Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth


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.

6 thoughts on “Don’t Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

  1. If you are not a member of the inner circle, those who kiss councel’s butts and socialize with them then you aint gonna get a pat on the back. If you have spoken against employees or councel, you aint gonna get any love or respect from them or a proclamation like Kopp did.

  2. Thanks for sharing. Messrs. David Ruport and Sal Spataro are to be thanked and congratulated for their efforts on behalf of the residents of the valley for attempting to keep Station 74 as a future option. We definitely need it; especially for the medical response it can provide. Even if it becomes just that – medical response only, it would be of great value.

  3. Station 74 is a pawn in a power play by Pinole in its war against the firefighters. Pinole is appealing a decision reached in favor of the firefighters in their PERB lawsuit, the city could be facing a judgement against them that is over one million dollars, all because they shut down 74 without due process. Legal fees for all the litigation the city is facing are mounting. The lawsuit against the state for redevelopment funds has also gone against the city, which of course is being appealed. That judgement could result in the city losing the 13 million it expected from the sale of the shopping centers. They would only receive 19% of that or $2.4 million, that’s a loss of 11 million. The verizon debacle could also cost us some $300,000 dollars. In the meantime the attorneys keep racking up the billable hours.
    Something is rotten at city hall and its costing us dearly.

    • Throwing good money after bad. Why? Because this council believes it is fiscally responsible. BS. Look at the hole they have dug due to their arrogant position.

  4. There is ONE consistent and reliable voice on the Pinole city Council. Phil Green. You can also notice that there are Regular attacks on Councilman Green from Jeff Rubin. This is a calculated political maneuver to make the CCOP’s (concerned citizens of Pinole) candidate look better. It is rumored that Rubin’s wife, Norma Martinez Rubin is the likely candidate. (OY) Rubin has the ear of the majority of our Council and it is no wonder that we are in such a pickle. Pinole needs a Housecleaning of MAJOR proportions. Look at our LEGAL spending and you can see many bad decisions balling up on the City. And WHOSE Taxpayer Dollars are paying for all this????

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