“Hanna & Associates”
Did Council member Hanna’s husband, Ed Ball, perform consulting services for the owners of the Oddfellows building ?
12/10/09 – It is no secret that Banning City Council member Barbara Hanna owns a consulting firm named “Hanna & Associates” which generates declared annual revenues between $ 10,000 and $ 100,000 (view page 2). Hanna’s husband, Ed Ball , is a partner in her firm , however, Hanna keeps the identity of all of her clients a secret.
As previously reported, Barbara Hanna has voted on three different occasions to give redevelopment funds to the owners of the Oddfellows building located at the corner of San Gorgonio and Ramsey Street. In particular, she approved funding to the owners in the amount of $ 685,000 in 2007, then on May 26, 2009 in the amount of $ 42,000 and finally on June 23, 2009 yet another $ 398,152.78 . The total Oddfellows funding amounted to $ 1,125,152.78.
In this context Hanna received campaign contributions from one of the owners of the Oddfellows building, Rob Freeman (view page 6 ). Other owners of the Oddfellows building are Dirk Dorning and “Banning Commercial Investors”. On December 8, 2009 the City Council voted on the settlement of a lawsuit against the owners of the Oddfellows building and the City of Banning. Under the settlement the City would pay $ 50,000 and therewith would “bail out” the owners of the Oddfellows building who would end up paying nothing .
Lyndon Taylor, a contributor to this website, asked Barbara Hanna if she had a conflict of interest in voting on this issue based on the fact that she received campaign contributions from one of the owners of the Oddfellows building. Furthermore, he asked, does she have conflict of interest based on any consulting activity, particularly by Ed Ball who allegedly has consulted with the Oddfellows building’s owners ?
Here is the exchange :
Why does Hanna limit her answer to consulting work done for Mrs. Freeman when the question was also directed towards consulting work done for any other owners of the building ?
Why is Hanna becoming visibly uncomfortable and nervous ?
Is her way of responding to the questions an indication of guilt ?
ALLEGATIONS OF CONSULTING ACTIVITY HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR SOME TIME
The following email of May 22, 2009 from Banning resident Gail Paparian was directed to three individuals that hold public office : City Treasurer John McQuown, Mayor Bob Botts and Council member Don Robinson . It was obtained by us from one of the participants. In her email, Gail Paparian alleges that there was consulting activity by Ed Ball with the owners of the Oddfellows building. ( red color added for highlighting )
From: Gail Paparian [mailto:gail@….deleted ….]
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 11:57 PM
To: Dr. John McQuown (email address deleted)
Cc: ”Bob Botts”, ‘Don Robinson’, ‘Brian Nakamura’
Subject: Oddfellows Building
While many folks are celebrating this Memorial Day Friday night, I have returned from an event and do what I normally do: check my email before settling down for the night. I checked in to the agenda for Tuesday night. The first thing that caught my attention in the CRA agenda was: 1. CRA Resolution No. 2009-09, Approving an Amendment to the Owner Participation Agreement with Robert Freeman, Dirk Dorning, and Others for the Renovation of the Oddfellows Building at the Southwest Corner of San Gorgonio Avenue and Ramsey Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Please let me remind you that I have been encouraging commercial development on this property since I served on the Planning Commission in 2003 and forward. A further reminder is, I am a strong believer in the Constitution’s tenet of separation of church and state. That said, what is the city/CRA again ‘giving’ to this project? As I recall, the city is already into this building/project for about $800,000. Nobody will tell me what was put up for collateral for this project. Please feel free to let me know!
This item has been on the CRA agenda for months in closed session. I can only assume that they have run out of money and want further financing from the city. Is this correct? If my assumption is correct about them running out of dough and they want a donation/borrow money from the City, what are they putting up for collateral?
As you well know, the first/fundamental part of a business plan is what and when the ROI happens. The corner of this enterprise is pivotal to commercial success (read sales tax return). Do you really anticipate that a religious book store and coffee shop will yield these dividends? I am aware of how long it took to ferret out the true designation of some of the proponents of this project. Why was it hidden from the public for so long that a 50l (c) was claimed when the designation turned out to be an unacceptable 501 (c) 3 religious? Barbara Hanna’s husband Ed Ball served as a consultant for this project. Why was Councilperson Hanna not asked to recuse herself due to conflict of interest?
We need cheerleaders; personal/professional and volunteer to sing the praises of what is going on in Banning. My main question remains, how we can preach to the choir when we are not privy to all the facts and background?
Here’s to our heroes; past, present and future.
Thanks for your response,
IN HIS RESPONSE COUNCIL MEMBER DON ROBINSON ADMITS KNOWING ABOUT “BARBARA ISSUES” BUT INDICATES HE WILL IGNORE THEM FOR THE “GOOD OF BANNING”
Here is Don Robinson’s response directed to Gail Paparian as well as Mayor Botts and City Treasurer McQuown , again received from the same source as above ( red color added for highlighting ) :
From: Don Robinson
Sent: May 27, 2009 5:38 PM
To: Gail Paparian
Cc: “McQuown, John” , “Botts, Mayor Bob”
Subject: Re: Oddfellows Building
I was gone for 4 days to Denver, so this is my first opportunity to get back to you. The backup for this consent item is pages 14 and 15 available on the city website, but further explained; back when the city approved the parking lot for the city, the utilities department took that opportunity to install conduits for electrical feeds to the alley way between the Odd Fellows Building and The Fox Theater while the streets were torn up. This increase in the OPA is for the Odd Fellows contractor to install conduit banks from the existing conduits at the alley way and Ramsey St to the rear of the ODD Fellows/Fox for the placement of an underground transformer that will feed Odd Fellows, Fox, Lithopass, 33 San Gorgonio. This will allow the overhead power and telephone to come down and all buildings to be fed Underground. This idea of the art alley was started a long time ago, but we have been pushing to get power, water, art alley, trash containers, grease traps and walkways completed. This should have been done a long time ago. The same work is being done on the other side to ready for the Stephenson Building, Hendon Building and Paddy Oreilly’s. Since the utility ducts have been installed to feed both areas, we are actually money ahead to come to a conclusion on all of these projects.
Obviously as you know I cannot discuss closed session items that include real estate negotiations. Having said that, I can say as a past contractor, nobody can come forward without quantities, written quotes, timelines, bond and insurance certificates. Our new attorney is doing a great job on contracts that mean something. Contracts in the past were bad. We look to collateral, timel lines, phasing and guarantees on all projects now. I felt we were being held hostage by the Odd Fellows group, so we told them we would not discuss one more thing untill the fence comes down, the sidewalk is poured and the back parking put back in order. This has been done. Now the corner is safe again for pedestrians and vehicles. Duane Burk has done a great job on getting these projects moving again. Congratulate him next time you see him.
In the last 4 months the council has finalized items that have been on the tables for years, some go back as far as 20 years. As a private industry entrepeneur, I am trying to get used to the pace of government, not easy. I am seeing some light at the end of the long and narrow tunnel.
Updates are available on my website and we will be posting more information on the improved channel 10, when upgrades are finalized this week. We are also working to update the website with current information. Again Duane’s department is doing a good job on updating the community on public works projects on the website. This includes a live camera feed from the new police department construction site. A remote camera is coming, this will allow us to videotape projects off-site and replay these tapes on channel 10 for more community updates.
I have not gone backwards to old arguments of ownership, Barbara issues or collateral. I am looking at getting these things done for the good of Banning and completing CRA objectives.
If you have questions on CRA issues I will try to answer them for you.
The above statement by Robinson is as close as it gets to an admission that he knows of Hanna’s potential conflict of interest ; his response shows that he is not shocked in the least by it. He seems to indicate, however, that he does not want to investigate the issue because he is focused on the “good of Banning”. Has Robinson already forgotten his oath of office that he took only 5 months earlier ? Didn’t he swear to uphold the law ? How is the “good of Banning” served when potential conflicts of interest are covered up by him as an elected official ? His response raises very serious questions of a cover up .
CONCLUSION : SOMETHING JUST DOESN’T SEEM RIGHT HERE ; IT SEEMS LIKE THERE IS A LOT MORE THIS STORY THAN MEETS THE EYE.
WE ARE CALLING ON BARBARA HANNA TO RELEASE ALL BUSINESS RECORDS OF “HANNA & ASSOCIATES” AND ED BALL FOR THE LAST 5 YEARS . THE PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW.
ONCE HANNA MAKES THIS INFORMATION AVALIABLE IT WILL BE POSTED ON THIS SITE