Municipal Redevelopment Arrogance: A Common Scourge

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like the case in Philly where a local businessman may be sued by the Redevelopment Agency for cleaning up trash and beautifying a piece of blighted Agency-owned property that they willfully refused to clean up. So ths guy spends 20 big ones of his own dough since the City blatantly ignored its own mess, and is now looking at a potential lawsuit – a lawsuit some asshole city bureaucrat says is based on “principle.” Principle. Now that’s a scream.

What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.

Of course apologists of Fullerton’s former Redevelopment Agency (you know who they are) would be quick to point out is that this sort incompetence and arrogance  never happened in Fullerton; Fullerton Redevelopment folks were  just so darned…well… you know.

But consider this: Fullerton has had a long and inglorious Redevelopment history that includes building, then demolishing concrete trestles along Harbor, giving away a public sidewalk to a politically connected apaign contributor, subsidizing dozens of boondoggles, supporting architectural design Nazi-ism, stealing an old lady’s property to give to a car dealer, and nasty little sales tax kick backs from Redevelopment funds – all done to promote more tax revenue to pay for pensions, League of City junkets, and all those inevitable step pay increases for the gang.

A final thought: even though Redevelopment is supposedly dead in California you can bet the farm (if they don’t steal it for High Speed Rail) that the lobbyists are busy at work in Sacramento trying to revive it, and that local mall fry politicians and local political wannabes are real eager for it to come back.

Why not? It’s fun and it isn’t their money.

  1. #1 by Simmons on September 19, 2012

    “What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.”

    There you go. Somone in the city government had lined up a family member or company that would give kickbacks to clean up the property for 5 times what his guy spent.

    So of course the city official is mad.

  2. #2 by Tuco Ramirez on September 20, 2012

    Simmons, watch the film “Back to School” where Rodney Dangerfield says exactly what you are saying.
    Especially in the North East, that is exactly what happens.

  3. #3 by wayne on October 21, 2012

    this man cleaned up a mess created by the city out of his own pocket he should be given an award yet some pencil neck paper pusher is appalled just because he cant get kickbacks
    sir you deserve a medal and the d head thats prosecuting you should be given the shaft

  4. #4 by Dumpster Diving on September 19, 2012

    God Bless the USA. God Bless George Bush. God Bless blog anti blockers. God Bless Fullerton.

  5. #5 by The Fullerton Harpoon on September 19, 2012

    Jesus, O’Malley get a ffffreaking life.

  6. #6 by Dumpster Diving on September 19, 2012

    LOL LOL I got my license changed to say Omaley now just cause you think everyone is him. I like my new name Poony.

  7. #7 by R.D. on September 19, 2012

    You’re nothing but trash dumpster diver.

  8. #8 by Dumpster Diving on September 19, 2012

    What’s wrong with dumpster diving? I heard it will get you millions in Fullerton if you do it right?

  9. #9 by Poo on my shoe on September 21, 2012

    Shit, Booshala pays good money to have people dumpster dive for him. Just ask Whitacker!

  10. #10 by Shannen Fields on September 19, 2012

    Great comeback RD………….WOW. Get anymore free stuff RD?

  11. #11 by Now we're talking on September 19, 2012

    Good something that Bushala and his crew know something about ……..Brick veneer.

  12. #12 by The Desert Rat on September 20, 2012

    Set aside the aesthetic disasters and focus your pea-size brain on the millions wasted on zero accountability. Did anybody every do a study to see how much was lost on those dealerships? Of cours not!

    Millions frittered away on “affordable” housing that costs three times as much to build as the regular kind?

    Not all of the people who supported this theft have been held politically accountable. Wink.

  13. #13 by Me Mongo on September 21, 2012

    Brick veneer, bad……slums, flop houses and code violations, good….

  14. #14 by Fullerton Liberal on September 19, 2012

    Oh good, you listened to me about the Don Bankhead comment 😀

  15. #15 by Yawn on September 19, 2012

    Must be a slow news day….still bitching about redevelopment. But then again, FFFF would still bitch if they had nothing to bitch about.

  16. #16 by nipsey on September 19, 2012

    No it’s a great news day. Wolfie!

  17. #17 by Fred Alcazar on September 20, 2012

    Something tells me your sweetheart Jan Flory’s Redevelopment record will soon be on display for Fullerton voters.

  18. #18 by van get it da artiste on September 20, 2012

    A good example of redevelopment waste is Buena Park Mall. the city of fullerton pumped millions of tax dollars into tile floors, expansive entrances that lead to a mall only half-filled with a sad selection of discount stores selling cheap merchandise. the only success in this mall is Wal-Mart. The city of Buena Park will not recoup the loss of tax dollars spent on this mall because the rent is too high and the neighborhood’s income too low to cause a profit. The irony is upon entering the always half empty of cars at Buena Park Mall’s parking lot is full of little canopy businesses selling clothes, food, groceries and other items at cheap prices because their overhead is very low, just rent for a few spaces on a lot and a cloth canopy. The only place business booms at buena Park Mall is the little parking lot entrepreneur.
    The conncept of redevelopment gives much power to mediocre, myopic persons in municipal government to reconfigure an entire city to their vison of success at the expense of existing businesses and residences.
    the intent of our government is not to act as a nanny state that forces a community to conform to a few persons who sit on a city’s council idea of pretty or nice. the intent of our government was and still is to protect every individual’s right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. and that pursuit of happiness means not having the government drive a business owner out of business or a person out of their home

  19. #19 by KL on September 20, 2012

    That’s not true. This mall has made a 360 turn around after it was redone. There are many anchor stores there and restaurants. Parking there is always nuts too.

  20. #20 by Lies? on September 20, 2012

    More lies?

  21. #21 by KL on September 20, 2012

    I was just there this weekend. That place is crowded. I agree with you about redevelopment, but please, facts are needed here.

  22. #22 by KL on September 20, 2012

    And what am I lying about, “Lies?” ?

  23. #23 by Lies? on September 20, 2012

    not you. the original poster.

  24. #24 by Van get it da artiste on September 20, 2012

    Kl, I’ve been going to buena park mall since it opened in the early 1960’s as a little kid and was there last month. Buena park mall was an outdoor, thriving mall from the 1960’s until the late 1980’s. Then the area’s demographics shifted more towards struggling working class and the once middle end stores left due to lack of business. Once the middle end stores pulled out, the well-known discount stores lost business and soon left the mall.
    Buena Park could not accept its cash cow mall was dying. Buena park city council infused million of tax dollars into remodeling this mall. Last month I went to the DSW shoe store at the buena park mall.
    Nostalgia always wins out with me when I am at this mall. As imwalked txhrough this mall remebering what it once was, I saw Half the mall is empty, the rest is filled with junk product
    stores that would be found at run down strip malls.
    Behind this mall is Krikorian theatres that was surrounded by little shops and fast food places. Now Krikorian theatre is surrounded by a ghost mall.
    I reiterate the fact that the only thriving business at this mall is in its parking lot where the non redevelopment funded entrepreneurs are doing well.

  25. #25 by van get it da artiste on September 20, 2012

    I mean city of buena park

  26. #26 by to hear one who comforts on September 20, 2012

    I need a little education, what is: “architectural design Nazi-ism” Is it design inspired by Hitler’s artitect Albert Speer?

  27. #27 by OMaley Persona on September 20, 2012

    Drugs cause optical illusions.

  28. #28 by The Fullerton Harpoon on September 20, 2012

    Still spelling your own name wrong, Paddy?

  29. #29 by OMaley Persona on September 20, 2012

    Oh. My real initials are PM. But now my name is Paddy OMaley? Is this guy sexy or what? Hi Freddy :-)

  30. #30 by The Fullerton Harpoon on September 20, 2012

    What else would I call a dumb mick with a GED and an AA degree?


  31. #31 by OMaley Persona on September 20, 2012

    Well. I don’t have a GED. I doubt that OMaley guy has a GED either. So now what? Can we play tiddlywinks?

  32. #32 by The Fullerton Harpoon on September 20, 2012

    No GED? Damn. How’d you get into Police Academy V?

  33. #33 by Pigaliscious on September 20, 2012

    You don’t have to have a GED to get in the academy Poony.

  34. #34 by a non on September 20, 2012


  35. #35 by Pigaliscious on September 20, 2012


  36. #36 by a non on September 20, 2012

    I was responding to the Harpoon’s racial slur…

  37. #37 by Fred L. Olmsted on September 20, 2012

    Speer was actually a bad architect but a brilliant organizer. His architectural ability would have been on par for DTF, maybe a little above average.

    Fullerton’s Design Review Committee was in charge of rubber stamping whatever crap the Molly McClanahans and Paul Dudleys found aesthetically pleasing. The design pabulum was codified into design guidelines that were supposed provide “facelifts” as Barbara Giasone called them, but of course the irony is that mostly they were ignored, arbitrarily, just like in any nice authoritarian regime.

    Now that Redevelopment is dead (for the time being) The City Council should disband the RDRC immediately.

  38. #38 by admin on September 20, 2012

    Fred, where have you been, brother? We miss you!

  39. #39 by Anonymous on September 20, 2012

    Still, I ask; what is “architectural design Nazi-ism”?
    Example might be helpful.

  40. #40 by The Desert Rat on September 20, 2012

    It’s a process. You make it look our way or you won’t do it. See, design Nazi’s like uniform, non-threatening schlock.

  41. #41 by Tuco Ramirez on September 20, 2012

    Anonymous is not from Orange County? You have a design and the bureaucratic folks in City Planning Department tell you how they want the design to be, even after you make dozens of changes. Takes a long time to get anything done. Try building a pod mall on the street intersections.

  42. #42 by Anonymous on September 21, 2012

    As opposed to what? Run down slums?

  43. #43 by Anonymous on September 21, 2012

    Kind of like so many new construction having second story ‘windows’ that aren’t really windows and towers that serve no function?

  44. #44 by Christian on September 20, 2012

    We need a blog post on Paul Dudley. Maybe even current planning/development director John Godlewski.

  45. #45 by OMaley Persona on September 20, 2012

    I thought that planning did pretty good at the council meeting the other night.

  46. #46 by Bring Back Christian on September 21, 2012

    Christian, what happened to you? I enjoyed reading your blog post, especially when you blogged about all the money, our money that was being squandered away every other Tuesday.

    Godlewski? That idiot’s back? Damnation, what’s happening in Fullerton?

  47. #47 by Ful99 on September 20, 2012

    KL :I was just there this weekend. That place is crowded. I agree with you about redevelopment, but please, facts are needed here.

    People were only there for the air conditioning

  48. #48 by KL on September 20, 2012


  49. #49 by PJ on September 20, 2012

    The worst is the city of Westminster, which rezoned its entire city into a redevelopment zone and then began a big building boom.

    Now of course they are broke and laying people off and avoiding creditors.

  50. #50 by Christian on September 21, 2012

    And their city manager…is the retired police chief!

  51. #51 by Fred Alcazar on September 21, 2012

    So is Santa Ana’s. And Fullerton’s Acting Chief seems to be the boss in F-town.

  52. #52 by PJ on September 21, 2012

    Keeping it all in the family!

  53. #53 by Big Friend on September 20, 2012

    But don’t forget all the public infrastrucure improvements that Redvlopment made like how nice the alleys are around the bars. That also had a public safety element as the street sweeper only needs to pass by one time to skim off the real chunky barf piles. It’s a damn good thing they didn’t waste any money fixing the really fucked up alleys south of the tracks. Just ask Jan Florys and her best pal Paul Dudley; “those people like it like that”

  54. #54 by Cal Worthington's Dog Spot on September 21, 2012

    Fullerton redevelopment was a joke. All we ended up with is the Fullerton Booze Mall.

  55. #55 by Concerned Californian on September 28, 2012

    Well written post.

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