SRO At Brea Citizen’s Fracking Forum.

fracking forum 1The Brea Citizen’s Fracking Forum, held Saturday, July 19th at Brea Congregational Church’s fellowship hall was standing room only. Not surprising considering the snubbing resident’s received from Mayor Murdock at the Council meeting a few days earlier. The audience seemed equally divided among Brea residents, residents of neighboring communities (La Habra, La Habra Heights, Fullerton, Placentia and Yorba Linda) and interested parties from elsewhere in Orange and Los Angeles counties.

Thanks to The Avocado Express, you aren’t missing a thing.

George Edwardz from The Avocado Express, professionally videotaped the entire forum and, with their permission, the full video is available here as well. You’ll find the Fracking Forum to be an informal conversation with experts. Offering their expertise were Dr. Tom Williams, PhD in Geology and Zoology, UCBerkeley; Hollin Kretzmann, Staff Attorney, Center for Biological Diversity and Alexandra Nagy, Southern California Organizer, Food & Water Watch. Their presentations were followed by an equally enlightening question and answer period.

Key questions addressed throughout the Fracking Forum:

  • What are the health risks related to fracking and waste disposal wells near homes and schools?
  • Are there connections to waste disposal wells and earthquakes?
  • Who is responsible for the regulation and oversight of fracking and other extreme extraction technologies?
  • What action can concerned citizens take?

fracking forum crowdThe Fracking Forum was co-sponsored by Citizens for “Stop Fracking Brea”, Food & Water Watch, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby and hosted by the Brea Congregational Church.

(Additional coverage of the Fracking Forum by Nick Gerda, the Voice of OC.)

Politics in Brea are all about getting even.

Though interviewed and recommended by City Treasurer Parker and senior Council member Simonoff, one of Brea’s most trusted and long standing financial advisors, Phil Anton, was rudely dismissed during study session last night without cause and replaced with a comparative amateur.

Over the years, Phil has given this community countless hours of volunteer time, shared his unrivaled expertise and supported numerous philanthropic and charitable programs. Here is his emailed response, without edit, sent to a substantial number of Brea’s leading citizens and, of course, to the politicians as well.

“City of Brea Investment Advisory Committee, Council members, and staff,

I would like to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve as your City of Brea’s Independent Investment Advisor for the past several years.  It has been my privilege and pleasure to volunteer in having a hand in the sound financial management of our City and Redevelopment Agencies’ investment portfolios and policies.  However, I am bewildered as to the direction our local politics appear to play in the decisions being made in our city, and I would like to elaborate some.

I feel that I am among the most experienced and qualified investment advisors in the City of Brea and have the specific knowledge required to look after our city’s investment funds.  I have personally managed the investment portfolios of both the County and City of Los Angeles, and of the L.A. Unified School District while working as Senior Portfolio Manager & Regional Vice President in Bank of America’s Southern California Investment Division.  My investment record while managing these fixed income portfolios has been lauded by all three of these entities.  I, also, ran B of A’s growth stock fund as portfolio manager during my tenure there.  I was later president of a regional securities broker dealer with offices in 11 states.

I believe experience counts when handling or looking over city investment funds, and if we had this type of back up looking over Bob Citron’s shoulder several years ago, I do not believe the County of Orange would have fallen into bankruptcy.

For three City Councilmen to remove me (I did not resign) from the position I held on this committee, and to appoint an experienced investment professional with the savvy and experience to replace me is one thing, but to remove me to appoint a replacement member without formal investment portfolio experience to assist as a watch dog of our city’s portfolios demonstrates to me and others that the three of you are more concerned with personal petty politics than you are the fiscal well-being of the city.

I am pleased and proud that others in this community wish to serve, however to forgo experience and knowledge only demonstrates that three council members would jeopardize the city’s financial well-being.

I want to thank our elected City Treasurer Glenn Parker, Council member Marty Simonoff and Council member Roy Moore for their support and confidence in my ability and experience.  To the remaining three elected officials in Brea, I pray that you correct your ways of bringing politics into city decisions, and remember that you are here to best serve our Brea citizens.

Sincerely,

Phillip R. Anton”

Closing thoughts.

Thankfully, City Treasurer Glenn Parker was wise enough to ask Phil if he would be willing to continue assisting the committee in an unofficial capacity and Phil, typical of his willingness to pitch in and help, has agreed. Frankly, I think we all can sleep a little easier knowing that we have an advocate keeping an eye on the money for us.

How long we’re going to continue to let Council get away with keeping this sort of behavior out of public view by hiding it in the study sessions is beyond me. If we can’t move study sessions downstairs to be televised and recorded, or at least schedule them at a time when most Breans might be able to attend, the only remaining option is to put into office “politicians” who, as Phil put it, “…are here to best serve our Brea citizens.”