Archive for November 22nd, 2009

iePolitics: A bright new day, a golden opportunity

The big news last week in San Bernardino County was the sacking of Mark Uffer, the county’s top administrator. After serving five years, a majority of the board said that enough is enough.

In just this past year alone, this blog has extensively outlined reasons why Mr. Uffer had to go. His dithering over budget errors, his unfocused and unprincipled interactions with elected officials and their staffs, and his inability to inspire confidence among many county workers led the board to this decision.

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iePolitics: District Attorney case against Miller unwinding

Susan Vaccaro
November 22, 2009

The case filed by San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos against Grand Terrace City Councilman Jim Miller is already half-way down the proverbial drain.

After being paraded out in front of a District Attorney orchestrated media arrest on a single felony charge of conflict of interest, the prosecution is now desperate to salvage something from the case.

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The Sentinel: Uffer Era Draws to a Close

SBCO Seal

Uffer Era Ends on a 3-2 Vote

Mark Uffer’s five-year tenure as the county’s top administrative officer drew to a close this week with a 3-2 vote of the board of supervisors.

The sacking of Uffer, who was named interim county administrative officer in March 2004 and then given the official title as CAO in September 2004, was not done for cause, the county board members said. Rather, the three supervisors who favored having him take his leave said it was simply a matter of their changing management and policy imperatives rendering him out of step with their collective marching orders that sealed Uffer’s fate.

“The board felt it was necessary to move in a different direction at this time.” said board of supervisors chairman Gary Ovitt, who joined with supervisors Brad Mitzelfelt and Neil Derry in approving the motion to terminate Uffer.

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10:51 PM PST on Saturday, November 21, 2009

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Two of the developers at the center of a corruption investigation in San Jacinto funneled more than $190,000 into the campaign accounts of Councilman Jim Ayres, prosecutors contend.

At the same time, Ayres repeatedly voted to approve projects favorable to the two businessmen, according to court documents and a review of city records.

He didn’t abstain from voting on the developers’ projects until a month after authorities first searched his home as part of their investigation.

It’s illegal for elected officials to vote on matters in which they have a financial stake. Votes benefiting major contributors, while not always improper, often raise questions about perceived conflicts of interest.

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SBSun: San Bernardino County GOP works to recapture its mojo

James Rufus Koren, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/21/2009 07:25:11 AM PST

Five years ago, Republicans reigned in San Bernardino County.

In 2004, the local GOP raised more than $350,000, supported candidates in 16 city council races and held a sizeable lead over Democrats in voter registration.

Over the past two years, however, Democrats have seized the majority of registered voters as the local party was wracked with instability and scandal.

“Our party is hurt,” said Robert Rego, who took over as chairman of the San Bernardino County Republican Party in August. “We’ve gone through a lot of trials and tribulations.”

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SBSun Editorial: How new will direction be?

SBCO Seal

SB County

Posted: 11/21/2009 08:15:22 PM PST

Attention, San Bernardino County residents: Get ready for your county government to go in a new direction.

Given the scandals and tribulations of the past decade-plus, it’s hard to argue against a new direction – any new direction – for county government.

After the Board of Supervisors dismissed County Administrative Officer Mark Uffer on Tuesday, Supervisors Neil Derry and Gary Ovitt invoked the need for a different direction.

We await word on what direction it will be, hoping supervisors will articulate it for the public and for the new CAO they hire.

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Only one person who wants to be governor is talking about the budget, and few are listening.

By Cathleen Decker

November 22, 2009

In the new movie “2012,” whose video trailers were bombarding television airwaves last week, the world as we know it gives way three years hence under a siege of floods, eruptions, undulating continents and earthquakes. In other words, it’s not much different from what is happening in California, fiscally speaking, except that the state will be lucky to hang on that long.

To recap: the state’s chief budget analyst reported last week that California faces a $21-billion deficit through the next fiscal year. For the two budget years after that, deficits will total $44 billion more, the analyst said. Those are not updates on the budget deficits that California twice faced earlier this year; these are new projections. We are getting to the point when, if you take a long nap, you’re at risk of missing the next dire pronouncement.

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