Press Editor Admits to Not Fact Checking Attack on Supervisor Piepho

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The  Brentwood Press appears to be on shaky ground with the County Supervisor after their paper’s editor, Ruth Roberts, put out a column where she failed to verify facts regarding a meeting last week that was cancelled. Roberts erroneously blamed a “calendar conflict” of the Supervisor as the reason for the meeting being cancelled while hoping her “calendar clears” soon.

The problem with Ms. Roberts column comment was that she stated there was a much anticipated meeting with the county district supervisor and organizations in town to iron out the permitting process.  Unfortunately for Roberts, that was untrue as it was never a meeting with the County Supervisor, but rather it was a meeting between county staff set up through Amanda Dove. It had little, if not anything, to do with Supervisor Piepho.

Here is a look at the column published  in the Press newspapers.

Ruth Roberts Talk of Town Oct 24

Ms. Roberts no doubt has her information backwards and is either confused about county protocol or was just plain reckless in going on the attack of an elected official who was trying to provide greater transparency in a timely topic given the failure of event planning in Discovery Bay.

Unfortunately for Ms. Roberts, in an email to Supervisor Piepho, she confirms she never did check with the Supervisors office for details to confirm her claims, however, she defends her actions by using mysterious sources.

While Ms. Roberts is free to defend her reckless and irresponsible actions, it doesn’t make her right. I was able to confirm that the first time Supervisor Piepho knew about the meeting was Monday morning–nearly 48-hours before the meeting start time. I also confirmed through emails that Lt. Johnson of the Sheriffs Office was made aware of the meeting 9-minutes before Supervisor Piepho as he forwarded the invitation sent from Amanda Dove.

When I asked Piepho about her knowledge of the meeting, she was made aware of the meeting through outside sources and was not requested to attend at that time.

“We were completely unaware of any meeting being held until Lt. Johnson made an inquiry of our office.  Last Monday I believe.  That was the first we were made aware of any meeting that might be taking place. That was two days prior to the actual meeting,” said Piepho via email.

For the record, no one stated the meeting was cancelled. Instead,  County Environmental Health  stated they were not attending to Ms. Dove which was shown in an emails below.

The chain of emails speak for themselves beginning with the Supervisor asking Ms. Roberts where she got her information on a very incorrect column.

On Oct 26, 2013 7:09 PM
Ruth, Since you did not speak to me directly, please identify for me who in my office you spoke to regarding my calendar of events, schedule and any other material facts as they relate to the below gossip you printed in the DB Press.    I request an immediate response.

If the answer is “Nobody”, which I fully expect, consider this a demand for a published apology, front page, above the fold, with my name and photo as you have sized in the “Talk About Town” column.  M

In an email dated October 26, at 9:02 pm, Roberts responded to the Supervisor

Mary,
You are correct, I did not speak to anyone in your office. I spoke with others who had scheduled what they hoped would be a meeting of the minds and a review of protocol as it pertains to the permitting process. If it was someone else who had to reschedule please enlighten me. I will be happy to print a clarification in the same location where the item appeared.

The Supervisor stated she found the explanation to be unacceptable and it appears to me that Ms. Roberts is then trying to interview the Supervisor after the fact as opposed to publishing the story.

Interestingly enough, Ms. Roberts avoided identifying her source. Instead of owning up to an oversight, Ms. Roberts further tries to defend her poor judgement by further questioning the Supervisor on the incident which is something she might want to consider prior to going to print in the future. 

This rather chilly one-line email response from Ms. Roberts to the Supervisor was shot back on Oct. 26 at 9:11 pm.

Unacceptable for a meeting you had to reschedule? Is that incorrect? Did someone else have to reschedule?

At that point, the Supervisor had enough of the play on words and decided to go above Ms. Roberts for an explanation.

Your response Ruth.  Amazing.  Unacceptable that you did zero fact checking.  I will speak with Greg (Robinson) directly and appreciate your working on the apology for next week’s edition.

Ruth Roberts on Oct 27 at 7:59 PM

I guess I’m confused as to what you are asking an apology for. Were you able to make the meeting and someone else had to reschedule? I had several people tell me that they were disappointed that you were unable to make the meeting after you were told about it, and had hoped to get this issue resolved. If someone, or something, else stalled the talks I would certainly like to know and would then consider a correction. My point was to encourage everyone to get on the same page and move ahead for the good of the community.

If you are more comfortable speaking with Greg about this, I understand. He and I have had a conversation about this and he is more than happy to discuss it with you if you wish.

So now we get a story from Ms. Roberts who deviates away from her claim that this meeting was scheduled with the County Supervisor to people stating they were disappointed that she would not attend after being alerted of the meeting.  So which is it?

Again, no invitation or request to attend occurred.  Just because Supervisor Piepho was made aware, doesn’t mean she is participating. Ultimately, the Supervisor didn’t have to change her calendar because she was never apart of the event which is where Ms. Roberts made the mistake of assuming an invitation was extended.

She would not have made that mistake had she made a phone call.

I would also contest Ms. Roberts claim of getting everyone on the same page is nonsense as she is apparently defending ignorance and ignoring the fact the the county sent Ms. Dove and the service groups she is protecting three letters outlining county rules and ordinances on special events. Furthermore, rules for special events have not recently changed so there should be little room confusion considering the number of community events held in Discovery Bay.

Here is Supervisor Piepho’s response to Ms. Roberts.

On Oct 27, 2013 8:21 PM
Unfortunately, you did not ask these questions before going to print. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about yet you printed that my schedule was the reason for the delay of a mtg. Professionally, as a writer, a journalist, not fact checking is unacceptable. You took extreme liberty with my reputation and name and I expect the apology.  At the very least.  M

Ruth Roberts shot back

On Oct 27, 2013, at 8:34 PM
Again, you are neither enlightening nor refuting what I wrote except to say it is wrong. I know exactly what I am talking about and you know I do. I have taken no liberties with your name or reputation. A scheduling conflict is hardly a crime. I will leave it to you and Greg to discuss.

First of all, there was no scheduling conflict as we have already stated, consequently there is no crime. The real crime here was the editor of the Press newspaper failed to fact check. The conversation was put to an end by Supervisor Piepho suggesting she would rather speak with the owner of the paper.

Date: October 27, 2013 at 9:03:58 PM PDT
Ruth, Thank you for your time. Greg and I will have a healthy conversation.  Your gossip is wrong.  As you said… ” You are correct, I did not speak to anyone in your office. ”

If you have not learned from my messages that I am refuting your article, I’m not sure what else I can say.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  If you had done just a little research, exposed a little integrity, you would.
Mary N. Piepho

How the Meeting Was Set Up?

 So while that little exchange shows unprofessional behavior of a local paper and editor, it begs the question what really did happen with the meeting and where did Ms. Roberts get her fabricated information?

For starters, to the Brentwood Press reader, what “brouhaha” is Ms. Roberts talking about in regards to Rocktoberfest?  The Press never wrote about this event other than a post event follow up.  The Press apparently confirmed  facts since East County Today was the only media outlet to challenge Ms. Dove and the event planners  behavior which stated the event had to be tweaked and re-located after a permitting issue.  I can only assume they decided not to educate their audience on the drama because they were event sponsors.

Having said that, I went further back in my records to find out where the drama began which is traced back to last minute invitations by Amanda Dove of the Delta Sun Times. While Ms. Dove gets applause for trying to educate her community, she already had the information and if she wanted a meeting of grand significance and participation desired, you don’t send out invitations days before an event. Aside from that, its not very polite.

Let’s look at the emails shall we, yes we shall!

As we already stated, the Supervisor’s office was made aware of this shot-gun meeting Monday morning (October 21) at 10:29 am from Lt. Alan Johnson of the County Sheriff’s Office who received an invite from Amanda Dove of the Delta Sun Times. It should be noted, Lt. Johnson sent the email roughly 9-minutes after he himself was invited to attend.

Good morning, A.J.

I’d like to ask if you could attend a Discovery Bay community event planning meeting this Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., at the Steakhouse meeting room (2465 DB Blvd.).  We will have Contra Costa Health Services and Community Development in attendance. We have also invited the heads of every local community group to participate, so we can all understand the process of obtaining county permits for future Discovery Bay events.

Thank you!
Amanda Dove

Unaware of the event, Karyn from Supervisor Piephos office attempted to find out more information and reached out to Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director Marilyn Underwood who provided a very quick response regarding the meeting.

On Oct 21, 2013, at 11:10 AM
Hi Karyn , we reached out to Amanda Dove to meet with her and I think the Lions Club to talk about our requirements. We had suggested to Amanda that she also invite other departments like DCD, sheriff, etc, but we also recognized that trying to get that many agencies together at one time might not be so easy so we decided to proceed and have this meeting focus on food issues. And Amanda does not want it to be an open invitation event, which we are fine with as I would like to be able to try and establish a good rapport with her/Lions Club.

Marilyn C. Underwood, Ph.D., REHS

In response

Date: October 21, 2013 at 1:27:32 PM PDT
Her invitation invites all local groups. All Depts. should attend, including PW.  And my office. M

Mary N. Piepho

Supervisor Piepho was then made aware in a email from CSD Director Kevin Graves that he had received a personal invitation. At that point, Supervisor Piepho shot back a second email requesting that all appropriate departments and agencies are represented and properly invited. In most cases, with certain elected officials invited, proper agenda notice should have been taken into consideration. For the record, its unclear which CSD Directors were extended invitations and who was not—they all should have been included which would mean proper notice would have been required.

In response, Supervisor Piepho responded:

Date: October 21, 2013 at 1:44:59
Marilyn, I believe this mtg needs to be rescheduled so it is public and every resident, community leader and county dept can attend. We will work with the CSD and ask them to host. We cannot have shot gun blasts if information going out to certain people. We knew this mtg was necessary and let’s make sure it is done right. Please call me at 925-###-#### if you would like to discuss. Many thanks. M

Ms. Underwood then responded back to Supervisor Piepho with a short explanation.

Date: October 21, 2013 at 1:50:05 PM
Hi Mary, how about calling me re your concerns. We reached out to her immediately after the Rocktoberfest and the cupcake fiasco to offer to meet with her and discuss EH concerns. I am not interested in making this a big political event and not get any where on compliance. I think it is fine if you want to host a larger meeting and invite her but I need to have some room to approach things on a smaller scale. It seems like you have some concerns that I am not aware of and I would like to understand them and I would like to have you hear where I am coming from.

Warm wishes,
Marilyn

By the early afternoon on Monday, Supervisor Piepho suggested the meeting be rescheduled because it was no longer private and turned into a public forum—which was where the meeting deviated from its original intent and maybe Ms. Dove was attempting to control the audience.

Date:    10/21/2013 02:15 PM
Marilyn, So much for a “private” mtg.  This mtg needs to be canceled and rescheduled for a public forum, in a public place and include the DBCSD. ASAP.

Mary N. Piepho

By that point, the County Environmental Health Department agreed the meetings intent had changed and should be rescheduled.

On Oct 21, 2013, at 3:11 PM,
We talked with Amanda and informed her that we were not envisioning such a large event. That will not be happening.

Marilyn
Contra Costa County
Environmental Health Director

The supervisor then replied

On Oct 21, 2013, at 4:40 PM
It’s beyond your control at this point. Her invitations have been sent and delivered. Unless the event date changes, she will run the mtg and have only partial info re County requirements. M

Mary N. Piepho

The County Environmental Health Department then replied stating they would also not be attending due to the intent of the meeting changing.

Date: October 21, 2013 at 4:43:40 PM PDT
Perhaps, I was too cryptic, we will not be attending that meeting.

Marilyn C. Underwood, Ph.D., REHS
Contra Costa County
Environmental Health Director

Had Ms. Roberts done her homework prior to print, she would have untangled a web of emails highlighting the information she was went to print with was fabricated. She would have also saved herself from a nasty email exchange with the highest ranking official and accusing her of a calendar conflict—it was actually the Supervisor wanting to ensure the public was properly notified and had an opportunity to attend.

The bigger issue, and rather ironic,  is that you have a newspaper owner in Amanda Dove of the Delta Sun Times calling for a meeting to be private and limited which ensures no transparency. Meanwhile, you have a Supervisor who is apparently calling for an open meeting and better public transparency.

The role reversal is backwards and somewhat comical because typically it’s the media fighting for greater transparency, not an elected official.

As for the Brentwood Press, they completely ignored the real story behind Rocktoberfest and the issues with the permits and instead attack a County Supervisor in a gossip column where she had nothing to do with the event.

The question truly is what is Ruth Roberts’s motivation and agenda in this gossip column? Is there something she is personally involved with or did she simply take an uneducated swipe at a County Supervisor? It’s unclear what Ms. Roberts was trying to accomplish, but she apparently missed her goal.

Ms. Roberts claims:

“My point was to encourage everyone to get on the same page and move ahead for the good of the community”

Well if that’s true, a gossip column is probably not the best choice to bring people together by providing erroneous information, instead, a well-researched article on the permitting process might have been a better choice of format.

So what now?

For starters, Ms. Roberts admits to her own failure to fact check with the Supervisors office so an apology should be a given. If you recall, the Contra Costa Times issued an apology after admitting to plagiarizing the LA Times. This is similar.

Unfortunately for the Press Newspaper, an apology is the easy part. The hard part is building up trust with elected officials, sources, and their readership.

The public’s trust of a news organization has been broken and that can be difficult to overcome.

Burk Byline

By Michael Burkholder
[email protected]


61 COMMENTS

  1. This is the same “editor” that called Lt. Johnson the Discovery Bay Police Chief and made reference to the Discovery Bay Police Dept in her column a couple weeks ago. Since there is NO Discovery Bay Police Dept, police services are provided by the CoCo County Sheriff Dept. I have to seriously wonder about this editor and the paper that is printing her misinformation. Don’t they do a fact check? WOW!

  2. This is not the only occasion of Ms. Roberts writing mis-information in her column. Surprising as her title seems to be “Editor”. Journalism used to have much higher standards than it seems to have these days. For example, I believe she mis-stated which business was resuming Grazie’s location at Streets of Brentwood. I knew Guy Fieri was coming before she put forth her column with someone else named as the new tenant. I simply asked my friends who own local businesses.

  3. Apology should be issued with no questions asked. Emails are pretty telling and shame on Ruth Roberts.

  4. Just so I can understand this, a meeting was scheduled to get people on the same page when it comes to planning events? Does this really need the Supervisor or County staff to babysit? I agree with the author, read the letters the county sent and follow the directions which is much like baking a cakes. It’s already spelled out.
    The author nailed it by getting all the emails to highlight just how the Brentwood Press apparently does business under new ownership and the continued hysteria created by a few in Discovery Bay. The Press should issue an apology and move on.
    Discovery Bay needs to get their act together and stop screwing around and just decide to follow the rules.

  5. I dislike Supervisor Piepho for many reasons, but the article by the Press was uncalled for and very wrong which the emails highlight. I don’t agree with Burkholder often, but an apology should be issued and it pains me to say ECT is more reliable than the Press given the authors actions.

    @Barbara, did the Press really state Discovery Bay has a Chief and a Police Dept?

    • Oakley Press 10-11-13 Page 21A (it wont cut and paste so I had to type it)

      “This out of Rumor Control Central. Discovery Bay Police Chief Alan Johnson during the CSD meeting last week emphalically denied local rumors that the police have any role, interest or jurisdiction in shutting down local DB events, specifically the planned Rockoberfest this weekend. Calling the rumor “just false” Johnson assured residents the police are there to protect and serve not to suck the fun out of local events. Rumor squelched”

      To me, if you are an editor and responsible journalist, you would have your information correct. Since Discovery Bay does NOT have a police dept, they can’t have a police chief. They receive their police services from the sheriff dept. Oakley on the other hand contracts their services from the sheriff dept. The City of Oakley PAYS the sheriff dept somewhere over $7 million a year for the manpower, all the equipment and cars are purchased by the city and belongs to the city. Deputies wear dark blue uniforms that have a City of Oakley patch and a City of Oakley badge. Deputies working in Disco Bay wear brown uniforms with CCC SO patches, SO badges and drive SO cars. ????????

  6. Is this really news? souns like one media source is trying to pile it on against other local papers for his own self interest. Must be a slow news day.

    I guess Burkholder wastes little oppertunity in making others look bad.

    • If you live in a facts are optional world, then yeah, I can see why you would say something like that.

    • If you ask me the editor made herself look bad. I would expect any editor to at least fact check. Otherwise why would you bother believing anything she prints. The paper is worth what you paid for it (nothing).

  7. Didn’t Amanda Dove swear on this very website that she was not involved in rocktoberfest or the Lions Club. Now she is apparently setting up a meeting with all parties? Sounds like she is on equal grounds to me. Nice work Ruth Roberts on throwing fuel on the fire.

    What is your agenda Ms. Roberts, I think we all have a right to know after your little attack when its those you are protecting who can’t seem to follow the rules.

  8. This is one of the many reasons why I stopped the press newspaper from being left in my driveway!

    I don’t want inaccurate, week old news tossed on my property (which also alerts anyone and everyone that I am not at home). Nothing says “rob me” like a yellowing paper in the driveway. I wonder if it is even legal for them to do that.

    If you ask me it is litter.

  9. This is the pot calling the kettle black. Burkholder has done the same things Roberts has done many times. I get it, the emails are damaging but Burkholder is East County’s biggest hypocrite on honest reporting. This site has lots of errors, especially grammar and has no right to turn a silly oversight into a giant production. He is almost as bad as Amanda Dove.
    The Press and Piepho could have handled this offline but instead Burkholder got the emails, how did he get them and how was he tipped? How much is Piephos paying you Burk?

    Stop playing politcs and just put out the information.

    • @ Brentwood voter,

      I don’t see it that way, which is why I come here to get my news. Kudos to Burke and Piepho for doing their respective jobs. I’ll take Burke’s bad grammar over non-fact checked reporting any day. I admire Burke for his willingness to contact any elected official, city manager, police or fire department to get a straight story. This website is full of examples of his efforts to do so. This raises a question. If he is so bad,why are you here?

      • i have been trying to get burk to come clean.i my opinion he is a dishonest person.This website and the one on facebook is a campaign for Jim frasier.Look at all the pictures.I am sure as soon as Jim can find him a easy job that benefits jims needs burk will be gone.

        • Mr. Montgomery,

          We do not know who Jim Frasier is, however, we do know of Assemblyman Jim Frazier. We print his press releases just like we do other elected officials. Of course Assemblyman Frazier is posted on this site, he is the highest ranking official who is actually from East Contra Costa County (Oakley) where as, for example, Mark DeSaulnier resides in Concord while Jerry McNerney is in Stockton.
          If you have any issue with that, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected].

          • let everyone know you at his side every step of the way and still are.If you are going to be a news guy report all that you have done to promote jim frazier and all the hours you spend working for him.Reporters at least the good ones disclose there relationships and keep arm distanced away.
            looks like you do not want to answer.my question.

        • Terry,

          Why the attack on Burk? Why the attack on Frazier? You might have actually gained some traction had you posted on a subject link where this might have be applicable. This isn’t it. So far all you have done is throw mud at a wall in hopes it will stick. You failed. So where’s the beef?

    • Did someone hold a gun to your head and insist you read this blog or post on it?

      I don’t think I’d be trying to play grammar police with your obvious lack of handle on the topic.

      The permit process has been in place for years. Most people don’t seem to have such public problem with following it. This group seems to be repeat offenders.

      Why would you need a meeting? Couldn’t you just read any one of half a dozen letters from the County to see what is being asked of you? It would appear the meetings are nothing but a veiled attempt to see how they can circumvent the rules.

      If you can’t read the simple English contained within the letters, pick up the phone and call the County. They are there to explain it for the verbage illiterates.

    • The Press made the comment in THEIR paper. Piepho asked for an apology and didn’t get one. If someone said something that was untrue about you would find that to be acceptable? If it was me I would go to someone that would correct it for me.

      Since Burkholder was the one and only (as far as I know) to reveal what was going on in Discovery Bay and took the heat for it. I would go to him too. On top of that this story is a continuation of a story that the rest of the news sources chose to ignore. This is not politics this is information about how things are done in Discovery Bay.

      Where is the hypocrisy? Hypocricy is the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform. Where does Burkholder’s behavior (or story) not conform to him challenging people to follow the rules and tell the truth?

      The only thing I can see Burkholder is guilty of is making some spelling & grammar errors occasionally & bringing up things sometimes that others wish he would ignore. For too long our newspapers just ignored things until they had to report it- usually when things get out of control. Our newspaper folks are too close to our community leaders and our business community and as a result they are limited and influenced by people who skirt the rules and or dust their stuff under the rug before anyone notices.

      Just think if this site was around during the Oakley City Manager deal early on or had helped bring the teacher who kicked the child early on? Why weren’t our papers on top of this stuff early on? They weren’t and they won’t be in the future in
      less they change their ways.

  10. Some of the anti comments are funny. Facts dont lie.Anyone reading ONLY the emails can come to an easy conclusion the Press lied and mislead readers. Glad I don’t get that in my driveway here in Antioch.

    Nice to see the truth comes out and this was real journalism.

  11. I like this site for the news and appreciate the coverage of fire, police and events. Not a fan of the politics. I don’t come to read childish corrections of another local paper. Please refrain from childish like articles in the future. You are miles ahead of the Press in terms of credibility and information, please don’t stoop down to their level.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  12. After reading the emails, I would be embarrassed if I owned the Brentwood Press and my editor acted that way with any elected official. I appreciate the emails highlighting the facts where Ms. Roberts was obviously wrong.
    Saying that, my two cents is save the drama for your mama. There are bigger things to worry about than the Press publishing false information, it’s not the first time and its not the last.

  13. The lady (Oops, I mean Mary) doth protest too much, methinks.

    What one can clearly see in the emails is that the Supervisor Mary Piepho was the force behind the meeting being scrapped. Keeping in mind that the Supervisor’s office has provided Burk with emails that she believes supports her position, here’s what one can cull from the information:

    Supervisor Piepho: “Marilyn, I believe this mtg needs to be rescheduled…We cannot have shot gun blasts if information going out to certain people (sic). We knew this mtg was necessary and let’s make sure it is done right. M”

    Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director Underwood: “…I think it is fine if you want to host a larger meeting and invite her but I need to have some room to approach things on a smaller scale.”

    Supervisor Piepho: “This mtg needs to be canceled and rescheduled for a public forum, in a public place and include the DBCSD. ASAP.”

    What we see is that Mary Piepho not only decided that she wasn’t going to attend the meeting, she was going to see to it that the meeting didn’t take place, at least not unless her buddy DB-CSD VP Kevin Graves can control it. There would be no “private” meetings with Discovery Bay citizens where she doesn’t have the ability to control the process and disallow actual conversation between citizens and County personnel. Supervisor Piepho wasn’t shy about it either; She “ordered” the Contra Costa County Environmental Health Director to “cancel the meeting … ASAP”. Supervisor Piepho then spoon fed a handpicked group of emails to her supporter, Burke.

    Burke is correct: The Press erred in reporting that the meeting was scrapped due to a conflict on Supervisor Piepho’s calendar. The truth appears to be that the meeting was scrapped because Supervisor Piepho issued an edict that it be scrapped. So it wasn’t her calendar, it was Supervisor Piepho’s ego and need for control that made the meeting impossible.

    I’m not sure how that distinction helps Mary’s reputation though…

    • Classic Don Flint opening line. What, couldn’t get your kid to post for you today?

      You completely missed the point. Supervisor Piepho was deliberately excluded from the meeting by Dove. So why did The Press go out of their way to drag her into it? It would appear Ms. Roberts had the inside line on some of the same emails. So you gave her a pass and went after the Supervisor? Aren’t their personal relationships going on here not being divulged?

      Most elected officials have full enough calendars that 2 days notice doesn’t work. But having your head fully planted up your arse I can see how you would miss that.

      What was the purpose of the meeting in the first place? How did that little detail get lost here? By the by, how does a person who previously claims to have no involvement in these permit problems(Dove) so fully insert herself into this and then selectively invite people?

      Looks to me like it was a setup to steamroll some people in County they assumed they could BS. Which is pretty much the way this group appears to operate. You further confirmed that, Don, by pointing out Supervisor Piepho doesn’t tolerate the nonsense that you try so desperately to serve up all the time. Wouldn’t want to invite someone you can’t buffalo, right?

      Can you or one of your alter egos explain what’s so hard about following the existing permit process? Or did you just stroll in here to initiate another in a long line of personal attacks on Piepho that you so enjoy. You and your wackjob friends have a major obsessive-compulsive thing going on with her.

      Not healthy, dude. Mental health assistance is just a phone call away. Just sayin’

    • Mary’s reputation was called into this as a result of an uncalled for comment by The Press. When she saw that once again Amanda Dove was stirring up the pot by “organizing a meeting” it was clearly a time to get involved and make sure they did it right. It appears that Mary is trying to take control of an out of control situation. She has watched people in Discovery Bay, including Amanda Dove, organize events and screw things up and take chances many times – Piepho sounds fed up and ready to send a clear message to the folks in Discovery Bay: Follow the rules.

      These folks have a way of ignoring the rules they don’t like and seem to find some satisfaction in going around the other rules they decide are inconvenient. If I was Piepho I would be fed up and want it to be clarified once and for all. A public meeting provides less opportunities for misinterpretations and eliminates any confusion on what is expected of them.

    • I’m not sure if the posting by “Resident” is Don Flint but it sure smells of his work. His comments make no sense; they never do. Most people in the area are on to his ongoing affliction with Mary Piepho and Kevin Graves. He can’t get over Mary Piepho and Kevin Grave’s job’s necessitate that they be involved. The elected are doing their jobs and someone like “resident” tried to put a wild spin on it. Wow, imagine that! This whole thing puts Ms. Roberts in some pretty questionable company.

  14. A whole lot of passive aggressive stuff going on here. How can The Press criticize Supervisor Piepho for scrapping a meeting she doesn’t seem to have been invited to?

    Maybe I am missing something but did Amanda Dove ever send an invite to Mary Piepho?
    From the thread of emails Mary’s office wasn’t aware of things until a county employee informed her about it 48 hours before the meeting. There is nothing to suggest organizers of the meeting even wanted Mary there?! So why the criticism from The Press?

    When Ruth Roberts says that a meeting was scrapped because of a calendar conflict on the Supervisors part I’m thinking that the organizers (Amanda Dove) set a date with Mary Piepho’s office to get together and then a conflict came up and Mary cancelled without rescheduling.

    Ruth Roberts owes Mary Piepho an apology. It seems that Ruth (and possibly her higher ups) have a personal interest in this somehow. It is interesting that the Press refer to a “permitting brouhaha” that I don’t believe they even covered in their paper and somehow connect it with Mary Piepho. It appears by standing by their remarks they are somehow also standing behind the folks that DISorganized Rocktoberfest. So I ask the Press do your really want to continue to sponsor events that are not permitted? Is it fair to suggest an elected somehow dropped the ball when from what I can tell that elected wasn’t incldued?

    Amanda Dove needs to work on her “helping” skills. It seems everything she gets her hands in ends up getting messed up. In my opinion Amanda didn’t really want Mary there or she would have invited her. Also, the emails from the county seem to indicate Amanda’s role in the “cupcake fiasco” is bigger than she represented in her comments in the previous article on Rocktoberfest.

    The Lions/ Chamber need to not rely on Amanda for helping. They need to get some no nonsense competent folks that can read and follow the directions when the county provides them. It’s that simple. No meeting necessary. A meeting further wastes tax payer money by forcing county employees to repeat themselves. If you have a question email or call them on the phone- that is reasonable. Meetings and rehashing things on the tax payers dime NOT COOL!

    I don’t recall this site make erroneous comments like Ruth Roberts did. Lot’s of folks got all pissy with this site saying that the writer was picking on Discovery Bay but the Press verified that ECT was right (with Ms. Robert’s comments)- there was a permit problem! Further in the county emails they talk about their problems with Amanda Dove and the Lions “compliance” issues. This site isn’t spouting off untruths like what the Press did they are showing what actually happened.

  15. Gosh darn! We better tar and feather someone! I can’t believe I just wasted time on this article.

    • That is what all the folks that don’t follow the rules are hoping for- that people like you will stay complacent and not pay attention, They hope you will show up at their unpermitted and possibly uninsured events to spend your dollars. They don’t care where the food was prepared and if it is safe. They don’t care if they are taking risks that someone can get hurt. What if you get sick or worse? Well, they will deal with that if something ever goes wrong. They can always blame the county for not enforcing the rules.

      They are hoping that everyone will keep their blinders on and keep following them around and telling them how wonderful they are.

  16. Just another example of why I am embarrassed for my community. The author may not be very well liked, but he is 100% correct and those who don’t like him are probably closely tied to the Discovery Bay mischief-makers.

    Off the top of my head, a few of the most recent events have had issues

    Cancels a candidate forum in order to watch a giants game during the world series
    Last year’s Clam Chowder Cookoff had permit issue
    Paddle for Fame: Four people almost drowned
    Farmers Market permitting issues
    National Night out with lightbox being lit
    Rocktoberfest/Cupcake Wars

    One would think that after putting on all these events they would be expert event planners and know the county rules and regulations by now since nothing has changed.

    I say good job Mr. Burkholder and thank you for yet again providing truths instead of creating news. The Discovery Bay Press has been asleep at the wheel or just blindly closing their eyes for years. They are more interested in protecting their friends instead of playing it down the middle.

    Using logic, if there was a meeting set up with the Supervisor and community groups, there would be little to no reason for all these email exchanges.

    I guess that is what you get when the Discovery Bay Press Editor lives outside the County and mails it in.

    • I’m sorry, but no silly local candidate forum is more important than a Giants World Series game.

  17. Just got a public email from Piepho’s Office
    Special/Temporary Event Permitting Meeting

    On Monday, November 4, 2013 I will be hosting a meeting to discuss proper permitting for temporary and special events.

    Representatives from the County¹s Department of Conservation and Development, Environmental Health Department, Sheriff¹s Office , Public Works Department and the East Contra Costa Fire Protection District will be on hand to discuss the permit requirements for special and temporary events and answer any questions. The meeting will be held from 3:00-5:00p.m. at the Town of Discovery Bay Community Services District Community Center located at 1601 Discovery Bay Blvd., Discovery Bay, CA, 94505. Representatives from your organization and the public are encouraged to attend so we can ensure safe and successful events in our communities.

    Please feel free to contact me at 925.252.4500 if I can be of any assistance or if you have any questions regarding this upcoming meeting.

  18. I received the same e-mail here in Antioch. Thinking seriously of being there. Every time someone here wants to have something they are just flat told no. So, going to check this out.

  19. Now that Mary has set the stage for her show we will all be happy, This entire spin is about control. The fight for control over what? The fact that everyone knows you need a permit for an event? The fact that the county even sends a letter outlining what needs to happen? The entire issue is a joke. Mary has to always be on stage. Who cares if she was or was not invited. The proper government department was. This was a played out article in concert with the control freak.
    You are almost at the bottom of the barrel with this stuff Mike.These kind of articles do bring out the gossip. Gosh Darn ! Is this what Mary Piepho does with all her valuable time as a Supervisor?

    • Hey little brother! I knew you would turn up….just like a bad penny. The only spin I see is yours. Did you even bother to read the post and subsequent email exchange? You might want to look up the definitions of supervisor, protocol and leadership. I know bro, silly little things like rules, procedure, policy and the like are just provide aggravation for you.

      It doesn’t take much common sense arrive at the following;

      Control- the board of supervisors (including Piepho) have the ultimate “control” over county departments and the county in general. Too bad this pains you, but it is what it is.

      “Everyone knows you need a permit”- apparently not. This appears to be the reason behind the county sending letter(s) to the organizers, who continue to create planning “fiascos” in the community. The last “fiasco” caused a special meeting for the local leaders which was reported right here on ECT.

      “Who cares if she was invited?”- Apparently the Supervisor does….you know, the one in “control”. (Sorry I know that bugs you little brother) The department heads that report to the supervisor also seem to care (read email exchange)…. “The proper government department was”- Evidently not (read email exchange…again)

      Thanks once again little brother for that unique take you have on reality. It fits you like a straightjacket.

      • To my self appointed hypocrite big bro who doubles as a socialist bowing down to the micro managing control freak of a doctorial supervisor,

        Thank you for explaining to me why no one can do anything in the county without permission from the queen.

        I also read the comment about Frazier below. Honorable Mr. Frazier watch your back, the queen will come for your job next.

        It is so entertaining to read about DDB and the silly little rants that are overblown for show. Keep up the good work Mary.

        • You are hysterical! First of all you are the one that latched on to my moniker (can you say major dysfunction?). It is not my fault that you have no concept what-so-ever of what a Supervisor, Assembly member, or Congressman does. Blame your ignorance on me all day long, if that’s what you need to do.

          Micro managing, by supervising department heads and overseeing meetings? Really? What do you think a Supervisor is supposed to do? Yeah right, you really get it little bro and the rest of us are stupid! What’s wrong, short bus a little full this morning?

          Perhaps you should focus on the duties of a newspaper editor and go from there. Journalism 101 would suggest that a reporter or editor fact check to keep honesty, transparency and credibility. That’s what this thread is about, remember. Then maybe you can move on to Politics 101. Obviously you have a lot to learn from A-Z and nothing but free time and an empty brain.

          Good to know you are focused on the little things. It’s about your speed.

          You are a mess and you keep putting it out there for all to see. I couldn’t run over you any better myself. Promise me you will keep posting. Promise?

  20. What spin? Discovery Bay Press fabricated a story about a meeting with the county supervisor and was scrapped due to a conflict in her schedule. The Press lied and as usual Burkholder is the only one paying attention to catch the made up story. This is not a spin, it’s a correction with factual documentation so I am a bit confused on what your beef is?
    Is it bottom of the barrel? Yes it is but it was highly entertaining reading the emails and seeing how the entire thing unfolded. I also agree it is a complete joke because the county has already informed the service groups of what is needed for events and this isn’t the Lions Club first rodeo for events in Discovery Bay, they have been going on for years.
    Again, I agree with you this will create gossip, but maybe that is what Ms. Roberts was trying to achieve with her original lie. I will stick to my comment above, this is not gossip, its correction for a lie.

    Mr. Burkholder, I hope you are aware that a meeting has now been scheduled for Nov. 4

  21. Can we just put this issue to rest. Amanda Dove just outed Ruth Roberts as a liar if you read her post on the Delta Sun Times.

    “Following the cancelation of last week’s special event permit meeting, (called by the Contra Costa Environmental Health Services Director for Discovery Bay event organizers), Supervisor Mary Piepho has scheduled a similar meeting at the Discovery Bay Community Center, to be held on Monday, November 4, 2013.”

    Ms. Dove has just basically said no meeting was scheduled with Piepho, but it was with the Contra Costa Environmental Health Services Director. Ms. Roberts should issue an apology for sure.

  22. And why is this so important? Burkholder, please find something newsworthy to report.

  23. Shoddy reporting by Roberts in my opinion, but it’s Page6 stuff, not actual news. And The Press’ implication is too kind to Piepho. She didn’t have a schedule issue, she had a control issue.

    It sounds like she actually forbade the County person from attending the meeting, which caused the cancellation. Why did she stick her nose into it? She’s not in charge of permits….nor is the CSD. And only a true Piepho suck up would suggest the County need Piepho’s protection from the citizens of Discovery Bay steamrolling them. Silly…

    This kind of control freak stuff is what the folks in Martinez love about Piepho.

    • Bobby W

      I aint dat smart but “me thinks” Mz. Piepho is in charge of the person whoz in charge of permits. Wazup with control label? Mabyee you are self employed and never had to report to anyone? Be damned!! No one comes down to your place of employment and tells you how to fill slurpees! You da man! How dat been working out for yo?

      Your kind of crazy is what the crazies in disco love about you. No wonder dey “”love the press”.

  24. When it comes to Discovery Bay, truth is truly stranger than fiction.

    Reading the same recycled attacks on Piepho by the Anti-Piepho crowd and the plethora of Ad hominem messageboard crotch shots by the Pro-Piepho “cabal” just makes me smile. People in Discovery Bay never change and for some odd reason that seems suiting for a community that acts like the sister community of “Salem”, the fiction city from “the days of our lives”.

    The handful of characters that make up the opposing teams in this boring tale of small town political intrigue embody the very worst of human nature. They hold grudges. They attempt to manipulate the uniformed. They assassinate characters. They seek to “distroy”. They lie. They slander. They use humiliation as a means to an end. They back stab. They cheat. They are stalkers. They bend the rules or completely ignore them. They harass. They spin. They cry wolf. They don’t just think, they know they are better than the rest of us. They say the sky is falling. They grandstand. They play politics. They abuse the systems put in place to promote transparency, wasting tax payer money on vendettas and revenge. They are arrogant and self centered. They are bullies. They play the victim. They are vengeful. They are full of envy. And when they aren’t behaving like people who stopped reading once they read Machiavelli, they are incompetent, childish, and moronic.

    (For those of you who have missed the last few seasons of “As Discovery Bay turns” I’m talking about people like Don Flint, David Piepho, Mark Doran, Amanda Dove, Jim Mattison, and Jeff Barber.)

    When you read the comments on posts and articles about Discovery Bay can’t you tell who has skin in the game, who has an agenda, etc? From attempts at public shaming to the clever names they post under, can’t you tell these comments aren’t from Joe-Citizen?

    Let’s try to break this down quickly, while making an effort to be honest and objective-
    Roberts screwed the pooch and looks more like an intern than an editor. Supervisor Piepho does a soccer flop (Totally over dramatic) over the whole “reputation” angle (not really a fan of her catty tone either). Burkholder likes to stir up doo-doo alright, but we all know that so why give him such hilarious fodder? The community organizers of Discovery Bay once again look incompetent while wasting tax payer money. The county must have filled every pot hole, balanced the budget while dropping their pension liability to zero, and figured out a way to increase fire service in East County, since they have all this idle time for feckless meetings. The Pro Vs. Anti-Piepho teams attempt to fill the void of their miserable, boring, and privileged lives in the comment section of this blog.

    In my humble opinion (I know, no one asked for it), County staff should not have to come out to Discovery Bay to explain the permitting process. For the love of Christ, Discovery Bay organizers, pick up the phone, google, or read one of the numerous letters sent to you on this subject in the past. Staff time, mileage, meal reimbursement, all to teach “Organizers” the very foundation of being, well, an organizer of events. The communities in East County that surround Discovery Bay are facing some serious issues in the present and on the horizon. I think it’s completely ridiculous that resources (no matter how small) are being wasted on such inconsequential issues from this entitled community.

    Instead of wasting tax payer money, click on my name!

    • Who are you? This county could use someone like you to save us from what we have. You are spot on. Great comment !

  25. @ Terry Montgomery
    I will choose to respond as myself instead of under the ECT name and product.
    If I was at his side every step of the way, I would be on his payroll which I happily can say I am not. As far as a job he has found for me, that is news to me and please show me because I could always use more money for my efforts. Your allegations are short of a conspiracy theory and I publically deny your allegations. You appear to either have a personal vendetta against Assemblyman Frazier and this site or simply delusional.
    Again, we do share photos of McNerney, DeSaulnier, Bonilla, Buchanan, Glover, Piepho, Romick, Burgis, Taylor, Bryant, and many others when they are in East County. If you believe this site or myself to be dishonest, then why do you continue to troll this page and our Facebook?
    Again, if you have a problem, email me and we can chat.

  26. Those in glass houses should not throw stones. Sounds like a former director at the CSD who is very bitter that citizens of Discovery Bay had enough common sense to oust him through a recall. This director then knowing he was beat proceeded to resign. After several months from the dead he pops his head up and throws out names without proof. Silly former director, your lack of mature behavior shows and backs up our reasoning you should have been recalled.

    Your list of names is incomplete because you failed to include your own name as if your poop doesn’t stink which in the end, we all know your poop stinks the most given your medical condition. How dare you throw my name in the mud and are a hypocrite it not naming yourself. I will refrain from using my name so you can figure out just who I am and I hope it drives you crazy you small little man. You talk about skin in the game, where is yours? Oh wait, I forgot, we took your skin in the game and threw it out and you are just a bitter former Politian who is trying to stay relevant when you know that you will never be important again.

    We can agree Ms. Roberts screwed the pooch, but you have little room to speak your garbage given your own personal demons and track record.
    Signed:

    A former recall proponent!

    • @A former recall proponent

      Right on cue. The pretty boy act with the glass jaw got tagged and is now coming unhinged.

      I could be wrong, but I do believe you just attacked a person over their disability. You acknowledge a medical condition and then treat the person as lesser than you because of it? The tone of your post clearly shows your vindictive personality(ie. you will never be important again)

      That degree of malice and intolerance in your post speaks to character. Your personal attacks and constant misogyny are the stuff that gives the community a bad name. While some step up to serve their community, you instead choose to tear it down by casting stones from the shadows. But that’s what bullies do, right?

      Isn’t 50 years dumb about time to grow up? If you’re still wondering(and I know you are) why you became a poster child for Douchebaggery, here’s your case study.

    • I don’t always troll Safeway, but when I do, I first read some good fiction from the press before roaming the aisles. (That’s how I stay so uninformed)

      Stay thirsty my friends!

  27. @ These are characters an amateur could never dream up
    Next time you want to go on the offensive, you might want to use your real name instead of hiding behind an alias. You are quick to go on the attack of Discovery Bay, but using an alias highlights you have little to no credibility or one giant conspiracy nut. You are a perfect example of what is wrong with the internet in hiding behind an alias. Be a man and stand behind your own accusations you chicken.

    • And the oxymoron award goes to……….Mr. Alias X2

      Let’s be clear about one thing; when one wants to “go on the offensive” after the nuts in Discovery Bay, it’s a target rich environment. The per capita count is pretty high out there. Don’t know if it’s the money, the elitism, a sense of entitlement or what. But you people don’t seem to understand basic etiquette or the need to follow rules.

  28. Did you guys really just post exactly what @These are characters an amateur could never dream up posted? I mean you pretty much proved the posters point with your comments.

    I love watching these comments go from debate to just flat out name calling. I also love when someone who uses an alias attacks someone for using an alias.

    There is also nothing better than people who have to rely on ad hominem attacks (as the poster wrote) because they can’t argue the points and opinions being made. Way to prove the poster correct!

  29. Dear Recall Proponent,

    So much of what you said is true. I would not for a minute attempt to argue it. I am a troubled man. I have been haunted by personal demons and I did seek and value power and importance above kindness and compassion. I was lost, but now I have been found. Since I accepted Our lord Jesus Christ as my personal savior and repented for my sins I have been blessed with the strength to comfort my past behaviors, actions, and move forward with the peace Jesus Christ gives me. Reading your post, which clearly attempts to tear me down, I am left with nothing else to do but offer up the other side of my face for you to strike. I can do nothing but forgive you as Matthew 6:14-15 instructs. I have no clue who you are or the troubles and pain I may have caused you in the past to make you so angry, but from the bottom of my soul I apologize and hope you too find the peace and strength I have found over the last year. I know very well how imperfect I am (Psalm 19:12) and I still struggle with my mental illness and personal demons, but the man I once was is not the man I am today. I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me for what I might have done to you. I am so very sorry and I would apologize to you personally if I knew who you are. Have a blessed day.

    Brian.

  30. Thanks for the in-depth reporting ECT. I am pleased to always get up to the minute (truthful) information here. East county has been suffering from yellow journalism for too long. It’s no wonder your website has become such a success.

    It dawned on me that it must be tough to report on this stuff because no one likes it when someone else’s mistake reflects poorly on their own chosen profession. In this case, other news media. IMHO the press action reflects poorly on journalistic integrity which in turn causes people to question their honesty in delivering the news. Integrity is all a weekly publication has offer, without that they are nothing. East county is a small community and word travels quickly. It is a shame the journalist put everyone in a bad position. Trick or Treat? Ask yourself, who cares more about the people in East county, a supervisor from Contra Costa or a media person from Alameda?

    People are sure to question motives, as they should. Only time will tell.

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