Points to city contradiction

To the Editor:

Points to city contradiction

To the Editor:

Open letter to Vice?Mayor Jason Patin

At the last council meeting during council comment you made several statements about the Matt Armstrong monument sign at the LeRoy Jackson Sports Complex in response to citizens concerned raised that evening, including references to a local paper.  I have some of those quotes below after watching the video again:

“He [Tosti] also said something about the monument being ripped out of the park. I don’t know where these people get their information. From what I understand, the monument is going nowhere. That’s what’s coming from our Parks and Rec director, anyway.”

“Be careful what you listen to out there. There’s information that’s inaccurate and the best thing to do is just call us and ask us.”

You obtained your information that evening in real time from the city manager by leaning over and asking privately a question. You stated that nothing is being done to the Matt Armstrong monument sign and chastised the public and accused them for being misleading. That seems to be in direct contrast of information from the Armstrong family and their interaction with the Park and Recreation Director that people referenced in their public comments. Even more importantly, it is a direct contradiction of the written agreement between the City of Ridgecrest and the IWV Youth Football group signed June 30, 2013.

From the agreement:

"IWV Youth Football League will have exclusive usage of the Jackson Sports Complex Field Number 1 & Field Number 2 behind the Tennis Courts and the Upper Field next to the Skate Park. These fields used to be known as the Matt Armstrong Soccer Fields. They will now be known as the Jackson Football Fields. (The city intends to relocate the Matt Armstrong concrete sign to a soccer field location to be determined.) The exclusive usage of the three fields will include lights, the restroom/concession stand, the large gazebo area, half of the dirt lot area behind the fields and the grass area in front of the tennis courts."

So either you were being extremely misleading with the public last Wednesday night or the city will be violating an agreement with a local youth group which was updated and signed as recently as the last week of June and filed with Kern County at the same time. As I see it, you chastised the public for questioning the movement of the monument sign, but yet the city has a signed agreement with a group to move the sign and rename the fields. The agreement has reference to input on various other topics in the agreement also from the city manager and not strictly the P&R director. You are also misleading the public by quoting the P&R director saying nothing is going to be done, or is he lying to you and/or the city manager?

I have enclosed this agreement to help you educate yourself. You stated in a previous e-mail that the city manager is the one in charge. Is that really the case or does the P&R director run open loop in making large purchases of items like chairs for KMC when the city is broke or making plans for a memorial monument of a family that was instrumental in starting soccer in the IWV? I am still dumbfounded that the city has a couple of positions that do not perform to the level of their pay (Economic Development and P&R) and are in my view why the city has been forced to reduce youth program services (savings of $100-150K). It seems council members consider friendships to be more important than the services the citizens receive in return for the taxes they pay from their hard-earned salaries. You also feel you desire health benefits and a retirement plan as a parttime council member rather than keeping soccer or any other youth program that has recently been returned also ($35K).

Jerry Taylor

Story First Published: 2013-07-24