Citizens Veto Power over Gifts of Public Funds Needed


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Taxpayer Funds have been given away at all levels of government (Federal, State, County, City, district or agency), and the Citizens have no Recourse.  The Citizens Need Veto Power of Bailouts to prevent recurrence, especially when resources are limited and the votes are improper.

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GIFTS Of PUBLIC FUNDS:

  • For example, at the Federal Level, We had the $19.6 Trillion financial industry bailout of 2008, out of a total annual US economy of $13.5 Trillion.
  • We had the City of Bell’s excessive and improper “compensation” of its City Manager and council members.
  • Back in December 2010, In Santa Ana, I identified the gift of public funds of about $200,000 (unused vacation, and unused sick leave) by BACKDATING by 13 years, the start date of the former city attorney, a date that the city attorney chose.  This was in addition to the $142,000 that he received in severance, when it appears that he resigned.  Generally, no one is paid severance when resigning.
  • CLICK HERE For My Letter to Santa Ana City Council of 13-yr Backdating, dated of December 20, 2010.
  • CLICK HERE For Letter to OC Grand Jury Requesting Investigation

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ANAHEIM’s $158,000,000 GIFT:

And now in the City of Anaheim, we just had an unusual rushed decision to give away about $158,000,000 to favored developers, for the Garden Walk project.

The City of Anaheim did not have to give away this gift of public funds of $158,000,000 because:

1)  Libraries, parks, or jobs are being closed or eliminated, and other services cut.
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2)  The City Manager who is also a long-term Finance Director recommended against this.    And Tom Tait, Mayor; and Lori Galloway Mayor Pro-Tem were also opposed.
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3)  The City had other Financing options it could have pursued.
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3A) LOAN.  The City could have LENT the money.
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3B)  CASH FLOWS.  The City could have added a clause that it would take a percent of Positive Net Cash Flows as they are generated.  This way the financial impact to the City and its citizens would have been minimized by recouping more and a lot earlier.
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4)  HOTEL VACANCIES.  It was not necessary for the City to give away funds because this was not a priority.  For example, if these project/Hotels did not get built, the tourists would still have a place to stay because hotels do NOT run on 100% occupancy (there are always vacancies), and the City would have been collecting revenues, rather than giving away revenues.
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5)  The City could have negotiated terms favorable for its citizens or associations in return for this giveaway:
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A)  Better competitive salaries and benefits;
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B)  Discounted room nights, or use of conference facilities at favorable DISCOUNTED rates for Anaheim residents and Anaheim based not-for-profit groups/associations or chambers of commerce.
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C)  Community Benefits Agreements as other proactive cities do.
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6)  SEPARATELY:
It appears the will of the people has been ignored and proper process violated, especially given the rushed and unusual way in which this DISCUSSION item became an ACTION item.
This is more suspect given the Conflicts of Interests that have surfaced both in terms of Thousands of Dollars in donations, and the too-cozy relationships giving also the appearance of improper conflicted relationships by the council members voting for this rushed action item.
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7)  PREVENT FURTHER RECURRENCE:

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A)  What avenue do citizens have or should have when give-away of funds are “voted on”?
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B)  What should happen when elected or appointed officials violate their FIDUCIARY Responsibility; Ignore the recommendations of Staff, and are no longer relying on experts?; or Act but NOT in the best interests of its citizens; or act in a Conflicted manner?
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Should the ONLY avenue be the courts (Preliminary Stay or Permanent Injunction etc ), which is very costly? I say NO.
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FAIL-SAFE/CITIZENS VETO power Option through new State Law.

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I am a candidate for State Assembly, 69th Assembly District (Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, and part of Orange).
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In addition to focusing at a minimum on improving Education, Job Creation, and affordable and accessible high quality healthcare, I am also focused on reforming our process to protect our citizens and taxpayers from improper gifts of public funds, because I am tired of seeing this time after time.
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Thus, another solution is to protect the Citizens/Taxpayers interests by making local government decisions (County, City Council etc) SUBJECT TO Citizen review within a reasonable period of time, and if no citizen action is taken, then the local government decision is FINAL.
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A decision to give away public funds, could be SUBJECT TO citizen review by requiring a certain percent involvement and within a reasonable period of time.
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For example, of how this would work is as follows:
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i)  If 10% (or some other percent) of total citizens WHO VOTED in the last local election gather SIGNATURES in opposition from the local registered voters, within say 30-45 days, then the local government (County, City etc) decision is STOPPED and PENDING.
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ii)  Then if the citizens gather in opposition a total of 33% SIGNATURES (or some other percent) of total citizens WHO VOTED in the last local election within say 30-45 days, then the citizens have VETOED THIS DECISION.
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iii)  For similar action to be reconsidered at a later date, at least 75%-80% of the local government (County, City etc),  must state their intention within 30-days to bring this matter up again within ONE-YEAR, or 66% within TWO-YEARS; otherwise a similar motion can not be considered until after THREE or FOUR years have lapsed.
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The purpose for this is to Protect the interests of Citizens/Taxpayers and to give notice to the community of those local government politicians who are voting against the will of the people.
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In our civil law abiding society, the consent of the governed is supreme.  When the Will of the People is disregarded or violated as we have repeatedly experienced recently with no recourse or remedy, then the People must withdraw its consent or grant its consent Subject to Review by The Will of the People!
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Francisco “Paco” Barragan

Candidate for State Assembly 69th AD

FranciscoForAssembly.com (website under construction)

franciscoxasamblea@gmail.com

My opinions only and not those of any group

 


About Francisco Barragan