By Guest Columnist, Michael Ceremello; Former Vice Mayor/City Councilmember of the City of Dixon
I am not sure how many of us are left who grew up in the 1950’s. It was the hey day of Saturday television for kids with programs like the Roy Rogers Show, the Cisco Kid, and other right versus wrong weeklies. One of those was Sergeant Preston of the Yukon Mounties. One of their promotions was a free square inch of land in the Yukon. I still have my certificate somewhere.
They also made a board game based on this show. One of the characters you had to track and capture was named Weasel Willie. That name has stuck with me through the years. It often comes to mind when I see the characters playing councilmen and mayor in Dixon.
Tuesday night’s council meeting was again marked by silence in response to public comment on subjects brought up by individuals as well as items already on the agenda. Silent confrontation appears to be the business model nowemployed by the City in its defensive posture toward the citizens with which they are at war.
As always, don’t believe what I am writing here. Go to the city’s website and view the meeting for yourself.
I think the issue which truly exposed Jack Batchelor as the Weasel Willie champion for the night was his response to Ginger Emerson’s complaint about not being able to get through to a dispatcher when she called 911. There was a fire she and several other people were trying to report and all they got was a busy signal. From what I understand, a neighbor took out a garden hose and subdued the blaze. Amazing what a volunteer can do when not encumbered by a union bureaucracy!
When Terrible Ted Hickman jumped on the bandwagon in his unique tongue in cheek manner, he was not being facetious in saying “I guess you have to be first in line if you are having a problem … hope you aren’t having a heart attack.” In response to Ted’s call for an investigation and expansion of the service, Batchelor stated “there is nothing we can do … I will continue to work with John Vasquez.”
This heartless SOB is the mayor of Dixon and there is nothing he can do? Sure there is, Jack. Resign. Let someone who doesn’t take “no” for an answer show you how it is done.
You are going to work with Vasquez? Why does John need any input from you? Certainly if John understands the problem, and it is rather a simplistic one, he can come up with a solution along with the rest of the liberal supervisors who cater to every whim of their welfare recipient supporters.
Once again, the three stooge revue of Castañon, Bird, and Scat Pederson said nothing. Guess at some point you just have to trust the mayor as you said about trusting city staff, eh Steve? Every one of you should follow Jack out the door and that doesn’t mean on your way to the local watering hole.
Also during public comment, the ballot statements of Doug White and the opponents to rolling back the sewer rates came under fire. As city attorney, Doug is supposed to write an “impartial analysis” of what the effect of rolling the rates back would be. Both Shirley Humphrey and Loran Hoffman attacked the veracity of the entire piece.
There is an analysis of White’s statement filling almost two pages of this paper. I will not go into the specifics except to say both women pointed out that annual water analysis statements by Cal Water and the city’s own water system show no “contamination from sewer byproducts”. White’s claim was that groundwater is a source of drinking water for the city of Dixon.
This is how the game is played. Yes, groundwater is a source of drinking water but there is more than one groundwater aquifer. Water doesn’t run upstream except in those illusion stops advertised on post cards. The sewer water flows to the south or southeast toward Rio Vista in an underground stream moving slowly. It is widely dispersed before it ever gets close to that city.
White’s contention, backed up by city engineer Joe Leach, is that homeowners who live outside of Dixon in the county get their water from shallow wells. Leach is not “technically correct”. First, those homeowners are not Dixon residents. Second, I doubt any of them are foolish enough to use first recoverable water when that water is affected by all of the fertilizers they put on their crops. Perhaps Leach has data from a farmer’s well which prove me wrong. Then let him provide it.
Another bone of contention was launched when Dave Scholl and Ted Hickman both wondered about who wrote the opposition ballot argument. Concentrating on potential fines and drinking water, it was obvious who was a silent partner in this triad of deceit. Funny, but I don’t remember the council giving Doug White instructions to be part of this ad hoc committee or to provide advice or key talking points.
Ted had heard that Warren Salmons had written it. From what I heard it was the big mouth of his wife, Suzy, talking to her sorority bragging that Warren had input. I find it rather hard to believe given the final product that Warren had anything to do with this sophomoric attempt to convince the public to vote no. Warren has no problem putting together a viable and articulate response. Scat and Jerry obviously have a problem with redundancy, repeating the same points over and over.
Scat did admit that White was part of the group. His lame excuse of signing the wrong date on the document was just that, another example of being a weasel. My conjecture was the document was written before the special meeting was even held. Wasn’t it Scat who said he wanted to work behind the scenes to get things done?
I wonder what Mary Ann McDonald thinks of her “dream team” now? As she is part of the bad old boy sickness in this town, she more than likely still believes they are wonderful and doing the right thing. When the judge gives the citizens of Dixon the chance to vote, we will see what the “real” people think.
Next, we move on to the “urgency” ordinance extension related to electronic message boards. I just love it when a real attorney shows up and gives reasons why the city is wrong. Why wouldn’t I when I pretty much made the same arguments 45 days ago when it first came up.
How can you say something creates a public health and safety hazard when you just approved one from which the city benefits monetarily to the tune of $10,000 per month? The attorney pointed out that “hypothetically” you could say this action by the city is an attempt to monopolize the advertising market along this stretch of I-80.
The discussion devolved into comments about the historical value of the Milk Farm sign, which is where one company wants to put one up. Their application was already submitted before the first urgency ordinance took
effect. Although Nubia Goldstein who is Doug White’s backup stated that the ordinance could be applied retroactively, I believe she is wrong especially given the facts brought up by the other attorney.
While some in Dixon want it preserved, it is after all private property. The city of Dixon has no business buying the sign or taking on its preservation. If those who are so concerned are all that worried, they should be putting together a coalition to buy the sign or have it donated. Maybe the historical society could take this task on. Batchelor correctly refocused the council on the real issue which was the extension of the moratorium for the remainder of a year since its initial imposition.
Again, despite all of the commentary including that of other legal “experts”, you would think the weasels would have some reluctance to continue down this unjustified path. Not at all as it was passed.
On a final note, Caitlin O’Halloran made a presentation on the state of the public school system in Dixon. It was interesting to note that this twit belongs in the same weasel group as our council. I will now dispute a certain school board member’s claim that the council is much worse than the school board. Let me put it this way: they will close in on the council rapidly given this new old form of leadership.
I wouldn’t brag too much or too long about having a $31 million budget with 70 to 80% of it going to salary and benefits. I wouldn’t brag too much about the Local Control and Accountability Plan, which I was part of, as a
method of improvement to educate our kids. You also shouldn’t need a community clean up crew, much as PJ Davis did, to do the work of your maintenance staff.
If you are only putting 20% of the money you receive to educate our students into programs for the students, I think you have identified part of the problem with the public school system. Just as our mayor and council like to brag about the raises they give to staff, Caitlin also pointed that out as an accomplishment. How is that?
How are the kids’ test scores, Caitlin? What percent of the students are performing at the “proficient level”? How has the money dedicated to teaching the teachers how to teach Common Core shown any benefit? I am not concerned with the students at the top of the heap. I am concerned with those you keep churning out who can’t make change at their job at McDonald’s or Wal-Mart and those who couldn’t write an intelligible letter to their parents if they were away from home.
If the state of our schools is in how money is being used non-productively and not about educational success, you and your cronies are the abject failures I have been saying you were for all of these years. There was a recent hearing in San Fran-sicko about reassessing commercial property every year to generate from $8 to $10 billion in additional revenues. The new welfare group called “Make It Fair” already had their hands out. The group was comprised of the product of your educational system, teachers, and Hispanics who want even more welfare style programs.
When it became my turn to speak, I told them to make it fair to the kids already in the system: Educate them. I told them they were abject failures at this task and they as well as the public school system needs to just go away. Seems that although I was extremely outnumbered, I still have no fear.
I would say the same to you and Brian Dolan. If you can’t do the job, get the hell out of the business. I hear you are going to be the next mayor of Dixon, Caitlin, or at least somewhere down the line you will be.
Even if you were to move back into Dixon, I wouldn’t hold my breath if this is the best you have to offer. In fact, I don’t think you have anything of value to give the citizens of Dixon as proven by your time on the school board.
Better to keep your mouth shut than prove my point, Jacqueline …