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LAFCO members fire back at critics

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Thursday, July 15th, 2010 at 11:26 am in Contra Costa County, Contra Costa politics.

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder and Concord Councilwoman Helen Allen, two members of the Contra Costa Local Agency Formation Commission under scrutiny for their involvement in a Brentwood growth ballot measure, have fired back at their critics. (See video below.)

Schroder described the repeated calls for an investigation, reprimands or removal from their posts as “public floggings” and said he would no longer “sit back” and tolerate “attacks on his integrity.”

Allen said she felt “badgered” and “fearful.”

The clearly emotional pair spoke at Wednesday’s LAFCO meeting and are referring to Save Mount Diablo Executive Director Ron Brown’s multiple appeals to the commission and the Contra Costa Mayors Conference for swift action to the officials’ involvement in Brentwood’s unsuccessful urban limit line expansion campaign.

The LAFCO board did not personally chastise Allen or Schroder but it did tighten its rules. It will now require members who express individual opinions about LAFCO-related matters to explicitly declare that their views do not represent those of the board.

The proponents of the Brentwood measure made liberal use of the Allen-Schroder letter in the campaign, although both officials said they were unaware that it would be used in this fashion.

The Contra Costa Mayors Conference, earlier in the month, did reprimand the pair but declined to remove them as their appointees to LAFCO. The letter identified Schroder and Allen as representatives of the Mayors Conference but did not make clear that their views were not those of the conference.

Click here to read my news story on the meeting. Check out the video below.

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  • Arne Simonsen

    KUDOs to Helen Allen, Rob Schroder and Meadows for standing up to the relentless attacks by Save Mt Diablo’s Executive Director, Ron Brown!

  • FollowTheMoney

    Leave it to former Antioch City Councilman Arne Simonsen — who helped dig the development permit death spiral, bankruptcy hole Antioch finds itself in — to defend the ethical lapses of Allen, Meadows and Schroder. The three, and Simonsen, agreed to carry water for Tom Koch in the Brentwood Measure F election, and now blame everyone but themselves or Koch for their troubles. Nonetheless they were reprimanded by the Contra Costa Mayors’ Conference, and the voters saw through their scare tactics in Brentwood.

  • Jeff Rubin

    I attended the July 1 Mayors’ Conference in Pinole and heard Allen and Brown claim that, despite their vast political experience — Allen even bragged that she has been around a long time and knows a lot of people — they had no idea that the letter they signed and gave to the political consultant for the proponents of Measure F would be used to sway voters.

    Allen came off as arrogant and defiant when she spoke, and Schroder came across as a buffoon. He even said that because Measure F was defeated, his actions were irrelevant. Perhaps these people are either not fit or too dumb to hold office, or both. Of course, the voters can take of that the next time these two are up for re-election.

    Schroder has no integrity to attack, and he, as does Allen, deserves to be removed from his LAFCO post.

    Allen ought to be “fearful” — of voters, the next time she runs.

    Both of these people are a disgrace and are among the reasons why many people have lost faith in the political system and no longer vote.

  • Arne Simonsen

    “FollowTheMoney”, apparently you didn’t read the letter I sent to the Brentwood Press.

    It did not recommend a Yes or No vote on Measure F; but rather explained the benefit to both Brentwood and Antioch with a widened Balfour Road and Deer Valley Road. Many resident of Brentwood, Knightsen, Byron and Discovery Bay use those roads to get to the Kaiser Hospital in Antioch.

    It also explained how it would compliment future development (many years down the road) at Roddy Ranch, Higgins Ranch and the land in FUA1.

    Mostly, Sandcreek Road needs to be completed from the Highway 4 Bypass to Deer Valley Road for greater access to the Antioch Kaiser Hospital.

    And as for my time on the Antioch City Council, I was urging budget cuts going back to 2001 and getting City employees to pay their portion of their CalPERS retirement. During my 8 years on the Council, we amassed the largest General Fund Reserve the City has ever had, which was meant to be used in the lean times. But sadly, I could not get my other Council members to join me in those budget cuts or to get the City employees to pay their portion of CalPERS.

    If you were paying attention, you would note that I voted against the City Budget in 2007 when I said it was over-optimistic on revenues and that the staff had not been following the Federal Reserve and other economic indicators.

    So please, get your facts straight next time.