Hot Topic | Payback June 7, 2021

For close to two years, the city staff has agreed to a salary freeze with the understanding that once the pandemic clears, they’d get their money back. They also agreed to a hiring freeze of non-safety personnel—an agreement PAC violated with the hiring of Anthony Riley, his close, personal friend and Marc Puckett, the City Manager’s friend. It would seem that agreements, approved by the bargaining unit, do not concern the Mayor. Neither, apparently, do lawsuits.

Here recently, though, Barbara Rose raised the subject of payback at council meetings—about … taking care of our city employees. At the special council meeting, she made a motion to have the payback issue addressed at the next regular meeting, which is tonight. The motion was seconded by Councilman Silva but, on looking at the agenda for tonight, the payback issue isn’t listed.

Why wasn’t it, we ask? It was approved.

Because it wasn’t, our next question is: are the Mayor and the City Manager now suppressing Councilwoman Rose’s issues in retaliation for her taking a stand against them? Is it not enough that the Mayor texted and emailed threats to her, which, under the law, constitutes cyberbullying? And let’s not overlook the fact that the Mayor and Mr. Hart had no problems listing her removal as Mayor Pro Tem. Remember Agenda Item 13?

So, why wouldn’t the Mayor and the City Manager want to see our city staff receive the money due them? They sure were eager to give away $2.4 mil to the Marriott group. Why not the $2.9 mil owed to the city staff? Heck, they even arranged a special meeting and a full-court press by bootlickers to get the Marriott issue passed. So, why not a special meeting—or at least an agenda item—for our city employees who have sacrificed so much? By the time they receive their back pay, they’ll be taxed at a higher rate so they’ll have sacrificed even more.

In the final analysis, we’re forced to ask why don’t the Mayor and our City Manager care about our city staff? Why are they opposed to keeping our promise to them? Is the missing agenda item an issue for the DA’s Public Integrity Unit to consider? We hope so. We know they’re watching, especially after they confirmed the Mayor had violated the Brown Act, so we’re going to find out. We’re going to submit another complaint. It’s not necessarily a Brown Act violation but it is another example of the Mayor’s abuse of power.

According to one of our sources, … they want to deceive the public as much as possible. The they being the Mayor and City Manager. We’re not surprised. In fact, we’re reminded of what the Mayor tried to do with his Atlanta trip. Remember how he boasted about that trip, how it wasn’t being paid for by the city? Wow, what a guy! The Mayor with the BIG heart! But we investigated that trip and uncovered, instead, a BIG LIE — the one he sought to deceive Barstow citizens with, about meeting with Atlanta officials. He never expected that someone would actually call their city hall and check.

We did. Three times. Hoo-ah

Source: Barstow Citizens

Files dealing with Marc Puckett