By Guest Columnist, Michael Ceremello – April 14, 2017 –
You just can’t make this stuff up. If you aren’t laughing then you will be crying. A symptom of the times we find ourselves in. Let’s start with the lighter stuff first.
As Samuel Clemens who wrote under the pseudonym of Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” To show you how easily things are manipulated, even the quote is disputed. According to this day in quotes published on May 31, 2015, Twain penned a letter to Frank Marshall White who published it in the New York Journal after receiving in on May 31, 1897.
Mark Twain was undecided whether to be more amused or annoyed when a Journal representative informed him today of the report in New York that he was dying in poverty in London…
The great humorist, while not perhaps very robust, is in the best of health. He said:
“I can understand perfectly how the report of my illness got about, I have even heard on good authority that I was dead. James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, was seriously ill two or three weeks ago in London, but is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness.
The report of my death was an exaggeration.”
Included in the web page is a photo of this actual portion of Twain’s letter. That is good authority. So why am I bringing this up? Because you have one councilman who continues down the path of poor research and abject ignorance because he has a heart and uses that instead of his brain.
Scott Pederson was attempting to dedicate a moment of silence at the last council meeting to the passing of long time council meeting gadfly, Larry Simmons. The first problem was that Larry isn’t dead. Larry has been moved to a senior care facility in Sacramento but just happened to be brought back into town Tuesday morning and was spotted over at the A Street Deli.
The larger problem is Scott earlier applauded our wonderful new $22 million or more new sewage treatment plant. He knows about as much about the plant as he knows about the deceased. The odd thing was he blurted out exactly what Twain had wryly and sarcastically remarked about “I have it on good authority”. Scott’s good authorities are obviously no substitute for verifying your sources before you get egg on your face. This wasn’t an egg as much as an eight egg souffle.
While many will just overlook this because Scott smiles a lot from the podium while he continuously puts out the cliche phrases of denial such as “I am business friendly”, a lie is a lie and a person who repeats them is known as a liar.
As I have told you in the past, the treatment plant removes only nitrogen from the substances entering the plant. It does nothing about boron or salt content other than supposedly diluting them because the rapidity of the process preserves some water from evaporation. The same amount of boron is there, the same heavy metals, and the same ionic compounds. Processes which could remove these were rejected by “good authorities” and rubber stamped by Scott and others on the council. Scott even sued his citizens so we couldn’t prove there was a better way.
Scott is not the lone ranger on the dais. I am not giving you any of this because I have an intention of running against him. Scott is his own enemy and does a fine job of destroying his own credibility every time he opens his mouth. The rest of the council, less Ted Hickman, have found the wisdom in remaining silent rather than proving their intellectual capacity.
The true topic of the day is the state of the legal system in Solano County. Rather than referencing it by the misnomer “the justice system”, let’s just say it is designed to aggrandize and enrich those who join the exclusive bar club. Seeing the performances makes me want to go to a bar.
I was in the courtroom of Judge Michael Mattice to see how he handled Dave Scholl’s response to his illogical and partially incorrect “tentative ruling” sustaining the demurrer to Scholl’s retaliation lawsuit against the city. While Mattice complimented Scholl on his excellent refutation of his own points, Mattice failed to realize that his own premise that Scholl was not engaged in a constitutionally protected activity was absolutely wrong. Freedom of the press and freedom of speech when used in a political context is protected and the case of Kansas versus Umbehr stated exactly that.
Mattice said in his ruling that this only pertains to someone who had a contract and not to someone seeking a contract. Scholl had a contract at the time the council retaliated, directly after an election unseating Bogue and Besneatte, by designing a request specifically designed to eliminate the IV and when Scholl found a way around the three times a week publishing demand, city attorney added language demanding identical format.
Perhaps Mr. Mattice needs to get out into the real world. My bet is those who pay attention to what goes on down at city hall will tell you this was obvious retaliation. Those being criticized have attempted to organize advertiser boycotts, wished out loud that the offices had been burned down when Ace Hardware did, and now have been emboldened to the point of wanting an ordinance to prevent distribution unless you are a subscriber.
I will further say that these are examples of what those who hate the truth and the individuals with the nerve to put it out there say to their friends. Those of us on the other side rely on readily available powers of observation and the deeds which go along with them.
I called Mattice a moron prior to the special meeting on this subject. I rescind that description. I took the time to read his tentative ruling and don’t disagree with him that Scholl didn’t respond by providing more details about acts which corroborate his contention of injustice. However, unlike Mattice, I believe those flaws could easily have been amended and should have been by Scholl’s advising attorney.
The bottom line is this. If you are going to sue someone and are serious about it, you either need an attorney who will work “pro bono”, on contigency, or have the money to pay him or her. Doing it on the cheap ends up demonstrating the saying, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Quote by Abraham Lincoln.
Considering that the total the city has spent on legal fees is now close to $900,000, it would seem that there are a whole lot of fools in this town. The former defeated councilman who campaigned on how much the new attorney firm saved the citizens is now proven to be what he is. I can only hope that the citizens of Dixon understand Scott Pederson is of the same ilk and needs replacement.
And you wonder why the city couldn’t or wouldn’t come up with an extra $75,000 to complete the light replacement project? You wonder why we don’t have a hot tar machine? I need to talk to the new police chief as to how he has found a way around budget constraints.
The surprising thing is the reluctance of either Minnema or Bogue to take the bull by the horns. You can lose “political capital” as easily through inaction, whether perceived or real, as by standing up for what you know is right.
Perhaps the citizens like obstructionists. After all they re-elected Steve Bird. I was accused of being an obstructionist, a CAVE person or citizen against virtually everything.
There is a large difference in opposing things because there is a better way and providing the solution to deaf ears than simply opposing them because of the messenger. Everyone on this council is being put on notice. The citizens of Dixon are tired of you costing us money because of your reticence to listen to common sense. We are tired of you not addressing the larger issues. We are tired of your political posturing.
Pretty soon, only the guy staring you back in the mirror will be telling you how great you are …