FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2006 In what can only be described as a refreshing change in local politics, Alan Stirling has declined to accept any offered endorsements by groups who have vested interest in city council decisions. Any of these groups that offer worthwhile programs for the council to review and fund are defined to have a vested interest as noted above. Alan Stirling makes one commitment to all of them. He guarantees that they will receive a thorough analysis and examination commensurate with their benefit to the entire community. A specialized group that represents an employment sector of the City of Fremont will often have an agenda that is not consistent with the best interests of the residents of Fremont. As a 40+ year member of the Ironworker’s Union, Alan Stirling brings experience to the Fremont City Council. He understands the value of good working relationships with labor. Therefore, to seek or accept any endorsement any of these defined groups would be an abdication of his responsibility to all of the citizens of Fremont. That responsibility is to represent the best interests of the community. For questions or more information, contact Alan at 313.839.0214.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 17, 2006 In February 2005, a short 18 months ago, Police Chief Steckler was adamant that he was going to save $600,000.00 by not responding to burglar alarms and lectured about it in a town hall meeting. The shock waves were enormous. When challenged that he was not saving money because no reduction in police expenses would result, he immediately changed his statement and said he was reallocating his resources. When confronted with the accusation that he, the city manager, and the city council were doing this in retaliation for the citizens defeating Measure V, the 2004 effort to grab more of the citizen’s money through a utility tax, he vigorously denied this. The process by which this “no response to burglar alarms” decision was clandestinely made was behind closed doors in serial meetings with the city council members, thereby violating The Brown Act. The lawsuit initiated to correct The Brown Act violation is presently in the State Court of Appeals because the police chief and the city manager do not want to be held personally responsible for money damages and sanctions by the court. Now at a community breakfast function at The Marriott this past week, City Manager Fred Diaz, when confronted with the failure of the “no response to burglar alarms” policy and the tripling of the city’s danger level, stated, “NO”, when asked if there was any intention or willingness to review the disastrous results of this policy. He then made clear that this policy would not be reversed for any reason. Then he said that if the new utility tax passed, they may be able to restore some police services. Responding to burglar alarms is not a policy we are going to reverse. This is dangerous for two reasons. First, it continues to show a refusal to change failed policy that endangers our citizens. Second, it demonstrates contempt for the core needs of the citizens under any policy. The Brown Act violation is the indisputable demonstration of that contempt. Yesterday at a meeting in San Leandro with the East Bay Burglar Alarm Association, I had the opportunity to briefly speak to this issue. The Fremont Police Department Alarm Permit Administrator, Shonda Pino, was also in attendance. When I pointed out that the present alarm permit guarantees three false alarm responses at no charge, Ms. Pino immediately rebuked my comment by referencing the police department’s website. She stated to the group that the permit now only entitles the permit holder to two false alarms at no charge. She said that it had been changed to two and that I should read the police department’s website. The police department is using a phrase, “Verified Response”, that is an outright lie. Verified Response is when an officer radio calls to his dispatcher that he/she is at the address of the alarm and is going to leave the vehicle and inspect the perimeter of the property. Is it appropriate for Fremont police policy and procedure to be based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm language? Ms. Pino’s comments seem to indicate that the city is now arbitrarily responding to alarms. This is in direct contrast to Mr. Diaz’s statements. Who’s in charge? What’s the real policy? The initial false alarm ordinance was lawfully originated and approved by a former city council in the 1990‘s. How can it have been illegally changed without a subsequent action by a city council, which includes public notices, public hearings, and then a public vote, by the council? This issue continues to divide the city between those citizens who want the city to be safe, and the criminals who see Fremont as blank check. For further information, please contact Alan Stirling at 313.839.0214 or leave a message on his voice mail at 313.839.0214..
AUGUST 17, 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Fremont City government is failing its responsibility to the citizens. Therefore, change is needed now, not later. Fremont resident, Alan Stirling, has entered the race for a seat on the Fremont City Council. The reasons for his candidacy are centered on several key issues. They are: 1. Utility Tax - The proposed tax is more invalid today than it was two years ago. It was defeated then and it needs to be defeated again. The proposed justifications are simply not true. The recession has diminished and the State is no longer siphoning city money. 2. Labor Negotiations - We cannot negotiate contracts that we cannot live up to. Successful contracts are a two way street. We must not create future liabilities without a clear source of indemnification. 3. Brown Act Violations – The recent blatant Brown Act Violation is outrageous. There is a compelling inference that other procedural violations have occurred. The open meeting act is intended to build public trust and this arrogant disregard for protocol has alienated many residents and created distrust. 4. Non-Response Burglar Alarm Policy – The no response alarm policy is a disaster. The new crime wave is overwhelming and getting worse. The criminal element has sensed this orchestrated chaos and dysfunction. Fremont victims paid the price. One paid with his life. 5. Disregard for Citizen Participation – A prior generation of local citizens now in their later years built a Pagoda in the city park and were willing to repair and maintain it at their expense. This offer was disregarded and the Pagoda was torn down. This is another example of city arrogance and it has to stop. 6. Unnecessary Consultants/Fees – The city maintains a practice of engaging consultants at large fees for projects not needed. Previously, professional city staff had been hired on the basis that they would perform these tasks. Their talents have been suppressed. For questions or more information, contact Alan at 313.839.0214..