Atascadero manager admits falsehoods

December 2, 2008
Mayor Mike Brennler conducted his own investigation of City Hall and unearthed some interesting truths

Mayor Mike Brennler conducted his own investigation of City Hall and unearthed some interesting truths


Atascadero city officials lied in public statements regarding an eminent domain controversy and made a scapegoat of a city employee.

City Manager Wade McKinney, one of those officials, confessed the deception only when testifying under oath in depositions earlier this year.

Outgoing Mayor Mike Brennler, a retired police detective, unveiled results of an investigation he conducted privately, exposing the seamy underbelly of Atascadero city government. The mayor apologized to the employee, Atascadero Redevelopment Director Marty Tracey, at a Nov. 25 council meeting. He requested that McKinney and the 2005 council, then-Mayor Wendy Scalise; Councilpersons George Luna, Tom O’Malley, Jerry Clay, and Becky Pacas also make amends with Tracey.

Brennler’s report focuses on the eminent domain dispute that resulted in three lawsuits against the city that were settled for approximately $110,000 earlier this year. Brennler utilized transcripts of numerous depositions in concluding that Tracey was used as a scapegoat by city officials.

A stack of those depositions, towering more than a foot high, document how the 2005 Atascadero City Council and several city officials violated numerous laws and repeatedly altered stories while pointing fingers at Tracey.

In February 2005, Tracey left a message on the Gaughan family’s answering machine, warning the semi-retired couple that the council had met in closed session and had directed staff to move ahead on eminent domain proceedings on a property the Gaughans owned across from the Carlton Hotel.

It is a violation of the Brown Act for council members to discuss eminent domain proceedings in closed sessions, according to Tom Hart, deputy director of the California Redevelopment Association.

Questioned by reporters regarding Tracey’s phone message to the Gaughans, McKinney, Scalise, two council members, and ex-city attorney Patrick Enright denied they had been involved in starting eminent domain proceedings. They claimed Tracey, whom they repeatedly dubbed a “rogue” employee, had not been in the Feb. 2005 closed session meeting in which Tracey stated the council voted to move ahead on eminent domain proceedings.

However, Brennler’s report includes e-mails documenting McKinney’s knowledge of the eminent domain proceedings.

“I am very glad to see eminent domain is headed forward,” McKinney wrote to Tracey in a March 2005 e-mail. “I think this is the real answer.”

Amid a public outcry regarding the eminent domain issue, city officials terminated, then rehired and demoted Tracey. The official demotion alleges he had been fired for negligently misrepresenting the city; being untruthful; threatening the Gaughans; and placing his hand in front of his face when confronted by a photographer. Officials kept details of Tracey’s demotion from the public until a few weeks ago, claiming such disclosure would violate Tracey’s privacy rights.

Brennler’s report concludes that Tracey did not misrepresent the city, was truthful, and did not threaten the Gaughans.

McKinney told attorney Ron Scholor in Nov. 2005 that Tracey was not in the closed session, according to Scholor’s investigative report.

But this May, McKinney admitted in depositions by Tracey’s attorney, David Warren, that he and the council were not honest about the eminent domain proceedings. And he acknowledges that Tracey was present during the closed door session.

Asked why city officials never made know to the public that Tracey had not misrepresented himself to the Gaughans, Wade said, “We’re protecting Marty’s privacy rights.”

“The personnel exemption under the California Public Records Act was developed to protect intimate details of personal and family life, not business judgments and relationships,” according to California Code and case law.

McKinney eventually said he approved of the phone message Tracey had left the Gaughans.

In Atascadero, not even the mayor is given easy access to public records. It took Brennler more than a month and a half to get copies of the McKinney, Gaughan, and Tracey depositions. First Amendment Coalition attorney Peter Shear asserted the city’s varied reasons for squelching Brennler’s access to the records were not valid.

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By: MartinW on 12/21/08

Good Sunday Morning, I'm enjoying my Christmas Tree and sipping some hot apple cider. The other things I do on Sunday morning is read the papers. This is all quite a story and I'm disturbed to see that there are people who seek to subvert a call for honesty.

I say BRAVO to Mr. Brennler.

Regarding the comments in this blog: I believe that Mr. Brennler was right to address his concerns in a public forum considering the e-mail composed by the Fonzi's was delivered to a public source and intended for public consumption.

By: MikeB on 12/21/08

Tell me … is it truthbeknown or truthbedamned?

First off I would like to know if you have seen the email in question? Did Al or Roberta Fonzi share it with you? Is it possible that you are Al or Roberta or perhaps you are simply one of the ABA minions?

On Oct 21st I did address the planning commission about an email authored by Al Fonzi wherein he made some outrageous allegations suggesting that I had broken the law by poking O’Malley in the face and then suggesting I had even attacked his wife Roberta. This email was sent to a reporter who in turn questioned me about its content and authenticity.

Keep in mind that Al Fonzi was involved in the attempted recall and that he had suggested the recall could be made to “go away” if I simply distanced myself from Council Members Luna and Beraud and if I would make a public apology to Kelly Gearhart for having notified the District attorney of potential criminal activity involving the City of Atascadero. Was I right about potential criminal activity? Perhaps time will tell.

Prior to addressing the planning commission I had listened to Roberta Fonzi during the candidate forums. She spoke to the importance of respect and ethics in government and campains.

My purpose in raising the email was to determine if Roberta Fonzi would take the high road by repudiating any suggestion that I poked O’Malley in the face or that I attacked her. Up to that point my only interaction with Roberta Fonzi was sharing a cup of coffee at Carrows restaurant shortly after my election and a couple of city functions where there were many other officials and citizens present.

To my chagrin, Roberta Fonzi refused to publicly repudiate the blatant lies spread by her husband. Her comment to me after I spoke at the planning commission meeting was, “I would like to address Mayor Brennler and ask that you speak to me after the meeting if you would sir. I don’t think that this is the time and place to air these types of issues before the public.”

I did not take Roberta up on a suggestion to meet privately as I could not be assured that another distortion of truth would not occur.

To this day Roberta Fonzi has not apologized for or repudiated the lies told by her husband and this does not bode well concerning her alleged commitment to honest, respectful and ethical local government.

You see Truthbedamned there are plenty of us in this nation, state and county who demand nothing short of honest and ethical government. Try as you might you will never be able to silence us with your shrill personal attacks and banter.


By: insider on 12/21/08

As to Brennlers violent nature all one has to do is look at any CC meeting over the last two years to see his violent and controlling nature just under the surface. He would absolutely loose it at every meeting. To the extent he would use the APD to throw the elderly out of the meeting. Funny thing about the elderly you just can't intiminate them.

By: BIG_SMILES on 12/21/08

After reading this thread I was compelled to sign in and say a little something that I so happen to know a little something about.

My suggestion is that these two guy's insider and *Truth be Known (*cough) keep grinning while the grinning feels good.

People should not be distracted from the contents of this article.

By: Michelle on 12/21/08

Funny how Tom O'Malley threatens to take Mike Brennler out in the parking lot and then the Karl Rove machine kicks in accusing Mike of being violent (they didn't know that he wasn't going to run for reelection at that time). It's a concern to me that Al Fonzi was the mouth piece and his wife who is a council member was supposedly the victim of Mikes violent intimidation tactics. I'm disappointed in Roberta and would have expected better from her. I also find it odd that in Mike's 20 year career in law enforcement his record is impeccable and yet he somehow jumped across a table at Roberta. Go figure. It's become clear that a seat on the city council isn't the way to clean up Atascadero. It's going to take credible people bringing in outside help.

By: Cindy on 12/21/08


There was no need to reiterate your initial response, I didn't miss it the first time. I just couldn't believe this was your basis for claiming that Mike Brennler is guilty of a false accusation!

We all know that it's easy to prove the source and contents of an e-mail, as does Mr. Fonzi. I suggest that you ask Mr. Fonzi if he sent that e-mail to a media outlet (who later shared it with Mike) and if the contents that Mike defended himself against were in fact the contents of that e-mail.

As with insider its a waste of time to dignify your statements with a response.

By: Truthbeknown on 12/20/08

By: insider on 12/20/08 said:

"I'm just grinning ear to ear. I just can't wipe the frickin smile off my face. So if you see some guy walking around town with that grin ear to ear it just might be me the true insider."

I'll be smiling with you, insider! 8-))

By: insider on 12/20/08

I'm just grinning ear to ear. I just can't wipe the frickin smile off my face. So if you see some guy walking around town with that grin ear to ear it just might be me the true insider.

By: insider on 12/20/08

Once again I couldn't be happier about the way things turned out. Farewell Smokey.

By: Truthbeknown on 12/20/08

I've re-posted below my earlier post since you seemed to have missed it the first time, Cindy.

"OK, Brennler; let's start with this one: Please explain why, on October 21st, you spoke during the Public Comment period of the Atascadero Planning Commission (… making accusations against Al Fonzi for an e-mail "defaming" you. This supposedly occured back in June '08. If this e-mail in fact occured, why did you decide to direct your complaint at a public meeting of the Planning Commission, who's chairperson just happened to be Roberta Fonzi? If you found this e-mail so offensive to you, why did you wait until October 21st, 2 weeks before the election, to make these (unproven) accusations towards the husband of a candidate for City Council? It's obvious to me that you were engaging in public character assasination and intimidation."

Brennler accused Al Fonzi of sending an e-mail to Velie that allegedly was detrimental to Brennler. He then asked Roberta Fonzi to repudiate the alledged e-mail. First of all, where is the proof that Al Fonzi actually sent an e-mail? What exactly did it say? Why did Brennler air these accusations at a Public Forum 4 months after this supposedly accured? Why did he complain to the Chairperson of the Planning Commission who was running for City Council 2 weeks before the election? If Brennler did in fact have a legitimate complaint, is the Public Forum period of the Atascadero Planning Commission the proper place to hurl his accusations? Or was he engaging in character assasination???

By: Cindy on 12/20/08

What is the accusation? You said he made false accusations.

Agian- What is the accusation? HELLO?

By: Truthbeknown on 12/20/08

Cindy on 12/18/08 said To: Truthbeknown,

"I can say that I have no doubt that Mike would have won by a landslide if he had run for re-election. His supporters would have been out in full force."

Sure Cindy, and there really is a Santa Claus. Perhaps your boy Brennler will run against O'Malley in two years and prove me wrong?

The example I posted is one of your boy's many unfounded accusations. I'm still waiting for his response . . .

By: Cindy on 12/20/08

Looks like this thread has been slimmed by insider. This is a typical diversion tactic to avoid the facts and hard questions. In this case my guess is that it was intended to distract attention from TruthBeKnown and his lack of facts/ability to give credence to his false accusations about Mike. This is nothing new from that group. Oh by the way, not that it had anything to do with the question asked of TBK but I went and listened to the 10/21/08 PC public forum that he mentioned. The thread that TBK provided doesn't work but you can find it by going to and clicking on the PC meeting for that date. Mike is the first person to speak. I listened and low and behold (!) it was about Al Fonzi claiming that Mike had intimidated Roberta and "lunged" across a table at her. Mike wanted Roberta to set the record straight (ie, it never happened). I say low and behold because Al Fonzi told another similar story in a public forum about a claim made by Cheryl Burbach. Only problem is that I had been a witness and have the entire incident on video. In fact it was Cheryl Burbach who approached Mikes supporters and tried to intimidate them (and she crossed a 150' parking lot in a direct b-line to do it). This behavior is nothing new. This group should be working for Karl Rove.

By: MyThoughts on 12/19/08

It is clear that insider is confined inside the walls of ASH

By: insider on 12/19/08

to Nancy

Since Brennler and Comar had to tuck their tales in and crawl away in shame I felt my job was done. I just came out one more time to let you all know how happy I have been since the pounding the Wal Mart measure took and the joy the ousting of Brennler has created for the majority of Atascadero.

By: insider on 12/19/08

to the weighmaster

No doubt you cary a load. Are your pants sagging. If you go back and check my comments on the many Gearhart or Beefart as I prefer to call him you would realize he is no friend of mine. Do your research before you weigh your load.

By: TheWeighmaster on 12/19/08

One has to pity Insider. His good buddy Gearhart has fallen on hard times and the real estate market is in shambles ….

Not much for the poor boy to do besides sit in front of the computer and vent his anger and spew his hatred.

Insider is made of the same genetics as the rest of the cockroaches who occasionally crawl out from under the rocks.

By: Nancy on 12/19/08

Its always been my impression that insider is JC himself and that doesn't stand for Jesus Christ folks. If insider is in fact JC then I'm still on topic. There are excellent reasons for this belief and I'm not alone in this deduction. Notice in these recent posts insider says, "it ain't happening". That is a common verbiage of JC's and the same thing goes for "carry your water". This is but one of many similarities (noted over the last 10 months) that can be attributed to that silly old fart J.C. and insider!

By: Nancy on 12/19/08

Oh my goodness, look who is back!

To Jordan and Marty Tracey. Insider has been around a long time. I don't know where he's been for the last few months but he's back and you should know that he can't be reasoned with and that he is obsessive beyond all comprehension. The bloggers used to deal with him by not responding. There were occasions when he left over 70 wild a** posts on one blog and they were all "off the wall'.

By: Jordan on 12/19/08

Mr Insider,

It appears that your responses to Mr. Tracey are mis-directed. It appears that it is city officials and management that have cost the public and that would be far in excess of the burdensome financial cost. Perhaps you might want to re-direct your unfounded rhetoric?

By: insider on 12/19/08

Like I said if you have a beef get a lawyer and file suit. Quit trying to make the public carry your water. Maybe we should get the FBI in on this huh Smokey?

By: Jordan on 12/19/08

The people of Atascadero have their hands full. After reading this story and scanning the reports I think it's going to take outside intervention to force accountability and restore respectable, honest governance to this citizenry. By no means should this blatant disregard of "the rights of the publics check and balance safeguards" be tolerated. One has to consider that this is only the tip of the iceberg. These facts only came to light because Mr. Tracy left a message on an answer machine and Mr.Brennler

spent a great deal of time performing a harrowing investigation. How often have similar violations occurred that went unnoticed?

By: MartyTracey on 12/19/08

I work a 9/80 schedule just like McKinney, Lewis, Torgerson, etc. This is my regularly scheduled day off, and I am at home on my own computer and on my own time. Call the City Manager's office and check for yourself.

Good thing that I did check this bog this morning. My goodness.

By: insider on 12/19/08

I'm not sure which is worse the thought of Mr. Tracey sitting on his public paid for computer and participating in this blog and undermining the City, or using one of his City paid vacation days to do the same. I can't believe this guy is whining about not being included in important confidential city business anymore when all he wants is to be a professional whistle blower and a public blood sucker. Go have coffee with Smokey he has time and he loves this stuff.

By: insider on 12/19/08

To Tracey

If you don't think you had your day in Court then quit feeding at the public trough, get yourself a lawyer, and file a case. Otherwise just keep sucking that teet and go away.

By: insider on 12/19/08

Like I said. Nothing new. I have heard this garbage for three years now. There was a court case. The court case knew all this. If they didn't Tracey should have talked then not now. Like I said its over. Stop crying. Get on with life.

By: MartyTracey on 12/19/08

As I stated on this blog on 12/3/08, "The personnel action taken against me was never litigated." So, there was no settlement related to the issues and facts that comprise Mr. Brennler's report. You may recall that I demanded a public hearing in 2006 that did not occur. The City took unilateral action to avoid the public hearing, which left the personnel action and related conduct unresolved.

By: mcdonald on 12/19/08

The illegal acts are:

Discussing eminent domain in a closed session.

Allowing Marty Tracy into a closed session.

With holding public documents from inquirers.

Ordering the dismissal of Marty Tracy in a closed session without due process.

Violating the "whistle blower" protection laws.

Covering up the above stated acts.

The above is what’s obvious and illegal. There are also moral issues that I haven't stated and would hope that these are a matter of common sense.

By: insider on 12/19/08

Who cares? Just a handfull of bitter people still hung up on their wal mart loss. What illegal act. Get over it. This guy settled with the City. Its over. No one cares. Get a life.

By: CarolAnnRiley on 12/19/08

This is only supposedly "old news" because it happened 3 years ago. The fact that the city was able to illegally cloak the facts from the public doesn't make it over. Now that the facts are out ITS JUST THE BEGINNING (not the end). I have no doubt that city management was hoping that the longer they "illegally" covered this up the less they would have to answer for. It seems to me that as long as Wade Mckinney, Jerry Clay and Tom O'Malley are still at the helm then justice has yet to be served. I watched Tom O'Malley try to do everything possible to stop Mike from revealing the results of this report. Now I know "exactly" why. The rights of the public, the rights of the Gaughns and the rights of Marty Tracy have been suppressed (3 years) too long.

By: MartyTracey on 12/18/08

To insider:

It isn't over. And, you didn't answer any of my questions – or did you?

By: insider on 12/18/08

to Tracey

You settled. Get over it. If you weren't happy you shouldn't of settled. Its over. What specifically is new? What specifically do you want to cry about? Your feelings are hurt and you deserve the exact appology in exact words you want them in. Forget it. It aint happening. Get on with your life.

By: MartyTracey on 12/18/08

To insider:

So, you knew all that information in Brennler's report. How did you come to know it? Do you have copies of all the documents, the Report of Investigation and deposition transcripts? Or are you in City Hall, a co-fabricator of the Report of Investigation, and a participant in those depositions? Given the lengths and cost City management went to keep all that information out of the public domain, only an active player in the controversy could consider that information "nothing new."

By: insider on 12/18/08

What a great CC meeting with Smokey gone. How nice it will be without him flapping his jaw in a constant effort of control. What a pleasure it is to laugh. After all sometimes a giggle is just a giggle and a laugh is but a laugh. What a huge waste of time and City resources he demanded. All for one mans ego. Hundreds of thousands for campaign reform. Important City buisness pushed aside every meeting so he could press his own personal agenda of pacifying his Comarites. Just couldn't stand buy and not say good bye Smokey and if this is your last big investigative move its not very impressive. The only ground swell of support for Smokey is the handfull on this blog. You couln't get elected dog catcher after the show you put on the last two years.

Brennler is gone and no one cares. Waaaaaaa!

And there is nothing new in his report other than his opinion.

By: Nancy on 12/18/08

Interesting reply TBK.

Gee I wonder why Mike waited until after the elections to release his(this) report? I bet it would have made a difference with the votes Jerry Clay received if the public knew about all this prior to voting. Maybe Mike has too much integrity. You have accused Mike of making false allegations and we are waiting for you to tell us all what those allegations were/are. Right now it looks like the only person making false allegations is you.

By: Laura on 12/18/08

Truth be known is pretty hysterical. Who is spinning the spin here?

Mike Brennler asked the following of him.

"You suggest I have made many false allegations. Please be specific as to the allegations you indicate are false and perhaps I can enlighten you."

I don't see where tbk answered the question.

His reply to Mike is just another example of all the bs that these guys spout.

By: Cindy on 12/18/08

To: Truthbeknown,

I can say that I have no doubt that Mike would have won by a landslide if he had run for re-election. His supporters would have been out in full force. The fact is that we all thought Mike was right to decide not to run again. He can do much more for Atascadero as a citizen who isn't bound by the postures required of a council member. Second there were excellent people who didn't want to throw their hats into this city's ring after they saw the reprehensible behavior of the good ole boy's club who caused obtuse disturbances at near every CC meeting.

Who needs it?

Also I personally watched and listened to Al Fonzi stand up and tell an outright lie in a public comment forum about the behavior of Mikes supporters. I knew it was a lie because I was witness (he wasn't) to the incident that he referred to. I've never seen such a bunch of ignorant spin doctors as Al Fonzi and his ABA buddies.

By: Truthbeknown on 12/17/08

MikeB on 12/16/08 said:

To: Truthbeknown

"You suggest I have made many false allegations. Please be specific as to the allegations you indicate are false and perhaps I can enlighten you."

OK, Brennler; let's start with this one: Please explain why, on October 21st, you spoke during the Public Comment period of the Atascadero Planning Commission (… making accusations against Al Fonzi for an e-mail "defaming" you. This supposedly occured back in June '08. If this e-mail in fact occured, why did you decide to direct your complaint at a public meeting of the Planning Commision, who's chairperson just happened to be Roberta Fonzi? If you found this e-mail so offensive to you, why did you wait until October 21st, 2 weeks before the election, to make these (unproven) accusations towards the husband of a candidate for City Council? It's obvious to me that you were engaging in public character assasination and intimidation.

You were wise not to run for re-election, as you knew you would have been handily defeated.

By: Michelle on 12/16/08

Now I understand why Jerry Clay and Tom O'Malley were so afraid of Mike and even encouraged and supported a ridiculous, malicious failed recall effort against him. I've always said that if you want to know who someone is just watch what they say about and do to other people. Looks like they are the ones that shouldn't be on the city council. If they had any dignity they would resign.


By: CarolAnnRiley on 12/16/08

It looks like some Council members have some explaining to do. Like for starters, what was Marty Tracey doing in a closed session? Where was the city attorney Patrick Enright at the time?

It also looks like Wade McKinney lied to the CC about his role in Marty's message to the Gaughns. Why did the CC continue to give Wade a vote of confidence? There are some big problems here and the previous city attorney should be sanctioned if not disbarred. Tom O'Malley and Jerry Clay should resign. The citizens need to send a message.

By: MikeB on 12/16/08

To: Truthbeknown

You suggest I have made many false allegations. Please be specific as to the allegations you indicate are false and perhaps I can enlighten you.


By: Cindy on 12/16/08

To those who like to attack Mike for his transparency and belief in open government. Maybe you should try it sometime. I'm not aware of one single statement or accusation Mike has ever made that didn't have merit. Name something? As for the FBI investigation, that was made public by the city attorney not Mike Brennler. The FBI is still in town and investigating various (too say it lightly) "mis deeds" and following the connections. Also as I recall Mike was castigated for looking at Kelly Gearhart (Mr Atascadero-Man of the Year). He was "right on" about that one to and by the way, Kelly has never paid all the fees due on that project. Our CC is now packed with realtor's including a good friend of Gearhart. Way to go Atascadero, the fact is that you can't handle the truth.

By: Truthbeknown on 12/15/08

Re: professional – professional only means you get paid, not necessarily competent.

After reconsideration: while I am certainly not a fan of Brennler's many (false) accusations, he may have finally got one right! If so, I wish Mr Tracey all that he deserves.

By: MyThoughts on 12/13/08

Hey atownproffesional:

Is there such a thing? You can't even spell it … It is spelled P r o f e s s i o n a l.

Dumb as a bag of bricks … and obviously this is the same ignorance that Brennler has been up against there in ATown.

By: atownproffesional on 12/13/08

Mike Brennler's report was even more of a poorly written mud slinging job then this article. Mike was intent on causing discord and blame: in that he was successful. The FBI that Brennler claims was investigating the City of Atascadero was either a figment of his imagination or a plot to cause controversy and strife for the City of Atascadero. Mike please move out and never come back, the damage you have done to my town should be criminal. Your red, angry, accusing face will not be missed. Your lies and innuendo belong on the cover of the "National Inquirer" not a reputable news organization. I hope you are proud of your legacy: Discord, Hate, Distrust and Debt.

By: Cindy on 12/11/08


Thanks for getting to the bottom of this. This is something that many people have attempted to uncover for the past 3 years. The results of the investigation should always have been available to the public and it's obvious why city officials continued to stone wall the public.

R. Hodin says "the so-called "threat" of eminent domain actually appears to be a tip-off to the Gaughans of the illegal council action. " I also wondered if Tracy was "in reality" attempting to tip off the Gaughans. The fact that he told them that he was in a closed session makes one have to wonder what he was really thinking and "up to".

By: mo on 12/10/08


gearhart is a thief, and a coward. he tuck his tail and ran. good news though, he will be arrested soon!

By: R.Hodin on 12/8/08

From the perspective that Brennler's report presents, Tracey was not only a fall guy for the council and for the city administration, but the so-called "threat" of eminent domain actually appears to be a tip-off to the Gaughans of the illegal council action.

In light of this, Marty Tracey deserves commendation, not condemnation, for his attempt to keep the council honest.

By: thirdparty on 12/7/08

Good job Mr. Brennler. Got the surface crust off now dig deeper and finish the job like a true champ,

By: Bluebird on 12/4/08

Karen, Thanks for doing the article. McKinney and the Council have done everything they can to make sure the Tracey story is not made public. Mike, thanks for doing the research and speaking out for Tracey. It is disgusting and disappointing to watch the council go through the charade of pretending they can't talk about the case. I expect it from O'Malley and Clay but it is disappointing coming from Luna.

By: ThomasPaine on 12/4/08

Good thinking Jorge. I already ordered my tamales from a woman in Oxnard who does a fantastic job.

By: JorgeEstrada on 12/4/08

Hey let's take a break from bad news and get into the Holiday spirit. We can still do this. Time to make them tomales.

By: Black_Copter_Pilot on 12/4/08

Booty Juice:

after weeks of reading your posts I've come to the conclusing that your posts, for you, are a form of self-gratification. Am I wrong?

By: Booty_Juice on 12/4/08

It's hard to believe that a stinking, fetid, decaying bog hole like Atrashcadero would be run by inbred, corrupt mongs. Naming Kelly Gearhart citizen of the year was their sole and only honest and representative action.

I always dreamed of living there.

By: Will on 12/3/08

Great work Mike! Atascadero has a long way to go to become transparent, but you have definitely moved our town in the right direction. Now I'm just wondering if Atascadero can find a way to restore our trust in our dishonest City Manager. Hmmm…. maybe Marty should be considered for the job.

Once again we have a clear example of how power corrupts… in this case the City Manager. Atascadero needs a clear and effective system of checks and balances to keep this "corruption by power" under control. For starters all decisions by city government and any organization, especially the Chamber, that receives City funding should be done in clear public view.

By: MyThoughts on 12/3/08

If you watched the council meeting on cable it sure sounded like O'Malley was trying to stop the report from being given by Mayor Brennler.

Even after the attorney warned the other council members not to say anything O'Malley couldn't take resist and he spouted off. With the way O'Malley acts it's no wonder Atascadero is always in legal hot water.

I guess O'Malley needs to add another P word to his campain rhetoric

Proactive, Positive, Productive and PATHETIC

By: MartyTracey on 12/3/08

To Truthbeknown and InTheKnow:

The question and answer session between Council Member Tom O'Malley and City Attorney Brian Pierik prior to Mayor Brennler's report did claim that the personnel action had been litigated, and that I had settled to my satisfaction.

The personnel action taken against me was never litigated. So, there was no settlement to anyone's satisfaction. This is easily confirmed by checking the SLO County Court files.

Mayor Brennler's report can be reviewed at

By: InTheKnow on 12/3/08

As I remember it, Brennler ran on a platform of cleaning up city hall. This has been litigated, but those responcible for taxpayer funds spent on yet another lawsuit, hide behing issues of privacy.

It is time to clean up city hall while the city still has some funds left.

By: Truthbeknown on 12/3/08

This story is much ado about nothing. For over two years Brennler made numerous accusations about this or that, none of which came to fruition. Instead of making Atascadero's economy his number one priorityas he promised to do, he chose a path of trying to destroy others, especially Wade McKinney. His legacy will not only be as a do nothing councilmember, but as one who attempted to do harm. The Marty Tracey issue had been litigated, but Brennler chose to make it an issue as his last official act. Good riddance Brennler! You will not be missed!

By: serpico on 12/2/08

Makes you proud to claim Atascadero as your hometown…not. Good thing there are some good guys left.Maybe they could start filming a soap opera up there. Something like "As the Mud Boils"

By: Newsome on 12/2/08

Good reporting, and good work by Brennler.

By: calvertworthington on 12/2/08

Great work Mr. Brennler! The people of Atascadero owe you many thanks for your hard work.

It will be interesting to see what happens now that the council is once again filled with 'connected' folks.