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07 February 2008

Comments

Russ

George,
Some thoughts on Jeff Ackerman's email. Point One. I was against the move and wrote the BOS about the loss of retail space, and was assured that all the retail space was available except for one small ground floor office in the back. All store fronts are available. It is true the grand plan was to have the shop owners live over the store below, like some stores in the 19th Century, but this is the 21st Century. Nevada City who will benefit from the sale tax did not complain, as the retail space remains open and they know the Court House staff spends a lot of lunch money in Nevada City. If the office moved to an industrial park in Grass Valley, that lunch time revenue would be lost. Would residents living above generate more tax revenue for Nevada City than the Court House staff. I have my doubts.

Point Two. What does the elimination of nine positions in the Building department have to do with renting space for the DA. The Building Department is a fee funded department, that grows and shrinks as the demand for building permits waxes and wanes. That is what happens when the government uses fees to extract money from the public. Why should the BOS keep nine employees with no work on the payroll? That would be bad use the tax payer's money. The Union would have a fit, if they found nine employees idle, listening to music, reading magazines, and just sitting around the Rood Center. As for price, it was well with in the local range for a new building, and comparable to what the County charges the LAFCO with offices in the Rood Center. The Union claimed there were alternative, but never presented their case.

Point Three. Yes, it is appropriate that the Union ask questions, but they did not provide any answers. They sullied the reputation of the BOS and highly regarded business men, with no proof of any wrong doing other than they made campaign contributions. This is small community we all know and support one another. Would they have been more comfortable if building had been constructed by a big Democrat developer from Sacramento, rather than a local contractor who I heard may be a Democrat. If there was a back room deal the Union needs stop asking questions in public until they have some proof of some wrong doing.

Point Four. With so many people out of work it would be easy to find a few extra workers to get the stud work done. How many days does it take to put up some steel studs in an open space. Again, asking questions without following up with answers. Where are all those skilled investigative reports the Union is suppose to have. When were the studs bought, when were they delivered, when did the crew start work? How many people were on the crew. How may studs can a crew put up in one day? How many days after the agreement did Jeff take his after lunch tour? The Union jumps all over bloggers that ask questions about Union operations, claiming we lack expertise and credibility and do not have the facts. So, if we were to apply the same criteria, where are the facts.

It is true that Nevada City was worried about store front Real Estate Offices downtown. The DA is not using the store front offices. How come we did not hear any complaints by Nevada City over this move, only the Union. I am waiting for the other shoe. There is more going on here than the Union questioning government, but I do not have any evidence right now to support my political hypothesis, or ask some pointed questions. Stay tuned.

Jeff Ackerman

Russ:

For the record, The Union will NEVER stop asking the questions when it comes to local government. But it's good to know they have a mouthpiece (you) to respond with the party line. Hope they put you on the payroll.

Jeff A.

Mike McDaniel

I strongly urge each BOS to address this issue. If they have "nothing to hide" then give us an idea of your thinking process. I looked up to retired GV city council member Tassone for his transparency, I think the BOS should follow his lead.

*As hard as it is for me to admit I have been impressed with the general direction of the county. Although revenues and expenses have skyrocketed over the past 10 years the # of public employees (the largest expense to taxpayers) has stayed stable. Kudos on that one.

Russ

Jeff, thanks for the reply, and I agree it always good to ask questions. It is even better to have the answer to those questions before asking them. Especially when dealing in small town politics.

You have asked questions and then did not provide any answers. The questions you asked were left hanging and the public continues to wonder. Some wonder if their really was some improper decisions made by the County, and some wonder if the Union has another agenda by asking the questions which suggest some wrong doing on the County BOS part then never providing any answers. So, did the County do some thing wrong or not? The Union claimed there were better options but never show the us what those options were. You suggest a back room deal, but never provide and facts only an opinion. An opinion with out much to support it.

If you right and I am wrong, I will post the results in big letters on the my blog. I will pat you on the back for doing some great investigative reporting, for uncovering rot in our local government. Until then, I will keep asking the question what is the Union's agenda and continue to search for the answer. Stay tuned.

Jeff Pelline

I hate to jump in, but I think it's a good idea to go back to the facts. The paper raised the question. Then it ANSWERED, and I quote: "


This is NOT a legal conflict of interest, and we tend to be skeptical about "conspiracy theories" anyway. But is it the right thing to at least MENTION the political contributions during the public discussion to diffuse a perceived bias among citizens with long memories? In this case, we would do so.

In a news story, we also quoted Sue Horne as saying: "Horne said she had no knowledge of the deal until it appeared in the board meeting agenda packet and had no discussion regarding the lease with Robinson, Gary Tintle or county officials. Tintle has endorsed but not contributed to Horne's campaign.

The issue is that: Not a backroom deal but to be TRANSPARENT in discussing what might be PERCEIVED as a conflict of interest.

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