Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Papers Filed to Recall DeVito

By Nao Braverman
With more than 20 years of service to the city of Ojai, Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem Joe Devito was given notice Tuesday that a recall petition, initiated by Ojai resident Sean Keenan, was in the works.
The notice was signed by 30 registered voters whose signatures were verified by county officials Thursday morning, though only 20 are required for a recall petition to be circulated.
The petition is based on DeVito's alleged blatant refusal to act on the concerns of constituents; his "failure to manage, analyze and address the complex issues that face the city of Ojai;" and his "failure to protect the character of the city of Ojai," according to the notice.
"I think what Ojai really needs right now is someone to stand in its corner," said Keenan. "I don't think Joe is doing that."

Read more
Read the Declaration of Service


Anonymous said...

A special election costs $50K - where is this money coming from?

Anonymous said...

Devito could simply resign. Then it wouldn't cost anything.

Anonymous said...

Suggest the city cancel its legal action against Jeff Furchtenicht and use some of the savings to fund the special elections for the anti-chain initiative and DeVito's recall.

Anonymous said...

Good grief, is Joe DeVito going to dismiss all Ojai voters who sign the recall as "sour grapes"?

Those quotes from his response are an example of the reason he needs to gracefully allow Ojai to thank him for his past service - and resign. Joe, if you do love Ojai, don't put us through the need to recall you. Step down.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering why they didn't recall all of them.

Anonymous said...

So who would be the perfect slate if not the current council?

Anonymous said...

Maybe all of them are being recalled. Does anyone know if any others have been served?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:19: Who would you want? Put out some names!

You bring up a good reason to support the recall - it would let new candidates come forward and we the people could give someone else an opportunity to do better. One vote on the council can make a difference. The beauty of a recall is that it gives we the people options - if nobody better steps forward, the voters can keep Joe in his seat. (If he's really the best we've got.) If not, we can give someone new a chance. Given the permanent kinds of changes that Joe supports on his watch, $50,000 for a chance to save the Ojai we have is cheap.

Heck, if a new councilmember did nothing more than stop the initiatives lawsuit Joe supports against the ACLU, we would save far more than $50,000 going down a rathole for that debacle.

Anonymous said...

Who would you want? Put out some names!

In the three years that I've been here I cannot say that I know enough about possible candidates to suggest any. That's why I asked who might be better.

From what I have seen in my time in town, however, it would seem to be a job that one would only wish upon one's worst enemy.

Anonymous said...

As one of the "sour grape" city council candidates Joe smears in his frustration of the threat of recall as a city council member,the only thing I really sour at is a council that perform their duties protecting Ojai so poorly that a recall petition is necessary and going forward. I observed so many transgressions by this governing body in the past few years that I felt compelled to run against them, that even inexperience could yield better results than what we are now seeing. We have indeed seen Mr. Devito's violation of the public trust, much to his and other council member's astonishment-that
someone is actually following them acting on the behalf of a community that, by the way, cares about how and by who they are represented. More sour grapes, please! PL

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised that Sue Horgan, Steve Olsen and Rae Hanstad think a recall is inappropriate. All three of them, along with Joe DeVito, have inexplicably supported the SLAPP over the prior initiatives. They continue supporting it even after the ACLU came in and told them it was a SLAPP. They are just as vulnerable to recall as Joe.

I for one am looking forward to hearing Joe DeVito "energetically account for his record" on the SLAPP, among other issues. We could certainly use an explanation from any of the SLAPP-supporting councilmembers as to why it is better for our city to spend a fortune of our money to become a rights violator, rather than simply sitting down and dealing - back in August - with the issues of affordable housing and chain stores as the citizens wanted.

As a result of their decision, now we have a Subway in the Arcade. We are spending tens of thousands of dollars, with no end in sight, in litigation against the ACLU to defend a SLAPP. What is the public purpose of this? I can't wait for the "energetic account."

What's happening is pretty obviously bigger than just the SLAPP and its aftermath. Citizens have organized and are downtown right now gathering signatures on an initiative petition for a chains ordinance. Other citizens have organized to take on Golden State Water, a situation brought on by extreme neglect over many years by our council. Other citizens have organized to try to stop the trucks on Highway 33. The list goes on.

In communities where citizens are effectively represented by their council, you don't see this. Instead of rounding up the herd, Joe DeVito and all the other councilmembers ought to do some soul-searching.

Anonymous said...

If Anonymous above had been elected, rather than defeated, I imagine the pubic and the Council would defend his seat against sour grape stunts too. The Mayor has yet to weigh in.

Anonymous said...

As a result of their decision, now we have a Subway in the Arcade.

We do?

Josef Goebbels would have loved you, I think, and I'm sure that the RNC will always have a job for you in their Ministry of Spin and Disinformation.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You just threw a Godwin in just 13 posts. That's awesome!'s_Law

I'm a little confused about your point however. Go over to Matilija and look. There IS a Subway downtown. Also, the council really DIDN'T do anything to stop this from happening. If fact the argument has been made that the willfully stopped people from trying to do something about it. That's not spin, just the facts.

Anonymous said...

According to Wikipedia:

"In actual usage, according to Internet culture, the party making the comparison involving Nazis is declared to have lost the original debate."

Anonymous said...

Wow! You just threw a Godwin in just 13 posts. That's awesome!'s_Law

If this were high school or a frat house, I guess I might care more about quotes from Wikipedia and/or Godwin's law, but it isn't and I don't.

You, however, apparently don't care about something as basic as the truth, so let's talk about that.
There is no Subway on Matilija St. There is a sign in the window of an empty storefront stating that someone plans to put one

there someday. There isn't one there now. I cannot spend money there. I cannot walk though the door, make a selection, and

order food. (I cannot even walk through the door.) There are no employees working behind a counter selling product. There is

no product to be sold. The space has not gone through any of the required renovations that would turn it into a Subway outlet.

The man who would like to open a Subway there hasn't even started taking care of business at the Planning Department at

City Hall, according to what has been reported in the OVN. Your Subway, at this point in time, exists to the same extent as

did the WMDs in Iraq. I know it, and you know it, and like the people who used the "existence" of WMDs to send America off

to war, you are similarly attempting to use untruth and fear of what could be to get people to support your point of view.

Whatever you think I did to this thread, I think you did a lot worse with a single glaring untruth.

You, or someone, believes that I compared you to a Nazi. That Paul Josef Goebbels happened to be a Nazi is secondary to

the fact that, pre-Karl Rove, he was history's most famous and accomplished Minister of Propaganda, and after reading what

you wrote I did (and do) consider you to be a propagandist, not someone who sticks strictly to the facts. I suppose that I could

have compared you to Rove, or suggested that you might do well writing copy for the talking heads at America's least Fair and

Balanced Cable News outlet. Whatever comparison I made, however, you would have taken exception and would have

attempted to counter me with the equivalent of a high school debating class Point of Order, as you did, instead of simply

owning your untruth and correcting it. Instead, you continue to insist that there is a Subway on Matilija.

If there is a Subway, go buy a sub there, take a photo of it sitting next to a legible receipt, upload the photo to someplace like and post the link here so that we can all see the proof of the Subway that exists and is doing business at this

very moment on Matilija St.

I do not disagree with your POV on strip-mall chain stores in Ojai, but will always take exception to untruth and unsupportable


Anonymous said...

There isn't a Subway submarine sandwich shop in town but there is a torpedo: lies from the folks who wish they had won the election or the lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

Nice manifesto. How's your one-room cabin in the woods?

Anonymous said...

Nice manifesto. How's your one-room cabin in the woods?

Apparently a lot more conducive to honesty and clear thought than someone's Cheetos-strewn basement room at his Mommy's house.

Anonymous said...

All right, which one of you is Leland?

Excuse me for my ignorance, but according to property owner Ernest Salomon, he HAS signed a lease for the former Howie's space to a Subway, which HAS posted its "Subway-Coming Soon" sign. Now, apparently that's not a Subway for you. When again will it be a Subway? Please lay out the distinct signs so we know. For example, if the ham sandwich doesn't have pickles, will it still be a Subway?

Let's see: When I last had jury duty, the judge explained there were different standards of proof.

There was "more probably than not." Hmm. Lease + Sign. Sounds like we have a Subway.

"Clear and convincing." Again, lease plus sign. Yep, we have a Subway.

"Beyond a reasonable doubt." Yep again, we have a Subway.

Frankly, we're way beyond legal standards of proof. We're at the level of mathematical certainty. It is indeed a Subway my friend.

Now, its true that the Subway yet may go away before it sells a single sandwich. That would be great. But we still have a Subway today. It has a lease and a space, right on Matilija.

Now, I say the sun rises in the morning. Are you calling me a liar?

Geez, did Joe DeVito authorize you to go out and embarrass him with your support?

I'll give you credit for being a Bush-league Rove though. April 29 Anonymous 11:01 really put you out. Six posts and you cannot counter with a single fact or cogent argument, but you have succeeded in being such a Rushesque moron that the thread has devolved from real questions into your Nazi-baiting (!) pseudo-debate with yourself about what is and is not a Subway. If you are what supports Joe DeVito, its time to start taking this recall seriously. And let's hope for Joe's sake he can do better than you at answering the questions that have been posed.

Anonymous said...

April 29 Anonymous 11:01 really put you out.

I don't think that comment means what you think it means.

Figure it out and get back to me if you want to.

Anonymous said...

But we still have a Subway today. It has a lease and a space, right on Matilija.

No. We don't have a Subway. (And, if the moratorium passes, we'll be at least 45 days further away from ever having one, either.)

You can see it your way, and I'm still going to see it mine. I guess we'll see who's right, but I'm betting on me.

As far as the rest of your screed, it's really funny that you think of me as being Rovian, because that's pretty much what I think about you and not a few others, and I've already said so. Not in your goals, perhaps, but certainly in your tactics.

You seem like a person who is used to intimidating, dominating, and bullying people. It doesn't work on me, but feel free to keep trying -- even though I don't think that you're much of an ambassador for your cause, either.

Anonymous said...

Hey, L.K. -- go to bed.

Anonymous said...

Near as I can tell, it may be that they called a recall so Joe would be pressured into voting Yes for the moratorium. Something he wouldn't ordinarily do.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thought 5/1 9:50. But I think it was because he did vote against the moratorium with out any meaningful explanation, one that has yet to emerge. But it was not just that vote, again, it didn't help keep them from initiating the recall. Had he voted yes, would the recall have been called? I don't know.


Anonymous said...

Excuse me for my ignorance, but according to property owner Ernest Salomon, he HAS signed a lease for the former Howie's space to a Subway, which HAS posted its "Subway-Coming Soon" sign.

There is no sign in that window today. Meaningful?

Anonymous said...

Not meaningful, just gravity. It fell in the front window, but the other one is still up flying high. I'm betting Joe panics and votes Yes on the temporary moratorium.

Tim Droney said...

Interesting debate between anonymous and... anonymous. The comments would have more weight if the writers signed their names, don't you think?
I have known Joe a long time, and don't always agree with him. But he has proven to be a reasonable and fair representitive of Ojai for many years. It is foolish to launch a recall on the basis of one vote, even if it is a emotional issue. The market will decide if chain stores will survive in Ojai. Does anyone shop at Vons? I didn't think so...