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If Measure N Passes "We Are Done" - Morning View CEO Carissa Carpenter

Carissa Carpenter answers questions regarding Morning View's opposition to Measure N, offering changes to the Measure that would make it suitable for business.

Carissa Carpenter shared the following release that explains why Morning View, LLC opposes Measure N as it is currently written. Morning View is exploring the possibility of building a large movie studio in the area pictured on the right. 

Here's the Q&A Carpenter shared with Dixon Patch. The questions were posed by Morning View, not us. This is an effort on their part to clarify their stance:  

Why have you been trying to work with the people behind Measure N?

Moring View has stated from the start we want to be part of the community and that means working together on matters that are important to the community.  Additionally, we believe in open and transparent government.  However, businesses, more so our industry must maintain a level or privacy and confidentiality regarding how we build and operate.  We welcome openness in how we work with the city but cannot disclose corporate financial records, corporate proprietary information and our trade secrets to the public.

When did you start discussions?

As soon as we were aware of Measure N [we] started a discussion with the City and then Council.  I think this was just a few days after our first press conference.  We have peaked in our efforts to reach out last Monday the 10th.

Who have you been reaching out to?

A wide range of people in Dixon at first as we tried to understand the background and need for Measure N.  We reached out to the Mayor and City Manager.  Councilmember Ceremello has been in constant contact but it was not very productive.  While I have had to attend to other personal and business matter, Robert and Mike were in contact with Terry Francke and later with Ourania.

What was the subject?

It was centered on how Measure N makes it impossible to build and operate.  I do not want to go line by line – that is out there.  We wanted to sit down and discuss it with them and, as I wrote in my letter, work with them to remove the impacts.  I feel if they could hear it from the perspective of a CEO that must have privacy and confidentiality in operating a business that they would understand.  We are not like all other businesses but I know other’s that require much more privacy then us and there is no way they would look at Dixon under Measure N.  That was the subject.

What was your offer or suggestion?

We could never set up the meeting to personally present our suggestion so we had to do it by email.  First we asked that at the Oct. 15th Measure N forum Ourania state that she is recommending a No on N so the impacts to businesses could be addressed.  We recommended that following be considered:

12.01.02 “In case of requirements inconsistent with the Brown Act, the California Public Records Act or other statutes the requirement which would result in greater transparency or accommodation of timely and convenient public access shall apply” Due to the Measure’s sections 12.01.08 and 12.01.21 inconsistencies are created and this section, to the reader, appears to increase the need and allows for greater disclosure via a reduction of exempt documents.  If the words “transparency or” were removed, one could read this as an effort for “greater accommodation of timely and convenient public access”.  Again, the reader identifies two subjects – transparency in what documents/records are disclosed and – access in viewing those documents/records.  Additionally, if it was written clearly “that nothing shall be construed to require disclosure of records currently exempt under the California Public Records Act”

It was our hopes the public could then discuss the merits of our request. 

What has been the response?

For many days we expressed our concerns and were told we did not understand the law.  Then it moved to providing a solution to which there was no reply.

Again, Ourania did not respond to our rest to meet and we have no additional contact. 

However, Councilmember Ceremello placed an item on the agenda of his own, without our knowing.  Once we reviewed the agenda we appreciated the effort to fix the problem with a resolution but the effort was of doubtful legality if Measure N past. 

So I guess the answer to the question is not much other than you are wrong and silence.  We do find it disconcerting we cannot sit down and talk with Ourania and Terry.

Do you think your view on Measure N is flawed?

No way.  We have a large diverse team and each of us read it the same way and so do each of our attorneys.  I can see why one public speaker said Measure N is also the attorney employment act.

I was in for surgery for the Oct. 9 council meeting and had to watch it from the city’s website later, see open government is a good thing, and was yelling at the computer screen when the City Attorney agreed with us.  I felt vindicated but also really worried.  The City Attorney confirmed Dixon under Measure N would not be able to withhold any of the public records they can current opt to withhold.

I wish they would have held that meeting a month ago!

Do you expect the Ourania Riddle to accept Morning View’s offer?

We only received an email reply that she will not turn my back on the people who signed the petition and all her supporters.  She does not see any reason why Morning View cannot proceed with project and provide the “jobs and the positive economic impact” this project will bring to Northern California.  Ourania also believes I was approached to say that Measure N will kill the studio in order to change public opinion against of the measure.  Ourania is going to forgo meeting with us and take chances with the voters. 

I am troubled she will not sit and talk with me and believes I cannot comprehend the impacts of her Measure on my business, that we are just a pawn in the campaign.

So with that mindset, and the failure to even sit and talk, no I do not expect agreement to resolution.

What are your plans short-term?

The Moring View team wishes to pursue other locations. However, I have heard the type of Measure has been presented to other cities.  If that is the case, we might not be able to locate in California.  My desire was to join the community and remain on the sidelines on Measure N.  I want to locate in Dixon and don’t want to see business flee so I have no choice to side with the No on N effort and do what I can.

What if Measure N passes?

We are done.  Our team has said no way, move on.  We might have to look seriously if we can find another California location but are concerned this type of Sunshine Ordinance might spread in the State.  We will have to reconsider our options.  I do not want to focus any energy to that until Nov. 7th.

Will you move forward if the voters reject Measure N?

If the voter reject it by a wide margin they we will hit the ground running Nov. 7th.  We are ready to purchase the land and start the process with the city.  However, if the vote is really close… I don’t want to be holding my breath until the next election or having a yearly fight on my hands.  We need to take a good look around and evaluate what is happening in other cities and then look at the options.

J.r. Hesseltine October 17, 2012 at 12:29 AM
lets just face it , morning view is and will use this as a way out ... i have known about this measure for almost a year now and you are telling me that they at the last minute finding out this info even if they get a wide marign you mark my word it will be excuse after excuse
Steve Steiert October 17, 2012 at 03:55 AM
24 hours later: CRICKETS. Just one real, current problem that can't be solved using the existing Brown Act and Public Records Act.
Bil Paul October 17, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Mike Smith, you mentioned that blueprints are currently not disclosed by the city. First of all, blueprints aren't used any more -- that is a duplication technique no longer used. I suppose that "architectural drawings" would be a more correct term. Secondly, architectural drawings are currently disclosed by the city. I should know -- after requesting them, I was shown them for two projects -- for a privately owned building and for a city project. However, you can't see drawings that would reveal trade secrets or security systems. I would hope that the term "trade secrets" wouldn't be stretched to include all broom closets and meeting rooms, etc. A business's right of privacy should be balanced by the public's right to know what uses a building will be put to and how well it is designed in terms of safety concerns, etc.
Bil Paul October 17, 2012 at 04:29 AM
By the way, this Q&A from Morning View is poorly written in places. Doesn't speak well for their professionalism. Morning View basically asked the creators of Measure N to renounce their measure, since it was too far along to make incremental changes that Morning View wanted. It's no surprise that the creators wouldn't agree to that.
Jill Orr October 17, 2012 at 06:00 AM
I believe that if Measure N passes every business considering coming to Dixon will run for the hills and there will go much needed jobs in this community. We should all be prepared for the next Measure asking all of us to go naked so if anyone had plastic surgery the right to know people could see if it was real or not . This is one thing that has gone to far in this town, I hope the voters will realize the cost and harm this will bring if it passes and vote No to this measure as it will kill the town that we all call our home.
Kerry Jacobs October 17, 2012 at 06:36 AM
If anyone is on the fence about how you will vote on measure N on November 6th then please follow this link and Join me in an open Government in Dixon by voting YES On measure N. hallelujah people !! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-4w9gKlR3U
Steve Steiert October 17, 2012 at 02:25 PM
Kerry, care to take on my challenge? Proponents of Measure N want to radically change the way the City conducts its business. I assume Proponents feel there are pressing problems that require this initiative. Proponents, would you please fill-in this sentence: (and be as specific as possible; no vague statements like “we want an open government that respects the rights of the citizens.”) Dixon faces a problem of _______________________ that section __________ of Measure N will solve by ______________________________.
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:28 PM
Bil, please don't confuse Mike Smith with the facts. Or for that matter Steiert or Erwin. You are absolutely correct in your points. I will be making other points throughout this blog.
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:29 PM
I believe this is a re-run of the interview that the Dixon Tribune did. I perceive that the Patch is simply their strictly online version supplemented with the Trib's facebook page. And again you are right in your assessments...
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Jill, you should stick to bringing in train stations with no train stop from your childhood and leave the critical thinking to those who can. If you can't distinguish between public business and private business, you really don't have a clue ...
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:40 PM
Steve, how many do you want? When was the last time a settlement claim over litigation was announced after it was finalized? Has the mayor ever not allowed individuals to speak their piece? The answer to this one is yes, even for Batchelor who does a better job than most but who gets cranky late at night and then silences not only the public but the council. The public's business is to be conducted in public. As the I-pads the council uses have the capability to receive email, council members can not be trusted to not use this function. And texts have been received while the council is in session. It is not a company's right to hide from the public or competitors when interested in locating in Dixon. Did you know that Bass Pro shops or Cabela's was looking here at one time but concessions were refused? Don't you think the public might have wanted to weigh in on this? Finally, during the major opponent's occupation of city hall, that would be Janice Beaman but also applies to Warren Salmons, there was a refusal to comply with the Public Records Act which states all records are available during normal business hours. It is one thing to have a question about whether a record is public or not, and quite another thing to make the process as cumbersome as possible to drive the public away. It shouldn't take ten days and two is appropriate if records are indexed and easily accessible. I seriously doubt any of this makes a difference to you, Steve ...
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Gary, just answer me this. How is it possible for the film industry to operate in San Francisco with such an onerous "sunshine" ordinance? The wording is essentially the same and so is the intent. Gary, you work in the industry in that city. How about contacting those involved with film shoot permitting and get back to us why this isn't a problem for them but is for Carissa Carpenter. You would be better off focusing on Dixon and its governance than a pie in the sky development which now appears to want to control how our government operates. This was the only concern I had with this project when it was presented to me. I don't want Dixon to be a "company" town. It appears that is exactly what they want and will create by "buying" their way into our hearts and souls. Better to vote YES ON MEASURE N and keep what little self respect you still have ...
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:46 PM
She knows more than you could ever learn
The Great Libertarian October 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Anything to get a job for your union brethren, eh Mike? As stated below by Bil Paul, some things are public record and others are not. "Exposing the location of a room?" Didn't Carpenter have the location of all of the buildings up on the wall for all of us to see at their initial presentation? Whose business is it where a safe is located? I am not aware of "permitting" relative to one of those. You are grasping at straws as usual. To answer your last question, Morning View should not be concerned because the exact same sections of the ordinance exist in San Francisco where filming is done. All the misinterpretation in the world by you or Carpenter's attorneys will not change any of these facts. And the biggest fact is that no trade secret should be part of any city permitting process in the first place. Considering your inability to comprehend what is public information and what is not, related to closed session material, your reticence to inform the public with information to which they are entitled, and your continued association with past elected officials and city staff intent on "hiding" from the public, you have no credibility here at all.
Jack October 22, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Mikey, Mikey, Mikey ... We are not a democracy and if everything the city council considers has to wait for the "Public" to all agree nothing would ever get done. (Similar problem with a loudmouth 'do it my way or I'll trash you in my column' but that's another problem we'll get rid of in November). We elect (for the most part) respectable, reliable, and thinking individuals to do what's best for our city. If Mrs. Riddle want to know what the city councli is doing why hasn't she had the courage to run for the office herself. Or is she like her husband who wanted to run the city finances from a small backdoor position of treasurer without understanding what a real treasurer is supposed to do, maybe it's a family thing but I digress. As far as Morning View goes, it doesn't make a difference what you or anyone else thinks. Bottom line, if they interpret Measure N to be a problem they have the right to walk away. Note that even you stated that in SF's ordinance "The wording is essentially the same and so is the intent." Essentially the same and Exactly the same can be world's apart and it's not your call if their lawyers see a difference. Now you can return to your little closet and insult some more of us.
The Great Libertarian October 22, 2012 at 10:58 PM
Jack, you don't know jack, Jack, the Hack I never stated we were in a democracy but then you digress. We are a constitutional republic electing those who would represent us and our views. This is an imperfect system as we who represent others can't make everyone happy even part of the time. Evidently you miss the point that debate, something you and your friends hate, is the point of public meetings and not the rubber stamping that has gone on for years. You elect "thinking" individuals? Is that what you call what they do? No, Jack, you get together in your little smoky backroom and hatch your little, and I do mean little, plans for the rest of us. The closest you come to a thought is deciding what you will have for breakfast in the morning. The same old trite tripe of "run for office if you think you can do better" is wearing thin. What you and the rest of your peckerwood generation needs to do is go back underground where you belong and just see the capability of real leaders. Ourania could do a better job than any of your bad old boy buddies. cont -
The Great Libertarian October 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM
cont - Back to Morning View, when you are arguing semantics and disagreeing over the definition of opaqueness, it doesn't matter if you call it "whatever gives the most public access" or add the word "transparency". In your little mind, even you should be able to figure that out. As I said, they have no problem filming in SF and they would have none here. But that isn't your real intent. The intent of the lie is to kill Measure N. Good luck with that. We see through your bs, BJ ...
Gary Erwin October 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM
San Francisco has no “Movie Studios” they shoot movies on location and they have spaces that are rented out every few years as temporary studio space but they have no “Studios” like what are proposed in Dixon. The Dixon project is totally different. Dixon will have studios designed and built for one purpose “production” they will be owned and operated as studios not warehouse space temporarily made into a studio space. There is a big difference…when a production comes to San Francisco it is known who and what is being shot because they can’t hide it. On location shooting is impossible to hide because it is done in front of the public or within view. Imagine shooting some sort of Sci Fi flick do you want everyone to know what you are shooting and who is in it? Not if you want the element of surprise. You want rumors to flow yes but in order to get the big “BANG” you want things quiet. If you want the studio, the jobs, and the additional revenue for your business or the extra tax dollars for the City, County and State you need to vote No on Measure N. They want a clear victory on this measure in order to have a clear mandate from the public. The Studio has already promised to help write a Sunshine ordinance once we vote this down. Let’s get the Studio built and get sure footing for our future then we can revisit the Sunshine Ordinance. Help save the town, vote it down, No on Measure N.
Gary Erwin October 23, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Mike, The films shot in San Francisco are generally location work. This is totally diffrent that Studio work. What is proposed for Dixon is Apples to San Francisco Oranges. Sorry, I can't and won't give up on this project until it is built or they throw in the towel. As to your Measure N, it's a mess Mike and I'm not going to be a part of voting that mess in. A cleaner more focused Sunshine Law, okay...not this though.
Steve Steiert October 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Libertarian: Let me see if I have this straight. "The public's business is to be conducted in public. As the I-pads the council uses have the capability to receive email, council members can not be trusted to not use this function. And texts have been received while the council is in session." Would you extend your paranoia to include every web site visited by a councilman that may be related to a topic before the council? every conversation related to city business? every thought? Also, in the spirit of openness and sunshine, how about telling us your real name?
Steve Steiert October 23, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Libertarian: "When was the last time a settlement claim over litigation was announced after it was finalized?" Did you have one in mind? A specific please. So every decision made by the City must come before the public? Yeah that will really speed things up. "Did you know that Bass Pro shops or Cabela's was looking here at one time but concessions were refused? Don't you think the public might have wanted to weigh in on this?" I'll assume you are correct (you seem confused about which retailer) and I'll answer. So for comparison, a pizza parlor owner from Vacaville comes to city hall to ask about permits in Dixon. I assume you want the public to know about this? REALLY. NO. I don't feel the need to "weigh in" on a "potential" business coming to Dixon. We elect city council members. The city council selects a city manager. The city manager selects his team to run the city. If I don't like the direction of the city, I have several options: 1. recall the council members 2. vote for a slate of candidates every two years that reflect my views I'll say it again, Measure N is a solution in search of a problem.
Gary Erwin October 23, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Mike, I have tons of self respect. The way I see it; the town is going to grow, knowing this why not add some high paying jobs in an industry that will bring millions of dollars into our local economy. The Studio is better on that land than the housing projects that were slated. The Studio will have an Ag buffer and will be a low density green build, sounds good to me. Gotta be honest, I think you turned coat on the subject of the Studio the moment it came into conflict with your Measure N. This really jerked my chain and I had to re evaluate you and your motivations. If you want to talk about self respect look at what you did to Carissa and the Studio. You were for it….you were knee deep into it and then you discovered the conflict…and you jumped ship on them and turned your coat. I’ve been writing about this project since March and I’m not giving up on them because I believe that it is a great opportunity for the town and I’m not going to jump ship or turn my coat because this hand of cards is worth the wait.
The Great Libertarian October 23, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Come on Steve, not even you can be that dense. You asked for an example and I provided one. You don't like that, then don't ask your questions. And, yes, they cannot be trusted NOT to use this function as already demonstrated. Your second sentence is interesting. Visiting web sites during a council meeting is not prohibited, but could be entertaining to the public. "every conversation related to city business" is prohibited by law if more than two members of the agency on a five member board speak. That one is known as a "serial meeting" and is prohibited in the Brown Act. There is already enough non-thinking occurring so we definitely shouldn't prohibit that although I don't know how either speaking or thinking relate to I-pads and their use. Understanding you went to Bizerkly, it is no wonder you are confused. Publius is my brother and Mark Twain my first cousin. So .... no ...
The Great Libertarian October 23, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Steve, Litigations? There were several were the council paid out money. You can start with the firehouse fracas of Ed Tubbs and Joy Williamson. Every decision made by the council "must come before the public". It is already required but it is being evaded. We aren't into speed. What's the rush? Don't discount how others would run meetings compared to Courville or Batchelor. The retailer was never identified positively but both names were mentioned by a member of staff who told me it was all hush hush. Why Steve? We didn't get them anyway. I am not saying that every business that wants to locate in Dixon is everyone's concern. What I am saying is if a member of the public is interested in knowing, they should be able to find out. You are an elitist telling people what they should want to know about and to what they are entitled. Shame on you. The last bit is typical liberal redundancy. You and Joseph Goebbels have a lot in common. "Keep telling the lie long enough and people will begin to believe it." So it is with your lie about Measure N ... or maybe you just want to be blind to the need?
Jack October 23, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Mikey, What is truly frightening about the measure is the part about letting anyone speak before the council without a time limit. After you lose the election you'll be right back in the center of the room yammering about God know what and there will be nothing useful ever accomplished due to your filibuster. That is more than reason enough to kill the measure.
The Great Libertarian October 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Now let me get this straight. The studios will be doing filming within their compound and somehow that is the city's business or any citizen's business to know what they are doing and who will be there? I find that argument to be truly ludicrous. Almost as ludicrous as your statement about saving the town by voting N down then letting others who know nothing about Dixon politics write a new ordinance. The only shooting that would enter the realm of government is if it was a location shoot on one of our streets. That is what they do in SF and that is exactly my point that there is no problem from the SF sunshine ordinance. I am not Jesus. I can't get the blind to see nor the deaf to hear. You have locked your mind and no logic or factual reasoning will ever get through. I am done with this. VOTE YES big time on MEASURE N
The Great Libertarian October 23, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Jackie boy, Even you can't possibly be that ignorant or blatantly stupid. There was never a time when I came to the podium that I was off topic or babbling, something which can't be said for people like Larry Simmons although Larry keeps his comments to a minimum. But your argument does show one thing: your hatred. This has nothing to do with your concern over speaking time limits. It has to do with one person. I thank you for making such a clear argument as to exactly why this type of ordinance, and free speech for any and all, is so necessary. We need it specifically to prevent the next Mary Ann Courville and her cronies from violating our Constitutional rights. You will never see this or admit it but all who see your arguments now know precisely what you want to achieve. Thanks for making it clear why we all need to pass this ordinance. VOTE YES ON MEASURE N
Jack October 23, 2012 at 06:52 PM
You, Ouriana, and the gang at the IV wear your emotions on your sleeve. Anytime anyone disagrees with you it must be an insult. As far as your babblingis concerned; it is humorous but at least Old Larry says what he wants to say and steps down. Speaking your mind is not wrong but demanding that you are the only voice is foolish egotism. If you want to be taken seriously, then clean up your act starting with your "column". When you spout off like a spoiled teenager who just learned how to make fun of people's names (i.e. Worm Salmons) then you are still nothing more than the class clown. Act like a grown-up living in a decent town with at least minimal cleanliness house standards and willingness to pay taxes to support the city you claim to love so much. No, not hate, just pity.
Gary Erwin October 23, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Mike you fail to see the trees through the forest on this issue.... The point is Morning View will call it quits if N becomes law. I have closed my mind to your comments because M.V. has made a stand and I'm sticking to my guns to support them.... I will vote No on Measure N. When the time is right we can work on a new more sensible Sunshine ordinance. We have one chance at getting the studio and we can wait another two years for the ordnance to be authored properly. When you talk about closed minds seems like you have done the same. I want this town to have a chance at greatness and here is an opportunity we ought to explore. If they build we will all be better off. Many will be able to work in town, business will see increased revenue, land values will jump, rentals will increase….all are good for the community. Would I sacrifice all this to please the “cantankerous crowd”? No
Steve Steiert October 23, 2012 at 07:31 PM
Libertarian: "So it is with your lie about Measure N" Please tell me where I have told a lie? If I have, I will immediately correct the error.

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