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Check out some recent Registered Statements from forum participants

Name not shown outside Vallejo September 29, 2020, 12:15 PM

Why are the people of the lakes water system treated like cash cows to fund a decrepit water system? The financial well being of the community here should not be the basis of billing for water. Vallejo should spread the cost of both systems across all customers, not just the 800+ customers that are stuck on the system.

Name not shown outside Vallejo September 28, 2020, 8:02 PM

Why are Green Valley rates so high and why continue to raise the rate? Why can't we use our OWN well water for potable? Why do we have to use Vallejo Water, why not Fairfield?

We also had our water tested that had more chlorine than our swimming pool - why the high rates and the unhealthy quality of drinking water?

Doug Darling inside Vallejo September 2, 2020, 5:47 PM

I would like to speak to item 11.

Donald Osborne inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 7:00 PM

Mayor Sampayn, Council Members, City staff:

With measure G now placed on the Ballot, it is my understanding that the City is prohibited by law from promoting this measure. You have the ability to make certain the public is aware of the true facts about this measure.

The true facts concerning this measure are all contained in the impartial analysis prepare for the ballot by Randy Risner: Measure G is classified as a general tax. A general tax may be used for any general purpose.

Everything you have stated in your Argument In Favor of Measure G for the ballot is untrue and is designed to promote the Measure. Clearly your intention in engaging the Lew Edwards Group is not to promote Mr. Risner’s impartial analysis, but instead your improper misinformation.

I realize that these kinds of things happen all the time and that the Lew Edwards Group did much the same thing for Measure B in 2011.

This is dishonest, and a waste of the City’s money.

As to the assessment of a possible Conflict of Interest, there is certainly the appearance of a conflict of interest even if not a legal conflict of interest.

Regards,
Donald E. Osborne
Vallejo resident

Name not shown inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 6:38 PM

Voices of Vallejo Statement

Mayor Sampayan and Councilmembers:

We know that (LEG) was paid $25,000 for its work to secure Councilmember Brown's election in 2018 and that another contract was entered into in June 2020. We assume that they have also worked as a team to do polling and craft messaging and arguments and a winning strategy for Measure G. They have worked long and hard together for their mutual success. LEG has worked on many, many campaigns, but touts its victory in Councilmember Brown's 2018 election as a crowning achievement and it posted the campaign ad it did promoting the support of Vallejo police officers as one of its best TV ads.

The relationship between LEG and Councilmember Brown is built on trust and loyalty. It is similar to someone's personal lawyer, who had just won a major case for a councilmember (and now has retained the lawyer in a major new case), seeking a large city contract. There could not be an unbiased decision by a councilmember in such a case. Although the councilmember would have no financial stake in the contract, loyalty to their own lawyer would prohibit, under common law rules, participation in the consideration of the award of a contract. The same factors prohibit consideration by Councilmember Brown in the award of a contract to his good friend and trusted adviser, Catherine Lew.

The California League of Cities has published an ethics guide for city officials. Best practice reminders, sprinkled throughout the guide, emphasize that legal compliance is the minimum standard. The guide urges city officials to aim higher than the law by doing what avoids an appearance of bias or a conflict. Actual bias is not the League's standard (there is an abundance of evidence of actual bias in this case). The city is best served by its elected officials preventing a perception of favoritism or bias. We, the people of Vallejo, urge that councilmembers and all city officials adhere to the League's higher standard.

Respectfully submitted,

Voices of Vallejo

Frank Brunnel inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 6:06 PM

Greg Nyhoff is a snake. This is yet another attempt by him to steal taxpayer dollars and direct it to his slush fund. Also, it's INCREDIBLY shady how Lew Edwards Group got their initial contract in the first place.

There's a petition with almost 3,000 signatures calling for Nyhoff's firing. Listen to your constituents, just as you did with Randy Risner. We aren't going anywhere - we demand action and accountability. Stop making bad decisions and enabling these crooks. Fail to act and you'll be recalled.

Gretchen Zimmermann inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 6:04 PM

Here are two issues that stand out with this meeting in general and with item 4B specifically:

Problem 1 - I did not receive a notice about this meeting until 6:33 PM yesterday. I do not believe that is within the Brown act requirements.

Problem 2 - The description of this item in the agenda does not state what the Edwards group does for Vallejo nor how much the proposed extension will cost. Most other agenda items include a cost description, so it would be easy to surmise from a glance that there is no cost associated with this item. It seems like someone is trying to hide something.
If I were to write the agenda description for today's 4B based on the Staff Report it would state the following:

"Recommendation: Authorize the City Manager to execute the extension to the agreement with the Lew Edwards Group (LEG). LEG was brought on board to assist the City in developing a community survey and assessing the viability of the ballot G sales tax measure. With this extension, LEG will continue to provide services as it relates to providing the community with factual information regarding the measure. The $49,500 proposed cost increase will be funded from the FY 20-21 General Fund adopted budget, bringing the total contract price to an amount not to exceed $113,250."

What the heck is "factual information"? We're being asked to pay $49500 to have measure G marketed to us. I'm offended. I'd much rather that $49500 go to community services that have been cut, like the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, First Five, etc...

Please vote No!!!

Mark Stein inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 6:03 PM

Mayor and City Council --

This proposal is nothing more than legalized corruption. IT IS A GIFT OF PUBLIC FUNDS! You can try to rationalize it however you like, but the bottom line is that this is nothing more than the expenditure of taxpayer dollars, money this broke city can ill afford to waste, to promote the passage of an ill-conceived sales tax increase the council majority and Mayor voted to put on the ballot.

Yes we all know the thinly veiled rationale that this is merely "informational" for the voters. How stupid do you think we are? The FACT IS, it is publicly funded campaign propaganda, using Vallejo taxpayer dollars for the purpose of convincing Vallejo taxpayers to increase our own taxes! What an insulting slap in the face this is to the taxpayers of Vallejo!

We are already paying for a sales tax increase promoted by the city as a pie-in-the-sky solution to all our problems, not one of which has been actually addressed by that existing 10 year old tax. Now you come back for more. Why do you expect us to pay such a premium for the privilege of living in a substandard community which this council has done NOTHING to improve?

You claim in your ballot argument that this tax increase will "reform" the police department somehow, making it easier to "fire bad cops" and require officers to turn on their body cameras. Why would any of that require a tax increase to fund? Those things don't cost anything to implement.

It's well past time for this city to work wisely with the resources it does have, rather than continuously raiding our residents to fund your misadventures and inability to live within our means.

Finally, if you want to promote this tax scam, then do it the same way you force the opponents to do it. Do it the HONEST way - form a campaign committee in support of the measure and raise the funds to run your campaign, instead of pilfering public funds to promote this outrageous scheme.

Mark Stein

Name not shown inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 6:02 PM

WHY ARE WE WASTING MORE TAXPAYER FUNDS ON THIS HORRIBLE TAX MEASURE?? Several Councilmembers have already said how inappropriate it is to increase taxes during an economic crisis, and that a sales tax is a regressive tax that would disproportionately affect our most vulnerable. We shouldn't be spending a dime of taxpayer money on this.

Also, there is no way it's legal for a City to spend taxpayer dollars trying to influence those same taxpayers to raise their own taxes. Even if it is legal, it's horribly unethical. Shame on Greg Nyhoff. And shame on you, City Council, if you approve this.

Melissa Swift inside Vallejo September 1, 2020, 5:59 PM

Isn’t it illegal for the City Manager to spend taxpayer dollars to try and influence an election item? This stinks of corruption.

Also, didn’t we establish that it was a colossal conflict of interest to award a no-bid contract to the Lew Edwards Group given that they had worked on Hakeem Brown’s 2018 campaign and are now working on his mayoral campaign? How did a company that had done work for Councilmember Brown get a no-bid contract with the City?

We DEFINITELY shouldn’t be giving them more money. This isn’t rocket science, folks. We shouldn’t have given them a no-bid contract in the first place. Both the nature of how this firm was selected and the purpose of the funds reek of corruption.