Turning The Tide.

Mayor Don Schweitzer’s long awaited exit from public office puts the O’Donnell controlled voting block in precarious position for the first time in many years.

This, combined with the citizen backed initiatives seeking a more transparent, open governance and greater accountability from elected officials and salaried staff, means we may see local control of government back in the hands of a resident majority.

Of course this has made several special interest groups as nervous as nine-tailed cats in a room full of rocking chairs, so we’re likely to see a flurry of “hit pieces” show up in our mail around the time absentee ballots are distributed.

What really gripes me about these things is no one ever admits they’re involved in putting them out and there is hardly the barest thread of truth in them. Their “success” at character assassination is based on the inability of voters to properly fact check them.

The Line Up.

Two seats and five candidates might suggest an interesting, maybe heated and open race, but don’t hold your breath. Two candidates seem to be lurking in the shadows without making a serious run so it’s likely to be tighter than usual.

Marty Simonoff

At the top of the ballot is Marty Simonoff who has a proven track record of independent thinking and voting, who sees the big picture and understands how it effects the community overall. For those who have followed Brea politics for a while, Marty stands out as an experienced leader with an enviable history of public service and local philanthropy. Marty Simonoff offers the kind of seasoned stability Brea needs in the years ahead.

Steve Vargas

Having served on Council (’98-’02), Steve Vargas knows all too well how local politics work on the inside. Steve is a different man today than the exuberant youngster who took office 12 years ago. Amongst the first to recognize the financial threat posed by public employee pension liabilities and the drastic need to reform local government, a more mature Steve Vargas is making his strongest bid for council thus far.

Christine Marick

Undoubtedly well intentioned and certainly well educated, Christine Marick is making her first run for public office. With less than 2 years under her belt as a Planning Commissioner, the depth of her experience seems limited. In time, her background in municipal finance may help her acquire the skills needed but I have my reservations about whether she would hit the ground running. I’m also concerned that she seems predominantly backed by those who are desperate to retain their lock on Council control.

Christopher Parkin & Tory Stone

A 22 year old IT Specialist hoping to rein in Brea’s finances and curb Brea’s mounting debt, Christopher Parkin has high hopes for a millennial. You won’t find a ballot statement in the voter guide nor likely see him at the Chamber of Commerce Candidate’s Forum. His is a campaign in name only I’m afraid.

Many have tried to contact Tory Stone, all without success I’m told. Frankly, I’m at a complete loss why he would make the effort to gather nomination signatures, turn in the blizzard of paperwork and pay the ten bucks only to disappear into the woodwork. No PAC, no plan and no odds of getting more than a handful of votes from those who would think it funny to waste their vote on a non-candidate.

Final conclusion.

It is the right time and place to put Brea’s future back into the hands of it’s residents… at least those who understand the importance and value of their vote. (You are registered, right?)

If you watch over my shoulder as I fill out my absentee ballot, you’ll see me fill in the box next to the names Marty Simonoff and Steve Vargas… and voting a big YES on both Measure T “The Brea Accountability Act” and Measure U “The Brea Open Governance Act”.


(Editor’s Note 09/25/12:  After an obscenely lengthy hiring process, most of which was likely just O’Donnell’s moratorium on hiring – period, the City of Brea has promoted Tim Takahashi, an 11 year part-time veteran at the Senior Center, as it’s new full time Director.)

12 thoughts on “Turning The Tide.

  1. Hey there Rick – thanks for taking the time to put this site together! I’m looking forward to a more in-depth analysis of the candidates before the election. Maybe a Q&A would be the best way to showcase the differences between the candidates… what do you think?
    – Mike Newcomb

    • Hey Mike! – (Chair of Brea’s Cultural Arts Commission) You have no idea how glad I am to have a “heavy weight” wade in here! Thanks!

      A good Q&A would be excellent, and I hope the Chamber of Commerce’s Meet the Candidates night provides that opportunity. I believe they’re still seeking questions and I know you’re a really savvy young guy… send ’em your thoughts! Click the link above for all of the info! And thanks again for dropping by!

  2. Thanks Rick. I agree with your assessments. It is time to make the city manager present his ideas to the Brea community and stop fast tracking through a council majority that has basically granted him proxy.

    I trust Steven Vargas to legislate on behalf of the best interests of Breans and explain his positions in a clear and understandable manner. That is why I support Steve Vargas for Brea City Council 2012.

    • Stephen… Yup, we’re overdue for some serious change around here. I’m glad to see so many folks taking the time to really get to know and appreciate the “new” Steve Vargas.

  3. Rick, I am really excited how this site has played a part in shaking up your local government. I knew your loser of a mayor had to be on his way out after seeing that note he wrote you that you showcased in your last post.

    I really hope Brea residents pay attention to this year’s election and put someone in office who cares as much about your town as you do.

    • Susan… thanks, you’re encouragement helps fuel the fire, believe me. I’ve received numerous calls and emails on this post and the election in general. “Mr. Mayor” will be sorry he poked a tiger with a short stick.

  4. Your posts are always great Rick! Hopefully Brea will vote wisely! *And yes, I can’t easily forget the preceding post with that note from the Mayor!

    • Sally… Coming from someone who has shared an amazing amount of truth with an unbelievably vast audience, I’m humbled. What I try to do is minuscule compared to what you do every day. Glad to know you’re keeping an eye on my little blog. Thanks!

  5. Rick,

    Enjoy reading your alternative take on happenings and politics in Brea…always room for another voice in this town…

    RE: Vargas…thought we had “been there and done that” a few times…how he embarrassed the city when he last served on the council still sticks in my mind…his latest legal antics and rejection by the courts indicates he has not changed or matured to any great degree….

    RE: Marick…her background in municipal bond financing might make her a good candidate for understanding and evaluating city finances which is pretty important for all council members…

    I don’t have dog or candidate in this election…though I believe that change is generally good…and that local politicians generally overstay their welcome…(both Marty and Roy have served their constituents well over the years but probably time for new blood…)

    Look forward to your future postings….

    Ralph Heimann
    Brea, CA

    • Ralph… Good to hear a member of the “old guard” wade in. I was wondering when I might hear from a couple of you.

      RE: Vargas… Over a decade ago none of us were the people we are today. Neither Steve nor the litigation was rejected, there was a split judgement on the suit.

      RE: Marick… So, you do have a “dog” in this election after all.

      It would appear we’re currently at an impasse Ralph. Let’s just let the voters have the final word.

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