Single Page Text Only - 04/19/14

Frank Ury Loses It
by Larry Gilbert

What happened yesterday [April 16]? A group of 70 people expected a casual brunch at a San Juan Capistrano country club and ended with fireworks.

Apparently, a resident attending that brunch debate, which included Board of Supervisors candidates, asked Mission Viejo city councilman Frank Ury a rather easy question. She had a copy of the April Community Common Sense article written by me in which the Liberty First blog had given Frank an average grade of 69% for his voting between 2009 and 2011. Instead of defending his voting record, attendees told me he reacted with anger and went on the attack. Councilman Ury said the article was ghost-written by a supporter of Robert Ming named Chris Emami when in fact I wrote that report and submitted it to the publisher.

This was an opportunity for Ury to defend his vote, but that is not what happened. He blasted the Liberty First Scorecard, stating that the CCS was not credible, and he called the newspaper "rubbish."

Councilman Ury had a problem. He was in a box and knew it. When you can't defend yourself, go on the attack.  My article quoted directly from the Feb. 1, 2010, (Agenda item #7) city council meeting held the night before the (successful) Recall of mayor Lance MacLean. Member Ury promoted a key revision to the city manager's Employment Agreement's provisions relating to causes of termination. The City Manager could be terminated should he engage in "dishonesty, fraud, self-dealing, and willful misconduct committed in the performance of Wilberg's duties and responsibilities under this Agreement." Every one of those clauses was removed from the revised Contract. That was the only change in that 6th Agreement that is typically renewed between May and June 30th.

At the conclusion of the April 16 event, the president of the Capo Valley Republican Women Federated stated that "As long as I am the CVRWF president, that kind of remark has no place here." Readers can disagree with the OC Register the LA Times or CCS but that does not make the paper "rubbish."

Closing remarks. In my public testimony of Feb. 1, 2010, questioning the city manager’s Contract revision, I read an email response to the proposed amendment from attorney and former Fullerton Mayor Sean Nelson. He wrote: "The time for negotiation is prior to entering into an Agreement. The re-negotiation should have, at a minimum, some concessions on the part of the City Manager. May I ask, what has he offered in exchange for this benefit. If the answer is nothing, the renegotiation at this point would be completely improper." There were no concessions from the City Manager. I shared that email some time prior to the Feb. 1, 2010, Mission Viejo city council vote. 

Motion made by Council Member Ury, seconded by Mayor Pro Tem Kelley, to incorporate changes presented by Mr. Wilberg and his attorney and accept them in total.

On roll call, said motion carried by the following vote:
Kelley, MacLean, and Ury
Ledesma and Schlicht

Wendy Bucknum Campaign Update
Part 12, a memo written by Bucknum resurfaces

Wendy Bucknum’s past has come back to bite her. Bucknum, a candidate in the November election for the Mission Viejo city council, is a professional lobbyist for the housing industry. Bucknum’s agenda to enrich special interest was exposed in an incisive article in the April edition of Community Common Sense,

A memo written by Bucknum in 2012 resurfaced last week in which she outlines her own liabilities. The occasion was her attempt to get the Or. Co. GOP Central Committee’s endorsement as a council candidate. She wrote to an elected official, giving him “talking points” to read on her behalf during the endorsing meeting. The official didn’t make comments during the meeting because the committee decided early in the discussion not to involve itself in the Mission Viejo council race.

Bucknum’s memo provided attempts to cover her backside. The first two issues should have been deal-killers for any Republican Central Committee member. Bucknum’s list of her own liabilities included:

  • Campaigning [in two elections] for a Democrat, including an effort to defeat the OC GOP slate of endorsed candidates
  • Her denial of supporting a labor union despite putting their yard sign in front of her house
  • Denials of being “immoral and unethical” [her words, her memo] in “the PCM issue at Laguna Woods” and the “Nadadores alleged sex scandal” [The accused coach was banned for life from working with children in swim clubs – it wasn’t just an allegation.]
  • Numerous references to her connections with elected officials as a lobbyist.

Bucknum’s ongoing liability appeared to escape her in 2012 when she was bragging about her lobbying job. She didn’t know then, but she knows now – her lobbying prowess and accomplishments don’t appear anywhere in her 2014 campaign for a council seat. When anyone refers to her as a lobbyist for the housing industry, she lately calls it “negative campaigning and bullying.”

Non-government Events

Following is a sampling of events and activities that are not funded by taxpayers or promoted by the Nanny State. Please support private enterprise and non-profit groups.

Big Bucks Bingo, Wednesdays, 6:15 p.m. early bird and 6:45 p.m. regular games, Mission Viejo Elks Lodge, Marguerite and La Paz, Mission Viejo, 949-830-3557.

California Wine Festival, Fri.-Sat., Apr. 25-26, Dana Point. Sunset Rare & Reserve Wine Tasting on Fri., 6:30 p.m., Laguna Cliffs Marriott Reserve & Spa; Beachside Wine & Food Fest on Sat., 1:00 p.m., Lantern Bay Park,

Laguna Playhouse presents “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” with Leslie Caron and David Engel, from Apr. 26-June 8, 606 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, (949) 497-2787, ext. 1,

At Soka University on Sat., Apr. 26, 8:00 p.m., Midori solo violin recital; on Sun., Apr. 27, 3:00 p.m., “Sundays at Soka” featuring the Pacific Symphony, Soka Performing Arts Center, 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo, (949) 480-4278,

First Thursday Art Walk, Laguna Beach, Thurs., May 1, 6:00 p.m., member galleries throughout Laguna Beach, including the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive at North Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971,

Mount of Olives Church SHARE Food Drive on Sun., May 4, (first Sunday of each month) helps families in crisis, . Mount of Olives Church, 24772 Chrisanta Drive, Mission Viejo, (949) 837-7467,

Mariachis at the Mission, Sat., May 10, 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.; second Saturday of each month, 26801 Ortega Hwy, San Juan Capistrano, (949) 234-1300,

La Vida Drum Circle, Wed., May 14, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m., group meets on the evening of every full moon (June 13, July 12, etc.). Drummers should bring their drums. Firewood is appreciated for the bonfire, Aliso Beach, Aliso and Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, (949) 275-7544,

St. Kilian’s Recycling Drive, Sat., May 17, 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, held on the third Saturday of each month. Organized by Knights of Columbus; acceptable items include aluminum, paper and plastic. No glass or cardboard. Lower parking lot, 26872 Estanciero Drive, Mission Viejo, (949) 472-1249,

Cabrillo Playhouse, Sun., May 18, 6:00 p.m., “Local Sunday Sessions,” every third Sunday, three local musical acts, 202 Avenida Cabrillo, San Clemente, (949) 492-0465,

Political and Government Events Calendar

Saddleback Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees will hold a board meeting “if necessary” on Tues., Apr. 22, 6:30 p.m. The next Regular Meeting is on Tues., May 13, 6:30 p.m. The board meets in the district building, 25631 Peter Hartman Way, Mission Viejo, (949) 586-1234,

Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees will hold a Special Board Meeting on Wed., Apr. 23, 5:45 p.m., followed by the Regular Meeting. Special Board meetings will also be held on Fri., Apr. 25, with the closed session beginning at 5:45 p.m., and on Sat., Apr. 26, with the closed session beginning at 8:00 a.m., 33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano.Agenda and supporting documentation are published on the website 72 hours prior to a meeting, (949) 234-9200,

Nixon Library concert on Sun., Apr. 27, the Sounds of Grace Handbell Choir directed by Marilyn Scranton. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and music begins at 2:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Nixon Library, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., Yorba Linda, (714) 364-1120,

Orange County Board of Supervisors will hold a regular meeting on Tues., Apr. 29, 9:30 a.m., Board Hearing Room, First Floor, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 834-3100,

SOC912 will meet on Thurs., May 1, 7:00 p.m. The program topic will be “Let’s Celebrate America! – One Nation Under God!” No charge to attend; donations are requested to help pay for costs. Light refreshments. The group meets at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo

Moulton Niguel Water District meetings: Personnel and Salary on Wed., May 7, 9:00 a.m.; Engineering and Operations on Mon., May 12, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Finance and Information Technology on Wed., May 14, 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.; Board of Directors on Thurs., May 15, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., MNWD Main Office, 27500 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel, (949) 831-2500,

Santa Margarita Water District meetings: Board of Directors on Wed., May 7, 7:00 p.m.; Engineering Committee on Fri., May 16, 7:30 a.m.; Finance Committee will meet on Fri., May 23, 7:30 a.m., 26111 Antonio Parkway, Rancho Santa Margarita, (949) 459-6420,

Rush Limbaugh Club of Orange County will meet on Sat., May 10. Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m., and the program runs from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Cost is $15 for breakfast or the program only for $5.00. The club pays for first-time attendees' breakfast or attendance fee. Casta del Sol Golf Clubhouse, 27601 Casta Del Sol Road, Mission Viejo, (714) 235-1430,

The Mission Viejo Chapter of ACT! for America will hold a General Meeting on Mon., May 12. Doors open at 7:00 p.m. The meeting starts promptly at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m., at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo.

OC Veterans Advisory Council, Wed., May 14, 6:00 p.m. The council meets on the second Wednesday of each month. Veterans Service Office, Conference Room A/B, 1300 S. Grand Ave., Building B, Santa Ana,

Capistrano Valley Republican Women Federated, Wed., May 21, 9:00 a.m., at the Marbella Country Club, 30800 Golf Club Drive, San Juan Capistrano. CVRWF meets on third Wednesdays of most months. CVRWF meets on third Wednesdays of most months. Call (949) 240-6799 for reservations,

Saddleback Republican Assembly, Thurs., May 22, 7:00 p.m. Guest speaker David Whitley will present the program on Common Core. SRA meets on third Thursdays (except in July, August and December) at the Norman P. Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. For information call (949) 769-1412.

The Buzz

An informative program about Common Core state standards for education will be presented on Sat., Apr. 26, at 6:30 p.m., Calvary Chapel, 330 W. 6th Street, Tustin. From the invitation: “Learn about dangers to your children’s education and future.” On the panel will be Professor Emerita Sandra Stotsky, Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute and Lydia Guiterrez, who is a candidate for California Superintendent of Public Instruction. Read more:


SOC912 is presenting a series of programs on first Thursdays of the month, “Let’s Celebrate America! – One Nation Under God!” The next meeting will be on May 1, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p,.m., at the Norman Murray Community Center, 24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo. Enjoy an opportunity to gain wisdom and enjoy live music while praising God with fellow patriots. No charge to attend, but donations help pay for costs. Light refreshments.


Aliso Viejo Republican Women Federated will host congressional candidate Greg Raths as guest speaker for its meeting on Thurs., Apr. 24, 6:30 p.m. From the announcement, Retired Marine Colonel Greg Raths “is a fiscally conservative candidate who believes in a smaller, leaner federal government, lower taxes and a strong national defense. He is running to replace Congressman John Campbell, who is retiring.” Also on the program is OC Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley, who will talk about what’s new in the voting process. AVRWF meets at the Aliso Viejo Conference Center, 31 Santa Barbara Drive, Aliso Viejo. RSVP to Brenda Cooper, (949) 859-5607, for this event, which is a dinner meeting.


Read an article on this week’s blog about Councilman Frank Ury getting a smack-down after he went into a rage at a candidate forum hosted by Capistrano Valley Republican Women Federated. A forum attendee reported, “The audience of South County residents witnessed Frank Ury making nasty comments and having a temper tantrum. As a candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors, he would have been far better off if he had stayed home. During the forum, the two candidates who got the best response were Robert Ming for Orange County Board of Supervisors and Greg Raths for Congress. They got the longest and loudest rounds of applause during and at the end of their comments.”


How serious a problem is city hall’s buffoonery in using city tax dollars to fund a week-long party for professional athletes in Mission Viejo? The event took place last November, and it was also known as the International Tennis Foundation’s Wheelchair Tennis Tournament. Councilwoman Cathy Schlicht repeatedly asked City Manager Dennis Wilberg for ALL expenses related to hosting the tournament. Last July 1, Wilberg told the council it wouldn’t cost the city anything to host the event. His statement clearly wasn’t true at the time, as any “free” use of a taxpayer-owned facility comes at a cost to taxpayers. After six months of being pressed to release figures on the cost, Wilberg admitted the total was a quarter-million dollars, and more than $100,000 of taxpayer money hasn’t been reimbursed. Despite his claim of releasing all data, additional information is still popping up, and staff time has never been accounted for.


Post by Mission Viejo city watchdog Larry Gilberg, forwarded to this blog: In the next few weeks we will receive the absentee and sample Ballots along with a ton of candidate literature for the June primary election. I urge you to question the self-promoting literature. Start by looking into candidates’ voting records if they have served in public office.

At a recent forum of candidates for the 5th District County Board of Supervisors seat, I picked up a 4 x 9 inch card for Mission Viejo councilman Frank Ury for OC BOS. Quoting from the card. "Frank Ury has proven his willingness and ability to rein in government spending and reform public pensions to protect Orange County taxpayers. We endorse Frank Ury."

That statement is from the OC Taxpayers Association, OCTAX. This good old boys and girls club never bothered to do any homework before granting that endorsement so I'll do it for them.

Having pleaded with Frank Ury and the Mission Viejo city council against wasting taxpayer funds on a Tournament of Roses float to celebrate our city’s 20th birthday, prior to issuance of the contract to Fiesta Floats, let me give you the rest of the story.

Forget my lengthy series of Orange Juice blog posts about our spending $300,000 for a float, plus another $50,000 for food, transportation, event shirts and pins in the Jan. 1 2009 Rose Parade. Perhaps the OCTAX leaders missed the Aug 24, 2008, OC Register story about this waste of taxpayer funds or the Jan 1, 2009, OC Register Editorial titled "The Spendthrift City Award for 2008."

Quoting from the 2009 Editorial, "Some of the local residents have complained about the spending, such as community activist Larry Gilbert, who told the Register that this isn't the time to spend so much money,...Mr. Gilbert is right about reckless spending, which is even more offensive given that most of the current council members came to power promising a change from the city's past big-spending ways."

In closing. Frank Ury was a member of that city council majority. On Aug. 28, 2008, I sent a letter to the president of Fiesta Parade Floats that closed as follows: "It is sad that actions taken by our city council majority, or their delays in taking action, have dragged your fine, well-established firm into this ugly picture of incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility. Every city that I contacted is well on their way with their 2009 floats and they have active fundraising to offset taxpayer funding. That is not the case in MV." Mayor Pro Tem Frank Ury responded to Mr. Estes with an attack on my activism opposing this event that he actively supported during the recession.

The August 24, 2008, Register quotes my Juice post about the city of Anaheim's floats stating: 'We are not a destination, have no Angel stadium, convention center or Disneyland theme park to promote." Let me add that we did not have any new housing tracts or apartments to market.

Voters. I would reject any political endorsement from OCTAX.

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