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PAC - April 2014 Update

MORENO VALLEY CITY EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION

 POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE

 APRIL 2014 UPDATE

 June Recall Election

 

In 1991, the Moreno Valley City Employees Association (MVCEA) formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) which is registered with the Secretary of State’s office in compliance with the Fair Campaign Practices Act.  Under State law it is necessary for MVCEA to have a PAC which is technically a separate legal entity from MVCEA to avoid any conflict of interest if campaign contributions are made on behalf of candidates.  The MVCEA PAC conducts interviews with those running for City Council and issues endorsements of candidates who appear to support issues that are important to our members.  This includes but is not limited to competitive wages, benefits, and working conditions.  Over the years we have developed good working relationships with many City Council members who the PAC has endorsed in their election bids.  Our primary goal is to have open lines of communication and to keep the compensation and working conditions of our members a priority when budget decisions are made by the City Council.

 

In 2010, Tom Owings was elected to the City Council and subsequently became the Mayor.  MVCEA did not endorse Mayor Owings when he ran for office against an incumbent we had an existing relationship with.  After the election, as has been our practice, we reached out to all members of the City Council and we developed a good working relationship with Mayor Owings.  The MVCEA PAC now holds monthly meetings with the Mayor and these meeting have been instrumental in our successful efforts to cut the furlough from 10% to 5% as well as our current push to eliminate the remaining furlough by July 2014.  It should also be noted that our 4.75% salary increase was the largest across-the-board increase for City employees in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.

 

As you are aware, Mayor Owings is now facing a recall election in June 2014.  The MVCEA Board of Directors is in the process of discussing what roll our PAC should play in this process.  When competing political camps are involved, it is sometimes difficult to identify the real issues from political rhetoric.  In politics, allegations can be raised without the burden of proof and it is often difficult to determine what the true motives are in a recall effort.  When those pushing a recall effort are also those who want to be elected to replace a recalled official, it is easy to be skeptical.  Beyond the rhetoric, it is clear that the Mayor is pro-development on the east side and the recall supporters oppose commercial development.  Obviously developers attempt to buy influence to gain support for their projects.  An examination of disclosed campaign contributions tells us that developers have contributed heavily to Moreno Valley City Council candidates.  This includes current members of the City Council as well as former members of the City Council who are supporting the recall.  We believe that contrary to the allegations of who received developer money, the real bone of contention is who will control the development and what type of development will be allowed.  MVCEA has been advised that it was necessary to use paid recall signature gatherers to collect enough signatures to qualify for a recall election.  We have also been advised that the Riverside Sheriff’s Association put up the money for paid signature gatherers for the recall.  This could be linked to the Mayor being outspoken about replacing the Sheriff’s Department with the City’s own police department.  As you may know the Mayor cut the Sheriff’s budget while giving priority to increases for City employees and cutting the furlough.

The bottom line for the MVCEA PAC is that Mayor Owings has been the most communicative elected official we have dealt with since 1991.  During his term, things have turned around and started to improve for our members.  We do not know if there is any truth to the allegations being made about the Mayor and other City Council members as well.  Before taking a position, the MVCEA wants your input.  Please feel free to e-mail your comments to pac@mvcea.com, or post them to the comment section of our MVCEA website, http://mvcea.com/pac.  Your comments are due by 11:59 p.m. on April 17, 2014. 

 

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