While it’s a New Year in MV, Frank Ury’s hatred hasn’t stopped







MV councilman Frank Ury

MV councilman Frank Ury

In addition to annually selecting the mayor and vice mayor in General Law cities, we also select council member city commissioners and appoint representatives to various County boards at the beginning of each year.

A change from last year’s format occurred when the mayor and vice mayor made their nominations of commissioners first. In Mission Viejo those three posts include Planning and Transportation Commission, Community Services Commission [and Investment Advisory Commission which was formed after the County bankruptcy]. The investment commissioners, who meet quarterly, are the only group that requires related financial accreditation.

Council member Schlicht had some valid concerns and could easily have voted against several of the council majority picks. Yet she decided to have a positive approach to the New Year by not opposing any of her peer recommendations. She voted acceptance of them all, even knowing that one or more may be council candidates to challenge her in 2012.

Let’s fast forward to Cathy’s recommendations that were the last under consideration. Frank Ury challenged both of her choices for our Investment Advisory and Community services commissions.

Mark Dobrilovic was appointed by Cathy two years ago and was selected as chairperson of the Investment Commission by his peers. When our newest member Rhonda Reardon questioned why Mark was not acceptable to Frank he raised the recent campaign, stated some precarious findings during the campaign and said that Mark should “focus on other things rather than worrying about the Investment commission” stating that Mark was generally negative and didn’t contribute anything to move the city forward.

When mayor Leckness called member Riordan to speak about Mark, Rhonda asked Irwin Bornstein, Assistant City Manager/Treasurer, who attends every Investment Commission meeting, for his personal assessment of Marks’ performance in carrying out his duties on that commission.

Irwin said “I did not have any problem dealing with him” on the commission. He went on stating “in my opinion he participated appropriately just like all other members,” acknowledging that Mark was competent.

At the conclusion of Irwin’s reply Frank chastised Rhonda for asking the question and placing the manager on the spot. Frank Ury’s hatred of Cathy Schlicht and Mark Dobrilovic cannot be contained.

Among her management posts Rhonda worked in management of a small telephone company called Pac Bell/AT&T in the HR department. When I worked for a living we called it the personnel department. One of the first things you do before hiring someone is to check their references yet Frank felt Rhonda’s doing so was out of order?

The irony is that Frank has urged his peers to call upon staff if they have any questions relating to city business yet feels it out of line to ask for a reference?

As Mark did not renew his application as of last night Cathy agreed to hold off on making an appointment to that post until the next meeting.

Let’s shift gears to her other commission recommendation, Brian Skalsky, challenged by Mr Ury. Frank earlier in this meeting stated “we’re in the political realm” and he was true to form.

Brian Skalsky, who served on the Community Services Commission for four years, including being selected as chair, was a candidate in the last city council election. Frank was punishing him for his candidacy and at the same time rejecting Cathy’s choice.

While I am a realist this is all a game and I see no hope for civility on our council in 2011 which Rhonda and mayor Leckness hoped to accomplish.

In his opposition to the selection of Brian mayor Leckness stated “I can’t support Brian..he’s a good guy..this is very tough for me”.  Acknowledging that Brian is a “good guy” perhaps Dave can explain his comment. Why is it tough for him to vote yes? How can it be tough for you when you’r the mayor?  Was a promise made to someone to block Brian if his name is presented for consideration? Mission Viejo citizens would love to hear Dave’s answer.

The surprise for me was Trish Kelley’s decision to vote against Frank and Mayor Leckness who each expressed their opposition to Brian before casting their votes. While she felt that the campaign season was contentious, she provided the third vote of acceptance. In her remarks, while acknowledging Brians service and the recent campaign, Trish commented that she will support the wishes of the council candidate making the nomination. Paraphrased.

I would be remiss not to point out that I did address the council on two agenda items which were defeated on 3-2 votes. First being the right of any citizen to pull alleged “routine Consent Calendar” items without finding a council member to pull them for you, and the second related to the taping of our closed session portion of meetings.

During that second item I closed with a reference to Bill Curley, our RW&G City attorney, stating that we should continue these tapings in that “there’s a cloud over your head in the city of Upland about your billing records that may or may not have an impact here. You are under some form of litigation which is troubling to me.”

Bill was rather upset with me and jumping in stated “I am not under investigation at all. It’s the other officials. The city council (of Upland) reviewed the allegations and took no action.” He disagreed with my remarks and called it a non existent cloud but I do know we must consider the source, a reference to myself.

Yet the following story may contradict his status regardless of what their council has penned. I am reminded of former mayor Butterfield criticizing the ruling of OC Superior Judge Eileen C. Moore in August of 2000 when Sherri used the city manager’s letterhead to put out a statement that the judge in the Brown Act litigation “appeared to be both ill and unprepared” when Judge Moore ruled that we tape record Closed Session meetings for the next two years for that abuse. As such, I really am not confidant that any letter from members of the Upland city council will trump the ongoing Upland discovery.

Yes, Bill Curley was not a happy camper last night. At the same hour he was present in the Mission Viejo Closed Session his performance was under scrutiny in the city of Upland where they scheduled a “Special meeting.”  That fact can be confimred by the attached Inland Valley Daily Bulletin article. As it is brief I will not delete any portion of it to avoid any future allegation of my engaging in selective editing.

Upland City Council to hold special meeting

Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer

Posted: 01/03/2011 05:52:52 PM PST

“UPLAND – Upland City Council will hold a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. today with the jobs of the city manager and city attorney possibly on the line. The council will go into closed session to discuss three items regarding the city manager, listed on the agenda as “Public Performance Employee Evaluation,” “Public Employment” and “Public Employment Appointment.” A fourth item lists “Public Employee Discipline/Dismissal/Release” without reference to the position in question, and a fifth item is a performance evaluation of the city attorney. The meeting will be held at City Hall, 460 N. Euclid Ave.

Upland Councilman Ray Musser said he could not comment on the meeting in detail because it’s a closed session dealing with personnel.

“They’re all posted so we can discuss any item. It’s covering all the subjects so that’s all I can say at this point,” he said.

The Daily Bulletin reported in December that City Manager Robb Quincey had negotiated a $25,000 settlement of an Upland police sergeant’s lawsuit alleging he was passed over for a promotion because he had investigated a domestic incident with Quincey. The sergeant was promoted to lieutenant as part of the settlement.

The council recently discussed its contract with City Attorney William Curley’s firm, but no action was taken. City officials had expressed concerns over the city’s legal fees.

Calls to Quincey and Curley were not immediately returned Monday afternoon.”

Gilbert’s closing comments. While Bill Curley refused to respond to the Inland Valley reporter, he surely had some words for me last night.

Yes, welcome to 2011.

This year we will test to see if this keyboard is more powerful than the gavel in Mission Viejo as transparency and accountability are top priorities. Frank Ury is so blinded by hatred that he has an inability to intellectualize issues.

About Larry Gilbert