Contra Costa County, CA — Many Hercules residents attended the October 26th, Hercules City Council meeting to express their displeasure of the negative campaigning paid for by independent expenditure committees that have deluged Martinez, Pinole and Hercules. They are warning residents that these independent expenditure committees are very aggressive, don’t tell the truth and are disparaging the professional qualifications and personal character of AnaMarie Avila Farias.
Hercules Councilmembers Bill Kelly and Myrna de Vera are listed as Federal Glover supporters in the independent expenditure.
Councilmember Kelly said “I know for myself when I committed to be identified as a Federal Glover supporter, I didn’t anticipate that I’d have my name or picture used on a piece of literature like that. It was done without any conference with me … I don’t want anyone to think that that’s something that I find tolerable or ok.”
The hit piece — paid for by a Political Action Committee supporting Supervisor Federal Glover — falsely attacked Avila Farias, saying she “Personally Pocketed $40,000 in Affordable Housing Fees.”
Hercules Councilmember Myrna de Vera said of the campaign mailer, “I never approved it, never saw it, I don’t know any of that information.”
Hercules Mayor Dan Romero thanked Assemblymember Tony Thurmond for immediately making a public statement disavowing the negative hit piece and said, “I think it showed a lot of leadership on his part.”
At last week’s Martinez City Council meeting, when shown a printed copy of the hit piece, Mayor Rob Schroder said, “I did not sign off on it or authorize it.” And Councilmember Mark Ross stated, “When it comes to the wording here, I agree with the Mayor. It’s incorrect. She did not pocket $40,000…I’m actually the person who imposed the $40,000 by the way, so I know a lot about this subject. She was relieved of the voluntarily obligation by this Council, including myself. So the wording here that she personally pocketed it, I repudiate that. It’s incorrect.”
Vice Mayor Avila Farias condemned the false and libelous statement and demanded that Supervisor Federal Glover himself condemn this kind of campaigning.
“This is another example of the desperate measures that the Contra Costa County political machine will go to in order to hold onto power,” said Avila Farias. “I call on Supervisor Federal Glover to join my colleagues, Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder and Councilmember Mark Ross and Hercules Councilmembers Bill Kelly and Myrna de Vera in repudiating false and misleading attacks like this that have no place in our county — or our democracy.”
Before she was on the Martinez City Council, Avila Farias transformed a brownfield site into a new green housing development in the heart of the downtown Martinez. The property was revitalized and reutilized and turned it into an 8-unit housing development that infused $2.8 million in private-investments into downtown Martinez. Before the market crash in 2008, Avila Farias voluntarily agreed to contribute $40,000 into a City of Martinez affordable housing fund that was not required of housing developments — and in fact, it was not set up to take and administer contributions. To date, no fund or program has yet to be created.
After the crash in 2008, Avila Farias petitioned the City to waive the $40,000 voluntary commitment because the value of the property had dropped so low that the units themselves had come down into the range of affordable housing. She never received any taxpayer money for the project — and she certainly couldn’t pocket what she did not receive. The Martinez City Council, including Mayor Rob Schroder and Councilmembers Mark Ross and Lara DeLaney, voted 5-0 to release Avila Farias from her obligation.
A third generation Martinez resident, Councilmember Avila Farias has served on the Martinez City Council for four years and is currently the Vice-Mayor. She has 22 years of public service experience and is Governor Jerry Brown’s appointee to the Board of Directors of the California Housing Finance Agency. She has been endorsed for Supervisor by the Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs, the Contra Costa County Fire Fighters Local 1230 and the Police Officers Associations from Martinez, Hercules and Pinole.
For more information, please visit AnaMarieforCC.com.