By Ravi C. Shankar
Dear Mayor Davis, Vice-Mayor Sampayan,Council-members McConnel, Miessner, Malgapo, Ver-Aliga and Dew-Costa:
I found last week’s discussion on the city budget and Measure-B & PB was perplexing for two reasons: with a few exceptions, straight and factual answers were not aggressively demanded from the city manager; many contradictory and unrealistic/untruthful statements coming from the manager and his team were not challenged.
- Remember, those of you on council last year voted to support Measure-B/PB. I assume those of you newly elected members have been made aware of this. Many voters contributing to campaigns want the full 10-year PB cycle 2012-2022, and to the regular levels of $2 to 4 million/year.
- Mr. Kean acknowledges budget mistakes have been made and he needs to be accountable and responsible in correcting them. His department’s delays in releasing funds to Year-1 PB projects feels like a punishment to the PB process which has brought nothing but tremendous goodwill and National/Global attention on Vallejo.
- PB, like Measure-B and the rest of the City’s Budget items, needs to be addressed as an integral part of City of Vallejo’s Projects – not SEPARATE. You all appear to want the good recognition and the photo ops and the White-House honor, but not to give PB its deserved funding each year.
- I recommend that Mr. Kean take responsibility for these funding delays by asking you, the City Council, for a Special 1-Time Resolution to Approve Releasing the Funds immediately after the Community Voting this year. The Council then votes to approve this one-time special discretion now, so the public sees that PB volunteers are not to be blamed and Mr. Kean will appears to make up for accountability.
- Mayor Davis is right when he pointed out that there is no reason that the rule book for PB couldn’t be expanded/developed to match economics and the City’s needs.
- Regarding Councilmember Miessner’s request for a RESOLUTION which may “assure’ the public, it may end up as sweet talk at best, with a full potential of being ignored next year – just like so many others previous councils and the new councils have shamelessly indulged in scant disrespect to the public sentiment and service via close-door sessions.
- It is perplexing that Councilmember McConnell and Vice-Mayor Sampayan did not mention exactly what they support (both PB and Funding for 2015) As well, Councilmembers Malpago, Dew-Costa and Verder-Aliga who stated their full and whole-hearted support of PB but now don’t appear to have the integrity to defend their promise and commitment to its funding in 2015 and therefore, the people who elected them.
- Often people say: “watch what the elected officials SAY and watch what they DO later! People are not dumb, Councilmembers ! If you let the PB Volunteers and the Vallejo community down, you will lose your support base, your honor and your dignity – we have the power to take proactive steps to bring back accountability and campaign promises. PB got more votes by the people (4000 or so) than some of you in your election to the City Council !!
- By the way, I did not receive a response from Mr. Keen’s office when I wrote to him in May, 2014. I mailed you all a copy of the same and it was published in the local media for all to see and introspect.
Ladies & Gentlemen, please do NOT go easy and lightly on the Manager for his misguiding “recommendations” on PB, but demand facts, truth and factual accountability to do his job by not punishing a process that has done so well by any and all counts.
Thank you for your re-consideration and voting for PB and funding PB each year until 2022. You will see soon what a great legacy it will have for your own term in office and for our City.
Note: All opinions expressed in the “Primal Scream” column are those of the writer and not necessarily those of the Vallejo Independent Bulletin.