Sep 222016

Please note it is pronounced ME-Shell.

Michelle Vass is this race’s mystery candidate and appears to have filed to be “the only girl” in the race, based on accounts related to me. It is a fairly well-known fact that there are a segment of voters that refuse to vote for any male where there is a female on the ballot. (Unless the female has 99% name ID and 70% of the voters think she is a crook) In 2012, a lone female candidate got 7,000 votes for Rocklin City Council despite doing nothing.

I had made mention earlier that Michelle lives in an apartment and was queried by a commenter about why that is an issue. By itself, it may not be a disqualifier even though all of her opponents have a mortgage.

What makes it more of an issue is when you realize that Michelle only finished college last year and her most recent job was working as an intern for a politician in Sacramento.

Currently, Vass is apparently semi or unemployed and is campaigning full time.

Now it becomes clearer that Michelle is just getting started in life and the apartment thing may well be an indicator of a lack of life experience and thus a lack of credentials to serve on the Rocklin City Council.

A further investigation of Michelle shows that she was President of the Lompoc Association of Realtors. Sources there tell me that Vass was able to obtain that position in her 20’s largely because her mother was an icon in the local business community. This is not unheard of and may not necessarily be a bad thing except…

… her tenure was marred by scandal. The Lompoc Association of Realtors had an embezzlement problem and part of it happened on the watch of Michelle Vass. Ouch.

Now we have multiple issues suggesting that Vass lacks the experience or history needed to be an effective Rocklin City Councilmember.

Police recommended that financial safeguards be put in place to protect the group/s membership dues, but that was never done, said association President Michele Vass.

Soon the association was being embezzled again.

The assistant to the executive had been promoted and was the new financial caretaker. Within two years, she began stealing money. In January 2007, the association discovered that the nightmare had started again. This time, 145,000 had been embezzled, Vass said.

Why didn’t Vass do what was suggested by law enforcement? Was she too unsure of herself in her position? Was it because of a lack of experience?

How could we expect Vass to assert herself if called upon on the Rocklin City Council? The intertia of City Staff, the local business network and that web of control can be suffocating.

It is clear that the embezzlement that occurred under the watch of Michelle Vass could have been prevented. But, she did nothing.

Now the recent college graduate who lives in an apartment has multiple credibility problems as a candidate for Rocklin City Council as what little public history there is of her is not good at all.

Sep 152016

For those of you not privy to Rocklin City Council Drama – Councilmember Diana Ruslin abruptly resigned and moved to Georgia. The vacancy was filled last night.

I had written a short vignette about the race on 8/19 pending the outcome of the appointment drama:

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
Republican Michelle Vass
Republican Mike Mattos

Ken Broadway indeed got appointed last night DESPITE being on the ballot. Should Broadway win in November – it would open up ANOTHER seat to be appointed – more on that in a second.

What I find confusing about this is that Ken Broadway had been positioned as the heir apparent to the seat everyone expected George Magnusen to retire out of. Broadway was raising money and support. By appointing Broadway to fill a vacancy were his allies on the council saying that they lacked confidence in Broadway’s ability to win a campaign?

Even more bizarre is that they could have had their cake and eaten it too. Bill Halldin had indicated interest in getting that appointment. This is the same Bill Halldin that ran for Assembly after several others in local government opted out. This is the same Bill Halldin that took one for the team so to speak – at significant personal expense as I know he is in debt from his campaign.

As I learned, there was an apparent fixation on appointing Ken Broadway and as a result, Bill Halldin never applied for the vacancy.

Now you have a dynamic where if Ken Broadway mounts a campaign for a second seat on the Rocklin City Council – the other candidates will rightfully be able to claim that the “Good ‘Ol Boys Network” are trying to set up a second appointment. This is NOT the narrative you want in the Donald Trump election cycle.

This is why the lack of situational awareness baffles me. Beyond abandoning Bill Halldin, they set Ken Broadway up for failure. IF he campaigns, then he is a tool of the Good Ol Boyz to control two seats and if he does not, then it looks to the seasoned observers that they rescued him from having to run (and potentially fail a second time) a campaign.

For this blogger – the situation makes my life easier making picks for Rocklin City Council. Win or Lose (in 2016) Broadway is still a Rocklin Councilmember, therefore he does not need the support of this blog as his now real position on the council fulfills my commitment to support him.

I helped elect Greg Janda to Rocklin Council in 2012. Short of Janda committing a felony, he will have my support and endorsement as long as he wants it. Greg Janda is very well liked and I respect the way he has approached dealing with the community. In his 4 years on the council, I’ve heard nothing but good, even glowing reviews of who he is as a person and what he has done on the council.

I committed to Dave Butler when I had breakfast with him that I would support him. Therefore, I am honoring that commitment and endorsing him at this time.

All that said – I will be enthusiastically supporting and doing what I can to elect Joe Patterson to Rocklin City Council. I encourage those of you reading to do the same. Joe Patterson will be a breath of fresh air for Rocklin. His connections to real people as well as his experience dealing with people of all types in the political spectrum are exactly what Rocklin needs.

All this, and he is at least 10 years of age younger than the next youngest incumbent on the council. You can find out more about him here:

To be continued…

Rocklin Race Update Continued

 Rocklin City Council Race  Comments Off on Rocklin Race Update Continued
Jan 092012

I already declared war on Camille Maben if she runs for re-election.

Greg Dailey is going to run for re-election to the Rocklin School Board. Recently, when Camille Maben’s friends were trying to get districts to take resolutions in support of an initiative to lower the threshold for Parcel Taxes to 55% (like happened with school bonds) Greg as board chair refused to agendize the issue.

Good job, Greg!

Here’s what I know about Rocklin City Council:

Dave Butler – immediate past Rocklin Chamber President, is in the race. He is a Republican that used to work for Tim Leslie.
Greg Janda – Businessman who finished 3rd last time, is also in the race. I am publicly supporting Greg.

Brett Storey – incumbent is retiring.
Peter Hill – incumbent is retiring by several accounts relayed to me
George Magnussen – is unpredictible, but is also expected to retire due to health concerns, and recent comments made by him indicate that he is thinking along those lines.

That being said – Rocklin Planning Commissioner Greg McKenzie is being pushed by political insiders, consultants and others. What I know of McKenzie is that he used to work for Pete Wilson. (ouch) I am sure I will talk to him soon to find out more.

Maria Trunzo is out, Bill Halldin is staying put at Sierra College, Paul Ruhkala is out.

This concludes the January Update for Rocklin.


Jun 222011

Rocklin. The city where Councilmembers serve for a generation.

In 1960, my Great-Grandfather was elected to Rocklin City Council – but retired no long after. He beat Roy Ruhkala that year and Roy would run again later and ended up serving for a long time.

Peter Hill and George Magnusen have served a long time. They are retiring, as is Brett Storey.

If you thought 8 people running for two seats was chaos last time – see what happens with three seats open.

I have my favorites – but that’s another post for another time way in the future.

Sierra College:

Elaine Rowen – the wife of recalled former CA Supreme Cruz Reynoso finally resigned after 18 months of not representing anyone, let alone Rocklin and Granite Bay. Not to make light of her life-threatening accident, but why wait 18 months, leaving a vacancy?

That being said, there appear to be three main suitors: Debbi Nason, a well-connected volunteer who retired to this area, Robin Trimble President of the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce and Bill Halldin, a local PR Guy and Placer GOP Central Committee Member.

I have no further comment at this time… other than I can’t wait to see what the trustees do. I’ve made a few calls and have only spoken to Aaron Klein.

Elaine Rowen was on the Sierra College Board in the first place because of the group, “Save Sierra College”. This was a group that dedicated itself to re-asserting a liberal majority on the Sierra College Board. After Bill Martin used his position on the local Grand Jury to get himself elected to the Sierra College Board – he teamed up with the group to attempt the recall of Aaron Klein and Jerry Simmons.

It failed. But Simmons retired, leaving the seat open. That’s when the Save Sierra College people helped get Elaine Rowen elected.

One of the proponents of the Recall, a “Republican” named Alan Cuenca is now involved in trying to recall three more Republicans from local office. Cuenca has now taken aim at 5 local Republican electeds.

The irony is that recall attempt against the Lincoln City Council has a bizarre sidenote. Spencer Short is part of the loud, vocal minority (although he is not loud himself) that attempts to shut down every Cent Com meeting. Members of the Lincoln Tea Party have convniced themsevles that the Placer GOP Cent Com is the center of corruption in Placer.

Spencer Short votes with their allies on the Cent Com and they are trying to recall him from Lincoln City Council. Nice.

Todd Lowell from the Rocklin School Board replied to an email I sent him apparently happy about the Western Sierra Collegate Academy getting their own building. He thought it was great that they would have their own identity… Lowell is a rumored Rocklin City Council candidate, but is likely staying put. However, it looks like Left-wing Democrat Camille Maben is going to retire. (Maben worked for Delaine Eastin – a sworn enemy of Charter Schools)

Rocklin 2012 will be chaos as usual. Lincoln will be chaos for 20 years. Sierra College Board will likely resolve itself with little or no drama.