The Devil’s In The Details?

A message crossed my desk today from the Brea Chamber CEO, Sharon Wagner. I thought nothing of it at first, the Chamber blows stuff out constantly to boost membership, tout their programs and events or promote one sort of “Shop Brea” idea or another. Then, there it was…

The political rhetoric.

“I arrived home last night after our Candidates Forum and found my ballot in the mailbox. I began to wonder how many people will cast their votes this weekend. As they mark their ballots, what factors will they use to determine how they vote?

The Brea Chamber reviews proposed legislation from all levels of government on a daily basis. We carefully examine each piece on its merits and determine how it would impact the business community.

The authors of the legislation often have the greatest of intentions, but as they say, the devil is in the details.

Hmmm… where did I just hear that? Oh, yeah, that’s the cute sound bite Brett Murdock used to preface one twisted misstatement after another as he chopped, sliced and diced Measures T and U at the Chamber’s Candidate’s forum last night.

I don’t know who their speech writer is, but they’re apparently using the same antiquated brand of fur-lined nit-pickers used by John Beauman his entire political career and beyond.

For the people, by the people.

These measures weren’t penned by seasoned politicians, who by the way don’t always get it right, but by citizens, people like you and me. Every piece of legislation has it’s flaws. Every piece of legislation faces the possibility of legal challenge one way or another. Every piece of legislation puts a smile on the face of some and a frown on the face of others.

Measures T and U, by their very nature, are designed to do good for the people of Brea. What do you want, elected officials and city staff unaccountable to the people they serve or Brea’s city business conducted behind closed doors?

Wait… to a large extent, isn’t that what we have now?

Breans want open government, limited in it’s ability to wantonly spend the people’s money on frivolous and often unnecessary pet projects, conducted by a council and staff who are accountable to us for every vote… every penny — if that’s what it takes to ensure a safe and secure future for Brea.

The Chamber does have a history of reviewing and reporting on legislation… to local businesses about local business issues. Not to the people about our business. Most of the legitimate research is done at state and national levels and distilled by committee for consumption by Brea business owners.

And I have been told specifically, by more than one Chamber Board Chairman, that the Chamber does not endorse local candidates nor does it wade in on initiatives unless they directly effect the business community… like they did when the quarter percent sales tax increase was being discussed.

In fact, nowhere in the Chamber’s 12 page “Legislative Policy Guidelines” does it suggest they have any stated objectives regarding initiatives like Measures T and U. Not even in the section specifically addressing the Chambers objective and positions on Government Reform.

If this ruffles your feathers as much as it ruffled mine, if you think the Chamber has overstepped it’s charter, maybe you want to send them an email.

David Rader, Chamber Board Chairman –





Sharon Wagner, Chamber CEO –

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