EDITORIAL - Today is election day and there are two important local races that will effect the future of the city of Madera and Madera County. Big Valley News is recommending a vote for Cece Foley Gallegos for Madera City Council District 1 and Robert Poythress for Madera County Board of Supervisors District 3.
Madera City Council District 1
The problem with knowing someone your whole life in a small town is sometimes little things grown into a life time of resentment. I know there are people that dislike every single thing I do including this endorsement, but I also know there are people (not just my wife and kids) that love me and know I have always had the best of intentions in everything I do.
Even the nicest of people in this town have someone that their mere existence irritates another. For me that would be Cece Foley. There was a time when we were close friends, then we had two boys in the same grade for seven years at the same school and that friendship ended.
Now to most Cece Foley is a sweet, caring teacher from John Adams Elementary. For me I haven't seen her in that light for at least two decades. But those are my personal feelings and I know we share friends that for years haven't understood why we don't liked each other. I know that those friends sit back and wonder how they are friends with two separate people that dislike each other to the extent Cece and I dislike each other.
With all that said there is still the matter of filling the Madera City Council seat left vacant when Sally Bomprezzi quit earlier this year. Now there are two candidates running; a woman I don't like and a man I never heard of. So I introduced myself to Ms. Foley's opponent and said I would like to help him with his campaign. We talked a couple times over the phone and he gave me some direction and I started putting together a city council campaign the way I have seen it done for years.
Then I realized that Mr. Khubaid Sheikh was not running for the people of the city of Madera. His primary goal was to force the city to allow his father to open a mini-mart on West Olive Avenue at the old Captain Kirks building. To make a long story short Mr. Sheikh kept throwing road blocks up on the campaign by not wanting to do the work he needed to do to get his name out in front of the public. The he was a little less than honest when he said "HE" owned businesses and property in Madera. When the truth is, "His Family" or really "His Father" owns businesses and property.
When his brother got involved I knew that Mr. Sheikh was not what was in the best interest of the city of Madera. Madera needs an intelligent person that will hit the ground running with a basic knowledge of what the job requires on day one and not someone with a hidden agenda to increase his family's wealth and would be a puppet for an older brother to control from the shadows.
With that said it was in the best interests of the city of Madera to put my negative feelings aside and support the best person running for the position and that person is Cece Foley.
With Ms. Foley's work with the Madera District Chamber of Commerce and the Madera Unified Teachers Association, she is the only candidate with the knowledge of getting things done and with a support base of friends and colleagues that will help her transition into a competent city council member. Today, Cece Foley is what is in best interest of the city of Madera. Big Valley News asks you to cast your vote for Cece Foley.
Madera County Supervisor District Three
I first met Robert Poythress when he was the president of the Madera District Chamber of Commerce. A position he held for two terms. Rob has always made what was in the best interest of the people of Madera his highest priority, even before being elected to the city council.
While some times I didn't agree with his opinions, I always knew it came from a good place. When he spoke out with his minister to the Bureau of Indian Affairs against the proposed North Fork casino being built in Madera, I knew it was because of his faith and not because he had a client with a better project or another location. He truly believed that gambling was not going to be good for his community. He stood by his principals, even though they were not popular with most Maderans.
I got to know Rob better through his church and at the various Madera County Men of Integrity retreats at Surgar Pine Christian Camp over the years. I found Rob to be a good man, who loved his family and his community, and who would never have an evil thought in his head. So when he decided to run for Madera County Supervisor I wondered why Rick Farinelli tried everything he could to destroy this man's character and paint him as "bad for Madera"?
When Rick Farinelli ran for city council in 2010 his brother-in-law came to me with a set of documents claiming that Farinelli was illegally using his brother-in-law contractors license. I never did the story on this but his brother-in-law warned me about what type of guy Rick truly was.
Fast forward to 2013, Rick is laughing and making jokes during board meetings about the appointed Madera County Auditor Marcia Hall who was illegally living in the county of Merced and basically refused to move to Madera County until the state ruled she must to continue in the position.
Rick was not going to take a stand on making sure Hall lived in Madera and he stood by and endorsed Madera County CEO Eric Flemings attacks on Madera County Tax Collector Traci Kennedy Desmond and Madera County Clerk Rebecca Martinez who pointed out the residency issue to the public.
Rick did everything to keep the media hoodwinked on a claim from a former county employee that Fleming sexually assaulted her in a local restaurant that the county administration office frequented during off hours. He also refused to investigate the practice of "rating woman" that worked for the county based on their sexual attractiveness on a list that made its way through the administration offices called "Kevin's Kuties".
When Farinelli was elected he tried to remove his legislative assistant Justin White in order to hire one of his campaign workers Aaron Hyde. When Farinelli realized that White was a "civil service" employee and not an "at-will" employee, Farinelli with Flemings help began a campaign to remove Mr. White. Mr. White now works for the county clerk in the recorders office.
Mr. Farinelli then hired a decorated Veteran of the first Iraq war, but Farinelli learned a trick from Supervisor Tom Wheeler on how to circumvent the civil service hiring process and fired the Veteran for Robert Jeffers who is now a paid county employee and a paid staffer to the Rick Farinelli re-election campaign. Mr. Jeffers spends many hours that the County Government Center is open to the public working on Mr. Farinelli's campaign.
So when I hear Farinelli accuse Rob Poythress of unethical behavior in makes me wonder what the hell he is talking about. In the last four years I have only dealt with one politician that is unethical and underhanded, That has been Rick Farinelli.
Everything you need to know about Rick Farinelli and what he thinks about his position as a county supervisor is on the video tape recordings of their meeting. Meetings that used to be once a week but now with Farinelli as the chairman and after they got a thirty percent raise in pay, are now only twice a month. Yet he claims Mr. Poythress will be a "part time supervisor".
Farinelli once said during a meeting that the county Board of Supervisors get so much more done during closed season meetings out of the public eye. But then claims that he is working to make the county more "transparent" to its citizens.
In all the time I have know Rob Poythress he has never lied to me. I can not say this of Mr. Farinelli. I would say that Rick Farinelli is as two faced as the Gotham City District Attorney Harvey Dent in the Batman comics, but the truth is his has six to eight different faces he puts on for the public. Not to mention that this year he was caught lying on a police report about stolen signs and refused to answer the media's questions about his "funny math".
You can not trust Rick Farinelli for four more years. The developers have bought and paid for him, David Rogers and Tom Wheeler. After four more years no one is going to have any water from their taps because the big Fresno developers will have stolen it for the new city off of Highway 41 they have paid the supervisors thousands and thousands of dollars for.
For twelve years you've had a man on the Madera City Council that has done nothing but earn your trust and respect. Now is the time for him to step up to the job he deserves. Today when you close that curtain and vote, join Big Valley News and put your trust in the man who will not lie to you and has worked to earn your vote.
Vote for Robert Poythress Madera County Supervisor District three.