Your Voice – Letters – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Fri, 28 Apr 2017 18:48:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.2 ‘Trust of the mayor?’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/trust-of-the-mayor/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/trust-of-the-mayor/#comments Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:45:10 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7218 I recall something about (Mayor Rob) Schroder’s comments when he made appointments last year and I am glad the writer in the letter, “Mayor Not to be Trusted,” remembered it in detail. Now, Schroder has struck again. Last week, once more he violated what he said he would do. He said last year he wanted ...

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I recall something about (Mayor Rob) Schroder’s comments when he made appointments last year and I am glad the writer in the letter, “Mayor Not to be Trusted,” remembered it in detail.

Now, Schroder has struck again. Last week, once more he violated what he said he would do. He said last year he wanted to give new people the opportunity to serve as his reason for not reappointing some highly qualified commissioners who had served for some time. Then last week he appointed two people who had served recently or are already serving appointments made by him.

His appointments to the Measure D Oversight Committee included one person who he appointed just last year to the PRMCC (Parks, Recreation, Marina and Cultural Commission) at the very meeting where he made his comments about seeking new community participation. He appointed a second person to the Measure D Committee who has served on the PRMCC and the Measure H Oversight Committee.

I am in no way questioning the qualifications of the appointees. What I am stating is that Schroder again violated his stated procedure for making appointments. There is no question that there are a number of people who are qualified and willing to serve. When he made appointments last year he stated there were far too many people applying than there were positions and that he wanted to see new people serve.

Schroder does not do what he says he will do. He said he would not run for mayor again, now he is going to, even though he has served longer than any commissioner.

The nail has been hit squarely on the head. Schroder has repeatedly shown that he cannot be trusted. How many times would one trust a stockbroker, lawyer or insurance agent who has shown a lack of honesty? How many times are we going to trust this man?

– My Distrust Is So Strong I Fear To Give My Name

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‘DeLaney’s unprofessional behavior’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/delaneys-unprofessional-behavior/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/28/delaneys-unprofessional-behavior/#comments Fri, 28 Apr 2017 14:38:43 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7216 Councilmember Lara Delaney, in the recent City Council meeting, April 19, again showed her lack of respect for other councilmembers and the public. This is a pattern of hers that should concern all. Before I go on, I make a suggestion. Those who do not watch council meetings aired live on TV, may wish to ...

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Councilmember Lara Delaney, in the recent City Council meeting, April 19, again showed her lack of respect for other councilmembers and the public. This is a pattern of hers that should concern all.

Before I go on, I make a suggestion. Those who do not watch council meetings aired live on TV, may wish

to before next year’s election to determine who is really fit to serve. Videos can also be watched after the meetings on the City website.

Below are four recent instances of Ms. Delaney unconscionable outbursts that call into question her fitness to serve.

Example One:

In the referenced council meeting, Delaney inappropriately criticized Councilperson Debbie McKillop for her intent to vote on an issue. Ms. Delaney expressed her dismay and made it appear that such a vote would be a conflict of interest and an integrity issue on the part of Ms. McKillop.

In fact, McKillop had done exactly what she should have. She had requested advice from the City Attorney who received a ruling from the State (FPPC.) It had ruled that there was no conflict of interest.

Delaney, by bringing up the subject before any comments by Ms. McKillop at the meeting showed she knew McKillop planned to vote. If Ms. Delaney was so concerned about the ethics, she should have discussed the issue privately before the meeting.

One can only surmise Delaney’s motivation for public admonishment. Next year, she will be facing McKillop in a council election that will no doubt draw additional opposition. Delaney, was only grandstanding and effectively campaigning at the council meeting by belittling her colleague.

Example Two:

This is not the first incident of Delaney’s recent questionable actions in council meetings. Last year when there was discussion about the Measure D verbiage to be published, Councilmember Mark Ross suggested edits to the work which the Mayor and Delaney had developed. She rudely snapped at Ross saying if he did not like the wording, then why was he not on the committee to create it. Ross was merely trying to strengthen the verbiage when she lost control and publicly condemned him.

Her attack on him was unprofessional and an attempt to undermine him shortly before the 2016 City Council race in which she had endorsed a candidate opposing him.

Example Three:

Then in December, when Avila-Faris was at her last council meeting, every councilmember commented on her service, with the obvious exception of Delaney. Other Councilmembers were visibly uncomfortable with the conduct.

There is no question that Delaney and Avila-Faris had confrontations during the four years they served together. Delaney

effectively criticized Avila-Faris around Martinez and most of us (me included) accepted her comments that the fault was that of Avila-Faris.

However, the public conduct that Delaney has recently been exuding brings into question who was really the antagonist. We of course are not to be privy to the conversations in council’s closed sessions. That being said, the above public information of her assaults on three councilmembers places into question who is really stirring trouble on the council, especially in closed session.

Point Four:

Delaney should be aware that her voice carries and her loud attack on McKillop in the closed session following the April 19 public council meeting could be heard outside. This outbreak and the above mentioned improper behavior is very troublesome.

Finally, Delaney would be wise to temper her behavior and comments. Her comportment demeans the position she serves and is offensive to councilmembers and the those of us she serves.

– Roger Walker

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‘Mayor not to be trusted’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/21/mayor-not-to-be-trusted/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/21/mayor-not-to-be-trusted/#comments Fri, 21 Apr 2017 17:21:40 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7155 I was in the process of writing the following letter honoring our Mayor until Rob Schroder announced that he will seek reelection in 2018: Mayor Schroder should be complemented for his announcement last year that he will not run again for Mayor.  It is in line with the policy he has set in place with ...

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I was in the process of writing the following letter honoring our Mayor until Rob Schroder announced that he will seek reelection in 2018:

Mayor Schroder should be complemented for his announcement last year that he will not run again for Mayor.  It is in line with the policy he has set in place with his Mayoral appointees on commissions.

In a council meeting, last year (June 15) he made it clear that there is a time for people to move on and to bring in fresh ideas.  He stated that he was not reappointing several commissioners because some had served for “…many, many years and some over a decade.” He continued…, “but I also think it’s time to open up some of these expired terms for opportunities for new people who want to give back to their community and give them a chance to serve.”

My then thinking, “bravo, he is a fair and wise man,” has changed because of his bravado and leads me now to recognize this was merely more of his decades of drivel.

He has set one policy for the people and then sets a new one for his personal advantage. He has served “many, many years…over a decade,” and more, over two decades.

How can any person set that standard and then take this action? That is a person who cannot be trusted, a person with no integrity.

He, by his own guideline, has served too long. That is one major reason for him to leave office upon expiration of this term.  The second one, and of far more significance, is the mistrust that he has created by this dishonorable self-serving manner.

Let that not become the image of the position of Martinez Mayor.

– C. Gonzalez

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‘The Lady Bulldogs’ basketball program is in very good hands’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/06/the-lady-bulldogs-basketball-program-is-in-very-good-hands/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/04/06/the-lady-bulldogs-basketball-program-is-in-very-good-hands/#respond Fri, 07 Apr 2017 00:04:51 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=7015 Dear Editor: My wife Pat and I have been attending Alhambra High School sporting events for over 40 years. We began attending to watch our children play for various Alhambra teams many years ago, and more recently we have been coming to games to watch our grandchildren participate. Although we don’t have any family members ...

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Dear Editor:

My wife Pat and I have been attending Alhambra High School sporting events for over 40 years. We began attending to watch our children play for various Alhambra teams many years ago, and more recently we have been coming to games to watch our grandchildren participate.

Although we don’t have any family members playing Lady Bulldogs’ basketball, this past winter we attended many girls’ hoops games and became big fans of the players and coaches. We were especially impressed by the job the varsity coaches, Jason Bautista and Corinne Rezentes, did this year. That the varsity girls improved from a 3-18 record in 2015-16 to a 22-5 record in 2016-17 obviously speaks to the great job Coach Bautista and Coach Rezentes are doing. But we were also impressed by the dignity and class Coach Bautista and Coach Rezentes always displayed. That wasn’t always the case with other teams’ coaches. Furthermore, Coach Bautista was always very kind to Pat and I when he would see us at games, and we are very appreciative of that.

The Lady Bulldogs’ basketball program is in very good hands.

Sincerely,

Byrdell Ortega

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Henderson responds to Craig’s Rotary Report https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/31/henderson-responds-craigs-rotary-report/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/31/henderson-responds-craigs-rotary-report/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 16:49:18 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6956 Dear Paul Craig: The part of you that I know is one of the highest quality persons to ever walk the open hallways of Main Street. However, you often hand down Zues-like edicts that are woefully uninformed. “Criminal Justice” is the only oxymoron that is also a junior college degree. Why is the Police Chief ...

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Dear Paul Craig:

The part of you that I know is one of the highest quality persons to ever walk the open hallways of Main Street. However, you often hand down Zues-like edicts that are woefully uninformed.

“Criminal Justice” is the only oxymoron that is also a junior college degree. Why is the Police Chief in the Martinez Rotary Club? He could join Rotary where he lives. He has his own political ambitions which he has exposed repeatedly in ways you do not know. By communicating so much with Rotarians, our Police Chief is taking orders from a small group of people who consider themselves elite for one reason or another and this is extremely dangerous to American Freedoms (aka the Constitution).

Rotarians are not some morally or intellectually elite group. Rather, they are wealthy people and/or people who somehow made their way into high bureaucratic positions. Let us take Jim Kennedy as an example. When he was head of County Community Development (and the president of California Redevelopment Agency), he got Rob Shroder’s friend $1.4 million in HUD funds for Berrellesa Palms property. No one cared about the homeless then, but they did care about having the power and money of a Redevelopment Agency, and Rob Shroder’s friend was key. In order to get these federal funds, what is the Italian neighborhood (whose history is now on the National Register of Historic Places) had to be called non-historic. This calculated misinformation was told by Jim Kennedy with the help of our Historic Society, including Harriett Burt who perpetuated it on Planning Commission. Several of us who publicly resisted this found ourselves, in part by Jim Kennedy urging the Martinez Police to do so, the subject of investigations including being recorded by the police as to what our intentions were and multiple red tags to our homes by code enforcement.

I do not have room to describe here, but this type of politically motivated police misconduct and violation of Constitutional rights has occurred under Martinez Police Chiefs and continues under Sappal. People who have not committed crimes are harassed and falsely accused and investigated because Sappal deems the accuser more politically powerful than the accused. Meanwhile, crimes such as growing and distributing marijuana near a high school, drug and alcohol charges, false legal testimony, and other crimes continue freely among the politically favored and their relations with no consequences.

AnaMarie Farias’ recent political grandstanding that resulted in a new police ordinance that gives free rein and resources to ILLEGAL immigrants is an example. Farias and McKillop, on Council, were/are known to manipulate the police against people and falsely accuse multiple people of senior abuse and other crimes.

Now the “homeless” will be listed in a database so they can receive “services.” Paul, there is not enough services for even a fraction of the homeless. Making this list is really code for “get the  poor out of sight so we do not have to think about how wealth is polarizing in this country.” And once someone is deemed  “mentally ill” and/or “homeless”, all Constitutional rights go out the window: unlawful search and seizure, privacy and warrant violations, displacement, false arrest, etc. It comes down to the 14th Amendment: Equal Protection Under the Law (for actual citizens). Rights you – in your big house on the hill and Rotary Club – will always get to take for granted. It will not be the first time in history that people are put on lists and then trucked off. I am surprised as a self proclaimed staunch liberal you promote these policies.

What happens to this list? What if the person is no longer “homeless” but the police think s/he is? Paul, do you know the national police brutality and morbidity rates for the treatment of those the police, with their limited education, deem (even without evidence) “homeless” and/or “mentally ill”? Since you have a PhD and a moral soul, I urge you to research this.

– Kristin Henderson

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Architectural gem preserved – for now https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/31/architectural-gem-preserved-for-now/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/31/architectural-gem-preserved-for-now/#respond Fri, 31 Mar 2017 16:42:33 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6954 Dear Friends of the 1903 County Jail in Martinez and to those folks who have recently discovered our Save the Jail effort. Thank you for wanting to know more about the status of this project. As the newly organized Architectural Preservation Foundation of Contra Costa County is still very small, our limited resources, coupled with a long vacation ...

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Dear Friends of the 1903 County Jail in Martinez and to those folks who have recently discovered our Save the Jail effort. Thank you for wanting to know more about the status of this project. As the newly organized Architectural Preservation Foundation of Contra Costa County is still very small, our limited resources, coupled with a long vacation and a serious illness has made it difficult to keep you properly informed.

We’re back and we’ve got a huge announcement to tell you about! We have achieved our first important milestone on saving the jail – Thanks to regular correspondence and meetings with the Capital Projects division of the County Administrator’s Office, our County Supervisor, and CCC Public works, we have reached an agreement to delay any further action on demolishing the jail FOR TWO YEARS.

Special thanks to those supporters who participated with us in these meetings right up until last week.

So, where do we go from here?

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) relating to the jail was our focus in 2016.  A FINAL REVISED EIR is expected to be published on April 25, 2017, according to Chief Assistant County Administrator, Eric Angstadt.  As it has been explained to us, it will include responses to comments made on the draft EIR by the public. It will include the county’s decision to demolish the 1944 portion of the jail complex, and preserve the original turn of the century granite building for two years.  It will include language that we will be given a “stay of execution” of the old jail for two years while we develop a plan for deferred maintenance and renovation. Part of the agreement will be that a viable plan to make the jail be made habitable and useable.

The elephant in the room is that funding for such an accomplishment must be raised.   Funds to cover expenses such as IRS fees, research time, consultation fees, and other costs related to assessing the rehabilitation and renovation of the building. This will not be easy, but as we look at other local preservation projects that have succeeded, we believe that it can be done.

It is essential that we increase our base of support to get the needed work done. We are calling on those who read this to step forward with your pledge of support.

• We need publicity writers.

• We need grant writers.

• We need historical researchers who can pull the substantial collection of fascinating history we have accumulated.

• We need people who are willing to drive a fund raising program.

• We need people who will further organize the non-profit that has been established with the IRS.

Will you consider donating your time for this cause? If so, please call (925) 352-3334.

Thank you! More specifics on the dimensions of this project will be forthcoming.

Your friends in history,

Save Martinez’s Historical Old Jail, https://www.facebook.com/save.our.jail.martinez

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‘I am proud of Congressman Thompson’ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/24/i-am-proud-of-congressman-thompson/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/24/i-am-proud-of-congressman-thompson/#respond Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:37:49 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6854 Dear Editor, I am proud of our District 5 Representative for condemning bans 1.0 and 2.0. It’s cruel to turn a deaf ear to those fleeing war zones, famines, threatening dictatorships,  and drug gang conscriptions. Our people are ready and willing to help and will deal with the hate-mongering. These are our deep values. Rep. ...

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Dear Editor,

I am proud of our District 5 Representative for condemning bans 1.0 and 2.0. It’s cruel to turn a deaf ear to those fleeing war zones, famines, threatening dictatorships,  and drug gang conscriptions. Our people are ready and willing to help and will deal with the hate-mongering. These are our deep values.

Rep. Thompson is at (707) 645-1888 (Vallejo), and (202) 225-3311 (Washington, D.C.).

– Kathy Petricca

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Campbell: ‘When is enough, enough’ on Pine Meadow? https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/10/campbell-when-is-enough-enough-on-pine-meadow/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/10/campbell-when-is-enough-enough-on-pine-meadow/#respond Fri, 10 Mar 2017 21:16:35 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6734 Dear Editor, I have closely followed the Pine Meadow Golf Course development. I follow Friends of Pine Meadow Facebook and articles and letters in the local newspapers and on social media. I am now aware to the omissions and selected material presented by Friends of Pine Meadow on social media.  In January, the City Council ...

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Dear Editor,

I have closely followed the Pine Meadow Golf Course development. I follow Friends of Pine Meadow Facebook and articles and letters in the local newspapers and on social media. I am now aware to the omissions and selected material presented by Friends of Pine Meadow on social media.  In January, the City Council found that decades ago, the property was improperly/illegally zoned Permanent Open Space. I trust the decision of the Council and believe it was an informed, deliberate decision to correct a mistake of decades ago.

Why are Friends of Pine Meadow asking that the Council decision be rescinded and studied further? When is enough, enough? I have seen nothing that shows the owners presented false, untrue information. In fact the presentation to the Council shows everything the owner’s daughter has argued from the beginning is TRUE. But, to me the most important fact of all was that in March 1974, there was a City- wide election that voted down the proposal to purchase Pine Meadow for open space. I believe when the citizens voted “No” to purchasing the property for open space, then that should stand. I find Friends of Pine Meadow, in discounting or giving no importance to the vote of the people, arrogant and insulting at the very least.

The owners and developer have met everything required of them by the city. I attended community meetings on this development and it was obvious that they solicited from the public as much comment as possible. No one’s free speech was stifled; to the contrary it was encouraged. What more do you want out of them? Let them build the beautiful subdivision they proposed (though I really like the idea of Senior Housing).

I view the request to rescind the Council’s decision nothing but harassment. How much more do you expect of the family and developer? Move on to other causes Friends of Pine Meadow – enough!

– Kathie Campbell

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Superior Courts challenge Governor Brown’s proposed budget https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/03/superior-courts-challenge-governor-browns-proposed-budget/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/03/03/superior-courts-challenge-governor-browns-proposed-budget/#respond Fri, 03 Mar 2017 15:00:42 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6683 Dear Governor Brown: We, the undersigned courts, have had the opportunity to review your proposed budget for the judicial branch for Fiscal Year 2017-18. We are seriously concerned with the lack of additional funding proposed for trial court operations and our ability to provide adequate access to justice for those in need of California’s court ...

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Dear Governor Brown:

We, the undersigned courts, have had the opportunity to review your proposed budget for the judicial branch for Fiscal Year 2017-18. We are seriously concerned with the lack of additional funding proposed for trial court operations and our ability to provide adequate access to justice for those in need of California’s court system.

While we understand the reasons stated in your proposed budget for not providing ongoing additional resources to the judicial branch, we wish to inform you and the Legislature about the impact this proposed budget will have not only on the many trial courts throughout the state but, more importantly, on the communities that we serve.  We provide this information to you as a supplement to the information provided to you by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye and the Judicial Council of California as we join and support their efforts to seek additional funding for the judicial branch.

Without an increase in funding over last year, this proposed budget will result in a net decrease to our court budgets from this current fiscal year. This is due to, among other things, the rising cost of doing business in California (e.g., utility costs, rents, vendor expenses, employee salaries). It also results from governmental actions such as elimination of Proposition 47 funding, additional workload from voter-approved initiatives such as Propositions 57 and 64, legislative changes such as AB 2839 that considerably increase workload without accompanying offsetting funding and the proposed elimination of a court’s ability to place a hold on a traffic defendant’s driver’s license for failure to pay or appear, the latter of which appears to have the unintended consequence of reducing revenues to the trial courts, counties and the state. In Solano and Contra Costa, two courts that have imposed a moratorium on driver’s license holds, both courts have seen an approximate 25 percent reduction in collections.  To put it simply, as our expenses rise and our external revenues decrease, any annual budget that does not contain an offsetting increase is, in very real terms, a budget cut for the courts and a reduction in access to justice for Californians.

With no additional ongoing funding proposed in the budget for the trial courts, many courts will be required to layoff or furlough staff, reduce hours and/or eliminate programs in order to balance their budgets. Indeed, this has already begun: the Superior Court of Alameda County recently was forced largely to close its doors for a week, and has indefinitely shortened its clerk’s office hours.  Other courts will soon follow suit.

We note that on July 1, 2017, Executive Branch employees will receive a wage increase. Court funding should be adequate to ensure trial courts are able to provide employees equitable pay increases, and the public deserves courts that are appropriately staffed and able to recruit and retain staff to perform the critical functions that we fulfill.  These outcomes will not occur if the budget is adopted as proposed. Currently, there is no funding proposed in your budget for discretionary spending for the trial courts, which means that our courts are unable to provide minimal wage increases or address other cost increases without cutting other important operations.

We respectfully request that the trial courts be treated in an equitable fashion with the Executive Branch and that the trial courts be funded with a modest annual increase.  An increase of $158.5 million –which is the amount requested by the Judicial Council to address baseline cost increases, but which was not included in the Governor’s Budget for next fiscal year – would allow us to keep pace with rising costs of doing business in California and, more importantly, allow courts to preserve the public’s access to justice.

Sincerely,

Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa

Hon. Jill C. Fannin, Presiding Judge, Stephen H. Nash, Court Executive Officer, (plus hundreds of other California Superior Courts, Senators, Assemblymembers and officers)

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City can help reduce flood insurance costs costs https://martineztribune.com/2017/02/24/city-can-help-reduce-flood-insurance-costs-costs/ https://martineztribune.com/2017/02/24/city-can-help-reduce-flood-insurance-costs-costs/#respond Fri, 24 Feb 2017 17:51:18 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=6630 Most of the City built before 1960 in the downtown area is in the 100 year floodplain. Flood insurance is required for properties with mortgages, and insurance is recommended for the rest. Flood insurance is very expensive. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which generates the 100 year flood maps, also administers the Community Rating System ...

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Most of the City built before 1960 in the downtown area is in the 100 year floodplain. Flood insurance is required for properties with mortgages, and insurance is recommended for the rest. Flood insurance is very expensive.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), which generates the 100 year flood maps, also administers the Community Rating System (CRS) program.  Participating in the CRS can lower insurance premiums for homeowners. The CRS has 10 steps that communities can take to increase their rating and lower the cost of flood insurance in that community. I’ve been told that the first steps (No. 10 and No. 9) are little more than filing paperwork.

Martinez does not now participate in the CRS and has no rating. Below is a web address that briefly explains CRS and lists the communities participating. You will note that Contra Costa County (un-incorporated areas) is currently rated at 6 and that Roseville is rated at 1. Why doesn’t our City participate?

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/14762941627264795edc7fe5cde0c997bc4389d1265bd/CRS_List_of_Communites_10_01_2016.pdf

– Doug Burgess

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