Thursday, January 27, 2011

A message from Adrian Moore of the Reason Foundation

Is your state going to be serious about its budget, or kick the can down the road?  I live in California, which has elevated to Superbowl level its skills at dodgy budget tricks to put off reckoning with deficits.  But many other states have papered over, postponed or obscured their budget problems rather than addressing them directly.

It is high time for some real, practical, and effective budget solutions.  The new State Budget Reform Toolkit -a joint project of the American Legislative Exchange Council, Reason Foundation, Americans for Tax Reform, The Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Washington Policy Center, Evergreen Freedom Foundation and State Budget Solutions-provides just that.  It offers a practical set of budget management and procurement best practices to guide state policymakers as they work to solve the current budget shortfalls, assisting legislators in prioritizing and more efficiently delivering core government services.

You can get the Toolkit
here . Some of the things it covers include :

  • Priority-Based Budgeting/Budgeting for Outcomes
  • State Pension Reform
  • Privatization and Competitive Contracting
  • State Tax and Spending Limitations
  • Balanced Budget Requirements
  • Non-Partisan Revenue Forecasts and Independent Budget Certification
  • Performance Assessment and Management
  • Performance Audits
  • Independent Recovery Audits
  • Budget Transparency
  • Budget Timeouts
  • The Item-Reduction Veto
  • Sunset Review Processes for State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions
  • State Privatization and Efficiency Councils
  • Statewide Real Property Inventories
  • State Hiring Freezes
  • Restructuring State Retiree Health Care Plans
  • Activity-Based Costing
  • Employee Incentive/Gainsharing Programs, and more.
Please share this with others in your state who may be able to use it or encourage the solutions it offers.  And if you have any questions about it or about how to implement the solutions, don't hesitate to ask me.

Adrian


Adrian
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr. Adrian Moore
Vice President
Reason Foundation
(661)477-3107

Water District CEO Speaks His Mind

Wednesday I had the opportunity to listen to retired U.S. Army Colonel and MWD CEO Jack Foley speak to engineers and land surveyors at the monthly meeting for the Orange County Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.  Foley has an amazing and long resume that is impressive even to those not usually impressed by meaningless wallpaper.

Foley spoke for more than an hour focusing his attention on MWD and our water infrastructure.  One of Foley's admirable traits is his plain English.  He doesn't get caught up in a the absurd political correctness that I'm used to hearing at from public speakers.  Instead, Foley spoke from the heart and was crystal clear and it was appreciated. 

The environment was a large part of the retired colonel's sermon.  Unlike most CEOs who wring their hands and are "sensitive to the issue", Foley stands his ground unabashed. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Late word out of Sacramento: Pension Reform + Higher Taxes On Way

***UPDATE***
Sacramento insiders are telling me that GOP State Senators are working on a compromise that would place taxes on the ballot in exchange for pension reform.  No word yet on who will flip.  More updates to come.

***ORIGINAL POST***
An anonymous source out of Sacramento is reporting a backroom deal is in the works with party leaders which will give us pension reform AND higher taxes. 

I am in the process of confirming this information from someone who I consider to be a reliable source.  As soon as I have a confirmation and more details, I will share it here.

OC Land Surveyors Present Trig Star 2011

Mark your calendar! 
Trig Star is coming to Santiago Canyon College in the foothills of Orange.

When: Saturday March 12
Where: 8045 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869
Stay tuned for the event flyer and details.In the mean time, download sample competition exams here.

Here is a little history behind this national trigonometry competition.

Mayor Pro Tem Bankhead to Gov. Brown: Do as I Say, Not As I Do

Just months after approving a $29 million Redevelopment Agency tax bond, Mayor Pro Tem Don Bankhead sends a clear message of "do as I say, not as I do" to Sacramento:
"I would also like to send word to the Governor that the way to balance the State budget is to quit spending more than they have coming to them." 
Now if only the City Council and Fullerton Redevelopment Agency would take that advice and stop borrowing against our City's future.

City to Bleed $14.1 Million from Redevelopment Agency As Governor's Proposed Budget Looms

An urgent meeting is scheduled for this afternoon at City Hall.  While most meetings are scheduled for 6PM or later, this one is set for 4PM, forcing many to leave work early in order to speak at the meeting.
The urgency of the council/Redevelopment Agency meeting comes after Governor Brown announced his intentions of squashing Redevelopment Agencies as component of saving money and redistributing funds to their normally allocated destinations. 
This afternoon’s Agenda has only one item (MISSING WORD ADDED BY ME):
CONSIDER APPROVING A COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF FULLERTON AND THE FULLERTON REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY FOR (PARTIAL) FUNDING OF CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROJECTS, GRAFFITI REMOVAL SERVICES, AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
In a nut shell, City Hall sees their glass house shattering and is looking to pull out as much money as possible from the Redevelopment Agency in order to install street lights in the Lemon/Truslow area, stabilize the slopes along Harbor Boulevard just below the YMCA, improve Hillcrest Park, and build a parking garage at the Fullerton Transportation Center. 

In all, the City/Redevelopment Agency is looking to move $14,100,000 from the Redevelopment agency coffers to the City of Fullerton coffers to help cover some of the upfront costs associated with these projects.

If any of those mentioned sound familiar it’s because just last Tuesday the City Council decided to ask Congress for some money to address them.

This sounds like the scheme of someone who desperately pulls out every bit of equity from their house ($14.1M from RDA’s tax increment), maxes out all of their credit cards ($29M in tax bonds) for that new sports car (town homes and condos and garages) knowing they are about to get slapped by a court-ordered judgment (governor’s proposed budget) that will surely leave them penniless.

Once again, the lack of leadership has manifested itself by the procrastination of City Hall to tackle our crumbling infrastructure.  Water-mains continue to erupt forth from our streets like Old Faithful while the ever-expanding potholes begin to resemble the Grand Canyon.  At this rate, residents will be able to sell tickets to the spectacle as our city sinks into the abyss of municipal doom.

Also in the news, the California State Controller’s Office Announced that they have selected the Placentia Redevelopment Agency among 18 agencies to be reviewed by the Controller’s Office.

“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Controller Launches Review of Redevelopment Agencies

Controller Launches Review of Redevelopment Agencies

PR11:03
1/24/2011
Contact: Jacob Roper
916-445-2636


SACRAMENTO – State Controller John Chiang today announced his auditors were beginning reviews of 18 redevelopment agencies (RDA) across the state in an effort to obtain facts on how RDA funds are used and the extent to which they comply with laws governing their activities.
“The heated debate over whether RDAs are the engines of local economic and job growth or are simply scams providing windfalls to political cronies at the expense of public services has largely been based on anecdotal evidence,” Chiang said. “As lawmakers deliberate the Governor’s proposal to close RDAs and divert those funds to local schools and public safety agencies, I believe it is important to provide factual, empirical information about how these agencies perform and what they bring to the communities they serve.”
The 18 RDAs selected for the reviews represent urban, suburban and rural communities. They are geographically diverse and represent a mix of varying populations. The reviews will look at, among other things, how the RDAs define a “blighted” area, whether they are appropriately paying for low- and moderate-income housing as required by law, whether they are accurately “passing through” payments to schools within their community, and how much RDA officials, board members and employees are being compensated for their services.
To assist lawmakers in their budget debates, the reviews will be completed in early March. The chosen RDAs are as follows:
·       Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose (Santa Clara County)
·       Redevelopment Agency for the County of Riverside
·       Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles (Los Angeles County)
·       Richmond Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)
·       Redevelopment Agency of the County of Sacramento
·       Redevelopment Agency of the City of Pittsburg (Contra Costa County)
·       Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fremont (Alameda County)
·       Pasadena Community Development Commission (Los Angeles County)
·       Redevelopment Agency of the City of Fresno (Fresno County)
·       City of Palm Desert Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)
·       Placentia Redevelopment Agency (Orange County)
·       Parlier Redevelopment Agency (Fresno County)
·       Hercules Redevelopment Agency (Contra Costa County)
·       Anderson Redevelopment Agency (Shasta County)
·       Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Citrus Heights (Sacramento County)
·       Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Calexico (Imperial County)
·       Community Development Agency of the City of Coronado (San Diego County)
·       City of Desert Hot Springs Redevelopment Agency (Riverside County)

###

2010 Top40 Program Director of the Year: Tom Sebourn

I am proud to announce that my brother, Tom Sebourn, won the title of "Top40 Program Director of the Year." 

In addition to Tom's professional broadcasting career, he is liberal blogger on California's North Coast.  Although I think he refers to himself as a progressive while I am about as conservative as a Republican you might find in Orange County, we often find common ground when we look at the big picture and even many of the details that make up worldy issues. 

I'm excited for Tom and his new award which I'm sure will sit next to the many others he has received over the years for his work. 

Congratulations Tom!!!!

2010 NEW MUSIC AWARDS

AND THE WINNERS ARE . . .

TOP40:
Top40 Single of the Year:
"Kalifornia Girls" Katy Perry

Top40 Male Artist of the Year:
Bruno Mars

Top40 Female Artist of the Year:
Katy Perry

Top40 Group/Duo of the Year:
Boys Like Girls

New Top40 Artist of the Year:
Heather Youmans

New Top40 Group/Dou of the Year:
Finding Clyde

Top40 Breakthrough Artist of the Year:
Matt Roehr

Top40 Station of the Year:
KLBQ (El Dorado, AR)

Top40 Program Director of the Year:
Tom Sebourn/KFMI

Top40 Music Director of the Year:
Courtney Blake/KCFV

Top40 Promotion of the Year:
All Access

Top40 Label of the Year :
Capitol
AC:
AC Single of the Year:

"Hey Soul Sister" Train

AC Male Artist of the Year:
Michael Buble

AC Female Artist of the Year:
Amanda Morra

AC Group/Duo of the Year:
Jimmy White w/Jonell Mosser

New AC Artist of the Year:
Emil

New AC Group/Dou of the Year:
Script

AC Breakthrough Artist of the Year:
Britney Reed

AC Station of the Year:
KTDY (Lafayette, LA)

AC Program Director of the Year:
Randy Adams/KKRB

AC Music Director of the Year:
Mike Betten/KQCR

AC40 Promotion of the Year:
Tom Mazetta

AC Label of the Year:
Warner Brothers
COUNTRY:
Country Single of the Year:

"Need You Now" Lady Antebellum

Country Male Artist of the Year:
Vince Hatfield

Country Female Artist of the Year:
Sandra Piller

Country Group/Duo of the Year:
Cerrito w/ Lane Brody

New Country Artist of the Year:
Leah Seawright

New Country Group/Dou of the Year:
Badhorse

Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year:
Melanie Denard

Country Station of the Year:
WFLE/Flemingsburg, KY

Country Program Director of the Year:
Jason Drake/KAIR

Country Music Director of the Year:
Geoff Hayton/WSNN

Country Promotion of the Year:
James Williams/James Williams Promotion

Country Label of the Year:
Lofton Creek


CROSSOVER ARTIST OF THE YEAR:
Brant Miller
COLLEGE:
College Artist of the Year:

Marc Cohn

College Band of the Year:
Thieves & Liars

New College Artist of the Year:
Karen Elson

New College Band of the Year:
War Of Ages

College Breakthrough Artist of the Year:
Sait

College Station of the Year:
WMCR

College PD of the Year:
Jason Wells/WALW

College MD of the Year:
Terry Mosses/KCLC

College Label of the Year:
Alligator

College Promotion of the Year:
Break Thru Promotions

Record Pool of the Year:
Higher Ground/Lithonia, GA

Publicity Firm/PR of the Year:
Webster & Associates


Internet Station of the Year :
Sound Machine/Moyock, NC

Roach Coach Invasion

The Orange County Register is reporting that the Food Truck Jamboree is coming to the Hyatt Regency Irvine January 27th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Imagine if Downtown Fullerton had something like this but on a weekend.  Maybe add some music and activities for the kids. 

Unfortunately, many communities do not support food trucks because they compete against brick and mortar restaurants and generally have lower operating overhead.  Local government doesn't like food trucks for a few reasons.  Their tax structure is such that they pay their sales tax within the city/county which they're based and not where the tax was collected.  Some cities have began regulating food trucks in an effort to capture tax revenue and level the playing field for local businesses.  The fact that the trucks can drive into a city, sell food for an hour or two, then drive out of the city has caused code enforcement officers to take notice and issue citations for not having a city business permit. 

Sadly, redevelopment agencies give cheap taxpayer funded loans to new businesses to come into town and compete against long existing and well established businesses, many of which are already struggling under the weight of employee benefits, higher taxes, and a depressed economy.

So, as one arm of a community attempts to level the field, another arm, the redevelopment agencies, cuts deep ruts and pits for the losers while building up a taxpayer funded framework for their chosen winners. 

I support food truck operators in their endeavor of the American Dream and prosperity.  I don't see the trucks as a threat to local business so long as everyone adheres to the often cumbersome regulations governing businesses and food safety. 

Food trucks may not always be the healthy choice when it comes to food consumption but they will certainly help to spur some healthy competition. 

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

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