Frequently Asked Question
Thank you for your letters, questions and comments since Election Day, November 2020. In this article, I will answer the most frequently asked question coming in from incumbent supporters. They seem to enjoy reminding me this is 2021, and asking, “so what in your website is relevant?” First of all, and ironically, the website is a main reason how we elected two brand new and improved city council members. The question itself, however, represents why the city also added a recycled candidate.
Historical pattern: houses continue being approved and built, almost always ill advised and dangerous considering severely inadequate Emergency/Fire response. Specific example is the infamous July 25, 2019, Brentwood City Council vote (unanimous 5-0) that voters would choose the fate of a proposed urban limit line expansion initiative during a special election in November 2019 rather than holding the vote November 3, 2020. As you may know, the proposed “Measure L” was spearheaded by a group of local developers who wanted the election held one full year early. The group, which included a longtime Brentwood farmer and developer, would have moved the mark at which urban development must stop, clearing the way for a proposed 815-acre project of up to 2,400 residential units, situated north of Balfour Road, east of Deer Valley Road, and west of the Shadow Lakes and Brentwood Hills neighborhoods.
The council’s election-timing decision came after about 90 minutes of impassioned public comments for and against holding the special election in November. The vast majority of speakers pleaded with, and sometimes even begged the council to please, Please, PLEASE Vote No against a special election!
Councilwoman Karen Rarey, self proclaimed ‘Voice of the People’ expressed concern which had no relevance to the matter at hand. “We are turning neighbor against neighbor,” she said. “I watch it on social media — people attacking each other, both sides. What do you think it’s going to do in 18 months when people continue to attack each other?” Predictably, she ignored the residents, and voted to support Measure L. It turns out 71 percent of voters disagreed with The Voice. One reason I mention this is because there has never been (even a hint of) an apology for collectively wasting hundreds of hours of our time in opposing this very selfish idea.
Full disclosure: The Voice says she voted to put Measure L on Special Election so it would have a "better chance of losing"! It makes no sense even if you don’t read a lot . . . or even to a person who might be lesser educated ! I know of some extremely intelligent & illiterate historical figures. Everybody knows that our city council voted 5-0 "Yes" with the intention of having Measure L pass!
Voice had taken substantial donations from Ron Nunn family developers, and related Blackhawk developers, oil wells, and whatever else they do. A lot of residents have brought attention to this corruption so hopefully it will stop! It would be political suicide to continue accepting donations from new housing developers and special interests after being publicly called out so many times. So this website is in support of the aphorism “Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.” A philosopher said that, not me.
This quotation from a local resident also rings largely true for me: "Joel Bryant and Karen Rarey both continue to propagate lies and promises in their regular fashion. Both incumbents don't really care what happens in the community." We’ve all heard the people who say, “Karen isn't as bad as Joel" but the fact is: they almost always vote the same on new housing projects, and essential agenda items . . . to the detriment of Brentwood. All this hurts our residents, and increases emergency response times. Conflicts of interest affect how you vote! One thing about Mr. Bryant: there is less confusion about where he stands on issues.
Worth noting: there are oil companies that have spoiled and ruined a lot of Brentwood neighborhoods, e.g., with oil fields, and gas stations, sometimes with a mechanical car wash. These negative projects were often approved and built adjacent to residential years ago, and the pattern continues — zoning was (and is) often changed to accommodate the intrusions — the same people who fought like hell to get horrible (proposed) projects approved are on the official endorsement list 2020 of The Voice. Also, residents residing further away NOT supporting the directly affected neighborhoods has allowed this to happen. Bad projects galore historically . . . and recently.
There was a time in 1998 when NO Construction had begun on the Highway 4 Bypass. The project was delayed, and behind schedule. It was the perfect time to study any changes to the route and its alignment. What better time to discuss and evaluate major flaws, and also officially confirm the plan had become outdated. It was a "no brainer" that new subdivisions would fill with disgruntled residents. However, the overwhelming majority of "powers that be” . . . including the Brentwood City Council, had absolutely NO Interest in entertaining any type of discussion--once again, most or many of them can be found on the official endorsement list of The Voice.
This is what I think should concern every resident: historically dumb and corrupt voting patterns in Brentwood for several decades right up to November 2020. During the campaign, a Voice supporter wrote, “she tells people, ‘I won’t do it anymore’ . . . and I believe her.” You can’t make this up! So this includes no more ignoring the General Plan; no more zoning changes from residential to something else; no more density changes favoring developers; and actually doing something about emergency response times. We can live with the consequences of propping someone up as long as there is a willingness to actually follow, and do what you promised. Residents keep saying, “After four years, hopefully she has learned her lesson”. I am not against second chances . . . especially with the guidance now available from newly elected council members. We just need The Voice to gravitate toward, and follow, the forceful opinions set forth recently by Jovita Mendoza whom I’ve always encouraged to someday run for County Supervisor AFTER she fixes Brentwood . . . actually that’s not even quite possible at this late date . . . our city won’t ever be what it should have been lacking proper planning and voting. However, definitely within reach is No more houses until we achieve emergency response times as defined in our General Plan!
NEXT UP another popular conversation so maybe a rundown of all the things people said to me in 2020 that they apparently forgot they said. Some folks might call it “hypocritical” or "falling victim to peer pressure" . . . I really thought this was mostly a middle school issue :) Please message me if you’re someone who wouldn’t want me to publish this—I’m trying to figure out how to do it credibly without mentioning names.