Life as I know it

Ivette Ricco

Friday, December 21, 2012
A friend asked me to look at the current election results and I was pleasantly surprised to see that my vote totals have increased.
Total votes for Ricco, 3218, Swearingen, 3581, a difference of 363 votes, or 3.13%!

Percent Votes
30.87% 3,581
40.75% 4,727
27.74% 3,218
0.64% 74

Saturday, November 17, 2012
The final tally for the City Council indicates that the gap was narrower than originally thought. I received 3121 votes or 426 votes less than incumbent Roy Swearingen.
I continue to receive calls and emails and am so touched by your sentiments.

It’s just a few days before Thanksgiving, time to reflect on the positives in our lives and time to be with family and friends. Hold your loved ones close and remember that a life with meaning is the greatest legacy you can leave.
Happy Holiday, see you ’round town.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The votes have been counted and Roy Swearingen received 463 votes more than I did. Thank you to the 2527 citizens who voted for me.
That’s not exactly an overwhelming vote of confidence for the incumbents when an underdog can garner that number of votes while running solo.
I may have lost the election to the incumbents but I believe that my message was received by many. Pinole is tired of fighting, lies, bullies and politics. Pinole needs and wants positive change. We want solutions, we want ideas, we want leaders who aren’t speaking to just a handful of people that dominate every public meeting and control the actions of the council.
We want respectful and civil dialogue. The malicious nature of these handful of people will be challenged. There are now many more eyes on how the council conducts its business. We expect the council to be respectful of all its constituents and not just a few. These political allies have succeeded in clouding the real issues again.
If we have balanced our budget it has been done with loans from redevelopment and PALC. In reality we have a structural imbalance, no reserves and no vision for spurring economic development.

The passage of Measure M is a bright spot. We must maintain our Public Safety. Thank you to the Pinole Police and Fire fighters for standing with me. I stand with you as well.

I will continue to demand change, and critical examination of issues. I will demand sunshine on government operations and hold our elected officials and staff accountable.
I will continue to challenge the status quo. I will continue to speak for the many citizens who are not aligned with a small group which seems to get their way on every issue. I will demand that all council members and those who address the council speak with respect.
Congratulations to the incumbents. I hope that they will put politics aside and work diligently to take Pinole’s issues seriously in the months to come.

Ivette Ricco

Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote Ricco, Vote Yes on Measure M

The election is tomorrow.
I have fought hard to represent the good and thoughtful people in Pinole. My message has been clear, we need positive change.
I have challenged the old guard and the handful of people who spread rumors and want to hold onto power.
It is unfortunate that at a time when the citizens of Pinole have real and important issues to think about, there are those who refuse to move forward and continue to cling to the old battles and political cronies.
It is truly unfortunate that their claims and their message serves only to continue to divide,  polarize and move us backwards and not forwards.
Lost in the rhetoric is an important message – it is that message I want to leave with you, the citizens of Pinole.

Pinole needs the extension of Measure M.

In the past two months I have spoken with a large cross-section of the community.
We discussed many issues and concerns, but one thing they do agree on is the need to maintain our current level of Public Safety.

The Pinole Police and Firefighters are heroes to most of us in Pinole.

Citizens said that they feel safe in Pinole. It is a reason given most often for choosing to buy a home here and raise their families.
Businesses are also very supportive of the efforts of these fine men and women, they give it as one of the reasons they have established their businesses in Pinole.
We can not reduce their numbers any further without jeopardizing the safety of our community.

The Fire Fighters have been portrayed in a negative light by the same individuals who make ridiculous claims about me and try to drag us back to the past.
Yet when the support of the Fire Fighters is needed by these same people, they are expected to give their support without question. Our firefighters are important and valuable to the citizens I spoke with. The citizens of Pinole support them and the work they do.
We need our Firefighters on the job.

When you go to the polls tomorrow, think about the need for positive change and about the type of community you want to live in.
Vote Yes on Measure M.
Vote Ricco.


Friday, November 2, 2012
This week has had a little bit of everything. I have a lot of friends and family in New York and I was worried about their well being when Superstorm Sandy hit.
Thankfully, my family and friends are fine, albeit very inconvenienced by the loss of power and inability to resume life as they know it.
They were on my mind on Tuesday the 30th when I attended the Special City Council meeting. But I had important comments to make, and I made them.
You can view the October 30, Special City Council Meeting here.

Here is an excerpt from my comments made under Citizens to Be Heard:
“People are tired of petty politics, lies, and fighting, we all want results and solutions!
It seems that during campaign time people will say anything about the opponents, no matter how false, no matter how malicious – people claim that this is all just part of the game. But it’s precisely such politics that causes division in our community, and leads citizens to distrust government and elected representatives”.
…”My campaign will not engage in lies, untruths or slander. I will cast issues in a fair – although maybe critical – light, and be straightforward with my position on the issues. If I make a mistake I will take appropriate action. But it is always appropriate to ask questions, to make inquiries, and to make sure everyone is playing by the same rules. I will, and I encourage other to do so as well.”

The issue of the use of the Pinole Fire Department and Police Department patches was also addressed at the meeting under Agenda Item 10A:
Here are my comments – in their entirety – on the use of City Seals:

“People often say “There are no stupid questions”. I can’t agree more. If we want to get to the bottom of any issue we must know all the facts.
If we want to craft the best public policy, we must have active and respectful discourse, disagreement, and compromise – all of which comes from asking questions.
I think it is fair for people to make inquiries about the use of the City Seal and other appropriate or inappropriate campaign activities. I also think that these are issues that might require a more formal City Council policy.
Although the original inquiry was specifically about Councilmember Swearingen’s campaign literature, my blog, has also been called into question.
I want to say that I welcome the discussion and opinion of the City Attorney. I am happy that as a community we are talking about what is appropriate campaigning and what is not.
I am proud of the support of the Police Employees Association and the Pinole Firefighters Local 1230. As such I have listed them on my blog and removed the patches per the opinion of the City Attorney.
While the opinion absolves Councilmember Swearingen, based on that rationale, the uses of seals (mine and Councilmember Swearingen’s) seem relatively equal.
In other words, Councilmember Swearingen was not intentionally misleading voters because it was a photo in a public location. Similarly, I DO have the support of the Police Employees Association and the Fire Fighters Union, so it was also not intentionally misleading. Even the City Attorney’s opinion annotates that I listed the organization names correctly, so there was clearly no intention to indicate that a city department is an endorsing entity.
Nevertheless, I concur with the City Attorney that the Council should develop and adopt a clear policy so that all incumbents and future candidates play by the same rules and are held to the same standards, and to prevent future unintentional missteps.

Finally, there is a bigger question here for our citizens: are candidates and campaigns in Pinole acting appropriately? Is it right to use a city council meeting to talk about campaigns – or openly campaign for one candidate or another? Is it right for sitting councilmembers to use a council meeting to campaign for themselves or address campaign issues?
Whether it has been the practice around here for years should not matter. The questions is, is it right? I think the answer is no.
When elected, I will make sure that elected officials do not abuse their position, that campaigning is done outside of council meetings.
As I said before, the people of Pinole deserve representatives they can trust. If I make a mistake I will admit it and correct it. But it is always appropriate for citizens to ask questions, to make inquiries, and make sure everyone is playing by the same rules.
I encourage the citizens of Pinole to keep asking questions, to hold us all accountable to the rules and the issues important to our community”.


Thursday, November 1, 2012
Last night the trick or treaters were out in numbers on Simas Avenue.
My favorite moment was when a little guy, maybe 4 years old, came to the door with his mom and I asked him what he was (costume-wise) he was wearing a cape, and he thought about it, and replied, “I don’t know”. His mom said he was Casanova.
So cute. Oh that’s right, cute is now a four letter word.
A few other great moments happened when parents standing out on the sidewalk in front of my house yelled, “We’re voting for you Ricco”,  “We voted for you”.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Happy Halloween.
Today, I want to encourage every voter to vote. Change can only take place if you send a clear message, that the time has come for change and new leadership.
The Ricco Victory Campaign is right on track.
Everyday I go out into the community. Everyday I say hello to the people of Pinole. Everyday I am surprised and delighted by their reaction to me and my campaign.
Running for office is challenging. Running against two incumbents is even more challenging. I don’t have a running mate or the ability to pool resources with another candidate. But I am running because I feel so strongly that our city needs a new voice, a voice that represents all of Pinole not just a small group. Pinole needs a leader that is not afraid to speak for everyone.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Seven days before the election. VOTE!
Vote Ricco for positive change and new leadership.

Monday, October 29, 2012
It was a beautiful weekend in Pinole. On Friday I attended the football game between the PVHS Spartans and the Valley Christian Vikings. The Spartans took a 21-0 lead, but the Vikings came back to score 22 unanswered points in the second half and win.
But our players played hard and the mood was positive and fun.
After the game I taped a campaign ad, as a sponsor for the game. I hope you get a chance to watch it on PCTV.
I also enjoyed meeting many neighbors and voters at the Ruports’ meet and greet. Some came prepared with good questions and we had in depth conversations about the real and the important issues facing Pinole. Voters are interested in the future of Pinole, not the past.  If you see me around town in my Ricco Mobile, honk or give me the V for victory sign. Onward!

Ivette in her Campaign Mobile

Friday, October 26, 2012
If you have been following me on Facebook,  you already know that the Pinole Rotary Awards Dinner was held last night. It was a moving moment for me and my family.
Today, I will take part in the Pinole Valley High School Homecoming Parade and will also be in the booth for tonight’s football game.
The weather is great and the spirits are high.

Thursday, October 25, 2012
I have received several complaints from residents that members of the opposition have asked them if they could place their signs along mine and then removed my signs without permission.
Please report this violation to me by calling me at 510-758-0613 or by email at I will forward this on to the proper authorities.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
I have had the pleasure recently of answering questions from voters interested in knowing more about me.
It is wonderful to see that there are so many thoughtful and conscientious voters who can wade through the rhetoric, political grandstanding and scripted attacks and focus on the important issues.  It is encouraging to see that not everyone believes what they hear from those individuals who make it a practice to attend every council meeting and sling mud in the direction of anyone who does not agree with them.
Pinole needs new leadership, Pinole needs fresh ideas, Pinole needs a voice that is ready to move from the past and into the future. That is the reason I am running and battling against the incumbents. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me by phone, email or in person.  I do answer all of my emails, I do answer all of my calls and I do talk to the community one on one. My home number, 510-758-0613 is the same number we have had for the last 41 years. My email, hasn’t changed in the last 5 years.
Thank you for your interest in your community and its future, a future I feel is full of promise if we can move forward with new leadership and fresh ideas.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Mark your calendar.
There’s never a bad time for Pizza, so please join us at the Bear Claw Bakery on Wednesday the 24th from 5-7:30 for some of Mike’s great pizza and a chance to chat.

Monday, October 22, 2012
I am deeply honored that the Rotary Club of Pinole, Inc. has chosen me as this year’s recipient of their Community Service Award.
The Rotary Club is a service organization committed to “service above self”.
The 17th Annual recognition Dinner, on the 25th will be held at the Pinole Senior Center, 6-9. Other award recipients are:
Dwayne Bal, Youth Service, Beth Bartke, Vocational Service and Diane Springer, International Service.
Service above Self, that says it all.

Sunday, October 21, 2012
It should come as no surprise to any one that the political machine is hard at work and churning out propaganda against me.
It is, as they say, “politics”. Falsehoods and innuendos are nothing new.
That seems to be especially true when a challenger is recognized as having a real chance to win against incumbents.
I will continue to be true to myself and to who I am and what I represent.
“Don’t believe everything you hear”, no doubt!
I will fight on, I will represent you honestly and diligently.
It is time for change and it is time for the Status Quo to go!
This election you have a clear choice.
Vote Ricco.

Saturday, October, 2012
Thank you to all of you who came to the Meet and Greet at the Parkers and the Greens. You are the very reason I am in this battle. It was great speaking to all of you.
Mark you calendar for Wednesday the 24, Pizza Party at the Bear Claw Bakery from 5-7:30.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
5:00 pm. I was asked to explain my financial background today, something I am happy to do, as it is a source of pride for me.
To understand what my background is please click here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
It’s a glorious day and another fine day to speak to the community. I will be attending a meet and greet this morning and another one this evening.
I am so thankful for all the support I am receiving. The message is clear, we need change, we need new leadership, we need to move forward.
That message resonates with the community who has had its fill of negativity.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The CC Times article summarizing the debate on October 9, states that the City Manager’s total compensation was $217,021 according to the Public Employees Salaries database compiled from public records.
According the City of Pinole budget for 2011-12 the City Manager’s salary was $227,907, benefits $79,223. Total = $307,130.00.
That same budget lists the City Manager compensation for 2012-13 as, salary $180,00 and benefits $49,880.00. Total = $230,680.
These figures are taken directly from the City Budget. See link below.
In addition, these figures represent only General Fund budget numbers and do not reflect costs allocated to the RDA Successor agency or the Waste Water Sewer Enterprise Fund.
Page 53

Saturday, October 13, 2012
Today was the Ribbon Cutting ceremony at the Community Corner.
Comments have been made that I have taken undue credit for this project.
So, let’s review how the Community Corner became a reality.
In November 2010 at a Pinole Chamber of Commerce Board meeting, the Executive Director mentioned something should be done about the ugly green fence on the corner of San Pablo and Tennent Avenues. The Chamber agreed that such a prominent corner could be put to better use and that it would make a great place for promoting and announcing community events. It was an eyesore and not conducive to our goal to beautify Old Town.

The city had been renting/leasing the fence for $200 a month for about 3 years ($7200).
The council agreed to fund the entire project’s material in the amount of $7,000. All labor was volunteered.
That idea morphed several times as I met with, the City Planner, the City Manager, the City Engineer, and members of the City Council. Thank you City Council and staff.

The council suggested I take this idea to the Community Services Commission for their “buy-in”.
I prepared a Power Point presentation and the Artisans developed a model which I presented to the Community Services Commission, who whole heartedly backed the idea.
The Community Services Commission asked that the Chamber attempt to schedule the landscape work on the corner in conjunction with Community Service Day, June of 2011. This resulted in an amazing outpouring of support from the community, the city and the business community. Thank you Community Service Commission and all the volunteers.
Thank you Travalini Construction, Dolan Lumber and Sugar City.
Today, almost two years later, we celebrated the result of that effort.

Every project needs a leader and willing participants.
We had a lot of help. Council member Tim Banuelos, an architect, and I spent many, many hours working on all of the design elements. Thank you Tim.
Council member Roy Swearingen worked side by side with the Chamber on Phase One. Thank you Roy.  City staff was also an integral part of this project. Thank you Dean, Winston, Rich and Junior.
The Artisans spent countless months working with the Chamber to complete the intricate piece of artwork, thank you Joan and Don Landis and Mike Resso.
As the Chamber President from 2008-2012 and designated to lead this project I took part in every meeting with the city, the Rotary, the Lions and the Artisans.

There are individuals who have labored for these many months working on the corner and the sign construction simply to serve the community. Thank you Crag Parker (Maintenance Plus) and Mike Ricco.

Phase Two of the Community Corner (the sign) culminated with an application to the Planning Commission. During the public hearing a member of the Planning Commission responded to a member of the public who objected to the Chamber logo being on the sign by saying, “If it weren’t for the Chamber we wouldn’t be here discussing the sign”, indeed. The Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the sign.

The Chamber, and I feel a great source of pride in the Community Corner. It’s been a long and difficult road, but in the end, it’s all about community.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The debate…
Thank you to all my supporters for coming out and expressing their opinions and asking their questions. Click on the link below, then click on the Candidate Forum.

Monday, October 8, 2012
Walking today but the highlight of the day was my meeting with parents of students at PVHS. I am keeping a close eye on the progress of the PVHS rebuild as a member of the WCCUSD Bond Oversight Committee, A concern expressed by these parents is the potential loss of the Pinole Swim Center and the lack of action on the proposed Skate Board Park at Pinole Valley Park.
I strongly support these recreational facilities.

Saturday, October 6, 2012
Had a great day of walking Old Town and meeting with residents. Ran into some folks with legitimate issues and I am hoping to help them navigate the city departments to get them in touch with the right people.
I had a great time walking through the St. Joseph Oktoberfest. Many familiar faces, and everyone was in a terrific mood on that sunny day.

Friday, October 5, 2012
I spent part of my day walking and talking to the people of Pinole.
I had a memorable conversation with a 93 year old, who invited me in and shared her stories with me.  Later I helped at the Ellerhorst Walk-A-Thon. My job was to direct the kids through the course by waving pom poms!

Thursday, October 4, 2012
This was a day that left me feeling closer than ever to my community.
I shared lunch with seniors at the Senior Center, was part of a group that sang to the residents of the Senior Village and met with the parents at Ellerhorst.
Sharing my day with so many generations of Pinoleans reinforced my committment to Pinole.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I have been walking and speaking to the people of Pinole. I have been struck by their response to my personal visits to their neighborhoods and my positive message.
A recently naturalized citizen will cast her first vote as an American on November 6 and will vote for me.
A young lady who recently turned 18, will cast her first vote in an election and will vote for me.
I climbed 30 steps to reach a voter in a rather isolated part of Pinole, and she was so impressed that I found her and climbed the stairs in the heat, that she will cast her vote for me. She said no one ever bothers to visit that area of town.

Friday, September 28, 2012
I woke up to some great news today.
The Pinole Police Employees Association has endorsed me as their candidate for Pinole City Council. I am honored to have been endorsed by the Pinole Fire Fighters Local 1230 and Pinole Police Employees Association. The only candidate to receive both those endorsements.

I also spent some time this morning helping out at the Collins Elementary Walk-A-Thon. It was cold but the kids were pretty enthusiastic about doing their laps.
I was helping hand out water and snacks as they finished. One little guy really brought a smile to my face. He asked me if we had any mushrooms. Mushrooms? I told him we only had grapes and pretzels did he want that? He said no, mushrooms. I asked, do you like mushrooms as a snack? He replied, yes when they are cooked on a stick over the fire. You gotta love it.

Over the course of the last few weeks I have had the pleasure of speaking to many members of our community, smart and caring people.
They have asked thought provoking questions. I certainly can’t answer all their questions and I can’t take positions on topics I have limited knowledge of, but I am available to you.
I want to know what kind of city YOU want. What’s important to you?
To get the conversation started I am asking you to give me your two cents worth.
Tell me what’s on your mind!

You can call me at 510-758-0613, send me an email at or post a comment on this blog. Check here for my event calendar.
Talk to me.

Campaign Contributions cheerfully accepted.
Ricco 2012 Council Victory Committee
2826 Simas Ave.
Pinole, Ca 94564
FPPC #1349019

Smart Voter, presented by The League of Women Voters
“The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.”

Click to play this Smilebox invite
Create your own invite - Powered by Smilebox
Free invitation card generated with Smilebox

3 thoughts on “Life as I know it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s