Now, What About Our Water Tax Refund? Part 2: The Phony Report


thief

When you are  in charge of the City’s bureaucracy, it’s really easy to get what you want. You simply hire a “professional” opinion to validate your own desire. Good God, it happens so often and yet they continue to get away with it.

For fun, lets’ consider the case of the City of Fullerton’s illegal water tax tax. In 2011 the City was finally caught with its pants down. And what was revealed wasn’t pretty: an illegal 10% tax stuck onto the annual cost of selling water to the ratepayers of Fullerton. In an attempt to stall the inevitable and obfuscate the obvious, the comatose council handed the job of analyzing the tax to an ad hoc water rate committee that had been previously established.

Now we all know that a citizen’s committee is incapable of figuring out things on its own and so staff helpfully hired one of those paid opinion consultants to help out; one of those consultants whose sole mission is to validate whatever the staff wants them to do. In this case the mission was to keep as much of that 10% as possible. After all, that 10% was a much necessary ingredient for for keeping up CalPERS payments and sending Pam Keller and Don Bankhead and Doc HeeHaw to four star hotels in far off Long Beach.

True to form, the City Council’s “consultant” returned with a helpful finding that the water fund owned the City between six and seven percent annually, principally on the weird fiction that the water utility owed the City rent for land that the water reservoirs and pipes sit on.

Naturally, nobody bothered to explain the embarrassing fact that the land in question had little or no commercial value; or that the water utility could have bought that land for virtually nothing fifty years ago had a true arms-length distance actually existed between the utility and the City that was milking it like a rented cow.

An, worst of all, nobody had explained the self-serving nature of this sudden discovery of a true distinction between the water utility and the City, particularly in light of the fact that the utility had supplied the City with free water for decades.

That’s right. The very mechanism lade upon you and me to “incentivise” conservation, was deemed unnecessary when the City itself was wasting water. How many hundreds of thousands of acre feet of water has been used for free by the City in the past fifty years? Of course nobody knows. But the value is worth millions.

I think the City should pay that back, too.

 

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  1. #1 by The Fullerton Harpoon on January 7, 2013

    Let’s talk about the reservoir in Hillcrest Park. The City built a park on top of the structure. Did the Water Fund sublet that back to the City?? Bet not!!

  2. #2 by Ryan Cantor on January 7, 2013

    The 6.7% really is laughable.

    If the city is really owed money by the water utility, then the city should send the water company a bill.

    No one else gets 6.7% straight off the top. Everyone else gets paid by what’s on the invoice.

    I want to say that Santa Ana tried to justify their franchise fee by stating the the water utility owed the city money for the police, who protected the pipes buried underneath the street.

    That’d ludicrous and 6.7% is just lazy. I agree the report is . . . flimsy at best.

    • #3 by The Fullerton Harpoon on January 8, 2013

      “Santa Ana tried to justify their franchise fee by stating the the water utility owed the city money for the police, who protected the pipes buried underneath the street.”

      Doc Hee Haw tried that on for size, too.

      I want to talk about the Great Lie: the Double Dip.

      • #4 by Joe Sipowicz on January 8, 2013

        Hold your horses, Harpoon. That’s Part 3. I believe we also did a post last spring on the Triple and Quadruple Dip. I may republish that with an intro.

  3. #5 by van get it da artiste on January 8, 2013

    The facts surrounding this illegal water tax screams our city council persons for decades lied to the good people of Fullerton.
    The illegal water tax enacted by a few , corrupt persons who squatted on Fullerton’s city council for years shows this council’s historical trait is to lie and cheat the people they have vowed to represent so to pad salaries, pensions and benefits for Fullerton’s municpal employees.

    The problem with this scenario is it doesn’t quite make total sense. I get retired Fullerton PD favoring hefty salaries and pensions for their police bothers and sisters.
    Yet, not all city council persons were/are so close to the Fullerton PD. What was the other pressing need Fullerton’s city council had/has that motivated this tax that same council now protects from public scrutiny?
    How many unemployable relatives and friends of Fullerton’s city council past needed city jobs created for them and their salaries funded from the illegal water tax?
    Did the influence of Joe Felz, now Fullerton city manager and past director of Fullerton’s parks and recreation, see an unnatural increase/expansion of services rendered by parks and recs?
    In the last ten to fifteen years, has the city of Fullerton duplicated social services rendered at the county level and plopped these duplicated services at Felz’s beloved Fullerton parks? Think of all the neer-do-wells who would gladly staff these social programs knowing their jobs were more positive spin photo ops for their patrons, the local politicians and the pillars of Fullerton’s society.
    The other side of the illegal water tax problem is what has the 27 million dollars used to buy not for the people of Fullerton but for the city council, their cronies, sychophants.
    Someone needs to ask flory if she can give an accounting of what the illegal water tax has bought for others since she seems to adamantly defend its existence and her refusal to refund the money stolen from the good people of Fullerton.
    My suspicion is Flory et al’s explanation will be worth as much as the pile of dirt where Fullerton’s reservoirs sit.

  4. #6 by Fullerton Lover on January 8, 2013

    I guess that explains the hypocrisy of the city running the water fountains in front of City Hall all day long, while they hit homeowners with stiff fines for using water (that they actually pay for) to water their own yards during daylight hours.

  5. #7 by cg on January 8, 2013

    Let’s break this down….Joe Felz, Quirks little bitch. Hugo, Joe’s little bitch. And Hugo has a bunch of butt sniffers, who follow him around. They are the Parks and Rec peeps who do absolutely nothing. Go figure. But, they have been put in charge of a major City, with no experience at all, on how to run City works. So what the residents are left with, is a bunch of butt sniffers. We are so screwed…..

  6. #8 by Steve Brow on January 8, 2013

    The arm’s length question is key.

    Paricularly in the late 1800′s, when Fullerton was founded, the purpose of creating cities was to bring utilities such as piped water, sewage and paved streets to the people of the city. as opposed to the county who left people with well water, septic systems, and dirt roads. (I have both “city” water and a well, a septic system, and a dirt road for which the county takes no responsability.)

    Joe’s note that the City gets free water is of supreme importance.

    Moreover, in the 1880′s, were the water system and the City considered to be unique or separate entities? When did they diverge, and what were the legal mechanisms established? What is the basis for the real estate value and improvements owned and occupied by each? If the entities are viewed as separate, what is the basis for the City charging overhead to the water utility? Has the untility gone out to other entities for competitive bids? Is there a mechanism so that it can? Is the utility able to contract for these services in house?

    And yes, let us see the contract that allows the City to get free water if the utiliy is to be considered a distinct agency. How is the value of the water deducted against the overhead expense?

  7. #9 by Greg Diamond on January 10, 2013

    “I think the City should pay that back, too.”

    Even after losing the election, FFFF still fights gamely for Fullerton moving towards declaring bankruptcy. Every little hurt helps!

    • #10 by James Cameron on January 10, 2013

      Fulleron has lots of money.

      • #11 by Greg Diamond on January 10, 2013

        … despite your best efforts. Hey, wasn’t the last Council talking about having to sell real assets to cover liabilities? Did you mean “real estate lots” that it could sell for money? Clever, if so.

        • #12 by Stanley Fiala on January 10, 2013

          “Clever, if so”……… Hmmmmmm

          Stupid if asked.

  8. #13 by Refund Please on January 24, 2013

    Maybe just maybe PAM KELLER is gonna buy some conditioner for that straw hair of hers, and by god can no one in this city fix that huge horse mouth of hers, I figure if we just take 7 of those choppers out she may actually be able to close that cake hole of hers, then can someone tell me why she has that ball of flegm in her throat at all times, JESUS pam either swallow that( the days of sucking off does take its toll huh hon?) On yer knees much, considering she has done nothing, and gets paid to pretend to care, it makes perfect sence.

  9. #14 by Refund Please on January 24, 2013

    cg :Let’s break this down….Joe Felz, Quirks little bitch. Hugo, Joe’s little bitch. And Hugo has a bunch of butt sniffers, who follow him around. They are the Parks and Rec peeps who do absolutely nothing. Go figure. But, they have been put in charge of a major City, with no experience at all, on how to run City works. So what the residents are left with, is a bunch of butt sniffers. We are so screwed…..

    the guy in charge is and was a ball handler—he knows his job..and how come no one addressed the fact QUIRK is fucking half the under cover squad at the FPD, wonder why she is always around, she doesnt care about her kids, couldnt be that…O yeah she is fucking the undercovers, her husbands, knwo the drill they have to pretend to be married, but that little fake hispanic dish, fucks everything that moves, ask her how she met her husband? Why did he have to work somewhere else? Why does Gennaco only cover all the sex between city/police employees..only to have Danny say, Im an authority on relations, I can tell you if they have a chance at a successful cheatin scenario…WE LIVE ON THE MOVIE SET of rosemarys baby.Fullerton failing upward,protect and serve, correct and purge!

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