The City Council of Santa Rosa, CA has been debating the issue of rent control. We are against it.
The rent issue is easily satisfied by using existing Section 8 / Housing Authority methods to subsidize low income tenants while allowing owners to recover costs and make a return on their investment. This way government subsidizes the tenants who are in need.
Rent control freezes the rent on a unit with a tenant in place who may or may not be low income. The private property owner subsidizes the tenant---one individual subsidizing another individual who may or may not be in need. You could have a tenant who has more money than the landlord who is subsidizing him/her. If rent control freezes the rent on a unit then the County should freeze the property taxes, PGE should freeze the utility cost, and the City should freeze the water and garbage fees. Why should the property owner be the one to bear the burden?
The concept of rent control is analogous to, for instance, a grocery store that charges a different amount for the same loaf of bread depending upon who is buying it, and that bread price will not increase once it's been established. This is the role of government, not the individual business owner. That should be clear and obvious. The system is in place -- Section 8 --and should be sufficient for those in need. If the system doesn't work then fix it.
The headline here is a quote from US Representative Jared Huffman talking about ERIN CARLSTROM and NICK CASTON's mailer.
Erin Carlstrom, a new city councilperson in Santa Rosa, spent a couple of months trying to figure out how she could move up in politics--she toyed with the idea of State Senate, then County Supervisor, and then settled on State Assembly. She's working with her husband, Nick Caston, (see posts about Accountable Development Coalition and Michael Allen, his cohort, for info on him) to position herself to slurp from the crony trough. Caston is a new boy on the block, a political consultant who cut his fangs on a few projects (Keep Napa Napa) and showed that he could draw blood.
Now Caston and Carlstrom have cooked up a project to enrich themselves by stylin' as 'protectors of the coast' and putting out a political mailer 'Vote The Coast'. Caston solicits political candidates to pay him to put them on the mailer. Carlstrom is on the mailer, of course, and paid her husband to be on it. So did Gary Wysocky---another wannabe crony.
Here's what the Marin Independent Journal's Dick Spotswood had to say about this yesterday:
Marin IJ: EXCERPT
Spotswood: County campaigns obscure candidates' plans
By Dick Spotswood
Posted: 05/31/2014 07:39:24 PM
Erin Carlstrom, the Santa Rosa councilwoman running as a Democrat in the Marin-Southern Sonoma 10th Assembly District, was just "endorsed" by "Vote the Coast."
In a widely-distributed ad, "Vote The Coast" appears as a warm and fuzzy sounding environmental organization. That could be a big deal in the green-friendly 10th District.
In reality, the original Vote the Coast organization is long defunct. Carlstrom, acting as the attorney, formed a new corporation called Tidal Voice Inc. It then trademarked the abandoned "Vote the Coast" name. In short, Carlstrom endorsed herself.
The stunt didn't impress Rep. Jared Huffman, a long-time environmentalist and supporter of Assemblyman Marc Levine. The San Rafael Democrat described Carlstrom's "Vote the Coast" advertising as "one of the most cynical, self-serving and shallow attempts to mislead voters that I've ever seen."
This may be one “endorsement” that backfires on the recipient.
ENDORSEMENT: MARC LEVINE
KEN CHURCHILL IS RUNNING FOR SONOMA COUNTY SUPERVISOR
This is from his website and focuses on his opponent, James Gore. Below his info see more information on how James Gore was relieved of his duties at the Department of Agriculture (he officially resigned).
"Yesterday I received the latest James Gore mailer. It is a well produced piece that I am sure a lot of people will find impressive. That is if you don’t know the true story. In it James talks about his 5 Point Plan.
Number 1 of his Plan is titled Creating Jobs. It says “As Vice President of a successful company, he represented California agriculture on trade and affairs while gaining extensive experience managing staff and budgets.”
The company they are talking about is JBC International, a lobbying firm that represented the wine industry, a chemical company and association of collection attorneys. James never talks about his work as a registered Washington lobbyist, but that is what he was from 2006 to 2010 before he went to work for the government.
To find out more about JBC International I ran a Dun and Bradstreet report and low and behold it turns out that JBC is essentially out of business and has an unsatisfied court judgment against them in the amount of $645,000. One would think James is aware of that, but it does not keep him from touting his accomplishments with the firm which looks like it was run by a family and James was the low man on the totem pole. But if he wants to claim he managed their budgets, I am not going to argue with him.
Number 3 of his 5 Point Plan is titled Reforming Pensions and Fixing Roads. Sound familiar? Yes, one week before the election James has become a pension reformer and will use the savings to fix our roads.
But what he says about pensions shows he knows NOTHING about how they work. He said “The County has made great strides to reduce unfunded pension liabilities”.
There are several problems with this statement. First, the Supervisors have accomplished very little in terms of pension reform. In fact, they simply were forced to adopt the state pension reforms and they changed formulas for new hires.
Second, he obviously does not know what an unfunded liability is. Unfunded liabilities are the retirement benefits that are owed to retirees and employees for work already performed. There are 2 ways to reduce the unfunded liability. The first is to cut retiree pensions, which would be a horrible thing to do and is also illegal. The second and only other way to reduce the unfunded liabilities is for the pension funds investments to return greater than the 7.5% assumed rate of return over many years. That is something the Supervisors do not control.
The most common untruth James tells is that he was a “presidential appointee”. I am not sure how he landed the government job, but he was appointed to the NRCS by the Secretary of Agriculture, NOT President Obama.
I told the Press Democrat they should vet all the candidates when they released the report on Pete Foppiano’s tax problems. Unfortunately, they did not take my advice when it came to James and his false claims.
I have tried to run a positive campaign based upon the issues. But I thought you should all know more about James and how he is suffering from a serious case of resume inflation and in my opinion is not qualified for the job of Supervisor.
Ken Churchill for Supervisor · United States
You can also keep up with Ken Churchill for Supervisor on Facebook.
Info on James Gore's abrupt resignation from his appointed position because millions of dollars in payments went to farmers who were long dead.
"A federal audit released last year showed $10.6 million in improper payments were made by NRCS from 2008 to April 2012 while James Gore was Assistant Chief. Both Gore and his Chief resigned."
Natural Resources Conservation Service
April 20, 1932
Soil Conservation Service, Soil Erosion Service
Jason Weller, Chief
James Gore, Assistant Chief
Department of Agriculture
Anyone who is paying attention to local politics knows that Gary Wysocky is bad news. He's known as a bully, manipulative, and is unqualified for the Tax Collector/Treasurer/Controller position he is running for.
How did Wysocky get to be 'president of the Junior College Neighborhood Association'? He bullied the elected president, Kay Tokerud, and hounded her out by gathering a group of minions to take over the board. Then they appointed him to her position. Right after that he ran for Council as 'Your Neighborhood President.'
What does he say qualifies him to be Tax Collector/Treasurer/Controller for Sonoma County? He's a CPA, big deal. He's been 'running' for the Tax Collector position the entire time he's been on the Santa Rosa Council, beginning most of his comments with 'I'm a CPA'. He says the county needs a 'fresh pair of eyes'. Having two eyeballs doesn't qualify you to run the county.
He says he's a watchdog but he's more like a lapdog. He appointed Michael Allen to the Planning Commission---Allen went on to be fined for a serious conflict of interest violation and Wysocky continued to endorse him.
What else? The position was vacated by Rod Dole (who went to run the Ygrene private venture that he'd been pushing as an elected official---cozy) and the county took applications for an interim appointment. Wysocky applied but was rejected as being unqualified. He didn't even get an interview he was so unqualified.
Who was considered qualified out of a wide field of head-hunted financial officers, auditors, fund managers, CPAs, from all over the nation? David Sundstrom.
Sundstrom is highly qualified, is doing the job admirably well, is liked by staff, is fearless in looking into county issues, is not a crony---this is who we want in the Tax Collector/Treasurer/Controller position.
DAVID SUNDSTROM for Auditor /Controller/ Treasurer/ Tax Collector
FROM OUR LAWSUIT PENDING AGAINST MTC/ABAG:
The Post Sustainability Institute strongly objects to the tremendous overreach of Plan Bay Area in the imposition of regional governance over the voters and their elected representatives in the nine county, 101 city San Francisco Bay Area. The elevation of an unelected, unrepresentative body over the people of these municipalities is a violation of the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the US and California constitutions. We assert that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments have taken SB 375 and used it to impose an aggressive ideology of land use restrictions and regionalization. Regional governance inserts a layer of unelected boards between local government and the federal and state grant makers/funders. This regional layer (MTC/ABAG), unaccountable to the electorate, sets up de facto mandates for local government--effectively using money as a lure and a bludgeon to cities and counties desperate for funds. As more and more regions are created and imposed on local and state governments across the nation there will be less local control. Local government will exist solely to implement regional regulations administratively without meaningful input from the voters.
The necessity for government subsidies or changes to Proposition 13 (California property tax) to implement this Plan is clearly stated in the Plan itself on nearly every page. Restricting development of both residential and commercial uses primarily to highly urbanized city centers even when the real estate and economic markets do not support it is a recipe for failure and debt. The entire plan is a house of cards based on a financing scheme that does not exist in California: Redevelopment. Redevelopment debt has had a crippling impact on California; bonded debt for redevelopment in our state had reached $81 billion by 2007 and was doubling every 10 years. (Redevelopment: The Unknown Government, Municipal Officials for Redevelopment Reform, 2007). The reinstatement or reinvention of tax increment financing for private development imposes a generational debt requiring 20-40 years of payments to bond brokers. Schemes for assembling and acquiring privately owned fully-developed land parcels in the Priority Development Areas will, as stated in the Plan, require eminent domain. Eminent domain is intended for public use only, and the perversion of the concept of public use to acquire land for private benefit will not be tolerated in California. In any case, at the time that Plan Bay Area is scheduled for adoption (July 18, 2013) none of these potential funding schemes is in effect, therefore the Plan fails the feasibility requirement of SB 375.
Plan Bay Area and SB 375 are predicated on the implementation of Sustainable Development. Sustainable Development was formally defined in the 1987 United Nations publication Our Common Future written by the UN World Commission on Environment and Development (referred to as the Brundtland Commission). Sustainable Development is defined as:
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
All that remained was to state that our current activities and means of living were ‘compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ and then decide what to do about it.
After Our Common Future was presented to the UN General Assembly in 1987 the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland Commission) was tasked with designing strategies for achieving Sustainable Development by the year 2000. At the Rio Earth Summit in June, 1992, the Brundtland Commission came back with the action plan for implementing Sustainable Development globally: Agenda 21. Referred to as the Agenda for the 21st Century, this document was agreed to by 179 nations, including President George H.W. Bush.
William Clinton was elected President in November, 1992, and six months later he issued Executive Order #12852 which created the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). It first met in the summer of 1993; and continued until 1999. The members of the PCSD included Cabinet Secretaries for Transportation, Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, Small Business Administration, Energy, Interior, and Defense. Representing business were CEOs for Pacific Gas and Electric, Enron (Ken Lay), BP Amoco, and Dow Chemical, among others. Environmental organizations rounded out the balance with the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, World Resources Institute, the Nature Conservancy, and the Environmental Defense Fund being the most notable.
The PCSD immediately began laying the groundwork for implementing Agenda 21 in the United States. The goal was to change public policy to bring it into alignment with the new agenda for the 21st century. The PCSD formalized its recommendations in ‘Sustainable America—A New Consensus.’
In the PCSD’s list of vital elements to incorporate into their recommendations they included this statement:
‘We need a new collaborative decision process that leads to better decisions, more rapid change, and more sensible use of human, natural, and financial resources in achieving our goals.’
A new collaborative decision process. The new definition for consensus is the neutralization of expressed opposition.
In the old way of doing things, the democratic way, an issue is put before the voters and they vote on it directly, or they have a representative who reviews the issues, debates them publicly, and then votes. If the voters are not satisfied with the outcome, they can initiate a referendum or vote out the representative.
‘Sustainable America—A New Consensus’ does not allow for actual dissent. There can be no opportunity for failure in implementing Agenda 21. In fact the Cabinet Secretaries reported that they could implement approximately two thirds of the PCSD’s recommendations administratively. However, it is not desirable that citizens notice that they are not being given a choice in the most important issues of their lives, so they are given the illusion that they are making decisions for themselves. The real meaning of consensus is to take away your voice and leave you feeling as if you are the only one who has some problem with the results. The President’s Council on Sustainable Development incorporated the Delphi Technique into its recommendations so that ‘more rapid change’ could be imposed on us through clever manipulation. The Delphi Technique was used by MTC/ABAG and their consultants in their ‘visioning meetings’ in order to manipulate the outcome. Although they will say that they have never heard of the Delphi Technique they are in fact using it to direct public opinion, ignore or marginalize dissent, and declare ‘consensus’ on their preferred alternative.
Sustainable Development/UN Agenda 21 is exemplified in the Plan Bay Area documents by the push for high density urban development in city centers by any means necessary while starving the rural and suburban areas for funds and development. Using tactics better suited to criminal gangs, MTC/ABAG is hoping to slam through the most aggressive regional plan in the United States. UN Agenda 21 is a global plan implemented locally, and this is the Plan for the SF Bay Area. Similar plans can be found throughout the United States and the world with names like Envision Utah, Imagine Calgary, Granite State Future, PlaNY, One Valley One Vision, Horizon 2025 (Ontario, Canada), and Hanoi (Viet Nam) Regional Center 2030 Plan. All of these plans are the same plan with the same goal: move people out of the rural and suburban areas into the city centers where they can be more easily managed, controlled, and surveilled. This is not a conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy fact. No amount of government-sponsored shaming, mocking, marginalizing, or lying about those of us speaking the truth can change this fact. The people of the United States of America and of the State of California will not be a party to this plan to destroy private property and civil rights. We intend to fight Plan Bay Area and we intend to win.
This video exposing former Assemblyman Michael Allen was created by a campaign manager for his opponent, Marc Levine. Based on our reporting of Michael Allen to the Fair Political Practices Commission for corruption, he was unseated after just one term in office. There is some justice after all...
Take a look:
REPORTED TO US:
Greg Sarris, 61, Graton Rancheria Tribal Chief on 11/3/2013 at meeting of North Bay Organizing Project in Santa Rosa said:
“… last night the tribe opened its casino. That casino is currently employing 2,500 people all of whom have medical, dental and retirement and wage above the minimum…and I love walking around and seeing all the brown faces and hearing all the Spanish in that building. We’re also—you hear a lot about the casino—but we also have 250 acres aside from it. We are planting those 250 acres in organic vegetables and with us we are going to hire low risk prisoners and undocumented workers. All of that with a living wage with medical, dental, and retirement.”
And he also said:
“So we want to make a difference. And it’s not just in the environment and in jobs but in social justice. We know that there are public officials here today and that you better listen. You better start coming over to our side of town over there listening to what we have to say because now I’ve got what you’ve always had…it's called money. Listen carefully each of you. Until you come out and talk to us and listen to us and answer to what happened, I will take my money and run a spotted chihuahua and try to win. And I mean it.”
This month the 1,300-member Graton Rancheria tribe will open its Graton Resort & Casino, an $800 million development with 3,000 slot machines and 144 gambling tables spread out over 340,000 square feet is expected to generate revenue of more than $530 million a year by 2016. Just beyond the parking lot is 250 acres of undeveloped land. It is currently being discussed as the site for vegetable farming but the tribe has also said it eventually plans to add a hotel.
Here is the audio file with the introduction of Sarris beginning after approximately three minutes.
North Bay Organizing Project--what is it?
Our Mission: Unite people to build leadership and grassroots power for social, economic, racial and environmental justice.
Once upon a time the Dibs family of Santa Rosa had a small business selling used cars. They owned the lot and had it paid off, and made a nice living for their family. In 2009 the City of Santa Rosa targeted them for an eminent domain action. The City wanted to widen Santa Rosa Avenue right there at the Dibs' property. First they low-balled the Dibs and then they finally agreed to pay them a fair price---the City said it really needed that land quick--that widening had to happen NOW.
So the Dibs family moved to a property that they leased, that wasn't as good a location for them. The City of Santa Rosa then did nothing with their old lot and didn't widen the street. And it still hasn't.
Now, the Dibs' have come, hat in hand, to beg the City of Santa Rosa to let them buy Bob's RV Center on Santa Rosa Avenue at Highway 12. Well, the City will let them buy it but they won't let them move their car lot onto a lot that was used for selling RVs because 'it's a different use and we don't want to see car lots on Santa Rosa Avenue anymore.'
What does the City want to see? Smart Growth. Apartments over shops. That's the VISION for Santa Rosa Avenue. The City's General Plan/Comprehensive Plan says that MIXED USE is the preferred development for Santa Rosa Avenue. They don't care that it has been an historically car-related street, the old Auto Row. No, that's just not sustainable.
Now the goal is to narrow the street down to just a couple of lanes and have a median strip and wide sidewalks and the walkable bikeable dreamland of community and joy (as long as you go along to get along). Except that isn't what people can build there because they'd go bankrupt in a minute. Just like the building owners at 10th and Healdsburg did. The former owners. They went bankrupt building a 4 story mixed use apartment building where the ground floor retail not only never rented up but never even got completed. Go look in the windows. Bare pipes and concrete.
So. Where does that leave the Dibs and Bob Montgomery, the owner of Bob's RV Center who would like to retire? Yes, you guessed. Another empty lot on Santa Rosa Avenue coming up. The City is blighting the Avenue themselves by not allowing businesses, legal businesses, taxpaying businesses to get a use permit. The City is preparing the Avenue by depressing the land values so that their crony developer can come along later, buy it cheap, and build Smart Growth with subsidies.
When the City held those visioning meetings for the General Plan it didn't matter at all what you had to say. It was SMART GROWTH and that was it.
And that's the news from Santa Rosa.
WE WILL STOP THIS.
FIGHT PLAN BAY AREA. www.StopPlanBayArea.com