by Lou Binninger

Sutter County Supervisor Jim Whiteaker complained that in a recent Territorial Dispatch article his vote and motive for voting to keep the county jail medical staff versus contracting with California Forensics Medical Group (CFMG) were misrepresented.

The vote to go with CFMG was 3-2 with Whiteaker and Larry Munger wanting to maintain the status quo while Dan Flores, Mat Conant and Ron Sullenger chose to contract out. The article suggested Board Chairman Whiteaker’s vote was deceptive since it was the understanding of a number of board members that there was consensus to go with CFMG and they expected a unanimous decision.

The thinking was that Whiteaker knew the vote would favor CFMG, he was really for it, but did not want to lose face with county employees and voted for them. However, Whiteaker argues that the characterization was totally false.

Whiteaker maintained that he never forms an opinion on agenda topics prior to hearing the arguments at the meeting. And, he denied ever saying or insinuating that CFMG had his vote or would be the choice of the board. He insisted that the current medical staff is equally educated and skilled as CFMG employees.

Essentially, Whiteaker and Munger’s vote says that the current jail medical operation is the same or superior to the CFMG proposal. The two supervisors are literate, so it is hard to believe they came to this conclusion based on facts.

According to documents and 2/28/17 board meeting testimony CFMG would provide 24-hour medical service versus the current 18-hour staffing. CFMG would handle all medical management, drug purchases, hiring, firing, health insurance and retirement. CFMG guarantees levels of staffing with employees who are more highly educated and accredited than county workers. This should reduce liability and costs to taxpayers.

When a county employee misses work, if no one is available to fill-in, jail medical runs short-staffed, risking disaster. Several inmates have died in the last few years. It takes months and often a year for the county to recruit and hire new employees to replace those who retire or leave.

CFMG would provide jail medical services at a lower cost. It would eliminate lifelong employee pension commitments by the county. And, inmate deaths along with the $800,000 payout to survivors should be reduced with a high level of care.

The Whiteaker / Munger vote makes more sense in the context that it is easier for politicians and bureaucrats to have their impacted wisdom teeth extracted without painkillers than to privatize and shrink government. It is contrary to their nature whether their political hood ornament be Republican or not. Politicians know where their votes and funding are found.

Peach farmers want more tonnage. Business people hope for increased sales and bigger profits. Government bureaucrats see success as a growing budget, more regulations and more employees. Conservative citizens want less government not more.

Whether you’re the boss in the private sector or government, laying-off people you know is difficult. In business you do it or die. In government you curry favor with employees and their union by hiring not firing. This results in maintaining bloated, inefficient, ineffective systems and the status quo. That is why there is government creep and why its workers and unions continue to vote for politicians who endorse expansion and wasteful spending.

Whatever twisted logic Whiteaker and Munger give to stay with county workers, the taxpayers lose big.

by Lou Binninger

Kevin de Leon, California Senate President Pro Tempore, backed out of an apology to Senator Janet Nguyen who was removed from the Senate chambers when she began reading a statement critical of the late Senator Tom Hayden. At a rally in support of Nguyen, when challenged by the Vietnamese crowd to apologize, De Leon said “She got her 15 minutes of fame.”

De Leon initially acted contrite over actions by puppet Senator Ricardo Lara who was shouting down Nguyen while being coached by a staffer. Obviously Lara, in charge of the Senate that day, had no idea how to carry out the premeditated hit on Nguyen.

Nguyen’s speech was on behalf of the millions of Vietnamese killed and tortured by communists and for the refugees who fled their homeland. Hayden was a communist sympathizer who brought encouragement to the enemy of US forces and democracy-seeking Vietnamese.

Nguyen was strong-armed just a few feet from Senator Jim Nielsen (Yuba-Sutter County) while Nielsen did nothing. No model of chivalry and courtesy here. Nguyen says that Nielsen has been more supportive since the incident.

That’s like a fellow’s wife being insulted and slapped by a drunk as the mousey husband stands by. However, the spouse later sends her flowers and a card. Outside of three Republicans and one Democrat that rose to speak against the Senatorial tyranny, the rest of the Republicans need the testosterone pills.

There was an ‘Oroville Dam Spillway Incident and Evacuation Feedback Session,’ Tuesday March 14 for local representatives from both counties and the cities therein to hear from constituents. If officials do not somehow answer concerns and questions they probably will add to the citizens’ angst.

Experts know that traumatized people need honest, reliable information updated every 20 minutes. Double-speak and mixed messages during emergencies infuriate highly- stressed victims. Government agencies are quite skilled at collecting information, but struggle to deliver it.

Sutter County and Yuba City sending different evacuation alerts caused family rifts and controversy between employees and employers.

Big emergencies bring out character or lack thereof, factions and egos leading to bad management. Excuses like “we don’t have emergencies very often” and “we’ll get better at this” are insulting. A sincere apology is more appropriate.

Sutter County spends more than $300,000 annually and Yuba County over $600,000 to fund fulltime offices to coordinate, collaborate, plan for emergencies and seek grants. In rough figures, $20 million dollars were spent since the 1997 flood. There should be no excuses in terms of a plan and decision-making protocols.

Emergencies are chaotic, tension-filled and rarely predictable in spite of the best plans. They include loss of life, property and peace. Government agencies are funded to be their best along with volunteers to meet the unique challenges that the particular crisis creates.

The 1997 flood in Yuba County caused needless loss of life and property due to leaving the evacuation decision to the supervisors rather than Sheriff Gary Tindel who encouraged a preemptive evacuation order. An angry county ignorantly blamed Tindel and voted him out of office. The evacuation protocol was then changed to the sheriff making the decision.

Hopefully, the officials will do something constructive with the Tuesday night event and not consider it a ‘bitching’ session. Some transparency and a public statement would be helpful.

The recent 3-2 vote to hire California Forensic Medical Group (CFMG) to replace Sutter County employees for jail medical services appeared divisive, but instead involved some chicanery. All supervisors expected one another to vote to hire the outside medical provider and support Sheriff Paul Parker’s wise recommendation.

CFMG offers a more highly accredited medical service at a lower cost with reduced liability. The jail has had several inmates die with the county settling lawsuits with survivors for around $800,000 per incident. It is a win for taxpayers, inmates and the sheriff’s department.

Board Chairman Jim Whiteaker confirmed his expectation of a unanimous vote for CFMG in private prior to the 2/28/17 board meeting.

However, at the meeting as fellow supervisors expressed their wishes to go with CFMG Whiteaker then proclaimed his preference to continue with county employees.

Ron Sullenger made the motion to go with CFMG, seconded by Mat Conant. Sullenger, Conant and Dan Flores voted to go with CFMG.

Whiteaker and Larry Munger knew the other three supervisors would vote for the outside corporation and actually wanted that outcome themselves. So, Munger and Whiteaker saved face with employees by voting against CFMG knowing that the contract would be approved with or without them. True politicians, they were deceptively ‘for the employees’ and wanted to replace them at the same time.

by Lou Binninger

Former Yuba County Supervisor John Nicoletti may be in danger of violating the Rules on Leaving Public Service by serving Habitat for Humanity as public relations officer. The Political Reform Act places a number of restrictions on certain activities of officials when leaving government service.

The Fair Political Practices Commission states “While there are subtle differences between the various one-year bans, generally, the bans restrict officials, for one year after leaving governmental service, from being paid to communicate with their former agency in an attempt to influence certain actions or proceedings.”

According to a Yuba County source, Habitat for Humanity does business with and receives funds from the county.

“The local one - year ban prohibits specified officials, for one year after leaving local government office or employment, from representing any other person, for compensation, by appearing before or communicating with their former agency in an attempt to influence the agency’s decisions in an administrative or legislative action, whether quasi-legislative or quasi-judicial, or any action involving a permit, license, contract, or transaction involving the sale or purchase of property or goods. (Section 87406.3; Regulations 18746.2 and 18746.3.)”

Former officials are forbidden to converse by telephone or in person, correspond by writing or electronic communication, attend a meeting, or deliver or send any communication to the former official’s agency on behalf of a new employer.

The Act also prohibits all public officials from making, participating in making, or influencing a governmental decision that directly relates to a prospective employer.

Nicoletti was quoted as “public relations officer” in the Appeal Democrat describing the mission of Habitat for Humanity. A Yuba County source indicates the organization has collaborated on the 14 Forward homeless camp and other projects.

Sutter County Community Services Director Danelle Stylos, 60, was due in court on Monday, March 6 to answer charges that she committed perjury while registering to vote, applying for a concealed weapon permit and completing other government documents.

It is alleged that Stylos misrepresented where she was living. Her employment contract stipulated she live in Sutter County. It appears that some county officials were aware she was out of compliance by residing in Sacramento while giving her address as the residence of the former Sutter County Fire Chief.

Stylos is on administrative leave collecting her $196,805.72 (yr 2015) salary and benefits. Expect her case to be continued, a common defense strategy to negotiate a better deal with the district attorney.

Marysville City Council after raising the sales tax rate to 8.5% as of October 2016 on purchases in the city voted to increase personnel and department head salaries retroactive to January 1, 2017. There have been no employee salary increases since 2010. However, tax hike supporters did not dream that the new sales tax cash flow would go first to salary increases as the city is in shambles.

Yuba County Supervisors have introduced a couple dicey topics. They want to reduce the number of monthly board meetings from four to two and make them daytime gatherings. Their argument is the Yuba County Water Agency meetings on the same day are longer since there is more business to address after assuming the Colgate hydro-power oversight from PG and E. The two gatherings once fit nicely back to back and Supervisors are on both boards.

“Public servants” tend to organize their work to serve themselves rather than the public. Reducing the number of meetings limits the opportunities for citizens to speak to the board. And, daytime meetings are a barrier to working people attending. Are elected officials and department heads helped or hindered by this proposed change - probably hindered?

If the supervisors are able to do their work with only two meetings a month why are their salaries so high? Their combined supervisor and Water Agency salary and benefits exceed $80,000 each annually.

Is it time to change the water agency board from 7(5 supervisors and 2 community members) to 5 community members with no supervisors? There is a conflict of interest when the Supervisors need money for a project and then change hats, become the Water Agency and vote to tap the funds from Agency revenues.

Having different members on each board would enable the supervisors to focus on their work at a convenient time for the public. And, separately elected Water Agency Directors could more fully attend to water and power issues while having an independent perspective on the Water Agency spending.

janet  3 1 17by Lou Binninger

Republican State Senator Janet Nguyen of Garden Grove found she was the wrong minority (Vietnamese), the wrong party and had the wrong position on the Vietnam War to address the Senate on Thursday 2/23/17. If she were Black, Mexican, homosexual, from a Muslim country, or a democrat and opposed to the war she was good to go. She wasn’t, so she was silenced.

Nguyen stood to inform the Senate of the Vietnamese view of the late Senator Tom Hayden. “Today I recognize in memory the millions of Vietnamese and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died in seeking freedom and democracy. On Tuesday, you had an opportunity to honor Senator Tom Hayden. With all due respect, I would like to offer this historical perspective.....” At that point Nguyen was interrupted and her microphone silenced by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), presiding over the Senate, who then gave the floor to Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel). Monning repeatedly exhorted Nguyen that she was out of order.

Though Senate leadership knew she planned to address the body and the subject matter, she was forcibly removed by security as she kept speaking. On the Senate floor Minority Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) and Jeff Stone (R-Temecula) each expressed their indignation at the prejudicial action taken against Nguyen.

However, Senator Jim Nielsen (R) representing Yuba-Sutter and seated just behind Nguyen, appeared confused and detached. He did not stand to support her nor did he attempt to intervene to protest her removal. Even a stunned Democrat Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia) arose to question the strong-arm tactics to shut down the voice of the Vietnamese people.

Though some liberal senators carped that Nguyen violated parliamentary procedure, the real issue was her topic. Nguyen noted Senator Hayden’s national leadership in opposing the Vietnam War and his encouragement of the communists. Vietnamese believe Hayden’s work contributed to the torture, loss of life and suffering of their people.

Nguyen’s district has the largest population of Vietnamese in the nation, around 500,000. As the Senate adjourned in memory of Hayden (died 1/23/16) lauding his liberal politics, service to the country and his intellect, Nguyen left the Senate chambers and delayed presentation of her perspective in deference to Hayden’s family attending the session. The Nguyen take-down occurred two days later.

After the communist takeover of South Vietnam, Nguyen’s parents were repeatedly caught in attempts to leave the country and incarcerated. South Vietnamese and Hmong were being executed, placed in re-education (concentration) camps and starved. The communists were barbaric, executing resisters, torturing and burying people alive, raping, cutting open those who were pregnant and smashing infants on rocks. Nguyen’s uncle was also killed.

Finally, her father and brother succeeded in escaping. Later, the mother and the two daughters left. Janet was 5 years of age at the time. They fled Vietnam by small boat. Millions of Vietnamese risked their lives in ramshackle flotillas adrift at sea. Thousands were shot, drowned or died of exposure.

Nguyen knows every Vietnamese that escaped has a story to tell like hers. She was their voice on the Senate floor that day to tell the other perspective of Hayden’s life.

However, like Stephen stoned to death for telling the truth about Jesus, Nguyen’s anti-communist and anti-subversive voice could not be tolerated. The Senate chambers and college campuses are similar, speech is permitted to those with accepted beliefs.

A recent example is when homosexual activist Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) was allowed to speak in May 2016 against a resolution honoring former President Ronald Reagan for advancing the public good. Leno was critical of Reagan’s cuts to AIDS research funding, ranted at length against Reagan, and said he would not support the resolution according to writer Katy Grimes.

Other dead or retired conservative officials recognized by the Senate have been the brunt of derogatory but permitted remarks of liberals, as well. Liberals speak freely. Nguyen is the latest victim of suppressing the truth and free speech of conservatives.

picture: Senator Jim Nielsen seated behind as Senator Janet Nguyen addresses Senate

 

lou2Cleaning out debris below spillwayby Lou Binninger

 

The current life-threatening ecological disaster at Oroville Dam spawned by Governor Brown and his liberal accomplices inflicted damages on Yuba, Sutter and Butte County residents. No one drowned but some with fragile health conditions died while being moved in the sudden evacuation order. Lost business income, wages and money spent to relocate is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

 

Citizens need no engineering degree to see the sore condition of roads, bridges and dams. In Oroville Dam’s case the negligence and misappropriation of funds certainly is unethical if not criminal. The governor played stupid at his news conference claiming no knowledge of past scathing critiques of the dam’s readiness to handle a taxing storm event.

 

Brown described the current crisis and the government’s response as standard operating procedure. Something breaks, you fix it. Brown’s tortured logic means replacing your roof after water is pouring through rather than when you notice the shingles fraying. Someone wipe the drool from his chin.

 

Engineering analyses of the auxiliary ‘faux’ spillway reveal it not just to be a joke, but a fraud. The fact that mature trees and shrubs were allowed to cover the spillway terrain indicate a belief that the element would never be used.

 

Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging officials to require that the dam’s emergency (auxiliary) spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain an earthen hillside.

 

Feds at the time said the emergency spillway was designed to handle 350,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and the concerns were exaggerated. On Sunday February 12, with light flows of only 6,000 to 12,000 cfs — water only a foot or two deep and less than 5 percent of the rate that the feds said was safe — erosion was so severe that officials from the Department of Water Resources ordered the evacuation of more than 185,000 people.

 

The fear was that the erosion could undermine the 1,730-foot-long concrete curved lip along the top of the earthen spillway allowing billions of gallons of water to pour unchecked down the hillside toward Oroville and Yuba-Sutter Counties.

 

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea’s blunt dire call describing the dam’s trouble prompted a mandatory evacuation order by Yuba and Sutter Counties, but only a “strongly recommended” exhortation from Yuba City.

 

In Yuba County today, the sheriff makes the evacuation order. That is a change from the 1997 flood when the Board of Supervisors made the decision. In that event Sheriff Gary Tindel’s request for a mandatory evacuation early on to give people enough time to move themselves, their assets and livestock from the threatening rivers was rejected.

Days later when the levee gave way 3 people drowned, 322 houses were destroyed, and 407 other homes sustained major damage. The flood inundated 1,000 acres of residential, 15,500 acres of agricultural and 1,700 acres of industrial land. Nearly all livestock drowned and all business inventories lost as 38,000 people relocated. People fled with water at their backs.

 

Yuba County Sheriff Steve Durfor said there was no question what to do when he received the call from Sheriff Honea on Sunday. Durfor said Honea’s description of a potential breach in the dam would be an unprecedented disaster incomparable even to Yuba County’s sudden levee breaks in 1986 and 1997.

 

Emergencies are never easy, often described as managed chaos. In this case our counties were not in charge of the cause but were responsible to protect the citizens. Other complicating factors were that evacuees don’t all respond the same to crisis. Some panic and others give-up. Some are givers and others are takers. There are those who are sick, fragile or immobile and need assistance.

 

Emergency personnel, churches, nonprofits and Good Samaritans worked around the clock to cope with a difficult and trying emergency.

 

There was some dysfunction. The mixed evacuation message between Yuba City and Sutter County created confusion for a highly stressed populace. Facebook ‘scientists’ and ‘news’ mavens caused panic with their ‘inside information.’

 

Our high tech devices were not always the best information delivery system. Did anyone get the “flash flood” text on that sunny Sunday?

 

Many older people don’t have smart phones or computers. All the technology and social media have yet to replace ‘low-tech’ live radio broadcasts giving instructions and updates around the clock derived from those managing the emergency.

 

As thousands of cars waited hours to get to high ground, a designated radio station keeping everyone focused might have brought calm and taken pressure off the phone banks and 911 dispatchers. It certainly could have exposed the frustrating rumors.

 

Op/Ed by Lou Binninger

 

To the casual observer it is no surprise that Marysville was ranked last among 511 counties and cities in fiscal health by the California Policy Center. Yuba City, Live Oak, Sutter County and Yuba County did fairly well with Yuba City ranking lowest at 367 and scoring an 86 in fiscal strength among this group.

 

Oroville, a city that once was considered similar to Marysville in demographics and economy, has moved on up. Oroville scored a 99 in fiscal strength and ranked at 152, higher than any jurisdiction around here. Good for them. They have wrestled with high unemployment, poverty, drug abuse and done well.

 

With Oroville receiving national attention due to the Oroville Dam debacle, the city may experience a financial rush. The initial estimate of $200 million to fix the dam may end up being just a down payment.

 

The clean-up, correcting the environmental damage, repairing the power plant, redoing connections to the power grid and building a new spillway system may cost a half a billion dollars or more before it’s over. Oroville should receive some nice collateral benefits from the activities to make the dam whole again.

 

Marysville, contrary to Mayor Samayoa’s quote in the Appeal Democrat, is not headed in the right direction. A few months after the new 8.5% sales tax took effect citizens learned that the city will pay penalties of $288,000 for not filing 4-years of quarterly reports to the State Department of Water Resources. Who is taking responsibility for that?

Does anyone know why the 12th and J Street improvements were not completed as promised? On February 28th a $700,000 loan plus 1% per annum and a $7,000 administrative will be repaid to Yuba County. The loan was to enable the city to collect $1.8 million in grant funding for street and drainage repairs. However, no work was done. More money wasted, nothing accomplished and whose fault is that? City Hall has holes in its pockets.

 

To add salt to the eye of the public, city management wants a 7% raise. Why, because they are still breathing? This is exactly what the opponents to the sales tax increase warned. There were no restrictions on how the new taxes could be spent.

 

Just a few months since the sales tax increase and the new revenue stream is mixed into the general fund to raise salaries and pay for management blunders. Pro sales tax voters were easy prey for the bait and switch bureaucrats.

 

Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown’s (1959-1967) legacy includes the California highway system and the statewide water project. Both accomplishments when created were nationally renowned. The innovations enabled California to become an international economic powerhouse, but today they are a laughing stock. Pat Brown’s son, Governor Jerry Brown, has dedicated himself to undoing his father’s work.

 

New highway development has been nil, road repair underfunded and though population has doubled in the state no new water resources have been created for over 40 years. Today, Californians are dealing with a decaying infrastructure designed for half the population courtesy of a spoiled heir to the Brown legacy and fortune.

Former Caltrans director Will Kempton says he’s never seen the state’s road system any worse. Starting work at Caltrans in 1976, Kempton served five years as head of the agency under Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

 

California’s roads are considered 48th poorest in the union. Similarly rated are our schools, both of which were known as the nation’s best in the 1960’s.

 

With the calamitous failing of the Oroville Dam spillway nary a word has been spoken about Governor Brown being stingy on dam maintenance. Repairs were reportedly made after cracks appeared in 2009 and 2013. Obviously the dam is not performing as designed and in its present condition.

 

The fact that the power house outlet could not release water without being connected to the power grid is a system that should have been modernized long ago. The power lines draped across the face of the dam and over the failing spillway is strategically lame. The auxiliary spillway is a mess.

 

The entire fiasco reeks of neglect and a misallocation of the state’s resources undermining the safety and well-being of the taxpayers. This is what the citizens have come to expect from Brown and cocky liberal legislators.

lamon 2 8 17by Lou Binninger

 

Marysville City Services Director Dave Lamon’s sudden departure on Friday, February 3, ends nearly 20 years with the city and completed a family legacy of public service. Lamon was born and raised in Marysville.

 

Lamon’s father Grady was a general contractor and civic leader who served on the Marysville City Council. His Uncle John Lamon was a Fremont-Rideout Hospital board member for many years and Uncle Henry Lamon was a Yuba City Council Member. The three brothers operated Lamon Construction.

 

Dave Lamon’s last noteworthy project was the messy and controversial task of taking the city from being a no marijuana dispensary zone to welcoming two dispensaries.

The process has been laden with charges of favoritism, violations of the Brown Act, and the city council’s practice of crony capitalism, changing the ordinance and zoning to benefit the Lanza Family.

 

As in any departure, Lamon leaves unfinished business. In spite of being a city for 167 years Marysville still has a stretch of J Street with no curbs and gutters and the 12th and J Streets neighborhood experiences severe flooding during storms.

 

On November 5, 2015, Lamon obtained a California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) grant for $1.8 million to upgrade drainage, add curbs/gutters, and repave around 12th and J. In addition, there was money for code enforcement and planning studies.

 

In order to fulfill the grant Marysville needed $700,000 for cash flow and asked Yuba County for a loan. An August 26, 2016 memo from Yuba County Administrator Robert Bendorf asking supervisors to approve the loan states that “The project design and bidding has been completed and construction should be completed near the end of 2016.” Repayment of the loan was to come from the State HCD grant funds.

 

However, not only has the project not been completed but council members do not believe the bidding ever took place. Water continues to approach the porches of residences during storms.

 

The Bendorf memo stated the $700,000 plus 1% per annum interest and 1% in administration fees was to be repaid on February 28, 2017. If the city does not repay the funds the county can take the money out of the city’s property tax apportionment which the county processes.

 

Another set-back is that the state fined Marysville $3 million for not filing 4 years of quarterly waste water reports. That duty fell under both Lamon’s and City Manager Walter Munhheimer’s job responsibilities. Lawyers under contract with the city for $10,000 / month have advised paying a negotiated reduction of the fine to $288,000.

This loss is a blow to those residents who voted to raise their sales taxes to 8.5% for ten years to cover costs for past council financial blunders. Citizens continue to pay more as city hall cannot do its job.

 

Meanwhile, Muchheimer and department heads are asking for 7% raises. The State Controller lists Munchheimer’s compensation at $133,674 ($106,701 plus $26,793 in retirement and health benefits.)

 

Denis Cook is expected to fill-in for a few months until a replacement is found for Lamon. Cook formerly served as Director of Community Development for Yuba City.

There has been no discussion of asking the county to assist with these duties even though the county’s community services department is located a few blocks away.

Lamon has moved out of the area.

stylos  2 8 17by Lou Binninger

 

Sutter County Community Services Director Danelle Stylos, 60, was arrested on Feb 1, 2017 by District Attorney Investigators for making false statements, providing false information, perjury and voter fraud. She was booked into Sutter County jail and released on $25,000 bail.

 

Sutter County Supervisors called an emergency closed session February 2 to discuss the matter with Stylos. An attorney spoke for Stylos. Supervisors voted 5-0 to place Stylos on administrative leave with pay. Her arraignment is set for March 6.

 

Stylos once served as Planning Manager for Sutter County before returning to be the Community Services Director. She receives pay and benefits of $196,805.72 according to Transparent California’s 2015 records.

 

She is responsible to oversee Animal Services, Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), Environmental Health, Fire Services, GIS Data Download, LAFCO, Planning and Building Services, Public Works, General Fees and the Planning Commission.

 

A May 1, 2012 article in the Oakdale Leader “Oakdale Battles $ Woes,” refers to Stylos’ work for the City of Oakdale. The article describes the troubled financial state of the city saying “Interim City Manager Gregory Wellman has made no secret that the City of Oakdale has money problems and cites a lack of financial oversight and historically poor business habits as the cause.”

 

Oakdale Leader reporter Richard Paloma writes, “The unauthorized payments have resulted in over $325,000 made without city manager knowledge or prior council approval. Oakdale Leader research showed most recently a payment for $113,000 made to Environmental Science Associates was approved by former Community Development & Services Director Danelle Stylos and issued by Finance Director Albert Avila without having the contract being signed off by the council or Wellman.” Stylos’ office financials were said to be in disarray.

 

Interim manager Wellman was brought in as a “fixer” to save Oakdale in financial and ethical free-fall. The public works director was fired and Stylos resigned to take her current Sutter County position. Wellman said he did not regret her resignation.

 

The District Attorney’s office has yet to complete its formal complaint as the investigation is ongoing. It is alleged that Stylos misrepresented where she was living. Her contract stipulated she live in Sutter County. It appears that some county officials were aware she was out of compliance by residing in Sacramento while giving a false local address.

Charges assert that Stylos committed perjury while completing documents for voting, a concealed weapon permit application and other government paperwork.

(updated from eterritorial article posted 2/2/17)

by Lou Binninger

 

Sutter County Community Services Director Danelle Stylos was arrested on Feb 1, 2017 by District Attorney Investigators for making false statements, providing false information, perjury and voter fraud. She was booked into Sutter County jail with bail set at $43,000.

 

She is no longer in custody.

 

Sutter County Supervisors called an emergency closed session Thursday night February 2 to discuss the personnel matter.

 

Stylos once served as Planning Manager for Sutter County before returning to be the current Community Services Director. She has a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University and receives pay and benefits of $ 196,805.72 according to Transparent California’s 2015 records.

 

She is responsible to oversee Animal Services, Certified Unified Program Agency (CUPA), Environmental Health, Fire Services, GIS Data Download, LAFCO, Planning and Building Services, Public Works, General Fees and the Planning Commission.

 

A May 1, 2012 article in the Oakdale Leader “Oakdale Battles $ Woes,” refers to Stylos’ work for the City of Oakdale. The article describes the troubled financial state of the city saying “Interim City Manager Gregory Wellman has made no secret that the City of Oakdale has money problems and cites a lack of financial oversight and historically poor business habits as the cause.”

 

Oakdale Leader reporter Richard Paloma writes, “The unauthorized payments have resulted in over $325,000 made without city manager knowledge or prior council approval. Oakdale Leader research showed most recently a payment for $113,000 made to Environmental Science Associates was approved by former Community Development & Services Director Danelle Stylos and issued by Finance Director Albert Avila without having the contract being signed off by the council or Wellman.”

 

Wellman was brought in as a “fixer” to save Oakdale in financial and ethical free-fall. The public works director was fired and Stylos resigned to take her current Sutter County position.

 

Where Stylos resides is confusing. One address lists her in Sacramento. However, some Sutter County citizens believe department heads must live in the county. There is also uncertainty about where new County Administrator Scott Mitnick is living, in Sutter County or Ventura County.

No additional details about the charges were available from the District Attorney as the newspaper’s day concluded. The article will be amended accordingly.

by Lou Binninger

 

On March 31, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson became the fourth president to decline to run for a second 4-year term. Vice-President Johnson took over for President John Kennedy after Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Johnson then served a full term, but was eligible for a second 4-year stint.

 

Some feel Johnson was one of the most politically ambitious men ever in America. A liberal Texas Senator known for his fits of extreme anger, during a close campaign in 1954 Johnson authored an amendment curbing the free speech of churches and 501(c) 3 nonprofit (religious and charitable) organizations.

 

The amendment prevented these groups from endorsing or opposing political candidates and causes to keep their tax-exempt status. Johnson had personal motives.

Black congregations and some independent organizations in his district were politically active and supporting his opponent. The amendment was a tool to stifle the opposition. It worked.

 

Johnson’s presidency managed two wars, one opposing the spread of communism in Southeast Asia and the other ‘fighting poverty’ in America. Both campaigns failed miserably.

 

The Vietnam War effort was undermined by U.S. social unrest and by politicians crippling military strategy. As for poverty fighting, after fifty years and $22 trillion spent there has been no decline in the percentage of citizens left financially behind.

 

Adjusted for inflation the spending on anti-poverty programs (not including Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all wars in US history since the American Revolution. Worse yet, millions of lives have been ruined, now addicted to welfare ‘crack.’

 

The black population has been severely damaged. Once, more black households were led by married couples than white families. In 1925 New York City, 85% of black families had two-parents. In 1940, black illegitimacy was at 14% and then 25% by 1965. Today most black families are led by mom with government becoming dad. The black illegitimacy rate now stands at nearly 75%.

 

Welfare addiction is no respecter of color. More whites use welfare. However, a higher percentage of black families rely upon it.

 

Ignored in all discussions is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994. The quickest exit out of poverty for a mom is marriage. Government makes a lousy lover.

 

According to Walter Williams, black economics professor emeritus at George Mason University “Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today's black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. The fact is that most of the social pathology seen in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history.” Thank Johnson’s ‘War on Poverty.’

 

A higher percentage of black children are aborted than other ethnicities. This is the result of the successful strategy of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, who considered non-whites to be society’s weeds that needed plucked. Clinics were located in minority communities where outreach was easy. For liberals, it is a better value to abort than fund the raising of a minority child.

 

A higher percentage of black males are out of school, out of work and outside the law. A higher percentage of blacks are murdered by gun violence with more than 90% killed by fellow blacks. For white liberals wanting to keep blacks on the ‘plantation’ their use of the Ku Klux Klan, segregation, Jim Crow laws, Planned Parenthood, welfare and minimum wage laws has been amazingly successful.

 

The minimum wage has removed the bottom rungs of the economic ladder for low –skilled workers, most often young and black drop-outs. For the black male guns, gangs and baby mommas have replaced education, career and marriage.

 

Government has funded the poverty industry. Millions find it easier to live poor on government largess than break-free to independence. Government created a permanent class of citizens wedded to welfare and its sister programs (Section 8 Housing, SNAP, WIC, free school lunch, dinner and medical.)

 

Just as drug use disrupts the brain’s dopamine and serotonin function that produces a sense of pleasure, welfare robs recipients of the dignity and pride of work and providing for one’s family. Work is a blessing to humans but the welfare system has made it a curse.

 

The Founding Fathers embraced a Biblical understanding of the nature of man and did not include dispensing welfare in government’s role. However, politicians and bureaucrats buy votes and kudos by using other people’s money to create an ever expanding pool of ne’er-do-wells.

 

Behind every failed life and program is a bad philosophy. Yuba - Sutter officials pretend they are smarter than our forefathers. It is noteworthy that they did not risk personal funds on their homeless pilot projects.

Opinion by Lou Binninger

President Trump declared the necessity to drain the Washington DC ‘swamp.’ The swamp refers to the self-gratification, hypocrisy and elitism of America’s political class, bureaucrats, and lobbyists.

 

The swamp’s attributes also include egregious regulations robbing the freedom of both taxpayers and businesses and billions of dollars wasted. It also speaks to too many government employees accomplishing too little and consumed with dubious tasks.

 

That said Trump’s swamp is not unique to Washington D.C. and the federal system of governance. The swamp is thriving throughout the nation, our state and community.

 

As both Yuba and Sutter Counties have been smitten with a lack of character in leadership Sutter Co. Supervisors are maintaining their old ways by hiring fired Thousand Oaks city administrator to direct the county. Educated and experienced Scott Mitnick was canned for repeated character blunders that students are warned about in bonehead business classes. For supervisors, the swamp is all they know.

 

Assemblyman James Gallagher, Senator Jim Nielsen, Congressmen Doug LaMalfa and power broker Al Montna’s plan to handpick members for boards, councils, and committees is experiencing resistance. Their shill for supervisor Barbara LeVake spent $100 per vote while grabbing most every endorsement but that of the people.

 

She was appointed to the position after being voted out once before. Known as a bully she excelled at being a politician. Of course, her handlers wanted to maintain control.

 

Republican Central Committees report a hostile takeover attempt by the Gallagher, Nielsen, Montna, La Malfa cartel. Trump’s election exposed politicians of various flavors as willing to do anything to acquire and maintain their power, prestige and wealth. It is about job security and a political order.

 

Government employee Grace Espindola moved into Sutter Co District 1 to run for supervisor against incumbent Supervisor Sullenger. In spite of endorsements from Sullenger’s fellow supervisors, unions and others wanting the status quo, she was turned away by the voters.

 

In the City of Marysville council members are stuck in yesteryear like a ten-year old longing for pajamas with feet. They now have the highest sales tax and water rates in the region and the lowest quality city services. Meanwhile, they lord over businesses that pay the city’s bills.

 

No business analyst would advise a town of 12,000 and 3.2 sq. mi. to spend a majority of its budget on a police department when the sheriff’s department across the street could do more for much less. Meth addicts have more sense. This is Trump’s swamp, doing what is political not what is best for the people.

 

Finally, we live in a lawless state where politicians are in rebellion against the citizens. The hiring of Eric Holder, one of two of the most disgraced U.S. Attorney Generals in history (Pres. Nixon’s John Mitchell the other), to undermine the federal government on illegal immigration, border security and sanctuary cities is not surprising. Holder lied and withheld documents from a Congressional committee investigating Fast and Furious government gun-running. Holder misused the law for political gain and resigned to avoid impeachment and possible incarceration.

 

California is home to one of every three of the nation’s welfare recipients (34% in 2012) but represents only 12% of America’s population. It tops the nation in funding to kill babies. It is consistently rated as the worst place to do business due to government hostility, taxes, fees and regulations. The highest taxing state is most harsh to those in the middle.

 

The very wealthy and the poor are fixtures in the golden state. The rich pay up. The poor and illegal aliens reside free courtesy of their neighbors. If those on the dole lack work skills they fare better not working.

 

This is a state where a senator authors a bill to control guns and then is arrested and jailed for selling rocket launchers to terrorists. This is a state where pedophile Harvey Milk is lauded by Hollywood with a movie touting him as the Martin Luther King of homosexuals. Then, the legislature names a day for Milk where school children must recognize the pervert and liar.

 

These are the highest paid legislators in the nation ($100,116). Many Californians are living on less than the legislators’ daily tax-free allowance of $176 – more than $31,000 annually on top of salaries. However, Governor Brown is too poor to pay for his own geologic research on the family ranch near Williams. A whistleblower accused him of using Department of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources to do it for him at taxpayer expense. Nothing came of the complaint.

 

If Washington D.C. is the mother of all swamps, California is the younger sister with a chip on her shoulder.

Commentary by Lou Binninger

 

As Yuba County is ensnared in 14 Forward or Bendorf Zoo, Sutter County can’t resist stepping into the homeless industry tar pits. Nancy O’Hara, director of Health and Human Services, is talking about first providing “brief” and “temporary” housing and services for those not chronically homeless.

 

This is a first. Which government program do you remember ever being brief and temporary?

 

Since neither Yuba nor Sutter County Supervisors have a clue about how to help a homeless person, Sutter County is hiring a consultant. Thurmond Consultancy, who also cashed-in on Yuba County, will receive $3,400 per month not to exceed $40,800.

 

When homeless folks hear about the consultant’s pay they will wish they stayed in school. The homeless know quite a lot about their plight but lack the certificate to dip into the honey pot.

However, Thurmond Consultancy, LLC is no silver bullet to get people in buildings, back to their right minds and off the dole. Thurmond’s website touts no experience in personally coaching people from homelessness to stability and independence.

 

Scott Thurmond’s pitch is that he knows where our tax dollars are stashed, how to get and spend them, and how to create and manage programs. That is government language for addressing the “issue.” No solution guaranteed.

 

In 1934, when Willie Sutton was captured, the FBI asked, “Why do you rob banks, Willie?” Willie responded, “Because that’s where the money is.” Scott knows where our tax dollars can be lifted.

 

That’s what it’s really all about. The state forcibly takes money from hard working people and gives it to self-serving politicians for bureaucrats to flit away on programs. Thousands are spent to swat a fly.

 

O’Hara wants to fund $1,000 a month hotel rooms plus $30 a month for transportation. She’s also willing to provide emergency food, clothes, shoes, and hygiene products. Since most motels lack cooking amenities, maybe take-out will be necessary to be considered compassionate.

 

A housing resource specialist will be assigned as necessary. If we already have one or two specialists where have they been up to now? For years, Sutter County Welfare couldn’t even teach budgeting to recipients of aid. Is it true that welfare recipients’ addresses are no longer verified to prevent fraud?

 

There is no mention whether the homeless person will be responsible for anything except breathing and being present to keep the aid coming. If simply putting a troubled person in a building would change their life public housing would not look like a pigsty with graffiti décor. The government doesn’t deal in accountability or a change of the heart. That is considered passé.

 

Good outcomes where a high percentage of hammered people become productive citizens are as rare as the yellow-legged frog. Those that really make out are politicians, consultants, and government workers.

A spirit of entitlement has swept the nation and undergirds all our government social programs. People have a right to stay high, be lawless, and benefit from the community largess.

 

Most church ministries sadly have become replicas of a failed government hand-out philosophy. The tragedy is that the Biblical approach to redeem troubled people works but is rarely tried by churches and is soundly rejected by government. When you have the wrong ingredients, the recipe never turns out.

 

O’Hara’s approach lists some performance measures at the six-month mark; how many served; cost per participant; average time to secure permanent housing; were people able to become and/or remain employed; and did health improve.

 

The problem with government is that poor outcomes often trigger more money rather than killing the program. So far, at the Bendorf Zoo, neither the public nor supervisors know the outcomes or the real financial toll of the War on Homelessness. And, there is no end in sight.