Peter Hill, who was a go-to guy for quotes related to the now dismissed FPPC investigation against the Placer County Republican Central Committee has decided to take his ball and go home.
Ironically- Hill defends his tax-raising history and his participation in putting bonds on the ballot. Having just received my property tax bill (now that I am a resident of Rocklin), I can tell you that the taxes Mr. Hill has participated in putting on the ballot have added over 50% to my property taxes.
The Huburis of the Man actually writing that we are wrong for probing into the affairs of local Government and acting as if the situation is all about him was disturbing at best… but even better, an indication that Mr. Hill (who references his 27 years in office) should retire.
If any of you have any questions as to whether Central Committees matter – and why we should endorse in local elections… read Hill’s email.
Peter Hill’s E-Mail Follows:
After consideration of recent actions by the Placer County Republican Central Committee (PCRCC), I have decided to leave the Republican Party.
It is clear to me that even though I have served on the Rocklin City Council for 27 years and have won 8 elections, as a moderate whose first priority is the efficient and effective provision of services to Rocklin residents, I cannot pass the litmus test created by the central committee to judge Republicans.
My crime? I have voted to place local bond measures on the ballot so our citizens can decide the issue. But probably more evil, I then supported these bond measures. I have to admit, I did. I supported the Rocklin High School bond, was the Chair of the Middle School Bond Committee, was a member of the committee that passed the Whitney High School bond and helped pass the Rocklin Park Tax. In every case these measures were passed by the voters of Rocklin. I remain unrepentant.
The PCRCC and its members will not shed any tears that I am leaving. The Chair, Tom Hudson, has made it clear he thinks the whole Rocklin City Council needs to be replaced. Of course that would mean the loss of 81 years of city council experience, but who cares about that?
I do think the actions of the officers and members of the Placer County Republican Central Committee should be of concern to local elected officials in Placer County.
As you are aware, the PCRCC has been making endorsements in local non-partisan races and has provided campaign support for the candidates they endorse. Unfortunately, the PCRCC has decided that unless you agree with their narrow view of the world you will not get an endorsement, even if you are an incumbent with years of experience. They would rather endorse people with no experience and no chance of getting elected, than endorse someone who isn’t “ideologically pure.”
The last set of endorsements for County Supervisor and City Council races made by the PCRCC are enlightening. Both the process and the results were laughable. The candidates were interviewed by the committee, the committee voted on endorsements, the candidates left and then the committee decided to change the rules and re-vote without the candidates there. Of course, the endorsements changed dramatically. Many incumbents who have worked tirelessly for their communities and have years of experience did not get endorsed because they did not pass the committee’s litmus test for candidates. The committee instead chose to endorse people, including a member of the committee who evidently voted for himself, with little or no experience or background in local government. Most promptly lost.
I am convinced the PCRCC has no interest in the efficient and effective operation of local government in Placer County. They are only interested in filling local offices with people who agree with their extremely narrow view of the world.
Another issue is the intrusion of the PCRCC into the affairs of local government. As you may know, there was a recent special election in Rocklin to renew our Park Tax. This tax has been in place for 20 years and was originally requested by petition of over 1,500 residents. In late 2008, representatives of nine youth groups that provide recreation programs for young people in Rocklin requested that the City Council put the park tax on the ballot for renewal. The City Council granted that request and a special election was scheduled for August 2009.
Even though the Rocklin City Council was responding to representatives of local organizations serving over 5,000 young people in our community, along with their parents, the Placer County Republican Central Committee on April 8, 2009, voted by unanimous consent to oppose the measure. (Note carefully, the vote was by unanimous consent of the whole committee.)
The voters in Rocklin passed the Park Tax with 83% voting yes, soundly rejecting the PCRCC and the leaders of the committee who placed the opposition statement in the voter pamphlet: Tom Hudson, George Park, Ed Rowen and Mike Spence. Only Ed Rowen lives in Rocklin and, curiously, Mike Spence lives in West Covina.
I am concerned that the PCRCC has decided to involve itself in our local governments without any understanding of the circumstances of the issues and without offering any opportunity for local government to provide information. I also remain unimpressed with the qualifications of the members of the central committee to be judges of local government actions.
The last issue is the recent news that Tom Hudson and members of the PCRCC have engaged in what looks suspiciously like money laundering for people in Southern California. While some committee members, to their credit, have raised concerns and have resigned from the Executive Committee, the perception remains that our local central committee is engaged in ethically challenged behavior.
The Placer County Republican Central Committee is on the wrong track. I have no desire to travel any further on an out-of-control train.