Mr. Gallegly has recently stated that “Increasing deficits will not create jobs.” He advocates spending and tax cuts and less regulation. Inconveniently, “deficit spending” (the stimulus package) has already created more jobs in the first 18 months of the Obama administration than in the eight years of tax cuts and deregulation during the last Republican administration. (They never got around to cutting spending.)  Not to mention that the stimulus package that Mr. Gallegly pointedly voted against has brought something like $4 million dollars to law enforcement agencies in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. 

The trickle-down theory was tried for eight years and did not work to create jobs. The economy actually prospers with spending by consumers, businesses or government.  Consumers don’t have the money to spend because there hasn’t been any increase in real wages in years, and they can’t borrow against their homes anymore. Businesses aren’t spending either. Many want to but can’t get enough credit. If the government doesn’t spend some money in a wise fashion, our economy will wind up right back in the dumpster. This November, you could vote for someone who knows a little something about economics.

D. Zane Smith, Ventura

The malady of Mallory
I made the following comment to the Ojai City Council, June 22:
I wish REFAT (previous speaker was from Ventura County real estate fraud commission) was around seven years ago when we lost our house, no thanks to lawyers and courts who need the most education. I also wish REFAT would look into the Mallory Way real estate project, which I consider de facto (and de jure) fraud against the people of Ojai.

Ojai must be true to herself or she’ll be false to everyone. That Ojai true self is her general plan of “small town character.” The Mallory cottages are 400 square feet with plenty of trees and open space. The cottages have character because of their long history and natural beautiful setting. The condos look cheap, phony, artificial, crowded, without history, non-environmental and without character. The commission passes the buck to you, you defer them and staff, staff to lawyers to judges to politicians to corporations to bankers to mob bosses to God. It’s a shell game where you escape responsibility for critical thinking. Mistakes are to be corrected. Better late than never. Better to have loved and lost than never have to loved Ojai at all.

Demolishing the Evergreens for Los Arboles was strike one. Bulldozing Frostie and the Chinaberry Tree for an “everytown” mini-mall was strike two. A Mallory massacre is strike three. Three martyrs rising from their graves will haunt you all your days. Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Hard times are coming, and money is going to take a hit. Now is the time to get your redevelopment dollars and investments into something real.

Buy Mallory yourself and run it as an affordable housing business or as one of the only surviving motor courts of the post-WWII era when the country was jubilant with victory and starting on the road to prosperity. Greens visitors would love to stay in a 400-square-foot cottage in a beautiful, natural setting as their parents and grandparents did more than 60 years ago and get a real experience in a real town of a simpler and more real life.

Don’t be penny-wise and dollar-foolish or Ojai will lose her shirt in the approaching economic tsunami, and for the ladies, at least, it will be wet and embarrassing. Offer the owner the value of the land since he’s demolishing the buildings and plus his expenses. You’ve got a strong hand with carrot and stick. He takes the deal and the project doesn’t pass. Communities decay from within. Don’t be smug, complacent and foolish. Mallory is your canary in the mine. Even the Land Conservancy and Defense Fund miss the Mallory Mark.

We’re proud of defeating external enemies like highways and dumps but miss the enemy within. We’re proud of new bowls and skate parks, but they are discriminative luxuries. Mallory is definitive necessity. Wake up, Ojai, to the enemy inside your gate before it’s too late and Mallory deals your fate. Look in the Mallory mirror. See the writing on the wall and who’s the fairest of us all.

Dennis Leary, Ojai

From the web:

Job security at City Hall
I think Rick Cole makes a valid point in that in the private sector there are no guarantees (Ventura negotiations with the public employees union comes to halt, News, 6/24). Why should public employees be any different?  People choose public sector work partially because of the retirement plan but also because of the job security and relatively low-pressure workplace. There’s no accountability and it is almost impossible to get fired.  

As far as enticing new employees, just run an ad for these existing jobs with the stipulation of having to pay into your own retirement and see what happens.  There would be 50-100 qualified applicants for each position.

Then there is the problem of bad decisions with the current retirement funds and losing money in the stock market. 

Boy, I wish someone would guarantee that I don’t take a loss when I play the market.

I think it’s time for public employees to join the real world and face the fact that taxpayers have had enough and it’s time to take up the slack and get efficient. Quit trying to “shake down” those of us in the trenches; be part of the solution.

— Adamchek

P.S. The only Cadillac services I’ve ever received form the city have been from the fee collectors, and they’re usually not even nice about it.

The people behind the curtain
I agree with Adamcheck. Wholly.  

“Without an attractive pension plan, representatives also feel that it will be much more difficult to entice prospective employees to operate and maintain vital city services.”

What kind of crap is THAT?! Are their salaries not enough to “entice” them to DO THEIR JOBS?!?! I work for the city, and to be honest, there are VERY few people who work hard. The ones that do work hard, by the way, don’t talk about it.  They simply see it as their jobs, what they’re paid to do.

If you want a story, VCReporter, have an innocuous staffer sit in the main lobby and just watch how many people are on their ways to another birthday/retirement/five-year appreciation/ promotion/, “its an effing Tuesday” party. Or have the staffer camp out quietly and observe how much jabbering is done in the offices of this place. Yeah, there are a lot of people who work hard. There are many many, many, many more who do not.  And it’s because, as Adamcheck points out, you can’t get fired.

You can get laid off, sure.  The difference being, layoffs have first shot at being re-hired and layoffs stem from seniority. Last one in the door is first laid off regardless of ability.  You cannot (and I mean CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT) be fired for poor performance.  Just cannot happen. So if they can’t get fired, and have a sweet retirement, they’re all but guaranteed, why WOULD they work hard?  

The union claims it needs the incentives to attract the best people — like we’re not the ones who interact with these staffers first hand. How many times have you EVER encountered a government employee and thought this was the cream of the crop? Ever had the thought “glad this guy’s working in my city — he’s a keeper”? Didn’t think so.


Voting record, shmoting record
Who cares if they have voted in the past or not? (Critical Line, 6/24)

Voting is a matter of free choice and there certainly have not been a lot of politicians worth voting for since we only have the same old Demkrat-Republikan “choices” year after year …

It is only when there is a Ralph Nader or a Ron Paul or a Barack Obama or another “choice” that people really get excited to vote and feel that their votes even matter.

Instead, we get old boring “choices” like Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer or John McCain to trot out their tired old “re-treaded” ideas ….

— yneemee