Part of the Bay Area News Group

Nine is enough

By Matt Artz
Sunday, October 12th, 2008 at 9:22 am in City Council Election, Fremont.

The story in today’s Argus marks the ninth and final City Council Candidate profile. A tenth candidate, Hou Leong, never returned my phone calls.

FYI, It’s looking like The Argus editorial board — those same visionaries who advised you last time around to support a utility tax and make Ray Bilodeau a school board member — won’t be making endorsements this year. What will you do without them?

To read about Trisha, click here.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    City council candidate debate tonight at 37270 Niles blvd. The debate starts at 7:00 PM. It will focus on the burgulary alarm response issues concerning the police department and the city council. Please plan to attend and cross examine the candidates on any issue you would like to raise.

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    A very interesting discussion concerning the police chief last night in Niles. I attended the so called debate and in return I witnessed a power point presentation that showed how our present police chief has manipulated the city manager and current city council. This presentation blind sided me and I did not know that our crafty police chief has been able to do as he pleases without any oversight for all this time. The information showed how the burgular alarm response program in Fremont has been corrupted by the chief to fit his own private agenda. Based on what I saw and if it is all true the police chief should resign. I am calling for a complete audit of the alledged activity that was discribed at the debate last evening.

  • Fremont Native

    Hello Larry,

    Thanks for the debate. I could not make it. It is true that bureaucrats are manipulating the present City Council members including the Mayor. If the same people are elected ie Bob W’s and Trisha[part of the same group], it will be the status-quo on a lot of issues.

    Time for Fremonters to elect the true representatives who will be the true voice of people and make the City Staff accountable.

  • Storm Trooper

    If I recall correctly, Chief Steckler made a presentation when the burglar alarm policy was discussed at City Council chambers. I am not sure how one can manipulate data that is readily available online. The bottom line is that I don’t see why I as a tax payer should be subsidizing the Alarm companies. If an alarm company is selling a service, they need to verify the alarm first before sending the understaffed police department on a wild goose chase. Over 95% of all alarms are false. I wonder if Fremont Native running for office this election season?

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    Fremont Native, I can make this promise to you if I am elected to serve on the Fremont City Council. There will be maximum accountability and oversight in all of the city departments. I am a man of my word.

  • worble

    NO TO LARRY MONTGOMERY AND NO THE BALLPARK IN FREMONT!!!

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    The second city council candidate debate in Niles will be held tonight. The meeting hall location is at 37270 Niles Blvd. Please get there early to get the best seating. The debate will start at 7:00 PM and we will focus first on how the city and the schools should interface. I am looking forward to meeting Worble.

  • worble

    I will be there Larry.You won’t change how I fell about you or about how you want to bring the ballpark to Fremont. Lets put the ballpark in your backyard and you can deal with all the drunks and criminal elements that will come with the ballpark. Not to mention the traffic. You will kill pacific commons if you build the ballpark nobody will shop there on game days and fight for parking space’s and fight traffic just to go to Lowes. NO TO THE BALLPARK IN FREMONT!!!

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    The City Council Debate last evening in Niles was a success. I appreciate all the questions and concerns that were brought to light. Together we the people of Fremont can make this city a better place to live and work. It won’t be easy but we have to change the status quo that has been running this city. Please vote for me for city council and you will see the difference.

  • worble

    NO TO LARRY MONTGOMERY AND NO TO THE BALLPARK IN FREMONT!!!!!

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    I would like to thank all of my supporters and all of the people that haved help me run my campaign. It has been a wonderful experience and I am looking forward to serving on the Fremont City Council. I would also so like to thank Worble for all of his kind words of encouragment. I would also like to inform him that not all words need to be capitalized. The good thing is that Worble it is not to late for you to come and join my campaign. You words and preserverence is commendable. You would have made a great campaign manager. Keep in touch I may just have job for you in the future.

  • Fremont taxpayer

    Storm Trooper says -
    I don’t see why I as a tax payer should be subsidizing the Alarm companies.

    Response – As a tax payer – you shouldn’t be subsidizing ANYTHING. If the alarm fee “penalty” is set correctly, it provides economic benefit to the city. Kinda like when we pass out parking tickets – the cost of issuing the ticket or the fine has to exceed the cost of response.

    Storm Trooper says -
    I wonder if Fremont Native running for office this election season?

    Response -
    Who gives a hoot if anyone on this blog is running for office or not. . . . who cares if anyone is related to an incumbent or candidate . . . . who cares ???
    The only thing that SHOULD matter – if you keep your eye on the issues, are the thoughts and ideas, NOT WHO SOMEONE IS. Keep the personalities out of it – lest you discredit your position.

    Storm Trooper says -
    If an alarm company is selling a service, they need to verify the alarm first before sending the understaffed police department on a wild goose chase.

    Response – Ideally you’d be correct. But until the Alarm services get their act together – let’s profit from their problems. The P.D. could ADD STAFF if the fees generated are sufficient. . . . Just like some cities hire officers who’s sole task is to monitor parking and hand out tickets for those who fail to feed the meter – let’s hire a couple of officers who can do nothing more than respond to alarms. They’ll be fully paid for by the alarm fees – and when they’re not busy responding to alarms, maybe they can respond to a traffic accident or something more serious.

    Storm Trooper says -
    Over 95% of all alarms are false.

    Response -
    And 100% of parking violations result in no individual being “injured” – but we somehow find the time and the resource to hand out and collect on parking tickets.

  • Jon Simon

    Round and round and round we go.

    How about you just bite the bullet and pay a security company to monitor your alarm. That’s what Chief Steckler does.

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/argus/ci_10799475 lays it all out.

  • Fremont taxpayer

    Jon -

    How about you (or anyone else) that is pro-the current direction on this “bite the bullet” and do your best to respond to the responses – or points made.

  • Andrew M.

    Fremont Taxpayer writes…
    “… and do your best to respond to the responses – or points made.”

    Ok, I’ll bite.

    1.) “The P.D. could ADD STAFF if the fees generated are sufficient.” No, the PD can’t add staff based on fees that may or may not be enough to cover the cost of employment. When you hire someone you have to know there’s money in the budget, this year and next year, to pay them. When you hire a polic officer it is a long term commitment by both parties. Police officers shouldn’t work on spec or on commission.

    2.) “And 100% of parking violations result in no individual being “injured” – but we somehow find the time and the resource to hand out and collect on parking tickets.” Different job, different requirements – and paid by what is collected. That is to say, if the tickets dropped to one half next year, the employee still gets paid. They may get laid off for lack of work, but again, they don’t work on spec nor on commission.

    Now it’s your turn. Explain why you feel the taxpayers should subsidize the alarm companies.

  • Fremont taxpayer

    I’m confused Andrew M. I appreciate you taking the time to help me understand, maybe with some dialogue on this I’ll learn something.

    Your first point is that uncertainty of the revenues from false alarms is so great, that we would not feel good about hiring officers to support this work. . . . and I get that. But, it seems like uncertainty of even our most significant incomes (and outflows) such as sales taxes and property taxes are quite dynamic as well – witness the wild swings in our city “balance sheet” owing to these uncertainties – isn’t this just a part of city management (or any business management)e.g., dealing with uncertainty ? Why is THIS economic forecast SO MUCH TRICKIER than other projections our city managers live with and plan for already ?

    Your second point is the “meter reader” is a different job – and I agree with you. But is it also your position that just because the skills necessary are different – the accounting HAS to work differently ? We have loads of differing skill sets that our P.D. needs to do its job, meter readers are one example. We can hire some of these folks (meter readers) and give them a job to do because there’s a revenue produced by their activity – and that revenue pays for those who are doing the job, BUT that’s not to say they are (as you suggest) on a commission. I offer the meter reader example only as an analogy to make the point that there already ARE situations within our existing police force where individuals are rationalized against the revenue they produce – which is a smart thing to do. Dont get me wrong, I’m not suggesting EVERYONE is rationalized against a revenue, but where you can, it seems like the decision is a no-brainer.

    This idea that our P.D. is subsidizing the alarm co’s problem is a wonderful turn of the table which, if you think about it makes absolutely zero sense for me. Let’s lay this one to rest – We only subsidize the “false alarm” problem if we deliver a service and DONT RECOVER THE COST OF DOING SO !!! and no one is suggesting that.

    So – if I summarize -

    Economic uncertainty is something all cities deal with on a number of fronts – the false alarm response issue is no more or less variable than others.

    We already rationalize P.D. resources based on their revenue production, we COULD rationalize other resources in the same manner – if that’s what we want to do.

    As long as we charge a fee greater than the fixed costs of response – we aren’t subsidizing alarm companies.

    I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed Andrew – maybe there’s something here I’m missing and I genuinely would like to figure that out. At the end of the day, I see many communities charging for this “false alarm” service – whatever you think the challenges are (different job, uncertainty of incomes) other cities seem to have figured out how to overcome these obstacles and presumably do so for some economic advantage.

  • Andrew M.

    I’m afraid you have a mistaken notion regarding other cities who fine homeowners and businesses for false alarms. Those fines are not targeted at revenue creation nor are they expected to pay for the cost of police investigating each false alarm. Rather, they are intended to convince alarm owners of the wisdom of paying more to their alarm companies to verify alarms prior to calling out the police. Also, those cities do not fine for first time offenders, yet a high percentage (I’ve forgotten the number) of false alarms are in that category.

    You are probably also underestimating the cost of hiring and keeping someone on the police force. It’s not just the salary, retirement contribution, various employee taxes and whatnot, it’s also the six months to one year recruitment process for each officer and the months of training. Oh, and don’t forget the patrol cars and other equipment each officer requires.

    Tell me, what do you think the *total* cost of recruiting, training, hiring, paying and supporting one police officer is?

  • Fremont taxpayer

    I’m betting that a fully-equipped patrol car and officer are one of the more pricey services we need to deliver. No doubt about it.

    I do see that there are occassions wherein the 1st “false” alarm is sometimes given away as a warning by some communities.

    Dont get me wrong – I’m betting it’ll cost someone a pretty penny to have an officer respond. . . . .

    You know – it’s a little like the rescue that I know a little bit about. Coast Guard had to dispatch a helo to pull a hang glider off of a cliff they had whacked into. Last I heard – the individual ended up paying for the bigger part of the expense associated with his “rescue” – there’s some of that starting to go on in the public parks as well.

    I guess that my point is, whatever the cost is – if it costs us $300 (I’m making that up – maybe it’s $500 – but who cares, unless you have a “bad” alarm) to dispatch an officer for 30 minutes – so be it. . . . pay the bill or fix your service – in the meantime, the city makes some sorely needed revenue.

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    Well here we go! Yesterday I got so much positive feedback from my supporters. I drove around Fremont with my campaign sign in the back of my truck. I have a good feeling going into the election tomorrow. One thing that I have noticed is that most of Fremont want’s new blood on the city council. They want better city government and they want better shopping and dining areas. That is what I want so vote for me for a better Fremont.

  • William (Bill) Spicer

    Why I am voting for Vinnie Bacon.
    First a disclaimer, I have worked on Vinnie‘s campaign since it‘s inception. I have been so frustrated seeing Fremont residents go before the city council only to be ignored in favor of Real Estate, Commercial Developers. I cannot think of one project the present City Council has NOT approved. The planning Commission is also picked by the Mayor and the City Council, so they reflect the Mayors and City Councils philosophy of anything Developers’ want and to hell with the Residents of Fremont. The Planning Commission turned down the Saber Cat project after a massive demonstration of the residents opposition to it. The City Counsel overrode the Planning Commission rejection of the Saber Cat project.
    Which brings me back to why I am supporting Vinnie Bacons for Fremont City Counsel. He stated He would not take any money from Real Estate Developers, before the other candidates announced they were going to run for office.
    There are many issues that are going to come before the City Counsel in the next four years. Vinnie Bacon has a very high level of Integrity and Honesty. He believes city government be transparent. He will represent all the people of Fremont, not just the real Estate Developers.
    Lets make a start in taking back the City of Fremont from the Developers and giving it back to the residents of Fremont.
    We desperately need a change. Please Vote for Vinnie Bacon

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    Larry Montgomery has refused to take any special interest money for his campaign. Unlike the other city council candidates, he has funded his campaign by himself. When elected he will not owe anybody any political favors. Please vote for Larry Montgomery !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://N/A Larry Montgomery

    I hope all the citizens of Fremont vote for me today. I am ready to serve this city as a member of the city council. Please vote for Larry Montgomery for City Council.