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Assoc. of town council letter to OSO 8-1-2011
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Wayne Argo
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Post: #1
Assoc. of town council letter to OSO 8-1-2011
Assoc. of town council letter to OSO

[Image: letter OSO 8-1-11.jpg]

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02-08-2011 10:39 AM
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guest
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Post: #2
e-mail received : All Recipients Of Mr. Wayne Argo's Letter
This E-mail was posted in fairness to all Parties.

To: All Recipients Of Mr. Wayne Argo's Letter
CC Senator Ray Haynes, Dr. Barney Hope

Date: August 1st, 2011

This is a response to the letter from Mr. Wayne Argo dated August 1, 2011 addressed to Mr. Richard Skaggs and Oso Community and regarding the formation of the Oso Town Council back in 1992.

I am writing this as one of the people present at the March 3, 2011 meeting at the church in Neenach (Grace Chapel) who witnessed the discussion between Mr. Wayne Argo and OSO Resident.

I feel it is necessary to correct several miss-statements and inaccuracies which have probably snuck in because Mr. Wayne Argo has so much on his plate and cannot actually pay attention to each and every detail...

PARAGRAPH 1: What the resident actually said is NOT that Oso needed to conduct elections in order to change their charter. Quite the contrary. The OSO Town Council Charter specifically says that there are NO officers. All business is conducted by committees formed when deemed necessary by the members of the community to address specific issues of concern to the community.

THEREFORE: The resident was merely stating that THE CHARTER WOULD HAVE TO BE AMENDED BY A VOTE OF THE PEOPLE TO EVEN ALLOW THE CONCEPT OF ELECTED OFFICERS and clearly prior to having actual elections. I know what the resident said as I was there with him and Mr. Argo when he said it. Oso Resident was upset particularly because we were directed by Mr. Argo to have elections IN VIOLATION OF OUR CHARTER, without first changing the charter to ALLOW ELECTIONS as part of the charter...

PARAGRAPH 2: The letter of May 26th, 1992 from Supervisor Michael Antonovich to Lois Knutson regarding the Oso Town Council formation states "there are no legal requirements or ordinances controlling the formation or operation of such Town Councils" and he makes suggestions.

Furthermore, the letter of June 23rd, 1992 (also attached by Mr. Argo) from Supervisor Michael Antonovich to Lois Knutson regarding the Oso Town Council formation CLEARLY shows that the supervisor accepts the new OSO Town Council as a valid one. Simply put that means the OSO Town Council CHARTER was reviewed and accepted at this time and after the suggestions made in the prior letter of may 26th 1992... Therefore Mr. Antonovich accepted the fact that Oso worked through committees and NOT through elected officers and that is in fact the will of the people!

The term "council's officers" in this context simply means the active committee members and in a larger sense any legal voter within the community. Direct input is truly more democratic than even representation by an elected officer.

In the Oso Town Council anyone in the community can donate their time and become a committee member or even chairman.

PARAGRAPH 3 and 4: By now it is hopefully clear that the premises laid out in Paragraph 1 and 2 were invalid both in content and from the chronological point of view. Therefore paragraph 3 and 4 which are based on such premises are simply a case of non-sequitur.

Please consider ALL of these facts and do act with your heart...

Sincerely Yours,
Stefan Ghika-Budesti
a simple Oso Town Council Committee Member
02-08-2011 10:43 AM
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Wayne Argo
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Post: #3
RE: Assoc. of town council letter to OSO 8-1-2011
Letter sent in response to above letters:

From: Richard Skaggs
To: "Argo, Johnie"
Sent: Tue, August 2, 2011 12348 PM
Subject: Re: Oso Town Council Letters (See Attached)

Wayne,

Could you tell me what motivated you to write that shameful and misleading piece of rhetoric yesterday? Your letter was obviously based on misleading evidence and not the whole story. Had you contacted us before making this so public there would have been no drama.

I'm not going into a response here, but I've attached your letter along with Oso Committee Member Stephan Ghika-Budeski's response.

First that odd request a few weeks ago for our minutes (which we gladly gave you) and now this. Could it be that you're objecting to Oso's efforts to unite the West Valley into one voice to effectively deal with the energy companies? I'm really disappointed because I thought we had a good working relationship until now. We of Oso need to see all the correspondence between you and the other Town Councils on this and related subjects. Consider this an official request.

You weren't there, but last night Barbara (I forget her last name), a board member of Fairmont TC, was placing copies of your letter on all the seats at our TC meeting, with Dave K and Dave J watching the whole thing, until she was caught. That was a cheap shot not worthy of a Middle School girl's clique, but it effectively demonstrated to over 100 attendees that you do not have your facts straight, and your misleading letter was misused by Fairmont TC to hamper our efforts to unite the Valley.

As you know, I've been fighting to unite Oso with Fairmont and other TCs, but last night the tide clearly turned and virtually the whole room (over 100 people) voted to bail on them because of your letter and Barbara's actions. This just succeeded in making Oso that much stronger and more unified in their disdain for your letter and Fairmont. As you and Norm know, Oso TC graciously allowed Fairmont to overlap our borders by a recent vote of over 90 of our residents. Read our June 29th minutes at http://www.osotowncouncil.com.

We at Oso can only do what our residents ask us to do. We don't act unilaterally like other TCs. We make a huge effort to invite all the local residents to participate (not just by posting a flyer on the market bulletin board) and as a result our meetings number close to 100 attendees. Contrast this with about a dozen at Fairmont and about 30 at Antelope Acres TC meetings. Our residents overwhelmingly said that jobs and the environment are the two most important issues for us, so we worked hard to promote all the First Solar job fairs, and at Quartz Hill close to 300 job seekers showed up. We are focused on the needs of our community, and they did not ask us to get into petty squabbles with our neighbors, so we're trying our best to avoid getting dragged into those.

Next time, please give us the courtesy of contacting us first and let's try to do this in a more professional manner. This letter discredited the ARTC by going out on their letterhead, and it hampered, perhaps ruined, our efforts to unite the Valley into an effective voice.

Richard
03-08-2011 08:10 AM
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Wayne Argo
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Post: #4
RE: Assoc. of town council letter to OSO 8-1-2011
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011
To: Argo, Johnie

Wayne,

Where do I even begin in commenting on your August 1 letter?

First and most obvious, my name is Karl – not “Carl
Humphries”. Please do me the courtesy of expending a little effort to
get my name right.

Next, please take an English class – I beg you. Wading through your
tortured prose was really painful. It was difficult to determine what
you were trying to communicate because I was laughing so much. It was
really distracting.

And you got almost everything wrong, but it doesn’t really matter.
Oso doesn’t belong to the ARTC so we didn’t “neglect” to let you know
of the May 26, 1992 letter – we simply ignored you. Who the hell are
you and why should we care?

Perhaps you don’t really know what a “Town Council” actually is,
despite your lofty position as the Director of the ARTC. Town
councils have no power or borders and only exist because of a
consensus of the local residents. There are no laws or regulations to
govern them – there are only suggestions and guidelines. Maybe some
of the “officers” of our neighboring town councils have become a bit
power-mad and think they’re something that they’re not, but we know
exactly what we are – an informal group with no officers, no
elections, no scheduled meetings, and no secret handshakes, uniforms,
or ceremonial hats, as stated by our charter.

We really have better things to do than respond to poorly written and
badly thought-through letters such as yours – like maybe dealing with
the encroaching power companies, getting jobs for our community,
setting up power coops, important stuff like that. If you need to
bicker with someone, I suggest Antelope Acres or Fairmont Town
Councils as they seem to have more of an appetite for that kind of
thing.

REsident
04-08-2011 08:18 AM
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Pig Pen Offline
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Post: #5
From Wikipedia, defination of Town Council
Town council
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A town council is a democratically elected form of government for small municipalities or civil parishes. A council may serve as both the representative and executive branch.

Depending upon local laws and regulations, town councils usually self-organize and elect a leader to set the agenda of their governing body. This leader may be granted a title such as chairman, mayor, or president.

The concept of a Town Council that doesn't have officers that are elected is an oxymoron. Further....a committee has no authority to act for the body. Committees are strictly advisory groups that are to report to the body....OF ELECTED OFFICIALS.....


New Hampshire
In New Hampshire, the Town Council is an elected body which serves as the legislative and executive body of the town. The town is governed by a charter, which is allowed under the home rule provision of the New Hampshire Constitution (Pt I, Art. 39) and Title III of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated. The charter for a Town Council must meet the following requirements of RSA 49-D:3 I. (a) - (e) and all other applicable laws. The basic notion of home rule in New Hampshire is that local communities are not allowed to supersede the authority specifically granted to them by the state.

Official Ballot Town Council
The Official Ballot Town Council is a variant form of the Town Council. In the Official Ballot form of government, the town council is vested with the limited authority to vote on all matters not voted on by official ballot. The authority and restrictions on the Official Ballot town council is the same as the Town Council, except with respect to those matters specified to be voted on by official ballot. Also, the council decides what is placed on the ballot, not the registered voters.

The charter of the Official Ballot Town Council is required by law to specify specifically:

* Which budgetary items to be included on the official ballot; and
* A finalization process for the annual budget; and
* Process for public hearings, debate, discussion, and amendment of questions to be placed on the official ballot; and
* Procedures for the transfer of funds among various departments, funds, accounts, and agencies as may be necessary during the year; and
* Applicability of the official ballot procedure to special elections

The charter also must specify whether a 2/3 or 3/5 majority vote is required to approve bonds or notes, with the default being 2/3.
04-08-2011 08:34 AM
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Mary Ann Floyd
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Post: #6
RE: Assoc. of town council letter to OSO 8-1-2011
THE RURAL TOWN COUNCIL MOVEMENT

The Rural Town Council movement in Southern California evolved as a grassroots effort to empower rural unincorporated communities with local influence in matters affecting their communities.

Rural communities are a minority segment of the demographics of North Los Angeles County with distinct identities and community characters. They have, however, been relatively invisible in State, County and neighboring municipal governments. The scope of the communities' political involvement has traditionally been reactionary; coming together to respond to a spec issue of concern, then disbanding when the issue is resolved.

Homeowner organizations and community clubs successfully served the community's social and limited political needs. However, land use and growth plans for these rural communities were traditionally controlled by influential and powerful special interest groups and municipalities outside the community. Individual community members did not enjoy the same stature in these matters, nor were they particularly knowledgeable about the process. This left them ineffective in successfully participating in the future of their communities.

During the rapid expansion of urban housing in Los Angeles County in the late 1980's, established rural unincorporated communities found themselves affected by, but relatively ineffectual in these expansion decisions and resistance to urbanization began to organize. It became evident that a credible mechanism needed to be found to provide community representation in these matters.

Membership in homeowner associations is limited and dues is usually required, therefore, these associations only represented a small and limited faction of the community. Plus, if there were several groups in a community with diverse goals, or special interest groups, it was difficult for governmental, private, and public agencies to determine "who speaks for the community".

Michael D. Antonovich, supervisor of the 5th Los Angeles County District was faced with such a dilemma. Members of the 50-year old homeowner's group in Leona Valley said the community wished to remain rural and rejected a developer's plan to build urban tracts in their community. Another newly formed group of pro-urban property owners claimed that they represented the voice of the community and they endorsed the urban tract development. Supervisor Antonovich suggested that the community establish a Town Council and encouraged all viewpoints to ran for office letting the community decide through a democratic election who represents the people of the community.

In developing the Town Council program, community organizers looked to early American history where small communities and townships gathered in meeting places, chose their representatives and discussed local concerns and courses of action. In imitation of that traditional form of local government, Town Councils evolved to provide a direct and effective method to participate with the decision makers in matters concerning their communities. The Council's credibility and authority lies in the key factor, that Council members are elected by registered voters in the community and that the elections are conducted in a manner which reflects the spirit and intent of the California Election Code and the Fair Political Practices Act.

It must be noted that California State law makes no provision for Town Councils. They are an informal government with limited structure and possess no formal powers or service-providing abilities. They cannot levy or collect taxes, and cannot create or enforce laws. They are advisory in nature and serve the community by mirroring and promoting the community's values, lifestyles, goals, and concerns, through Town Hall meetings and other means of gathering community input and in tam presenting those viewpoints to appropriate agencies. Town Councils function effectively as community advocates and representational links in local situations where rapport exists between the community and the County, the Board of Supervisors, district boards, and neighboring municipalities.

Town Councils have an added benefit in that they institutionalize a community's identity. By symbolizing the community, the existence of a Town Council can stimulate in citizens a sense of their community's identity and loyalty to it. For some, that identification becomes a willingness to assume the responsibilities of leadership.

State law does provide, however, for municipal advisory councils (MAC) and planning advisory councils (PAC) which are adjuncts to the legislative body and are direct functions of the County governmental system. They may be a more suitable forum for some unincorporated communities, particularly those who plan for future incorporation. Members of these councils may be appointed by the Supervisor or may be elected through regular County elections and are funded through the County. It is not unlikely that some Town Councils may eventually evolve into the formation of MACS or PACs.

The rural Town Council movement has not been without its problems. Critics are quick to point out its failings and are skeptically slow to recognize accomplishments and the positive influence of the Councils. Part of the reason for some of its failings lies in its rapid success. Driven by the immediate urgency of gaining influence over decisions being made for their communities and the hope that where homeowner associations failed, Town Councils will succeed, eleven unincorporated communities formed Councils in a short two-year period.

Beginning with a mere concept and with no established guidelines to govern its formation or operation, this grassroots effort is nothing short of Herculean. Organizers developed rules and regulations, policies and procedures, and mobilized community and governmental support in a very short period of time. Beginning in 1989 with the founding of the Acton Town Council, ten additional communities formed Councils in the 5th Supervisorial District. Those communities are Agua Dulce, Antelope Acres, Castaic, Green Valley, Lake Los Angeles, The Lakes (Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes), Leona Valley, Littlerock, Quartz Hill, and Sun Village.

As Town Councils continue to play a major role in their community's political life with professionalism, consistency, and authority, agencies, public and private, will learn the value of this form of community representation.
04-08-2011 09:03 AM
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gov watcher
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Post: #7
The OSO Town Council: True Democracy in Action or a Scam on "WE THE PEOPLE?"
The OSO Town Council: True Democracy in Action or a Scam on "WE THE PEOPLE?"


As I watch the development of the local town councils, I've never been more pleased to see so many
"we the people" suddenly enthused about "local government." But are they enthused about "government," or all the mitigation money the proposed development will bring to our community? Sad to say, I feel it's the latter. Without all the proposed 'mitigation money' the "we the people" would still be the same, as one person blurted out at Monday night's meeting...the "we all moved up here to get away from government!" people.

When I see the OSO Town Council I ask myself, who are these people that say they represent me AND when, through fair, open and free elections, the bedrock of our democracy, did I have a say who those people would be for me? So far I haven't had a say, nor has anyone else. As well intentioned as the people serving on the council may be, until that happens the OSO Town Council is just a scam on "we the people" charter or not. Let me explain why.

First, you have to have some fundamental understanding of "government," the parliamentary laws, the rules of order and the rules of debate that govern all of us as a "representative democracy."

The 'government,' in simplified terms, is the organization of people into legislative bodies that are charged with the responsibility to "govern" through the power of our vote. It's our vote that gives them the authority to act on our behalf.

Parliamentary laws, rules of order, etc., are the rules for the conduct of business. In this case it's for the conduct of the peoples business. Where is OSO Town Council's authority to act without our vote? Their authority to act is from people 18 years ago? What a farce.

So, how does the OSO Town Council, as it is working now, violate these rules? I have reviewed the 1992 documents from Mr. Antonovich's office. It's apparent that back in 1992 our Supervisor, Mike Antonovich, was enthusiastic about the formation of the OSO Town Council and rightfully so. True democracy in action, people standing up, creating 'government' for themselves. However, the key sentence in his letter is the statement "please send me a list of your officers."

According to some on the Town Council, the Charter for OSO specifically says there are to be NO officers. Anyone can serve, it's just one big happy committee. This is an oxymoron. Every legislative body, albeit a corporation or a public entity, to be a legitimate organization according to parliamentary law must have elected officers. The validation from the people through their vote to speak for the whole. So I ask, where are the elected officers of the OSO Town Council as Mr. Antonovich's letter implies?

If it's 'just one big happy committee,' then it even violates the rules of committees. A committee, according to parliamentary law, has no authority to act for the legislative body. A committee, (which is established by the officers) is just an advisory group that recommends action to the duly elected officials. Some, on the Town Council seem to want to usurp or skew the rules. Why? Is their haste to grab the mitigation money clouding their best judgment? Shame on them, as some on the council know better. It appears they are willing to ignore my right to vote for who represents me. I therefore cannot support or condone their actions, as well intentioned as they may be, until my right to vote has been exercised, mitigation money or not.

I will suggest to you that the OSO Town Council is not now, or possibly even back then, a properly formed Town Council. If such a charter exists and it was accepted back then, fine, but that was back then....18 years ago. Since OSO seems to not have any rules, then the rule of perpetual succession does not apply either. In other words when all the members are gone do others that were not part of the original group have the right, many years later, to pick up and carry on? Like what's happening now? I don't think so. The OSO that formed back then was for totally different reasons than why we are organizing today. Now is now and there is a lot more a stake now for all of us who reside in the OSO area.

It was my understanding that any mitigation money was to go to a separate non profit organization. An organization set up with it's own elected governing board to oversee the disbursement of funds for the greater good of the community. Is that in jeopardy if our Town Council and non profit is not properly formed through the election process?

If you look up the definition of "town council" on Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, it says: A Town Council is a democratically elected form of government for small municipalities or civil parishes. We are neither. Rather our 'town councils' are advisory councils for the County Supervisors. It gives them a close working relationship with and for the concerns of the citizenry. GOOD. But not even the Supervisor has the power to usurp our right to democratically elect the people that speak for us on a local level. So my question is, how much longer will they let this charade go on without calling for elections?

I am sure all the members of the council are honest hard working people and are trying their best. I want to be sure it's all for not. With so much at stake, a new Town Council needs to be set up the right way. With defined borders, with open, free elections, the way the other councils have formed. The people in the other areas have already spoken through their vote who they want to represent them. OSO needs to have elected officers and a governing board to be recognized as a legitimate voice of all the people. Then, if they want to have "committees," let freedom ring.

Their first and only priority should be the formation and election committee's, short of that it's just a scam!!!!!
06-08-2011 11:31 AM
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jimhoerricks
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Post: #8
RE: The OSO Town Council: True Democracy in Action or a Scam on "WE THE PEOPLE?"
(06-08-2011 11:31 AM)gov watcher Wrote:  The OSO Town Council: True Democracy in Action or a Scam on "WE THE PEOPLE?"

who are these people that say they represent me AND when, through fair, open and free elections, the bedrock of our democracy, did I have a say who those people would be for me? So far I haven't had a say, nor has anyone else. As well intentioned as the people serving on the council may be, until that happens the OSO Town Council is just a scam on "we the people" charter or not.

I'm not sure who you are or where you live, so I'll just wish you the best in the generic and address a portion of your complaint. Who am I to address it, just a local resident who put his actual name as his username. Feel free to Google my name if you'ld like.

Two points:
Point 1 - when asked about elections and such, Bobby Plumlee stood up from his chair and offered it up. You can have his seat on the board today if you want it, he said. No waiting, no elections, no cost to us residents. Ask, and it's yours. I hope that he stays on the OTC board, but that's point 2.

Point 2 - the majority of the mitigation activity by the OTC has been about jobs for our community. The OTC got some of the big firms to hold local jobs fairs and to pledge to hire locally first. This will do a lot more for our community than a some unknown dollar amount to be named later. Folks need jobs here more than the town councils need cash for a park or an empty piece of land - IMHO.

I had similar questions, and similar concerns. I asked Richard and he and Bobby to explain. They were gracious and accommodating. Now, I'm on a couple of committees where my skills will help. I would encourage everyone to do the same.
06-08-2011 09:41 PM
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guest
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Post: #9
Jim Don't jump into this fight unless you have your facts straight
Response to Jim Hoerricks
Don't jump into this fight unless you have your facts straight.

Quote:Point 1 - when asked about elections and such, Bobby Plumlee stood up from his chair and offered it up. You can have his seat on the board today if you want it, he said. No waiting, no elections, no cost to us residents. Ask, and it's yours. I hope that he stays on the OTC board, but that's point 2.
There seems to be a misunderstand on the definition of committee, board, council and Town council.
committee= a group of people to facilitate an idea.
board=Robert rules of order defines a board an elected capacity.
council= Can be elected or appointed by elected officials.
Town council= According to the rules set forth by the Assoc. of town Councils (ratifies all charters and by-laws) and the oversight of the Supervisors office (swears in the elected person) this is an elected position . NOT a self proclaimed appointment.


Quote:Point 2 - the majority of the mitigation activity by the OTC has been about jobs for our community. The OTC got some of the big firms to hold local jobs fairs and to pledge to hire locally first. This will do a lot more for our community than a some unknown dollar amount to be named later. Folks need jobs here more than the town councils need cash for a park or an empty piece of land - IMHO.
Now here is a sticking point!
OTC rode the coat tails of Fairmont on the settling with NRG.
OTC did not ask for a job fair, it was suggested by Gary Baumeister of SolarOne to calm down the furor after the fire.
OTC has been trying to pass itself off as an elected Town Council to all parties concerned, The Solar companies are not stupid. This waters down and clouds the legitimacy of other Town Councils. ( solution is simple . Stop calling yourselves a Town Council and call yourself what you are "a Committee")
OTC went to the Job fair and was claiming to have sponsored the fair. WRONG! Norm Hickley arranged to use the county park and the solar company ran the fair, again OTC was taking credit for things it did not accomplish.
OTC went to a developer at ave L and M between 90th and 110th and asked for mitigation money, a total of 32 miles by road (not as the crow flies) and in the Quarts hill Town Council area. Fairmont and Antelope Acres declined to go because it wasn't in their area. OTC is beyond Fairmont, kind of reaching. OTC wrote a "Flame Mail" because the other Town Councils didn't inform them about the developer (maybe because it wasn't in their area and they weren't money hungry)
07-08-2011 09:51 AM
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