No business License? No problem
Doing business without a license ? No problem – if you are friends with Mayor Barbara Hanna
1/10/11 – Mayor Barbara Hanna – along with ALL other City Council members – makes it possible for her friends to
operate their businesses without business license and/or permits. Once again, “Politics of Special Interests” are a daily reality within the City of Banning.
Barbara Hanna, just elected Mayor of Banning, is a seasoned windbag in Banning politics ; in and out of office for more than 20 years, Hanna ( a.k.a. Sheldon) knows how to bamboozle an unsuspecting Banning public into believing that she is creating a “better Banning”. In doing so, Hanna has the support of council members Bob Botts and Don “taxdodger” Robinson, who wholeheartedly support Hanna’s agenda of fiscal abuse and deception. The following facts go to show what is really going on.
EXAMPLE # 1 : THE BANNING WHITE HOUSE
According to a Record Gazette article of October 23, 2010, the Banning White House is used for “meetings, seminars, retreats, weddings and receptions”. It appears from the White House’ website that you can even book sleepovers in one of their many bedrooms. Furthermore, the same article goes on to quote White House manager Pamela Scott as offering the facility for “corporate retreats”, further clarifying the commercial nature of this facility. For their latest offering click here.
As of the date of this article, however, the Banning White House operates without the required business license. White House operators are friends with Mayor Barbara Hanna who appears to use her office to aid the Banning White House in not having to pay for the expensive license. Also, Hanna never misses an opportunity to use her elected office to promote the White House and even personally held expensive fundraisers there during her 2008 re-election campaign.
EXAMPLE # 2 : HAVEN COFFEE HOUSE
The owner of the Haven Coffee House, Vince Pellegrini, has always maintained a more than cozy relationship with the City Council. After all, the building was subsidized with almost 1.2 million taxpayer dollars and his business received tens of thousands of dollars as a “loan”, all voted for by Hanna, Botts and Robinson.
As of the date of this article the Haven Coffee House has been operating without a valid business license for about 15 months when it should have never been allowed to open in the first place.
In February of 2010, almost a year ago, The Banning Informer had pointed out that the Haven was operating without permits and inspections (view article). Apparently, not much has changed. The City of Banning classifies the Haven’s business license currently as “pending” (view printout), reportedly because certain “inspections” of the premises have yet to be completed. Mind you, this is happening today, more than a year after opening ! How is this even possible, you may ask ? It appears that the Haven is above the law – something that is only possible if you have “friends in high places”.
CITY MANAGER TAKATA – HANNA ‘S PUPPET ?
Why has City Manager Andy Takata chosen not to enforce city ordinances in regards to those two businesses ? Is he under orders by Mayor Hanna not to do so ?
The previous Grand Jury report (view) on the City of Banning found – among many other things – that the City Council ( which included Hanna) was engaging in “micromanaging” city staff. In this context it is indeed remarkable that – despite public exposure of the issue – the businesses in question remain untouched – in the case of the Haven for over a full year.
If you wanted to open a business in Banning, would you like it if your competition got special deals left and right and did not have to comply with the same laws that will apply to you ? The answer is you wouldn’t. You would realize that you cannot compete against a City Council protection racket. So you would go elsewhere. And this is exactly the reason why the city of Banning will remain the least successful in the Pass area.
Don’t look for anything to change anytime soon. Legal or not, this is the way things are done in Banning. The “good old boys network ” is alive and well.