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Who is the real winner

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Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2005 10:00 pm

This is in response to Dixon Flynn's letter on Sept. 20, "Polluters are Winners."

Here's the truth:

Mr. Flynn, as city manager, was the equivalent of a chief executive officer. All actions by the city and its employees required his approval and were his responsibility.

He brought Michael Donovan and his scheme to the council and encouraged it. He authorized payments of millions to Donovan. If Flynn did not OK these bills, then he was derelict. The city lost another $1 million in court plus its attorney fees to an insurance company over the MERLO ordinance that was enacted under Flynn's watch.

Under the settlement, Guild Cleaners has been funded $4.2 million for the "Cleanup Trust Fund," not part of the city's general fund.

Guild was also funded and will give the city $3 million worth of investigative and actual clean up work, plus access to its top three groundwater experts.

These data and these experts were used by the city and state to form the "cleanup fund" and procure funds from other parties thus not having the city spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on court battles.

These data also show that Guild was not the main cause, but other parties downstream from Guild. The court battle would have cost millions, taken years, brought in more than 120 parties on just our account. Instead of this, closure is sought through settlement.

Flynn had to have authorized the utility director's purchase of extremely expensive electricity during the Gray Davis era. If not, he let his employees spend millions without accountability. The $40 million bond to buy the city's way out of this contract needed his approval.

The settlement for the downtown problem will cover most of the cleanup there. The water rate increase will help a little of this, but mainly will have to deal with the other plumes, along with the maintenance, replacement of sewer lines that have been neglected for decades, replenishing the water utility's reserve funds (used to pay Donovan), and who knows what else. All this under Flynn's leadership.

The CEO of Enron is in jail and has forfeited personal assets for his actions of leadership. Flynn lives in Lodi, ran for City Council, and is employed by San Joaquin County.

Who is the winner?

Jack Alquist


Guild Cleaners



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