COMMENTARY: Bugs on the wall in City Hall

April 7, 2008

By KAREN VELIE and DANIEL BLACKBURN

There’s a tight clamp on information coming out of Atascadero City Hall, what with the FBI hanging out and all, so it’s been tough to get information out of those hallowed confines, stuff like this…. While city officials have been going 12 rounds with each other, mediators have been brought in to suppress probable knockouts.

That and other reports about hush-hush stuff going on in The Colony’s inner sanctum have been gleaned from a gaggle of reliable sources, all of whom are seeing and hearing all that we report here.

These sources include elected city officials, city employees, and a few highly connected individuals.

So what you read here has been confirmed by numerous sources, but is unverifiable in the classic news story sense. That’s why this piece is clearly labeled “commentary.”

Anyway, with national security and all, there’s a lot of stuff that just must remain secret. Or so we’re told. This is what we have now:

The ongoing FBI investigation of Atascadero’s city government is said by our sources to be focusing on possible under-the-table payoffs to, or overly-cozy relationships between, upper level city management, some elected, some not, and some private individuals. FBI officials won’t acknowledge any investigation, but sources tell UncoveredSLO.com that numerous city officials, staff, and one particular land developer have been interviewed by the federal gumshoes. City sources say they are informing FBI agents when the opportunity arises that FEMA and taxpayers really did get screwed by phony-baloney applications for the Youth Center.

The FBI’s current interest in Atascadero is just one of the city’s serious ongoing problems. Disputes between the city’s Community Development Department and management have been brewing for more than two years. A common staff complaint is that certain individuals in management demand that specified projects — some of which have been red-tagged –- simply be rubber-stamped, green-lighted.

“Things have not changed,” said one “It just gets worse every year. Staff is disgusted and disappointed.” Community Development director Warren Frace regularly reminds his minions at meetings that the Printery was in active use during the San Simeon Earthquake, even though most seasoned employees quietly acknowledge that they know it was not.

Employees allege they have been stripped of authority to do the regulatory jobs they were hired to do, and that contractors and management inform them of what projects will be approved with little or no scrutiny.

Late last year, officials hired Creative Mediations to help iron out internal problems with the city’s development workforce, at a cost of approximately $7,500. Chief Executive Officer Jesses Sostrin of that group met with staff from Community Development on four separate occasions, ending earlier this year.

The mediating consultant’s Website describes his function thusly: “When dialog escalates into argument and agreement seems hopeless, there is a way to get through it all… Welcome to Creative Mediation.”

Following the final session, McKinney, Assistant City Manager Jim Lewis, and Assistant to the City Manager and City Clerk Marcia McClure Torgerson met with other staff to discuss some of the issues raised during mediation.

“We have a culture of tell no one and look the other way,” one employee said. “McKinney was upset with staff over things discussed with the mediator. Jim gave his ‘Wade and I cannot tell a lie’ speech.”

A city-sponsored “ethics meeting” intended to foster trust was a must-attend last week for city council members and upper management staff. It quickly turned into a forum for council members Tom O’Malley and Jerry Clay to attack Mayor Mike Brennler, according to some who attended. Brennler ran for office last year on a platform of addressing corruption in City Hall.

O’Malley and Clay alleged that Brennler did not trust city staff. Brennler flushed, and O’Malley shouted, “Look at how red he is! He is angry.”

Shanks pointed out O’Malley’s body language, rocking back and forth, and suggested he was angry, too. O’Malley then became disrespectful to the facilitator.

Clay and O’Malley charged Brennler with reporting on KVEC’s Dave Congalton Show that the community center was built on a toxic waste dump. In fact, Brennler never took a stand, one way or the other. A podcast of the show in question is available on the station’s Website.

After hurled charges of mutual disrespect, O’Malley commented to attendees that Brennler would not survive the next election.

And that’s what’s been happening in SLO County’s most divisive little city.







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Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
You can be rest assured that the developers of the Annex project will definetly pay their fair share and more. If you are worried that they won't please go to City Hall and find me 1 project where the city has paid for any, I say any, infrastructure. New development pays for everything including the roads, parks, electrical, gas, telephone etc. Some developments even have to pay for upgrades to existing infrastructure. Some new housing developments even pay an additional tax of around $460 dollars extra per year for police, fire and parks (where are the new parks?)This fee is also part of the cities "affordable housing" program.
Within the nature of Atascadeo there should be little doubt that this city will surely "rape" the developers and get far more than what the development will impact this city. And for that privilege the developers will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees alone and then provide this city with redevelopment property tax (66%) and an enormouse amount of sales tax.
Oh by the way, in these difficult financial times it will also help hundreds of financially pinched families survive with low cost shopping and prescriptions. And if they they don't ruin it these people may even be able to buy groceries there.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
PLEASE, I say PLEASE tell me what other development will come to town? Why aren't they lining up for permit applications?
Staff has nothing to do now, except defend itself with the FBI and Treasury Dept.. Any new development that you know of should go right on thru.
What are you all so scared of? Wal Mart submitted a plan which meets the General Plan specifications. Why not let it go thru and see what conditions they may have to meet. Would it possibly be due to the fact they are not union?
An explanation of why there is NO other development that will come to this town can simply be expressed by Ellen Beraud's NO vote to let the application be submitted after it met the requirements of the General Plan. Sad Sad Sad. Sooner than later this old mudhole is going to dry up and the critters are all going to go elsewhere.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
I know that if it's not SUPER- they won't come.

There are just more lies going on right now. But lets allow it to play out. If they fall within the guidelines of the initiatives then they can build it, but it better be estetically pleasing, and they better pay their share of all the infastructure cost (roads & water) and they better blah blah blah, they won't. If they can't "use us" they will run.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
WM is only playing a game with the downsized plans. They want a SUPER CENTER and they are trying to divert the shield initiative by pretending that their new plans are within the realm of the initiative. Once the initiative gets voted in WM will go away.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
Hey you Wal-Mart paid loonies. The people of Atascadero are going to vote for the "Shield Initiative" and that will put an end to WM messing with the politics in our town. They have already caused too much trouble. There is plenty of other development that will come. It's the Good Ole Boys that have been blocking it. Keep repeating all the lies. We can all guess who you are.daaaaa Hello O'Malley, Clay, Rottman, and WM PR dept.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
Of course Tom Comar is backed by the unions, maybe not directly put indirectly. If Wal-Mart was union or a grocery with union employees wanted to open at Del Rio he and his followers would fully be in support. I agree that soon this will be a county issue after Atascadero goes bankrupt.
By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
To Downsize
Exactly right. The only missing part is who is really behind Comar? The Union?

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/13/08
You have come to the conclusion that there will be an initiative. There may or mat not be. The sad part about this is that the people on the north end of town have wanted a grocery store for a long time. If it had been anyhting but a Wal Mart the needs of the people would have been met by this time. Once again Atascadero now has the opportunity to have a "large" store that is not only the needed anchor store for development but also a grocery store to meet the needs of the people. The current application that Wal Mart and The Rottman Group has submitted meets the requirements of the General Plan. But will OPW stop there, of course not. So what this really boils down to is not the requirements of the General Plan but it is basically going to be a Wal Mart issue.
Our "city leaders" have just authorized another $120,000 to study the financial future of Atascadero. Why don't they just drive thru town and take a look and ask the local business people what needs to be done. At the same time there is going to be a EIR at a cost of $750,000 to $1,000,000 paid for by the developers of the Annex Center and fully directed by the City Planning Department. This EIR will also address the financial impact that the development will have on the city. Sounds like a duplication of efforts to me and another waste of our $120,000 tax dollar.
The final outcome to this will be that Atascadero need to have more commercial growth and increase it's retail tax base-daaaaaaaaaa.
An anchor store for the Annex will be identified as the seed needed to start the commercial growth that will bring other businesses to town and which will increase our sales tax revenue.
STOP-here comes Tom Comar, the most destructive force to ever come to Atascadero, who will start all over with his OPW tactics. When it's all over we will be part of San Luis Obispo County and Atascadero will RIP.
By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
Conclusion has made some excellent deductions however he missed something. WM doesn't want to build a downsized store. They want a super center and they are willing to cannibalize their Paso Robles location in favor of a super center. It doesn’t matter if the CC is in favor of a downsized WM or not. All they have to do is stick to the rules and the General Plan. OWM is bringing forward a shield initiative. The CC will simply vote on WM according to the public vote (on the initiative). They are actually all “off the hook” and it’s in the hands of the public.
By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
Taking in all of the facts one can easily conclude that George Luna is in favor of a Wal Mart in Atascadero. Although being a staunch supporter of the General Plan he is in favor of restricting its size. I think that almost everyone can go along with that. It's called playing by the rules that are in place. Of course that would be something new for Atascadero. Unfortunately almost all of George Luna's supporters are connected to OPW and the homeowners assoc. which is adamatly opposed to Wal Mart but not the reduced size.These are the same people who have financially supported George over the years and have made him the top money maker during an election with the exception of when Tom O'Malley "lent" himself $24k. Tom did this for 2 reasons, one to win the election and second to out do George his staunch rival.
We now suffer from all of these political games. What would happen if George actually came out and supported a downsized Wal Mart in Atascadero? That may put Tom Comar back at ASH without the keys. The homeowners association would probaly go ballistic and there goes all of Georges support including all of those unidentified contributions of less than $100.
The saga goes on and on.
By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
I am reading these anti Union Comments about Tom Commar. Usualy,this comments come from wealthy people or misinformed people . Tom Comar is certainly a union menber and I say bravo,this is the right thing to do . However during the last elections Mr O'Malley got few thousand dollars from the firefighters union.Firefighters think that if we get a WM in Atown ,more taxes will provide money for higher wages and new equipment.They "forget " the impact from having this huge store will generate more calls .Also ,some unions are having huge contracts with Wm .Want to know more ?
By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
I believe 'Sorry Steve' has the best thoughts on this entire city management subject. One would think the Council would have taken action by now. Yet the City Manager and his high ranking staff continue to flourish at the taxpayers expense. Why is this when we had elections that brought two supporting council members with the lofty expectation of new leadership at the Council level and new management within the City Manager’s office? Maybe George Luna does in deed have something to hide.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
Sorry again Steve, George Luna DID lie regarding Wal Mart. He told me directly face to face. I only bring this up not to change direction, I think they are all guilty of the event but to clarify that they all lied about it equally. I'm not picking out George over the others. He is in there with them equally.
Although this story is about the FBI investigation of the city and not Wal Mart. Unfortunately the city did lie and defraud FEMA out of yours and my tax money. They also tried it again with the Veterans Building. Once again they are all guilty of not telling the truth. George Luna was the Mayor during most of this and had to be fully aware of the activities the city management was taking. It's all in the city council minutes. If George didn't know what was going on you certainly would think he had some explaining to do. Like why are the people responsible for providing the false information (city manager) still have their jobs. Or is it that all of them really knew what they were doing and are trying to cover for each other.
Just another day in Atascadero-George is not an angel he is quite the politician and smarter than most and may be able to survive this. Although it doesn't make it right.
Wouldn't it be interesting to have the City Council have a special meeting open to the public where they took questions and the answered under oath?
By: Anonymous on 4/12/08
Luna didn't lie about WM or the e-mails. You are trying to say he said "they all lied" and now you say he is lying because he said he didn't say that. That is just rediculous.
This is about payoffs and favors, between high level city management, at least one developer and an elected official. We all know that elected official isn't Luna. Try as you will to divert attention from your desperate friends the facts are still going to be the facts, also there is no excuse for O'Malleys poor and outright juvenial behavior.
By: Anonymous on 4/11/08
Sorry, yor friend George Luna Lied to you and Cindy also. Do you really think he is going to admit it? Like I said he's too smart for that.
But if it gets to the point let's put him on the stand or the machine. I'll be right behind him. He in it equally with the rest of them. I've traced all of the CC minutes from 2001 regarding the Printery. George went along with everyone else. Ask George to release his "confidential" emails from the City Manager regarding the Printery and FEMA funds. I will suspect that the hard drive has gone down-again.
By: Anonymous on 4/11/08
Living in Atascadero getting riped off seems to becoming the norm. The city rips pff FEMA for $4 million of our tax dollars. it's ok so let's try it againg with the Veterans Building. Let's build a new City Hall and not do any inspections-that's cool, where do the rest of us sign up. The new youth center $9.4 million-over budget? It's only our tax money. Gas-it's a big rip off. Our taxes to Atascadero, for what? More studies I guess so we can try to get more and spend more with nothing to show for it.
Now finally a rip off, according to OPW, that I will be looking forwaqrd to. Wal Mart, bring it on. After getting ripped off by everybody else it will be refreshing to cozy up to someone who is trying to save me a little money-what a horrible concept. I'll vote for it or you can vote for the current City cOUNCIL.
By: Anonymous on 4/11/08
Sorry for the latre response, been out of town. Sorry everyone, it's not a rumor-he said it me. Bring on the FBI or whoever. I'll swerar under oath. George doesn't always tell the truth he is just like the rest of them except a whole lot smarter.
By: Anonymous on 4/11/08
Atascadero has somewhere between 300,000 to 400,000 square feet of grocery stores. Could someone explain to me how 30,000 sq. ft. of grocery area creates the need for this initiative. From what I can see the only thing in the initiative that would exclude the WalMart is the grocery componant. I've lived here 30+ years and we have allways had more than are share of grocery stores. There is obviously a large draw from the outlying areas. Probably why WM wants to locate here. The question is why are we protecting the 400,000 sq. feet from the small componant in the WalMart. Wait the 400,000 sq. feet of existing stores are in the Union. What else could it be. Please enlighten me.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/11/08
When Comar passes out the koolaid and tennis shoes I'm sure you'll all be first in line.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Tom Comar is kicked back because he knows what he is going to do and when he is going to do it.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
To Mr JT
I guess you think that no one would stand up( with gusto) for what they believe is right like Tom has done. Tom Comar is the "spokes person" for OWM because they needed one spokes person and talked him into it. You could never begin to understand the man that Tom Comar is. There should be more men like him. You think that he is so "obsessed". I can assure you that many of us have the opposite opinion of him. He is on vacation and OWM hasn't finished turning in the signatures on the petition yet. He is fishing. Bet you can't believe that but he is fishing. He has no lap top with him, he does this a lot. He is for real.I know, I accept it, thats just Tom Comar.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
I agree,
This is about the lies…
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Hahahaha!

"The Union"?? has been after WalMart forever? I think you're the one with that's dreaming conspiracies.

Wal-Mart drew up plans long before it was announced that any "Staff" claimed they knew about a Wal-Mart. Lies have been told from the beginning about this. Not a conspiracy, just lies. For that dishonesty, I don't want them serving in any position of power.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Cindy
You guys are picking up everything this guy is putting down. My guess is that anybody as fanatical as Mr. Comar could never be content being just a union member he would be a Union Organizer of some kind. His ego would allow nothing less. Maybe when he's "back from vacation" we will get some answers.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Now the Lies
Are you so ill informed that you don't know the Union has been after WalMart forever. I'm not really saying whether unions are good or bad. I'm just saying thiers more behind OWM than you think. And I am a least Suspicious of Mr. Comar. As to the planning department they often recommend ideas that they think might be bennificial. As far as it goes that 150k store could go right on that corner parcel that is allready commercial. As I've stated over and over they are right now going through a legal process in full view of the public. You just don't like it. What law was broken when staff encouraged them. Maybe we should just have someone waiting in the hall when staff encourages a color selection or perhaps when they encourage someone to enhance thier architecture. Get real I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to attempt to derail this project during the eir review. So aleast we have outlined your conspiracy theory from the entire CC down hill to the Planning director, all the planning staff and anyone else that gets in your way. Right? As far as the Fire Department goes I they may be in a union however I believe they have a much greater respect for this City and its current financial situation than the National Brotherhood of Comar.As to plans being already drawn up. They have draws of plans. They can assemble a preliminary presentation in a day or two. Do you think it some major effort for someone with more stores than anyone in the world to cut and paste a project together. Evil lurks behind every corner unless someone wants to take a peek behind your curtain.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
To JT
Look at my post about Ash and a union. I said I didn't think there was a union. That is a far cry from saying I'm sure there isn't a union. You are a real loose goose and wasting everyones time with your foolishness. So what if Tom might have belonged to a union that was appropriate for his profession.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Mr. Thought – you state that "staffs job is to process applications within the scope of the General Plan", yet on the Del Rio timeline on the City Web Site the Summer/Fall 04 entry states "Staff encouraged The Rottman Group to consider prime commercial and less residential for the site."

That doesn't sound like "processing" to me. They encouraged a larger project than the General Plan called for.

I think that we all agree that the a portion of the Del Rio intersection was set aside for a reasonably sized commercial business. What is completely dishonest about this whole process is that "Staff" have been trying to get their way and their way only for this project. The plans for the Wal-Mart were drawn up LONG before the public was informed – I know, I have dated copies.
Honest and open government needs to start at the local level.
Vilification of unions in general does not add to the discussion. It only shows your bias against organized protest. In fact, the Atascadero Fire Department's Union has come out in favor the Wal-Mart due to their expectation of wage increases for their members. Are you going to decry their message too?
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
N.T.
Accually I was pretty sure there was a Union at ASH but Cindy was just as sure there wasn't. Just thought we could get that part out of the way.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
D.T.
The staffs job is to process applications within the scope of the General Plan and as Directed in the Zoning ordinance. If a applicant wishes to propose a project in which the existing zone is not appropriate then the General Plan requires that an application for a GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT be made. A application for a GENERAL PLAN AMENDMENT has been made. There are no guarantees. No promise has been made. This has been a very public process. Even Brenler told WM that if they got thier building down under 150K he could support the rezone. So now that has been done Comar has gone out of his way, with or with out, his UNION buddies and narrowly defined an ordinance to exclude WalMart. I've not checked but I think thier grocery area is no more than 30k. I think Albertsons is about 80k. And why do you think Albetsons won't let him go after signatures in front of thier store. Because his people harass all of us just trying to get in. No, because they believe in free enterprise. Did you know they have a Bank in there and a Florist, a Deli, and even a Coffe Shop. Its practically a little town in there. Imagine the small buisnesses that are getting hurt by that place. They do have a UNION though.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Oh no! Just a thought has discovered a union in Atascadero! Whatever will we do! Better call the "Thought Police"!
Oh wait, it's not illegal to organize a union – oh, well, never mind.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Cindy
WRONG. But continue to speak before you think. CAPT California Association of Phychiatric Technicians has an Atascadero chapter. I wonder where?
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
I didn't think there was a union at ASH. Thats why so may employees left for better paying positions with other facilities. I've seen seen anything about a union commenting on the poor working conditions at Ash. I don't think there even is a union there.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
JaT – No, not angry, but very amused at your attempts to cover up for the City and the "Staff". It is not for "Staff" to go making
decisions about expanding the General Plan. That is for elected officials only and only after discussions in a public forum.
An amendment is certainly legal, but telling developers to change their projects above and beyond the scope of the Plan is certainly shady at best. Their job is to enforce the Plan, not try and change it.
When we "loose" that funding, we should also "loose" the City Manager from his position too. He has caused the damage to the City's reputation through his shenanigans and should not be rewarded with his fat paycheck and pension.
The loss of the commercial to residential land was also done by the three named City officials – they, likewise, should not be left in power to create even more problems for the residents. Their G.O.B. mentality is detrimental to the welfare of the City.
The Constitution of this country was written to protect the rights of the minority, and not allow the majority to squash all "vocal" opposition to the government. Mr. Comar is not trying to "control" the City – if that was the case, he would simply run as a candidate and gain power in that fashion. Instead, he has taken his perfectly good right of "free speech" and exercised it. The fact that it has been heard is only telling of those that tried to act without consent and approval. Calling one a "socialist" without explaining how his viewpoint is "socialist" is just that – name-calling.
Finally, a town does not simply consist of businesses. Approval by the public at large is also necessary. Having money – or paying business taxes – does not make ones voice more important than the others.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
You seem quite angry. The fact is the printery was very much intended as a youth facility. The city did attempt to get it up and going with the outside skate park and even at one time improved the south end where the old boys school pool was for indoor skating. I know the gym was used for some basketball. The real issue will end up being technical in regards to dates and times and when the city decided it could not afford to improve the building and when the were giving it back. So like everything else in life its a matter of interpretation. Again we may loose that funding but I think our CC will remain free. As to the planning department encouraging a larger project at Del Rio requiring a general plan amendment was obviously what staff thought was appropriate or they wouldn't have recomended it. So what! There is a process its been done many times in the past and I'm sure will be used in the future. It's called a General Plan Amendment I'm suprised you were unaware of it. Perfectly legal. We need the retail. Far more land has gone from comercial to residential than vise versa. As to moving to a comunist country why move when we have people like Comar trying to control the whole town with a very small group of special interests. You would think if the local small buisnesses agreed with his socialist rantings we would have at least heard from one of them during this entire time.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Ha! "…destroy the City on this single issue." Tom Comar never went to Wal-Mart/Rottman and asked them to "make it bigger" above and beyond the size in the General Plan – that was "Staff" (please read your Atascadero City Hall history). Tom, and others, have simply opposed the 'behind the scenes" efforts to change the City above and beyond the General Plan without elective representation. If you have a problem with that, please move to a communist country where you can have your voice stifled by the Government.
The City Council IS responsible for the actions of their appointed manager – Wade McKinney. He certainly knew (as everyone else) that the Printery never was a Youth Center and hence never qualified for FEMA funds. Fraud – plain and overt, not "faulty".
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
You forgot George Luna didn't you? and I'll take that as an admission that Comar is involved with the Unions. It does matter since it has never been disclosed. It matters to all of us who have watched him try and destroy the City on this single issue. Do you really think all the council member conspired to falsely aquire FEMA funds. We may have a faulty application and we may have to return funds but I seriously doubt they conspired.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
JaT – Is Tom Comar a public official under investigation by the FBI? What is with this obsession of yours whether or not he is a (perfectly legal) member of a union or not?

The issue here is City Hall, not Wal-Mart or OWM. Wade McKinney, Tom O'Malley, Jerry Clay, and Wendy Scalise were the troublemakers that started the whole FEMA fraud issue that is causing the FBI investigation.

And yes, Tom Comar does always answer his questions (unlike Tom O'Malley) – next topic please?

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
What about Comar?
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
I agree that O'Malley always answers the question. The problem is that he never has the same answer twice. He doesn't answer too many questions though because he makes himself unavailable. He say's he won't go on Congalton because people will attack him! Hey we just want him to answer to his double answers.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
I'm no supporter of O'Malley allthough he allways seem to answer the question whether we like the answer or not. I have not heard one answer to the questions about Comar and any Union ties he has had in the past or present. Talk about changing the subject.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
It's interesting how the supporters of Tom O'Malley are trying to shift the focus here over to Tom Comar.

Here's my question: How many of you intend to visit Tom O'Malley in county jail?
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Funny no one knows this Comar guy prior to all this WalMart stuff. Wouldn't all the dedicated people feel betrayed if they found out this was all about the union. As to staying on track it seems all this bad blood in Atascadero pretty much started in its current form with the WalMart attacks.
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Doesn't anyone know the status of the Shield initiative? How many signatures are needed, when they are due?
By: Anonymous on 4/10/08
Vacation hmmmmm. Thats almost as good as my hard drive blew up.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Ron says:
The Good Ole boys are trying to divert attention from themselves by turning this parade into WalMart. Don’t do it with them. Stay with the facts.The FBI is here and it isn't about WM. Not to say that they might not find something about it. But it doesn't matter right now because we don't know. Just stay with the program (as we know it) and don't get divereted.

By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
To …Like All Atrashcaderans
I’m not even going to dignify such a statement. Post like yours are superfluous and do nothing but take up space and waste readers time. I’m sure you wish that you owned a home in Atasacdero.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
…a chain link fence and a lice ridden meth squatter with flea infested pitbull.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
The Comar family has a burgular alarm and a house sitter with a pit bull.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
I heard the Comar's are out of town on vacation for at least a couple of weeks.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Just like we must question Tom O'Malleys motives I think we certainlly have to take a good look at Tom Comar. He talks extensively about his relatives but reduces his life to one sentence. He seams obsessed with this one issue. With so many good causes in life why so obsessed with WalMart. This guy had to be a union orginizer at ASH. I'm suspicious there something more to this. Who stands to gain more than the Unions? Does anyone know Tom when he worked at ASH? Wouldn't be a shame if keeping WM out was really a ploy by the Unions. Its well known the Unions have tried over an over to break WalMart. Tom lets here from you. Were you a Union organizer, stuart, or other top representitive in the past?
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Does anyone know if or when there is a cut off date for collecting signatures on the Shield initiative and how many we still need. I can't find any reference to it on the web site.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
I don't know if Tom was in a union at ash (doctors & nurses) but I know he isn't working with any unions regarding Wal-Mart. He and many other people work together to protect the General Plan and Atascadero.
He does put forth a lot of effort but he also has a lot of help. His funding comes from everyday grassroots donations. I know this for a fact.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Does anyone know if Tom Cormar was heavily involved in Union activities at ASH.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
The FBI is not looking at WalMart. The CC including Luna attempted to attract a major retailer. No harm no foul. They had no reason to make press releases on this process. The issue in question is was our request for funding the youth center with FEMA money appropriate and if not how to we give the money back. Secondly is our attempt to get every dime we can on the rotunda appropriate and if not how do we change our request to what is appropriate.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Re: The post from D'ont Forget. I never heard Luna make any such statement. He certainly didn't lie to me or anyone I know. Like I said, "George was the one who exposed the Wal-Mart" he also released e-mails. Hever hid them. Without George they would have flown WM in to Atascadero under the radar all the way to the point of no return.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Don't Forget is a liar. Why not ask Luna if he said that! I did and he denies it.

Don't Forget says:

Cindy-
Direct quote from George Luna regarding Wal Mart
"we all lied about it."
He said it, and that goes along with this whole issue.
It's true, they all did lie.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Is it possible Tom Comar is working for the union. Why else would someone put in so much time and effort to trip up the WalMart deal. I'll bet he gets some under the table money to support this effort. As others have pointed out thier must be a payoff in it.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
We can all thank Jerry Clay for the ATV's and dirt bikes. He has some friends who think it's fun to ride and make lots of noise. Too hell with the neighbors rights, so what if the decibles exceed the legal limit. Jerry just pushed it through as Ok in Atascadero with O'Malley backing him. When people try to complain Jerry gets some loud mouth friends to come out and verbally attack everyone who is complaining.

Stefan

By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
The Salinas river is a good example of what goes on in A-town. A few years back, a citizens group tried to keep an eye on the river to keep motorcycles and ATVs out, and they were intimidated and harrassed and had their homes vandalized. The police were no help at all, of course, probably because they used to actually run some kind of offroad riding event on the river (until they realized they were breaking the law).

To this day in Atascadero and Templeton you'll see ATVs parked in back yards along the river, as if this is an accepted recreational feature, like a boat docked at a lakefront home.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
I agree with other comments: Atascadero should petition Tiffany and Saks Fifth Avenue to open here, right across from the Guggenheim.

Laura: "The people are polite and our streets are safe." Exactly. Why, just the other day I greeted an unleashed dog whom the owner was walking on a public street, and said owner politely yelled, "Don't do that, you idiot! It's a guard dog!" Some months ago, I asked some nice boys not to tear up the Salinas riverbed with their cute motorbikes and they respectfully threatened to kill me. When I advised my landlord that my neighbors were being a wee bit loud and declining to cooperate, he had the courtesy to call the police on me and threaten me with retaliatory eviction — the nice police officers then showed a reassuring dishonesty, disregard for the law, and reluctance to return phone calls.

Lovely town. I thought I knew what to expect before I moved up here from SLO and Arroyo, but it's far worse than I thought.
By: Anonymous on 4/9/08
Tom O'Malley spent $24K of "his own money" to become an Atascadero City Councilman-hmmmmm. One of Tom's many self proclaimed achievemnets is that he was also an economics major at college-hmmmmm. Atascadero will be digging into it's reserve for close to $1,000,000 this year-hmmmmm.
Tom hasn't told us whether he passed or failed that economic course or not. Now I guess we know why the City needs to hire another consultant to figure out the financial, among other, calamities in Atascadero.
Tom where were you during the last 5 years as we were going into the mudhole?
By: Anonymous on 4/8/08
Goodnight Atascadero- God Bless you all..
By: Anonymous on 4/8/08
This is hysterical. Atascadero really is jumping but, youd never know to drive through it. Sounds like a bunch of "country bumpkins" compared to SLO. You have a beautiful city and have done a good job holding onto the open space. Start shuveling that mud. You won't be stuck forever, your almost there. I think the name Atascadero might have been a curse. Maybe you should change it. I also think your the first folks to actually drag in the FBI. Congratulations.
By: Anonymous on 4/8/08
Cindy-
Direct quote from George Luna regarding Wal Mart
"we all lied about it."
He said it, and that goes along with this whole issue.
It's true, they all did lie.