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Monday, December 17 , 2018, 4:48 am | Overcast 55º

 
 
 
 

Ron Fink: Is Council Member Jim Mosby Tied to John Linn’s Coattails, or Isn’t He?

Former mayor John Linn and Council Member Jim Mosby appear to be closely tied considering their history together and Mosby’s voting record.
 
In the 2012 election campaign, Mosby contributed twice as much as any other contributor to Linn’s mayoral campaign. In fact, the amount he contributed was equal to one-sixth of the total collected for the entire campaign.
 
In total, Mosby has contributed $1,700 to Linn’s election efforts in three campaigns. Some have said the Linn/Mosby collaboration couldn’t be true, however a contribution of $500 in the 2010, $1,000 in 2012 and $200 more in the 2014 campaigns tells a different story, and there is a lot more to this political marriage.
 
It’s important to examine what was going on during this period while realizing the Linn/Mosby team will say that all of these occurrences were simply coincidental and that we shouldn’t focus on past history.
 
Following his 2010 election Linn appointed Mosby to the Utility Commission; and following Linn’s loss in 2014 after Mosby was appointed to fill an empty council seat by his old school chums, Mosby, then in a reversal of roles, appointed Linn to fill his empty Utility Commission seat.
 
In another coincidence, Linn asked Mosby to take over the Lompoc Valley Park, Recreation and Pool Foundation when he was elected in 2010. In October of that year, while Linn was still LVPRPF chairman, the Motorsports Park committee was formed and they started a multiyear effort to provide a “free recreational opportunity” for the community.  
 
In 2012, they presented their idea to the City Council. The council, at Linn’s urging, directed the staff to prepare a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and the committee.
 
But there were some things the committee didn’t like, so from the council dais Linn eliminated and/or altered conditions in favor of the committee. As mayor, he was supposed to have the best interests of the city at heart, but apparently he thought differently. This is the way he operates — always creating favorable conditions for his pals.
 
Mosby has consistently refused to recuse himself from votes on the Motorsports Park even though he helped negotiate and signed the original MOU on behalf of the LVPRPF and provides office space for them in one of the properties he manages, which gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.

He has also consistently voted for all three changes the committee wanted to the MOU and just can’t bring himself to hold them accountable for their frequent late payments.
 
There’s more:
 
Noozhawk reported “On Feb. 11, 2014, three City Council members — then-Mayor John Linn and Councilmen DeWayne Holmdahl and Dirk Starbuck — appeared together at a county Board of Supervisors hearing to support a Mosby project (a private park at the entrance to River Park).” 

At the hearing, Linn said he was speaking for the entire City Council, although the Mosby project had never been discussed in a public meeting, which led to an accusation of an illegal “serial meeting” which is prohibited by the Brown Act.
 
This isn’t the only potential Brown Act issue that Linn created on behalf of his political sidekick.
 
During a council meeting on April Fool’s Day in 2014, Linn added an item to the agenda requesting that a letter supporting Mosby, who was initiating litigation with Santa Barbara County concerning his privately operated recreational facility outside the city limits, be discussed as an emergency exception to the Ralph M. Brown Act.  
 
Noozhawk reported: “The city's video recording of the meeting shows the request to add the last-minute agenda item was not made until 9:45 p.m. and the 3-2 vote to file a letter on behalf of Mosby’s lawsuit occurred at midnight in a near-empty council chamber.”
 
Linn had gotten away with it and long after the public had left the council chambers with virtually no public notice, the council agreed to authorize him to sign a “letter of declaration” as mayor, without staff input.

Later it was found that it contained statements of fact provided by Linn that were erroneous — something that could have been prevented if the proper vetting process had been followed.
 
Chief Deputy District Attorney Kelly Scott admonished Linn and the council for their alleged violations of the Brown Act.
 
Following his stunning 1,300-vote loss to his opponent in 2014, Linn needed a third vote to continue his agenda. Mosby put his name in the hat for appointment to an open seat.

Guess what happened. Mosby was appointed even though the person receiving the third-highest vote count in the council race just weeks before, a choice made by the voters, had applied and was far more qualified for the job than Mosby.
 
Mosby was picked and many thought the fix was in from the start on this one.
 
This election is very important to the future of Lompoc. Do you want to elect the team with a history of skirting the rules or do you want to elect leaders who won’t ram through questionable actions and hope no one catches them?
 
The Linn/Mosby team is a very bad choice for the future of Lompoc.
 
Motorsports timeline:  http://www1.cityoflompoc.com/councilagenda/2016/160607/n13a01.pdf

http://www.noozhawk.com/article/district_attorneys_office_brown_act_warning_lompoc_city_council_20160703
 
http://www.noozhawk.com/article/campaign_for_lompoc_mayor_heats_up_weeks_before_filing_period_opens
 
http://www.noozhawk.com/article/john_linn_correcting_ron_finks_facts_20160621

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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