Aug 192016
 

On the heels of drawing a 5th Entrant info the Roseville Joint Union High School race who has no chance of winning and whose entry will make it easier for a bad incumbent to get re-elected… several local City Council Races have similar dynamics with marginal candidates filing at all different times, including late.

Unlike with the entry of the loser in the RJUHSD race, none of these late entrants appear to have been recruited by the Placer GOP. It is common for City Council Races to draw “Extra” candidates – kind of like Assembly races.

The Roseville City Council Race drew one late entrant – Maxine Sarmiento who is known to some in the area. She has told people she thinks she can win because she is female and there are a bunch of men running. I guess sexism only applies if it is men deriding women? Yes – there are a measurable amount of voters that only vote for women, but I’ve never seen enough of it to tip the balance of a race.

Your contestants for Roseville City Council Are:

Bonnie Gore (Incumbent Republican)
John Allard (Republican Former Councilmember)
Phil Ozenick (Republican Former Councilmember)
Richard Rocucci (Republican Former Councilmember)
Scott Alvord – Democrat

Alvord is disqualified for his support of Hillary Clinton via his registration. I have reason to believe that Richard Rocucci is a Hillary Clinton supporter as well by virtue of his affiliation with many democrats in the past. I will have to ask him.

I have known Phil Ozenick for years. He is 92 years of age and should be living out the twilight of his life writing his memoirs and not running for office. The only man I have ever seen run for office in his 90’s was Strom Thurmond who retired at age 100. Phil Ozenick is not Strom Thurmond.

My second issue with Mrs. Ozenick and Rocucci is their terrible record on development. Rocucci has been known to respond to good arguments and to do the right thing on development, my understanding is that Mr. Ozenick has pretty much opposed every major development in Roseville for the last 30 years.

At this time – I am only recommending John Allard and Bonnie Gore.

Rocklin City Council:

This is a truly bizarre situation. Diana Ruslin moved to Georgia, opening a seat up for an appointment as the vacancy occurred after the window to declare a two-year-seat election. Several of the existing councilmembers have made it clear their preference to appoint Ken Broadway to the vacant seat.

Broadway was considered the top candidate for the ensuing election, before Ruslin’s move.

George Magnusen retired as well, ending his long tenure on the Rocklin City Council – a move that all but guaranteed Broadway’s election.

The lack of clarity has brought several candidates in to the race, liberal democrat Mike Mattos whose whole campaign is centered around public transit, a Michelle Vass who lives in an apartment and community activist and Republican Activist Joe Patterson.

Some in Rocklin are upset over Patterson’s entry in to the race. With Ken Broadway seemingly due to be appointed on 9/14 – Patterson’s entry in to the City Council Race gives the voters a sane alternative to Mattos who would have been a near shoo-in without another viable alternative.

Your Candidates are:

Incumbent Republican Dave Butler
Incumbent Republican Greg Janda
Republican Ken Broadway
Republican Joe Patterson
Michelle Vass
Democrat Mike Mattos

I have a long-standing relationship with Joe Patterson dating to his days in the California GOP. He will be a great councilmember.

Lincoln City Council:

Lincoln is still a mess. The fire station that I posted pictures of many years ago being shut down, opened and got shut down again and may be open again. Nevertheless, it is a poster child for the woes of Lincoln.

Short Sale LincolnLincoln is growing again, no thanks to Spencer Short, who has consistently opposed the developments of every developer except one. Short is the only remaining councilmember from the days before the market crash and some of the current issues related to poor planning of the past can be laid at his feet. Needless to say, Short’s contribution to solving the issues of the past is lynching the city manager, attacking city staff and stabbing several people in the back.

Short needs to go.

There are an astounding 7 candidates on the ballot for this 3 seat race.

My choices are Paul Joiner, Peter Gilbert (who have teamed up with Gabriel Hydrick to save the hide of development time and again over the attempts of Spencer Short to throttle it) and Planning Commissioner Dan Karleskint.

Lincoln needs a short sale.

Loomis and Colfax did not make the ballot.

This leaves Auburn.

Bill Kirby and Keith Nesbitt filed for re-election. They will face a stiff challenge from local businesswoman Cheryl Maki. There are two other entrants in to the race as well. I really have no strong opinion on this race as Auburn may as well be 1000 miles away.

Mike Holmes was unseated from Auburn Council in 2014, and this may have invited the challenges in this 2016 race. Undaunted, Holmes is running against Donna Silva for Auburn City Treasurer. That should be an entertaining race.

Gotta love local politics.

Aug 182016
 

The 1000 pound gorilla in the room is Measure M. Measure M gives voters a choice between political dog whistles or fixing problems that are impeding the growth of Placer County. The Placer GOP Central Committee (well, about half of their members) have made it their life’s mission to try to defeat it.

That said – Measure M is not the only Measure on the ballot. The other “Big Deal” is Roseville High School’s Measure D that will build the 6th High School. As with Measure M, the fringe of the Placer GOP will attempt to deny the residents of that District the High School in Far West Roseville.

The same people opposing Measure D recruited perennial candidate Gary Johnson, (not to be confused with the daily drug user by the same name who is running for President) to file at the last minute for Roseville High School Board.

Apparently, the Placer GOP wants to help Rene Aguilera get re-elected as a 5th candidate in the vote for 3 race will dilute votes.

Rene Aguilera, a democrat who bragged on facebook about going to the DNC convention to celebrate Lying Crooked Hillary is the primary beneficiary of the anarchists on the Placer GOP Cent Com’s recruitment drill. Readers of this Blog will remember that Aguilera is a complete disaster and more will be revealed about Aguilera.

Our choices for the Roseville High School Board are: Andrew Tagg, Julie Hirota and Paige Stauss.

My Mother speaks highly of Stauss and if Stauss is good enough for her, then she is good enough for me.

Both the Eureka and Dry Creek School Board Races went down un-opposed and will not be on the ballot.

The Roseville City School Board is a different deal – Extreme Left Wing Homosexual Activist Board Member Gary Miller recruited democrats to run for that board in an attempt to engineer a democrat takeover of it. Gary Miller is out and proud for 40+ years, by the way lest you think I am “outing” him. The overriding issue here is Miller and his demonstrated disdain for conservatives and people of faith.

There is a 2 year term featuring Democrat David Larson versus Republican Alysa Fong. Fong has Children, David does not. This is a slam-dunk race.

There are two 4-year seats open. The candidates are Miller, Julie Constant and Doyle Radford.

Our Choices for the Roseville City School Board are: Alysa Fong, Julie Constant and Doyle Radford.

The Rocklin Unified School District will have a contested race for the first time in a while.

Longtime Liberal Democrat Activist Camille Maben – who worked for the uber-liberal Delaine Eastin is up for re-election. Inexplicably, this democrat has been in office over 20 years in Rocklin.

Two Republicans have filed for the two seats – Eric Stevens and Kathy Turner.

Our Choices for Rocklin Unified School District are: Eric Stevens and Kathy Turner

The Sierra College Board featured three Seats that were open. Two had incumbents that retired. Both seats had only one entrant – Bill Halldin retired and gave way to termed out Roseville Councilmember Carol Garcia and Aaron Klein retired and gave way to Bob Sinclair.

I will miss Aaron Klein as his election was my first foray in to paid politics in 2004. He grew up in office and served the college well. It has also been neat to watch him become wealthy as a result of success in business. I wish the man well in his future.

Bill Halldin will likely continue to be a fixture in local politics as his PR business clientele is a who’s who of local leaders.

As an aside – in Placer County Water Agency District 5, Republican Incumbent Josh Alpine drew an opponent. His opponent is none other than Liberal Democrat Otis Wollan, who Alpine unseated in 2012. Nothing like a little sour grapes in a political season.

Aug 122016
 

Yesterday featured an all-day meeting of the Placer County Planning Commission. As previously posted, NIMBY-Central sent out urgent alerts to the zombie nation in an attempt to stop Squaw Valley from having their plan approved.

#EPICFAIL

Squaw, using volunteers, had a group that actually outnumbered the rent-a-mob NIMBY-Enviro crew. The zombie nation attempted to assert that the people supporting Squaw were paid. I guess lying for political advantage is part of their playbook too.

80% of the speakers from the zombie nation talked about how personally butthurt they would be if (GASP) more people were allowed to move up to the North Lake Tahoe Area. Hearing stories of the meeting reminded me of the recurring Pam Tobin – Sandy Harris IGMFU/BANANA cancer in Granite Bay. (I got mine… and Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything)

Yesterday was a turning point where the greenmail shakedown artists known as Sierra Watch got a taste of their own Kool-Aid. The developers (yes, I am making that charge) that have been shaken down by Sierra Watch look like fools for donating both because Sierra Watch still opposes progress everywhere (including that of their donors) and their financial contributions will now be used to fund the greenmail enviro lawsuits of Sierra Watch.

Because of California’s absurd laws – NIMBY’s have multiple layers they can go to in order to prevent development. Fred Ilfeld (incidentally, who has filed for the local utility district ostensibly to try to deny service to Squaw Valley) was eviscerated by the truth as he tried to bankroll an effort to incorporate a non-viable town 100% to stop Squaw. Now squaw has won at the Planning Commission Level. Next will be the Board of Supervisors. Finally, Sierra Watch will go judge shopping to try to find the most favorable judge to do their wishes in court after losing more times than the Sacramento Kings.

Omitted from the above list are the thousands in consultant and legal fees + the reports and surveys and the ungodly amount of taxpayer money spent on County/Government staff related to this. (Has Ilfeld paid his bill to the County yet?)

Why anyone wants to develop anything in California is beyond me, especially because people like Sierra Watch are coddled and enabled by the stupidity of Sacramento. At least this time, the citizens of California who deserve modern and up-to-date recreational facilities prevailed over a bunch of selfish malcontents bent on exclusion.

Aug 102016
 

The Placer county planning commission has a big vote coming up this week up the hill in Lake Tahoe. Squaw Valley has been pitching a plan to redevelop its parking lots with additional lodging and hospitality offerings. The ski industry is changing all over the country and Squaw says it wants to remain competitive with Colorado, Utah and many other resorts around the country who have been upgrading and enhancing their offerings to skiers.  From the perspective of Placer county, this means more jobs and more economic development for the region. It is a total no-brainer were it not for…

…This project being in Tahoe. Out there there will always going to be opponents to any proposed redevelopment, even if it’s on a parking lot. Did you catch that? They are using an existing ugly parking lot for the space to expand their facility, no trees will be harmed!

The vocal opposition seems to be a mixture of NIMBY types (remember my past posts about Incorporate Olympic Valley?) and one particularly aggressive environmental group, Sierra Watch.  This organization has waged a  campaign, much of which is built on distortions, in a way that’s not often seen – even in the socialist utopia known as Lake Tahoe.

It’s interesting to note however that, Sierra Watch isn’t always so aggressive in its opposition to development in the region. The Squaw Project appears to receive far more intense and virulent opposition than anything else Sierra Watch has undertaken in recent years.

I am pretty sure I have figured out why. A look at Sierra Watch’s publicly available financial filings shows something they haven’t been telling the public, or even their supporters about.

Over the past few years, they’ve had massive infusions of cash on their balance sheet. In fact, Sierra Watch’s assets nearly quadrupled over 12 months from July 2014 to June 2015. This totals to a 375 percent increase.

Where does the cash come from?  There’s been speculation that it may come from developers in the region since Sierra Watch seems to be mildly opposed and simply quiet on some projects but seems to be opposed to Squaw with the furor of a movement.

What’s even more interesting is Sierra Watch seemingly hasn’t disclosed any of this on their website or in other public communications. But, It makes sense why they have been threatening a lawsuit. They now have the resources to sustain a legal battle until they get what they want.

All of this makes one wonder what Sierra Watch is really after here with Squaw. A lot of questions can be raised, again because other developments seemed to have been approved with far less controversy.

Is this just another attempt to get a massive cash infusion into its coffers? Is their vocal opposition based on the fact that they see another massive cash payout that can come from a big employer like Squaw? This reminds me of the labor unions threatening Roseville with environmental lawsuits which could all be settled if Roseville agreed to a project labor agreement. (Which they did and the electric rates are higher as a result) We call this “Greenmail”.

What is the whole story behind all this cash suddenly swishing around Sierra Watch’s coffers?

There are a lot of questions here. A lot. It looks like the planning commissioners and supervisors need to know what is driving this group’s opposition as they contemplate the issues over the next few weeks.

Aug 082016
 

This was printed in the Sierra Sun – the local progressive rag in the Tahoe-Truckee Area. It kind of says it all.

Recently I read the Sierra Sun opinion column, “Lake Tahoe is in need of progressive change — and soon,” dated May 30 about the need for progressive change in our region.

I could not agree more. Many of the issues mentioned by Heidi Hill Drum (of the Tahoe Prosperity Center) and Darcie Goodman Collins (of the League to Save Lake Tahoe) apply to the Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment project.

These two community leaders said: “Redevelopment — the effort to rebuild and renovate in the already-developed urban centers of each of Tahoe’s communities — can foster the conditions for businesses that provide year-round jobs at better wages and better housing in more attractive neighborhoods.”

I support well-designed and thought out redevelopment. I believe the Village at Squaw Valley project is a plan we as a community should support.

Over 90 percent of the Village is in-fill redevelopment on existing asphalt parking lots. That asphalt is the first “filter” for water going into the Squaw Valley aquifer — certainly we can do better than that.

The Village plan includes installation of best management practices that will begin to treat stormwater from the minute it hits the roofs. New wells in Squaw Valley will ensure reliable water supplies, the rehabilitation of Squaw Creek is a great idea, and the park and bike trails are needed amenities we’ll all enjoy.

While we might not agree on how many lodging units is the correct number, we should support new, updated, energy-efficient lodging that will attract visitors — those same visitors many of us are dependent upon for our livelihood.

I think most of us would agree that the significant investment in transit and transportation improvements promised with the new Village works toward a new way to experience our region. Not any one redevelopment will solve our transit woes, but each and every improvement will help.

I’ve watched the changes in the plan over the years it’s been in the process, and I think we’re now at a place that’s just about right for our region.

I urge the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to approve the Village at Squaw Valley and move it forward. It’s time to accelerate environmental redevelopment and understand the status quo is threatening the viability of our future.

Alex Mourelatos is a Tahoe Vista resident and partner at Mourelatos Lakeshore Resort, and someone who considers himself a champion for responsible redevelopment in our region.

Recently, the Placer County Planning Commission was intimidated in to declining another project that was far more broad than just a redevelopment of an existing area. There may be more to the story about the opposition to that project – but the extreme nature of the opposition to anything that will bring economic development is clinical.

Don’t forget – they tried to incorporate a city to stop this, then threatened lawsuits – and now they are emptying the hippee commune in Nevada County and bringing more of Fred Ilfeld’s friends down from Nevada in an attempt to bully Placer County Government in to declining a project that has already been vetted environmentally and planning wise.

Ever wonder why companies don’t build in California? IF you can make it up the hill on Thursday to help support good people with a good project – please leave a comment. It won’t display publicly and I will get back to you.

(10AM Thur, the Planning Commission meets in Tahoe City)