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JIM KELLY, Dana Point

I was very disappointed in the City Council meeting, on Feb. 6, to see our new mayor Richard Viczorek insisting on going into closed session to discuss whether or not we should go out for bid on the city attorney contract, which has not been open to a competitive bid since 2002. This is a purely financial matter and should be held in open session.

Accepting the advice from our current city attorney, who has held this contract with the city for 16 years, whether or not to go into closed session has a very bad appearance of potential conflict of interest to the citizens of Dana Point.

Compared to neighboring cities, it appears we are being overcharged. Why?

I feel that Mayor Richard Viczorek’s insistence that this review be held in closed session is a potential violation of the Brown Act, and if he persists in holding this review in closed session, we, as citizens of Dana Point, will be forced to notify the California First Amendment Coalition and California Aware of this violation of the Brown Act for open clear and transparent government.

If there is nothing to hide, why not put this matter on the agenda for an open session so that we citizens can participate and hear all arguments on this very important financial matter?

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comments (4)

  • This appears to be just another example of how our city government is being run for and by special interests, instead of for the residents of Dana Point. It is outrageous that Mayor Viczorek would move this discussion into closed session.

    Mayor Viczorek and Council members Mueller and Tomlinson have consistently acted to favor and protect Rutan and Tucker, no matter the cost to taxpayers. Let’s not forget the disastrous Strandsgate lawsuits, that cost us well over $1 million, and benefited only Rutan and Tucker, who raked in legal fees at our expense.

    Viczorek, Mueller, and Tomlinson think that moving this to closed session means that we won’t notice that they’re doing it again by refusing to solicit competitive bids for the city attorney contract. We have to keep pushing them.


    The Brown Act, aimed at protecting the public’s access to information, is now being used in this case to hide in closed session an open discussion over the city’s legal contract. It may not be a coincidence that the city attorney’s obfuscation over potential violation of the Brown Act, where he has been reluctant to offer a definitive opinion, has come up several times recently regarding the Financial Review Committee (FRC).

    Since its formation, the FRC has questioned the city’s law firm contract not being reviewed for 15 years; the city’s expenses outpacing revenue by 2020; the large number of costly city vehicles and car allowances; 19 years since updating development fees, to name a few. These issues cover significant problems that have existed and been neglected for many years. If these issues are addressed, Dana Point will operate more transparently and be stronger financially.

  • The FRC has been, and always was, a waste of money. Please review the meeting minutes of the last years worth of meetings and the accomplishments. Accomplishments, none really, except if you want to include taking candy from children, taking 20 minutes of fireworks away and missing targets and having committee members make up their own projections, that have been ridiculed by staff. Waste of money, please do a review on all of the staff time spent working on the FRC, with most of that spent educating the two members of the FRC who made up projections and why their numbers have been and are wrong. I have calculated the cost at over $80,000 for the past year, just to hear false numbers being reported and no major accomplishments. Again, $80,000 (at least) and for what? To educate two members that they are so far off base and in fact those members have cost the city, due to their anti-growth and pro Capo Cares policies.

    We need to remove Council member Lewis, she has caused more harm to this city than anyone, with her anti-growth push, her being on the losing side of 4-1 votes most of the time (even her pal Mr. Wyatt votes against her), her willingness to bend the truth (truthiness Ms Lewis, truthiness) and her none stop campaigning, give it a break until 3-4 months before the election. We would be a lot stronger fiscally if the true truth was told.

  • To the Public: the Financial Review Committee operates under the direction of the City Council. Its reports have been done at the request of the Council. The Council should be commended for caring about financial matters affecting the City. The members of the FRC have had years of extensive financial experience. and donate their valuable time free of charge. This is a huge benefit to the city and the council.

    FRC efforts have brought attention to key financial matters and contributed to transparency in city government . The reports, and conclusions provided are recommendations to the city council.. The FRC has no authority to implement any of their recommendations.

comments (4)

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