2016 Year in Review of the GCBG Activities.
Coalition Meetings Held
The Board of Directors met over 28 times, often to include invited guests such as prior City employees, elected City officials, and informed and/or concerned citizens.
Organizing Within The Coalition
The Coalition is incorporated under the laws of California as a 501c (4) corporation. The Coalition has a Non Profit status approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The Board of Directors is currently comprised of 4 Directors and a Chairman. The Coalition’s officers are President, Secretary, and Treasurer. The Board of Directors and the Officers serve as volunteers and receive no financial compensation.
The Coalition maintains an informational web site on the Internet and where it solicits input from citizens, posts current events, and posts dates for General Meetings.
The Chairman and Directors have attended various events, miscellaneous meetings, and City Council Meetings to interact with citizens and the City.
The Coalition currently has two, continuing, active law suits filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court against the City for acting illegally in violation of California State Constitution and the City’s own Charter.
1) The ﬁrst lawsuit was ﬁled in 2015 alleging that the city transferred utility fees to the General Fund in violation of several of its own Charter provisions. The law suit also alleges that the city increased electric rates in violation of the California State Constitution. The judge agreed with the Coalition that the City violated its Charter in making the transfers, but he refused to return those illegal transfers to the utility.
The judge ruled in favor of the Coalition on the issue of the illegal increase in the electric rates and ordered that those illegal increases be returned to the ratepayers. The Coalition has ﬁled papers with the court for reconsideration of its refusal to return the illegal transfers. The City has also filed papers with regard to the judge’s ruling ordering the return of the illegal electric rate increase. Both matters will be heard by the court on January 19, 2017
Note: Similar law suits for the illegal transfer of fees, filed by groups similar to ours in other cities, have been won by those groups. We are anticipating a final outcome in our favor.
Note: A similar law suit for the illegal transfer of fees was filed by the citizens of the City of Redding and it is in the California Supreme Court awaiting a final decision. The Coalition has filed an Amicus Brief (Friend of the Court) with the California Supreme Court in that case and are now a party to that law suit.
2) The second law suit, filed last year is for the illegal creation of tiered pricing on water rates. This violates State Law and the City is using a defense that the tiers encourage water conservation during this time of drought. The Coalition is also in favor of conservation, but feels there are other ways to legally accomplish it. We are expecting a trial date sometime in 2017.
Note: Similar law suits regarding tier issues filed by groups similar to ours in other cities have been won by those groups. We are anticipating an outcome in our favor.
Important: The Coalition and its members are asking nothing for themselves in both these law suits, only that the illegally taken moneys be returned to the Utility and to the Utility customers.
(Note: These law suits are costing the Coalition thousands of dollars and we are dependent on member dues, donations, and sponsors for funding. Also, many people have volunteered their time helping us. We thank all those who have helped.)
Glendale Civil Service Rules Violation
In December 2015, the Coalition conducted an investigation, requesting numerous documents via the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) from Glendale and five other cities. We determined that the Oral Board members had been instructed by the Glendale Chief of Police, prior to the examination, who to promote and how to numerically place them onto the list. This action by the Chief negated the whole premise of Civil Service.
We sent our investigation information and our conclusion to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Civil Ethics Unit for a possible criminal complaint. The District Attorney’s Office chose not to handle the complaint and forwarded it to the California State Attorney General’s office for possible prosecution.
After many months, the State Attorney General’s office replied to us that even though there may have been a violation of Civil Service Laws, they would take no action and it was a closed case.
Note: The Glendale Civil Service Commission acting on information they had, canceled those examination results and rescheduled the examination. However, the Commission did not address any improprieties and no one in the City Administration or in the Police Department were held responsible.
Note: A participant in that examination has filed a law suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the City claiming the examination was improperly conducted and that the results should again be nullified and damages awarded. That law suit is currently going through the court system.
For the June election, the Board of Directors voted to support Measure “N” placed on the ballot by an outside group, which sought to repeal the City’s User Utility Tax.
The support included printing and placing lawn signs, Newspaper ads, phone calling, broad casting a discussion in favor of the repeal on Armenian Television, preparing and sending mailers advocating the repeal, and having one of our Directors participate in a debate about the Measure sponsored by the North West Home Owners Association.
The Coalition spent about $7,500 on the repeal attempt, while the City spent over $400,000 (estimated) of tax payer money on an “informational campaign” to defeat the Measure.
The Measure failed to pass. However, we are pleased that even with our limited resources we were able to collect over 11,000 votes in favor of the repeal!
The Coalition hosted a dinner at a local restaurant to thank all those who helped with the campaign.
The Coalition felt the City violated the law with their spending on the Measure, so a formal Complaint was filled by the Coalition with California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) in Sacramento. We are still awaiting a decision by the Commission with a possible fine to be assessed to the City.
The Coalition members continue to attend City Council Meetings and other events to monitor and demand that the City maintain a sustainable, responsible and transparent Local Government
The Coalition, recognized as an influential group in the City, was invited by the State to participate in a discussion/informational group regarding the High Speed Rail corridor proposed to pass through or near Glendale. A Board Member attended, offered input, and brought back information to a General Meeting.
The Coalition’s web site is continually updated with City news and Coalition activities.
Thank you for your continued support. We welcome your input, questions and comments.
We look forward to seeing you at a General meeting. General meetings are held the third Monday of each month in the evening. Additional information can be found on our web site.
Contact Information Web Site: http://www.glendalecacoalition.org/
Mailing address Glendale C.B.G P.O. Box 10083 Glendale, CA. 91209-0083
Board of Directors:
Frank Gallo (Chairman)….Gallo@glendalecacoalition.org