Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Clay Street realignment moves ahead

By
From page A1 | October 25, 2013 | 64 Comments

A city project stopped in mid-stream by a citizen group through litigation is moving forward once more, but not without dissension. On a 3-2 vote, the Placerville City Council Oct. 22 approved an agreement with PMC to provide a new environmental impact report for the Clay Street at Main Street/Cedar Ravine Realignment and Clay Street Bridge Replacement Project.

The Clay Street at Main Street/Cedar Ravine Realignment and Clay Street Bridge Replacement Project was approved by Placerville City Council on Feb. 8, 2011. The project proposes to mitigate traffic congestion on Main Street by realigning Clay Street with Cedar Ravine, through part of the Ivy House parking lot, adding a roundabout where Main Street, Clay Street and Cedar Ravine come together to aid the flow of  traffic and replacing the narrow Clay Street bridge with a wider version that can withstand a  100-year flood. Improvements to Clay Street and the Clay Street Bridge was a condition of approval for the Cottonwood Development Project of the 1990s.

Friends of Historic Hangtown, opponents of the project, particularly of the roundabout, filed a court action to prevent the project from continuing, declaring the  project’s EIR to be inadequate. A Superior Court decision on Feb. 14, 2012. ruled in favor of the Friends and ordered the city to refrain from further approval of the project unless and until an adequate EIR was prepared in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act. The court decision directed specific potential impacts that were to be evaluated in any future EIR, including impacts of traffic, parking, urban decay, biological cultural resources, toxic, aesthetic, growth-inducing and inconsistency with area plans and policies.

At an April 30 Neighborhood Chat meeting, going ahead with the project was the topic. Four options were discussed: doing nothing at all about the growing congestion at the intersection, realignment with stop signs, realignment with a signalized intersection or realignment with a roundabout. At the May 14 City Council meeting, council directed staff to proceed with the design phase of the project with a new EIR to thoroughly analyze each of the four options after a motion to delete the roundabout option failed.

At the Oct. 22 meeting, the council reviewed a consulting services agreement with PMC to prepare a new EIR for the project, including an updated traffic study, a mitigation monitoring and reporting program, public review and multiple public outreach meetings during the EIR process. The proposed cost of the work entailed in the agreement is $155,994, which is to be paid for from $4.5 million in appropriated funding from the Highway Bridge Program,  Congestion Management Air Quality, the Regional Surface Transportation Program and Traffic Impact Mitigation Fund.

“We need more concrete data in order to make an informed decision… a decision that is based on what is right and best for the city,” said Mayor Wendy Thomas. “To do that, we need to look at all the options.”

In the proposed  agreement with PMC, three of the options were to be explored with the EIR, the fourth option of  doing nothing was not included. Sixteen members of the audience spoke about the proposed EIR, some protesting the expenditure and about half of the speakers asking to put the question on the ballot so that the public could vote. Two audience members who live near Clay Street advocated going ahead with the EIR process in order to garner facts on all of the options, while other speakers said doing the EIR was “putting the cart before the horse.”

According to the court mandate, an EIR must be done before the project can continue, said Community Development Director Pierre Rivas.

The City Council was divided in their opinions as well. Vice mayor Carl Hagen said he would be willing to look at all four options to determine what could be done to improve Clay Street for vehicular, pedestrian and cyclist traffic.”Currently that intersection is rated at a level ‘F.’ The EIR will address all the options,” said Hagen.

“I have a concern that the high-tech visualization is only for the roundabout (in the PMC agreement)…it feels like the roundabout option is being crammed down the public’s throat and I won’t be a part of it,” said Councilwoman Trisha Wilkins.

“I’m sick of being accused that I’m doing this to benefit some developer,” said Councilwoman Patty Borelli. “I know of no project going up anywhere around there and that corner is a mess. I want to see that corner improved and made safe. I don’t see what is wrong with making improvements and I don’t think it is a waste of money.

Councilwoman Carol Patton said she supported the roundabout when she was on the Planning Commission when the Cottonwood Project came about. “The insinuation that this project is being done to benefit a developer is an insult not only to this council but to the past council as well…This is a fair project that will benefit the community and I would like a respectful dialogue to discuss the options.”

Mayor Thomas said, “I respectfully challenge council member Wilkins’ opinion that the council has already decided on the roundabout option. That is absolutely false. We are mandated to improve the Clay Street Bridge and Clay Street. I favor the realignment, I favor improving the Farmer’s Market parking lot…I have no faith that we can have a productive dialog if the roundabout is on the table. I think it could be a beautiful part of the project, but I stand by my actions on May 14 and think we should take the roundabout option out.”

The resolution to approve the agreement with PMC was amended to include additional public input meetings during the design phase and EIR process. The 3-2 vote passed with Thomas and Wilkins voting no and Patton, Borelli and Hagen voting yes.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or wschultz@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 64 comments

  • teetemOctober 24, 2013 - 10:20 am

    And how many much needed parking spaces will be removed from the Ivy House parking lot?? And, FYI, it's the IVY HOUSE parking lot, not the Farmer's Market parking lot. Parking is most definitely a major issue in downtown Placerville - taking away ANY spaces from this lot would be an enormous mistake.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 10:45 am

    Patty Borelli. “I know of no project going up anywhere around there and that corner is a mess. I want to see that corner improved and made safe." 1) I guess that Poverty Hill area falls outside Patty's "anywhere around there" 2) " improved and made safe"? - I'm not aware that the existing "stop, take your turn and go" system is producing accidents, deaths or even fender benders. Anyone?

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 24, 2013 - 10:46 am

    People should watch this meeting when it comes out...I was surprised at the lack of respect for the public in the audience--one man moved his head up and down--and was verbally yelled at by the major. The woman who said she was insulted--needs to step down from a public office if she can not handle people disagreeing. She is a representative of the public--not her personal feelings. We started the meeting with the flag salute...and the government body proceeded to disrespect what representing a "public" means. Much respect for Councilwoman Trisha Wilkins for speaking out--although if you watch the vid...it seemed as though the others bullied her for her opinion. For being at one of these meetings for the first time--it was an experience--I think everyone should go at least once. People said "no" to the roundabout...took them to court to say "no"--how many "no s" does it take. Several people said let the people vote on it then...this council said "no"...maybe they know the population would vote "no." I have never seen government act this way before and in front of our flag--which represents America and our ideas of justice for the people and by the people. Watch the vid. As far as the roundabout--it would not work--the space is too small. Most important--the PEOPLE do not want it. People are more important than government--I think some in the the government are forgetting that.

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  • EvelynOctober 24, 2013 - 11:04 am

    THIS is the Roundabout lawsuit brought by the Friends of Historic Hangtown.

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  • EvelynOctober 24, 2013 - 11:08 am

    Para. 3 of this article states that the earlier project's opponents had declared the "EIR to be inadequate". In fact, contrary to legal requirements, there was no EIR; rather, the City had filed a mitigated negative declaration.

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  • FYIOctober 25, 2013 - 7:34 am

    Evelyn, in the government and legal world a mitigated negative declaration is a type of EIR, albeit a simpler version. Sounds like the court wanted a more expansive analysis done and the city is going to comply.

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  • EvelynOctober 25, 2013 - 9:53 am

    HERE • A Negative Declaration can be prepared only when there is no substantial evidence in light of the whole record before the lead agency that the project may have a significant effect on the environment. (PRC §21080(c)), (14 C.C.R. §15070) • An EIR must be prepared when there is substantial evidence in the record that supports a fair argument that significant effects may occur. (PRC §21080(d))

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 11:16 am

    Ms. Borelli, that corner is a mess? I've been using that corner for 22 years with no safety issues. I'm always impressed how everyone takes their turn. And, Ms. Borelli, what is your expertise in traffic management? May I guess none? Time for you to leave.

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 11:20 am

    ADDED: And time for the rude and arrogant members to leave too. Elect Phil, R.J., James E., and John to the City Council. We promise not to be rude and arrogant.

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  • EvelynOctober 24, 2013 - 11:20 am

    The video of City Council's October 22nd meeting is HERE. The discussion on the project in question runs from 0:10:16–1:26:45.

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  • EvelynOctober 24, 2013 - 11:34 am

    It was at 1:11:40 (meeting video, above) that a member of the audience got a public dressing down, precipitated by having shaken his head.

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  • Dee#1October 24, 2013 - 11:47 am

    Contrary to what the Mayor proclaims, the Roundabout is a done deal. So, we need to start seriously considering a referendum. And James the one us who be considered for City Council is Evelyn. She is the only who is level headed enough to serve

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  • Dee#1October 24, 2013 - 11:54 am

    Second try-----#1October 24, 2013 - 11:47 am Contrary to what the Mayor proclaims, the Roundabout is a done deal. So, we need to start seriously considering a referendum. And James the only one of us who should be considered for City Council is Evelyn. She is the only who is level headed enough to serve Reply | Report abusive comment

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:13 pm

    Dee, are you saying I'm a crazed liberal?

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  • Dee#1October 24, 2013 - 2:29 pm

    No James I do not consider you a crazed liberal or even a knee jerk liberal. I consider you an authoritarian with (joke) illusions of grandeur.

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    And, if I am a crazed liberal, perhaps the City government needs a crazed liberal.

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    Phil, R.J., and John -- Dee thinks we are unfit to serve.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 12:32 pm

    . . . besides, I'm running for mayor of diamond springs . . .

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    Phil, you could hold dual mayorships.

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  • R J CarterOctober 24, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    I'm a "shifty drunk", but I would make a great Mayor of El Dorado....Poor Reds here I come.....

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:51 pm

    R.J., you could hold the meetings in Poor Reds (open bar of course).

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  • James E.October 24, 2013 - 12:53 pm

    I hesitate to say this but I'm off to Home Depot. Later.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 24, 2013 - 12:57 pm

    Sat "HI!" to John, James.

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  • JimBoOctober 25, 2013 - 8:15 am

    PMC is the WORST consultant the City could have hired. Why wasn't this work put out to Public Bid? All of the Consulting work is way too costly.

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  • EvelynOctober 25, 2013 - 8:37 am

    JimBo: Please will you provide some specifics about PMC. Thanks.

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  • EvelynOctober 25, 2013 - 8:45 am

    FYI: Point taken, and thanks.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 8:46 am

    Proposed County Czar System - CAO Empire Building "El Dorado County has recently started using this same consultant PMC. PMC was also the highly paid consultant in Amador that Kerr hired spent oodles of money on". - See more at: http://www.inedc.com/1-2921#sthash.lHPRHaKW.dpuf Everyone play nice today...I seem to remember their name on some parks and trails paperwork...but I will have to look later...BBL

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  • EvelynOctober 25, 2013 - 8:53 am

    From Fran's link: "PMC was also the highly paid consultant in Amador that Kerr hired spent oodles of money on. They were run out of many other Northern California jurisdictions when word got around about how they operated." ********** Two questions: How does PMC operate? (2) What made PMC so attractive to the City of Placerville? ********** Observation: At Tuesday's City Council meeting two residents suggested that it was unlikely a proper EIR could be done for $156K. Someone else asked why the work wasn't put out to bid.

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  • EvelynOctober 25, 2013 - 9:15 am

    PMC = Pacific Municipal Consultants, Rancho Cordova. THIS link particularly interests me because it states that PMC provides redevelopment services. TWO THINGS TO KNOW: (1) The CA legislature is considering a Bill that will make eminent domain takings easier, thus facilitating redevelopment. (2) The City of Placerville, I am told, once again wants to pursue redevelopment, though of course there has been no official hint about this. (Time for some dot connecting!)

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 8:49 am

    AMADOR COUNTY CIVIL GRAND JURy FINAL REPORT www.voiceinione.com/.../GrandJuryReports/2011.../2011-2012GRJ-Ione...‎ by ACCG JURy - ‎2012 - ‎Cited by 3 - ‎Related articles The Amador Civil Grand Jury continued with the investigation of the city ... Council of the City of Ione based on complaints from the citizens of Ione regarding ... finds that the General Plan created by the City Manager and consulting firm PMC.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:00 pm

    PMC in stockton http://stockton.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?meta_id=103199&view=&showpdf=1

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:01 pm

    http://www.pmcworld.com/What-We-Do/Sustainability-Climate-Change

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:02 pm

    PMC world. http://www.pmcworld.com/

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:07 pm

    Result TypePMCRecommendations5-10-079/28/2010 10:29:57 AM TABLE OF CONTENTS i P M C a n d D A S Program Overview … DRAFT EL DORADO COUNTY AFFORDABLE HOUSING POLICY IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGY … The County Department of Human Services received a Community Development Block Grant for the … purpose of exploring options that will encourage and assist in the development of affordable housing. … El Dorado County retained PMC and Development Advisory Services (DAS) to … ... ID=12167 Size=248 KB BOS site "grannys"

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:08 pm

    [PDF] Download - El Dorado County Transit www.eldoradotransit.com/assets/pdf/TAC/062613/3C.pdf‎ Jun 26, 2013 - PMC was awarded a contract by the El Dorado County Transportation Commission (EDCTC) to conduct the triennial performance audit of El ...

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:09 pm

    hope this helps evelyn...they are all over El dorado county...and they are not cheap to hire...http://limerockvalley.com/executive-leadership.html

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:11 pm

    PMC's Zoning Doctors Make House Calls PMCWORLD link already provided.

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    Development Services Department recommending the Board consider the following: 1) Make findings in accordance with Chapter 3.13, Section 3.13.030 of the county ordinance that it is more economical and feasible to engage an independent contractor for planning services required for the development of Environmental Impact reports for the Central El Dorado Hills, Marble Valley, and Lime Rock Valley Specific Plans; 2) Authorize the Chair to sign the First Amendment to Agreement No. 365-S1210 (004D-A-11/12-PA) with Pacific Municipal Consultants (PMC), revising the scope to include planning services required for the development of Environmental Impact Reports for the Central El Dorado Hills, Marble Valley, and Lime Rock Valley Specific Plans, increasing compensation by $176,920 for a total contract amount of $201,920, and revising the term to a period of three years from the date of execution; and 3) Authorize the Chair to sign a budget transfer to appropriate revenue and expenditures associ...http://tinyurl.com/nyydlbu

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:14 pm

    Website Redesign Superior Court of California, County of El Dorado. PMC

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    http://www.carbonconscious.us/about/ PMC

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:26 pm

    PMC has been a member of the California Redevelopment Association since 2007...on this site one can even read about "distant learning" http://www.calredevelop.org/events/distance_learning.aspx

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  • Fran DuchampOctober 25, 2013 - 2:30 pm

    Pollock Pines Park El Dorado County Pollock Pines Community Park Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration 2007. Prepared by: PACIFIC MUNICIPAL CONSULTANTS 10461 Old Placerville Road, Suite 110 Sacramento, CA 95827 PDF] Pollock Pines Community Park MND Cover.ai - El Dorado www.edcgov.us/Government/Parks/PollockPinesInitialStudy.aspx

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  • UnanimousOctober 25, 2013 - 11:59 pm

    I read all the comments here and conclude... a rarity for certain... everyone is in agreement AGAINST the round-a-bout! I concur, it's comfortable and safe the way it is.

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  • JimBoOctober 26, 2013 - 9:08 am

    http://www.corporationwiki.com/California/Rancho-Cordova/pacific-municipal-consultants/42532963.aspx

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  • JimBoOctober 26, 2013 - 9:14 am

    http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/stories/2004/03/01/story5.html?page http://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/search?q=%22Phil+Carter%22

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 12:16 pm

    OK, time to get real, folks, At this meeting, reported by Wendy Schultz, City Councillors were irate, indignant & insulted -- IRATE, INDIGNANT & INSULTED -- at suggestions that their minds already were made up. "We are considering ALL OPTIONS EQUALLY" was the righteous refrain. Mayor Thomas was insulted. Councilor Borelli was insulted. Councilor Patton was insulted. Councilor Hagen, Chair of the El Dorado Transportation Commission, breathed not a hint that the Commission currently references the Project as the Main Street-Cedar Ravine-Clay Street ROUNDABOUT. HERE ********** It is my belief that the ONLY Councilor not lying to us by omission is Councilor Wilkins.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 1:08 pm

    "The project [Roundabout] will reduce congestion and emission that result from start, stop, and idling of vehicles at conventional intersections. It is anticipated that the project [Roundabout] will be constructed in conjunction with the Clay Street Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation project." - HERE - Look at the photo. What do you see? Not the Clay St. Bridge. Not a realigned intersection.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 1:15 pm

    "The project [Roundabout] will reduce congestion and emission that result from start, stop, and idling of vehicles at conventional intersections. It is anticipated that the project [Roundabout] will be constructed in conjunction with the Clay Street Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation project." - HERE ---- Look at the photo. What do you see? Not the Clay St. Bridge. Not a realigned intersection. Commonly we are misdirected at City Council meetings about matters concerning transportation. Is EDC's Transportation Chair ignorant?

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    Evelyn, the only answer to irate, indignant, and insulted is to elect Phil, R.J., James E., and John (A leadership team for the future).

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    James: Sounds very well balanced. Every persuasion represented!

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:00 pm

    Evelyn, two Democrats, two Republicans. Maybe we need an Independent to break the ties.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 8:09 pm

    James: Sometimes I'm convinced that City staff run the show. Don't really think the political persuasion of Councillors matters too much.

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:11 pm

    Evelyn, that would not be the case with our new group. We would rule with an iron fist.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 8:15 pm

    I volunteer to be in charge of your indoctrination. But we'll first have to divorce the City from the League of Calif. Cities, which does a pretty fine job of telling new councilors how to do their jobs.

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    Any staff not toeing the line would be visited by Phil, and that would take care of that.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 8:17 pm

    OMG, they'll all resign.

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    Evelyn, the League of California Cities can pack sand. Phil and R.J. will be a sub committee that will let them know we will not be told how to do our jobs.

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 8:25 pm

    You have NO IDEA what you'd be taking on. You'd have better luck swimming in a sea of molasses.

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:24 pm

    Why Phil and R.J.? Because they are bull dogs who will bite, lock their jaws, and hold on until the job is done. Myself and John are just too nice to do the bull dog work.

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 8:26 pm

    . . . particularly when I'm out of sorts . . . http://www.mtdemocrat.com/print/?edition=2013-10-28&ptitle=A4

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  • EvelynOctober 27, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Calling him "Gred" sounds sort of like a half-hearted endorsement. (Print edition, no less)

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  • Phil VeerkampOctober 27, 2013 - 8:32 pm

    Vlad's younger brother?

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:28 pm

    Molasses will not deter Phil and R.J.

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  • James E.October 27, 2013 - 8:35 pm

    OK, back to Netflix. Evelyn, I'm half way through the lady French chef film. Excellent. Later.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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