Dances With Dummies.

Brea taxpayers are footing the bill for another foreign junket by “I’ve got less than 3 months in office left” Mayor Schweitzer and his BFF the city manager, Tim O’Donnell. This time they’re dragging the “pool boy” Mayor Pro Tem Murdock, with them… maybe to carry their bags or something (still unsure what he’s really skilled to do).

With a hop, skip and a jump, off to Korea and Japan they go, from one folkloric extravaganza to the next, sharing Brea culture and all on the public dime.

In numbers measurably greater than the sprinkling of comments I get here, I always get an influx of email following each new post. To my surprise, such was also the case Wednesday, triggered by the comedy of errors that was Brea’s council meeting the night prior. Here’s one that I felt deserved to be shared.

Dear Brea Matters:

I have no issue with using modest travel budgets to meet with local cities such as Yorba Linda. Maybe, if time had been spent listening to and addressing their concerns, Brea might still be providing police services to them instead of having to do damage control to keep good officers and maintain preferred service levels.

If you watched the Council meeting last night (09/18), you witnessed staff attempt to justify their luxury life style and self-indulgent behavior by citing the prestige it brings to our great community.

Most of the residents I’ve talked to about this were appalled at how out of touch four adult men (O’Donnell, Garcia, Schweitzer and Murdock) could possibly be, attempting to rationalize their international junkets to observe folk dancing.

Will Tim O’Donnell be demonstrating the “Tim O’Shuffle” or Brett Murdock the “Highland Fling?” Perhaps they should invite Jim Markman along to do the “Hustle” as he is likely the best dancer we have. While they’re at it, why not also invite that everpresent Baptist minister to go as their own large cheering section?

Call me uncultured, but I just don’t see a nexus between maintaining Brea as a great place to “live, work and yadda yadda yadda” and attending folk dance competitions half way around world, subsidized by tax payer dollars.

The Mayor and City Manager also went to Denmark last year… which goes to show you that something’s rotten in Brea. In November, we need to put an end to the dance moves by electing those who refuse to stand for that sort of behavior.


Ms. Remains Anonymous

9 thoughts on “Dances With Dummies.

  1. Good post Rick, thanks. Bottom line, instead of spending in excess of $10,000 to send the Mayor with 3 months left in his political career and his friends on a paid vacation, why are we not fully staffing the Brea Senior Center… even with part-timers? The Senior Center has been without a Director since Denny Tidland left almost four years ago. I believe the seniors would call this a boondoggle! Keep up the good work. Steve

    • Steve… appreciate your support, thanks. You’re absolutely right. I had the pleasure of working with Denny on the Senior Citizen Advisory Board (discontinued several years ago as well) and I know how much the seniors miss her.

      A handful of case managers have been standing in the gap for too long. I haven’t done the math, but I think it’s fair to say that hiring a Director for the Senior Center would have been a higher priority for me than putting planted medians up and down Birch Street or sending these three characters on a free excursion of the Pacific rim.

      All for show. Maybe we should launch a grassroots movement to change the name of Brea to Fauxville. Just a thought Steve… just a thought.

  2. Incredible. Aren’t these guys responsible to anyone? Is there an oversight council? Shouldn’t there be a procedure in place to approve expenditures above a certain amount, or of a certain nature, like international travel?

    • Daniel… you’re absolutely right, someone should be holding these people accountable for serving themselves a banquet with public funds while those they’re supposed to be serving struggle to find work, make their house payment and put food on their table.

      We have two initiatives, “sunshine ordinances”, on the ballot this year. Several thousand voters felt strong enough about this sort of nonsense that they signed petitions to make accountability and open governance law. Oddly enough (tongue-in-cheek) there are a few around town desperately trying to shoot down the initiatives claiming we don’t need to fix it if it ain’t broke. Who are they kidding.

      Passing these initiatives will have the effect of “rebooting” our system, one that has been behaving very buggy for years. We should be able to identify, quarantine and ultimately eliminate the viruses that have been infecting local government.

  3. Unfortunately I am not surprised. We have such cases in Greece too and they never seem to end. Somehow politicians seem to consider such trips necessary, despite the complaints. Hopefully things will change!

    • Tereza… you’re right, these are global issues aren’t they. And it’s pretty clear what the eventual fiscal ramifications are.

  4. It’s “Deni” Tidland, which both you and Mr. Vargas should have remembered. Tim Takahashi’s appointment is an excellent choice.

    If Ms. Marick is not elected, perhaps she is a candidate (unless it’s been eliminated) for what used to be a sort of fiscal oversight committee – or a potential candidate for City Treasurer (speaking of the “old guard” – Glenn Parker!)

    Thank you for a different perspective on this election season – appreciate it.

    • Boadicea… (Interesting choice of screennames) Yes, Deni. Appreciate the correction. Though we spoke often, I had never asked for her business card.

      I am aware of an Investment Committee, the one where Phil Anton used to keep an eye on things until Schweitzer and Murdock decided to replace him. I don’t believe there is a Fiscal Oversight Committee, I’ll look into it.

      Ms. Marick, having only 35 months employment with Payden & Rygel as a portfolio analyst under her belt, she’s perhaps a candidate for the Investment Committee but I think her qualifications for either the Treasurer’s position or a seat on Council are less than what we need at the moment.

      Happy to have you chime in and hope to see you back again soon.

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