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Letter to the Editor: A Message for Mike Ceremello & Some Thoughts About Measure N

"I am sure that I will, once again, be called a “cockroach” or maybe even something worse by Mike Ceremello as he continues to use his Musing’s column to denigrate me, Dixon Rotary, the City, and the good citizens of Dixon."

The following letter to the editor comes from Dixon resident Janice Beaman. 

Below is an unedited version of the article sent to the Independent Voice.

I’ve requested this be printed as submitted and to not edit it as the Independent Voice did.  This is in response to Mike Ceremello’s column in the Independent Voice on July 27, 2012. 

He has referenced numerous times in his Musings column that the Dixon Rotary Club is “a shadow government”.  As the Immediate Past President of Dixon Rotary, I would like to set the record straight that the Dixon Rotary Club is NOT, HAS NEVER BEEN, OR WILL EVER BE A POLITICAL ORGANIZATION.  It is in our international bylaws that we are not a political organization.  Yes, we have elected and appointed officials who are members, but we DO NOT talk about politics at our meetings.  Dixon Rotary is a Service Club that has fundraisers throughout the year to give back to the community.  Dixon Rotary has given back to the community over $200,000 in High School scholarships, to Dixon schools, 4th of July Fireworks displays, and much more in just the last five years.

Now switching hats as the Retired Dixon City Clerk, I am one that is opposing Measure N, the so-called “Open Governance Act” or Sunshine Ordinance.  After reading this proposed measure, I could not just sit back and let our community believe that the City of Dixon is keeping its citizens “in the dark”.  It is ALREADY open, honest, transparent, and responsive and is committed to following the Brown Act. 

Measure N wastes Taxpayers money by creating more bureaucracy by forming a new commission and takes money away from police and fire services and City maintenance.  If you haven’t noticed, our parks are looking pretty brown lately.  Measure N does nothing to make Dixon a better community.  As for those who signed the Ballot Argument against Measure N (Courtney Kett, Dan Ayala, Marime Burton, Mike Hagerman, and Dane Besneatte), they are all RESPECTED AND UPSTANDING members of this community who don’t deserve to be smeared in a newspaper.  Please VOTE NO on MEASURE N.  To help with the NO on Measure N campaign, send an email to:  no.on.measure.n@gmail.com.

I am sure that I will, once again, be called a “cockroach” or maybe even something worse by Mike Ceremello as he continues to use his Musing’s column to denigrate me, Dixon Rotary, the City, and the good citizens of Dixon.

Janice Beaman

Want to respond to this letter directly? You can post a blog on Dixon Patch with just a few clicks. Here you go: http://dixon.patch.com/blog/apply

Bil Paul August 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM
I beg to differ. Dixon's city government has not always been "open, honest, transparent and responsive." Case in point is signing a non-disclosure agreement with Genentech to not reveal the true nature of its research in Dixon. I'm sure others who have lived longer in Dixon than I have know of other non-transparency stuff.
Joe Knows August 19, 2012 at 02:54 PM
How does a letter to the editor make front page news? Is it because the editor is lazy?
Gary Erwin August 19, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Joe, I bet you have the where with all to write an article to entertain us all.
Jim Ernest August 19, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Janice is right. Thanks for standing up for our community Janice. We need things to move in a positive direction. Slamming each other in the paper is not getting it any more. We need leaders who have ideas for making Dixon a better place, and we need to get rid of those who spend all their time bickering.
C. Duncan August 19, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Thank you, Janice, for your letter. I too am voting NO on Measure N, which I have carefully read. (I am a cockroach with reading glasses). Count on my help to spread the word and if you need any help, let me know. Cindy Duncan
Justin Cox (Editor) August 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
This is a community hub where everybody is a part of the process. The idea that our editors are the only ones who should contribute to the front page is a thing of the past. This is an interactive site for the community. If you'd like to weigh in on this issue or any other, please do anytime: http://dixon.patch.com/blog/apply
Carol Pruett August 19, 2012 at 06:25 PM
I won't get into the debate on Measure N but I am going to defend Rotary. I am not sure why anyone would slam a club that does so much good for a community. I just had my second aniversary as a member of the Dixon Rotary Club. In the 2 years that I have been there, I have never once heard anyone speak of anything political. What I have seen is a really dedicated group of people from many many different types of business give so much of their time to making Dixon a wonderful community. You hear about the fireworks, scholarships,& other large community events Rotary donates to, but you don't hear about the weekly donations that they give to various organizations or citizens in need. I am very honored & proud to be a part of this organization.
Therese August 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I agree with Jim Ernest...and the 'positive direction' can be applied to all the elections this year! It is up to all of us to work toward that.
Sandee George August 19, 2012 at 07:33 PM
I am currently the secretary of the Dixon Rotary Club. I have never been involved in any kind of political discussions during our meetings. What I do see is a dedicated group of volunteers, that yes, like to have a good time while being 100% dedicated to giving back to the community and making it a better place that we all can be proud of.
Dane Besneatte August 20, 2012 at 01:10 AM
I am currently on the city council, I am a member of the Rotary, I adamantly oppose Measure N (for vote NO) but I am a staunch proponent of open government (I believe every legally permissible item should be handled in public), I have been vilified by that local publication and I am involved in local activites and events. I can say without hesitation that the Rotary Club does not discuss politics at meetings or events notwithstanding our positions. The attacks on Rotary are unfounded and without merit. The insults and criticism go with the territory but the truth is that we are members of the city and contribute and volunteer for the betterment of our city. I oppose the Measure N because drafters and proponents thereof have written it in a manner to gain an advantage, obstruct government funcitons, infuse themselves into the decision making without responsibiilty, ethical obligation or having to answer to the voters. The proposed ordinance is about giving a few people authority to inject themselves into the operations of the city without being elected to do so. Why aren't any of them (except Mike C) running for office? Any reasonable person that reads the language of Measure N will see it is not a good nor positive measure and should be rejected.
Trisha Seastrom August 20, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Jim. Janice's points are well made and she did not stoop to personally insulting anyone to make them, not even Mr Ceremello. Good minds and great leaders can disagree in a much more civil manner than we are seeing on the local and national stage.
Kerry Jacobs August 20, 2012 at 03:34 AM
"what is council member Beseneatte smoking? We have the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recs Commission members that have injected "themselves into the operations of the city without being elected to do so." These commissioners are "making decisions" for the citizens of Dixon "without responsibiilty (sic) ethical obligation or having to answer to the voters." Let's abolish these commissions since council member Beseneatte does not like to be told by the people he supposed to represent what to do. YES on Measure N." This is simply a no brainer ! This state is in a tailspin do to currupt politions who want their cake and eat it too ! With out anyone knowing...
Kerry Jacobs August 20, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Oh I almost forgot Romney Ryan 12 ! And dont bail out Ca, from their Liberal policies
Jack August 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Orianna want to play watchdog over everything the council does but she knows she would never be elected. Also her Ceremello pipeline to the secret plans may not be in the council very much longer so this is her way of putting her nose where it doesn't belong. BTW, is that other so-called newspaper prepared to give every candidate equal space to run a column where they can insult whoever disagrees with them and espouse their credentials for office?
Joe Knows August 21, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Justin - the editor should edit the front page. We (or maybe just me) want to read about news and not gossip. How does this piece qualify to make the front page? Why don't you get some intern reporters (college kids) to help you out instead of bloggers? Dixon is a small town. It shouldn't be that difficult.
Dane Besneatte August 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I find it interesting that the person who has the temerity to ask what I've been smoking goes on to display abject ignorance & a failure of comprehension. 1st of all, every commissioner is bound by the same conflicts laws, ethical canons & open government laws as the council. Our appt of them makes us and them responsible to those we serve. Measure N has no such rules for the sunshine commission & the commission would have authority to demand that the city pay for them to get a lawyer for them to sue the city & they have repeatedly threatened to sue. An even greater misstatement is the shameless, banal and baseless assertion that I 'do not like to be told by the people I'm supposed represent what to do' which is not even remotely true. A lack of facts coupled with a lack of intelligence can be a volitle mix when freedom of speech is being exercised publicly. Obviously, Mr. Jacobs does not follow city government or have any comprehension of what it entails and how it is supposed function. He sadly lacks knowledge about what and whom he writes. No other person on the Dais (Mr. Jacobs, that's the big wooden thing we sit behind) engages the public & is sensitive to the desires and demands as I am. Every bit of what I do as an elected public servant is to do just that...serve the public. Perhaps Mr. Jacobs will actually read Measure N with an open mind & try to understand what it portends. If he does (can?) he will see it is bad law and wrong for Dixon or any city. Vote NO on N!
Dane Besneatte August 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM
I find it interesting that the person who has the temerity to ask what I've been smoking goes on to display abject ignorance & a failure of comprehension. 1st of all, every commissioner is bound by the same conflicts laws, ethical canons & open government laws as the council. Our appt of them makes us and them responsible to those we serve. Measure N has no such rules for the sunshine commission & the commission would have authority to demand that the city pay for them to get a lawyer for them to sue the city & they have repeatedly threatened to sue. An even greater misstatement is the shameless, banal and baseless assertion that I 'do not like to be told by the people I'm supposed represent what to do' which is not even remotely true. A lack of facts coupled with a lack of intelligence can be a volitle mix when freedom of speech is being exercised publicly. Obviously, Mr. Jacobs does not follow city government or have any comprehension of what it entails and how it is supposed function. He sadly lacks knowledge about what and whom he writes. No other person on the Dais (Mr. Jacobs, that's the big wooden thing we sit behind) engages the public & is sensitive to the desires and demands as I am. Every bit of what I do as an elected public servant is to do just that...serve the public. Perhaps Mr. Jacobs will actually read Measure N with an open mind & try to understand what it portends. If he does (can?) he will see it is bad law and wrong for Dixon or any city. Vote NO on N!
Kerry Jacobs August 23, 2012 at 12:15 PM
Besneatte proves my point. He does not like to be told by the people he supposed to represent what to do. He is smarter than us. Belittling his constituents is what he does best. We all know what he has done for Dixon and it's citizens!!! We have been served! Mr. Jacobs sees a good law in YES ON MEASURE N and yes I did read it! Proudly I will join the droves of Dixonites who have read and have signed the Initiative and who will be voting YES on Measure N in November. If there had not been back room smoking mirror deals made in the Dixon council chambers already we wouldn't be talking about Measure N now would we?
The Great Libertarian August 30, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Sorry, folks, but once again the mis- and dis-information is being spread like manure on the old Dixon farm. First off, Janice Beaman's perception of reality must be questioned as she and the majority of opponents of this measure are status quo supporters. It was Beaman's and Warren Salmons' lack of leadership and openness including contrived excuses and outright interference that are the impetus behind the development of this Ordinance mainly "borrowed" from other jurisdictions who already have this workable legislation in place. Do you wonder what it is that Dane Besneatte doesn't want you to know? Or any of them for that matter? Exposing what goes on in closed session would not simply show strategies, it would show the pettiness of some of your leaders and belligerance of others, including Dane, in attempting to do their best for the citizens as well as staff. The bickering comment by Mr. Ernest demonstrates his delusion that governance can be conducted without heated debate. Bickering is also a two way street and, much like the tango, it takes at least two. Would you have the council simply rubberstamp legislation without discussion? I find Mr. Besneatte's comments once again to be disingenuous at best and a refusal to provide an alternative at worst. He, as well as the mayor and Rick Fuller, had months to offer an alternative. He complains that unelected people can direct the council. I suppose he doesn't like the Grand Jury either?
The Great Libertarian August 30, 2012 at 11:39 PM
I also find the need to address the comments of the Dixon Rotary Club members who are not part of the clique known as the "shadow government". For those of you not familiar with the latter, I only need to suggest to you that you need to review the video of the last city council meeting. While not all of them spoke, they were out in force that night attempting to denigrate an ordinance which will force government to conduct business on a much higher level. I find it extremely laughable that anyone involved with the Rotary can sit or stand there with a straight face and deny what goes on within their organization. Individuals know the rules of the Rotary but do not necessarily practice them. It is a fraternal organization, and, as such, is also a social encounter where people talk about many subjects including politics. I have many sources and they are not going to expose themselves for your pleasure but have given me quotes attributable to those at Rotary functions. Perhaps Ms. Pruitt is clueless or out of the loop. Others, as I have said, are not part of the clique. However, when those opposing an ordinance including the soon to be retired Steve Bird are all members of the same organization, an organization composed of many ex-officers of the city, it demonstrates at the very least that these people have not come to their conclusions of opposition independently. It seems that the loss of power is sticking in the craws of some. Call them death throes ...
The Great Libertarian August 30, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Your opinion is incorrect, Dane. Politics are discussed and efforts are made to influence elected officials as to their associations. Politics is a broad subject. No one is questioning the Rotary's contribution to the "betterment of our city". I am questioning their destructive influence in attempting to retain and now recapture their political power which is waning. I also find it extremely distasteful that members, or their wives, would attempt to destroy private businesses on the basis of their associations of political support. Given the comments attributed to Herb Cross when the old Fire House burned, despicable is too complimentary a term for use here. Your "club" may be able to "bribe" people into positive feelings, but personal interaction exposes the big LIE. I would rather belong to the Lions but unfortunately do not have the time. Big fish in a little pond being put on a diet ... that describes the Rotary to a tee ...
Kerry Jacobs August 31, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Right on ! Right on ! Right on ! Hey Please drop off a yard sign at my house.

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