Council addresses outstanding stakeholder loans to city
by Kendall Septon | Patterson Irrigator
Oct 28, 2010 | 5874 views | 8 8 comments | 827 827 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Larry Buehner
view image
As money needed to run the general plan revision process runs low, City Council members directed staff during a meeting Tuesday, Oct. 26, to continue negotiations with three remaining stakeholders — including two businesses affiliated with council candidate Larry Buehner — for the outstanding debts they owe to the city.

The city has yet to collect $210,000 of the $1.1 million that 10 stakeholders initially pledged in 2007 to contribute toward the general plan update process. The businesses that owe money are Keystone Corp., West Ridge Business Park and Eagle Valley Investments. The latter two companies are owned or partly owned by Buehner.

On Tuesday, council members decided to allow a payment plan to be set up for West Ridge Business Park and Eagle Valley Investments and proceed with negotiations to collect the remaining funds promised by Keystone Corp. In the same decision, the council agreed to authorize a loan of $210,000 from the city’s general fund to front the remaining costs of the general plan update.

Interim City Manager Bryan Whitemyer said the loan from the city’s general fund would help keep the city from going over the $1.3 million the city originally budgeted for the revision if the process is drawn out any longer.

“This is as good of an argument as I’ve heard as to why we shouldn’t prolong this process any further,” Mayor Becky Campo said during Tuesday’s meeting. “I think that it’s important to realize if this process gets halted any further, it’s going to be a drain on someone — whether it be the stakeholders, the general fund or the community.

“We don’t want to incur any more debt than we have to.”

Representatives from West Ridge and Eagle Valley have told city staff they intend to pay the rest of their combined $35,000 contribution as promised, but they asked council members to consider a payment plan to ease the financial burden.

On a Form 700, on which candidates for public office are required by the Fair Political Practices Commission to disclose any economic interests, Buehner listed that he is the owner of 29 rental properties within city limits, in the downtown area and Heartland Ranch subdivision.

Outside present city limits, real estate records obtained by the Irrigator show that Buehner, through Eagle Valley Investments, is also the owner of about 38 acres of land along Baldwin Road near Zacharias Road — slated to be an area of major development under a revised general plan.

Buehner is not legally responsible for listing that property — or other land he owns outside of city limits — on his Form 700, said Roman Porter, executive director of the FPPC.

“Under the current law, current and hopeful candidates are only required to list properties they have held for the past 12 months that are within the jurisdiction they are seeking,” Porter said.

As a stakeholder, Buehner has maintained that if he were elected with the general plan not yet adopted, he would recuse himself from any related votes.

“Should there be any decisions about the general plan that filter through to the next council, and if I’m on it, of course I wouldn’t vote on it if there was any question about a conflict of interest,” he said. “I want to stay 100 percent legal with what I do.”

Keystone officials have yet to respond officially to recent staff requests for them to change their minds about not giving the city the full $350,000 they initially committed to the revision. Earlier this week, however, executive vice president Keith Schneider explained the company’s position.

“I believe the answer is, today, the same as it was before,” Schneider said. “At this point, we don’t intend on paying the balance, because we believe we’ve paid more than our fair share already.”

Representatives from the company, which developed the Keystone Pacific Business Park in western Patterson, indicated in a November 2008 letter that the company would not contribute the remaining $175,000 it had pledged the previous year toward the general plan process.

Schneider said the company made the decision to send the letter after it scaled back its interest in a proposed residential and commercial development at Zacharias and Baldwin roads from 475 acres to 95 acres in response to the recession and the suffering real estate market.

Whitemyer said Tuesday that the city would continue to reach out to Keystone and present the option of a payment plan.

• Contact Kendall Septon at 892-6187 or kendall@pattersonirrigator.com.

Comments
(8)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
georgelogan
|
November 01, 2010
Hollowell is a menace. He brings stores, restaurants and worst of all JOBS!
FredRoss
|
October 29, 2010
Hallowell calling the shots at city hall, check out www.pattersonirriTator.com for more.

Cuellar.Sergio
|
October 28, 2010
Stealth-

Your right that its about law enforcement! Why do we not have our own force in town? Why did the slate push for our new cheif over a more qualified latino male with a track record gang and violence prevention? Why did they continue to push for our old chief who watched as our city continued to get more violent? So yes it does involve city hall! thats where decisions are made!

And your right about immigration! The day the our forefathers, and the Spanish decided to migrate to occupied lands and rape, steal and pillage this land we now call america..all hell broke loose!

stealthcat
|
October 28, 2010
Having a safe place to live has nothing to do with who is mayor or on the city council. It is a law enforcement issue and also an immigration issue. Patterson wasn't safe place to walk the streets when we moved here 7 years ago and is a less safe place now. I feel sorry for anyone who would want their children or grandchildren to be stuck in a place like Patterson all their lives.
GoGiants123
|
October 27, 2010
I would say that I am surprised, but then I would by lying.

What I want to know is how can Smith say that she is for the youth when she is only for her son?

She is also for the underage drinking and the drug dealers and hoodlums of the community. Anyone notice that she is supported by these factions of our community?

I want a safe town and I want a city chambers that is about the community. With Annette and her fellow slate members, we get the same politics and we get the same city services.

I want a city where I know I am safe, where my family is safe, and where my grandchildren will be safe. I would also like to see a city where the bad influences are taken care of.

I want leadership that will take care of us instead of taking care of themselves and their backers.

Cuellar.Sergio
|
October 27, 2010
Jhester-

You can add that to the list of garbage that they are trying to lay on this community! They decided to put POOR Larry on a payment plan, which means if elected, there is no way he should be part of the discussion of the general plan. Speaking of. I am taken back but not surprised that our Mayor and our Mayoral Candidate Smith have the balls to speak that they are for bettering this community and Mrs. Smith toutes that she is for youth..When last night, they furiously fought to keep language out of the general plan that speaks to the building of schools! Our Mayor, said "the city is not in the business of Schools" REALL?

That makes sense, lets plan to build out our city, front load our growth, but make no remark or gesture about schools! Lets plan our future, but not build the infrastructure to educate our future leaders and workforce! Then they sit there like they did two years ago in a joint meeting with the Youth Action Commission and have the audacity to ask the young lady presenting the needs of patterson youth..Why they Loiter at savemart, why the all rush to taco bell causing the police to be called...Simple stoopid cause there is no place for them to go!!!! and you want to pimp this city to growth with no support for our children, their future grandchildren?

JOKE JOKE JOKE!

This is what we can look forward to if we are blind enough to elect Smith, Noveli and Buehner!

PattersonObserver
|
October 27, 2010
Can anyone report on what the council decided? Was Annette able to help out her co-candidate with his request for a payment plan?
jhester
|
October 25, 2010
Unbelieveable. So let me get this straight. Buehner has enough dough to plaster the town with big road signs and buy a bunch of Irrigator ads. But he doesn't have the money that he had originally promised to help the city pay for the general plan? How can he possibly serve on the city council if he's going to be have conflicts of interest at most of the meetings? I had already decided not to vote for Buehner and his Slate, but this was just icing on the cake.

I'm also curious to see how the city council handles this tomorrow night, especially since Annette Smith is part of his Slate. What happens if they allow him to go on a payment plan and he then gets elected? Will he continue paying the city while he's on the council? This is just a big mess that will probably cost the city a lot more in legal fees down the road.

I wonder if Novelli and Larry's brother Kenny will be there tomorrow to support Larry and his Slate.


We encourage your online comments in this public forum, but please keep them respectful and constructive. This is not a forum for personal attacks, libelous statements, profanity or racist slurs. Readers may report such inappropriate comments by e-mailing the editor at news@pattersonirrigator.com.