Postpone the PB Vote


Dear Vallejo City Council :

We all feel the suffering from the mixed damage across the city homes and businesses/churches from the weekend’s earthquake.

The people of vallejo stand by their Mayor & Manager/Council at times of need to mobilize, coordinate and assist various gallant people who are bringing relief and safety. We all pray for swift success on your emergency actions to help people cope with this act of nature.

Having said that, as a member of Vallejo’s Community, I plead the following to each one of you with reference to the many inconsistencies with the recent PB process in progress so justly brought to your notice by Anne Carr (link) &  Marti Brown (link) through their emails:-

1) PB Rulebook & City Manager Discretion:

Ann is Absolutely right,  this is unacceptable and totally against the spirit and mission of PB

2) Interpretation of Private Property Clause:

Ann is right again…the City Attorney has an obligation to apply these rules consistently without compromise and bias, and can not be apparently pressured by the Mayor or the Manager.

3) Inconsistent PB Vetting Results, PB Steering Committee:

Ann is right again — What part of these clarifications (honor the goals of PB and engage the Community and Empower Citizens) doesn’t the PB staff and City Manager/Attorney DOES NOT UNDERSTAND?   This is completely confusing and mysterious and sad to over 5000 PB volunteers — It will deeply demoralize many at the Expos and Voting + National Conference right here in Vallejo.

By his own actions on June-24th, the City Manager wants the delays from 2012 funding and the delays in getting agreements in place (faults on both sides) the City wanted to “TAKE TIME TO GET PB RIGHT”.

Current situation with the Vetting of Projects is NO EXCEPTION HERE —  to suit the government’s convenience at the cost of the People – NOT ACCEPTABLE IN A DEMOCRACY, NOT IN VALLEJO, especially NOT NOW !!

In Summary,
1) Vetting criteria should be consistently applied (across PB & other City projects)
2) PUBLIC  should be allowed to determine value, not City staff  (staff just serves logistics, compiles data, communicates, coordinates, etc).

Thank you for your consideration.  Please vote at today’s City Council Meeting to resolve this matter consistently, and postpone the Voting to bring justice to the people by balancing the criterion and public’s own value of projects for their neighborhood.

Respectfully,
Ravi Shankar

Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.


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'Postpone the PB Vote' have 9 comments

  1. August 28, 2014 @ 7:58 am Anne

    FYI, text of email sent 8/26 7am to City Council members
    Dear City decision-makers,
    Something got garbled in getting my request for an Appeal of a PB vetting decision onto tonight’s City Council agenda.
    I had requested an Appeal of the decision regarding the Mira Roof proposal — but the item is listed on tonight’s Council agenda as a request to change the PB Rulebook.
    That’s not what I requested, nor do I think it’s necessary in order to grant an Appeal Hearing.

    PB RULEBOOK & CITY MANAGER DISCRETION
    Many steps have been taken in the PB Process without specifically having those steps enumerated in the PB Rulebook. The City Manager has the discretion and authority to construct a PB evaluation process that is fair. At some point PB staff and the PB Steering Committee could choose the option of amending the Rulebook to specifically allow for an Appeals Process — but the fact that an Appeal Process is not mentioned does not exclude it.

    INTERPRETATION OF PRIVATE PROPERTY CLAUSE
    Regarding the nut of the issue, we are also not requesting a change in the Rulebook regarding private property. Rather we are appealing an interpretation of the private property clause, and whether that should apply to a bonafide 501(c) non-profit. The Rulebook does not say that a non-profit is ineligible for capital improvement projects. To interpret private property that way is inconsistent with other City projects, and outside what the PB Rulebook says.

    INCONSISTENT PB VETTING RESULTS, PB STEERING COMMITTEE
    One way to resolve some of these issues would be to enlist the PB Steering Committee to review an Appeals of PB vetting decisions. In support of this, in addition to the Mira Roof Appeal, there are at least 14 PB proposals for which PB vetting criteria was applied inconsistently. Examples: commercial kitchen — allowed for Omega Boys & Girls Club, not allowed for City Museum. Project coordination — allowed for 3 Public Works projects, not allowed for ABC Arts, & After School Music. Scope and defined public benefit — loose standards allowed for ReBranding, Homeless Shelter, & Summer Intern Program, but narrow standards applied to Workforce Development for Adults, Entrepreneurship, Vocational Training. In short, between the inconsistencies in applying project criteria, and the scale of projects declared ineligible (15 out of 42, more than one-third), PB vetting warrants a major review.

    This would take more time than the PB Process currently allows, but it would be better to delay the ballot and voting rather than go forward with wildly inconsistent vetting decisions, and also an unclear process for appeals. The City completely controls the PB Process, and does not need it to dovetail with any other election timelines. In order to honor the goals of PB — engage the community, and empower citizens — I think it behooves the City to take the time to get PB right. The goal is to engage the community, not further disillusion them about city government. The PB Process needs to be fair and transparent for everyone, and right now, it falls short.
    Anne

    Reply

  2. August 28, 2014 @ 12:04 pm Gatsby Lewis/Rosie Goldberg

    We have taken the liberty to cut and paste a great email sent by PB volunteers — the right is not over yet, mayor, manager, attorney and some council have FOULED big time on Vallejo People and VallejO PB. It shall be fixed!
    ============================================================================================
    Hello Karimah, The PB Vallejo has scheduled a Special Meeting for this evening to discuss the City Council decision that was made at Tuesday night’s Council Meeting, the vetting process, and what our next steps will be. The meeting is at the Sister City Room on the First Floor of the John F. Kennedy Library. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm.

    John De La Torre
    In a message dated 8/28/2014 8:17:44 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time, karahkarimah@yahoo.com writes:
    Thank you Katy.

    Dear Mr Del La Torre:

    The Steering Committee must find the moral courage to lead in the face of the powerful and answer fully the hard questions people are asking.
    1. As mentioned Tuesday night at the City Council Meeting by a Steering Committee member, “private property” was never meant to exclude nonprofits working to the common good.
    The example of the Mira, late in the game, rejection this year after being on the ballot no less last year and finishing sixteenth, speaks volumes to system flaws.

    2. The steering committee must question how City staff could exclude so many projects so late in the game.
    What were the three PB staff doing to help ensure project eligibility?
    Why is there an apparent disconnect between the three PB staff and City Staff and how did this effect project eligibility.
    Where was the Steering Committee before, during and after City Staff rejected so many projects?

    Taking the Mira as an example, not once was eligibility ever raised which leads to the conclusion that the three PB staff “believed” it eligible.

    What other projects have been affected by the three PB staff “mistaken” beliefs. Were there projects that never made it through the application process because of flawed information?

    3. The steering committee has to review every rejected project to ensure transparency and consistency of rule book application. You have a moral duty to do this.

    If this is not done the system is not credible and by extension, with my apology, the Steering Committee.

    I was horrified to listen to a Steering Committee member respond to the serious allegations raised at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting
    that it was very arduous to arrange voting venues and consequently the schedule must stand.

    The schedule as it stands must be delayed to allow a full and detailed review. Credibility is at stake. To act otherwise can only be interpreted as the Steering Committee colluding against the people they were designed to represent in a fair and impartial way.

    As a PB fan, PB worker and PB delegate I am not alone in urging you and your Committee to see the work before you as the only way to guard the long term viability of PB in Vallejo.

    Please rise to the occasion.
    Karimah Karah
    =========================================================================================
    On Aug 27, 2014, at 8:09, Katy Miessner wrote:

    > Karimah, I think John Del La Torre, chair of the SC, may be working on setting a meeting today. John’s copied here.
    > K Karah ==========================================================================
    > Joey, can the steering committee call an emergency public meeting? Please?
    =====================================================================================
    > There has to be leadership here and there is only you.
    >
    > PB means so much to so many in Vallejo but the experiment has been manipulated to the point of a caricature; I really don’t just speak for the Mira here, what happened to the Mira just illustrates how desperately corrupt and arbitrary the process has likely become – and if it hasn’t, let’s let the people see it and see it soon enough to continue wholeheartedly.
    >
    > When a steering committee member in the face of a public cry of a lack of transparency and manipulation notes that the voting venues have been booked and can’t be changed what confidence can we have going forward particularly since the steering committee was designed to be the peoples’ champion – silence here is wrong.
    >
    > I have been a committed PB fan from the start, so many of us were. What happened?
    >
    > Please call a PUBLIC emergency steering committee meeting as
    > soon as humanly possible, the City Council needs your help. We, “the people” need your help. PB needs your help.
    > Please.
    > Karimah Karah
    =============================================================================================
    We have taken the liberty to cut and paste a great email sent by PB volunteers — the right is not over yet, mayor, manager, attorney and some council have FOULED big time on Vallejo People and VallejO PB. It shall be fixed! Gatsby and Rosie

    Reply

    • August 28, 2014 @ 4:21 pm wharf rat

      1 Notwithstanding the many projects turned down with no explanation , the MIRA roof rehabilitation is not a capitol improvement project rather is is a desperately needed emergency repair . This building and programs is supports will cease to exist if this structure continues to be flooded every time it rains . A dry MIRA will indeed be an important benefit to our community , for decades to come , this completley volunteer facility has been plugging along for decades with ZERO public funds , only now out of desperation do they ask for some help to save this historic structure . A through review of PB funding priorities and methodologies is obviously needed , before moving forward . What is the point of having the public vote on projects when their choices are so limited ..

      Reply

      • August 28, 2014 @ 10:03 pm Bong Hit

        WR, I agree that Mira is a unique asset in Vallejo and worth preserving. It’s a jewel that most Vallejoans have not yet discovered. The performances are AMAZING!

        Where can the taxpayers view the details of this proposal? Is there some information on the cost and scope of the work required for the building repairs? Do they have an estimate from a roofer for the repairs?

        It may turn out that the structure is not cost effective to support going forward. Would it be even conceivable to consider using a more modern facility? Perhaps the theater at Jesse Bethel. as a brainstorm idea?

        Reply

      • August 29, 2014 @ 1:03 am wharf rat

        like so many Vallejo non profits , the people who put their , sweat , blood ,and Soul into projects are so often Eclipsed by Our Staff .. WHAT a BUMMER … I n fact Staff is a real deal killer ….. this is nothing,new ……………… Staff has their own agenda , and it is the , raping and Profitingier , via , Admi istrative , rippofs , of Public funds … That They think they can
        get away with …….A time will come when ,the Populace will rise up Take control of Our City government ….. The first
        IDIOT TO be removed is OSBY DAVIS the main ,carrier , and Staff infection of Epedemic , proportions …
        A STAIN AND a n idiot that needs to , spare Its , populace , and Subjecs to Real Governance , needs to ,take a trip at our expence to North Korea …… One way …. All inclusive ….. coach …Per diem FIVE BUCKS A DAY , FOR ONE WEEK ……

        I

        Reply

        • August 29, 2014 @ 1:12 am WHARF RATwharf rat

          like so many Vallejo non profits , the people who put their , sweat , blood ,and Soul into projects are so often Eclipsed by Our Staff .. WHAT a BUMMER … I n fact Staff is a real deal killer ….. this is nothing,new ……………… Staff has their own agenda , and it is the , raping and Profitingier , via , Admi istrative , rippofs , of Public funds … That They think they can
          get away with …….A time will come when ,the Populace will rise up Take control of Our City government ….. The first
          IDIOT TO be removed is OSBY DAVIS the main ,carrier , and Staff infection of Epedemic , proportions …
          A STAIN AND a n idiot that needs to , spare Its , populace , and Subjecs to Real Governance , needs to ,take a trip at our expence to North Korea …… One way …. All inclusive ….. coach …Per diem FIVE BUCKS A DAY , FOR ONE WEEK ……

          I

          Reply

  3. August 29, 2014 @ 2:10 am Anne

    8/18 — Miracle — the PB Steering Committee decided tonight that they’d like to actually steer and influence PB — and have proposed that:
    1) There be an Appeals Process to the city’s PB Cycle 2 vetting decisions (that appear to be wildly inconsistent); and,
    2) That the City delay the vote to allow for a review of proposals by the PB Steering Committee that the Committee is entitled to do, per the PB Rulebook. ( the vetting decisions shocked the PBSC almost as much as Budget Delegates.)

    The vote tonight from the PB Steering Committee is that these recommendations go forward to City Council for the 9/9 meeting.

    HALLELUAH!

    This doesn’t mean that the Council will agree with appealants and the Steering Committee. It also doesn’t mean that the City Council will accept the Steering Committee’s authority — but since a review by the PB Steering Committee is specified in the PB Rulebook — and it did not happen — anyone challenging the PBSC’s authority has a battle. Granted, the City and PB=haters have held most of the cards all along — but there is still time for a Community Uprising to make a difference.

    What all this means is that if PB criteria was narrow, inconsistent, capricious and even subjective — there will be an opportunity to redress that. More proposals might make it onto the PB ballot the way the teams intended. More people might actually get to *participate. * Oh yeah, where have I heard that term? Right, the raison d’etre of the whole program; yeah, I guess that’s important!

    Do not be naive — the City and Osby is likely to fight this So, pull on your grown-up panties, and get ready to battle if you love PB like I do. Send your emails next week; if you get them in by Wednes am 9/3, ask that they be included in the Council packet We’ll see you in Council chambers on Sept 9 — we’ll be waiting for you!

    Reply

    • August 29, 2014 @ 2:12 am Anne

      typo, it’s late, make that 8/28

      Reply

  4. Monica

    September 5, 2014 @ 5:42 pm Monica

    The Bay Terrace Theater and the Mira Theatre Guild have long been focal points for performing arts here in Vallejo. The MTG exhausted volunteers and funds during a lawsuit about ownership of the theater building and administration of the non-profit corporation. As a former board member, the work that this group does on behalf of this community is unique. Where else can one see and hear opera on a regular basis? How often have you seen plays at the BTT over the years? What other non-profit would step outside of their original mission to support the community at large with low-cost meeting places and most recently, administration of funds on behalf of two organizations who provide the only homeless day center in Vallejo? Then there is the historic aspect of the building as part of the 1918 Bay Terrace subdivision built by the US Housing Corporation to provide housing for shipyard workers in the Edwardian Era.

    Steering Committee, take the helm and do your job.
    City staff, fulfill your commitment to the citizens whom you serve.
    City council, heed the request of your constituency.

    Postpone the PB vote and investigate irregularities that have been revealed by Anne Carr and Karimah Karah.

    Reply


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