The Orange County Sanitation Districted voted a fee increase on Wednesday night and it was not without a bit of controversy.Ã‚Â At the center of the storm is La Habra Councilwoman Rose Espinoza and her changing her vote from an “abstention” to a “yes” vote.Ã‚Â The local blogosphere has weighed in on the issue from Thomas Gordon at the Orange JuiceÃ‚Â to Jubal at Red County.Ã‚Â Even Chris Prevatt discussed it here at the Liberal OC.
Some of the folks in blogosphere have decided to get creative and simply make up a story as to how Rose Espinoza came to change her vote from an “abstention” to a “yes”.Ã‚Â Not surprisingly the most creative of these folks was Art Pedroza from the Orange Juice.Ã‚Â Rather than sticking to the facts he chose to make things up as he went along.Ã‚Â According to Pedroza RoseÃ‚Â EspinozaÃ‚Â is not responsible for her vote and he explained it with this, “But don’t forget the real villain in this story. Sal Tinajero talked her into changing her mind.”
I have spoken to people that were there including Thomas Gordon and Sal Tinajero and both deny that Sal talked her into changing her mind.Ã‚Â In an effort to get the whole scoop I just called Sal Tinajero again and asked if he could clarify for me exactly what happened so that I can clear up any confusion that folks may have.Ã‚Â Sal voted “yes” and he is not ashamed of his vote in any way, shape or form and he has no problem with people if they want to take him to task for his vote, he does however deny that he urged Rose Espinoza to change her vote to a “yes”.
Here is the actual account of what happen in that board room.Ã‚Â The vote to increase the fees was taken and the vote was 16 “yes”, 6 “no” and 1 abstention (Espinoza).Ã‚Â After the vote was taken there was some grumbling in the room and according to Bladerunner, “After the vote, several directors very angry with the outcome started to badger Rosie. Chairman Ferryman asked for it to stop”.Ã‚Â Rosie leaned over to ask Sal what was going on and he informed her that the measure had failed.Ã‚Â She said she did not understand, there were 16 “yes” votes to 6 “no” votes, how did it not pass?Ã‚Â Sal explained to her that it failed to get the 66% needed for passage.
Earlier in the evening during the discussion of the measure Rose told Sal that she was not too comfortable voting on the issue because she was new to the board.Ã‚Â She did state that Steve Anderson, the La Habra councilman who passed away and whose place she took on the board, and her fellow councilmembers in La Habra supported the measure.Ã‚Â She still was a bit uncomfortable in voting.Ã‚Â Sal told her that if she was not comfortable voting on it that she should abstain.
However when Rose discovered that her abstention was the difference between passage or failure she decided that she needed to vote “yes” because her colleagues and Anderson wanted the measure to pass.Ã‚Â She asked Sal to call for a re-vote and the chairman said that Sal could not do that since he had voted in the affirmative, so Rosie called for a re-vote and Sal seconded her motion.Ã‚Â The vote was taken and the measure passed.
At no time did Sal pressure Rosie to vote in the affirmative he simply explained to her what was happening.Ã‚Â That is what they were discussing, he wasn’t twisting her arm.Ã‚Â Rosie was new to the board and was unsure of how things worked, Sal simply clarified things for her.Ã‚Â There is nothing sinister about it no matter how hard Pedroza tries to insinuate there was.
I must say that folks sure do think Sal has a lot of power and sway with his fellow electeds.Ã‚Â I hate to say it but you are giving him far too much credit.