Simultaneous protests for Paso Robles

February 6, 2012

Two separate but parallel demonstrations Tuesday in Paso Robles will highlight perceived mismanagement by top city and school officials.

Teachers will be a rally at Paso Robles School District board’s 6 p.m. meeting at district headquarters, 800 Niblick Road, to object to a plan to shave salaries in order to balance a recently discovered budget deficit of nearly $2 million. Now, the district faces possible state receivership.

At City Hall, 1000 Spring Street, a gathering of residents is expected to “wear red” starting at 6 p.m. to voice opinions on revelations of personnel issues relating to the city’s top police administrator, Chief Lisa Solomon, and City Manager Jim App. Attendees plan to crowd the city council meeting at 7:30 p.m.


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Crusader

WHAT: Gathering to protest the actions of James App, Lisa Solomon and other PR officials followed by attending the Paso Robles City Council meeting. Please wear RED.


WHY: For actions/inaction by the above that have led to less safe living conditions in Paso Robles and surrounding areas.


WHEN: Tonight (February 7) beginning at 6:00. Council meetings begins at 7:30 pm


WHERE: Paso Robles Library. 1000 Spring Street.


Please bring your family, a few friends and a neighbor or two. Everyone from SLO County should take part because this effects you too!


“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!”


See you tonight!


Ugluk

*Gasp*

Be careful, everyone! If you continue to exercise your first amendment rights, Bob Cuddy might call you a “drooling mob” or “swamp marionettes”!


Oh the humanity!


SLOBIRD

Don’t be surprised they walk out during public comment session so they can remain “open and pure”. Give me a break!


Is is any wonder all this c”>*p goes on when the Council sticks their head in the sand and leaves Ding and Ling, opps, I mean App and Yang running things, with bouncer Steiz. It is time to take back this City.


So, let me understand Mr. Strong’s defense of Mr. App’s paycheck/benefits, He gets more than other City Managers because he rans a full service City, and Mr, Apps is a role model. Really!


1. Airport has lost money since day one (Weyrick didn’t pay his fees, build out his promise, etc.)

2. We are paying for Naciemento water that we cannot use because we need a water treatment plant that we cannot afford.

3. We had water rates passed, challeneged, and challenged again at a cost of more than $2 m.

4. We no longer have roads outside of the downtown area fit for use, only to get worse…

5. We have a Police Dept that operated in “Safe Mode”, lawsuits pending, and many unanswered

questions.

6. We waived $500,000 in development fees for a Fresno developer (we don’t need the money??)


Either this Council does not know ineffieciency when you see it or you don’t care, or the obviously, you are blind. What is it? We deserve better than each of you, that’s for sure.


Listening to the Mayor yesterday on the radio talk about the workshop Saturday, his explanations and description of “your” goals was embarassing. You all need to go and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


Superjunebaby

Some day, the taxpayers of Paso Robles will figure out that it’s cheaper to pay off Jim App to leave than to keep him.


MaryMalone

Oh, if only it would be that simple.


The problem is two-fold:


1. If App is not nailed for his role in the disaster in city management called Paso Robles, there will be zero incentive for the city council to hire someone better to replace App.


2. In fact, the city council will see it as an endorsement of their own failed city management, and hire someone as bad as App, or worse.


If App gets away without paying for his role in what has happened to PR, then the city council will get away with it, too.


It has to start with getting a majority in the board of ethical people who have a vested interest in repairing the damage done by the current city council and their lap-dancers, App and Solomon.


standup

I hope those pathetic council men read this: Beware! we will vote your lame asses out of office for the complete good ole boy bs your spitting. What you are saying is that the officers that have filed the claims are lying. What you are saying is that everything in CCN is a lie. You are both pathetic Mr. Strong and Steinbeck. You might as well step down. Time to get the Attorney General involved in this coverup.


Superjunebaby

Haven’t you figured out: no one will vote them out, and they’ll keep playing musical chairs. Ever notice how long Steinbeck’s been on one committee or another? Wonder if that helps his real estate business?


MaryMalone

It is usually the head of the city council (mayor) who makes those committee appointments.


In any committee, there is a learning curve for each new city council member who becomes a member of that committee.


It seems kinda inefficient, the way PR’s current mayor is handling appointments.


willie

Good luck PR Residents


Keep in mind, If you are not treated as an equal to the officials, it is they who don’t belong!


MaryMalone

Jon Seitz can be a bully at meetings where there is a lot of public dissent. He is a large man, with a booming voice, and he has used both features to intimidate.


RU4Real

Mary, are you sure you’re not thinking of Mike Seitz rather than Jon? John IS NOT a LARGE man, but brother MIKE IS HUGE & very condescending & arrogant. HE’S a real BULLY. Jon is rather sweet…


MaryMalone

Oh, no. I’m talking about Jon Seitz.


Jon is tall and he has put on quite a bit of weight in the last few years. He has no problem trying to intimidate the citizens of the cities and districts for which he provides legal counsel.


Have you ever had to oppose Jon Seitz? I have. You can trust me on this.


Superjunebaby

Intimidate him right back!


Structure

Glad I don’t live in Paso. You folks have some serious house cleaning to do. Good luck!


MaryMalone

It’s not just Paso’s problem. The problems in that city are the type that don’t respect borders, especially when the pressure of the concentration of criminals will inspire some to move to other cities and districts.


whoowhoo

Here is comments from two Council members. I wrote an email to all five Council members:


#1: Thanks for your comments. Please be assured that all legal and appropriate steps are being followed.


I would also refer you to the article in theTribune, by Mr. Cuddy I believe.  His point of view is both informative and productive.


Again, thanks for your participation.


Ed Steinbeck


Councilmember


City of Paso Robles


#2: I read as far as the end of your first line and your name. The reason for that is the “legal” position that I’m in. I make it a point to try to answer all communications addressed to me. That is why I am responding.


As a member of the Council I was advised by our City Attorney, I assume at the time some information about Lisa Solomon became known to her, that there is a real possibility that I, and the rest of the Council, may be called upon to sit in a quasi-judicial, judge/jury, manner regarding something involving her. Since that “alert”, in order to prevent the judicial process from becoming “tainted” I have deliberately avoided reading or hearing anything at all regarding Lisa. I will attempt to continue to remain neutral until I am advised by our City Attorney that the potential for my sitting in that capacity has passed or until the matter is presented to me in a hearing. As I have said to others: nobody who faces a jusicial hearing wants the judge to be “lobbied” or “briefed” by the attornies, witnesses or interested parties before the trial is held. The day that happens all justice is in danger.


I have even prepared a written statement to this effect, which I carry with me, to give to people when I am in a situation where I cannot avoid someone and it appears that a topic about Lisa may arise.


I always value citizen opinions. Sometimes we agree and other times we don’t. I find that true in my marriage also. It is the nature of being human.


I look forward to hearing from you again when it is appropriate.


If you are also mentioning our City Manager’s salary I offer the following:


Our City Manager has more duties than most managers of much larger cities because of our being a “full service” city with an airport, landfill, rail and trasit center, our own police, fire, water and sewer departments in addition to other standard city functions. Other cities either farm contract for or were formed after some services were already supplied to residents by a private company (such as Atascadero and the Atascadero Mutual Water Company). When the economy began to slide, five years ago, our Manager refused to take the raises he is contracted to receive. Since then, he has refused all increases each year and took the same cut in benefits. His example helped the management group and all three unions to also give up increases and, later, some health benefits and change retirement formulae. This year the unions insisted upon getting the increases, WITHOUT ANY RETROACTIVE PAY,  due to them in their contract five years ago.


The “Layoff Prevention Plan” adopted in the ’90s and implemented at that time has been a major factor in keeping Paso Robles in better financial shape than over 90% of the other nearly 500 cities in this state. His leadership and the Council’s cohesive and conservative decision making, generally speaking, has caused this city to be the envy of most cities in California. Despite these accomplishments our City Manager is one of the worst paid, on a per capita basis, of any manager in SLO and Monterey counties combined. I have researched this through official state documents and developed the following chart:


City/Manager Annual Pay/Population/$ Per Person

Population statistics from State Controller

Compiled by City Council Member Fred Strong


SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY

1. Pismo Beach/$174,481/8,704/$20.05

2. Morro Bay/$163,427/10,608/$15.41

3. Grover Beach/$132,618/13,272/$9.99

4. Arroyo Grande/$148,425/17,145/$8.66

5. Atascadero/$183,285/28,560/$6.42

6. Paso Robles/$179,541/30,072/$5.97 Proposed (CURRENT: $155,744.16/$5.17)

7. San Luis Obispo/$245,352/44,948/$5.46


MONTEREY COUNTY

1. Sand City/$198,621/329/$603.71

2. Carmel-By-The-Sea/$150,425/4,053/$37.11

3. Del Rey Oaks/$37,662/1,649/$22.84

4. Gonzales/$142.319/9,114/$15.62

5. Marina/$265,472/19,445/$13.65

6. King City/$151,776/12,140/$12.50

7. Pacific Grove/$180,327/15,683/$11.50

8. Monterey/$285,603/29,455/$9.70

9. Greenfield/$163,248/17,898/$9.12

10. Soledad/$182,311/27,929/$6.53

11. Seaside/$191,362/34,628/$5.53

12. Salinas/$226,864/153,948/$1.47


At present salary Paso Robles’ City Manager is paid less per person than all but one city in two counties: Salinas

IF he receives his scheduled increase on July 1 there will be three city managers getting less than he in two counties: add Seaside and San Luis Obispo to Salinas.


[Fred Strong]


I cannot make it to the meeting tomorrow as I will be out of town, just thought that I could share this.


As the world turns

No surprise a council member would refer to Cuddy. As said previously, “good old boy/girl” net.


Crusader

I find it scary…


Paso’s future is at stake right now and it seems like we have crooked morons at the wheel…


willie

“I would also refer you to the article in theTribune, by Mr. Cuddy I believe. His point of view is both informative and productive.”


It is actually the politicians, officials, the 1% (Gearhart ect.) and the tribune that have woes, CCN is a blessing to the 99%!


MaryMalone

Yeah, Cuddy is their little annoying lap poodle.


Crusader

If Ed Steinbeck actually wrote “I would also refer you to the article in theTribune, by Mr. Cuddy I believe. His point of view is both informative and productive.” then I have no respect for the man. Such a belief would not only be astoundingly ignorant, it would be flat-out stupid to make it publicly known. If he actually said that, he clearly tipped his hand that he’s an App/Solomon loyalist. That’s a very scary response to receive from any Paso Robles council member.


Fred Strong’s allegedly admitted “…I have deliberately avoided reading or hearing anything at all regarding Lisa…” is almost as chilling as Steinbeck’s alleged comments. The desire for a councilperson to remain ignorant is just wrong.


More than ever we need a HUGE showing tomorrow beginning at 6:00 at the Paso Robles Library. See you all there.


MaryMalone

QUOTING CRUSADER: “Fred Strong’s allegedly admitted “…I have deliberately avoided reading or hearing anything at all regarding Lisa…” is almost as chilling as Steinbeck’s alleged comments. The desire for a councilperson to remain ignorant is just wrong.


He’s pulling the Sgt. Schultz defense: “I know NOTHINK!”


highdude

Public service is not meant for those in Supervisory positions to line their pockets with citizen money. The words, “Public Servant” as stated are meant for those who chose to serve the public for the greater good of society without receiving the big dollars like the private sector receives in salary. These true public servants chose to serve mankind to make the world (In this case the city of PR) a better place to live in, therefore reaping that benefit in lieu of cash money. As for the high wages paid to Solomon; it’s not enough as she makes $12,000 per month and spends $12,001.00!!!


Get me some ice for my bong that stuff is harsh!


MaryMalone

Well, Steinbeck positively referencing Cuddy’s opinion piece showed his own true colors, and disconnection from the residents of Paso Robels.


Council Member Strong made a big deal about how he couldn’t even learn about anything to do with the situation with Solomon, but then spent an awful lot of energy defending City Manager App. How come Strong can know so much about App and App’s job issues, and discuss them at length, but not Lisa Solomon’s?


If he can’t reveal anything about Solomon’s personnel issues, then he shouldn’t be talking about App’s, either, especially how much he makes.


The other thing is this: it was Strong’s idea to bring up again the idea of the state selling the correctional facility to PR for $1. Then PR could “repurpose it” themselves. It sounds like the strongest support is for a reentry facility for released prisoners.


EXCUSE ME. Crime is already rising in PR, as is drug- and gang-related crimes, a good part of the time Lisa Solomon’s “safe-mode” policy does not allow the few remaining officers to actually go out on calls, and they want to bring MORE higher-risk people into PR?


I am beginning to wonder if the City Council has it in for the people of PR. They certainly are not using PR’s resources to provide a safe environment for the PR residents, meaning they can’t handle the problem-making preople who either live in PR or frequent PR. So they want to bring in MORE higher-risk people, just released from prison, to the PR population?


And where, please tell me, is the wisdom in bringing in ex-prisoners for reenttry programs at a correctional facility in PR, when PR has so many drug dealers, gang activity, etc.?


Superjunebaby

As I said, someday residents will figure out that it’s cheaper to pay App off ,to leave, than to keep him.


And this hogwash about being paid per person, It’s not like he’s babysitting each resident. Furthermore, he’s not doing anything to bring down costs. Probably because he gets kickbacks from each contract.


The City of Paso pays a brokerage firm in SLO enough to employ 3 people in Paso for brokering their employee benefits. They way over-pay but never take the contract out to bid, as per the by laws. Instead they keep using the same firm and over paying them, and not employing a broker in Paso, as per the by laws.


So, Suck it up, Paso. This is one of the most corrupt city governments, and you just keep voting in the same old dirt bags. Way to go.


MaryMalone

Voters can only choose on the on the information available to them. Even if all voters made the best choices available when they voted, there is going to be a certain percentage of the elected who will be corrupt and do wrong.


If the corrupt are not investigated, prosecuted, and made to pay for their corruption, over time, they can easily infect the entire city government.


So, yes, voting in good public servants is important, but remaining vigilant and making the ones who turn out to be corrupt pay is equally–if not more–important.


MaryMalone

Why isn’t PR’s human resources director taking care of that?


The more I hear about PR, the more I think it really will be SLO County’s answer to the City of Bell.


standup

As crusader said, this is very, very important as far as telling our elected officials what we expect. These are our tax dollars paying each of these “questionable” city officials 250k each (salaries and benefits) to do their job. The scariest part of all this is they are the two most powerful people in the city. Remember, they can’t eat us.


MaryMalone

HOLY SMOKES! $250,000?


Gee, too bad Council Member Strong didn’t compare council-member salaries of cities PR’s size.


MaryMalone

You are 100% correct. Once it has been documented they’ve been shown the concerns of the residents they govern, they can’t fall back on “Gosh, I just didn’t know.”


Crusader

Please make plans to gather tomorrow night at the Paso Robles Library beginning at 6:00 pm (earlier for you hearty types!) to show unified concern for the troubling actions of Police Chief Lisa Solomon and City Manager Jim App. Now is the time to step-up and be counted. Please don’t blow -off this responsibility because you know others will be there. There is strength in numbers. The community of Paso Robles deserves a MASSIVE showing of concern for our city.


If the PRPD elects to provide security for this event I suspect we will be treated very well by the officers!


Please wear something RED (hat, scarf, shirt, coat, etc.) as a sign not only of an emergency situation but as one unity. If you would like to make a sign to hold please do — keep it clean. This is one to bring the entire family and a neighbor or two. We will be standing-up for the future of our city and its residents.


We’ll attend the city council meeting which begins at 7:30 pm. Please plan to say something or at least stand behind those who choose to make their concerns known.


See you all tomorrow night.