BY GUEST COLUMNIST MICHAEL CEREMELLO
FORMER COUNCILMAN AND VICE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF DIXON
It is interesting to note the condition of the State of California due to liberal leftist Democrat control. I just finished reading a missive by Jonathon Coupal of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association concerning the plans of the tax, spend, and redistribute wealth super-majority in Sacramento to destroy Proposition 13 protections. It seems we have dodged a bullet thanks to State Senators Rod Wright of Los Angeles being convicted on eight felony counts and Ronald Calderon’s of Montebello indictment on charges of public corruption.
There is an Assembly bill, Assembly Constitutional Amendment 8, which has been passed by the Assembly, to reduce infrastructure bond passage from a two thirds vote to 55%. First it was the foot in the door for school bonds. Pretty soon all new debt will be funded by a 55% vote. A simple majority vote will be the next step to totally encumbering you and your property.
Maybe you haven’t noticed but some of us have seen large reductions in our property tax bills. We no longer have Mello-Roos for the schools, although the foolish city council allowed Brookfield to encumber future residents with an approximately $4000 annual bill for developing the infrastructure in that area, and the North First Street Assessment District bonds got refinanced and cut around $500 off our tax bills. My own annual tax bill has now dropped from $5600 per year to around $4000. I get no benefit from this expenditure nor have I at any time in my life.
Dwelling on the Democrat decay, we have our city council headed by YOUR mayor of the moment, Jack Batchelor. It seems that Jack has adopted the Obama/FDR/Wilson/Teddy Roosevelt approach to government: Let the people stop me if they can. This approach works remarkably well because recalls at the local level are rare and impeachment of Presidents for unlawful and unmitigated breaches of Constitutional authority just doesn’t happen.
I hope you have enjoyed what Dixon was because it is about to change. You can thank Jack and his two dummy dais buddies, Steve Bird and Jerry Castañon, for opening the door to One Bay Area Government. OBAG is part of the Agenda 21 scheme of the United Nations to rid America of private property rights, herd citizens into ever smaller areas, and further control every aspect oF your lives all in the name of the bogeyman of the day, global warming. It is far more about human control than it is about climate.
Vice mayor Thom “Darth” Bogue doesn’t get to escape this one. It was his brilliant idea to bring back the subject of the Planned Development Area (PDA) in an attempt to change the boundaries of it or move it to a more appropriate location. The damn thing was dead and you revived it. Funny thing, Darth, moving the PDA or the train station never even got discussed at the council meeting. Instead you allowed Bird and Castañon to make a decision without the pressure of 80 people in the room. So the city is now going to spend ten grand on an STA picked consultant to do yet another plan to “revitalize” the old downtown. So what can we expect from this plan?
As the impetus behind the plan, a requirement to receive grant funding from OBAG or the Metropolitan Transportation Commission or the Association of Bay Area Governments, all minions of the Agenda 21 crowd, is to develop a plan for planned mixed use (PMU), low income, stack and pack housing adjacent to transportation hubs such as the non-existent Dixon train station stop. We already have that plan with community development director Dave Dowswell’s push for PMU in this area. Now it is being expanded to the surrounding neighborhoods. Oh joy!
Darth’s problem with all of this, and it was unfocused because of his wavering comments elsewhere, was the eminent domain process. But Darth confused the issue by complaining it was about relinquishing local control. You forgot to bring up what the people of Dixon believe Dixon is and what they want it to be. All of these are the issues in giving up control on any basis to an unelected governmental body threatening to cut off financial aid unless you dance to their tune. Education appears to be a lost art, Darth.
How is the view from under the bus, Thommy D? It seems you were conducting an exercise in futility in attempting to insert language into the grant agreement that not even public defender Dane could comprehend its importance. The Dodo Bird seemed to have forgotten his statement “this isn’t Dixon” presumably after having his Rotary comrades or the mayor illuminate the benefits of “just going along”. That is why you got elected after all, isn’t it Steve? You can’t think for yourself and you are far from being the conservative you believe you are.
Let’s not forget Mr. Has None. Castañon was his typical silent or sound byte self, I would say “full of sound and fury but signifying nothing” but words from a puppet’s mouth are to be ignored. Of the five councilmen, Castañon has demonstrated being a “useful idiot” better than any. I am truly dismayed that he understands the necessity of taking over the water system. The saying “even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while” may explain it. The push to acquire a new city attorney was not his idea but he was the conduit. Which brings me to the point of this musings.
Others may not have a clue when it comes to the bigger picture. Let me explain it to you, Lucy. When government is run by power and control freaks, such as Jack Batchelor or Barack Insane Obama, they know how to manipulate those who rely on them for their jobs. The city manager and the city attorney are two prime examples. Let’s not forget that Bird is in office because of the Rot-ary, Chamber, DDBA and the ignorant element in town who believe being a peace officer somehow elevates you to godhood. The point is Steve is in debt to the inbreds of Dixon who refuse to recognize their own inability and incompetence in the field of representing the people.
While Jim Lindley has quietly disappeared from the spotlight of the Morningview movie studio farce, Doug White is now experiencing the basic problem in small town governance. You either do what the majority of the council wants done even when you know and can prove it is wrong, or you find another job. You can’t have two masters, Doug, and the citizens haven’t shown any willingness to rid the dais of Jack Batchelor, and now the proven equally irresponsible Jerry Castañon and Steve Bird.
You citizens may be following what is happening with the sewer rate increase that the majority of the citizens of Dixon reject. Jack Batchelor’s continuing lie will be that the “majority” want his dubious projects because they didn’t submit protests. Jack’s lie is going to be burst like an overextended water balloon when it meets the brick wall of a vote of the people. I don’t know whether you caught it or not, but Jack’s response to Darth’s push to put the PDA on the ballot for the people to decide was most enlightening. Jack fears the real public and the real citizens of Dixon.
The sewer rate increase is not a done deal yet despite the city attorney’s office response that the Election Code requiring a vote of the people to amend or overturn an ordinance brought by initiative is invalid because of case law, Desert Bighorn v Verjil. Also, Health and Safety code is overruled by Government code under the Mitigation Fee Act which allows action taken by either ordinance or resolution rather than strictly by ordinance. As the purposeful misinterpretation of case law to validate council actions should be repugnant to all involved, the city attorney will continue to be nothing more than a cog in the machine until Batchelor, Bird, and Castañon are replaced by ethical and moral constitutionalists.
So what do we, the real citizens and Dixon lovers, do now? When the council fails you and the city attorney fails you (to an extent), you simply have to do some walking and signature gathering. An initiative to roll back rates will require less than 400 signatures. A referendum, which will stop the increase in its tracks but must be accomplished within 30 days, requires close to 900 autographs. If you are registered to vote, you can sign. So rather than litigate and argue with those who can’t agree lest they lose their income, it is again time for the people to act just as they did back in 2006.
I find it to be a sad state of affairs that the regular people of Dixon don’t understand what is going on until after it has happened. This is pretty much the case everywhere. While those on the far Left have no problem with the bureaucracy they are either part of or ideologically support, those of us who know right from wrong as well as promoting and celebrating the individual rather than the collective can see that there is a problem. When law is perverted, as Jack did in giving the order to the police department not to enforce the sound ordinance, it leads to no respect for the law as well as the man.
Just as Congress refuses to address the transgressions of B O, the remaining city council members don’t even question where BJ gets the authority to give these types of orders to staff. Jack simply does not have that authority. The council does and only the council.
So you say it can’t be done any differently? I went to a school board meeting last Thursday. There was not one parent or member of the public except Larry Simmons in the audience … as usual. I spoke to the lack of performance of our students and the failure of the school system to produce educated students. I spoke about the use of Jerry Brown’s additional tax money for wages instead of new programs. I expected the usual elected official denials and push back. Instead I got agreement and more.
Rather than new board president Guy Garcia disputing anything I said, I heard something I never expected to hear. Garcia called for addressing these concerns within the new budget and discussion prior to that budget’s approval. Joe DiPaola verified my statements of fact and also endorsed that direction. Amy Circo, of the Dixon Teacher’s Association, invited me to be part of an upcoming process on implementation strategy. The SEIU people present applauded my speech.
While this is the way it should be done, I did not fail to notice that John Gabby and new board member Andrew Bloom said nothing. Caitlin O’Halloran was missing yet again. I sparsely attend the school board meetings but have yet to see her present. Yet she has time to get Lois Wolk to write ignorant legislation concerning how our library district will be governed. But more on that later.
Once again, I will call on you to help in collecting signatures for either the referendum or initiative which are being drawn up now. My phone number is 678-8575. I thank those of you who have already called and will be coordinating with you once we have the documents ready to go.
Jack is going to find his fear is well placed. The more I talk to people in the community, the less support I find for the king. We need to say NO in a loud voice to end his reign of terror.
And this is just the first step …