By Anzell Lofas

Mayor Davis and Council Member Verder-Aliga want Taxpayers to pay for their vacations to the Philippines and Japan on an 18 Day sister-city junket. No one in the history of Vallejo that I know of except for Mayor Osby Davis’ vacation to Begamoya, Tanzania, Africa, last year has ever had their visits to sister cities paid for by the taxpayers. Davis said last year it was an “economic development” trip. What aBoondoggle. He spent three days in Dubai which is a city in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene, several days in Dodoma, the capitol of Tanzania, and only a couple of hours in sister city Begamoya. I am still waiting for the economic development report that Mayor Davis said would be forth coming from his trip. Our economic development officer did not go on the trip to sister city Begamoya where the main industry is making thatched roofs.

At next Tuesday, July 28 City Council Meeting, Item 8A on the Agenda asks for approval to pay for just such another expenditure again for Mayor Davis and now for Council Member Verder-Aliga to visit the Philippines and Japan. This after both of them, along with all of the rest of the city council members, except for council member Robert McConnell, voted to turn down the request to continue negotiations that were being made by McConnell who was in the process of saving us a million dollars. The council, sans Mc Connell, also passed an ordinance to refuse collecting the tax dollars that 76% of the voters approved and to shut down the Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in Vallejo. That very stupid decision will now cost the loss of over One Million Dollars in tax revenues and rising plus staff, legal and police personnel costs.

Now Davis and Verder-Aliga want the taxpayers to fund their vacations. Show up at the city council meeting and tell them NO. If they can’t afford their vacations, tell them to have their supporters take up a collection for them or stay home. This is a dangerous precedent that Mayor Davis perpetrated on the taxpayers last year. I’d rather fill potholes. How about you? Let’s put a stop to this.

Come to the city council meeting 7/28 and tell them No.


Note: All opinions expressed in this column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.


  1. Monica

    July 25, 2015 @ 2:31 pm Monica

    You are right on target, Anzell. The days of “perks” should have permanently ended with the bankruptcy.


  2. July 25, 2015 @ 5:26 pm Port Parrot

    A modest proposal:

    The $3,100 that according to the staff report that would be allocated to covering the travel expenses for sending them to Asia might better be spent on the following: The City has a fiber optic backbone. The City could spend this money on a video teleconferencing link to these two Cities in Asia. It would showcase the fiber optic connection that the City has and how it can be used to interact with our sister cities. The money could be used to set up a demonstration platform in the lobby of City Hall or some other prominent place downtown to show how high speed broadband can be used to engage with our Sister Cities and what Broadband can do for the downtown.


    • July 27, 2015 @ 6:25 am Great idea!

      Instead of wasting taxpayers money for personal benefit, we could do something low-cost & innovative that would also highlight a City asset. What a concept.


  3. July 26, 2015 @ 7:23 am Bong Hit

    This is very predictable. Look at the scoundrels in the White House, Michelle and Barack. Michelle has the largest personal staff of all the first ladies to date. Michelle takes scores of them along with her mother, kids and friends on lavish vacations, costing millions of taxpayer dollars, several times a year. They are a disgrace and set a horrible example for all of the mini-me democrat politicians around the country. Wasteful, slovenly jerks.


    • July 26, 2015 @ 2:24 pm Lies and the lying liars who tell them


      On 1 July 2009, the White House released its Annual Report to Congress on White House Office Staff, a report listing the names, position titles, and salaries of White House employees. Several days later, columnist Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times put together a blog post in which she used the White House report to identify 22 staffers working in the Office of First Lady. (Sixteen of the listed names were staffers who had the words “First Lady” in their position titles, five were staffers with the words “Social Office” or “Social Secretary” in their titles, and one was listed as a “Staff Assistant.”) Lynn Sweet’s list was posted to

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      the Last Crusade web site (and the Canada Free Press web site) with the introductory paragraphs (reproduced above) claiming that First Lady Michelle Obama had hired “an unprecedented number of staffers to cater to her every whim,” and variants of that version have circulated via e-mail with the subject line “First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants.”

      So far as the original White House report is accurate, it’s fair to say that First Lady Michelle Obama has about 22 staffers working for her, directly or indirectly. (Some other accounts put that figure at 24.) However, it’s grossly inaccurate to claim that the current First Lady has hired “an unprecedented number of staffers,” or to assert (as stated in the anonymously tacked-on final paragraph) that First Lady Laura Bush had but a single staffer working for her.

      The 2008 White House Office Staff List, issued during the final year of President George W. Bush’s tenure in office, includes sixteen different staffers with the words “First Lady” in their position titles — exactly the same number as that listed for Michelle Obama in 2009. If all staffers listed with “Social Secretary” in their titles are included as part of the First Lady’s retinue (as was done with the Michelle Obama example cited above), then Mrs. Bush had at least 18 people working for her in 2008 (not including any of the various personnel listed only as “Staff Assistants,” some of whom may also have worked for her directly or indirectly).

      In fact, according to Anita McBride, Laura Bush’s former Chief of Staff, Mrs. Bush had between 24 and 26 staffers working for her by the end of her husband’s second term in office. It’s therefore fair to say that the size of Michelle Obama’s staff is not “unprecedented,” but rather on a par with her immediate predecessor’s.

      Moreover, according to the Associated Press, several other First Ladies had larger numbers of personnel working for them than Michelle Obama does:
      A look at some first ladies and their staff sizes:

      Laura Bush: Between 24 and 26 by end of President George W. Bush’s term in 2009, according to Anita McBride, Mrs. Bush’s chief of staff.

      Lady Bird Johnson, whose signature issue was beautifying roadways, had a staff of 30, said Stacy A. Cordery, a history professor at Montmouth [sic] College in Illinois who studies first ladies.

      Betty Ford had almost the same number.

      Jacqueline Kennedy, who made renovating the White House her cause, had about 40 people on staff, Cordery said.

      Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/firstlady.asp#4vJfhlDfP4dcJ60r.99


    • July 30, 2015 @ 12:57 pm decentamerican

      Bong Hit:

      have you read your own responses — they appear to be filled with misinfrmation, hate, anger, etc. etc.etc.
      are you not ever sick of the many scandals and global shame many other Presidents/First ladies showered on the American people in the past?

      every President has, will continue to be paid at the tax payers expense for their time in office – travel and expenses. It’s one of the job’s privileges. Some appear to squander it without looking themselves in the mirror or asking questions like: “what will Jesus do” or “what will an average American voter do” etc.

      Perhaps you can try less bong hits and present realistic, practical options to the public to examine and vote! Perhaps you can also try to research facts by gathering information from the City Clark’s office by a formal request and present them as is to the public for them to examine and vote!

      Peace — may we all continue to learn and bring better people to the Council.

      How about: BONG HIT for City Council 2016 — seriously, I may vote for you.


  4. July 26, 2015 @ 10:41 am Whatup?

    Attention Vallejo residents
    Here’s a link to our future cement plant to be located right here on
    Mare Island Strait.
    Scroll down to page 13 for Environmental factors potentially affected.
    there is a an environmental impact study being done right now

    You will want to know more about this proposal, soon to become a reality



  5. July 28, 2015 @ 2:13 pm Others

    I think Michael Wilson went to Italy on the taxpayer dime, and Erin Hannigan may have had a taxpayer vacation also. I don’t recall the details.


  6. July 29, 2015 @ 10:01 am danny

    for gods sake, all of you hate Mayor Osby Davis

    just admit it


  7. July 30, 2015 @ 12:50 pm Ravi Shankar

    Vallejo Times-Herald: July 28, 2015
    Ravi Shankar: Vallejo’s light shines bright
    Posted: 07/28/15, 10:50 AM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

    Vallejo’s Sister Cities — Baguio, Philippines … Bagamayo, Tanzania … Akashi, Japan … Jincheon, South Korea … La Spezia, Italy … Trondheim, Norway — have blossomed over decades of friendship that extends beyond cultural, social, entrepreneurial and civic relations. Soon, it may extend to South America, Southeast Asia, as evidenced in this recent Times-Herald article.

    In spite of this rich and long standing history, most people in Vallejo are unaware of these simple but profound facts about such an important commission of our city government. Anyone is welcome to contact Yolanda Kim, President of the Sister City Association, whose primary purpose and mission is to support the Cities of Vallejo by supporting all of the Sister City Commission’s goals and activities. People of Vallejo can also contact Pelton Stewart, Chair of the Sister City Commission — http://www.vallejosistercity.org — and learn about the significant contributions made to enhance Vallejo’s image nationally and globally.

    On Sept. 26, these organizations will hold their Annual Dinner/Auction in Vallejo. It is an immensely rich experience that continues to strengthen the work of various volunteers of our community and the city government and builds tremendous friendships among visitor/student exchanges periodically.

    Please contact one of the commissioners or the board members to purchase these tickets and to become members. Together, Vallejo’s light shines brighter, longer in the nation and the world.

    Background & HISTORYof Vallejo/Baguio Sister City Relationship : (from the Sister Cities Website)

    Members of Vallejo’s active Philippine-American community began formal requests for the formation of a sister city relationship with a Philippine city as early as 1989. The idea was presented to the Sister City Commission by Dinah Villanueva and, over a period of several years, under the Chairmanships of Raymond Bell, Lynn Teifert, and Joel Harter, commissioners worked to select an appropriate city and develop the needed support from its leaders and citizens. Eduardo Yra was among the many locals suggesting the City of Baguio which was familiar to many locals who knew the area from visits while serving in the military. On April 18, 1990, Mayor Jaime Bugnosen and the Baguio City Council authorized negotiations with Vallejo. Those negotiations stalled shortly thereafter when, on July 16, an earthquake struck Baguio and local officials turned their attention to recovery efforts.

    It was not until 1993 when Dinah Villanueva, while on a visit, was able to convince the Baguio City Council to reaffirm their interest by formal vote on February 10, 1993 (Resolution No. 096, Series of 1993). She returned to Vallejo to win Commission approval and a recommendation to the City Council. On May 25, 1993, the matter came before Mayor Tony Intintoli and the City Council where, after presentations by Association President David Lindquest, Commission Chair Robert Sather, Lori Mabolo, Remi Aquitania, and Felino Ayson the Council formally entered a sister city relationship with Baguio (Resolution No. 93-250 N.C.). The event was celebrated with a cultural exhibit of Bagio’s arts and artifacts that continued six months at the Naval & Historical Museum and a series of training and observations tours involving law enforcement, health and sanitation, garbage and sewage, and business.

    On June 22, 1993, Congressman Bernardo and Gloria Vergara paid an official visit and were presented a key to the City by Mayor Tony Intintoli. On August 16, Mayor Mauricio Domogun officially appointed Dinah Villanueva as Baguio’s Representative and Liaison Officer to Vallejo. In November, Councilmember Cris Villanueva, who was born and raised in Baguio, and his wife, Candy, led a delegation that included Diji Christian, Carmela May, and Dinah Villanueva to Baguio to finalize details of the relationship with Mayor Mauricio Domogan, the City Council, and officers and members of the Sister City Committee. The delegation presented the Council with a silver tray and were given several wood carvings and a key to the city.

    On July 27, 1994, to mark the first anniversary of the sister city relationship between Baguio and Vallejo, Mayor Domogun led a delegation of 14 that included Elmo Nevada, Galo Wegan, and Ruben Panlilio from the City Council. Receptions were hsted by the FilAm Community. The Farewell Banquet was held at the Mare Island Officers Club. City representatives signed and issued a Memorandum of Understanding and received SCI Official Charters.

    Between June 10 and December 31, 1995, under the sponsorship of the Sister City and Cultural Commissions, the Naval and Historical Museum featured an open exhibit of Baguio’s arts. The opening ceremony and cocktail receptions were well attended by city officials and FilAm representatives. In September, Mayor and Mrs. Rebecca Domogum visited and met with Mayor Ininitoli.

    In 1996, Mayor Mayor and Mrs. Domogun again visited in advance of a delegation of 35 representing the Baguio Chamber of Commerce that visited October 22 and 23 to discuss trade exchanges and investment pacts and the possibility of forming twinning chambers.

    There were official visits in April and in November of 1997 welcomed by Mayor Gloria Exline.

    On April 25, 2002, Mayor Bernardo Vergara reappointed Dinah Villanueva as Baguio’s Liaison Officer to “enhance the sisterhood ties of both local governments.” In May, Mayor Bernardo Vergara and his wife, Gloria, four city officials, Peter Baautista, Tony Tabora, Elmer Datuin, and Elmo Nevada, City Architect Ignacio Espitona, Peter Rey Bautista, and Elmer and Edith Datuin paid an official visit to Vallejo that included golf matches with local leaders and a dinner reception at the Osaka Sushi Restaurant. In June, Baguio City Congressman Mauricio Dumogan visited and was feted at a dinner reception.

    In 2006, Mayor Tony Intintoli led a delegation of 26 on an official visit to Baguio that included the signing of a twinning agreement between the Baguio Chamber of Commerce and the local FilAm Chamber of Commerce.

    On May 11, 2007, the Association helped celebrate the official visit of Philippine Ambassador William Gaa to Vallejo.

    In 2009, Baguio celebrated its centennial as an incorporated city with several official ceremonies that were attended by a contingent from Vallejo. Dinah Villanueva, at the request of Mayor Osby Davis, delivered an address celebrating the bonds between the two cities. The visit was highlighted by the dedication of Baguio’s Sister City Centennial Botanical Garden that includes the Vallejo monument given as a gift to the citizens of Baguio.

    In September 2011, Baguio sent a delegation to Vallejo as part of an administrative and economic exchange forum. The group was led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and included City Councilors Betty Lourdes Tabanda and Erdolfo Balajadia, City Administrator Carlos Canilao, and 26 other city officials. Mayor Osby Davis, Commission Chair Dinah Villanueva, and Association President Paul Ligda were among those to officially welcome the delegation at City Hall. The visit ended after a dinner reception hosted by Larry and Lillibeth Asera at their office at 500 Walnut Avenue on Mare Island.

    In 2013, Baguio extended invitations to each of her fifteen sister cities to visit during their annual Panangbenga Festival in February. Lillibeth Asera organized the Vallejo delegation that included Paul Ligda, Elisa and Ward Stewart, and Dan and Nelly Buan. They were hosted by a committee led by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and Congressman Bernardo Vergara. The visit included participation in a joint forum with Baguio representatives and representatives from other sister cities, visits to Sister Cities Park and Baguio Central High School as well as the opportunity to participate in the People/Flower Parade before the thousands of visitors in the city for the Festival.


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