Valley Vista and developer money Is behind Peat, Miller, and Minikus mailers

Edwin Kraemer Courtesy photo

An opinion essay by Ed Kraemer

Cypress residents have been curious to find who is funding the Safe Neighborhoods PAC supporting Cypress City Council candidates Bonnie Peat, Terry Miller, and Scott Minikus. The funding for this PAC does not appear to be on the Cypress city website, but records obtained from the Orange County Registrar of Voters shows that the PAC has received s37.000 in funding from Grand Central Recycling & Transfer Station and Chris Bardis. Grand Central Recycling & Transfer Station is operated by Valley Vista, the trash company our City contracts with. Christo Bardis is a real estate developer who has been doing business in Cypress for years and a partner in the Los Alamitos Race Track that has successfully lobbied and finally passed a upzoning measure converting the LARC from public space to private property.

These mailers are just one, recent, example of the disturbing influence that money is having on politics and management in our city. Less than one year ago City Council Member Jon Peat led the push to give Valley Vista a 32 percent rate increase and a ten-year contract extension. Scott Minikus, who had recently been appointed, voted for the increase against the wishes of residents, who urged the council to get competitive bids like our neighbors in Los Alamitos and Stanton. Valley Vista got exactly what they wanted; and now it appears they are returning the favor; spending heavily to support Minikus and Peat’s wife Bonnie in our elections. Cypress residents are paying higher trash bills and now our money is being used to back the people who voted for the rate increase. It’s disgraceful.

Further, where is the openness and transparency from Terry Miller that he has promised on his website, mailers, or in candidate forums? Miller has not posted the source of funding behind his mailers. Does he really expect voters to believe that we learned who was paying for his mailers before he did? Cypress is demanding openness and transparency.

I’m glad we have other great candidates running in this election — David Burke, Helen Le, and Rachel Strong. The last thing Cypress needs is another city council handpicked by Valley Vista and LARC.

Edwin Kraemer