Home 2016 Election Hercules Councilmembers Deny Knowledge of Attack on AnaMarie Avila Farias’s Record

Hercules Councilmembers Deny Knowledge of Attack on AnaMarie Avila Farias’s Record

by ECT

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.

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1 comment

Patriot Pat Nov 10, 2016 - 1:43 pm

The City of Hercules is appropriately defending against litigation initiated by local resident Pillar Lee Orbison,
aka Pil Orbison, and her Bay Area Diversified Tennis Foundation. The litigation names nine current and former
public officials as defendants, and includes one private citizen. The crux of her claim is that the City owes her
money for consulting work she claims to have performed on behalf of the City. The lawsuit has been filed in
Contra Costa Superior Court as Case No. MSC16‐00638.
It is the City’s position that the litigation is being pursued by the Plaintiff for personal enrichment and gain at
the expense of City taxpayers. Public records show that since 1991, Ms. Orbison has been involved in 60 or more
law suits in five Bay Area counties. This includes four prior small claims actions that she has filed against Hercules
that have all been dismissed by the courts.
We believe the court will dismiss the current lawsuit, because there is simply no merit to Plaintiff’s claims. These
lawsuits divert resources from other priorities and projects which would benefit the community. Due to the
pending lawsuit the City will not comment in detail, except to make the following points in support of the City’s
position that the City owes no money to Ms. Orbison whatsoever:
 The City never sought her services, has never entered into a contract with Ms. Orbison or her non‐profit,
and she was never authorized to pursue projects or funding on the City’s behalf;
 The City has fully responded to all Public Records Act requests made by Ms. Orbison;
 The City does not have any of her documents or plans, as whatever was submitted on an unsolicited
basis in the past was returned;
 The City has not applied for any grants based on Ms. Orbison’s unsolicited proposals or documents;
 The City has never used any of her unsolicited proposals or plans to undertake any work whatsoever;
 The City has consistently demanded that Ms. Orbison stop representing that she is authorized to
undertake work, solicit funding, or engage in any activities on behalf of the City.
The foregoing Official Statement was approved for distribution at a regular meeting of the City Council of the
City of Hercules held on the eleventh day of October, 2016, by the following vote of the Council:
AYES: D. Romero , M. de Vera, C. Kelley, B. Kelly, S. McCoy

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