Official: PR citizen action dangerous

May 2, 2012

By DANIEL BLACKBURN

Fred Strong

The city of Paso Robles faces only one big fiscal threat these days, according to city council member Fred Strong — and that’s the people of Paso Robles.

Strong summarized his philosophy in an email to a resident last month who had asked the official if bankruptcy is in Paso Robles’ future. (CalCoastNews is not identifying  the citizen with whom Strong corresponded; Strong, however, sent copies of his response to the entire council, Mayor Duane Picanco, and others.)

Strong wrote, “At this time the only danger of the city going into bankruptcy is from citizen actions and initiatives which have been, or are, proposed without assessing their unintended consequences.”

That appeared to be a direct reference to a newly-formed citizens’ action committee called Change Paso Robles Now, or CPRN2012, said Karen Daniels, a downtown business owner and chair of the non-profit group.

She asked Picanco and the other council members if they agreed with Strong’s assertion, and she suggested to Strong that he should explain or disclaim the comment.

In a string of emails that followed, Strong claimed he was referring only to “state” actions. Strong wrote to Daniels on May 1, “Although I’m unable to find our original correspondence on this computer, I believe this [issue] related to suggestions made to me that [mismanagement and overly-generous pensions] in the city would eventually bankrupt Paso Robles. I indicated that we already had (and are) addressing that issue and there was considerably more likelihood that citizen actions would bankrupt us” rather than mismanagement and benefits.

“I must clarify what I meant by ‘citizen actions,’” he continued. “That was based upon my interaction at all government levels and the misunderstood ‘initiative process.’ Initiatives were created so that citizens could correct situations which the government, especially at the state level, refused to address or correct.”

Daniels, who raised the issue Tuesday at a council meeting, told Strong in an email that “the comment you made…was pretty clear. I didn’t misunderstand it; I didn’t amend or otherwise alter it in any way. It didn’t mention all the things you have now expressed in your retraction or clarification of the statement you offered in a previous email. It did not mention the state nor offer any further explanation other than your precise view.

“Having discussed your statement with several others, we all came to the same conclusion:  you would blame the citizens of Paso Robles for their own actions and initiatives, and absolve the city administration from any wrong doing should the city fall into unintended financial hardship: bankruptcy.”

Daniels added, “I feel you made that bold statement to put us in our place. But what I don’t understand is why the city council turns a blind eye to the obvious: [City Manager]  Jim App needs to go. But the entire city council seems to stand behind him.  As long as he remains the city manager, the community will be divided, and will continue to push for change of those who administer their city.”

Strong, in a final missive to Daniels, wrote: “I would never have said ‘the citizens of Paso Robles’ could cause a bankruptcy of the city. Nor would I ever absolve the city council of responsibility for those things under its control.”


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76 Comments

  1. NorthCountyGuy says:

    The condescending arrogance displayed by the massively corrupt officials of Paso Robles is beyond belief. Honest Citizens do not count. Paso Robles is a corrupt, organized-crime organization run for the exclusive personal benefit of a handful of politically influencial elites. A few of PR’S protected-class elites are violent criminals. The PRPD has been in bed with the Mexican Drug Cartel of Paso Robles for decades. The summary execution of whistleblower Donal Schneider was not an accident.

    (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  2. The Gimlet Eye says:

    Citizen action is needed in so many ways, locally, state-wide, and nationally. Citizens need to form their own watch dog groups with their own websites and get on their representatives and let them know that they are being watched with an eagle eye.

    Here’s something that affects all of us and cries out for citizen action:

    US: Two million illegal immigrants who pay taxes using a special IRS ID card now are receiving huge refunds by claiming tax credits for children who live in Mexico. [This is costing taxpayers over $4 billion per year. The IRS is fully aware but does nothing about it.] WTHR.com Posted 2012 May 9

    http://www.wthr.com/video?clipId=7054149&autostart=true

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
    • zaphod says:

      illegal immigrants who pay taxes using a special IRS ID card
      oxymoron

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  3. danika says:

    Here is an example of how citizens can be dangerous to city administrators:

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/former-glendale-councilman-indicted-on-embezzlement-charges.html

    People need to get involved in oversight for reasons such as these!

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
  4. MaryMalone says:

    QUOTING THE ARTICLE: “I must clarify what I meant by ‘citizen actions,’” he continued. “That was based upon my interaction at all government levels and the misunderstood ‘initiative process.’ Initiatives were created so that citizens could correct situations which the government, especially at the state level, refused to address or correct.”

    So what is his point, here? Citizen activist groups, such as CRPN2012, form to deal with problems with government agencies that have not been able to resolve because the government agency has its collective head too far up its cronies’ @ssholes that it has forgotten it is in place to SERVE THE PEOPLE.

    It seems that CRPN, a citizen activist group, full well knows why it was “created.”

    INDEED, it is the Paso Robles City Council members who have forgotten why the city council was created and why the city council members were elected to office.

    HINT: It wasn’t for the city council to fund, enable and then coverup the police chief’s playing “find-the-sausage” hot-tub party at a city-funded, out-of-town resort, Superbowl fandango.

    (24) 24 Total Votes - 24 up - 0 down
  5. Grandmaof9 says:

    Yes, I’m old and , yes, my memory isn’t what it should be , but was Mr. Strong elected this last time? Didn’y he run for mayor and when he lost, the other city council members “allowed” him to take his old position back?

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down
    • NorthCountyGuy says:

      Whistleblowers beware!!!!! Corruption and backscratching cronyism in the City of Paso Robles is so massive that its difficult to know where to start. The Ol’Boy Clique elites of North County are given free rein to stalk, bushwhack, assault, maim and persecute anybody that it doesn’t like. Hitler and Stalin would be proud of the New Age Fascism that is rampant in Paso Robles!

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  6. Paso_citizen says:

    Re-read Mr. Strongs last statement from above article:
    “I would never have said ‘the citizens of Paso Robles’ could cause a bankruptcy of the city. Nor would I ever absolve the city council of responsibility for those things under its control.”

    He FINALLY got something right in never having to be concerned about absolving CC of responsiblity for things under its control. But since it has long been obvious that CC has nothing except pluff and puff items (proclamations, etc.) under its control (all the rest is just following App’s
    directives), Mr. Strong has no worry.

    (19) 19 Total Votes - 19 up - 0 down
    • NorthCountyGuy says:

      Every thing in Paso is being done underneath the table. The Chief of Police has been in bed with the Mexican Drug Cartel of Paso for decades. Some might think that the current acting police chief might have been a former Liaison or Bag Man for the Mexican Drug Cartel of Paso Robles. The current police chief and his PRPD buddies have been lying and covering up for a secret-clique of politically-influencial assault and batttery with deadly weapon elites for decades.

      (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
      • FLAHERTINI says:

        FRED CAN YOU GET 12TH STREET PAVED SOMEDAY?

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  7. pasoparent5 says:

    Came across this photo from 3 months back.
    Lovely Lisa Meter Maid, locking eyes with Fred.
    He tenaciously supported her even to the bitter end of Chittygate. That’s enough for me right there to NOT vote for him in Nov.

    This Feb 9 2012 photo tells it all: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2012/02/08/1940953/lisa-solomon-paso-robles-police.html

    (24) 24 Total Votes - 24 up - 0 down
  8. Crusader says:

    The Paso Robles City Council and City Management needs a long overdue enema…

    (25) 27 Total Votes - 26 up - 1 down

Comments are closed.