------This is the Oxnard Journal -----
Two Big Stories This Week
The Molina Appeal - What does this Mean for Oxnard - especially with the Budget Woes?
Will the City have to pay for this litigation or will it settle out of Court?
January 18, 2003
On December 3, 2002, the US Court of Appeals heard my appeal of the Central District Court's earlier decision.
On January 8, 2003, the Appeals Court reversed the decision of the District Court and sided with my lawyers and me saying, "The district court erred in concluding otherwise."
During the hearing some of the comments of the Appellate Judges included: · "His [Phil Molina] job was to give financial information; speaking was his job, but he got fired for speaking."
· "They [the City of Oxnard] didn't mind if he [Molina] gave them certain financial information but they didn't want to hear the part that made them look bad."
· "There was a lot of pre-textual evidence [from the City]."
Another Judge on the panel said, "How can this guy [Phil Molina] who is the Finance Director and who is talking about the biggest black hole in the City's budget not be a public concern? The taxpayers are suffering because the money is going to the private contractor. Should he [Molina] have answered with a lie?"
My lawyers explained that, "A government official [the City Manager] cannot shield information that should go out to the public by simply claiming that disclosure of such information may be disruptive, otherwise we may as well gut the First Amendment."
If you would like to read the complete ruling I have attached a copy of the Court's decision. I am especially interested in the item on page 3 where it says that the District Court erred because, "Molina has produced enough evidence...including comments by Sotelo [City Manager] and council member Holden that Molina should keep quiet, that `none of what [Molina] said was what the councilmember wanted to hear,' and that powerful people were going `after [him] with big guns' for the views he had expressed. Big or not, these are definitely smoking guns."
I have a certified tape of the Appeals Court hearing, which includes stronger comments by the Judges. .
Respectfully Submitted to the Oxnard Journal
FYI, the decision is now
available at www.CFAC.org.
Kent Pollock - CFAC Executive Director -- search for Molina v. Oxnard
- DownTown Boy's & Girl's Club -
Reaction to Monday 13 JAN Meeting
by Victoria Gonzales
I was at Monday Night's meeting regarding the
Boy's and Girls Club. I got my first job ever by utilizing the YOUTH
EMPLOYMENT SERVICE at the club. In my opinion the board was not very
forthcoming and ambiguous.
It is obvious to me that this board did not strategize the closure of the 7th Street Facility. All the board talked about was about $$$$. Not the sense of community at the club. There is more to fundraising and then all might dollar.
Not every can donate $10,000.00 dollars at a time. What about in-kind donations. Planning Commissioner Morey Navarro mentioned a business that would donate materials and labor to repair the plumbing at the facility. What about the wonderful Seebee's..they have helped us here in La Colonia.
My other question is what is being addressed in the "feasibility study"? More ways to raise funds?. Everyone in that room last night really cares about the facility (including the board).
What about other resources such as Labor unions and apprenticeship organizations- free labor and developers for materials. Here in Oxnard, Habitat for Humanity has a resale store..I'm sure that they can help.
Why did they let it go so bad. Letting get so bad that they felt the need to close it is such a liability. So many questions, but no answers and alot of raw emotions. My heart goes out to the Kids. Unfortunately the way that all this went about is the reason lots of people do not volunteer in their communities-they get disenfranchised..too bad our kids got to learn such a hard lesson at such a young age. Thanks for keeping the community informed and letting me vent!
One more thing, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the staff at the fifth street facility. They are great people to work with. I feel we need to cut them some slack. They are understaffed. I know there are issues regading transition. The board and parents need to deal with it ASAP.
Ps. What is the process of becoming a board member? The board never completely answered that question, except the there is a nominating committee and in application??
Editor's Note: City Manager Ed Sotelo earns $188,000 and City Attorney Gary Gillig $214,000+ and both are fully protected by us taxpayers from any litigation along with all sorts of other goodies that were mentioned but without any price tags attached.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff gets $182,027.33
Editor's Note: Should we take at face value the claim that the B&G Club Board Will Indeed Re-Open the Club late this year - then the Board has truly done this task in an horrible fashion as far as public opinion and public relations is concerned. We need to hear this from every Board Member, not just the hired firing gun (opps - sorry - "lay-off gun") Mr. Timmy Blaylock.
It is being discovered by the Oxnard Journal that the Board truly does want to re-open the Club and may perhaps offer re-employment to the "Laid-off" Staff - which - if this is the case. Mr. Maulhardt, Mr. Sotello and Police Chief Lopez should be very very vocal in getting this message out. Their silence betrays the proclaimed intentions of the Board.
This whole affair was a public relations nightmare for the Board and especially Board President Carmen Soriano - who has taken the largest barbs. She should encourage all her Board Members to express vocally and not on a sheet of paper as was done with the "Q & A's" - This Big and Important Fact that the Club Will Re-Open. Oxnard Wants to Know that this is TRUE.
New Years Predictions // January Page of the Ox Jo. . . .