Thursday, October 7, 2010


Murrieta City Councilman Gary Thomasian went and did it now.
In an interview with The Californian, Thomasian outed the Western Riverside County Regional Conservation Authority and his own council for conspiring to ignore more than 100 property owners, known as Murrietans for Quality Life, rightfully upset by the abuse of their property rights by government.
He's a member of both bodies: an authority appointee (in fact, chairman this year) and the Murrieta City Council.
The way this violation of the people went down was, the council secretly voted unanimously not to meet with the residents, and then instructed the city manager to convey to the authority the city's desire for it to do likewise.
He did. It did.
Also on the sly.
The council justifies its cowardice, citing Calvary Chapel's pending suit that charges the two bodies with extortion. The church seeks $25 million recompense.
The church claims the council and the authority tried to hold it up for the majority of its 118 acres in return for permission to develop the remainder. The church had intended to create a 95-acre campus.
Regardless of the politics, the cliched larger problem is transparency and accountability.
It's worth noting that authority members are not elected, but according to the Joint Powers agreement, must be elected to a position on the body ---- like the LAFCOs and many of the other outfits that take away our say over our lives at our expense ---- that appoints them. All five supervisors sit on it.
Anyhow, Thomasian has done a rare thing in opening the inside game to scrutiny.
The ubiquitous "they" are cringing.
Upon Thomasian's spilling the beans, some of the "they" in this case, namely Randon Lane and Doug McAllister, the two incumbents not up for re-election, refused to endorse him and threw their weight to a challenger.
Lane reportedly because Thomasian outed them. McAllister felt "uncomfortable." Yeah, no kidding.
Certainly the council has ducked its constituents' darn good questions about this outrageous and costly (up to six figures for a landowner) scam by which their rights are usurped.
For whatever reason, Thomasian finally took exception to this seizure-by-fiat of the landed's rights and said "No."
Come to think of it, if those residents paid for a lawyer rather than fees ...


Anonymous said...

City Council Member Lashes Out At Private Citizen

Bob Kowell knows he’s not the most popular person at Murrieta City Hall. His Murrieta Initiatives C, D, and E has drawn sharp criticism from the members of the city council.

Rick Gibbs is an entrenched city council member, and former mayor, of Murrieta. Mr. Gibbs was one of the eight candidates present at the Murrieta City Council Candidate’s Forum at The Colony at California Oaks on Tuesday night.

The audience was stunned when Rick launched into a personal attack against Bob Kowell during the forum, pointing Mr. Kowell out in the second row, proclaiming that Kowell’s initiatives were the result of jealousy over incomes, and anger that candidates of the past who supported Mr. Kowell’s initiatives did not win their elections.

As the drama unfolded, some people in the audience sat stunned, while others actually applauded Rick Gibbs’ unethical attack. Mr. Kowell simply sat there, refusing to take the bait, and allowed Mr. Gibbs to continue his personal attack against him without retaliating.

Rick Gibbs did not seem to realize what he had done wrong, and at the end of the forum brushed by Douglas V. Gibbs, a candidate that supports Kowell’s initiatives, without even a word, or a handshake, as Douglas extended his hand.

Outraged by Rick Gibbs’ behavior, Douglas V. Gibbs called Rick’s actions unethical, and uncalled for. “City Council members,” said Douglas, “are supposed to be serving the citizens of the city, not verbally attacking them. Frankly, I was surprised about what I witnessed. Rick Gibbs claims to be a stalwart member of the community, yet verbally attacked Mr. Kowell without provocation.”

When the forum ended, Rick Gibbs vanished quickly.

“If city council members are supposed to serve the people of the city,” Douglas Gibbs added later, “Rick Gibbs failed to serve as an example of service by attacking Bob Kowell. It is one thing to be against the initiatives, but it is another to personally attack someone verbally in front of all those people. Surely, the code of ethics he swore to uphold would not condone such actions.”

Douglas Gibbs also said he thinks Rick’s anger is rooted in not only his opposition to Murrieta Initiatives C, D, and E, but also in past disputes he has had with Mr. Kowell.

Bob Kowell indicated that he did not feel threatened by Rick Gibbs’ actions, but that Rick’s outburst was not consistent with the kind of behavior a city council member is supposed to portray.

Anonymous said...

C, D and E are excellant measure and very good for this community. C sets term limits. We all want term limits in Washington DC and the same should be here. We do not need career politicians ruining this city.

Yes on D means the city council does not get the freebies and trips to Las Vegas with their families on the taxpayers. And free benifits like: :An earlier version of this column incorrectly reported when Murrieta City Council members stopped eating dinner paid for by the city on meeting days. The practice ended months ago, Councilman Gary Thomasian said." (Press Enterprise July 26,2010). Why such a large budget of of 255,895 for the City Council? There is no breakdwon on the Murrieta web site either.

YES on E - According to the Murrieta Web site, the City Manager makes $210,011, but the League of Cities posted his salary as $241,618. A 10 percent raise was given and then a 5% cut was taken. The figures do not add up. Take the League of Cities w2 posting and then take a 5% cut, it comes out to $234,287.10. The figures do not add up! We were told the contract between the city and City Manager is posted on the Murrieta web site. I spent one hour and cannot find it. I conclude it is not there or hidden so no one can find it. Yes several city council people told me it was there.

As far as Bob Kowell, attack the one honest caring person to cover up the salaries and compensation. Bob is doing a good thing for this city.

If this kind of garbage is running the city or supporting the city council, it tells me we have one major problem here in Murrieta.

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