Ken Sandberg
for
Simi Valley Mayor 2014



A Simple Challenge

I challenge Bob Huber ("Simi Valley's Premier Personal Injury Law Firm"), Mike Judge (LAPD), Glen Becerra (SCE) and Steve Sokja (Simi Valley Hospital) to give up their benefits as was voted on by the Council, instead of being deceptive and claiming that the benefits were eliminated. They exempted themselves as long as they keep getting re-elected, yet for most of them their full-time job provides benefits, so the tax payers of Simi Valley should not have to also pay.

Second, I challenge them to post on the City of Simi Valley's web page ALL of the compensation that they get for being a City Council person. This includes any and all payments for being on the various boards, including private companies due to being a Council member.

Third, I challenge the voters, especially those running for Council, to keep on these people until they do as was voted and are transparent. Every time you see them, you should ask when they are going to give up their benefits and disclose ALL of their relevant income.

Intro

Agenda: I view the role of the Mayor and the Council to be caretakers of the City. As such, any caretaker who has an agenda is suspect since that indicates that their interests might not be that of the residents of Simi Valley. My view of what a caretaker should be is to look after the best interests of the City and to try to reduce the waste and try to eliminate the corruption and conflicts of interest, as well as restoring the City's representation back to the people of the City and away from the politicians and special interests.

At a recent Candidate Forum Mayor Huber said that he made campaign promises and kept them, but he said that he would eliminate the Business Ombudsman (costing tax payers $150k/year) and replace this position with a volunteer. He has yet to do this, which makes his claim that he has kept his campaign promises FALSE.

Note: I am not selling my soul for campaign donations, nor am I spending money, so if you want change it is up to you to spread the word. If you tell 10 friends and tell them to tell 10 friend, change can occur. This includes telling others about all the non-incumbents and what the incumbents are doing.

Simi Valley is a nice place to live, but there are changes that need to be made. This webpage lists issues in Simi Valley, not all the postive aspects because it is only the issues which need to be changed.

Listen closely to what the incumbents say and you will find that typically either they really don't say much of anything or their answer are deceptive. Talk is cheap, but look to see what real action has been taken to improve things. They want you to believe something other than reality. Some examples are with the Council benefits, which they retained for themselves, doing something to make Simi Valley business friendly, but instead it is just bandaid and talk, and to extort money from a business is a good thing because of what they used the money for. See also: What does this have to do the Landfill?

We need to elect people who represent us, do the right thing and do it the right way, have some common sense and be honest with people. We also need people on the Council who understands that every penny spent by the City is the public's money, not "free money". I am not a politician and not accepting any campaign donations.

The problem is that the people who get elected seem to serve their own interests, the interests of their campaign donors and other over the interests of the people they are supposed to serve.

My experience with computers and troubleshooting has taught me that the first thing that you need to do in order to solve a problem is to determine what exactly the problem is, not just dealing with the symptoms. That is not how the politicians operate though.

For anything that the Council does, there should be three aspects which should be consider. The first is to determine what the goal is, whether it makes sense and then look at the end result and see if it meets that goal. The next two are related, but to determine who benefits and who pays the price. Any of those three could and should cause the Council to consider not pushing the issue. The Council needs to learn to say no when something does not make sense for everyone in the City.

There is talk of being transparent, but what has the Council done to make it easy to determine what they have done? Is there a monthly list of items/laws that they have passed? Is there a means to asked questions and demand answers in public? Is there is summary of all of their campaign donations in a searchable format? The answer to all of these questions is NO. I suspect that they really don't want you to know what they are doing.


Wasted tax payer money?


These are just a few examples of the wasted money. One "excuse" that I have heard is that these dollar amounts are a "drop in the bucket" so they don't care about it. Would you like a few such drops?

  • $50,000 for Marketing Simi Valley

  • Around $84,136.12/year Council Benefits
  • Defending Halloween Law - Lack of Common Sense

  • $20,000 paid for an insurance claim filed after the statute of limitations had expired

  • $265,000 to settle a lawsuit that the City won

  • $148,356 for Business Ombudsman
  • $230,000/year Tourist Marketing District
  • $100,000/year Shop Simi Valley


    Deception?


  • Council Benefits
  • Business Friendly
  • Total compensation
  • CERT Program
  • Code of Conduct
  • City Staff Protecting Council Members
  • Water Restrictions


    Conflicts of Interest?


  • Council Benefits
  • Tourist Marketing District
  • City Towing
  • Mobile Food Vendor ban
      To show how business friendly Simi Valley is they banned mobile food vendors, do you think that campaign donations from other food businesses were a factor? The concept of "leveling the playing field" with respect to this, ignoring the fact that it is not the role of government to level the playing field and how does eliminating businesses level the playing field?
  • WM Landfill Expansion
      Huber joined with Williamson's false and deceptive statements on the landfill expansion and then he appointed her, as well as himself, over the objection of other Council members, to the committee to see what they could get out of WM under a threat of trying to stop it if they did not get what they wanted (see extort).
  • One Friendly Council
      It has been said by the incumbents that the current Council all gets along, but don't you want them to represent your interests instead of their representing other Council members?
  • Term Limits
      The neighborhood councils have a term limit, but the Council refuses to have the same apply to them.
  • Follow the Money
      Programs such as the TMD, Shop Simi Valley, etc. cost money. Take a guess who gets to benefit from these programs?

    Asking the City a Question

    Candidates for Simi Valley City Council can send questions to the city and get them answers. Residents should also be able to ask questions as well, but that is not the way the broken system works. I also feel that the City should put those questions and answers on the City's web page so that everyone can see them. Many Council members speak of transparency, but when it comes down to it, their lack of action show that does not seem to be the case. Due to this, if you have a question you want answered, please send it to me and I will consider asking it.
    City of Simi Valley responses.


    Additional Reading


    For some additional reading, please see:
    Simi Valley Salaries
    City Council Benefits
    City Council Campaign Disclosures
    Active Campaign Disclosures
    Claims filed by Huber's law firm against the City of Simi Valley

    Halloween: Lack of Common Sense

    Simi Valley Robocalls and the Law



    According the the Simi Valley web page:

    Things to try to do


    Here are some things that I would like to investigate, if I were to get elected. It would be nice to get such things investigated even if I was not elected, but you know how politicians are. These items are not in any particular order.

  • Establish a real CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) for Simi Valley, not just training and then ignore the people.

  • Change the campaign contribution law such that candidates and Council members can not accept money from people and businesses who have contracts/services with the City.

  • Put all campaign contributions for Council members on the City web site in a searchable format and maintained for as long as the person holds office. Currently the information is available, but is not searchable since it is a scan of a document.

  • Enforce the conflict of interest rules. This includes candidates who accept free advertising/endorsements from organizations which have business with the City, such as the POA. I have heard of a Council member change their view due to a text message from the POA.

  • Require public notification when there is non-standard interaction with the police or other City departments and City Council members, Police officers or City Employees. Police officers should be required to report interaction with people which would be handled in a different manner than if it was just an average person. An example of this would be a story I saw on the news in which a police chief crashed a city vehicle (not Simi Valley) and it was attempted to be covered up. The police should not be allowed to provide special service to certain people without it being completely public.

  • All new laws passed should be documented on the City's web site, along with what the vote was and should be maintained in an easy to see and search manner. Currently the information can be found, but it is not typically easy. For example, try to find the information on the change in Council Benefits and the re-definition of what a firearm is.

  • Investigate installing right turn green arrows for traffic signals which have left turn arrows and no U-turns or which traffic the other way prevents pedestrians from crossing the street. This would help to keep traffic flowing and to reduce pollution, as well as saving people money due to reduced fuel consumption.

  • Require ALL communication sent/received during a public meeting to be public. If you notice, Council members are sending and receiving text messages and having private conversations during Council meetings.

  • Allow for real communication between the City and the public. People should be able to ask the City questions in public and get answers in public. Currently, you can speak for 3 minutes at a Council meeting, which is seems that you are actively ignored, but you can not demand answers to questions.

  • Make the questions which candidates can ask the City public. Currently candidates can ask the City questions, but all of this information is not public unless a candidates decides to do so, like I have done.

  • Allow for residents to ask the City questions and have those questions and answers posted on the City's web site. It is YOUR City, not theirs, so you deserve to be able to ask what is going on.

  • Allow for more communication/interaction with Council agenda items. Currently the agenda is sent out Friday night for a Monday meeting. This does not give the public time to give response to issues. There also should be a delay in when the item is discussed initially and when it is voted on. The Council meetings are made available on the public access channel and on the web site (after the meeting), but there is no opportunity for the public to give feedback unless you are actually at the meeting. Also, after the public speaks, the Council has a discussion, but the public has NO ability to address issues raised in the Council's discussion. The public should have another opportunity to speak after the Council discussion and this should continue until just before the vote. The public should have the last word. Also, there should be a delay from when the item is discussed to when it is voted on to allow those viewing the initial discussion remotely.

  • Change the Council benefits to apply to ALL current Council members, either immediately, or in the worst case, at the next election.

  • Change the nomination process for the Planning Commission. Currently, those elected to City Council can reward a person by appointing them to the Planning Commission. The nomination process should instead come through the community by way of the neighborhood councils.

  • Create a citizen's committee to investigate Code of Conduct violations. Currently the Council does not actually do anything about Code of Conduct violations as they are the ones who deal with it. The vote on retaining their own benefits while removing the benefits for those "newly" elected is an example of their protecting their own interests. Each election is a new election. Williamson loves call people names in discussions regarding City Council issues, especially when she is caught in a lie, which violates the Code of Conduct, but the Council refuses to police itself.


    Mayor Huber's list of accomplishments?


    It seems to me that Mayor Huber wants to take credit for things that he really did not do, such as Al Gore trying to claim that he created the Internet. I guess that he wants to take credit for anything that happens when he is Mayor.

  • Held public Town Halls every month bringing City Hall closer to the People. I've incorporated people's ideas into action addressing the needs of our City
  • Initiated the Citizen's Fiscal Advisory Committee
  • Personally met with many of our largest employers to keep jobs in Simi Valley
  • Founded the community-wide joint Heroin Prevention Task Force
  • Reestablished a respectful relationship with the City and our Police Officers
  • Raised the issue of lowering benefits for council members
  • Initiated Comprehensive Economic Strategic Plan to Bring Jobs to Simi Valley
  • Initiated Ordinance to keep the Pornography Industry out of our City
  • Initiated Official Simi Valley City Flag
  • Initiated Ordinance to Rid Prostitution from our City
  • Initiated Police Department's use of Social Media
  • Initiated Halloween Ordinance to Protect Simi Valley Children from pedophiles.

    In the past election, Huber wanted a Slogan for Simi Valley, what has happened with that talk? Or is it just about getting elected? Look at the past elections at what he said vs. what he did.
    Previous Statements

    Click here for my statements made for the 2012 election (things never change it seems)

    To send me a message: