Letter: Childish tactics undermine campaign
Oct 25, 2012 | 1560 views | 15 15 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print

EDITOR,

The election for three seats on the Board of Directors of the Lompico Country Water District has become a contentious race. The three incumbents running for re-election, Bill Smallman, Rick Harrington and Lois Henry all support Lompico Water merging with San Lorenzo Valley Water District. They have adopted the phrase “stay the course” as their campaign slogan, promising to bring the decision to the community by means of a vote. The board cannot decide to merge with SLV Water District, although it can decide whether to proceed or not to bring it to a vote of the community. The candidates challenging the incumbents have all stated that they are against a merger, advocating that we should “keep local control.”  Fact is, SLV Water District is local. We live in San Lorenzo Valley.  What has prompted me to write this letter is continuous destruction of campaign signs.  Several have been removed or destroyed since they started going up. I personally witnessed someone associated with the challengers forcibly removing a “stay the course” sign from the “Welcome to Lompico” community board and destroying part of that community’s sign in the process. I can understand and accept that not everyone agrees with the incumbents’ platform; however, destruction of an opponent’s campaign sign is not only illegal, it’s poor sportsmanship. It appears to me that they cannot win a fair fight, so they must resort to sabotaging their opponents’ campaign. I think it’s rather childish and indicates a lack not only of character, but of integrity. Not someone I want controlling our water’s future. I say, let the facts speak for themselves, and the voters will decide whom they want to elect to the board.

Chris Frank, Lompico

Comments
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Lompico Resident
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October 29, 2012
Bill - You may want to let your campaign organizers know that the sign does not belong to you, but to the Community as their website implies just the opposite (following quote);

"On September 16, our website sign was added to Bill Smallman's Welcome to Lompico sign"

And your handlers keep talk about people that can't vote in the election as if they are non-enitities in the race, yet you have a "Supports The Merge" sign with endorsements from people who can't vote and several on your website that don't vote in Lompico.

So, that's ok because they support the merge right. But it's not ok for the SLVWD customer at the end of Lompico/Zayante to express his opinion.

Sounds a little tyrannical to me. or Stalinist (agree or else)or any other label you want to put on it.
Bill Smallman
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October 26, 2012
The "Welcome to Lompico" sign is the property of the entire community of Lompico, not just one group, myself or andy individual. I am not claiming ownership, and wish that people respect and share the space on whatever gets posted on the bulletin board. If you want to remove a sign, because it has been up a long time, or for whatever reason, a simple telephone call would suffice. I have contacted the County and they have no issues with this sign. It is on their property. I made the sign for the community and a lot of people have told me they like it a lot. In addition, people should post signs only on the bulletin board, not all over. I realize it is an election, so it's probably OK now, but it does look a little trashy from all of the signs an abandoned truck.
Duane Davis
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October 26, 2012
Yes, I did build the sign 1n 1996, but I never "donated" it to LCC. I did seek LCC's approval at that time, and they approved. You may of noticed, I did add a top piece which includes all of the very helpful local organizations in our community. I have never made any rules for the bulletin board, but I agree that there is a conflict of interest which may make it seem that any sign on the bulletin board is supported by these organizations. Therefore I agree that perhaps we should remove the "welovelompico" sign on the top, and allow all candidates the freedom to place signs on the bulletin board. There is room to place 4- 18" x 24" signs, we can place ours, yours gails and cheryls on it. fair enough? if not I will remove all political signs, because I agree with your assessment.
Duane Davis
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October 26, 2012
The above was an email I received from Bill Smallman on 8/29, almost a month ago. Last I looked the incumbents website sign was STILL attached to the Welcome to Lompico bulletin board.

Bill, who are people supposed to call? I don't see any name or phone number posted on the sign to indicate who is responsible for it. Are you saying that you are accepting responsibility and liability for it?

If, as you say, the sign belongs to the community what gives YOU the right to screw a political campaign sign to the top of the community's sign?

Bill_Smallman
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October 27, 2012
Duane,

I can take the "welovelompico" sign off today. I was going to work on the sign today anyway.
canyon resident
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October 29, 2012
Mr. Smallman stated in a email to Mr. Davis about putting the names of all the helpful local organizations here for the canyon on a sign. I am aware of most of these organizations and what they have done for our community except for one, Lake Blvd Association. Can someone please tell me are they even a real association and what all they have done for this community other than accept donations to have their road fixed? I have been in this canyon a long time and not once have I seen anything put on by them to help the community. Should they really have been included on the board?
Farmer Ted
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October 30, 2012
Information about the Lake Blvd Road Association can be found here:

http://lbra.kezeor.com/
canyon resident
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October 30, 2012
Farmer Ted,

thanks for the info but it doesn't answer my question on what have they done for the COMMUNITY other than having their road fixed. Since I could not find anything on their website giving me this information maybe you can tell me. Their website shows the last meeting minutes are back in 2005 and their financial statements are from 2004 and 2006. If they are in fact an association I would think they would keep better records than this. The way it looks to me is that they made up the title just to get donations to get their road fixed.
Debra Loewen
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November 02, 2012
Hi Farmer Ted- I think I get your joke: farmers and raking up dirt, sowing seeds of discord, plowing old ground...

But since it has cropped up again, I'm glad to field the question.

Thanks for the tip about old stuff on the webwsite, we do need to weed it out. No big news updates, but LBRA is thriving.

LBRA is a collective of very nice and down-to-earth people in the south end of the canyon, a great neighborhood in which I'm privileged to live. LBRA neighbors have common ground in understanding the importance of maintaining Lompico Canyon's second access; primarily to get first responders and fire engines into the Canyon in an emergency, as happens when Lompico Road is compromised. LBRA has a vibe that I believe represents the positive Spirit of Lompico that I think all canyon residents wish to cultivate, in all our neighborhoods.

Bill Smallman's hand-carved sign is BEAUTIFUL. It is an honor for LBRA to be included. Bill has set the bar high for all of us to work together as a community. I dig that.
canyon resident
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November 02, 2012
so then lake blvd association has done nothing other than provide another access out of the canyon. And in those few times that the canyon people have had to use it I have personally seen them being yelled at and threatened while in their vehicles, myself included. I have even seen some people refuse to move while coming down the hill forcibly making the uphill traffic back down the hill. People on lower lake are rude and mean. In my opinion the association shouldn't be listed on the board.
Farmer Ted
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November 03, 2012
Oh Deb, you have no idea, but thanks so much for the laugh, it made my day!
Duane Davis
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October 25, 2012
Long before the campaign signs went up "no merger" signs were being destroyed by the pro-merger crowd.

I've lost many signs myself. Just this evening I noticed my two signs at the corner of Zayante were gone and I had to replace them.

My wife personally saw Bill Smallman messing with one of Gail Jones's signs.

So don't make like the incumbents or their supporters are angels. They aren't.
Bill Smallman
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October 26, 2012
The only sign I ever touched of Gail's was one that I found face down by the Welcome sign, and I leaned it face up, next to it. I fished two of our signs out of the creek the day before yesterday.

The sign that was on the Welcome sign's bulletin board was ripped off with a crow bar by one of your direct supporters who was not only eye witnessed, but he admitted to the act. I guess it was a little too much trouble to either unscrew the sign, or call to object to it. There are no direct supporters of our campaign that are engaging in this activity.
Debra Loewen
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October 26, 2012
the anti-merger signs Duane refers to are not anyone's campaign signs, but have been up since about April-May 2012. They are the property of the adjacent landowner who is a customer of San Lorenzo Valley Water District, not Lompico's; the misleading words have confused many.

I found Gail's sign on a nearby hillside and placed it at the location precisely where Bill indicates, notifying Gail of it's recovery.

It isn't nice to say that about the incumbents and their supporters; there are many good people in Lompico who do not care for this.

Duane Davis
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October 26, 2012
Just because he's not a Lompico water customer doesn't mean he doesn't have the right to express his opinions. He is within his rights and within the law.

The pro-merger people, on the other hand had no right, and were breaking the law, when they went onto his property and destroyed/defaced his signs. This happened many times and it took him putting up a camera to put a stop to the destruction.

Bill Smallman attaching his campaign sign to the Welcome to Lompico sign, which also has the names of several non-profits on it, implies support by those organizations and is misleading and deceptive.

Bill Smallman making a sign for the community but then claiming the sign is still his and he has the right to do with it what he wants and put whatever he wants on it shows just what kind of person he is.

Over the years I have spent THOUSANDS of dollars of my own money on signs and materials for the park. This is money I DONATED to the community. I would never even think about trying to reclaim these donated items. I'm not that kind of person.

The person that was trying to take the sign down was under the impression that the Welcome to Lompico sign belonged to the community and felt that it wasn't appropriate to have campaign signs attached to it. He may not have approached the issue in the best way but I am in agreement with his reasoning. Had Gail or Cheryl attached their signs to the Lompico sign I would have asked them to take them down and I have not attached any of my signs to it for the same reasons.

I have made it my policy not to touch signs belonging to any other candidate without that candidates express permission and, with the exception of this one case, have no knowledge as to who is tampering with the signs.

However, the point I was originally trying to make is that blaming all the tampering on the challengers is disingenuous and does not at all reflect reality. Tampering has been done by supporters of both sides.


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