind of phony “conversation some council members want to have.
If Clayton can get away with paying their cops modest wages, I believe Concord can to. Since Concord has little serious crime the department can survive with a high turnover rate. Solving Concord’s budgets woes is a lot easier that people are saying, to do it though we need council people with some courage. Instead we have these jellyfishes on the council like Hoffmiester, McGallian, and Obringer.

Jo March 22, 2019 at 3:41 PM

You have become a bit tedious Lars, and who the heck is William Quinn whom you referred to twice? Perhaps you forget names by the time you get to the end of your rant.

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