It’s a Citizen Witch-hunt, not Oakley Politics at it’s Worst

Eva Diamond is at it again, this time in the Oakley Press, with yet another editorial on the Bryan Montgomery mortgage deal which she is calling for Carol Rios to resign or face a recall.

I will not go into great detail about why I believe Carol Rios should further ignore Eve Diamond and others request because I wrote about it on Dec. 18, however, this is now the second Letter to the Editor in nearly the same text—I did not know the Oakley Press ran these types of stories that had already been published, the only thing changed is the ending. I would assume it was an oversight by the Press staff.

For someone like Ms. Diamond, you really need to pay attention to what she is actually saying. I have linked her Letter to the Editor in both papers while my comments are in bold to show you how distorted her thinking truly is.

It’s easy for someone to write an editorial such as this. It’s rather disgusting that she can make several blanket statements that can be interpreted many ways without actually providing hard facts. If I wanted to I could do it all day.

Yes, questions will be raised by people who do not know much that has transpired, but truly read it closely and think about it, Ms. Diamond provides no substance whatsoever to back up her statements as I will show you below, which are why she should be exposed.

When people put out crap like she wrote, nothing happens to them. Instead, reputations are ruined and city time is wasted providing facts and correcting misinformation.

With that being said, lets take a closer look at her Letter to the Editor shall we?

Eve Diamond text is in italics
My comments to each paragraph are in bold.

Politics at its worst
Via Oakley Press – Dec 22, 2011

Editor:

As an outraged Oakley taxpayer, I believe it’s high time the Oakley City Council was taken to task for its part in the attempt to bail out City Manager Bryan Montgomery’s “underwater” home loan to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars at Oakley taxpayers’ expense.

Why does Ms. Diamond get to decide the City Council should be taken to task? What makes her so special to make this decision where the DA was already alerted and declined? I request we see her credentials to prove she is qualified to make this decision. If Mr. Montgomery did have a bailout of taxpayer money, he would have already been arrested along with the rest of the council who voted for this.

More importantly, does Ms. Diamond pay taxes? What is her contribution to Oakley that allows her to complain about taxpayer expenses… just saying!

A bailout written, conceived and performed by the city manager, by agreeing to meet with him behind closed doors and negotiate said half-million home loan bailout, was more than a serious lapse of judgment on the council’s part; said meeting was illegal.

Here she goes on rambling again with false facts. If this was illegal, I’d like to know what law was broken since she fails to even state the law or rule—she simply says the meeting was illegal. The meeting was not illegal because no charges have ever been filed against Mr. Montgomery or the council. Nothing was illegal; she just doesn’t like what happened. This woman clearly has no idea what she is talking about and is stretching the truth.

At the council meeting on Oct. 25, merely rescinding their generous half-million-dollar donation to the most highly paid member of their staff and saying mea culpa to the taxpayers was just not good enough. It is still so obvious that the only reason for the abject apologies was because they got caught red-handed.

Again, why does Ms. Diamond get to decide on what is acceptable or “good enough”?  I seem to think their apology and rescinding of the deal was good enough—what do you think of that Eve? Whether or not they got caught red handed is not the point, we did our job as citizens and stopped them. We scored a victory, now we must move onto the next issue because whether or not Ms. Diamond realizes it, you cannot take action on an action that never “officially” occurred.  

On a side note, who uses the term “mea culpa” anyway?

At a time when Oakley residents are losing their homes on a daily basis, the council had the hubris to allow Mr. Montgomery’s relief of home loan payments for 27 months on a house financed for him by the Oakley taxpayers. This saved him about $50,000 during that time, which he used to purchase another home, since sold by him at a profit.

This second house she speaks of was purchased for $175,000 and then sold for $177,000. Include realtor fees, closing costs and taxes; Mr. Montgomery likely lost money in the deal. By using common sense, her assumption of a profit is completely false.

So he saved $50,000 over that time, how does she know he used that savings for a second home? That is an accusation one can never prove unless Mr. Montgomery verifies.

Why was Oakley City Attorney Derek P. Cole adamant that the meeting at which the bailout was negotiated was not illegal, yet subsequently he rescinded that statement on Nov. 9?

She is clearly mixing two different issues together in which a reader needs to be careful.  Mr. Cole is correct that what was negotiated was not illegal. However, just because he rescinded it later does not make it illegal. It means he rescinded it—nothing more. She makes a weak attempt trying to make the connection but fails to provide proof of why Mr. Cole rescinding his comment makes the deal illegal? It’s nothing more than a bad assumption. People take back statement all the time.

There are many questions to be answered here, especially in light of the fact that Councilmember Carol Rios has not yet provided Oakley residents and taxpayers with an acceptable explanation of why she was AWOL for two council meetings over the course of a month during the council meetings in which this issue was primary on the agenda and, when questioned repeatedly about this by Oakley residents and the press alike, they were discourteously ignored.

I am glad she stopped the world’s longest run-on sentence so I can respond. Ms. Diamond says there are too many questions here… my first question to her is I’d like to know where here is? What are her “many” questions she speaks of because she fails to mention any.

More to the point, her information is incorrect on not providing information why she was there—the CC Times just failed to mention it. The first meeting she was absent, it was announced as a “work emergency”. The second meeting, she had a “family issue” in which upon her return, she said that her brother was battling Congestive Heart Failure in which she might have to answer her phone.

She claims Oakley residents repeatedly questioned Carol Rios absence, I’d like to know which residence did so and what were the questions and dates attempted to seek answers? It’s easy to state people tried, now I want proof.

Her response was no response at all. This is “politics” at its very worst: the apathetic, unapologetic, lack of respect for those who pay her salary – the taxpayers of Oakley – and those whose job it is to enlighten them, the press.

Ms. Diamond seems more disturbed that she hasn’t received a sound bite from Ms. Rios than anything else. This is absurd that Ms. Rios is the focus of this witch hunt for no reason other than she missed a couple meetings and failed to respond—if I was Rios, I’d ignore Ms. Diamond and others as well based off how they have treated her.  

Does she really want to bring up salary? Just take a look at Mayor Kevin Romicks blog from Feb. 16, 2010. Essentially, as of November 2008, the council makes just $465.40 per month with maybe a couple hundred more dollars in meeting stipends.  Breakdown all the time spent on city items, it’s probably less than a $1 per hour

Why is Ms. Diamond so focused on getting a response that she is actually putting the entire blame on Ms. Rios? Its rather bizarre more than anything else. As he should, because he was mayor/chair, he did the speaking on behalf of the board, and if she uses her head, she would realize that was the response.

What is Mrs. Rios’ response to the furor over her role in Bryan Montgomery’s bailout? The same city manager who not only wrote, but also negotiated, this “special deal” with her and the other council members behind closed doors and Mrs. Rios is the only councilmember who has yet to address this issue and apologize to the taxpayers of Oakley. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

This is pretty hypocritical of Ms. Diamond to claim ignorance of the law when she herself has demonstrated she doesn’t have a clue about the law with this Letter to the Editor.

 She has not shown she understands the law because she hasn’t stated one damn law that has been broken or given an example.  Again, Ms. Rios isn’t obligated to waste her time responding to Ms. Diamond’s nonsense. I am actually offended Ms. Diamond is wasting everybody’s time more than I am about the mortgage deal.

At this late stage, an apology from her is not only unforthcoming, but would be too little, too late. I therefore suggest that councilmember Rios either resign or be recalled by the outraged taxpayers of Oakley.

I wrote about this on Dec. 18 in great length, so I’ll keep this part short. Bottom line, Ms. Rios should ignore calls for her resignation because her actions of missing a few meetings or not responding to emails or calls do not warrant a recall. Ms. Diamond seems to feel entitled to a response when the reality is she is not owed one. Jim Frazier spoke on behalf of the council, which is Ms. Rios response.

I would also be curious who is classified as the outraged taxpayers of Oakley? How many are outranged and what is their background to even be entitled to call for a resignation?

As elected council persons, they all not only have a responsibility to the voters and taxpayers of Oakley, but to fully understand the laws that govern their jobs as trusted keepers of the city’s coffers.

Again, what laws must they understand? Some examples would be nice.  The point is, she complains about ethics, following the rules, but maybe its time we investigate who this woman is and what makes her such the expert?

After all, one does not throw mud unless they themselves are already dirty to begin with.

Below are both editorials submitted by Eve Diamond.

Politics at its worst – Dec. 22, 2011
http://thepress.net/view/full_story/16875101/article-Politics-at-its-worst?instance=letters_main_news

Oakley City Council should be brought to task for city manager bailout plan – Dec. 7, 2011
http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_19490608?IADID=Search-www.contracostatimes.com-www.contracostatimes.com

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About burkforoakley

I call it like I see it . I love my city, I love my community and I want what is best for the people around me. Do the right thing, I will support you. Do the wrong thing, I will oppose you!
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