Take Back Your Community

September 8, 2009

Published this morning by one of us:

Spreading throughout the national narrative straight from the deplorable policy tank of social engineers is a new, politically correct description for Low Income Housing.   Absent as usual from the social engineering agenda, is freedom in educational choice or a single, truly uplifting measure; instead it’s just more of the same oppressive, governmental intervention.  The spiritually stifling new narrative is predictably uninspiring which is always the case for big government programs and socially engineered societal models.

Here is the entire article:

http://smartgirlnation.com/?p=5487

Articles Against The Tax Exempt Housing Mess

September 8, 2009

Articles that do have some good information.

Chicago is having the same fight in Wilson Yard.  Interesting article.

http://www.fixwilsonyard.org/

Here is another from Trenton, New Jersey.

http://www.trentondowntowner.com/2002_September/2002_09_Affordable%20Housing.htm

The definitive argument against Tax Exempt Housing.

http://www.wpri.org/WIInterest/Vol14no1/Moh14.1.pdf

Paul Jacobs Finally Gets It Right

September 6, 2009

What happened  within this last week that caused Paul Jacobs of The Californian to write this?

http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/jacobs/article_7b37efc3-2e3d-5354-be08-a513f578e101.html

From the article:

What I have previously described as a mob scene of people irate over the idea of affordable housing in their part of town, is actually an understandable and predictable reaction, according to research by the Kettering Foundation (www.kettering.org).

In an article on strengthening civic life, Alice Diebel writes, “When people have limited opportunities to participate in meaningful ways, they resort to saying ‘no’ to block an action … Without citizen engagement, our communities and our nation lose the needed values check on public issues.”

Correct, Mr. Jacobs.  When the perception of backroom deals between the City, Bridge LLC, and the Rescue Mission take place, what is the public supposed to think?

In the Community Forums section of the paper right next to Mr. Jacobs article, an excellent piece is written by Bret Kelley:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/article_3ca3797a-0650-508b-8ab0-4ecbce51e681.html

A Selection of Links Exposing the Unethical Practices of Bridge Housing Corporation

September 6, 2009

Bridge Housing making a “fast buck” Here’s a quote from the article:

“Mercy Housing and Bridge Housing are no better. All these developers expect to get money from the federal and state governments to carry out their devious plans. These crooked developers do not care about the poor people and families who need help the most.
None of them believe in empowering poor people to determine their own destiny. They see the areas in question as the last frontier, and they want to make a fast buck. They would have started their projects long ago, but California’s sad fiscal situation slowed the process. Now the stimulus package is being used to give money to these rogue developers.”

Read more at:

http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/newsom-gives-san-francisco%E2%80%99s-most-affordable-housing-to-developers-to-destroy/

Bridge Housing involvement with deliberate re-zoning and subsequent Land Grab…here’s a quote from the article:

“Matt Seubert, project planner with the San Mateo County Planning Department, said the county deliberately re-zoned the land under the Meadowbrook Mobile Home Manor in 1993, making it a combination of commercial and industrial uses to prepare for the growth around the Colma BART station.
The zoning also made it easier for the BRIDGE Housing Corp., the nonprofit that intends to build the low-income apartments, to sell off part of the parcel for market rate condominiums.”

Read more here…

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4176/is_20070317/ai_n18743189/

Here’s a list of ‘donors’ to Bridge Housing Corporation…look on page two and you’ll see Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation a.k.a. ground zero of the mortgage meltdown…your tax dollars at work funding political agendas:

http://www.bridgehousing.com/Donors_and_Partners

Bridge Housing fined $2,000+ for failure to disclose late campaign contribution:

http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.html?id=48&show=detail&prid=650

Another Unfair Political Practices Fine levied against Bridge:

http://www.sandiego.gov/ethics/pdf/stip09_09.pdf

The nearly $18,000 Bridge Housing Contributed to the ‘Yes on Prop 1 C’ campaign advocating public funding for public housing:

http://www.fppc.ca.gov/Agendas/06-07/07-0197stip.pdf

Runaway Redevelopment in Temecula

September 4, 2009

The Temecula Re-Development Agency is an out of touch, unaccountable bureaucratic entity, seemingly hell bent on building housing during the worst economic downturn in our lives. This agency intends to implement this Low Income Housing project in a city with multiple empty houses. Mr. Richardson slapped down Low Income Housing throughout Vista, CA and now he’s here in Temecula with the same game plan.

This focus on housing is completely illogical when considering the penchant of the Temecula city council to routinely avoid addressing the egregious traffic congestion that plagues our city. Development continues at breakneck speed without with any semblance of a coherent traffic plan. The ever-increasing, dangerous traffic problem in Temecula continues to get shoved to the back burner while the city builds a brand new city council building and now apparently multiple Low Income Housing projects.

They’re planning to build all of this Low Income Housing in Temecula without functional public transportation, disappearing jobs and out of control traffic congestion. Their response when questioned is to blame the whole mess on a state mandate. The state of California with its abysmal management is in no position to force any mandates on our city while busy dipping into our local fiscal reserve.

Is there competent leadership at any level in this state? We have clearly defined our position in regards to Low Income Housing; we don’t want the character of our city to be altered in subservience to a state mandate. Bridge Housing, the local Re-Development Agency and the City Council are all out of touch with the citizens of Temecula. We are most notably opposed to the Low Income Housing project slated for Summerhouse, as well as generally opposed to this rush forward into Low Income building projects; each saddled with a 55-year lease.

Bridge Housing tells us that they’ll slap a fancy stucco roof on the Low Income Housing project at the corner of Margarita and Dartolo road. Apparently this is supposed to shut the NIMBYs up. Stylish architecture does nothing to distract us from the 55-year lease that has a Section 8 Housing ring to it. So, here we are, trying to find extra hours at work or at a second job to hang onto our own homes in this worsening economy while navigating the local landmine of traffic and we’re supposed to just look away; as this unapproachable city council and their unaccountable Re-Development team, hook up with Bridge to build Low Income housing in a city with empty houses?

Bridge Housing Corporation warrants a far closer inspection considering the seemingly endless list of ‘donors’ who contribute to this non-profit organization. Among the donors that were publicly listed were Fannie Mae and the Fannie Mae Foundation; a.k.a. ground zero of the mortgage meltdown. This long list of donors provides all those dollars Bridge is forever tossing around in the political arena including the nearly $18,000 contributed to the “Yes on Prop 1C” campaign that pushed public funding for public housing.

Bridge appears open to any tactic necessary to push into established neighborhoods be it ‘pay to play’ or influencing local legislative bodies on zoning issues. We’re immune to the political correctness ploys being hurled at us from the pages of the ‘Californian’ newspaper. We’re hardworking folks who sacrificed and saved to move into these neighborhoods and continue to do the same to hang onto our houses. Our city isn’t up for sale to a questionable bidder. It’s time for the council to consider the opinion of the residents, as well as the consequence that possibly await them in the next election cycle.

Will the city council put Temecula first; ahead of Bridge Housing, ahead of the runaway Re-Development agency and ahead of their latest land development deal? Let us remind the Temecula City Council that according to the ‘Brown Act’ “The people do not yield their sovereignty to the bodies that serve them. The people insist on remaining informed to retain control over the legislative bodies they have created.” Force this Low Income Housing on our city and we will remind each one of you about it on Election Day.

“Your fight is now with Bridge, not us”

September 2, 2009

On August 27th at the Summerhouse Workshop, after the Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission pulled their application, Bob Johnson from the Temecula Redevelopment Agency (RDA) announced that the City and the RDA have nothing to do with Bridge Housing LLC. “Your fight is now with Bridge, not us”, Johnson announced.

Didn’t the Council invite Bridge into town for the public hearing without a public posting on Aug 11th ? Is Johnson saying that now it’s OUR responsibility to throw them out?  In essence, the City Council takes their trash, dumps it on your lawn, and tells you to clean it up!!


Here is the entire video of the Aug 11th Meeting where Bridge Housing was approved:
http://temecula2.12milesout.com/ClientWebApp/Temecula/Video.aspx?VideoId=f2984afd-f662-4969-8369-1cb983e0e4ca

On August 11th when the City Council voted on approving Bridge to build low income housing without any public notice to the surrounding residents or businesses, you will notice that Councilman Chuck Washington states that the City Council initiated the entire process and found Bridge Housing at 01:52:53 on the video.

Patrick Richardson said “they weren’t the low bidder, but the right bidder” with all of this talk about “partnerships”.  Watching the video, you would swear that Richardson worked for Bridge rather than the people of Temecula.

If you call Richardson’s office today, they will tell you they have nothing to do with Bridge at all. “That is Bridge’s land, not ours”.

Make no mistake.  This is the City Council’s fault. Bob Johnson is correct when he said on August 27th that “they blew it”.

THIS IS THE CITY COUNCIL’S MESS AND THEY HAVE TO CLEAN IT UP. IT IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO TELL BRIDGE THEY ARE NOT WANTED. THEY REPRESENT US!! OR DO THEY?

Where is the leadership on this council…will they put Temecula first or Bridge housing first?

Obvious Corruption!!

August 30, 2009

This post comes from  commenter Craig Edmunds.

Obvious Corruption!

After talking with Bridge representatives, the level of corruption is even deeper than I thought. The Bridge representatives said that they had been contracted by the city to build 90 low-cost units.

However, the 90 units are a done deal, and will be built regardless of the citizen’s wishes. Thank you, Mayor Edwards, and the Temecula City Council, city planner, and all others who attempted to quietly push this through and evidently were successful.

I also learned that Bridge was building the 90 units at a cost of $3 million. However, why did Mayor Edwards and Riverside County’s Jeff Stone pledge $2.3 to $2.5 million of public funds to RCC/Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission (the mission is a shell organization of RCC) over four months ago? The Bridge representatives indicated that RCC/TMRM planned on using someone within their organization to build the units “at cost” with “sweat labor.” HOW CAN BRIDGE MAKE A PROFIT BUILDING 90 UNITS WITH $3 MILLION AND RCC/TMRM CAN ONLY “BREAK EVEN” BUILDING ONLY 20 UNITS — some of which are already partially constructed — FOR $2.3 to $2.5 MILLION?

Members of RCC, the mayor, and city council members claim that this is “charitable,” and I would have to agree. However, who is receiving the millions of dollars of charity? RCC, the mayor (who attends RCC), Jeff Stone, the city council (who have not answered my questions regarding their affiliation with RCC or TMRC?

There needs to be an official investigation — criminal or otherwise — to find out why/how a city government can even pledge this kind of money to religious institutions — especially those with whom they have close ties. Recall? Yes. Voted out of office? Yes. Unethical / illegal appropriation of public funds cannot / should not be tolerated by anyone, regardless of how “charitable, caring, and compassionate” they claim to be.

Now that TMRM has pulled out of the deal, it is our understanding that the low income housing by Bridge has to be restructured and then re-approved by the City Council on Sept 22nd.  Bridge is going to be holding their public forum “sales pitch” on Sept 10th.

As far as a recall and voting them out of office, that’s up to the citizens.

Summerhouse Transitional Housing Is Dead

August 28, 2009

The Temecula Murrieta Rescue Mission withdrew their application.

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/temecula/article_4a792144-6ad6-5abc-b64f-19ecd02b5a47.html

There won’t be 20 units of transitional housing at the northwest corner of Margarita and Dartolo roads. And the 90 units of affordable housing slated for the same site, a partially built senior condominium complex called Summerhouse that was put into foreclosure last year, is in jeopardy.

The Temecula-Murrieta Rescue Mission, the backers of the 20 transitional apartments, announced Thursday night during a public forum attended by more than 250 people that criticism by area residents has caused the nonprofit to withdraw its application.

There was this moment that occurred during the night:

Anne Unmacht, a volunteer who works with the area’s homeless, started off her comments by saying, “I wanted to cry when I heard they were pulling their application.”

Then she proceeded to do just that, flanked by two blonde girls that said they were homeless and living in a park before they were helped by Project TOUCH, a local nonprofit organization.

The two blonde girls broke into tears when Pastor Scott Treadway announced that they pulled the application. A man that opposes the project stood up and announced that he would help the family find an apartment and pay two months rent.  He later clarifies during the forum that he wants the Pastor to sign their lease. We didn’t hear whether that would happen or not. But it would be interesting to see if it does.

August 25th Public Comments

August 27, 2009

Here is the VIDEO from the August 25th City Council meeting.

Click on Public Comments.

The room was filled to the point where they had to open a spare room across the hall and provide a video feed. After Public Comments ended, almost everyone left. The room was virtually empty.

We’d like to thank Councilmen Roberts and Naggar for considering a delay in the vote until we have all of our questions answered. We’d especially like to thank Councilman Naggar for letting us know that we have done everything correctly. We appreciate it.

Part of the video is missing audio. We have been told that this will be fixed by tomorrow.

EDIT: The Californian covers the story most likely from watching the posted video.

http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/temecula/article_42c2ba62-6a5e-50c0-a624-82f3c4687406.html

Andy McIntosh Thinks We Are Droolers

August 24, 2009

We are writing to you today in your “facade of tony homes with plenty of drug and alcohol abuse within them”. Pardon me for interrupting “your drooling and vitriolic hatred”.

An editorial was written about us:

http://www.nctimes.com/news/opinion/columnists/mcintosh/article_35319ecf-4827-55de-9a20-9193c5bdf595.html

Mr. McIntosh,

We have done our research.

We have looked up the public records of the “success stories” of the Orange County Rescue Mission in the Orange County Superior Court website and found individuals being re-arrested for violent crimes. We’ve found myspace pages of these “success stories” and even posted one up that is still affiliated with a gang and is friends with gang members. We have posted TWICE that three quarters of the “success stories” posted on the Orange County Rescue Mission’s website reference drugs, alcohol, gangs, or prison. We have found that The Village of Hope requires a breathalyzer test every time to enter. Why would that be needed if there are no substance abuse problems?

We have people in our group that have personal experience as social workers and experience in police programs.

Within our group that was at the “workshop rebellion”, we saw all walks of life present. Police officers, teachers, engineers, business men, wives, laboratory techs, and ex-marines. All of them “drooling”, right Andy?

What Mr. McIntosh keeps glossing over is that the Temecula City Council never notified the surrounding residents or businesses of what their plans were for Summerhouse and is just ramming it through.

Who does the City Council and the RDA work for? The citizens of Temecula or Bridge Housing and the Rescue Mission?

Why isn’t The Californian looking into THIS story? Isn’t the press supposed to be our watchdog? Apparently not.

Maybe Mr. McIntosh thinks it’s great to have a city government dictate what is good for us. We don’t. We have many questions that we want answered and we are not satisfied with the answers given. When Mr. Naggar rode up on his bicycle, he promised to vote for a delay until we have EVERY QUESTION ANSWERED. We will hold him to that.

Last article, Mr. McIntosh called us “Beverly Hills transplants” insinuating that we are a bunch of stuck up snobs. Yes, Andy.  Every person living in Beverly Hills dreams of living in a 1700 square foot box in a planned community in the Inland Empire.

Your insults don’t bother us, Mr. McIntosh. But it really reveals what a petty little man you really are.