LAWSUIT PENDING — HAPPY NEW YEAR & WE’RE NOT QUITTING!!
“Once the city gets in your pocket they never go away”
Before I update you on our latest thinking, I want to thank everyone for their kind words of support during my recent health scare. I owe a debt of gratitude to the folks that kept our Stop the Dock Tax movement going in my absence. Special recognition goes out to all of you that attended the December 11th council meeting where the largest tax increase in the history of harbor users was levied upon us by the city council. Thank you to Pete Pallette for handling the press calls for the Boat Parade Boycott, and Kristine Thagard, our venerable counsel, for working tirelessly on our many legal options, and numerous others that keep our movement going.
I have been asked why I wasn’t at the city council meetings where the Dock Tax was imposed. Shortly before Thanksgiving I was stricken with Guillain-Barre syndrome. (ghee-YA-buh-RAY) It’s is a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Weakness and tingling in your extremities are usually the first symptoms. These sensations quickly spread, eventually paralyzing your whole body. After forty days in the hospital I am pleased to report that my paralysis is gone, I am a able to walk with the assistance of a walker, and I get stronger every day. There were a couple very difficult weeks as pneumonia set it in over Thanksgiving weekend. We are blessed to have Hoag Hospital in our city – my doctors were able to control the pneumonia and stabilize my condition.
Enough of my situation. I am ready to go, feisty as ever, and tired of our city government picking our pocket as they move into a new city hall that will cost $228.6 million in mortgage payments over the next 30 years.
Today our lawyer, Steve Baric, filed a letter with the city council outlining numerous violations of the Brown Act. The city formed a Harbor Fees sub-committee that continued to meet until early December of this year after the authorizing resolution terminated its existence on March 31, 2010. They met in secret, without public notice, and posted no public agendas. Sounds a little like Castro’s Cuba or the City of Bell.
THE ORGANICALLY FORMED COMMITTEE THAT WASN’T REALLY A COMMITTEE THAT NEVER MET BUT
TELEPATHICALLY MADE SECRET TAX HIKE RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WERE ADOPTED
In a spate of verbal gymnastics, the city attorney has tried to explain away the violations by saying goofy things like; “… it wasn’t a sub-committee it was an ad hoc working group.” Or, my personal favorite “… the committee formed and met ‘organically’.” Wow, that’s a doozy.
When then-Mayor Nancy Gardner replaced Ed Selich on the “organically formed non-committee” with herself the city attorney called it an informal “ad hoc” committee – as though changing the name avoids public disclosure.
Well, whether the sub-committee was an “ad hoc working group” that formed “organically” its work product and meetings must be public, according to California’s Open Meeting laws codified in the Brown Act. Every decision based upon recommendations of the “organic ad hoc working group” is tainted and must be reconsidered by the full council. The Dock Tax and all the new taxes on Harbor businesses would need to be PUBLICY reheard, and re-voted because they were adopted originally in violation of the Brown Act.
Mr. Baric’s letter gives the city a chance to cure their Brown Act violations before we take further action. We anticipate they will hunker down, circle the wagons, and reject our request to do things properly. They will continue the mushroom strategy of keeping us in the dark – until the judge tells them differently.
Once again, thank you for your kind words and effort to keep our cause moving forward.
Stop The Dock Tax
www.stopthedocktax.com Please check with our web site for the lastest information