Scripture of the Week: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." Matthews: 5:44
The Big Bear Post
News You Can Use - From A Source You Can Trust
March 2, 2022
Councilman Lee will be hosting a Telephone Town Hall Meeting this Saturday, March 5th, at 10 am. You will be able to participate in this call from the comfort and convenience of your home, and you will be able to speak directly with Councilman Alan Lee, ask questions, participate in polls or listen.
The Big Bear Post
The Official Newsletter of the City of Big Bear Lake Councilman Alan Lee
Serving the communities of Big Bear Lake, Bear City, Sugarloaf, Fawnskin, Lake Williams, Erwin Lake and Baldwin Lake
A Report From City Hall
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Council Rewards Themselves Quietly And Richly
Lee Calls For An End To Slick Practice

The Big Bear Lake City Council, when sitting as the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection District, rewards itself quietly and richly. A review of the official minutes covering the calendar year 2020 and 2021 shows the meetings, on average, lasted just seven (7) minutes. The longest meeting lasted 12 minutes and was held on April 15, 2020. The shortest meeting was held for 3 minutes, on June 1, 2021, chaired by Councilmember Bynette Mote. The Council members are paid $100 for each of these meetings.
 
The Council members sitting as members of the Fire Authority Board are part of the governing body that legally sets the Ambulance Service Fee that our residents must pay. The Ambulance Service Fee was recently increased on August 3, 2021, by Ordinance No. BBFA2021-001. However, Council members, their spouses, and dependents are provided the ambulance membership services for free. Councilman Lee is the only member of the council to decline the free benefits.
 
Big Bear Lake City Council members also voted to direct Fire payroll staff not to make any tax withholdings from their Fire Authority Board or Fire Protection District payroll checks. Council members were advised in the staff report, "It is a virtual certainty that if the IRS were to audit the Authority on the worker classification of its board members, the IRS would take the position that the Authority's board members should be reclassified as employees for federal tax purposes." The staff report also noted that other Fire Districts in the region withheld taxes from their board members.
 
With support from Councilman Putz, Councilman Herrick seconded the motion directing payroll staff not to withhold taxes from their paychecks and to continue the illegal practice of classifying the elected officials as "independent contractors." The motion passed, with Councilman Lee voting against the motion.
 
"It is pure political arrogance for our Big Bear Lake officials to take free benefits and not to want to pay their fair share of taxes. While they may not be getting rich on this scheme, they are certainly taking advantage of the system. It's outrageous we pay ourselves $100 in taxpayer's money for attending a three (3) minute meeting," said Councilman Alan Lee.
Sugar Shane Mosley Joins Community at Grand Opening

On February 24, 2022, Big Bear Lake's most famous resident joined the community in the Grand Opening of our newest restaurant, Stick em' Up - Wrap em up, located in the Village. In the ribbon-cutting ceremony, boxing world champion Sugar Shane Mosley joined Mr. Peter Dawidzik and Councilman Lee. About fifty (50) full-time residents attended the festive occasion that included balloons, music, prizes, free dessert and the formal ribbon cutting.

Sugar Shane provided star power at the grand opening. He stayed until every guest left and took plenty of pictures with everyone. Big Bear Lake resident Eric Wallace said, "The food was great, and Sugar Shane was so gracious and down to earth. We are blessed to have him in Big Bear Lake." Sugar Shane is a boxing legend who famously twice defeated "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya at the prime of their careers. In their first match, Sugar Shane won by split decision. In the rematch, Sugar Shane won by unanimous decision. Shane is known for his blazing hand speed, powerful punch, iron chin, toughness, and stamina. 

Four (4) lucky residents won a $50 restaurant gift certificate, with the grand prize of $100 cash going to Ms. Margaret Tiefenthaler of Big Bear City. "We are thankful for Sugar Shane Mosley, Councilman Alan Lee, and the community for their support," said Peter Dawidzik, owner of Stick em' up - Wrap em' up.
Despite it being a cold day, with the snow barely clearing, residents were not discouraged in coming out to support the grand-opening event. The restaurant is located in the Village at 603 Pine Knot Ave., Big Bear Lake, directly across from the movie theater.
Sugar Shane and Peter Dawidzik strike a fighting pose to symbolize success.
Boxing World Champion Sugar Shane Mosley joined Restaurateur Mr. Peter Dawidzik, CEO of Big Bear Valley Restaurant, and Big Bear Lake City Councilman Alan Lee to cut the ribbon to kick-off the grand opening celebration. The event was well attended by the community.
Note: This Grand Opening event was sponsored by Councilman Alan Lee in partnership with his Business Council. If you are a Big Bear Valley based business and would like Councilman Lee to host a grand opening or reopening for your business, please contact Councilman Lee at Alan@BigBearLake.us. Councilman Lee's Business Council is also available to help promote your business to our full-time residents at no cost.
Bear Valley Ace Performance Training Center
Husband and Wife's Shared Dream and Passion

Husband and wife team, Mr. Dutch and Mrs. Jessica Van Alstyne, are currently in the process of expanding their building to accommodate a private fitness gym and martial arts academy in the east end of the valley.

Dutch served as the Campus Safety Officer at Big Bear High School for seven (7) years until 2021. A Los Angeles transplant, Dutch became very familiar with our local families. He worked very closely with parents and the school district, gaining a deep understanding and appreciation of some of our community's core issues.

Dutch began martial arts training at the age of 5. He earned his Kyokushin Karate black belt, competed in amateur boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, and trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2008. He earned his black belt under Renato Magno in November of 2019. Martial arts has always been an influential part of his life. Dutch couldn’t help but wonder if our community had a state-of-the-art training facility; perhaps it would help keep our local teens on a healthy lifestyle track. Big Bear Valley has seen a spike in fentanyl usage and increased drug addiction.

Jessica moved to Big Bear in 2020, leaving behind her well-established personal training business in Pasadena. "I saw that there weren’t any private fitness studios in the valley and figured it would be a good place to start my business," she said. Jessica is a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and has been training since 2016. Jessica and Dutch met at the local grappling club, fell in love, married and now have a baby girl. Recognizing their love for each other and their shared passion for martial arts and physical training, they decided to expand their property to build a state-of-the-art high-altitude private training facility.

Ace Performance Training Center will offer classes to local families at a competitive rate and host health and training seminars, attracting world-class athletes to the Big Bear Valley. Recently, they launched their women-only Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training, grappling program and striking class. On March 14, 2022, they will be rolling out their kids' program. Classes are being held at their temporary facility in Big Bear, and the grand opening for their newly constructed facility will be held sometime in the summer of 2022.

Working with his Education Council, Councilman Lee announced plans to offer youth scholarships to low-income Bear Valley families so that they may participate in Ace Performance Training programs at no cost. "I appreciate Dutch and Jessica's passion for training, giving back to the community and their commitment to our youth. I will work with Ace Performance Training Center to make sure finances are not an obstacle to prevent our local youth from participating," said Councilman Lee.
For more information on scholarship opportunities for our youth, email Councilman Alan Lee's Education Council at EducationCouncil@BigBearLake.us
Two School Board Seats Will Be Up For Election
16 Seats Are Up Bear Valley-Wide

Have you noticed there has been more controversy and community drama lately? Have you seen the uptick and concerted efforts to stir the pot on social media by the Vacation Rental Industry and the business allies of some of the politicians up for election? Have you noticed the sudden stories being planted in the local press? That can mean only one thing; the election season is upon us! There will be sixteen (16) seats up for election throughout the Big Bear Valley in eight short months. Elections for School Board, City Council, Airport Board, Hospital Board, Community Service District and the Metropolitan Water Board members will appear on the November ballot.

Councilman Lee has promised to support candidates that will be true to the community, fiscally conservative, do not have any financial ties or business interests with government and that are not controlled by special interests.

The filing period for candidates for these offices will open around July 2022. In many instances, incumbents resign before the end of their term, allowing their political friends to hand-pick their replacements. Some of the candidates will be running as "appointed incumbents," never having received a vote from the public. Several candidates are expected not to seek re-election. This story is the first in an informational series on the upcoming opportunities to serve our community on various elected boards. In this edition of the Big Bear Post, we will briefly review the two School Board incumbents up for re-election.
Mr. Paul Zamoyta is currently serving as the Board Chair. He was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2012. On September 29, 2016, Mr. Zamoyta resigned from the Board in order that his wife may apply for a teaching position with the district. Mr. Zamoyta returned to the Board in the 2018 election. He finished with 29% of the vote in a 4-way race. Mr. Zamoyta is generally viewed in a positive light by the community. He is a full-time Realtor with Sotheby's International Realty and a former elementary and middle school teacher. He has one child currently in the district. Mr. Zamoyta is reportedly being recruited to run for City Council to replace Randy Putz, who is expected to step down due to a lack of community support.
Mrs. Cathy Herrick is the wife of Big Bear Lake's controversial City Councilman, Rick Herrick. Mrs. Herrick's entry onto the School board came by way of a political "appointment" on February 9, 2015. She was again "appointed" in lieu of an election in 2016. After having the advantage of being appointed twice, she was finally elected with 33% of the vote in a 4-way race in November 2018. Mrs. Herrick and her husband, Councilman Rick Herrick, are partners in their local radio station and derive substantial income from doing business with local Big Bear governmental agencies and the Vacation Rental Industry. She currently has no children in the School District. Mrs. Herrick is expected to seek re-election.
Council Set To Issue Reprimand to Councilman Lee
Lee Declares "Political Stunt" Will Not Silence Him

In a purely political move, 3 Council Members facing an election in November have announced plans to "reprimand" Councilman Alan Lee. The City Council called a rare special meeting on Friday, February 25, 2022, at 9 am. According to Councilman Lee, this hastily called meeting was deliberately set for a date and time the Council and City Manager knew he would be unable to attend.

According to an email chain, on February 16th, the City Manager proposed February 22nd or 25th for the meeting. On February 17th, Councilman Lee responded he could attend on February 22nd and provided his available time. Lee specifically noted in his email to the City Manager, "On the 25th, I will be in court supporting the Big Bear Lake victim in the vacation rental assault." Without further communication, the City Manager sent the entire City Council an email on February 23rd. In the email, he noted, he discussed this matter with Councilman Herrick (acting mayor) and the meeting will be held on February 25th at 9 am (the exact date and time Councilman Lee had a long-scheduled court proceeding).

"I was not going to thumb my nose at the Judge who granted me special permission to attend to the proceedings. Nor was I going to abandon my Big Bear Lake constituent, a senior citizen victim assaulted at the doorsteps of her home by a vacation rental guest. This was nothing more than a political stunt by the City Council to grab headlines in the local paper and to seek to tarnish my name. This cheap political theater is intended to shift the discussion away from our substantive policy differences and the reckless spending of our tax-dollars at City Hall," said Councilman Lee.

Now that the City has hired a full-time PR man, Lee said he expects to take additional hits in the press and on social media. "The City Council and City Manager are intentionally seeking to create a false narrative as retribution for me questioning the wild spending of our tax dollars. Their attempts to bully me will be fruitless. It is cynically ironic that two of the Council members seeking to reprimand me have never been elected to serve on the City Council, where I was elected with 62% of the vote," said Councilman Lee.

Councilman Lee is expected to address this issue on his upcoming Telephone Town-hall meeting set for this Saturday, March 5, 2022, at 10 am. You may participate in the telephone town hall from the comfort of your home. The deadline to register is 8 pm on Thursday March 3, 2022. Click here to register now.
Councilwoman Perri Melnick moved to Big Bear Lake in October 2018. She was "appointed" to serve on the Hospital Board before being "appointed" to serve on the City Council. She replaced former Councilman Dave Caretto, who unexpectedly resigned. She was nominated for appointment by Council members Putz and Herrick. Mrs. Melnick has only served on the Council for seven (7) months. Mrs. Melnick announced that she would seek election when her appointed term was up at the a the time of her appointment. Several other candidates have expressed interest in running as well.
Councilman Randall Putz was first "appointed" to the City Council on August 19, 2014. He was again "appointed" on August 20, 2018. Despite his 8-year service on the City Council, Randy Putz has never received a single vote from a single Big Bear Lake resident. Mr. Putz operates a small business in the Big Bear Lake Village. Due to a lack of support from the community, Mr. Putz will likely step down at the end of his term in November 2022. Mr. Putz has blamed Councilman Alan Lee for his poor standing with the City of Big Bear Lake's full-time residents.
Councilman Richard Herrick was first elected in 2006 in a seven-person race, with just 18% of the vote. Mr. Herrick name has not appeared on a City ballot in the last eight (8) years. He has been "appointed" to the Council because no other candidates ran. Herrick sought higher office to the State Assembly in the middle of his Council term in 2020. Herrick was soundly defeated by former Hesperia Councilman Thurston Smith by more than 15,000 votes. Herrick's service on the Council has been dogged by questions about conflict of interests and his financial ties to his friends doing business with the City.
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Upcoming Community Events
Sponsored By Councilman Lee

March 5 - Telephone Town Hall Meeting
March 29 - National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day
April 16 - 2nd Annual Community Prayer

Note: Updates on these events are posted on our website or will be featured in future editions of the Big Bear Post newsletters.

If there is a community event that you wish to invite Councilman Lee's support or participation, please email him directly at Alan@BigBearLake.us
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Letters To The Post!

The Big Bear Post team has announced a new interactive feature for our readers. Effective immediately, our newsletter will publish "Letters To The Post." Members of the community or organization representatives may also submit editorials to be published in the Big Bear Post.

Letters may not contain foul language, must be 300 words or less, and include the author's name. Guest editorials must by 500 words or less. Anonymous letters will will not be published.
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Big Bear Telephone Town Hall Meeting Set For March 5th
Big Bear Lake Councilman Alan Lee is hosting a live Telephone Town Hall Meeting on Saturday, March 5th, at 10:00 a.m. Please be sure to register immediately. The registration cutoff is 8 pm on Thursday, March 3rd. You will receive a confirmation of registration via email. On the day of the Telephone Town Hall, you will be called and patched into the live call.
Councilman Lee Joins Big Bear Valley YMCA Camp Oakes
In Their Summer Camp Fundraising Efforts
Big Bear Valley Camp Oakes offers a ten-week resident summer camp program serving kids and families from Big Bear and all across Southern California. Since 1962, the YMCA program focused on the core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility while enjoying the beauty of nature. Over 60% of the YMCA's campers receive some form of financial aid. Big Bear Camp Oakes prides itself on finding a way to get every kid to camp, regardless of their family’s ability to afford it.

The camps run Sunday to Saturday and cost $650 a week. This year's Big Bear camp dates are July 3rd - 9th and July 10th - 16th. Executive Director Mr. Matt Garcia just finished his 30th summer running YMCA camps. Mr. Micheal Sipple, who is part of the YMCA's leadership team in Big Bear Valley, has launched GoFundMe Page to help raise funds. If you would like to contribute, please click here. If you prefer to mail a check, please send it to: YMCA Camp Oakes, 47400 Monte Vista Dr., Big Bear City, CA. 92314. In the memo section of the check, write: "Micheal Sipple Fundraiser." This fundraising campaign ends on March 10th, so please contribute today.

"The YMCA is an institution in America that has touched countless lives. We are blessed to have Camp Oakes in the Big Bear Valley and leaders like Micheal Sipple doing the work every day. I will sponsor a youth in the name of our community and invite others to make a small contribution. By working together, we can make our community an even better place to live and call home," said Councilman Alan Lee.
Big Bear Valley YMCA Camp Oakes
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."
About Councilman Alan Lee:
Of all the 24 incorporated cities within San Bernardino County conducting local elections in November 2020, Alan's Big Bear Lake City Council District had the largest voter turnout, with over 90% of eligible voters participating. Despite political insiders, power brokers and pundits giving him no chance to win, Alan soundly defeated his handpicked opponent with over 62% of the vote.

Since being elected, Alan has stayed true to his community and is one of Big Bear Valley's most active and engaged political leaders.
Councilman Lee is fighting for us and the insiders are attacking him. Please scan the QR code to ensure you receive updated information and be sure to share this communication with your Big Bear Valley neighbors and post on your FaceBook. By working together, we can make Big Bear Valley an even better place to live and call home!