Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

April 12, 2019 21:00 pm · 23 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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Noj April 13, 2019 at 11:19 AM

Mark DeSaulnier is looking forward to twenty busloads of criminal illegals being dumped in Claycord.

Let’s hear who cheers this move.


You guys waking up now?

The Wizard April 13, 2019 at 11:31 AM

Drop them off in Marks neighborhood.

Gittyup April 13, 2019 at 1:54 PM

De Saulnier already has a boatload in his neighborhood. They are the gardeners, the housekeepers, and they are the nannies to the children.

Lars Anderson April 14, 2019 at 7:08 PM

Concord Mayor Carlyn Obringer is continuing her efforts to have a “conversation” about Concord roads. In this weeks Diablo Gazette she writes a column about this topic – the theme of her column was this; Concord cannot grow if we have bad roads with a lot of potholes. Previously she was interviewed by the Chamber of Commerce – in that interview she again talked about this fake “pothole”.crises going on in Concord.
Frankly – as an issue – I don’t think Concord’s deteriorating roads is on the average Concord residents minds. I myself haven’t noticed a lot of potholes, nor have I heard anybody talking about this topic either. I must admit as a senior citizen I don’t drove all that much, so maybe I just haven’t noticed the potholes. I should mention though, at no time have I ever noticed Concord has bad roads.
While I don’t drive that much, there is a powerful special interest group in Concord that does do a lot of driving – the Concord Police Officer Association. The members of this hideous city labor union – a union that is bankrupting our city treasury – do a lot of driving, so I am guessing they are behind the dramatic “plan” to earmark money for potholes in Concord.
My guess is the bigwigs in the POA have noticed that there are more potholes and they want them gone because occasionally they have to do high speed chases with local shoplifters, – car shopping is Concord’s number 1 crime – such as the one they did a couple years back where an East County women was killed trying to evade the Concord PD (the young girl had been “car-shopping”).
So my theory on this pothole crises is that the POA leadership have ordered Obringer to fill up the potholes, which she and her fellow POA stooges on the council have done by earmarking 400,000 to fill them. As many know, if the cops in Concord snap their fingers the people all on the council fall all over themselves to do anything they want. Same with City Manager Valerie Barrone.
Laughably Obringer is trying to claim city officials are filling the potholes for us residents – that one makes me laugh because everybody know these POA stooges that serve on the council represent and cater to the members of the Concord POA only, not us residents. When was the last time we residents got anything from the city? The statute of Fernando Pacheco? Nope, that was paid for with private money. Fact is, after the Concord POA leaders and the other muckety mucks at Concord PD carve up the city budget for themselves there is nothing left for us residents, no money for a library, for a teen center, for a theater, for recreation programs – there is no money left for anything .
In Concord only the senior center gets any money, and they only get it because the Concord POA – who control our city budget – farms senior citizens votes (Generally only seniors – many of whom are half senile – bother to vote in Concord, sadly).
As many are aware, Carlyn Obringer was “placed” on the Concord City Council by the Concord Police Officers association, the PD labor union “hand picked” her serve on the council by the POA. The union arranged to finance her campaign too, the big shots in the POA control the Garaventa’s bottomless pit of campaign funds – as more sophisticated Concord political onlookers knows.
The reason Concord PD wanted Obringer on the council, and these other Concord POA labor union stooges who were placed on the council (like Tim McGallian) is to keep the gravy train going for the officers at the PD, the unusually high salaries (40% higher than Clayton officers make), the overly generous pensions (which are going to bankrupt the city by 2023), and to keep the department overstaffed with 225,000 a year managers that push papers around the PD station (see PD Captain William Roche – the rank and file officers call him Make-Work-Roach behind his back).
Getting back to my original reason for posting, the reason these pot holes are being filled is because members of the Concord POA are concerned in a high speed chase they will get hurt. Anybody who follows Concord politics carefully knows the Concord PD is behind almost all policy decisions being made now in Concord, and they control where city money goes too. The council – for many years now – is completely controlled by the people working at the PD – council members make no decisions on where to put city money without getting the nod from their overlords at the PD.
I myself am offended that Mayor Obringer would have the audacity to try and claim these potholes are being filled as a “gift” to us Concord residents. Who is she trying to kid with this nonsense?
If Mayor Obringer wants to gift us residents with something for our tax dollars – other than bloated city salaries and pensions for the people working at the city – how about building a new library? Or a teen center? How about gifting us with the quality recreation programs we have been doing without for decades?
I don’t know about others, but I don’t like it when politicians lie to me – Carlyn Obringer is a liar – she’s nothing but a stooge for the Concord POA, she was put on the council to keep the gravy train going for Concord Police Officers. Concord residents will NEVER get a new library, a teen center, quality recreation programs etc. etc. until we get Obringer off the council.

Hope Johnson April 14, 2019 at 8:56 PM

It’s the beginning of Concord’s campaign to get voters to approve doubling the Measure Q sales tax and making it permanent. Council and staff have stated they will start rolling out the propaganda now for this to be on the Nov. 2020 ballot.

They chose to push the idea this is for repairing the roads this time. Last time they used a scare tactic that you would lose safety services without it. But it all just goes into the general fund.

Concord Mike April 15, 2019 at 6:18 AM

No doubt the focus on roads will support the measure Q campaign, but the truth is bad roads are everywhere in Concord. Data shows our roads are in worse condition than most all neighboring cities, and current rates of of spending are not adequate to even halt further deterioration.

I would gladly support in increase in Q IF we also had a serious cut in expenses in city government- targeted at wasteful spending including top-heavy upper management.

At the last city Council meeting I saw a resident present a FOIA request to the city manager for public disclosure of all city costs associated with the campaign to bring cannabis businesses into Concord. Good for her! Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on consultants, staff time, travel, surveys,etc. in an attempt to turn Concord into Berkeley or Oakland. A huge waste of scarce resources.

The city council needs to stick to basic priorities like road repair, neighborhood preservation, and crime reduction.

Hope Johnson April 15, 2019 at 8:33 AM

If there was a provision in the proposed tax that half of any of it collected was required to be spent on roads only, maybe I would consider voting for it. Otherwise, most of it will go to paying pension costs.

If staff’s prediction that there will be a recession beginning in July 2020 is accurate, then a requirement for allocating money only to roads will be all the more necessary. All this fuss about road work needs to backed up with legislation to mandate the work – stop being played by the same routine to shake us down for more money to go down the rabbit hole.

Concord Mike April 15, 2019 at 11:19 AM

@Hope Johnson, Agree. We do seem to end up with a lot of promises and little in terms of results. Incremental revenues flow into the general fund instead of being dedicated to road repair.

I am not expecting a recession in 2020, but it is prudent to always be prepared for the next one. Costs for road repair are very high right now, but will drop with the next recession.

Smart cities with reserves will spend money on roads early in the economic recovery cycle when they can lock in the best prices. Cities like Concord will wait until late in the cycle and pay the highest prices.

THE BLACK KNIGHT April 15, 2019 at 9:31 PM

Mayor Carlyn Obringer’s mistake is assuming that Concord residents have a desire for Concord to GROW!!! Most of us don’t, especially the plans that the Concord City Council is shoving down our throats!!! They continually fail to inform the public about what the upside of growth is for us.

Just remember, after residents passed the second incarnation of Measure Q 2014, it was only months later that the Concord City Council passed the “Fiscal Sustainability Ordinance,” which was the brainchild of former CORRUPT Councilmember Tim Grayson and former Councilmember Ron Leone, which allowed for Measure Q dollars to be diverted to other items, such as pensions and unfunded liabilities. This is a perfect example of the corrupt tactics and actions that the Concord City Council engaged in, they sold Measure Q to the voting public as being necessary to maintain City of Concord and Concord Police services, but at the first opportunity they passed an ordinance that would allow them to divert Measure Q dollars. That alone suggests that the second incarnation of Measure Q wasn’t as necessary as the public was led to believe. As of the November 2018 Concord City Council elections, Measure Q was bringing in $5 million more a year than was originally projected, yet they claim it’s still not enough.

For the third incarnation of Measure Q, the public must demand that Measure Q SHALL state that half of the revenue generated SHALL go exclusively to maintain city services and the other half of the revenue generated SHALL go to road maintenance, and that the “Fiscal Sustainability Ordinance” or any future Ordinance passed by the Concord City Council SHALL not apply to the 2020 Measure Q!!!

If the members of the Concord City Council have to again mislead and lie to the voting public in order to get Measure Q passed, and they again have to mislead and lie to the voting public about their true intensions of where they intend on spending Measure Q dollars, then the voting public needs to vote against extending Measure Q, this time doubling the sales tax to 1% and making the tax permanent.

Fred P. April 15, 2019 at 10:15 PM

If they’ve failed to set aside the money as promised, then why in hell is everyone willing to approve it “if they do what they promised?”

They already proven their dishonesty. I’d vote NO – period.

THE BLACK KNIGHT April 16, 2019 at 9:28 PM

Fred P.,

You’re correct, the voting citizens of Concord should vote down the third incarnation of Measure Q, but the fact is that the “SCARE TACTICS” used by the Concord City Council in 2010 and 2014 will likely work again, and voters will again pass Measure Q in 2020. The only way to keep the Concord City Council from diverting Measure Q funding to pensions and unfunded liabilities is to clearly define the language of “Measure Q 2020” so that it clearly states what the funds are to be used for, 50% to maintain city services and 50% to fund road repairs, and that NO FUNDS can be diverted to fund other city expenses and liabilities.

As November 2020 nears we will begin to hear the Concord Police Department use of sirens increase to send that subliminal message to voters that they’re on the job and we need to continue to fund the department with Measure Q dollars.

“Measure Q 2010” passed 54.34% to 45.66% or by 2,918 votes, while “Measure Q 2014” passed 77.21% to 22.79% or by 13,597 votes.

Lars Anderson April 15, 2019 at 12:02 PM

Hope is clearly correct, Mayor Obringer’s “Road Offensive” – her rap on how the city desperately need tax dollars to fix the roads – is clearly a lame PR campaign to create a climate for extending and doubling Measure Q tax funds.
This work, I should add, fixing the roads, is supposed to be done with regular tax existing tax dollars. Additionally voters passed Measure Q – to do stuff like fix existing infrastructure problems, such as pot holes The city never got around to filling the pot-holes with this extra money?
Didn’t the city use Measure Q funds to re-do City Manager Barrone’s office. I think I recall that. A new bathroom was put in at Ellis Lake Park too, as I remember it. Additionally, I recall a new bathroom was put in at Concord’s rat-trap library. I also recall with great fanfare city officials put some bike racks in at the library too. City officials forgot to do the potholes?
While Obringer may talk about fixing Concord’s roads, – filling those potholes – I believe her real “goal” in trying to create a climate for the continuation of the Measure Q tax – and a possible doubling of the tax – is to keep the gravy train going for her sponsors over at the PD – the members of the PD labor union – who put placed Obringer on the council. I know of nobody that doesn’t believe Obringer is a complete stooge for the PD labor union, her and Tim McGallian.
As I have been reporting regularly, spending at the Concord PD is out of control, it’s been out of control for a long, long time. The overhead at the Taj Mahal PD in Concord station is just massive – just the electrical bill alone is mind boggling. Wages are too high at the PD, pensions are too high (veteran officers make 139,00), there are too many desk job managers – the department has no cost controls whatsoever.
The Concord City council – and the city manager – have given the PD a blank check to fight a pretend crime wave and we residents are suffering because of this, we have to do without a decent library, quality recreation programs, money for the arts, and money for little theater etc. etc.
I recall last time we were told we needed Measure Q funds to battle Concord’s growing “gang problem”. In fact, millions have been spent in our city on gang enforcement teams. While we are continually told Concord is infested with gangs – and we need to pour money into the PD to fight the gangs – nobody at the Concord PD can provide city council members, or residents, with any hard information on gangs.
Nobody at Concord PD can tell us how many gang members Concord has, what the names of the gangs are, or how many gang members been arrested and put away. In fact, nobody Concord PD seems to know much of anything about gangs, other than what gang tattoos gang members favor!
Simple common sense tells you we have few gang members roving Concord’s streets. Where are the drive by shootings? We get 1 drive-by every 10 years, if even that. Are Gang members really moving to Concord to buy 700,000 homes?
Again, as I said previously, Mayor Obringer has a duty to tell the truth to Concord taxpayers. If she wants voters to re-up Measure Q so she and her fellow council members can keep the gravy train going in at the PD, the generous salaries, the budget choking pensions, the funding of phony make-work gang enforcement teams, I think she should just come out and say this.
She should tell us Concord taxpayers that we need more taxpayer dollars to pay the 150,000 or 200,000 salaries being paid to patrol officers to investigate car shoppers or bust shoplifters at the mall. She should tell us we don’t have enough desk jobs at the PD, or even enough desks to house the growing number of PD managers. She should also tell us the city needs more money so city officials can continue to pay dispatchers at the PD their 100,000 a year salaries. She should also tell us taxpayers the city needs more taxpayer revenue so city officials can continue to pay the Concord PD Captains, who make more money than the PD Chiefs do in 16 other cities in Contra Costa, their bloated mega-paychecks.
While she should be doing this, instead she is telling us the city needs this money to pay for potholes. Obringer should get off this “pot hole crises” and start telling voters the truth – that the city is overpaying everybody that works at the PD – even though Concord has so little crime they have to dream up things for the officers to do. She should also own up to the fact that she, along with others on the council, are responsible for the coming sea of red ink – that costly city salaries at the City of Conord is the reason Concord is headed to bankruptcy court in a few years.
Obringer should also stop this “rap” about a structural deficit” at the city of Concord when it comes to the budget. Concord has no “structural deficit” – what we have is a lot of dumb spending going on in Concord. Concord doesn’t have that much crime, we are overspending at the PD – big time – and city officials need to stop this. ridiculous waste of money.

Rodger April 15, 2019 at 2:56 PM

Don’t they have public meetings to go over where the Q money is being spent?

Recall 'Em All April 16, 2019 at 5:54 AM

@Roger, yes! But, go to one and you will be treated like a snake. It appears that the city knows how it wants to spend the money and NO outsiders are welcome when the rubber stamp hand comes out to approve the items before them.
@LARS – not only are they trying to sell this Measure Q stuff, they are withholding services (probably as an attempt to use it as a weapon – “we can’t afford to do what we should be doing”.)

Well Folks April 16, 2019 at 8:47 AM

Once again your lack of knowledge with regard to the library shows. The minor refurbishments to the “rat trap” we paid for by the COUNTY library system. If citizens like you want a fancier more high tech library then you need to be like the folks in Lafayette, Orinda, Clayton, Danville etc and do some major fundraising for it. I’m sure you can organize and chair a $1000 per ticket wine tasting like they did in Lafayette or a high end art auction like the one the citizens of Orinda held.
Bottom line until people like you stop whining and start with some action you will have a pathetic little library in Concord. It takes the citizens to work and raise funds to have something nice. So stop being what is wrong with Concord and try being what is right. Do something like get physically involved rather than whine

Fred P. April 17, 2019 at 9:46 PM

Then it’s time for an independent audit or convening a grand jury.

Lars Anderson April 17, 2019 at 2:19 AM

Well Folks, The City of Concord owns the crummy rat-trap Concord library building – not the county – a building that was built in 1959 when Concord had a population of 36,000. ( Concord has a population of 132,000).
Wages and salaries of people working at the library are paid for by the county. The wages of the workers at the library, I should mention, are modest. The county operates a little differently than the City of Concord, the county doesn’t plot and scheme to overpay county workers, they pay what they can get away with paying to attract a worker.
If the City of Concord officials were paying the wages of the library workers they would all be making 100K a year, easy; City Manager Valerie Barone and council -women-for-life Laura Hoffmiester just love giving away city money to city workers. As I have been reporting, everybody that works at the City of Concord makes over 100K a year now, usually way more than that.
Many cities now in California are adding city money to the operation of the library – often for expanding hours the library is open. Cities are also finding the money to replace antiquated buildings. Many enlightened city residents see the library as a wonderful resource for the community, especially for K thru 12 students, college students too.
This is not happening in Concord because of our cities culture of corruption , the sordid backroom deals being made with this corrupt PD labor union – a union that basically runs our town now, The PD labor union has been rolling city council people for years, so almost all available tax dollars flows into the pockets of members of the police labor union.
The massive pay packages at the PD have nothing to do with crime levels, the officers are getting these huge paychecks because Laura Hoffmiester and Carlyn Obringer are doormats for the PD labor union. These women are weak – neither could run a corner grocery store. We will never get a new library until we get these two off the council.

Well Folks April 17, 2019 at 9:06 AM

Lars – the little refurbishments to the Concord library came from funds from a grant the county had to divvy out. I have friends at County library finance and they told me this. Once again you talk and have not clue.
For all of your whining I don’t see you physically get off your butt and get involved and get to work. And for the record the people of Lafayette also pay taxes for things and actually pay 2-5 times more taxes than you ever will in Concord. Bottom line they wanted a nice library and raised funds for it as did the people of Orinda, Danville and Clayton. It take citizen involvement and WORK to have nice things. So until you are willing to work give it up as all you are doing is making useless noise. So start a fund raising campaign or shut up already.

Gittyup April 17, 2019 at 4:41 PM

Lars has a right to his opinion whether you like it or not. I also believe a new Library is long overdue for Concord, especially since I remember when it and Pleasant Hill were the only two around. Personally, I just don’t have time to devote to raising money for it right now. But perhaps, just perhaps, Lars can motivate someone who does. Then all his efforts will have been worth it.

I also agree with him that there should be an extensive investment in recreation program for Concord youth — more extensive than Walnut Creek’s programs for youth which are stellar. Because, in my opinion, Concord young people may just need it more than Walnut Creek’s young people do.

And, lastly, Concord’s investment in open space is sorely lacking when put alongside other communities in the area. It appears that the priorities of Concord’s leadership are more aligned.with cleaning up after the mess rather than preventing it and demonstrates very little foresight.

Turn n Burn April 17, 2019 at 6:31 PM

Thank you Well Folks.

THE BLACK KNIGHT April 17, 2019 at 9:20 PM

Lars Anderson,

A new Concord library is supposed to be part of the CNWS property development. Two locations on the CNWS property have been spoken about, across the street from Willow Pass Park on East Olivera Road in the area of Salvio Street, and on the “Campus District” property between the BART Station and SR4. All of the Concord City Councilmembers are committed to a new Concord library, unfortunately the City of Concord currently has bigger problems, like being broke!

Hope Johnson April 18, 2019 at 11:53 AM

@ Lars Anderson – Not sure about funding of actual construction for specific libraries but Well Folks is correct that many libraries have “civilian” citizen groups formed specifically to coordinate ongoing fundraising. Lafayette’s library has an active Library Foundation that I see mentioned regularly and SF’s library has a Friends group that also ends up getting political sometimes.

@ Black Knight – Have to disagree with characterizing Council’s support for a new library as being “committed” to it. There is no specifically delineated library in the specific plan, no one mentions it unless asked, and there was no negotiating over it with specificity at any time (Council has insisted on a civic auditorium or convention center with more enthusiasm). They are leaving it up to what they can negotiate – and all of them have been terrible at negotiating with developers. They were obviously hoping the State would fund a library through a four year university but now the Campus District is no longer being considered for a four year university, it’s going to be a research facility or graduate/tech school. “Committed” needs to be in writing or you are being played just like with the elimination of the City Park.

Forsythe April 18, 2019 at 7:21 PM

Some cities are using vacant mall spaces for smaller libraries. Since Concord now has four districts, why not consider adding a small library in each district. For example, the space where Beverly’s Fabric used to be. Or Sun Valley Mall. Overall, libraries in many cities are changing their services to meet changing community needs. Many libraries have coffee shops, vending machines, and other expanded services.

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