Say yes to pride in Arroyo Grande and no to Caren Ray

November 3, 2016

caren-rayOPINION by LINDA KEATING

This year, the city of Arroyo Grande was awarded the SLO New Times “best controversy or scandal of the year” for the cover up of the city manager’s after hours’ tryst. This scandal was preceded by many others. Councilman Ed Arnold pleaded no contest to felony counts of residential burglary and possession of child pornography. The Citizen of the Year, Lenny Jones, was charged in a child molestation case.

How does all this happen in the Mayberry-like city of Arroyo Grande? The answer, a few corrupt, self-serving politicians hijacked city government and tied the hands of the law enforcement departments. The ousting of the mayor took care of some issues but some of the old guard remained and some are hoping to return in the upcoming election.

The citizens of Arroyo Grande must continue to say no to the candidates who took away the pride. The top of the no list is Caren Ray.

Below is a summary of the issues. Backup documentation and videos can be found posted at www.carenray.net. Read, watch and judge for yourself.

Scandal

Caren’s association with the SLO Hash House Harriers has been questioned in the past. While Caren’s personal time is her own business, there are some professions that common sense dictates a higher standard – teacher, city official to name a few.

If she wants to participate in functions where lewd behavior is the norm and publicized, then she should choose a profession that is consistent with that behavior. Watch the video and decide for yourself.

Corruption

Per published documents, Caren has received significant funding from local developers. One of her backers is involved with the pending Cherry Lane development of 66 homes and a hotel.

Not only has Caren received funds, her live-in boyfriend was instrumental in the design and even presented of the project to the Planning Commission. If elected, Caren could be voting on this project.

While these are but a few examples, they are only the tip of a very large iceberg.

Self-Serving

Caren claims in her campaign statements that she wants to preserve the historic character of the Arroyo Grande Village. This year Caren added a structure to her historic 1894 house.

Starting at the federal level, there are guidelines for making modifications to historic buildings. The AG Historical Review Committee made several suggestions and conditions to bring Caren’s proposed addition into conformance.

Somehow, Caren found a way around their conditions and suggestions. While each structure would be fine standing alone, attached to a 1894 home it doesn’t work. It’s like pairing a black tux, brown shoes and white socks.

But in this case, the once proud 122-year-old house is damaged forever. The address is 756 Myrtle Street – judge for yourself.

Laws are for others not Caren

Living in close proximity to Caren, I have personally observed her basic disrespect for community laws –they are for everyone except her. For example, she complained often and loudly when the contractor working across the street started too early, made too much noise, worked on the weekends.

For her project, all was ignored. They worked into the night, on weekends and started before dawn.

Additionally, she allowed her contractors to violate standard building regulations. The construction left Caren without on-site parking. Her remedy was to use the street to store as many as four trucks and two cars.

When she was cited by neighbor services for leaving the trucks parked for more than 72 hours, Caren retaliated and moved them in front of neighbors’ homes to block their front access.

Her explanation to the neighbors, “Perhaps the complaint was a bit short sighted and didn’t think through getting code enforcement involved.”

So, instead of working with the neighbors she was inconveniencing, she turned the tables and told them if they didn’t like what she did it was too bad “that’s life.” The complete email exchange that exposes Caren’s “real” personality and attitude towards her community is provided below. Again, you be the judge.

Bring back AG’s pride –  we don’t need any more awards for scandals.

 

Email exchange:

1.     On Jun 17, 2016, at 6:10 AM, Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com> wrote:

There are a couple of issues that I would hope you will address.

 

Parking…

You now have 6 vehicles parked on the street.  While you have a right to use the city street, the city does have restrictions about how long these vehicles can remain parked – it’s 72 hours.  Our CC&Rs have additional restrictions which prohibit it completely.  When your vehicles are parked in front of other people homes, it makes it extremely inconvenient for UPS, USPS and other services to access those homes.  For example, my gardener comes today and he will have no convenient place to park to unload his equipment.  While there are still vacant lots in the development, I would suggest that you use these to park in front of.

 

Dust…

Your contractors are still using the vacant lot next to you.  Because the surface has been made unstable, the afternoon winds generate visible dust clouds.  I would really like to have my windows cleaned but it would be pointless with the amount of dust being generated by what’s happened to the lot.  I have attached a state document describing  the proper construction and maintenance of  a stabilized construction entrance and why it’s important.  If this continues, I have no other choice than to ask the City Building Dept. to intervene.  And, I understand that because the state is involved the fines can be stiff.  Possibly, a solution would be park one of your six vehicles to block the driveway entrance to the vacant lot.

 

I’m aware that a construction project while living on premises is difficult but I would hope that you would consider things like the poor UPS driver who must lug a box marked heavy an extra 30 ‘ because you have vehicles blocking his delivery address.

 

Thanks for your consideration.

 

Linda Keating

 

2.     From: Caren Ray [mailto:carenray@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 7:58 AM
To: Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com>
Subject: Re: a couple of issues

 

Linda-

 

Clearly we are addressing the vehicle issue as directly as we can- by building a garage and extra parking.  Obviously when the accessory structures were torn down to make this development, that caused a significant issue for this house that we are investing heavily to rectify.

 

We did consider all of the aforementioned  things with regard to parking. As our college age son is home for the summer, plus our almost-sixteen-year-old ready to drive, we have more here than in the past. That’s just life.

 

We kept all vehicles on our side of the street, in front of the clear lot and our home, certainly the most considerate placement as we are unable to park on our lot due to construction. Now that there has been a complaint about them, we must move them in an obvious manner.  Perhaps the complaintant was a bit short sighted and didn’t think through the consequences of getting code enforcement involved.

 

We appreciate your patience as we are moving through construction as quickly as possible.

 

Caren and Randy

3.    On Jun 17, 2016, at 12:30 PM, Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com> wrote:

I now understand what you meant by getting Code Enforcement involved.  I spoke with the Neighbor Service officer as he drove through a bit ago.  I was not the one who filed the complaint.  The officer explained that the vehicles need to be moved at least 500 feet.  Since yours just moved across the street,  Neighborhood Services is now watching the trucks you have parked in front of my house.

 

I have a carpet cleaner arriving on Tuesday.  He will need access through the front of my house.  With your trucks parked there, that can’t happen.  So, I would hope you have the common courtesy to put the trucks in a position where it doesn’t interfere with the access to my house – or any else’s.  It may mean that you need to walk a bit further – but hopefully it will be resolved.

 

Linda Keating

 

Between e-mails 3 and 4, Caren’s son apparently used one of the trucks and when I saw him returning it, I approached him and asked that he park it in front of his own property.

4.     From: Caren Ray [mailto:carenray@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 2:53 PM
To: Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com>
Subject: Re: a couple of issues

 

And I hope you would have the common courtesy to apologize for your tone with my son. Your behavior was totally inappropriate, and as you can see, he has been taught not to back down to bullies. You lacking information is no excuse for treating him in the manner you did, with the tone you did.

 

I sincerely hope I never hear about behavior like that again.

 

I am quite sure that if you had approached him with common courtesy, he would have been glad to oblige you. As it stands, again, he is awaiting your apology.

 

“More flies with honey, not vinegar.”

 

Caren
5.  On Jun 17, 2016, at 3:59 PM, Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com> wrote:

I thought I asked your son politely not to park in front of my house and gave him a valid reason — the gardener was scheduled.   Did the gardener arrive – yes.   I also asked why he couldn’t park in front of his own property.  I was called rude for asking the question.

 

So, if this is considered a bully  and it has offended him, then I’m sorry.   Possibly, I’m owed an apology for having the access to the front of my house blocked.  Same holds true for some of the other neighbors.

 

Sometimes everything our off springs tell us isn’t exactly as it happened.

 

Linda

7.  From: Caren Ray [mailto:carenray@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 4:48 PM
To: Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com>
Subject: Re: a couple of issues

 

His perception of what happened is clearly different than yours.

 

Your passive-aggressive actions are well known in this neighborhood, and I won’t for a minute question the story my son gave me. It fits.

 

If you wish to have the benefit of the doubt, then of course you need to act in a manner that is deserving. How you have behaved and spoken to me via email, as though you understand all circumstances and codes and could not possibly be questioned (or lord have mercy, be wrong), is in no way demonstrating understanding, common courtesy, or “neighborly” behavior.  You just hide behind your computer screen and spit venom, trying to cyber-bully everyone to fit your viewpoint.  The story I received is consistent with your well documented attitude.

 

Saying sorry to me is meaningless. The apology is owed to him directly.

 

How you are perceived by others is not the responsibility of the recipient. It is yours alone. If it was received wrong, it’s up to you to make it right.

 

I know my son. If he is approached with “common courtesy”, I am quite sure you both will come to an understanding and everyone will be happy.

 

As you can see, our family does not respond to bullying, either in person or in cyberspace. Change your manner, approach, and tone, and you will find us quite cooperative.

 

You choose how this plays out.

 

8.  On Jun 17, 2016, at 6:33 PM, Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com> wrote:

Obviously we are at two very different points that will never come together.

 

When you purchased your property you agreed to a legal document called Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Cherry Creek.  This document was recorded with your deed.  You have consistently disregarded many of the conditions in this documents starting with leaving trash cans exposed, unkempt landscaping, not completing your rear yard with 1 year after purchase, construction noise to name a few.  Now, you’ve extended it to parking.

 

Please understand that my actions, to date, have been guided by my attorney.  Because I have other properties, I am fortunate to have a Real Estate attorney on retainer.  So, here are my options.   If you don’t have the vehicles moved to a suitable location where they are not inconveniencing any other property owner,  I first send a demand letter to the HOA board.  Should the board choose not to act appropriately, I then get a court order that forces the Board to enforce the CC&Rs.   Which, according to my attorney, is a very simple procedure.

 

Please refer to section 4.11.e  Parking Rules and Enforcement

In order to prevent or eliminate parking problems within the Development, or to further define and enforce the restrictions contained in this Section, the Board shall have the authority to adopt further reasonable rules and restrictions regarding vehicles and parking within the Development as the Board may deem prudent and appropriate.  The Board shall also have the power to impose sanctions for violations of provisions of the Governing Documents relating to vehicles and parking  Such authority and power shall include, without limitation:

(I)                   Towing of Vehicles….

(II)                Parking Fines …..

 

I believe that the neighborhood has made exceptional considerations while you’ve been planning for and constructing your garage.  My concern is that you are building a garage that will house at most 4 vehicles.  You now have 6.  Where do you plan to store the overflow?  If everyone did that, what would the neighborhood look like – a used car lot?  Remember, I was not the one who filed the complaint – I didn’t start this.  But, since you chose to block the access to the front of my house, I will finish it if necessary.

 

If you think this a bully, so be it.  I only expect people to abide by the laws of the area in which they have chosen to live.

 

Linda

 

9.  From: Caren Ray [mailto:carenray@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Friday, June 17, 2016 6:58 PM
To: Linda Keating <lkeating@jltechnical.com>
Subject: Re: a couple of issues

 

Let’s be clear.

 

The CC&Rs specifically call out the use of garage space, with the intent of keeping garages for cars. To wit:

 

Section 4.11di- “owners and residents shall utilize the residences’ garage as the primary parking space for vehicle parking and shall not utilize any other parking space otherwise permitted in section 4.11 unless the garage is occupied by a parked vehicle.”

 

We have done absolutely nothing that is in violation of the CC&Rs. WE DON’T HAVE A GARAGE. And when our garage is done, we will certainly be parking two cars inside. We may even have room to park in the driveway as well, according to section 4.11dii. It depends on how strictly you read it and the length of the vehicle.

 

We have every legal right to use the streets, and we will, as necessary.

 

As an existing residence, we don’t have the same requirements as new construction.  We are constructing a trash enclosure, and other requirements at this time.  We all look forward to this being done.

 

The fact that you continue to threaten is exactly what I am talking about. You’ve been doing it all day.

 

Regarding the six cars, this problem will resolve itself as the garage becomes available and my son goes back to school. We do not anticipate having a need to park cars on the street after that. We have previously made every effort to have cars not parked in front of houses, and contractors out of the way as well. This was met with complaints about parking on open lots and extended street parking. We are now forced to park our vehicles, and/or our contractors’ vehicles in other areas, including yours. Perhaps you should find out who the complainers are and explain the problem the complaint has caused you.

 

We do have concern about your willful disregard for the laws when your contractors choose to park in front of the fire hydrant. (See? There’s always more to the story.)

 

Did it ever occur to you to try this?

“Hey, Caren, I know you’re doing your best but I have some workers coming next week.  Could you leave my entrance clear on Tuesday?”

 

Perhaps you can pass my contact information to your attorney. I would be happy to speak with him.

 

Caren







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21 Comments

  1. Fleet says:

    Seems being on the city council and being part of the good ole boy network, allows you to do what you want like ignoring Village Design Guidelines and ordances pertaining to construction start and stop times. The addition to this historic building looks nothing like the old house which the exterior is constructed with yellow indigenous sandstone. I was told Carens boyfriend was an arcitek. You’d think the front of the garage addition would incorporate stone that looked similar. But what do I know I’m not an arcitek. I built a home in the Village a couple of years ago. I followed the guidelines but an AG planner made things miserable for me. But I’m not part of the good ole boy network.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  2. AGDUDE says:

    Clearly , “This Woman” feels she has some God Given right to Lord it over people.. this stuff goes way back to when she was put in her seat ,by others..

    Where has everyone been, She has a huge ego , has been and still is a stupid person, in a true sense of the word, most stupid people are so dumb they have this vision they are smarter then the rest of the population.

    Someone should pull her aside ,and tell her that in general most people do not like the way you come across as abrasive,egotistical,overbearing , and by enlarge poor judgment, example “hairs”.. this seems to be a common thread of people running in the past,and present .

    It’s a amazing how people with such lack of person achievement get placed in positions in Arroyo Grande ,to call the shots over Much more intelligent citizen of the people in the Fair city of Arroyo Grande, when will the intelligent people take over the control of the running of this great city, Had enough yet… I am sorry , I see stupid people being allowed & rewarded for Stupidity as a true injustice in Arroyo Grande… Send all the Chowder heads packing!

    Signed The Dude! Read those emails, This is Just why People get Pissed Off.Self centered jerks!

    (14) 28 Total Votes - 21 up - 7 down
  3. ironman9 says:

    I’m shocked by Caren Ray’s entitlement behavior…appears to have one agenda…herself…and in the up coming election…vote no to Caren Ray…Arroyo Grande needs elected officials that will be listening and caring for the needs of our community…and not their friends and themselves!

    (17) 43 Total Votes - 30 up - 13 down
    • doglover says:

      Leann Akins is genuine and MACK is packed with knowledge.
      You know you are getting candidates with honest intentions.
      They are not political climbers like Caren Ray and Erik Howell.

      (20) 46 Total Votes - 33 up - 13 down
      • AGDUDE says:

        John Mack, remember the Conflict of interest thing with the property & quick Claim Deed to his Girlfriend , Has anyone ever had Business dealings with Mr Mack Enough said right there.. I’m sure he knows all kinds of things ..

        His personality is Basically of one of a Bully .. Enough said .. As far as his design skills Lacking at best Sorry John , that’s how the Dude is He Tells it like it is ..

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
      • dmoran639 says:

        You are identified as dog lover. Caren takes her dog with hip dysplasia for walks in a wagon. I saw it. I live around the corner from Caren. Her garage conforms to the look of the new homes. Her home was vacant for years. It attracted delinquent kids. She took on a project. When I spoke with her about this opinion piece, she was laying bricks for the driveway. I am new to this site. When I read through the agreement it was plain that people were not to use it for slandering individuals. This article should never have been posted.

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
  4. kayaknut says:

    The first job for a Re-Elected Mayor Hill and city council that does not included Barneich and Ray, Hire a city manager that will do what was needed to be done several years ago, Fire McClish and anyone else who is holding onto the old Ferrara style of government (special favors to special people).

    (24) 42 Total Votes - 33 up - 9 down
  5. phoenix.rising says:

    OH NO! She is back!

    The sex exploits, the CABAL fragments, the Adam Hill ex-girlfriend, the progressive that just keeps on ticking….

    NO MORE CAREN RAY! NO MORE CABAL!

    (32) 56 Total Votes - 44 up - 12 down
  6. justice counts says:

    Update:

    The County Assessor has just verified, two non-permitted structures and updated the County Assessor Public Records in our Tract 1132 (Lot 127 for example)

    CDD won’t enforce Municipal Codes even when contacted and won’t talk to it when notified multiple times. Why?

    Both Individuals will now be paying Taxes for their (major) home improvements and the City of Arroyo Grande gets the larger share of that money.

    I vote no confidence in CDD. Vote thumbs up and support the Mayor to finally get to fixing thi$ running faucet, during a drought of money in Arroyo Grande (Financial short fall).

    What / why are we paying her so much money to look away when it suits her (favoritism)?

    The Mayor mentioned this problem in his State of the Arroyo Grande address.

    Ask Bob McFall (Interim City Manager) to finally Audit CDD. This was meant to happen when he was consulting last time in 2015.

    The County Assessor says. He can only follow-up when alerted and he’s doing a good job now that he sees the problem as far as we are concerned. Help support the Mayor and Audit the practices and policies of CDD.

    Favoritism needs to be corrected immediately…ethics matter!

    (25) 41 Total Votes - 33 up - 8 down
  7. beacon of light says:

    Mark my word! If elected to the Arroyo Grande City Council this time ’round, Caren Ray will be tossing her hat again in the ring for 4th District Supervisor. Get rid of one of the members of the SLO County cabal, and vote NO on Caren Ray!

    (38) 60 Total Votes - 49 up - 11 down
  8. Josey Wales says:

    Ladies & Gentlemen,

    I will refrain from criticizing Caren Ray, because her very actions and communications provide a powerful indictment all by themselves. Sad.

    Arroyo Grande voters must be rid of this scourge on our body politic, and we must reject Caren Ray and her politics of ambition. Clearly, her ‘civility campaign’ is hollow and deceitful, and one only has to read those e mails to know Caren Ray’s true character. Caren Ray is owned by the Big Developers.

    NO on Caren Ray.
    No on Adam Hill.
    No on Kristian Barneich.
    No on Erik Howell.

    Yes on IMMEDIATE water moratorium.

    Let’s end this cancer on our community.

    Just saying,

    Josey

    (19) 37 Total Votes - 28 up - 9 down

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