Claycord – Talk About Local Politics

February 14, 2020 19:00 pm · 18 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.

Concord Mike February 15, 2020 at 6:48 AM

Just a reminder to votte NO on measure J.

This wasteful bill is sponsored by CCTA – the county bus and rancid transit agency. It is all about more money to run more empty busses, more empty bike lanes, and more money for the BART board to squander.

This 1/2 cent increase in your sales tax will NOT be going to fix Concord roads. If even 50% of the money was guaranteed to go towards local road repair I would vote for it,

Do not be deceived. Not one penny of this big tax increase is guaranteed to fill one pot hole in Concord.

J February 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM

Thanks Mike. I’ll vote no.

Lazy One February 15, 2020 at 10:41 AM

There are plenty of Yes on J signs out on the roads & I have received mailers. Nothing for No. Spread the word. No on J!

The Wizard February 15, 2020 at 7:59 AM

Time to vote Mark DeSaulnier out. I’m voting for Nisha Sharma, check out her website…

Gittyup February 15, 2020 at 4:34 PM

There are so many things wrong with the Proposition 13 measure on the March ballot that it is hard to know where to start. But, the devil is in the details. Disguised as a measure to improve the state’s schools, Prop 13 seeks to sell 15 billion dollars in general obligation bonds at a cost to Californians of 26 billion dollars, 15 billion dollars in bonds, and 11 billion dollars in interest on those bonds. That’s a whopping 740 million dollars per year for 35 years just in interest. A staggering 5 percent of the 26 billion dollars would be eaten up in administrative costs. I think we can legitimately call this “irresponsible borrowing.”

But, that’s just the beginning. Those seeking to pass Prop 13 have raised $10 million dollars just to sell this bleed of California taxpayers to the voters. That includes developers in California with contributors from Texas to Pennsylvania, Maryland to Florida. Why such far flung interest in a California bond measure? It’s because written into Prop 13 is a clause prohibiting school districts from assessing developer fees on some residential development throughout the state, and reducing the fees on others. Developers in California and those located elsewhere developing in the state have contributed heavily to see that the proposition passes. Lennar, the developer of CNWS, has made a hefty donation to support proposition 13. It’s a cost-saving boon to developers and home builders in California which does nothing to improve the schools.
Buried in the Proposition 13 legalese is a clause permitting school districts to issue a much higher amount of local general obligation bonds. For elementary and high school districts the limit will be raised from 1.25 percent to 2 percent of assessed property value. For unified school district and community colleges the limit would be raised from 2.5 percent to 4 percent of assessed property value. This is but another well crafted attempt to end run the protections passed in the 1978 Original Prop 13 to protect renters from excessive increases in rental costs. and homeowners from exorbitant increases in property taxes.

If these two clauses buried in Proposition 13 aren’t enough to highlight the fact that it is wrong for California, there is also that borrowing 15 billion dollars for school construction and repairs is foolhardy when California has a $22 billion dollar budget surplus. As recently as 2016, voters approved 9 billion dollars to build and repair schools. Now they tell us they were never repaired and they want more money. Where did that 9 billion dollars go?
There is more, but isn’t that enough? The framers of this proposition have thrown in everything but the kitchen sink in obscure clauses pandering to special interests and it does nothing to quell the irresponsible borrowing in Sacramento at the public’s expense and little to improve conditions in schools. State Senators, teachers, and Taxpayer Associations urge you to defeat this wolf in sheep’s clothing. Don’t be fooled. Vote NO on Proposition 13.

Lazy One February 15, 2020 at 8:33 PM

But it is for the children and Californians love to pay taxes. How many times to we have to pay taxes for the same things over & over and nothing gets done? Just say NO!

Gittyup February 15, 2020 at 10:54 PM

Give yourself the tax break your State and Federal Senators and Congressional Representatives won’t give you. Vote “No” on Proposition 13.

Whoe Jim February 15, 2020 at 8:08 PM

Thank you Gittyup for the comprehensive analysis of proposition 13 which is another falsely advertised tax proposal that sends our money to other collective sources…. we can only hope for once the voters will get it right and deny another one of their bond measures…

Holy Smokes February 16, 2020 at 9:27 AM

Read this earlier some place. All true. I’m a teacher and will vote no. That said, as I tell my students that just copy and paste, “cite your sources.”

Gittyup February 20, 2020 at 4:21 AM

@Holy Smokes The information presented with reference to Proposition 13 and Measure J was gleaned from the Voter Information Guide. The Legal Analysis in particular is helpful because it is presented as an objective, neutral examination of the proposition or measure. The arguments for and against, and who is sponsoring them, give further credence to one position or the other. When taxpayer groups sponsor arguments against a proposition or measure, I take notice. These groups are generally interested in protecting taxpayers from poorly written, unfairly expensive, or questionably sponsored items put before the voters. They generally cite recent previous allocations of funding which make what is being voted on unnecessary at this time. Unfortunately in recent years, some things make it onto the ballot that clearly should not be there, and represent the interests of a small, but active and vocal, group dedicated to further a specific cause.

Lars Anderson February 18, 2020 at 2:53 PM

Councilman Edi Birsan told another newspaper he’s never see any corruption at all going on at the City of Concord. That’s pretty laughable, Birsan clearly is asleep on the job.
Corruption is rampant in Concord, it’s so bad we can’t get a new library built, road aren’t getting fixed, and rec programs have been gutted too. Youth services? We have almost none in Concord due to the ongoing corruption that permeates our city.
Wages at the City of Concord are among the highest in the state – an average of 166,000 per city employee (this includes pay and generous benefits), which is higher than city workers make in SF, Oakland, LA, San Diego, more than city workers make in Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, and Malibu.
Police officers at the Concord PD make massive amounts of pay, some patrolman are making almost 300K a year.The PD brass at Concord PD make so much money – Captains make more than PD Chiefs in surrounding cities – they have earned the nickname the “Wyatt Earp Gang”. These greed heads running the PD demand, and are getting, huge wages to keep us “safe’, even though Concord has little serious crime
Concord taxpayers are getting ripped of big time. The department is paying for three Police Chiefs, not one, because the Captains have gotten city manager Valarie Barrone to hike their pay higher than what surrounding PD Chiefs are making. Officers on the Concord PD – for years – have gotten unlimited overtime (even though violent crime is down by half statewide since 92), the department is also feather bedded with all these make work management jobs jobs – job created to give the officers promotional opportunities.
Concord is not “run’ not by the city council or even the City manager’s office – it’s run by the Concord POA and the PD brass behind the scenes. City manager Valerie Barone is petrified of the bigwigs at the PD, as she should be, because police labor union managers can get her fired in a hurry, she only serves at their pleasure..
The bigwigs at the Concord POA call all the shots in Concord – our city is run by un-elected city employees, corrupt city employees, thanks to wimpy council people like Edi Birsan, Laura Hoffmiester, and Tim McGallian.
Why are wages for city workers so high in Concord? Why all these high paying desk jobs at the PD? They are high because the City of Concord has a “culture of corruption” – city workers have used their ‘insider” status to get themselves these massive pay packages which are completely unjustifiable.
You could eliminate half the managers jobs at the PD and nobody would notice, desk jobs at the PD are making nobody any safer – they just fatten the bank accounts of those that hold them, and they set up the job holders for fatter pensions when they retire.
Edi Birsan should retire. He has done nothing during his years as a Concord City Council person other than to keep granting higher and higher wages for city employees, which has led to the gutting of services in Concord. Concord is a failing city, at every level, thanks to Edi Birsan and these other gasbags serving on the council.

gittyup February 18, 2020 at 4:59 PM

Birsan has apparently deluded himself into thinking contributors aren’t buying favors. He spent the whole article refuting claims of corruption in Concord city government and then in one last sentence proves otherwise. Towards the end he says, and I quote,”For the overwhelming part, they (the Concord City Council) are being supported by big contributions either because of their positions, inclinations, and alignments or it is mostly a matter of personal interaction or likeability.” EXACTLY! It s so rampant, accepted, and ingrained, they don’t even see it! Of course, contributors support those that give them the best bang for their buck and that’s what the Convord City Council gives them. And, as far as “likeability,” aside from deluding yourself as to your “likeability rating, how do those contributors know the members so well as to determine their “likeability?” It’s called “cronyism,” Birsan, and don’t act like you’ve never heard of it. Yeah, Birsan, try again because you wrote an article proving the public’s perception of contributor’s influence and the Council’s denial of it, to be absolutely true.

Winston February 19, 2020 at 12:21 PM

Concord Mike is confused about Measure J.
1. It is sponsored by the Contra County Transportation Authority, which oversees all transportation spending in the county, not by the Contra Costa Transportation Agency which runs the buses but is a different organization.

2. It will spend 27% of the revenue generated on local streets and roads and 18% on widening freeways, including 680, 4 and 242. It will also spend 6% on improving BART

Also, while it does spend 11% of revenues on pedestrian and bike projects, there is a pretty big need for this because of the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed by bad drivers operating their vehicles on unsafe roads.

Measure J is our best chance for slowing the increase in traffic congestion in our area and you should vote yes.

Gittyup February 19, 2020 at 5:03 PM

For all that it promises, CCTA’s own studies show that it will not ease congestion, improve air quality, improve conditions on BART, or result in any significant reduction of solo driving. Measure J is flawed. By their own analysis and Environmental Impact Reports, the improvements they propose will not have any impact on traffic congestion. The state gasoline sales tax passed in 2017 allocated funds to local jurisdictions to increase by 70 percent lical road improvements. That should be enough. How do we know these funds won’t be waylaid for other projects, as is frequently the case? We don’t

This is a 1/2 cent sales tax collected until 2055 and will bring the sales tax to 10% in part of the county. It is in addition to an existing Contra Costa Transportation Authority sales tax of 1/2 percent which will continue to be collected until 2034. It will be imposed on sales of food, clothes, auto purchases, dining out, you name it. While the roads need repair, this isn’t the way to do it, and your first clue should be the very long and detailed “sales pitch” for Measure J that is included in the Voter Information Guide. It is so bad they had to devote a 52 page explanation of it to try and convince you it is worthwhile. Give yourself the tax break your local authorities won’t give you, vote “No” on Measure J. No new taxes.

Recall ‘Em All February 19, 2020 at 6:55 PM

Winston –
No matter who is proposing it, BART doesn’t deserve another tax dollar. “J” is a veiled attempt to bring back Measure Q dollars that were squandered on everything but what was promised. Why can’t agencies predict their future needs? There are a zillion tools for that and taxing everyone at every turn is getting really tiresome.

Winston February 20, 2020 at 11:38 AM

Measure J opponents will tell you that Measure J won’t fix traffic, and they’re right. No policies on the table will reduce traffic. What Measure J will do is make things get worse more slowly than the alternative of doing nothing. Would I prefer something that spends less on roads and more on transit? Sure, but realistically, Measure J is our best bet at slowing the rate at which traffic gets worse and at slowly shifting us away from driving.

Gittyup February 20, 2020 at 8:01 PM

CCTA will never come up with a workable and effective plan if the voters pass these flawed measures. Their own Environmental Impact Report says it will not reduce traffic congestion. CCTA was defeated the last time they presented a similar measure, and this one is no better. Vote NO on Measure J.

Cellophane February 20, 2020 at 6:03 PM

I’ve decided to start a new business just for residents of Concord.

Cellophane’s Road Grading Service.

If ya’ll and your neighbors have a poorly maintained street in front of your homes, I’ll grade the street smooth, fill all the potholes with gravel and spray tar on the street to keep the dust down.

Costs are reasonable and each household on the street pay’s a share of the costs for the service.

I’ll maintain the street monthly for a reasonable additional service fee.

I think this is a great idea.
The City never looks at the streets anyhow, all they can do is paint bike lanes where no bike ever goes.

Sounds like a win to me…

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