|Shannon Yauchzee, Baldwin Park's CEO|
Picture Not Reflective of Real Age
At the heart of awarding multimillion dollar contracts to vendors without being transparent or providing a free market for city work is Shannon Yauchzee, Baldwin Park's current City Manager. The current City Manager said he was only following Yauchzee's recommendation to not abide by the law "to build team morale," (of course at the expense of the taxpayer).
For those of you who aren't familiar with the scam, what usually happens is that the city pays an overinflated price for a service to a private contractor - take for instance Baldwin Park's building of the Parking Structure. The City will pay an extraordinary amount, and even take a loan to pay for such a project. In return, the citizens are left with the bill. Hence, the reason taxes go up or the city levies higher fines or licensing fees. But to appear that everything is really in the city's best interest, the contractor will submit a low bid, and after the contractor gets the job, he'll start increasing the price of the services, either every 3 months or every year.
The promotion of the current City Manager, Shannon Yauchzee has been met with cynicism and pessimism. It's been alleged he has ties with Roger Hernandez, assemblyman from the West Covina district. Hernandez has married Susan Rubio, Baldwin Park Council Woman, in what's suspected to be a marriage of convenience. If it's not for the love, it's for the money. Another one of Hernandez's appointees is Robert Nacionales-Tafoya, Esq., aka Robert Tafoya, Robert Nacionales, and Robert Tafo. Tafoya defended Hernandez in a civil suit, where he allegedly punched his ex-girlfriend bloody and broken. It's also been discovered that Hernandez suspiciously lent Tafoya $75,000 in the form of a mortgage loan under the name of HernandezRoger. While Hernandez was on West Covina City Council, Hernandez appointed Tafoya as a commissioner.
But because Hernandez cannot control West Covina, he's set his eyes on Baldwin Park, by securing it through marriage and the promotion of his own people. In return, there's no doubt that Baldwin Park will be paying his select contractors - which is already has done with ROEM Development.
With that background, this LA Times article takes on a new light:
It was a bumbling city that didn't know how much it was collecting or spending. It signed large contracts without proper bidding and hired administrators without vetting their qualifications. Its city manager spent lavishly on meals and arrangements for council members with the city credit card. And it lost $1 million by selling a developer land it wasn't legally allowed to sell.
Read more: Audit finds massive financial mismanagement in West Covina
Signing off from Indonesia.