Sunday, October 11, 2015

When Servants Become Masters

Anger and frustration filled the overflowing room of irate ratepayers at the Helix Water District meeting last Wednesday.

The meeting started off tense but restrained as the public sat politely listening to the almost hour long staff presentation. When told the consultant, from Raftelis Financial Consultants, Inc. would make another presentation the people had enough. The discussion became as heated as the temperature in the room. One after another they explained it was time for the people to be heard as they could read the packet for themselves. It was suggested he be given 3 minutes like public’s allotted time. Then one loud mouth in the front hollered at the top of his lungs that he was new in the area and wanted to hear the speaker, who promised to be brief. The people were forced to endure another similar presentation. The people lost that first round.

Finally it was the time for the ratepayers to plead their cases. Many stressed how they had conserved water only to be penalized with higher rates. Many implored that as a fixed income or low income person they could not afford to keep paying ever increasing water bills. Many pointed out the need to cut the district’s extravagant employee salaries and benefits which are far above their customer’s income levels.

The board and their staff had one message and stuck to it repeatedly. This is the process to raise your rates. This is why we will raise your rates. There will not be any surprises as we raise your rates. This is how you will be notified as we raise your rates.

There was little or no thought of holding rates or even less reducing rates. Having checked the crystal ball the board majority decreed the future to be higher rates for less water.  Other than convenience and other districts do it too, what benefit is it to the paying customers to have a 5 year plan rather than a 1 or 2 year one? Especially since the Board assured everyone that there will be plenty of opportunity for public input before the next hike in the 5 year plan. Sadly, what occurred at Wednesday’s meeting demonstrated that public input is nothing more than a kabuki show. 

And in the end the pleas, valid points made no difference. The meeting and votes were predetermined by the masters. The Board and Governor Brown, have taken control of how much water and at what cost the people, now servants, will pay.

The people do have recourse as the board members are elected. The three board members voting for the 5yr plan rate hike were De Ana Verbeke, John Linden and Chuck Muse. Linden and Muse are up for reelection in 2016. Hopefully, the people will remember in November to elect true public servants.
                                                  La Mesa, CA

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thoughts on Roger Hedgecock ending his show :(

 Oh No!

Roger, please say it isn't so
Faithful listeners can't let go!

You know the world's on fire
Surely, this is no time to retire!

Thanks for so much and many years
We'll carry on, holding back tears....

Glad you will still be around
So none will tear the Soledad Cross down!

Now you have time for our CRA party in December
Christmas fun night you'll always remember!

Roger let us know what's next and new
As our blessings & prayers go with you!



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A Real Low at CRP Convention

In a disturbing turn of events the CRP ignored its own by-laws by moving to recognize and charter the Log Cabin Republicans. Although the Chairman claimed he simply followed the by-laws by turning over the application to the Volunteer Committee. He chose to overlook the elephant in the room by violating another section of the by-laws as noted below:

                 "ARTICLE III   Miscellaneous


        (A)  The Committee will consider for issuance of a charter, and recognition of delegate
             positions and appointment rights under these bylaws, any organization whose
             primary purpose is supporting and promoting the Republican principles and
             platforms, and will not consider organizations based on special agendas, such as
             Republicans motivated by profit, Republicans for certain life-style preferences or
             orientations, Republicans for any personal agenda."

Laughably the Chairman also claimed that the Log Cabin group had changed their by-laws and they did not advocate for a certain life-style. I really wondered if that is the case then what is the purpose of their group? This did not even begin to address the other violation since the Log Cabin group intensely opposes the party platform regarding marriage.

"From CA Log Cabin website
Published on Apr 22, 2013

Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest Republican organization dedicated to representing the interests of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans and their allies. For more than 30 years, we have promoted the fight for equality through our state and local chapters, our full-time office in Washington, DC, and our federal and state political action committees."

Conservative Republicans were out maneuvered and out gunned by being naive in thinking that by-laws and rules have meaning. They also were unprepared and caught off guard in responding or having  votes present (many from Southern California left before the vote as they had planes to catch) Another underlining factor was the Munger money, whose influence is felt everywhere ever since the party became beholding to him. In another amusing comment from the Chairman, he claimed no knowledge of Munger's role in the Log Cabin charter push. It was obvious, I observed a Bay Area meeting, Saturday night led by Munger as they planned the strategy for the vote at the session the next morning.

This was a real warning shot; Conservative Republicans will simply have to do better. The upcoming CRP Fall convention will have on the agenda the party platform which is always under attack. The life and marriage issue will have to be defended once again.

Finally, there is one possibly good thing about the new status for the Log Cabin group. They are no longer permitted to support Democrat LGBT candidates or actively oppose the party platform initiatives. If they were to do so as a charter group, their charter should be revoked, provided the rules are followed. We will be watching.