As I wrote in Fountain Valley Patch last May (), the City doesn't need to spend any funds to continue its $13,135 annual membership in the Association of California Cities - Orange County. The ACC-OC is an bastardized offshoot of the League of Cities that was put together by a small group of County RINOs and business elites to, frankly, make trouble. We don't need this organization, especially now that their ongoing support of Re-Development is useless given Governor Brown's elimination of all of California's RDAs.
Our City Council and staff have attended very few of the ACC-OC's functions (the City Clerk's given me their attendance records), and per the Agenda's staff report, they can still participate in these events by simply paying a little more of our money for the dinner, meeting and programs that are held about once monthly. It appears we receive NO real value from this relationship.
The City also needs to be extremely wary of ACC-OC management. Per a friend and member of a City Council that's also an ACC-OC member,
"They [ACC-OC] are using taxpayer funds to inappropriately interfere in both local elections and academic affairs. It was Lacy Kelly, their CEO, who when with the OC Division of the League of CA Cities led a delegation to Dr. Jim Doti, President of Chapman University, to attempt to discredit me...and my campaign for City Council. Now as leader of the ACC-OC, [Kelly and her supporters] have actively attempted to remove Dr. [Fred] Smoller from many of his responsibilities as Director of the MPA program at Brandman University. They have succeeded in getting his pay reduced as well. They complain that his published opinions are anti-local control, etc. This has been their tactic, rather than to simply call for an open and honest debate on his ideas."
There's more here, and Googling this story will produce numerous columns and editorial material from the Register on how overt and plain nasty Kelly's actions were. It was Smoller's students who worked on a series of salary surveys of Orange County City Managers that was run in the Register last year. The release of this information, which included not only wage, but benefits and pension information enraged the ACC-OC as they apparently believed the general public was unentitled to it. The information was extremely revealing, honestly well-presented and raised a number of questions regarding how extremely well many of our local government employee managers are paid.
Fountain Valley doesn't need an association with these types. Lacy Kelly is a disciple of Lucy Dunn, the CEO of the Orange County Business Council. As I wrote last year, Dunn believes her small group of elite businesses is a powerful substitute for the County-level Chamber of Commerce that we don't have (or need). Dunn is an ACC-OC Board Director, and a well-connected political opportunist who's in business to ensure her member businesses receive their share of county money in public works and benefit from real estate development. R. Scott Moxley, the OC Weekly's well-reputed investigative reporter published this about Dunn's interest in taxing us earlier this month: OC's Happiest Pro-Tax Increase Cheerleaders Are Democrats, Right? In part, he writes:
Yesterday, California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown released his budget plan that includes a whopping $6.9 billion in new taxes through a November ballot initiative...But in Orange County, once proudly hailed as "Reagan Country," it took a few hours for one group to "applaud" Brown's plan: the Orange County Business Council (OCBC), a corporate lobbying organization that is dominated by wealthy Republican business executives.
In a press statement, OCBC CEO Lucy Dunn hailed Brown's plan "a solid strategy" and "a strong start" that will "restore California's economic health." You can stop laughing now. The OCBC has a history of advocating for tax increases.
We need neither of these people, or a membership in the ACC-OC. Let's save the money.