"The only security of all is in a free press.  The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed.  The agitation it produces must be submitted to.
It is necessary, to keep the waters pure."
 


-- Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette, 1823.  ME 15:491


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News Article ARCHIVE
Mitzelfelt Redux

Hesperia, CA.
1-11-2012
    In an incredible blow to the voting public and those who care dearly about the future of our country and honesty in San Bernardino County politics, Supervisor Mitzelfelt announced, through his newsletter, that he has received the endorsement of both District Attorney Ramos and Sheriff Hoops.
    The endorsement is defined in the context of Mitzelfelt running for supervisor again in 2012. According to Mitzelfelt, he was praised for his steadfast support of public safety.
    Well, of course he supports public safety. Public safety through the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association(SEBA), the San Bernardino Public Employees Association PAC, and the San Bernardino County Fire Fighters Local 935 from Fontana, also supports Mitzelfelt. Collectively, Mitzelfelt received over $57,000 from these groups in 2007.
Please remember it was the San Bernardino County Firefighters Union that financially paid for the advertising to attempt to pass the Measure F fire tax in Hesperia in November, 2011. Measure F, of course, went down in flames in an almost 81% vote against the tax which would have cost property owners almost $100. per year. The Measure F advertising was falsified, in part, to attempt to get voters to pass a measure which would have increased fire fighters salaries and retirement.
    Mitzelfelt doesn’t take money just from the unions and employees groups. He received $110,000 from and through the Colonies Developers. The Colonies owner is currently under indictment along with three others, which originates from the Colonies receipt of $102 million dollars of county taxpayer money.
    Other contributions to Mitzelfelt include $100,000 through Young Homes, $25,000 through Prime Healthcare and thousands through a variety of developers, real estate interests and Orange County speculators. The Inland Group from Orange County(Buck Johns) gave Mitzelfelt $10,500.
    Mitzelfelt was formerly an employee of the Building Industries Association(BIA). In 2007 he received $12,800 through this group and he has voted to spend county taxpayer money to support the BIA through various avenues.
There is little doubt why these contributors have given money to the supervisor. They expect his support and vote on timely matters.
Mitzelfelt’s willingness to accept these monies and then deny, in some cases, that he has any political affiliation with the contributors is classic denial at it’s worst.
    It is rumored that Mitzelfelt already has cornered over $1 million to run for office in 2012. It appears that congressman Lewis may not seek re-election. If he does not, Mitzelfelt has hinted that he will run for Congress. I wonder if the district attorney and the sheriff will endorse him under such circumstances?
    Incredibly, Mitzelfelt, who has generally remained unavailable for leadership or comment for years, believes that he would make a competent congressman.
    Will the Victor Valley news media continue to protect Mitzelfelt and not publicly ask why Mitzelfelt has remained unindicted in the Colonies scandal?
    Mitzelfelt was the Chief of Staff for the now indicted former Supervisor Postmus. He has stated that he never observed Postmus do anything wrong while in office. Mitzelfelt denies having anything to do with the vote to award the Colonies $102 million even though his boss, Postmus, voted in favor of the award.
    D.A. Ramos is quoted as saying that Mitzelfelt has “...integrity.” If such is the case, why did Mitzelfelt take money from the SEBA union, through it’s then president, Wm. Abernathie, when he was aware that Abernathie was fired as a county sheriff for having illegal sex with an underage teenage female? This certainly is indicative that Mitzelfelt does not support family values!
    Mitzelfelt should not run for congress or county supervisor but he should immediately resign from public office. Mitzelfelt’s wife earns enough money in her high paying San Bernardino County job that she could easily support them both. I wonder, did Mitzelfelt bring any pressure to bear to secure his wife’s employment? In my estimation, it is clearly a conflict of interest to have both Mitzelfelt’s receiving hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money. Never mind his recent grandstand ploy to lower his benefits from his county job. That appears to be nothing more than a timely effort to make himself appear to be concerned about the taxpayers, in an election year.

Update: 1-12-2012

   Mitzelfelt has announced that he is running for Congress. It appears that his political ally and co-candidate for Congress, Bill Jensen, is running as a spoiler to help breakup the total vote to ensure a Mitzelfelt win. We wonder who Mitzelfelt will use as a campaign manager and to what degree the manager has been involved in political corruption in the past?
The idea of Mitzelfelt for Congress is a swipe at the integrity of the American people.


Measure F Aftermath

Hesperia, CA
12-01-2011

    The smoke has cleared from the November 8th election and the fire union was unable to put out the fire and flame of the Measure F opponents.
    In a spectacular refutation of the fire union and three Hesperia City Council members, Hesperia voters overwhelmingly voted almost 81%against Measure F.
    It is a modern record of sorts and perhaps statewide, for the 2011 elections. Eighty one percent of the voters were clear thinking enough to realize the false and misleading nature of the Yes On F pamphlets. Indeed, 1,500 Hesperia residents were never recently evacuated because of a fire and it is unlikely that fire insurance is going to double in cost!
    The tragedy is that Hepseria City Council members Smith, Leonard and Holland spent over $500,000 of taxpayers money placing Measure F on the ballot and extending the fire contract for six additional months.
    Merry Christmas to the “no” voters and congratulations on the almost $500. dollars you will save over the next five years which you can spend on Christmas gifts for your family and friends.

Fire Parcel Tax Measure F

Hesperia, CA
11-5-2011

    The desperation of the fire union to pass Measure F, an attempt to “scare” $13.6 million from taxpayers, has taken a new low.
In recent days several political mailers have been received by Hesperia’s taxpayers.
    Recently, the group known as Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety, which in reality is the fire union from Fontana, has alleged that 1,500 Hesperia residents were evacuated from the recent “Hill” fire. In actuality, the fire started at the top of the Cajon Pass and burned northwesterly into Oak Hills and the Baldy Mesa/Phelan areas.
    The fire was not in Hesperia and Hesperian’s were not evacuated. The fire union and Hesperia business woman, Sophie Steeno, thought it would be a great vote getting idea to scare and intimidate new Hesperian’s into believing that the area is highly fire prone and subject to evacuation.
    Less than 8% of Hesperia emergency calls are for fires. With modern fire and smoke detectors installed in houses along with the requirement that new construction also have fire sprinklers, Hesperia fires will become increasingly rare.
    Mrs. Steeno and the supposed Hesperia Citizens Group now want you to believe that your homeowners and fire insurance policies will double in cost if Measure F does not pass. This is nonsense and represents the “bully” mentality of the union.
    Political mailers and flyers during the past ten years have ranged from positive to gruesome. Mrs. Steeno’s mailer is on the gruesome side of the scale. Her overwhelming motivation for money and power has caused her to throw caution and common sense to the wind.
Mrs. Steeno was recently given an assignment onto a Hesperia advisory committee by city council member Leonard (former fireman and staunch supporter of the fire union.) Mr. Leonard’s political motivation was obvious. He is attempting to stack the committees and the city council with union sympathizers to get enough votes in the future to raise taxes for the benefit of the unions.
    A few weeks prior to the city council vote to place Measure F on the ballot, Mrs. Steeno spoke in the city council meeting and stated that she was absolutely opposed to new taxes. Her current position of favoring newer and higher taxes leads one to wonder what she would do if in public office? What deal has the union made to financially support a political career for Mrs. Steeno, now that she supports Measure F for the union? It must be lucrative.
    Mrs. Steeno is a land and real estate and building speculator who thrives on high density development. She recently criticized other property owners for attempting to earn real estate incomes. I presume that she is opposed to the real estate industry because their sales actions would take potential income away from the Steeno’s.
    Mrs. Steeno has accused property owners of not paying their fair share toward fire protection. Property owners already pay to support the fire district through their general tax levy on the property tax bill each year.
Further, Hesperian’s who own newer homes, in the Mello Roos areas, pay a penalty second tax for fire service. Now the union and Mrs. Steeno want them to pay a third time!
    Individuals such as Mrs. Steeno, who have upper middle class incomes, live in a fairyland lacking the everyday reality of working class families who are struggling to keep their homes. That she would suggest new and higher taxes is indicative of lacking touch with reality.
    November 8, 2011 is election day for Measure F. Only five precincts will be open for voting which means you may have to plan a little extra travel time to vote. Your precinct address for this election is printed in your sample ballot book. We strongly suggest a “NO” vote on Measure F.

Tax Measure F Details

10-22-2011

Hesperia, CA

As advertising appears for the Tax Measure F, one Letter to the Editor of the Daily Press Newspaper was printed on 2-21-2011. Titled, “ It’s not about pay, It’s about safety,” the letter was written by Mr. Steve Sprague, believed to be a fireman, but unconfirmed.

In a very straight forward way Mr. Sprague contends that, “The real culprit here is Hesperia’s mayor and two council members who apparently saw an opportunity to pad city coffers a little.” I believe that Mr. Sprague is addressing the difference between what the three council members said would be the tax amount, $5.5 million, and the tax amount as it is written in the measure, $13.6 million.

To say that $8.1 million is padding the coffers “a little” is certainly an understatement. The pad will be used to spend on salaries, retirements, buildings and equipment, even though the fire union and city council denies it.

As explained by Hesperia City Council members Smith, Holland and Leonard, the tax would be used only to retain a few extra firemen. At the astronomical price of $13.6 million? Who are they attempting to deceive?

In another direction, it was confirmed today that radio ads on 910 AM have been taken out in support of Tax Measure F. The ads have been paid for by a group identified as Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety.

The Hesperia Citizens group has received approximately $10,000 of their campaign funding from the fire union. In fact, the group is not from Hesperia at all, but has the identical mailing address in Fontana as the union. They are one in the same.

It appears deceptive that the union would create a group with the name Hesperia Citizens when they simply could have used their existing PAC name. The union must feel that the public opinion and attitude about unions, in general, is so low that to have identified the Tax Measure F with a union surely would mean defeat at the polls.

According to the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office, there will be only five precincts open in Hesperia on election day, November 8, 2011. Some voters then will not be voting at their regular precinct and may have to drive further and plan to take a little extra time to vote.

The extra time may be worth it, however. If tax measure F passed, it would cost voters close to $100. per year in new taxes. This figure includes extra charges to the voters that the union and the city council have not discussed.

Tax Measure F Update


Hesperia, Calif.

10-15-2011

    The county firemen’s union from Fontana has started a political group in favor of Measure F which is named Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety.

    The problem is that the citizens are not from Hesperia nor is the group. The union has purposely named the group to deceive voters to believe that a grassroots group of Hesperian’s support tax measure F.

    The financial support comes from the union, which has donated $10,000 to the citizens group, to influence voters through advertising. Why didn’t the union just use their own name and address for identity? Because the union knows that the opinions of many voters today are anti-union.

    The citizens group has hired an Orange County PR firm who, along with their owner Dave Ellis, has a long reputation for using outside money to influence local elections. Mr. Ellis’ rumored reputation is for using cutthroat political tactics and smearing the reputations of politicians shortly before election day. The last minute smears are done to prevent the victims from having enough time to respond to the rumors.

    Measure F, along with its potential annual tax bill increase of close to $100 per year, will not only effect property owners, but will also cost renters.

    Owners of rental buildings will pass some of the tax increase off to the renters.

It was rumored that perhaps 3,000 people stood in line for 70 jobs on a hot summer day this Saturday. We wonder if any of these jobs seekers have opinions about potentially new taxes of a $100 per year?

    We also wonder if the union or the city council gave any consideration whatsoever to thousands of the unemployed and persons struggling with massive increases in medical plan costs before deceptively proposing the tax.

    The tax was proposed for approximately $5.5 million and when the measure was written the proposed amount mushroomed to $13.6 million. No explanation was given by the union or the city council about the extra $8+ million and how that money would be spent.

    The union denies that any of the money would be used to raise salaries and retirements or build new buildings or buy equipment. Yet, that is exactly what the measure allows.

    Since the union knew of Mr. Ellis’ reputation before they hired him, it is felt the union will distribute, along with the supposed citizens group, printed publicity just days prior to the election of November 8, 2011, which will distort or untruthfully deal with Measure F.

Measure F was placed on the ballot at a cost of over $150,000 by two city council members who signed a pledge to vote no on ANY new taxes. These same city council members also received union money during their political campaigns in 2010.

    It seems clear that union money was used to influence the two city council members who in turn voted to place Measure F on the ballot. Measure F was born in dishonesty and is being advertised with far less than the truth.

Fire Tax Measure F

Hesperia, Ca.

9-29-2011

   The firefighter’s union must have money to burn because, in an unsurprising move, they spent $10,000, so far, to attempt to buy $13.8 million worth of Hesperia taxpayer’s money. That’s 1,380 to 1 odds. And odds are that they will lose.
   The $10,000 was spent on a group named Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety. This group is not from Hesperia, nor does it represent Hesperians, and comes from Fontana, Ca. The group has identified with Hesperia to deceive Hesperia taxpayers into believing that local people support the fire tax Measure F.

    Both the Hesperia Citizens for Public Safety and the San Bernardino County Firefighters have the same address in Fontana. Coincidence? The group and the union are one in the same.

    So far, the $10,000 has been spent on “door hanger” political literature that some Hesperia property owners have received at their homes during the past six days.

    The “door hanger” message is one of fear. Depicted is a picture of a building that is on fire with the caption “Is your house worth 24 cents a day?” The inherent message is that if you are unwilling to spend $13.8 million over the next five years, that your house might burn down.

    Fewer than 10% of Hesperia fire calls are for burning buildings.

    A great deal of money has been spent by the Hesperia Fire District for the benefit of the union over the past two years. Beside millions of dollars on salaries and retirement benefits, the district spent over $6.7 million dollars building the largest and most expensive fire station in the county.

    Yes, the fire district and the city council have stated that the fire district is broke but $6.7 million does not send that message.

    The new station, which is on Caliente Rd. in the Hesperia area, is unknown to most Hesperians. When the union complains that the firemen are neglected the public needs only to think about the $6.7 million palace which is greatly underused.

The union “door hanger” message, in part, reads “Measure F does not support salaries or firefighter pensions.” The message is not honest. Section 3 of the fire measure states the purpose of the tax is to maintain fire protection and “...such other necessary fire protection services and expenses...” of the district. It is the wording of the measure which controls expenditures, not the wording of the “door hanger” which is nothing more than political inaccuracy to influence the voters.

    The fire union is well aware that voters and the public are fed-up with high taxes and budget breaking inflation. Nevertheless, in this never ending recession, they are asking for more. They have stretched the truth to attempt to gain the public trust that salaries and pensions would not “dare” be raised with Measure F money.

    Three Hesperia City Council members have taken union money for their political campaigns. The same three voted in favor of placing the fire measure on the ballot. Two of the council members signed a “no new taxes” pledge around October of 2010. The pledge stated “...I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

    In less than a year city council members Smith and Holland have deceived the public and reminded the voters that the union is more important than the citizens of Hesperia. That a new tax will further burden cash strapped families and senior citizens on fixed incomes, seems not to matter in the least.

 

 

    Fire Tax Measure F has been misrepresented and purposely undefined. It is an attempt to take 2 1/2 times more taxes than promised by the city council. The city is millions of dollars in debt and the voters have the opportunity to tell the city council, “No More Taxes.” A NO vote on Measure F will remind the city council that the $150,000 cost to place the measure on the ballot was foolishly done by three city council members who are beholden to the unions.

Fire Tax Repeat
Hesperia, California
7-4-2011

    As if the fireworks for Independence Day weren’t enough, three members of the Hesperia City Council, Smith, Leonard and Holland, are going to attempt what has been tried twice before in Hesperia.
    In the election of June of 1992 a fire measure in Hesperia to increase taxes lost by a margin of 52.8% to 47.2%. Again in November of 2002, the Hesperia Fire Measure “B” went down in flames.
    It was proposed during the 2002 election that the owners of vacant land or lots would have to pay approximately twice as much as owners of developed residential land? The committee that recommended the wording for fire measure B was comprised, in part, by current and former fire union members. The devil, of course, was in the details.
    Consequently, a very important point becomes who will comprise the committee or staff that write the new measure? Will there be conflicts of interest or bias? Will the pre-determined mind set by Smith, Leonard and Holland bring pressure to bear upon anyone who writes the measure?
    Whether or not to place a fire measure on an upcoming ballot will be decided upon by the Hesperia City Council on July 5, 2011. However, exactly which interpretation and wording of the measure will not be known until it is written and approved.
    Several variables will come into play. For how many taxing years will the measure be written and for how much money each year from the taxpayers? Will the measure be approved to fund only firemen and paramedics or will the taxes also be approved to build glamorous fire stations or to approve purchasing a great deal of new fire equipment?
   Will funding be shifted which currently pays for firemen to then be used for building and equipment?
   Which areas of Hesperia will benefit from a new parcel tax, if it passes? Will it be the areas of undeveloped land which will ultimately have high density housing or will it be devoted to the areas in which property owners have paid their taxes for years?
Of additional major interest to taxpayers is whether or not they receive ALL of the information that would be available prior to voting. Specifically, the city council appears to have the option to allow or disallow certain types of statements in the ballot book to ensure spending as little money as possible for printing. If the city council allows it’s bias to predominate, then certain types of supporting or opposing arguments or rebuttals to the proposed fire measure may not be printed and the voters will be less than fully informed.
That council members Smith and Leonard are highly biased in favor of the fire union goes without saying. Leonard is a former fireman and Smith took money from the fire union to finance his campaign for re-election in 2010.
    Smith campaigned emphasizing several points. One point was his demonstrative effort to use propaganda by convincing voters that he signed a “no new taxes” pledge. If he did sign it, you would not know it! Now he wants a new tax which may amount to almost $100. per year, per parcel, under the four proposed taxing suggestions.
    Additionally, the recommended Hesperia fire tax measure has been written to “tax” 30,000 parcels within the city. How many parcels are there in the City of Hesperia? If there are more than 30,000, why are some parcels not recommended for the tax? It is believed that absentee real estate owners will not be able to vote on the measure. If the measure passed, then untold numbers of property owners will be taxed without the right to vote.
    The cost of the election is thought to be somewhere between $162,000 to $250,000. It is remembered that both Smith and Leonard balked at spending any money for the then proposed Hesperia sales tax increase. Hmmm...now they don’t seem to mind.
One wonders how many of the Hesperia firefighters actually live in Hesperia? Why? If, lets say, 70% of the firefighters who attended the city council meeting in support of a new fire parcel tax don’t live in Hesperia, then they won’t have to pay the newly proposed tax, if it passes.
    Attempting to make sense of this issue would have been so much easier if Hesperia City Council member Smith had not taken campaign money from the fire union and, therefore, not have an apparent conflict of interest.
    You cannot support the interests of two masters and so we now watch to see if Smith and Leonard vote to favor the fire union or the City of Hesperia taxpayers?


City Council member reveals inner abilities

Hesperia, CA 6-21-2011

   At the Hesperia City Council meeting this evening, the hot topic was the continued financial support for the fire district, which has been in the red for the past two years. At issue, is the need to lay off potentially nine fire fighters due to budgetary constraints.
Prior to the discussion of the item, which was scheduled as the final item on the city council agenda, council member Smith was asked along with any other city council member who had taken campaign financing from the fire union, during their campaigns, to recuse themselves from the vote to ensure against a conflict of interest.
   None of those council members who received the fire union money recused from the voting. In fact, they did not even discuss the matter to clarify the issue for the public.
   The vote this evening will allow the City of Hesperia to continue to operate the fire district at a deficit, using reserve money to pay the debt. The vote approved of a city council agenda item being brought forth at a future date, for the council to vote whether or not to place a measure on the ballot in November, which will require, it is believed, a 2/3rds approval vote to pass.
   The measure, to be voted upon by the public would either approve or disapprove of a parcel tax on all Hesperia properties within the fire district. It is hoped that it would require a minimum 4-1 vote by the city council for ballot placement. However, a simple majority will probably be sufficient.
   At this point the council appears to be divided 3-2.
   Toward the end of tonights meeting, a public member asked council member Smith if his vote was tantamount to a new tax? Smith, it is recalled, took a no new-tax pledge during his re-election campaign in 2010.
Smith avoided answering the assertion.
   Later, however, after the meeting was over, on the city hall parking lot, council member and former self-proclaimed “...best mayor the city has ever had,” Smith, yelled out at the public member who asked the question, “A.. H...”
   This blatant attempt at intimidating the public came from a city council member who has repeatedly demonstrated his lack of maturity to perform the requirements of his job. Smith is a council member who is so enamored of himself that his imagination is greatly inflated compared to his job performance and keeping campaign promises to the public.

John Does named in Colonies Affair

San Bernardino, Calif., 5-10-2011 

    In an action by the San Bernardino County district attorney, Mike
Ramos, four of the five John Does appear to have been named and indicted.
    Arrested were Mark Kirk, Jeffrey Burum and Jim Erwin. Bail amounts were set at $10 million for Burum, and $2 million each for both Kirk and Erwin.
    Also named was former county supervisor Paul Biane, who is now a fugitive from justice. His bail amount is $2 million.
    Remaining unindicted, so far, is county Supervisor Mitzelfelt. During his campaign, Mitzelfelt received almost $100,000 from the Inland Empire PAC whose major funding was from the Colonies developers, of which Jeffrey Burum is the major partner.
    The Colonies were awarded $102 million of taxpayer money in a controversial 3-2 vote by the then board of supervisors including Biane, Postmus, and Ovitt. Shortly after the award four political action committees(PACs) were opened including the Inland Empire PAC. Each of the PACs received major funding from the Colonies and several politicians including Mitzelfelt, Kirk, Postmus and Biane received direct financial benefit from the PAC’s.


Mitzelfelt Hires Jensen


San Bernardino Calif., 5-3-
2011


    An all too often political action took place today at the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors meeting.

    A consent calendar item on the board agenda would not normally receive any comment prior to voting. However, four members of the public understood their rights to political free speech and exercised those rights in a highly revealing fashion.

Item #2b on the agenda was construed to appoint a Mr. Bill Jensen from Hesperia onto the county flood control advisory committee. The nomination for the appointment was made by First District Supervisor Mitzelfelt. The supervisor was formerly the chief of staff for the then Supervisor Postmus.

    Recently, Postmus has admitted guilt to three pending charges.

    During the public comments at the board meeting, it was stated that Jensen had donated $6,000 to the Inland Empire PAC (political action committee.) Also, that Supervisor Mitzelfelt had received close to $100,000 from the same PAC. Additionally, the Colonies developers donated over $90,000 to the PAC to support politicians during their campaigns for political office.

The public revealed the financial arrangement between the various campaign recipients and donators. Jensen has, in essence, donated money to the campaign of Mitzelfelt, through the PAC and now Jensen has a county committee assignment through favoritism and patronage.

    Prior to the actual vote, Mitzelfelt had an opportunity to explain his relationship with Mr. Jensen. He stated that he had no political relationship with Jensen and he made no comment about the money or his understanding about Jensen’s legal history.

Mitzelfelt also ignored a statement about Jensen’s criminal behavior during a prior election in Hesperia.

    Mitzelfelt has stated in the past that he expects nothing less than transparency in government. If such is the case, why did he go to great length to avoid the politics regarding his nomination and final vote of approval for Jensen?

Jensen’s appointment to the committee will be manipulated in the political future when, it is suspected, Jensen will list the committee as part of his public office record, when he again campaigns for public office.

    Jensen has thus become part of the Mitzelfelt political machine which includes Bill Postmus, Mark Kirk, Tad Honeycutt, Adam Aleman, Anthony Adams, Russ Blewett and Thurston Smith.

    The disappointing aspect of the Board of Supervisors meeting was that not one other board member questioned Mitzelfelt regarding the assertions the public made about Jensen. This silence is a conspiracy of sorts which has a long embedded history in San Bernardino County.


The Politics of Ethics


Hesperia, Calif. 2-18-2011

    The Hesperia City Council election in November of 2010 produced a large field of candidates. Some of the candidates received very little money for their campaigns and others received a large amount of money and "bought" seats on the city council.

    Russ Blewett, a land and real estate speculator, collected $32,840.00 from a variety of developers and speculators including the Building Industry Association (BIA), Matich Corp., and four $500 contributions from California Highland Enterprise, California Land Enterprise, California Palms Enterprise and California Richland Enterprise, all of the same address at 1000 Dove St. in Newport Beach, Calif. He also received money from Frontier Finance Co., a financing arm of Frontier Homes which is operated by Jimmy Previti, an old friend of Russ Blewett's from the building industry.

    Thurston Smith, raised $27,130, to buy his seat on the Hesperia City Council. Mr. Smith, like Blewett, received four $500 contributions from the same California Land Enterprise et.al. Of most importance, and not mentioned in the local press, Smith accepted $500 from Mike Page, a director of the Mojave Water Agency (MWA.) The MWA recently began construction on a multi-million dollar water project known as Superwell (R3.) This project will consume huge quantities of the highest quality water in the Victor Valley, underlying Hesperia, 85% of which will go to Victorville. Smith supported the Superwell project and has received campaign financing from a director of the very agency contriving the project which will supply water to Dr. Pepper, the Victorville power plant, 25,000 proposed high density homes in south Victorville, the Victorville north triangle proposed development and the proposed E220 freeway. The E220 project is backed by Victorville's money source, Mr. Buck Johns. Buck Johns, of Inland Energy in Newport Beach, has given campaign money to most of the MWA directors, including Mike Page, for their election campaigns on the MWA.

    The collective contributions to both Blewett and Smith from developers whose primary businesses are outside of the Victor Valley is perhaps indicative that these developers have plans for Hesperia and environs and that they want to be sure that they have votes of approval for their projects locked in ahead of time. Developers don't contribute money without the expectation that "their" city council members will vote to approve the projects.

    It is easy to argue that Blewett and Smith have apparent ethical conflicts of interest. The contributions that they received argue this point. That they both argued during their campaigns that they would protect the public interest is nonsense.

    In a recent action by the Hesperia Planning Commission, approval was given for a condominium project in the general area of Topaz and Main St. in Hesperia, for Lucas General Contracting Corp., developers from Newport Beach. Lucas General is located at 1111 Quail St., Newport Beach, in the same block as California Land Enterprise et.al.

    The Hesperia City Council, I believe, will consider the approval of the condominium project at a future meeting. Will they approve the project? How will Smith and Blewett vote?

    It is unfortunate that Hesperia's city council, with exceptions, has fallen with its members easily influenced by outside money. Last year, 2010, a city council member stated in an open public meeting that he would not vote for a politically charged agenda item because the union told him not to. That seems to mean that the council member votes for the union and not for the voters who put him in office. For the sake of repetition, council member Smith accepted money from three different unions during the 2010 election.

    A city council controlled by the unions and the developers is exactly what millions of people in this country are saying that they don't want. Both Smith and Blewett are experienced enough to know that by accepting the campaign money they signaled a lack of respect for the voters. Both, I believe, had sources for campaign funding without resorting to the use of the unions and developers. Do they both hope to run for office in the future? Will they again rely on the unions and developers as a financial source to forward the idea of the misuse of the Victor Valleys high quality water? Is it for the financial gain of the developers and the prospect of the unions that Smith and Blewett will vote to pass memorandums and contracts to further benefit the unions executive members?

   

Hesperia City Council

Election November 2, 2010


Hesperia, California


    Eight candidates this year will vie for a seat on the Hesperia City Council. Some of these eight will be financed by well-monied unions and financiers. We will highlight three such possible candidates in this article.

    Russ Blewett, an unsuccessful city council candidate in 2008, is a former Building Industries Assoc.(BIA) president and former contractor. Mr. Blewett helped to author more than one political smear campaign against prior city council candidates and stated two years ago that if elected he would be the “...worst nightmare” for existing council members.

    Mr. Blewett formerly accepted a major campaign finance contribution from the Colonies developers of Rancho Cucamonga, who are currently under investigation. Mr. Blewett was a former council member in Baldwin Park, Calif., the location of one of the largest EPA cleanup sites in the nation. A couple of years ago he supported the failed application to put underground gasoline storage tanks next to the Mojave River, on Rock Springs Rd. The potential for underground water contamination is unusually great as is the possibility that Mr. Blewett will again support possible water degradation.

    Thurston Smith, an existing city council member, has failed to meet several election commitments from his 2005-2006 campaign. One of the commitments was to change the allowed speaking time of the public during city council meetings to five minutes. He voted against the item. Recently, during the August 2, 2010 city council meeting, council member Smith voted against sending a letter of support to Arizona from Hesperia, preferring to not “...get involved...” A wide variety of the commitments will be elaborated upon in future articles.

    Mr. David Holman, a relative newcomer to Hesperia, was formerly a town council member in Apple Valley. He was recalled by a vote of 7,018 to 1,014, due primarily to his desire for higher density housing than the two per acre preferred in Apple Valley. Mr. Holman is currently identifying himself as a travel agent who is acquainted with Mr. Ziggy Scharein. Ziggy, formerly of the now defunct A-1 EZ Travel on Main St. in Hesperia, lost his license due to a $50,000 “misunderstanding” with his clients. If elected, would a city council position be the sole means of support for Mr. Holman?

    Will any of these candidates take campaign contributions from developers, political "machines" or one of a variety of unions? After the first mandatory candidate financial filing we will report further.

Charter School Politics


Adelanto

10-28-2010 

    
Five years ago an audit was completed and forwarded to the county district attorneys office regarding the California Charter Academy(CCA) and a series of individual charter schools.

    Those persons being named in the audit were Tad Honeycutt, Steven Cox, and the now indicted former county tax assessor Bill Postmus as well as several others.

    For years there has been a political connection between Postmus, Mitzelfelt, Honeycutt, Cox, Kirk, Riley and Anthony Adams as well as others.

    Both Honeycutt and Cox were indicted as the result of the audit. During a review of documents relating to the Adelanto charter school several names became prominent such as both Bill Postmus Jr., (former county tax assessor) Bill Postmus Sr., Russ Blewett(current Hesperia City Council candidate), Jesse Flores(Assistant to county supervisor Mitzelfelt), Dino DeFazio(currently under investigation), Cox(believed to be Steven Cox, under indictment) and other persons who act in management and administrative capacities. As of noon, 10-26-2010, Russ Blewett was the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Adelanto Charter Academy.

Under the original CCA audit, a technique of doing business was revealed in which those manipulating the charter school money streams were making huge profits through the sales of goods and services back to the schools. There was also reference to buying and selling real estate and giving money from the schools to persons who apparently had not supplied any goods or services in exchange, and who may have had contracts under which no responsibilities were defined.

    Documentation regarding the Adelanto charter school reveals the same business structures as found in the CCA audit. It is alleged that Mr. Anthony Riley was given $6,500 in the form of a check from the Adelanto Charter Academy for which he was required to design a program and obtain young students for a new charter school. It was said that to this date Mr. Riley has retained the money and has not performed any service under a contract. Mr. Riley is currently a HUSD board member who was defeated in the primary election this year for the 59th assembly district.

    These charter school issues, it appears, will be investigated by the local media. Of immediate importance to voters in the November 2, 2010 elections are a couple of possible local connections.

    Russ Blewett, then Adelanto Charter School Board Member, and best friend of Thurston Smith, is a current candidate for Hesperia City Council as is Thurston Smith. Both candidates are receiving campaign funding from special interest groups and Smith has received money from at least three unions.

    These unions are attempting to "buy" seats on the Hesperia City Council from which they can attempt to manipulate new wage and benefit contracts for themselves at the expense of Hesperia taxpayers.

    That Smith is knowingly associated with Blewett casts grave doubts regarding the ability of either of them to make rational decisions for Hesperia voters.

Smith, Holland, Blewett Update


Hesperia, Calif.

10-21-10


    As time goes, there are cycles within the Hesperia city councils in which there are complimentary relations between council members and, at times, animosity.
    The city council of 1998-2002 had some rather contentious incidents. One council member, Bill Jensen, at one point during a city council meeting invited another council member to go to the parking lot and engage in a physical altercation. This matter may have had a racial motivation. Nevertheless, Jensen’s perception was to settle the matter violently.

    Also during that time period, a Hesperia City Council member during a regular meeting decided to confront a member of the public. The council member left his seat behind the dais and walked to the podium at which time he pointed his finger directly into the face of the public speaker. He attempted to use violence to solve a problem that should have easily been settled by talking.

The common theme here, a lack of sufficient skills to solve problems in the way that we would all expect our city council members to behave.

    Bill Jensen, from the sidelines, following his humiliating defeat in 2002, is now attempting to orchestrate and coach a political takeover of the city council. Jensen’s behavior while he was on the city council included hiring teenage boys to go out late at night with him to destroy and steal the campaign signs of his political opponents. This is certainly illustrative of Jensen’s lack of maturity.

It is believed Jensen’s personal goals will be to manipulate the city council so that he will earn large amounts of money through real estate transactions and perhaps favorable voting by council members regarding zoning and development issues.

Mr. Jensen has carefully selected city council candidates that fit his emotional perception of matters and perhaps fit his problem solving attitudes.

    One such candidate, Mr. Holland, was overheard in the last city council meeting to suggest to his associate that “...she better not get out of control in this meeting.” Holland, a member of the public, was implying that he had legal jurisdiction over the city council member.

    Therein lies a problem. Mr. Hollands full time perception that he has police authority over private citizens.

Mr. Jensen, no doubt, perceives this quality in Mr. Holland and that is why he is endorsing and financing him.

Remember, Jensen believes that, under all, is a physical solution to any problem.

Holland is currently accepting campaign donations from unions such as the San Bernardino Safety Employees Benefit Association(SEBA.) from which he has received $4,459. Why? Does Holland possess any unusual skills or education that would qualify him to be a city council member? Has he served in social or business groups so that over a long period of time the community has become familiar with his behavior? Does he have experience effectively governing a large group of people(Hesperia, population over 70,000)?

No, the union is not interested in Mr. Holland’s social history but they are interested in placing candidates on the Hesperia City Council who will vote a pro-union line and approve new union contracts and benefits packages. These contracts will require TAXES for financing.

    Unions do not donate money to candidates they know will not cooperate with their philosophy. SEBA is located in the San Bernardino Valley, miles from Hesperia. They are attempting to buy influence with money from outside of our area.

City council candidate Smith has abandoned his loyalty to Hesperia and has accepted money from three different unions including SEBA. Smith and Holland are now co-candidates. Running on a political campaign together with financing from the same union, which the unions perceive as a two for one bonus.

    This matter is very serious and should be considered by voters as a matter which will result in increased TAXES. The county fire union has donated to Smith. We should add that Hesperia’s fire district was over $1 million in debt during 2009-2010. Smith could have suggested to have the cities firefighter numbers match the 25% decline in our population over the last four years.

However, to do so, would have meant that Smith would not receive his fire union financing and would have cost him votes. The action could have protected the dwindling reserves in Hesperia’s general fund, which should be saved for emergencies.

Quite simply put, Smith is a pro tax and spend non-conservative candidate. As an example, during the 2008 election, Smith became aware that the proposed Victor Valley College JJ bonds would perhaps result in a 40 year public taxpayer debt of almost $1 Billion dollars! He was given access to official college tax financing documents to review and then was asked to take a political position AGAINST passage of the bonds. To this request Smith responded “...I can’t go against that. I’m a college foundation member.” Why would anyone believe that Smith would not pass more taxes?

    Smith chose to support the college at the expense of all of the taxpayers of the college district. He mortgaged our incomes for 40 years to fulfill his fantasy of political advancement through the influence of persons like county supervisor Mitzelfelt, Postmus, Kirk and Honeycutt.

    It is incredible that Smith can now campaign as a “no tax” candidate. Of course, he is practicing the age old idea of saying whatever needs to be said to win an election.

    Smith’s “best friend,” Russ Blewett, has his own group of financial backers and habits of abusing any politician who gets in his way.

Blewett’s “secret police” have been using high powered cameras to photograph his political opponents, which are members of the public! Invasion of privacy means nothing to these two. Whatever it takes to win an election is O.K. with them.

Blewett was formerly a Building Industries Association(BIA) president. During a recent county planning commission meeting, Blewett delayed a vote in order to first check with the BIA to see if THEY approved. Blewett is controlled, as are his votes, by the BIA. He will be the BIA’s contact person for favorable votes on high density and Section 8 housing.

    For the sake of Hesperia’s future, in a positive vein, consider a NO vote for Smith, Blewett and Holland. At a time when the public is loudly saying “NO NEW TAXES” this trio of tax tacticians are listening only to the piper of political gain and the fulfillment of their power driven personalities.

Voters expect change!

P.P.S.(Political Post Script)

    Three days ago concerned citizens placed several VOTE NO HOLLAND campaign signs on Main St. The signs lasted about a day and they were then vandalized and also run over by a truck.

    In 2002, Bill Jensen, then Hesperia city council member, was witnessed destroying his political opponents signs. The techniques of destruction were the same being used on the VOTE NO HOLLAND signs, currently. Bill Jensen appears to be the campaign manager for Bill Holland and although I have not yet witnessed the act of sign vandalism, I believe I know who is responsible.

    How could Mr. Holland, in good conscience and with the best interest of Hesperia voters in mind, have chosen Jensen to do his work? The connection between Mr. Holland and the union is now known and I wonder if the message of the Holland campaign will be that of union "bully" using his pulpit to intimidate that rare Hesperia person who actually engages in politics.

    My congratulations to the VOTE NO HOLLAND sign person(s) and I invite them to communicate and perhaps receive assistance.

    Smith and Holland are now both connected to Jensen.  

Hesperia City Council Race
Power and Money

Hesperia, Calif.
October 15, 2010

    The Hesperia City Council race includes candidates both with and without political experience.
Candidates Blewett and Smith have been in office before and they both have made campaign commitments, some of which they have not kept.
    In the past, a person identified as Frank Williams, a former president of the Building Industries Association (BIA) and an acquaintance of Blewett, has allegedly conducted political “smear” campaigns against political candidates and office holders. These campaigns often include photographs which have been purposely altered and highly inflammatory statements about the candidates which are not true.
    In an article in the SUN newspaper on October 13, 2010, Frank Williams is reported as currently conducting a “smear” against Janet Rutherford, a candidate for the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, through his Citizens Against Corruption committee of which he is identified as the treasurer. How ironic that he would identify himself as being against corruption.
    Now, lets consider the connection between Frank Williams and Hesperia City Council member Smith.
On the 7th of July, 2010, Smith signed a City of Hesperia proclamation
on behalf of Frank Williams in which it states “...hereby extend our heartfelt appreciation to Frank for his exemplary service...”
Smith signed the document and is the representative on behalf of the Hesperia City Council. We believe he did so at the request of county supervisor Mitzelfelt and without first notifying the other city council members that he was acting on their behalf. Smith threw caution to the wind.
    Clearly, this connection ties Smith to Williams and therefore the “smear” of Mrs. Rutherford. Smith approves of Williams political activities or he would not have signed the proclamation.
Political “smears” against women have been conducted in San Bernardino County at least since 1998. Some of the smears are believed to have originated from “young republican” members such as Bill Postmus, Anthony Adams, Tad Honeycutt and affiliated acquaintances like Frank Williams.
    When a woman “dares” to run for political office and it is known by Williams or his affiliates that the candidate won’t be politically cooperative, to their liking, the “smear” may be on. Smith has made it no secret that his ally is Williams and that he approves of his campaign practices.
    Shame on Smith. Willing to do and say things for power and money. He is currently accepting campaign money from unions and special interest groups and recently accepted donations from SEBA(the Safety Employees Benefit Association, union.) These groups have expectations for Smith’s votes on the city council which will represent ethical conflicts of interest.
The expectations will ultimately translate to more taxes for Hesperia taxpayers and a lessening of our quality of life and family values.
We believe that Smith is in violation of the City Of Hesperia Council Procedures Manual because of his political behaviors.
    Think about the disdain that Smith and Blewett have shown for female candidates and office holders.
Vote wisely my friends.

P.P.S.(Political Post Script)

    A caller alerted me to a large number of political signs placed on Main St. last week(10-11-2010 to 10-17-2010,) perhaps a dozen in all.
    This tactic reminded me of campaign activities in 2002. Then, city council candidate Bill Jensen decided to FLOOD Main St. with signs. In fact, he placed approximately 50 signs alone in a one block area on the south side of Main St. between 7th St. and 8th St.
His plans backfired. So many voters were upset with him that he lost his re-election.
    Now, apparently, city council candidate Holland is taking advice and perhaps an endorsement from Jensen. I understand Holland is placing ads in Mr. Jensen’s newspaper, but I have not yet seen them.
    Two days ago we received a political mailer depicting both city council member Smith and candidate Holland as political running-mates(Smith is attempting to sever his connection with his best friend Blewett.) Both Smith and Holland are receiving campaign funding from SEBA(Safety Employees Benefit Association, union.) in unknown amounts. This is yet another connection of union money to Smith and, now, Holland.
    SEBA and it’s believed president, Mr. Abernathie, have a reputation of “buying” politicians. Just one example was a combined donation from them to county supervisor Mitzelfelt, believed to be at least $36,500. Mitzelfelt was the chief of staff for the now indicted former county tax assessor Bill Postmus.
    Further, Smith is running on a campaign platform that stresses his “Dedication to Family Values.” We are sure we do not believe Smith’s definition of family values because Mr. Abernathie was formerly a county sheriff who was fired because of charges of unlawful intercourse with an under age female(Daily Press.) Smith has been aware of this matter for years and yet he succumbed to the temptation of SEBA money. Was there nowhere left for Smith to run and obtain money for his desperate campaign?
    There is a political interconnectedness between Smith, Blewett, and now Holland. Perhaps voters are angry enough about the influence of unions, the Building Industries Association(BIA) and the county supervisor, which represents an attempt to takeover the Hesperia City Council, that they will NOT vote for the candidates receiving the union influence money.

Hesperia City Council Election

Blewett/Smith Partnership

 

Hesperia, Ca. 10-6-2010

 

     The new team of inflammatory politics, candidates Blewett/Smith, have joined to assault any political opposition they view as blocking their takeover of the Hesperia City Council. They are receiving direction from, and are the shills for, county Supervisor Mitzelfelt. You will recall that Mitzelfelt was the Chief of Staff for six years for the now indicted Bill Postmus. 

     Blewett/Smith authored a letter to the Hesperia Star on 9-27-2010 in which they accuse the Hesperia Free Press of negativism. I might point out that their entire letter is negative, the very trait which they claim to dislike.

     Significantly, their letter does not deal with the political issues of the election or with their own political records, voting histories or alliances. They are attempting to distract the voting public and they hope that prior to the election they will not have to explain their tax and spend, pro high density development, and special interest and union alliances. Smith has now taken $1,000 from the county fire union and $4,000 from Desert Valley Medical Group, plus additional contributions.

     Blewett has a long history of abusive politics through his alignment with the Building Industries Association (BIA), as its former president. Recently, Mitzelfelt asked Smith to sign a proclamation for Blewett's long time campaign partner, Frank Williams (former BIA president.) Smith did so, without first consulting with the other Hesperia council members and consequently he is conducting city business on his own.
    
Smith's willingness to operate independently is a bad omen for the future.  If he continued on that path he may drift into the realm of city expenditures without approval.

     The word "NO" is in the minds of millions of Americans who are fed-up with politics as usual and candidates who will promise anything to get elected. "NO" is not symbolic of an attack on politicians as was characterized in the Hesperia Star. "NO" serves as a reminder that concerned citizens are monitoring local politics and that a way will be found to inform the public about many political issues that are not being reported.

     It required years to change the Hesperia City Council away from the politics of Honeycutt, Nowicki and Lindley. Now, Blewett/Smith want to return to the same bulldog dominance on any city council business.

The public is allowed to speak for only three minutes during city council meetings. The change from the former five minute public participation was made by Honeycutt, Nowicki and Lindley. Smith is so comfortable with this arrangement that he recently voted against any increase in public participation time. Three minute speaking is a technique to silence political opposition and ideas.

     The goal of the county Supervisor Mitzelfelt is to take over the Hesperia City Council and the business and culture of our city. High density development, the abuse of our high quality water, and continuing tax increases are the tools of their assault. Mitzelfelt receives huge campaign contributions from developers.

     Smith particularly has joined the Mitzelfelt camp. He was over heard to state when considering how to vote on an issue "...no, Brad (Mitzelfelt) wouldn't want that." That Blewett/Smith would ally with Mitzelfelt is reason enough not to vote for the Blewett/Smith partnership.

     During the Hesperia City Council meeting on 10-5-2010 the issue of the proposed sales tax ballot measure was discussed. At that time Smith denied having anything to do with the $100,000 expenditure for the consultant to complete the tax study.  During the second city council "tax" meeting, Smith stated that he could see the need to place the tax measure on the ballot. Now, Smith denies any involvement so that he can please his union and special interest group supporters. Mr. Smith was challenged on this issue by council member Pack who admonished Smith and reminded the public that Smith was indeed involved.

     Of course, Smith is campaigning as a no new tax candidate.

     Smith's sales tax behavior and ultimate vote against putting the matter on the ballot is interesting.  The proposed sales tax measure was given a great deal of publicity prior to the final vote and the public was very aware the vote upcoming.  Smith became worried that his Yes vote would cause him to lose votes in a re-election. So, he voted No.

     Just a few weeks later, a matter came in front of the city council regarding $6 million dollars worth of tax. Smith voted in favor of the tax. Why? It was safe for him to do so because there was NO publicity regarding the item prior to the vote. Therefore, the public would not be aware of Smith's actions and he felt he had little risk of losing re-election votes.

     The new Blewett/Smith partnership requires a very close look by the public.

     It is clear that voters are fed up with taxes and the last thing they want are politicians in office who cannot control their appetites.  

Candidate Smith Yes/No

 

Hesperia, California      

9-18-2010

 

     When in doubt, just say no. As written in PaveRoadsFirst.com, Hesperia Mayor Smith and council member Leonard said NO to an issue by voting against the public right to approve or disapprove taxes. They didn’t even understand how many votes it took to derail the item off of the ballot and then blamed their lack of knowledge on the cities consultant.

     Mayor SMITH is no stranger to raising taxes. During the past ten years, the Hesperia Water district has raised water rate taxes ten times. When Mr. Smith campaigned in 2006 he stated he realized that the water rates(taxes) should not be raised again.

     Unfortunately, when the issue of raising water rates came up again in 2008,  council member Smith just couldn’t say NO. Hesperia Resolution Number HWD(Hesperia Water District)  2008-01, was voted upon affirmatively by Mr. Smith.

     Ironically, the fourth of five raises under the 2008-01 resolution will take place on the day of the general election of 11-02-2010. The day the decision is made whether or not to vote for Mr. Smith. It was stated prior to the 2008-01 raise that any subsequent raise would make the water district “whole” for some time.

     On 8-17-2010, Mr. Smith voted in favor of a loan from the cities Redevelopment Agency to the “whole” Hesperia Water District in the amount of $6,000,000. In the long run, taxpayers pay. The $6 million will all have to be paid back by the water users of Hesperia which is grossly more money than the one half cent sales tax would have cost residents in years.

     The problem, the proposed half cent sales tax received a variety of publicity that the public read ahead of time so Smith voted NO. The $6,000,000 received no publicity and the public was not aware of the debt. Then, Smith voted in favor of the debt with little chance of public awareness.

     To bring matters full circle, council member Smith’s ploy to vote against placing a sales tax measure on the ballot was pandering to the chamber of commerce, a special interest, and the public for his reelection votes.


Board of Supervisors NOT meeting


San Bernardino County

August 28, 2010

 

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, I believe, has a normal mandate to meet once a week.  Even with the meeting frequency of weekly, business in front of that board is often hurried and the public is allowed only three minutes each to speak.

Multi-millions of dollars of decisions are regularly made and frequently there is little significant discussion or explanation by county “experts” to the public.

Meetings regularly break for lunch and then reconvene after lunch and run into the late afternoon.  On occasions, members of the public have waited until two or three PM only to have an item continued or delayed to another date.

Recently the board has not been meeting weekly.  Perhaps once every two or three weeks a meeting is initiated.  During some of the meetings, the testimony that the public would normally receive on an item from a county staff member or an expert has been eliminated.  Not much more than announcing an item and a vote by the board members takes place.

These examples are the very types of behavior that board members Mitzelfelt, Ovitt and Biane stated that they would avoid by becoming transparent (nothing hidden.)  They are anything but transparent.

One might ask the board members, if they don’t meet, would their salaries not be paid?  We have seen nothing in the press regarding the issue.

What do you think?  Are the San Bernardino County board members truthful enough to not take the pay or, for instance, will we hear first district Supervisor Mitzelfelt rationalize the matter and justify his pay even though there was not a meeting?

On second thought, we will probably not hear anything from the supervisor because of his habit to make NO public statements whenever there are serious problems.  His leadership is deplorable.

We wonder, if under highly unusual circumstances, the board of supervisors might not attempt to suspend the rules and meet in private?  Certainly that would be a Brown Act violation?

Perhaps the real reason why the board is not meeting is due to the upcoming general election on November 2, 2010.  If the board fails to meet, then they can not be criticized for the decisions that they are not making.  With supervisors Ovitt and Biane up for re-election in November, and Biane probably not going to win, the board cannot afford negative publicity.

During the elections in 2012, let’s all attempt to remember the lack of board meetings from 2010 and judge if Mitzelfelt uses the same electioneering tactics.

 
 

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (D.C.)

 

Hesperia, California 

August 26, 2010

 

     An old time black and white movie depicts actor Jimmy Stewart going to Washington D.C. and being consumed by naked politics. Had he stayed home he might have been more effective.

     Hesperia City Council member Thurston Smith campaigned for office in 2006 as a candidate by the people and for the people. He pledged not to get distracted by the much larger government around him such as other cities, counties and special interest groups.

     Well, council member Smith has been to Washington D.C. and he has become distracted despite his pledges.

     In 2008 council member Smith was made aware that the VV College was going to attempt to pass bonds, known as JJ, that when paid off in forty years, would cost the valley property owners the astronomical sum of almost $1 billion dollars. He was shown official JJ documentation but stated that he could not get involved in that.

     Why? Mr. Smith is a member of the college foundation and has also set up a fund for contributions to the college. Because of his close personal ties to the college(special interest) he refused to engage in government for the people.

     In 2010 Mr. Smith voted in favor of giving $30,000 of Hesperia taxpayer money to Victorville and the benefit of the college, his pet project. In attempting to build his political reputation he has drifted far and wide to impress many special interests who appear eager.

     Had Mr. Smith stayed home, he could have voted to use the money on a project in Hesperia which has been requested by the people for ten years.  The project, the synchronization of traffic signals on Main St., would benefit everyone who uses Main St. as a thoroughfare. It is a public safety issue and not driven by special interests.

     To pay lip service to synchronization, Mr. Smith directed his staff to place the project in the 2010-2011 city budget. As you might have guessed, the project has not been budgeted.

     I quote from the current edition of the Hesperia Star newspaper. Council member Smith: “...when there is no money in the checking account, you must stop spending.” “You have my commitment that I will continue to be fiscally prudent... and will not vote to raise taxes.”

     That, readers and friends, is not possible. Mr. Smith has not been, nor can he be, fiscally prudent. On August 17, 2010, Mr. Smith voted to give a $6 million dollar loan to the city water district to help fill a $12 million dollar hole which was created by not being fiscally prudent.

     On November 2, 2010 Hesperia water users will begin paying yet another water rate(tax) raise which was supposed to prevent the $12 million dollar debt in the first place.

     “Stay thirsty my friends.”

Blewett represents developers

 

Hesperia, California

8-20-2010

 

         Hesperia city council candidate, Russ Blewett, recently stated that he was adamant about turning the area around Rock springs Rd. and Glendale Ave. into a commercially developed hub.

         The hub would attract large amounts of traffic in a neighborhood where the residents have already stated that they wish their area to be quiet and rural.

         Why would Mr. Blewett take such a position? For at least two reasons.  The first is that he is taking instructions from the county supervisor Mitzelfelt, who wants a commercial area to feed the 97 home high density subdivision that he approved at Kiowa and Rock Springs Rd.  The subdivision will be in an area of 2 1/2 acre lots and larger. Even though the high density was objected to, Mitzelfelt approved the matter for his developer friend.

         The second reason is that the commercial area would be approved upon land that is owned by Blewett’s friend and campaign contributor, Manly Luckey. We will see if Mr. Luckey again contributes money to Blewett’s campaign.

         Residents of the Rock Springs/Glendale area have told Mr. Blewett that they do not want a development particularly that would store gasoline in underground tanks. Why? Even the double wall gasoline tanks leak and the Mojave River underground water in that area is only 80 feet down or less.

         Water quality and potential contamination is an issue about which we must all be vigilant and Mr. Blewett’s pitch that a commercial area would bring in sales tax ignores the large expense that additional sheriffs and fire services would cost to service emergency calls in the area.

         For those Hesperia residents attempting to maintain a traditional family oriented lifestyle, the question of Mr. Blewett’s allegiance must be raised.  If elected, he could not represent both the voters and the developers which would clearly be a conflict of interest.  As a prior president of the Building Industries Association, Mr. Blewett’s allegiances are clear.


Hesperia Unified School District
(HUSD)
Board Election 2010


Hesperia, California
August 20, 2010

     “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” We are in an ocean surrounded by water(candidates) but do we dare vote any into office?

     Fourteen candidates? A modern record? How many have honest, sincere motivations and how many are driven by the greed of politics and the need for power?     

     Several candidates stand out as noteworthy of comment and opinion.

     Incumbent Hardy Black has used the past several months on the HUSD board to moderate and attempt to manipulate free speech and to suppress public input into board meetings.  Approximately two months ago, Mr. Black was challenged to explain why three members of the public had not been allowed to speak even though they turned in request to speak applications.

     Additionally, Mr. Black is attempting to limit public speaking time to only three minutes as well as restrict certain categories of people from speaking altogether. This type of nonsense is decades old and for those of you old enough to remember WWII, think about the suppression of speech in Germany in the 1930’s!

     Chris Lindsay was a candidate for the HUSD board in 2008 and lost by, I believe, fewer than 200 votes. At that time, Mr. Lindsay’s political associates were not well identified with him.

     Mr. Lindsay then made a grievous error. He accepted $5,000 from the Colonies developers through a political action committee, The Inland Empire PAC. Other recipients of money through the same subterfuges were Bill Postmus, Anthony Adams, Mark Kirk, Anthony Riley, Russ Blewett, and Supervisors Biane, Ovitt, and Brad Mitzelfelt. The Colonies derived their money from an award by Supervisors Postmus, Biane and Ovitt for $102 million. That award and the Colonies are currently under investigation.

     Lastly, one candidate was named several years ago in what has become known as the charter school audit. Despite this issue haunting the candidate, who also ran in 2008 for the HUSD board, there has been no substantial information that the candidates name has been cleared or that the matter has been heard.

     Voters indeed have their work ahead attempting to ferret out morsels of truth to guide their votes to return integrity and honor to the HUSD board.  

 

Violence In Our City

 Hesperia, Calif. 8-3-2010.


         An article was run in the Sun Newspaper on 7-26-2010 regarding an incident of violence in Hesperia,  the previous day. We have been unable to locate information about the incident in the local newspapers.

         A resident, apparently walking in the area of Glendale Ave., asked an ATV rider to slow his vehicle. The rider apparently slowed the vehicle on the side of the road, turned around, and ran over the pedestrian. The victim was reported with serious injuries.

         The perpetrator was later found by the sheriffs in the Live Oak St. area and he was detained after a foot pursuit.

         Of importance to residents is that the perpetrator very quickly weighed in his mind the possibility of being caught and evidently felt that there was little chance of such happening. His perception of evading or breaking the law in Hesperia is that little chance exists of being caught.  The perception can be related to permissiveness.

         If we portray to Hesperians that our attitudes about matters are permissive then there exists more possibility that such events as the above may happen.

         We all play a part in creating the perceptions of immature individuals. That includes our city council.

         Several months ago, one of our council members attempted to get passed an ordinance to regulate smoke shops that also sell “paraphernalia.” The proposed ordinance was defeated by two council members, Smith and Leonard particularly.

         Main St. today boasts several smoke shops and the ones we have entered openly display items which could be used to aid in the consumption of illegal drugs.

         The perception that has been created to both people newly residing in our community and those that have lived here for sometime is that our laws are lax and we encourage the open display of potential lawlessness. These perceptions play some part in a resident deciding whether or not breaking the law is a serious matter.

         We are dismayed that our council chose not to be tough regarding potential crime.

         If we are able to regulate “adult” nightclubs then there must also be a remedy to discourage the openly advertised sale of potential drug “paraphernalia.”

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