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Jane Lea doesn't get seat on panel

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Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008 10:00 pm

Former Lodi City Council candidate Jane Lea was turned down for a seat on the city's Budget/Finance Committee by a 3-2 vote.

Jane Lea

Lea, who was nominated by Mayor JoAnne Mounce for the advisory committee, didn't have the financial background that is desired for the position, councilmen Bob Johnson and Larry Hansen said at Wednesday's council meeting.

Johnson, Hansen and Councilman Phil Katzakian voted to reject Lea's nomination and seek more applicants for the seat.

Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock said she shares her colleagues' concerns about Lea's qualifications, but she endorsed the nomination because Lea was the only applicant.

Lea, who lives on Lodi's Eastside, is a community activist who led support for Measure H, which would have rolled back a water rate increase in 2006. She also fought eminent domain on the Eastside in 2001.

She was nominated to replace Frank Alegre, who chose not to continue on the committee.

Johnson, Lea's most outspoken opponent, named several people with significant business or finance background who were previously turned down for the committee. He said that some of the previous applicants should be contacted.

"My problem is there is nothing (of substance) on the application," Johnson said. "Where's the beef?"

Mayor JoAnne Mounce defended her nomination of Lea, saying that business experience isn't necessary to serve on the committee.

"I would point out we also have a grocery clerk (on the committee)," Mounce told Johnson.

Lea said on Thursday that the application doesn't ask for financial or business background. She said she was a landscape contractor for 10 years, doing payroll, providing job estimates and dealing with money on a regular basis.

Purpose: To advise the city manager and City Council on financial related matters.
Formed: 2005.
Terms: Four years.
How they are selected: Mayor makes the appointments, but they are subject to ratification by the City Council.
Meeting dates: Second Monday of each month at 6 p.m., Carnegie Forum, 305 W. Pine St.

Marilyn Domingo
Glenda Harris-Wall
John Johnson
Dave Kirsten
Kurt Roberts
Bill Russell
One seat is vacant.
- Source: City of Lodi.
  • The Lodi City Council increased garbage rates, effective April 1. The rate for a 38-gallon refuse cart will increase from $21.19 per month to $21.94, and a 64-gallon container will go up from $31.86 monthly to $32.99. The entire rate schedule is available at City Hall.
  • The council approved plans for improvements to Lodi Lake Park, including a new boat house donated by Meehleis Modular and the Lodi Centennial Group.
    The city will also add keystone block retaining walls, concrete switchback ramp system, curbs, pavers, wrought iron fencing and a custom steel guard railing. The water, sewer and electrical system at the lake will be modified. These improvements will be financed by the state 2002 Park Bond Act and the 2002 Resources Bond Act.
  • The council issued its Community Improvement Award to Crystal Kirst, developer of properties at 501 and 503 Maple St. and 740 S. Garfield Ave., for improving the neighborhood.
  • Richard Jones, representing Lodi Unified School District, was appointed to the Greater Lodi Area Youth Commission; Reyes Jaramillo, Rosie Ortiz and Virginia Snyder were appointed to the Lodi Improvement Committee; and Suzanne Schultz was appointed to the Senior Citizens Commission.
    - Source: News-Sentinel staff.

"If they don't like the application, they need to change the application," Lea said. "I applied according to what the application asked for."

Now that she knows the council desires people with business or financial experience, Lea said she will reapply when the seat is opened again. She will add her business experience to the application she submitted, Lea said.

Lea added that she was most likely rejected because her opposition to the city establishing a redevelopment agency and because she isn't close to Johnson.

"Unless you're Bob's friend or neighbor, you don't get to sit on the commission," she said.

Johnson replied, "I'm sure she's talking about one appointment I made in David Kirsten. He's the only neighbor I appointed."

Johnson was mayor in 2007.

"I think I appointed dozens when I was mayor," Johnson said. "I'd be hard-pressed to say that a vast majority were close friends and neighbors."

Mounce praised Lea's passionate commitment to Lodi and noted her experience in running for the council in 1998 and 2006. Running for council shows that she is familiar with budgetary matters, Mounce said.

Hansen also praised Lea's commitment while at the same time saying she isn't qualified for the committee.

Budget/Finance Committee chairman John Johnson, who is not related to Bob Johnson, said he wasn't necessarily endorsing Lea's appointment to the committee, but noted that the committee doesn't necessarily need CPAs and other financial experts.

"We just don't get into the numbers that much," John Johnson said. "I think we need to have well-rounded people on our committee."

During a break in the meeting, Katzakian said he had nothing against Lea, but he was disappointed that only one person applied for the seat.

"I can think of three people I could have called," Katzakian said.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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  • posted at 6:51 pm on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Why not elect Lea to the seat? If there is anything she can't do they can just hire a consultant. ;-)

  • posted at 5:12 pm on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Until the "east side" residents bring their levels of "public assistance endeavors" to the same of that of the "west side", I say leave it alone.

    Want me to explain it in another language?

  • posted at 3:22 pm on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    oldguy you may be right about Kirsten. However I do think there are one or two others that have been making muted candidate noises. It will be intresting.

  • posted at 11:36 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    I re-read the article and noticed that I saw a familar name! Another Johnson appointee who is a dry bean specialist! I thought Tracy was where you go to get dry beans? Anyway examining Bobs California 460 form I see he has TWO bean managers as campaign contributors. One of them steathily calls himself a "commodity broker" and the other a "Bean Manager". Which one was appointed by Bob? look at this public document: http://publicdocs.lodi.gov/Docs/CAMPAIGN_FILINGS/1997-2003/00002780.pdf

  • posted at 10:51 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    The LNS quoted councilman Bob Johnson "Where's the beef?" Don't you mean "Where's the beans?" Your campaign manager (FINANCES) and two of your "finance" appointees are in the high finance "dry bean" trade. What is wrong with experience doing payroll and job estimating? It sounds more complex than "dry bean management" that I read on one of YOUR recommendations. How does one "manage dry beans" anyway?

  • posted at 10:48 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    OTH, I could not agree with you more. You said it much better than I. However, I still think Kirsten is being set up to run against Mounce in November.

  • posted at 10:20 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Maybe a few "community activists" like Ms. Lea would would provide some fresh thinking that is sorely needed in Lodi City government.

  • posted at 9:50 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Good forbid, we should get someone who cares a whit about the eastside!

  • posted at 8:21 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    oldguy this was a personal snub, to make up for having dared to cross the CC in the past. Jane is as qualified as the other little puppets sitting on the commision. Only difference is she would not sit there quietly while the CC did as they pleased. This commission is nothing but a rubber stamp so the CC look good. Look at whose on it and tell anybody their going to go against the CC. Altogether now can we say Toothless Tigrs?

  • posted at 8:07 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    OTH, good point. Our experts, Hansen and Johnson have made a real mess of the electric fund, raised out water, sewer and electric rates for that fiasco, and now tell Jane Lea, she does not have financial experience. WOW! What hypocrits.

  • posted at 6:59 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Coincidence that Dave Kirsten is on the planning commission and the budget and finance committee. Could it be tht the three amigos are setting him up to run against Mounce and then we would have the four horsemen. Poor Susan, she'll be on the short end of lots of 4-1 votes. Oh well, we get what we vote for. Be careful, Lodi.

  • posted at 6:25 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    OTH 8:47...
    ROTFLMAO !!!!!!!!

  • posted at 5:53 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    It is good to have different opinions on boards and commissions. I want someone to ask questions, not just be a board sitter. It takes folks like Jane Lea to watch our backs and look out for Lodi citzen's interest.
    I am glad that mounce and hitchcock wanted to let this person volunteer.

  • posted at 5:16 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    It looks like the boys against the girls again. I hope the council listened to what John Johnson had to say. If I heard him correctly the budget and finance committee is a sham. If they do what we thought they would be doing we need a numbers person. What it appears they are doing is nothing except a shield to hide behind.

  • posted at 3:59 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    They're threaten by her.

    Here we go again....

  • posted at 3:47 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    Mr Johnson as for your comment "Where's the beef?" May I respectfully suggest a mirror.

  • posted at 3:47 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    As far as Ms Lea having no finance experience, how much experience did Uncle Larry have when he started buying electricity? We know what a debacle that was. But hey, gotta committee slot open just open your personal phone books and call your buddies. That's what's wrong with politics in Lodi now. Anybody running in the next election for re-election you better start tap dancing now.

  • posted at 3:01 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    EX MAYOR Bob Johnston still thinks hes mayor he has to run everthing his way its OK for him to appoint his neighbor I live on the Eastside and would like to see more people on the Eastside get involved in our town. As far as Johnston says "where's the Beef" He's wearing it and its called BULL

  • posted at 2:43 am on Fri, Mar 21, 2008.


    WOW! THANK YOU to the 3 that voted this down. Earth to the other 2...."don't put an activist on a budget committee...you will get NOTHING accomplished." No offense to Ms. Lea's passion for things. Come on Mayor Mounce, look to our future!



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