2020: My Perspective

2020 and the choices are not getting easier. City Council: two seats, two incumbents, two challengers. City Treasurer: no incumbent, two candidates. School Board: three districts, two incumbents (one challenged/one unopposed) and one seat abandoned to a single unopposed candidate.

With only a couple of exceptions, I am unwilling to offer a full-throated endorsement to any candidate. You’ll easily note who the exceptions are. Here’s how it breaks down.

2020 City Council.

Neither incumbent, Marty Simonoff or Christine Marick, gets a nod from me this year. Both have become to predictably disappointing that it’s time to punch their ticket.

In 2016, as Marty launched his “Marty Bar” run for a sixth term, I ask him why. He responded that no one had ever been elected to six consecutive terms and he wanted to set the record. I told him “Twenty Is Plenty” and walked away.

Of course, he won. Except for Marty’s opposition to increasing sales tax and his support for my Kropke Public Records Request, I can’t think of a thing he has personally come up with and championed to a successful end. He rides the crest of the consensus, taking credit whenever possible. The thought of him warming a seat in the Council Chambers for a seventh term is unimaginable.

I challenged Christine Marick’s first run for Council based upon the way her credentials were presented. An exercise in creative writing, they challenged credulity.

Of course, she won. Christine was immediately gobbled up by the Schweitzer, Garcia, Beauman, Murdock Cabal. You’ll remember, this is the group that wielded three votes like Thor’s hammer and was dubbed as “totally dysfunctional” by Roy Moore (RIP) as he launched Operation Clean Sweep.

Christine avoided the 2016 swamp draining, winning a second term. She’s become the resident expert at kicking the can down the road. When CFD’s were challenged as possible double taxation (Central Park Brea) she let it ride. She partnered up with Murdock, blindsiding Council with a list of personal demands to be considered in the appeal of the Madrona Development Agreement and has allowed the fraudulent Paramedic Tax to remain hidden on the Consent Calendar (along with who knows what else) instead of putting her foot down on our behalf.

Time to go guys. Your lackluster political careers have reached their conclusion.

And the challengers.

Tyler Baugh, a well spoken, reasonably savvy forty-something ready to jump into local politics and make a difference. With very restricted funding, I don’t expect to be buried in postcards, yard signs and street banners… but, for the most part, he carried himself well at the Candidate’s Forum.

What Robyn Neufeld lacks in experience she more than makes up for with youthful exuberance. She’s obviously a diehard Brean and unafraid of digging in to learn the ropes.

Neither Council (Vargas, Hupp and Parker) or senior staff would let them make an uncorrectable blunder – and their fresh eyes on Brea’s issues would make a huge difference I believe.

So, Brea voters… especially you who are under 50… it’s time you flexed the power of your ballot and voted for someone sharing your interests and concerns. Not your grandfather or old maid aunt. Not those who seem to miss the days of sparse horse and buggy traffic, narrow streets and Craftsman cottages.

Folks with young and growing families facing life issues similar to what you face, who understand your struggles and likely share your vision of Brea’s future.

It’s time we opened the door to the ”NextGen” of Brea leadership and packed the “Old Guard” off to Golden Pond.

2020 City Treasurer

Okay, this one is a ripper! On one hand we have the classic career politician, Bev Perry, constantly drawn to the limelight.

Her track record includes launching our $250 million pension debt, perpetuating the bogus Paramedic Tax and countless other items slipped by under the Consent Calendar, signed off on the countless bond refinancing, project collecting, honey pot cash generating schemes that turned the last millennium’s Redevelopment projects into another $250 million in debt. We’ll be paying this off for the next 20 years yet Bev thinks EIFD (call it RDA 2.0) is the creative solution to financing infrastructure development in the 21st century.

On the other hand we have a career financial professional, Denise Eby, who understands the full scope of duties and responsibilities of Brea’s Treasurer and has 30 years experience and the drive to get the job done… without hidden agenda or political aspirations.

Denise manages $800 million in financial business – underwriting commercial and contract surety bonds. That’s ten times the amount of money Brea has invested at any time. She specializes in evaluating publicly traded, privately held, nonprofit and municipal creditors for third party credit guarantees. With Denise you can be certain you’re not putting the fox in the hen house!

2020 School Board

Districting has left me with no local campaign so I won’t be voting on the BOUSD. But there is one race that is critical. Gail Lyons needs to be reelected as a trustee if for no other reason than to block Keri Kropke’s hand picked surrogate, Lauren Barnes. Lauren played leadership roles in the challenge to the Fanning name and is an active leader in Brea’s social protest community.

2020 NOCCCD

And yes, you can block Keri Kropke from winning the North Orange County Community College District (Area 7) Governing Board Member seat by reelecting incumbent Ryan Bent. If you watched their League of Women Voter’s Candidate’s Forum you will have seen all you needed to see. Keri Kropke has no business fouling the waters of public education, at any level. Vote for Ryan Bent.

Make 2020 The Beginning Of A Brighter Future.

Ring out the old. Ring in the new. Push back against the status quo but remember where you came from. You are a Brean. Your vote counts. Mark your ballot wisely.

election 2018

29 thoughts on “2020: My Perspective

  1. Rick, Ken Salazar I know we have not always agreed on some issues, but I believe you have hit a Home Run here 100%. The old guard needs to change and I believe the people you have picked does it!

    They have my VOTE!

      • Amen. Need the new participants to be unafraid afraid to make the tough decisions.

        I am still sad over Hines Project the building are right on top State College. The pictures we saw of the completed project look like a deeper set back of the building from street!

  2. Rick, knowing you as well as I do, I can understand why you write this and where you are coming from. It seems modern day politics are either “you’re with me or you’re an idiot” and your blog allows safe discourse to opine on matters like this.

    As much as I love seeing “new blood” and young residents eager to serve, I have a real concern when they haven’t had any experience working in city hall as a commissioner or committee member prior to running.

    We are not in a position to “gamble” on council I would strongly urge them to get involved and build a track record we the voters can see. For this reason, I feel Marty and Christine are the right choice.

    On school board I agree with you. On NOCCCD I agree with you.

    On treasurer, I also agree with you that Denise is over qualified and as much as I appreciate Bevs past service, I can’t support anyone that would ever allow redevelopment 2.0 back in Brea.

    In 3 weeks this will all be over and I am hopeful our community can come together under a council that has its work cut out for it like never In the 103 years Brea has been in existence.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you Dwight. I do appreciate the time and sensitive thought you give to our every conversation. I wish more folks around here would take the time to listen to what you share during your almost bi-weekly Matters From The Audience – rather than cluttering social media telling you where to stick your Crate & Barrel.

      All things considered, I am looking forward to watching Brea emerge from the damnpandemic and return to it’s customary vibrance and prosperity.

  3. Rick, you are of course entitled to your opinions, as we all are. However, facts are facts. I have never misrepresented my credentials. I have pushed for greater transparency the entire time I have been on the City Council. And Ms. Neufeld and I are, in fact, the same age with kids roughly the same ages. Given that my birthday is in the second half of December, I’m probably even the younger one!

    • Christine… let me start by saying “kudos” for being the first elected official to have the fortitude to post a response here.

      In your first campaign I spoke with an HR rep at the company you worked for. He reported that your job description did not match the credentials you promoted. He suggested they were inflated. For obvious reasons I didn’t publish that then… but you challenge my facts. I don’t make stuff up. I do my homework.

      Pushing for greater transparency is accomplishing nothing unless greater transparency is achieved. It’s pretty apparent to many of us that transparency continues to be little more than a campaign buzzword.

      It didn’t occur to me that you could be a card carrying NextGen, predominantly because you’ve conducted yourself more as a member of the old guard. Seems I have been fooled.

      • Rick, I was a Municipal Bond Credit Analyst. My job was assessing municipalities credit worthiness, looking at budgets, finances, reserves, property tax trends, etc.

        No HR professional would ever disclose information as you suggest happened, and there were no “HR Reps” at the firm where I worked. So sorry, that doesn’t hold up.

        What also doesn’t hold up is the fact that you have actually complemented me on my push for transparency, in particular having more agenda items downstairs on camera for those watching at home and those watching in the future. Endorse who you like, but tell the truth.

      • Christine… Your replay of job skills is missing the claim made in 2012 regarding your direct client contact. Whomever the gentleman was who spoke with me, he professed to fulfilling an HR role. I had no cause to challenge his assertion. What I stated holds up.

        How does my compliment not “hold up?” Posting a comment here hardly meets the push for transparency threshold. Granted I think it a bold and noteworthy gesture but the motivation still seems to be damage control.

        Your reference to more agenda items downstairs is a mystery term to me. Care to clarify? As I don’t recall seeing attribution to any member of Council on any agenda item, I’m a bit baffled by the remark. And, perhaps, a little less preoccupation with who is watching you might be in order.

        I’ve been factual and have embellished nothing. And I do not need your permission to endorse who I like.

    • In my experience, Christine has listened, weighed options, and responded with a ‘level head’. She has proven herself to be a thoughtful and caring councilmember. We have not always agreed on things over the last four years but she has always been courteous and respectful. I wish you the best Christine!

  4. Christine… Your replay of job skills is missing the claim made in 2012 regarding your direct client contact. Whomever the gentleman was who spoke with me, he professed to fulfilling an HR role. I had no cause to challenge his assertion. What I stated holds up.

    How does my compliment not “hold up?” Posting a comment here hardly meets the push for transparency threshold. Granted I think it a bold and noteworthy gesture but the motivation still seems to be damage control.

    Your reference to more agenda items downstairs is a mystery term to me. Care to clarify? As I don’t recall seeing attribution to any member of Council on any agenda item, I’m a bit baffled by the remark. And, perhaps, a little less preoccupation with who is watching you might be in order.

    I’ve been factual and have embellished nothing. And I do not need your permission to endorse who I like.

  5. Rick,

    Thanks for putting forth your facts and reasons for opening up Brea to the Nextgen. As always, you make a compelling case for and against certain individuals all with proven facts.

    Of course, my daughters and I will certainly discuss each and everything you have brought into the limelight and make sure that when we vote, we will do so with full confidence with the help of your information.

    I’m happy to hear you are feeling better, Stay well.

  6. Since this comment section seems to have hit a wall, may I bring up Proposition 15; This proposition would obliterate the proposition 13 tax laws for commercial property. What that means is every one of the downtown businesses will have to pay a higher monthly bill for taxes. Taps, Yard House, CVS, Starbucks, Bruxie, Pizza Press, Mcallans, Color Me Mine, etc etc etc etc.

    This additional tax after Covid has struck is insanity. It punishes all California businesses. It obliterates the incentive to invest in California property, and to “hold” the investment “long term.”

    Proposition 15 is an end around to get more taxes due to the mismanagement of government, and for the Ponzi scam, also known as the “defined benefit pension plan” that guarantees lifetime benefits to government workers, regardless of the investment returns they earn annually.

    NO on 15.

    Thank you

    • Dwight, I am absolutely in agreement with you on this proposition. If people think this is a good idea because it is only “taxing the rich” they are painfully misinformed.

      The escalation in commercial property taxes (if passed) would likely then be passed on to the renters, which are then passed on to the consumers in the form of price increases so everyone shares the pain in this proposition.

      If this passes, we can all say “Bye-Bye” to our $5 sandwiches at Subway, and say “Hello” to increased costs of every single item we purchase. This tax hurts every person in the supply chain, including the end purchaser.

      This is yet another attempt at a money grab by the state at a painfully inappropriate time in history.

      • Yes Denise. And you can say goodbye to even more entry level jobs. California is already very costly to have a business. We just saw numerous businesses file bankruptcy and many more just close.

        How can tax revenues be at record highs and yet it’s not enough? When they fix the pension scam, they will have plenty of money for all expenses.

  7. Dwight, while almost every citizen in California knows that the public union pension plans need reform, I do not believe that the California legislators have any desire to engage in any meaningful negotiation.

    Their answer to everything is to increase revenues (via taxation.) People and businesses are fleeing the state at record highs. My husband’s small business just closed an office due to cost.

    Enough is enough. NO MORE TAXES.

    I keep telling my kids that after college they need to leave the state in order to have a better, independent start in life. And, you are so right about entry-level jobs being extremely difficult to find. With the increases in minimum wages, fewer owners will be able to afford to offer these positions.

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