6 former mayors support Mattson for Atascadero
November 4, 2016
OPINION by BOB KELLEY
Nicholas Mattson is challenging Atascadero’s Mayor Tom O’Malley for his position as mayor of Atascadero. Mattson, a newcomer to the Atascadero political arena, is running against O’Malley and has drawn the support of six former mayors: Jerry Clay, Rolfe Nelson, George Luna, Mike Brennler, Ellen Beraud and myself.
Also, many past O’Malley supporters have joined Nic Mattson.
In a recent article in the New Times, O’Malley stated that there are two extremes that have always fought for power in our community, the extreme left and the extreme right. No truer words have ever been spoken by O’Malley.
Having sat on the council for close to eight years now, that environment still exists. O’Malley has made no apparent attempt to heal the wounds, which is not good for the community.
It appears it’s all about power for O’Malley.
Elected representatives should serve all of the people and not just try to obtain power for their self gratification and personal gain. Nicholas Mattson comes before us to help end this power play in Atascadero.
The makeup of the six former mayors is formidable as you might say there are three from the right and three from the left. Nicholas Mattson is the one to bring unity back to Atascadero.
O’Malley says that he is friendly to business which is a good sound bite. But he is raising fees, adding regulations, supporting Measure J which is another tax increase, and voting himself a future $450 a month pay increase from the city the way to be friendly to business?
O’Malley sits on the Board of Directors for SLOCOG which in the past has approved an 8 percent pay raise for employees and recently a 5 percent pay increase for their CEO. This could be the true act of a bureaucrat spending our hard earned income on themselves.
Tom’s favorite quote is “cost analysis and cost recovery.” The cost analysis is based government costs. Being a life long bureaucrat, that is all he knows.
We in the private sector are much more conscious regarding costs. After a $26,000 study to justify the last raise in fees, I asked the consultant if there was any place where there could be a savings? His answer was, “that’s not part of the deal.”
I thanked him for his honesty and was the lone no vote for the fee increase. That is an example of O’Malley’s “cost analysis and cost recovery.”
Tom O’Malley orchestrated the no bid contract for Atascadero’s garbage contract. As a result, the city has lost it’s recycling center.
The center put approximately $800,000 a year back into the community. The closing also resulted in the loss of three to five jobs. The overall economic loss to the city is well over $1,000,000 a year. Is that being friendly to anyone. Possibly the most significant financial blunder in the history of the city.
After serving eight years on the council, I will not be running for reelection. I too, like former Mayor Rolfe Nelson, believe that term limits are in order. It’s time that new leadership takes us into the future.
I was contacted by the power players wanting me to run for reelection only because their concern was that they may lose their power and control. I politely turned them down and said that was not my game and said it’s time for change in Atascadero.
Nicholas Mattson is a young energetic person who is devoted to the community and serves on many nonprofit boards. His service with these organizations is much more than a photo op. All of us who have served on any of the city’s commissions or city council endure a learning curve. Anyone who says they don’t is nothing but a politician, and is that what we really want?
Our first Mayor, Bob Wilkins, had no experience or qualifications when he took office and he did well just like Nicholas Mattson will do.
Don’t be swayed by all of the O’Malley commercials claiming that he is the sole person for everything being accomplished in Atascadero. Believe me, it is the hard work of many people within this wonderful city and no one person should take credit for it.
I urge you to join six former Mayors and many other supporters and vote for Nicholas Mattson for the new mayor of Atascadero. He will represent all 29,000 residents of Atascadero and not just one side or himself.
Bob Kelley is a current Atascadero City Council member and former mayor.