January 30, 2014
I was asked to take a look at the December 17, 2013 Pinole City Council meeting. Specifically I was to look at the comments made at approximately 11:20 pm, by Pinole residents David Ruport and Sal Spataro.
Mr. Ruport and Mr. Spataro presented the City with a gift, information they discovered that could possibly give the city an “out” regarding the conversion of Station 74. Station 74 was caught in the Tsunami known as the Tower Horror. Unfortunately, Station 74 became collateral damage when the Grant deeds for Pinole Valley Park were discovered.
The State informed the City that it could not convert Pinole Valley Park land for a use other than “recreational outdoor use”. This effectively put a stop to the cell tower in the park.
But it also, shockingly, resulted in the discovery that Station 74 was out of compliance and had been built without going through the State’s mandated conversion process.
Being out of compliance places financial sanctions on the city. This turn of events also may have put the last nail in the coffin for those clinging to the hope that Station 74 would re-open someday.
Mindful of this and determined to leave no stone unturned Mr. Ruport and Mr. Spataro researched case history, online records and data from the State and the City and came across some information that could potentially put a crimp in the State’s case.
On December 17, 2013, Mr. Ruport, stood before our Council at nearly midnight, armed with copies of documents that seemed to indicate that in the 1990’s the City had made an effort to follow the conversion process and that the State had knowledge of the City’s intent but failed to follow through. Mr. Ruport presented them with his gift.
What followed is an interesting exchange between members of the City Council, staff and Mr. Ruport.
Rather than thank Mr. Ruport for bringing this information to their attention he was peppered with comments that would make any citizen think twice about stepping forward to help our City out of a jam.
Mr. Spataro, in his comments is much more direct and to the point.
He says, “we’re finding all the answers”. “We found it why couldn’t you?”
The City has stated that they are working on the conversion and that they must:
1. Research legal questions.
2. Allocate staff time and resources.
3. Research the records and files from the early 1990’s to the date of construction in 2002.
4. Identify an equivalent piece of exchange property.
The research to accomplish these tasks comes with a price tag to the city and therefore to the taxpayer.
Mr. Ruport handed the City information that may or may not assist them and possibly reduce legal costs and staff time.
Irrespective of how the information is used or how accurate or helpful it is, our elected officials and staff should have embraced and voiced their appreciation for the time and effort Mr. Ruport put into his research.
Take a look at the videos below. You can decide for yourselves if our elected officials and staff looked a gift horse in the mouth.
if you would like to provide your feedback please complete the form below.