ASSEMBLY MEMBER LUIS ALEJO’S VOTE COST TAX PAYERS $133,179.96?
When former(?) Brown Beret, Watsonville Mayor and City Council Member Luis Alejo was elected to the Assembly back in 2010 he decided that he wanted to vote for his replacement on the city council. It was around the same time that he wanted to rename the City Park Plaza after United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta which also cost taxpayers money but that is another story.
Although there was little if any threat that the voting block of 5 on our city council would be in jeopardy, Alejo demanded that he choose his own replacement, Oscar Rios. Why? Could it be Napoleonic syndrome? So we filed a lawsuit against the city for allowing Alejo to help decide who should be the next city council member because we believe that was not the intent of our City Charter. We lost but filed an appeal which is currently pending. This past week after making a public records request, City Clerk Beatriz Flores confirmed that the city has spent $133,179.96 in legal fees to date on this case just so Assembly Member Luis Alejo could satisfy his ego? Horale!??!
Here we couldn’t afford Christmas lights for our city’s kids, planters and flowers in front main street businesses because we couldn’t afford the water, and can’t afford a gum removing machine to keep our sidewalks clean but a seemingly selfish Alejo in essence tells our city’s children and citizens to kiss his big brown behind? Remember this is the same guy who went out and bought the most expensive vehicle of all incoming freshmen Assembly Members when he first got elected. Ah…the unsophisticated Nuevo rich? Hey, maybe Alejo should talk to his TV daddy George Ow Lobbyist Elias Alonzo who recently wrote a Letter To The Editor in the Register Pajaronian that if Mitt Romney wins only the rich will get richer…..hey Luis, Elias owns two more houses than you do…well as of today…maybe Mr. Ow will purchase you a home for your wedding gift because he is rich and getting richer? And, you can move out of 21 B Carr St? I mean if you really live there.
City Attorney Alan Smith, who sat in the courtroom next to Assembly Member Luis Alejo when the matter was first heard, seems to be doing pretty well these past five years. The city has paid Smith and his law firm Dewy, Cheetham, & Howe…Kidding!...His law firm is Grunsky, Ebey, Farrar, & Howell….almost 1.2 million dollars in legal fees since 2007. The city has been paying Smith over $225,000 a year for what? I don’t know of a case that City Attorney Smith has litigated in the past five years. I think the only time attorney Smith has been in a court room in the past five years was as a spectator. Geez, Raymond Burr (Perry Mason) looks like he spent more time in a court room than Smith. Farming out cases to other law firms is what City Attorney Smith basically does then charges the city for managing those law firms, doubling our city’s legal fees? Now if Smith can’t litigate a case how can he charge us to manage law firms that do know how to litigate? Moxymoron? (a new word).
So why does the city continue to pay City Attorney Smith an hourly wage when the simple solution is to compensate our city attorney a salary? Even the City Charter states that the city attorney should be compensated on a salary basis. When did we change the City Charter?
Since City Attorney Smith is basically farming out cases, instead of the title “City Attorney” we should maybe change it to “City Farmer” Alan Smith. Besides, you know how some dairy farms smell…and milking the system comes to mind.