United Democrats Call for Vallejo City Council to Reject “Goodwill” Travel Expenses


Democratic Club Asks City Council to Not Spend Taxpayer Money While Citizens and Employees Continue to Make Sacrifices

 

United Democrats of Southern Solano County — Press Release

 

July 26, 2015 (Vallejo CA) — The United Democrats of Southern Solano County has issued the following letter to Vallejo City Council members and to the public.

 

Dear Mayor and Vallejo City Council members,

At the Tuesday, July 28 Vallejo City Council Meeting, you are being asked to vote on an item titled the “Approval of Travel Expenditures for Mayor Davis and Council member Verder-Aliga to Attend Sister City Events in Baguio, Philippines and Akashi, Japan, August 27 Through September 14, 2015.”

The United Democrats of Southern Solano County are asking you to vote, “no” on spending our limited funds to send elected officials on “goodwill trips” with little or no economic value while we balance the budget on the backs of taxpayers and city employees.

When Mayor Osby Davis was questioned by the Times Herald about his reasons for traveling to Tanzania using taxpayer dollars for his last sister-city junket, he said, “I’m not going to do anything but city business (in Tanzania).” http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20140215/group-denounces-mayors-tanzania-trip

Yet, the Mayor’s words and actions proved to be untrue. When Mayor Davis met with Tanzanian President Kikwete, he did so with Pastor Anthony Summers and other Ed Silvoso partners in tow, documented by  the Dominionist Leader’s twitter page,  under the heading “Our associate ITN (International Transformation Network) member Anthony Summers with Vallejo mayor meeting president of Tanzania n (in) imparting transformation”.  https://twitter.com/edsilvoso/status/439370234089058304

 tanzania

 The “Transformation” he refers to is Silvoso’s and his followers’ twisted theology of conducting “Spiritual Warfare” in which “Prayer Evangelism” is used as a weapon against demonic entities or “principalities” which rule over cities and nations and which are (in Silvoso’s opinion) the cause for things like crime, poverty, and sin, including homosexuality.

We have yet to see any “city business” that the Mayor conducted while in Tanzania that produced any direct, meaningful and positive result for Vallejo — and our economy certainly didn’t benefit from the trip.

So now, with a proven track record of costly trips at the taxpayer’s expense that haven’t produced positive business opportunities, Mayor Davis is proposing another international trip, this time with Council Member Verder-Aliga. Please, vote “no” against this extravagant expense and stand up for taxpayers. Vallejo is a city still struggling with financial problems. We taxpayers should not be forced to pay for members of the city council to travel on international “goodwill” trips when our own residents are suffering the effects of high crime rates, broken streets and infrastructure crumbling from decades of deferred maintenance. Add to this, Vallejo’s, IBEW workers and other employees have endured years of cutbacks and lack of raises to keep up with the rising cost of living. It is a slap in the face to Vallejo taxpayers and to Vallejo City employees.

We, the United Democrats of Southern Solano County, are asking the City Council to choose the wiser path of fiscal restraint so that while the City recovers, our residents can see their quality of living improve, and our lowest paid employees can keep up with the cost of living. Every single dollar counts in Vallejo. Goodwill trips for elected officials are luxuries that should be reserved for cities with healthy finances. Let’s stop wasting our limited resources and wait until Vallejo has truly recovered before considering making unnecessary expenditures.

 

 

Thank you for your consideration,

United Democrats of Southern Solano County

 

 

For more than 60 years, The United Democrats of Southern Solano County has represented Solano County and specifically focuses its attention on Vallejo, Benicia and Green Valley. United Democrats of Southern Solano County is an official Democratic club chartered by the Solano County Democratic Central Committee.



'United Democrats Call for Vallejo City Council to Reject “Goodwill” Travel Expenses' have 23 comments

  1. July 26, 2015 @ 6:24 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.

    Reply

    • July 26, 2015 @ 8:02 pm wharf rat

      Great suggestions and thanks for ”parroting” our fiber optic system , has a determination of ownership of our fiber resources on MI ever been finalised , I recall it was a component of a very robust CATS system installed by the Navy and I think it serviced Skags Island and had international conectivity with high security protections , it was identified as a public asset at base closure and was offered to our City for no cost .
      Re the travel expences I wholeheartedly support them with one caveat , that North Korea be required itenerary , think of all the money we could save and a new Council majority as well .

      re the

      Reply

    • July 26, 2015 @ 10:48 pm Anonymous

      The fiber optic network is virtually unusable because the city hasn’t maintained or improved the system by connecting it with any outside systems. It can only control our street lights and traffic signals.

      Reply

  2. July 26, 2015 @ 8:29 pm Bong Hit

    @Port Parrot

    Spot on and there are even more efficient ways for Osby and the discredited school board accountant to participate.

    Use Skype to join the ceremony remotely between Vallejo and the sister city. Costs NOTHING, NADA, ZIP. We have a professional IT department down at Santa Clara St. Let’s leverage modern technology to save money and enhance productivity.

    Reply

  3. July 27, 2015 @ 10:16 am Port Parrot

    @wharf rat

    Before the Yard closed, the Navy hired GST Telecommunications to install fiber optics on Mare Island, which was installed in building 605a on Walnut and 7th. They also built 2 miles of conduit from MI to the Central Office on Carolina and Sutter. Since the City gave Lennar all of MI south of G St. The answer to your question is complicated. GST went bankrupt and sold its assets to Warner Communications with the exception of the assests on MI. The City retained the assests on MI. Those assests were transferred to Lennar under the Master development agreement. The 2 miles of conduit to the Central Office is an opened ended question.
    @anonymous
    The City’s existing fiber optics network maybe in disarray, as the traffic signals are a testament too, it is the 23 miles of conduit which are valuable. If the city can assess the GST conduit going into the Central Office, which I think it can, and get a point of presence on the Internet, then the City can be a municipal utility providing high speed broadband at reasonable prices. That would be a key driver for economic development in the downtown and on MI.

    Reply

  4. July 27, 2015 @ 5:52 pm DECENTamerican

    Mayor of a City government, Governor of a State, President/PrimeMinister of a Country represent the people of that community/state/nation and they do enjoy certain privileges while they represent us the people during promotional visits for the cultural/social/business or economic well being of their city/state/nation.

    While it is very prudent to be mindful of the costs and spend cautiously with burning priorities first, people in governments and the community have always been on opposite sides how the money need to be spent. It is good to question them, bring facts, and present peaceful but persuasive arguments as to how something else can greater benefit the community first. On the other hand, the person questioning also needs to examine the goodwill that these traveling officials bring back — its qualitative and quantitative benefits over time.

    If you are one of the council members now, and is asked to be on that goodwill trip and promote Vallejo, would YOU spend your own money ? or, would you ask for sponsorship? Remember you may have to do this a few times during your term !

    For those who are unaware of Vallejo’s great Sister Cities, please review the following media release recently:-
    ===========================================================================================

    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:-

    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20150618/rota-vallejos-newest-sister-city

    http://www.vallejosistercity.org/akashi.aspx

    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 and learn about the significant contributions made to enhance Vallejo’s image nationally and globally.

    http://www.vallejosistercity.org/home.aspx

    On September 26, 2015 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.
    ==========================================================================================================

    We would love to know how does the critics who question this proposed expense contribute to the City’s welfare? We would also welcome them to become members of the Sister City Association and make pro-active contributions and let their fair and just voices be heard.

    How about the enormous overtime payments, exploitation of the system to amass unfair benefits, and prevent questionable waste at various levels in the city budget.

    We acknowledge some arguable facts in the critics and as an emerging community managing chronic problems, we need to take a long-term cost/benefit outlook. Keep asking questions of your elected officials and hold them accountable; do not hesitate to remind them of top priorities they agreed and serve the people who elected them. Thank you.

    Reply

    • July 28, 2015 @ 12:11 am FlyOnTheWall

      Asking people who disagree with you how they contribute to the welfare of the city is ridiculous. It doesn’t matter and is none of your business. You now what matters? WE ARE TAXPAYERS. And we don’t want our money wasted. And as a side note, being on the sister city commission does not contribute to the city’s welfare. It’s essentially a social club that travels internationally.

      And look back on the past five or ten years…which council members have asked the city to pay for their sister city travel? Which council members have gone on international junkets? I’m sure most people would find it amusing to see the Jump Start crowd bellying up to the taxpayer trough for city-paid vacations. Italy, Mr. Wilson?

      As for, “the enormous overtime payments, exploitation of the system to amass unfair benefits, and prevent questionable waste at various levels in the city budget.” What’s your point? That’s why we oppose Osby Davis’ request…the city DOESN’T HAVE THE MONEY because of the city’s screwed up political past and poor decisions (like this, but on a larger scale).

      “…Keep asking questions of your elected officials and hold them accountable; do not hesitate to remind them of top priorities they agreed and serve the people who elected them.” That’s what we’re doing, reminding them to STOP WASTING OUR MONEY on international vacations when their focus needs to be right here in Vallejo.

      Reply

  5. July 27, 2015 @ 6:41 pm Anne C

    I have nothing against the Sister City program, although I think we have more than our share for a city of our size. That said, that program does not warrant international travel on the part of elected officials. If it’s so important and so beneficial for elected leaders to go, they should easily be able to use private fundraising to pay for the trips. With the long shadow of bankruptcy still limiting us, our elected officials need to ask themselves, “what is the best and highest use?” for our limited budget dollars.

    Given the austerity budgets that Vallejo still faces, it is completely inappropriate for Osby & Roz to even ask for such a frivolous expense. Is “shared sacrifice” only for workers and citizens who must make do with inadequate City funds?

    If they have 18 days of spare time, I suggest Osby & Roz take a refresher course in Ethics, and that they give particular focus to the concepts of how public expenses should be tied to public benefit. For a private and personal benefit, use your own damn money!

    Reply

  6. July 27, 2015 @ 6:50 pm decentamerican

    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:-

    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/general-news/20150618/rota-vallejos-newest-sister-city
    http://www.vallejosistercity.org/akashi.aspx

    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 and learn about the significant contributions made to enhance Vallejo’s image nationally and globally.

    http://www.vallejosistercity.org/home.aspx

    On September 26, 2015 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.

    Reply

    • July 27, 2015 @ 10:03 pm Bill Goat

      Are you serious, *another* Sister City? And I’m sorry, apart from having someone from there who relocated here, what do we have in common with this small Pacific island?

      How about a Sister City relationship with a city that also had a closed Navy base? You know, common interests, we could learn from each other, etc? Hell, even Philadephia would make more sense. They too faced a base closure — but unlike Vallejo, they’ve actually rejuvenated their former base, and actually did create 10,000 new jobs (vs the mythical goal we have here).

      I’m sorry, but I think the Sister City folks are losing it. If they move to make Rota a Sister City, they move their program from one with dubious value to one that is laughable.

      Reply

  7. July 27, 2015 @ 9:19 pm Bong Hit

    Ridiculous. Vallejo needs pragmatic leadership not vacation junkets to economically worthless destinations. A legitimate expense would be travel to Ireland to get the facts regarding the cement company wanting to build at the old General Mills plant.

    Reply

  8. July 29, 2015 @ 11:45 am decentamerican

    You all have some arguably valid points…
    But have you bothered to look into the 40 to 50 years of history of those relationships …. how those relationships have fostered friendships with immigrants from those countries which in turn makes our nation of immigrants? how such relationships build bridges among the diverse communities in Vallejo?

    Stand by for facts to be presented that may make your harsh statements seem so petty and lacking vision and overall impact, long term.

    “United Democracts of Solano” …. ? That appears to be a joke, because you have already broken up into 2 factions who hate each other — just like the GOP.

    Vallejo Council-members receive roughly $300 a month in expenses during each year of their service and the Mayor does too, may be much higher ? They will travel, attend workshops, make presentations on behalf of all of us, locally, nationally and globally when needed.

    Your narrow-minded and unjust insults will neither stop these expense of TAX PAYER’s money, nor make positive impact on its welfare — how about asking them to negotiate certain specifics for our city during their visit ? (you provide details). We as tax payers did not ask the previous governor of CA who spent tax payer money to sleep with the maid servants and became known as the “boobingrabber” …. tax payer monies were spent on federal employees who spent it on hookers while serving the country/nation … tax payer monies were spent on buying $8000 shoes in the middle-east when a previous defense secretary traveled abroad on the clock, etc. Did you even ask them ? If not, why not? why only this Mayor of Vallejo?

    Mayor Davis presented some facts about past mayors who traveled and were paid/reimbursed for their trip and expenses because they are our representatives abroad! He also reminded us on several tangible and intangible outcomes from such trips, that financially/socially/culturally benefited our city and its people indirectly. Feel free to ask the Mayor’s office for more details, if you truly care.

    If you have lived or worked with people from different countries and cultures as an American, you MAY understand some of this. Otherwise, you appear to continue to be the angry white “elite” in our community, like the 13 or you who last night at city hall, all of whom disappointingly spoke one sided criticisms except the two speakers who were smart in bringing up repairs to the gifts from the sister cities — that’s a fair argument, asking for a balancing action by the traveling mayor and councilmember. Did you all even listen to Rozzana’s factual background response ? Go watch it again later, bonbhit — Flyonthewall–PortParrot — WharfRat–Anne Carr. Most of you are my friends who fought together on other issues this past 5 years — it would be good to have a beer with you all at the tap room and jointly craft a RESULTS List from the trip for the Mayor/Councilmember. May be they will consider it, try it, follow up on it and actually make some things happen during 2015-16 and beyond. THAT WOULD BE WIN-WIN FOR ALL OF US.

    Reply

    • silasbarnabe

      July 29, 2015 @ 5:46 pm silasbarnabe

      Please forget a 40-50 year history. This City went bankrupt in 2008 and emerged in 2011 so try to keep which elected officials went to sister cities ion the taxpayers dime in that timeframe.

      Reply

    • July 29, 2015 @ 10:53 pm Anne C

      Some clarifications from last night’s Council meeting:
      * Davis listed some Mayors who had traveled abroad, but he had absolutely not one iota of proof that the City had paid any of those expenses. Further, even if the City did pay some foreign travel costs in the past, what happened pre-bankruptcy and post-bankruptcy are two different things.

      The whole point for many of us — myself included — is that during our times of austerity when everyone has made sacrifices in Vallejo, it’s completely inappropriate for the Mayor & Council to be taking luxury foreign trips with such intangible goals. Shared sacrifice should apply to everyone, including elected officials. There are plenty of ways to spend that money with real and tangible results in Vallejo, and there are plenty of ways to support Sister Cities without funding a travel junket.

      *Regarding the tangible &/or intangible results from Sister City trips, again, there is the matter of pre vs post bankruptcy. Can we afford to do things the same way? Obviously not. Are there other ways that might engage even more people in Sister Cities? Yes — portparrot listed a very creative idea right here on VIB that would also highlight our fiber optic network.

      What about something like a Skype-Out that could links kids from ALL our Sister Cities? We could simultaneously engage our own kids, truly make international links, and just maybe create an event that could get some news buzz as well. But, oh I forgot — that kind of thinking is only relevant if you’re truly interested in promoting Sister Cities & international citizen diplomacy — vs trying to justify an international junket at the City’s expense.

      *Relative to other travel & trainings costs for the City, I have no problem with Council members going to civic trainings & attending meetings like League of Cities etc. Those kinds of meetings are relevant to City business, and not incidentally, they are a lot less expensive. On the other hand, spending 1/4 of the Council travel budget so a termed-out Mayor and a half-term Council member can take a junket is not the best use of that travel budget. It shows a selfishness and lack of imagination.

      Someone who really wants to put Vallejo on the map in a tangible way would leave no stone unturned in reaching out to Silicon Valley & SF tech entrepreneurs, and to vintners in Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Lake & Mendocino counties. There are meetings every single month in Silicon Valley of engineers of various flavors, venture capitalists, and every type of professional discipline. At about $40 a pop for a rubber chicken dinner, you could introduce Vallejo to a lot of entrepreneurial types who might just consider locating their latest endeavor here. Sure, it’s a long shot — but it’s a closer shot than thinking we’re going to get some sort of economic benefit from Tanzania. Regarding our wine country proximity — why not try to get a few tasting rooms down here, maybe walkable to the ferry? The official wine country is over-saturated with tasting rooms, but if we had some more here, it could be part of a great trip from SF to the Wine Country.

      * You mentioned Roz’s lengthy explanation of her trip. She was going to visit family, understood, and hey, why not visit our Sister City in the Philippines. Fine. Where she went astray is not bringing this before Council until the last possible moment before the trip — when she’s known about the opportunity since March. That alone shows bad intentions. Had both the Mayor & Roz started fundraising in March, they could have gotten the travel funds they seek from the community — which would have been the appropriate way to handle things. Saying that things were too up in the air to ask until the last minute is frankly not believable. Rather, it smacks of political gamesmanship, and is hardly a trait that inspires public trust.

      * The advocates for Sister Cites talk about building international goodwill, and one even mentioned world peace. Certainly, noble goals, and to the extent that individuals want to form a club devoted to international exchange, that’s fine. The issue is whether the City should pay for elected officials to go on goodwill trips in the context of austerity measures all across town. If the community feels strongly that they will get benefit from these trips, they can fund them the way all other charitable efforts get funded in town — with individual contributions & private fundraising.

      * I have to laugh about the presumptions you make about the background of anyone who has criticized the junket. Wow. You assume that we haven’t had any experience with other cultures, and further that we’re elites based solely on our skin color. Fascinating. I’m guessing you would never tolerate someone making sweeping assumptions about the background of people with other skin colors. That would be racist, and also incredibly ignorant. I can’t speak for others, but since I am the only person called out by name, suffice it to say, if you knew me, you’d be eating your words. Would you call being a foster child an elite experience? How about paying your way since 10th grade? I could go on and on, but the point is — if you are making assumptions about someone’s background on the basis of their skin color, you are making some rash & ignorant assumptions. Hmm, seems that someone who espouses the enrichment of foreign travel would have a more open mind.

      Reply

      • July 30, 2015 @ 12:34 pm decentamerican

        Anne C:
        =========================================================
        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 hosted 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.
        ====================================================
        My suggestion would be this: bring a SPECIFIC ideas and who/how those need to be implemented in Vallejo by when — if a majority of the people of all races and countries and religions in Vallejo embrace it , like the PB project — good for you/me and all of us.

        Your thinking of greater good/goals and actions to reach some of those goals are always appreciated –no matter who you are, white elite or other.

        May the divine forces of the universe continue to inspire you to be good and do good, peacefully and inclusively among all people.

        Reply

  9. July 29, 2015 @ 1:18 pm Bong Hit

    “angry white elite”

    You’re tone deaf to the political climate here in Vallejo and the nation in general. For decades we’ve suffered from piss poor democrat leadership in Vallejo. From the council, Mayor, county supervisors, State reps, all the way up to House Reps and Senators. The residents of Vallejo are beginning to wake up, they’re putting away their rose colored liberal glasses and seeing more clearly now. You’ll hear this from almost every corner of Vallejo. It has absolutely nothing to do with being white or elite but the anger is palpable.

    Black crime in Vallejo needs to be addressed by the people we elected to serve Vallejo. This pie in the sky sister city vacation is a complete waste of time. You delude yourself with the fantasy that other cultures genuinely want to embrace our sick and dysfunctional black culture that defines Vallejo more than any other single attribute. Black males have destroyed the school system. Whites are down to 9% of the total student population and falling. The black leadership in the school district is an abject failure. Making excuses for the black children that commit violence against their fellow students and teachers is fostering a climate of lawlessness and criminal behavior. This can be heard from responsible Whites, Blacks, Asians and other decent Vallejoans that see the situation in complete clarity.

    It’s a shame you’ve fallen for the propaganda put out by the likes of Al Sharpton and the other black racists. Black skin has nothing to do with failure, failure is the key element of failure.

    Reply

    • July 30, 2015 @ 10:22 am Publicus

      The problem is not Al Sharpston but Glenn E. Singleton, the founder of the Pacific Educational Group which has a contract with the Vallejo Public School District. PEG comes into schools like ours all over the country and teaches basically that all white people are racists, that AA people are “sun people” …warm, cooperative and in the moment. … That planning ahead is “future time orientation” …a white people trait not to be expected in AA kids. That acting out, disrupting classes or engaging in violence or bullying is all white people’s fault…especially white teachers who don’t understand their own racism. Even the head of the California School System got lambasted by the NAACP for being quoted as AA people are louder than other demographic groups after talking to Glenn. Where PEG goes, chaos follows. Schools in urban Saint Louis with similar demographics and PEG contracts have been on the news with violent melees just like Vallejo’s U-Tube videos. And, here is the clincher, parents in a Seattle school district took the PEG reverse racism charge all the way to the US Supreme Court where PEG teachings got slammed as completely racist for teaching that AA kids are not capable of sitting quietly in class without acting out, doing their homework and being respectful of teachers.

      Reply

      • July 30, 2015 @ 12:01 pm Bong Hit

        Just think about the thousands of children that have had their education compromised by this toxic and corrupt thinking. Thousands of innocent black children have been exposed to this nightmare that promotes excuses for violence and savage behavior and the democrat party enables this travesty. I don’t understand how otherwise good people can remain in support of a political party that protects monsters in the public school system.

        Reply

        • July 30, 2015 @ 12:23 pm decentamerican

          Bong Hit:

          you said….. ” don’t understand how otherwise good people can remain in support of a political party that protects monsters in the public school system.”

          As far as my life of many decades has taught me, GOOD PEOPLE don’t stop doing good things and support other good thinkers and action takers … because it is the right thing to do and the only thing to do. It is generally not conditional.

          then, ….”toxic and corrupt thinking” …. there are volumes on either sides of the equation, MORE — a hell of a lot more on the other side. This is an ongoing societal challenge my fellow Vallejoan and it needs life-long work — not to try it once and everything is okay.

          My suggestion would be this: bring a SPECIFIC set of thoughts and who/how those need to be implemented in Vallejo by when — if a majority of the people of all races and countries and religions embrace it like the PB project — good for you/me and all of us.

          Your thinking of greater good and actions to reach some of those goals are always appreciated –no matter who you are.

          May the divine forces of the universe continue to inspire you to be good and do good, peacefully and inclusively among all people.

          Reply

  10. July 30, 2015 @ 3:46 pm DisgustedTaxpayer

    Davis said, “I think that goodwill is very important.” Really? How about trying to build goodwill in your own gd city, Mayor? You don’t need to go overseas to build goodwill when you’ve done squat to build it here. You don’t give a crap about this city or us residents. It’s all about you and your religion and whatever benefits you the most.

    Reply

  11. July 30, 2015 @ 6:59 pm Anonymous

    Rick Mariani: Fiscal irresponsibility

    Tuesday night’s Vallejo City Council meeting was a demonstration of cronyism gone wild. The four Jumpstart members (Osby Davis, Rozanna Verder-Aliga, Jess Malgapo and Pippen Dew-Costa) shamelessly voted to pick up travel expenses of both Davis and Verder Aliga (who did not recuse themselves even though they got monetary value out of their own voting decision, on our dime).

    With our city struggling financially and so many cuts to salaries of dedicated employees, potholes not filled, homeless not fed, and a variety of other needs of our citizens, we have these four council members casually spending our money on a frivolous vacation trip for two of them. I have yet to see any monetary value which comes back to our city from a sister city trip of this scale.

    I hope the voters remember these four individuals when it comes time to vote in upcoming elections so we do not vote to put any of these four in a position to award themselves any more fancy perks at our expense. Thank God we have three savvy council members (Sampayan, McConnell and Miessner) who decided to vote correctly to not dole out public funds for this needless expense. Of course they were outgunned 4-3 in a shameless display of fiscal irresponsibility.

    — Rick Mariani/Vallejo
    http://www.timesheraldonline.com/opinion/20150730/rick-mariani-fiscal-irresponsibility

    Reply

  12. July 30, 2015 @ 10:18 pm Joanne Schivley

    For those who have been questioning:
    Prior to Osby Davis’ trip to Tanzania last year, the City of Vallejo has never paid for mayors, councilmembers and/or Sister City commissioners to travel to sister cities. The mayors have led delegations to sister cities, but always paid their own expenses as have councilmembers and commissioners. Occasionally, sister cities subsidized part or all of these expenses, but not Vallejo. The trips were not touted as economic development – they were promoted as cultural exchange.

    Reply

    • August 17, 2015 @ 2:17 pm decent american

      So far, statements have been made on both sides of the issue — city hall and citizens.

      We need to request the City Clerk Abrahamson and Mayor’s Staff to place before the public FACTS on the above, especially as how former Councilmember Shivley has summarized it. This needs to be verified with formal statements from Pelton Stewart, President of VSCC and Yolanda Kim, President of VASA.
      Then, compare these apples with the apples stated by the mayor at the city hall meeting.

      Each untruthful party then need to have the humility and the decency to admit they were wrong and made a mistake and apologize to the public.

      Both the mayor and the city manager (without verifying facts) instantly dismissed “THEY HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY REQUESTS FROM THE SISTER CITIES ASSOCIATION & COMMISSION” What BS…

      During 2014-15, both Presidents Kim of VSCA and Stewart of VSCC, in presence of City Hall Liaison = Rozzana Verder-Aliga made repeat written/emailed requests on some of these issues, and were also sent to the city manager’s office. These are documented in the minutes of the meetings during the past year.

      How sad and indifferent that the mayor and the city manager dismissed as “no, we didn’t receive anything”. This may be coming back to haunt them and even cost them their jobs in the 2016 elections. People are better than that dismissive, deceptive, untruthful statement coming from authority.

      And why doesn’t the City Clerk, City Attorney and other related officers fail to make any factual statements at that time OR bring researched facts back to the council at the next time ?

      Reply


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