Behind Closed Doors
Fullertonstories is reporting here, that the County of Orange wants to build a homeless shelter on south State College in Fullerton. They may be soon buying the Linder Furniture store for $3,000,000.
This may not be good news to the folks who live in the single family neighborhood across the street and who take their kids to the Commonwealth Elementary School which is virtually adjacent to this site. The folks I know over in the Chapman Park area have heard nothing about this venture, which makes me wonder whose big idea this was and why the neighbors have not even been informed.
Amazingly, it would appear from the article that the County’s “search criteria” only included that the shelter be on a bus line and moved away from Downtown Fullerton. Nice.
How much of this “plan” has already been secretly approved by our own City Council goes unmentioned. Has a deal already been work out with the City? It’s hard to believe the County would buy real estate without the approval of the City Council, or at least the City staff.
Apparently the County Board of Supervisors is voting on this purchase Tuesday. I wonder when the government plans on telling anybody about this.
I was struck the other day by a post on the Voice of OC(EA) about Sharon Quirk that started out with Q complaining that there is now a target on her back by the GOP who want their Republican seat back. The rest of the post is the typical mush-drivel we’ve come to expect of the local media so I’ll let that pass.
What intrigued me was the absurdity of making yourself out to be a target by the very sorts of people who got you elected. What am I talking about? Check out this post from OC Political. Quirk got almost $300,000 funneled into her campaign account over the course of 18 days – laundered through various county Democrat Central Committees, including obscure Del Norte County – 800 miles away.
As expected, a lot of it came from public employee unions. But a lot of it also came from giant corporations like AECOM, Blue Shield, AEG, and of course, our good friends at Disney. So it would appear that Quirk was obviously looked favorably upon by these corporate behemoths, despite their subsequent attempts to distance themselves from their odd gifts to distant Democratic County Central Committees.
Which brings me to the point of this post.
The whining lefties are forever complaining that the lavish benefits, pay and massive pensions showered upon public employee unions are somehow a necessary counterbalance to all the misfeasance and excessive compensation of those greedy private business exec bastards. Of course it was always a false choice, but that falsity has never been made clearer by the fact of big corporations bellying up to Quirk’s bar.
The fact of the matter is that big corporations like big government. They are comfortable with it; they profit from it. Whether Republicans or Democrats are at the helm matters not a whit. Think big corporate subsidies, tax loopholes, and onerous regulations that chase small businesses out of business and you will start to get the picture. Big business likes balanced government budgets, and if that takes raising taxes on the rest of us, so be it. The very last thing they want is a small government advocate like Chris Norby. Think OC Business Council and you will understand that these people have no interest in anything other than a smoothly run plantation. You and I are the coolies that make the thing run for the benefit of our overseers.
Or to put it another way, the public employee unions and the big corporations both regard the taxpayer the same way: we are just pigeons to be plucked.
It’s actually rather amusing that Sharon Quirk is trying to gin up sympathy for her re-election against the big, mean Republicans, even before she is sworn in. Her dim-witted supporter may fall for that. She really doesn’t have anything to worry about.
Just ask Mickey Mouse.
I just picked up these missives from the FFFF in-box this morning. First this:
Hey, FFFFsters, I just want to point out the obvious. Jan Flory just got fourteen grand, cash, from the corrupt cop union. She also got ten grand from some land developer named Phelps. The rest of her dough came from “retired” individuals, most of them former public employees.
Cops, developers, massively pensioned government workers. Wow. Talk about special interests!
– Sick of BooHoos
Good point, S.o.B. And then this:
I was driving along Chapman a few days ago and saw Pam Keller on the corner of Harbor. She was holding up a sign promoting the candidacy of Rick Alvarez, a Republican! Here’s what I want to know. Why won’t the establishment Dems in this town support a real good candidate like Jane Rands? Why the Hell not? What is wrong with Keller, and Quirk and Flory and their ilk?
Are they so in bed with the FPOA thugs and baboons that they can’t recognize an authentic progressive? I guess that question answers itself.
– ACLU Mom
Good point, Mom. The Old Guard liberals in Fullerton don’t stand for anything, of course, except for the prerogatives conferred upon the department heads in City Hall (see first letter, above). Please address you questions to Keller herself and see if you can get an intelligible answer. Or you could ask this gentleman:
Posted by The Desert Rat in Behind Closed Doors, Chronic Failure, Dead heads, Don Bankhead, Downtown Fullerton, Fullerton BooHoo, Fullerton City Council Candidates, Fullerton City Council Election 2010, Gin Flurry, Hidden Government Agencies, Redevelopment, Repuglicanism, Setting The Bar Low, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Culture of Corruption, Watch Your Wallet on September 19, 2012
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.
It took a year, and some double talk by our esteemed DA, but news reports are saying the OC Grand Jury is convening to day to indict former Fullerton bully cop Joe Wolfe in the death of Kelly Thomas. Originally Tony Rackukas said Wolfe couldn’t have known what was going on between Ramos and Kelly and therefore was excused from any wrongdoing, a yarn so unbelievable that, well, nobody believed it, especially when the video came out and we could see a fully engaged Wolfe take batting practice on Kelly.
And here’s some food for thought: Joe Felz and Acting Chief Danny Hughes put this cheapjack goon (or so the story goes – and it has the perfect ring of truth) on a disability retirement for throwing out his shoulder beating up on Thomas! In any case Wolfe is gone from the Department, but not ’til afer getting a clean bill of health from our new, reformed police department and its esteemed Acting Chief. Fortunately the Grand Jury is likely to be a lot more discriminating as to who it determines to be Hero. Ad hopefully this Hero will get what he deserves.
There certainly was a lot of boohooing and breast beating at the Fullerton City Council meeting last week in response to the Council majority pulling the plug on a State DUI grant.
The cops mobilized their MADD allies to tell all the horrible stories of drunk driving mayhem. The only problem was that that’s not the point, no matter how much the liberal spendthrifts like Jan Flory would love to throw at her pals in the FPOA for overtime.
Yes, the real issue is the efficacy of DUI checkpoints in the first place, and something even more sinister: the use of DUI checkpoints to seize vehicles belonging to unlicensed drivers, as detailed in this OC Register story from 2010 that cites an actual, honest-to-goodness study at Berkeley. Apparently the impound/towing fees are immense, as are the fines. We already know about the tens of millions of overtime every year in the state, mostly for cops to stand around.
The cop addiction to all this gravy might explain this video of a public forum in Pomona where the topic of DUI/vehicle seizures is being discussed. Naturally a proud member of the police association is there to scream at those who might object.
Hmm. Sergeant O’Malley?
For paranoia, sheer cynicism and demonstration of unbridled self-interest there’s nothing that can beat this “playbook” created by the law firm of Lackie, Dammeier & McGill for use by their clients: cop unions.
See how many of these tactics strike you as familiar in Fullerton. Paranoia, cynicism and self-interest. Check, check, check.
Lackie, Dammeier & McGill
Former Cops Defending Current Ones
In gearing up for negotiations, hopefully your association has developed some political ties with members of your governing body. Now is the time those political endorsements, favors, and friendships come into play. When negotiations reach an impasse, the association will have options which may be utilized simultaneously, or one before the other.
As most association leaders already know, associations should be selective in their battles. However, this does not mean that the association should roll over for everything either. Association respect (by the employer) is gained over years of actions or inactions. Associations who rarely, if ever, take things to the mat or challenge the employer gain little respect at the bargaining table or elsewhere. The flip side is also true. Those associations that battle over every minor issue may be seen as an association that simply cannot be pleased, so why bother. While it is a fine line, somewhere in the middle is where you want to be. The association should be like a quiet giant in the position of, “do as I ask and don’t piss me off.” Depending on the circumstances surrounding the negotiations impasse, there are various tools available to an association to put political pressure on the decision makers. A few things to keep in mind when utilizing these tools are the following:
Always keep this in mind. The public could care less about your pay, medical coverage and pension plan. All they want to know is “what is in it for them.” Any public positions or statements by the association should always keep that focus. The message should always be public safety first. You do not want wage increases for yourselves, but simply to attract better qualified candidates and to keep more experienced officers from leaving.
Also keep in mind that once the fight is over, you and your members will still be working there. Avoid activities where one or just a few members are involved who can be singled out for retaliation. Always keep in mind your department policies and the law. You should be in very close contact with your association’s attorney during these times to ensure you are not going to get yourself or any of your members in trouble. For associations in the Legal Defense Fund, please keep in mind that concerted labor activity should always be discussed with the LDF Trustees prior to the activity to ensure coverage.
Let the Debate Begin
Again, the ideas listed below are not in any particular order. Just as in your use-of-force guidelines, you can start with simple verbal commands or jump to a higher level, based on the circumstances.
Keep in mind that most of these tools are not to deliver your message to the public but are designed to simply get the decision makers into giving in to your position.
- Storm City Council – While an association is at impasse, no city council or governing board meeting should take place where members of your association and the public aren’t present publicly chastising them for their lack of concern for public safety.
- Picketing – Plan a few well organized picketing events. Keep these events spread out to avoid burning out your membership.
- Public Appearances – During impasse, the association should make known at every significant public event, such as parades, Christmas tree lightings, the Mayor’s Gala and any other event of interest to the decision makers, that the association is upset about the lack of concern for public safety.
- Newspaper Ads – Again, keep the message focused on “public safety.”
- Billboards – Nothing seems to get more attention than a billboard entering the city limits which reads that crime is up and the City could care less about your safety.
- Websites – GardenGroveSucks.com was a big hit.
- Job Fair – Getting your members to apply at a large local agency, which causes an influx of personnel file checks by background investigators always sends a strong signal. Keep this for last, as some of your members may ultimately leave anyway.
- Work Slowdown – This involves informing your members to comply closely with Department policy and obey all speed limits. It also involves having members do thorough investigations, such as canvassing the entire neighborhood when taking a 459 report and asking for a back-up unit on most calls. Of course, exercising officer discretion in not issuing citations and making arrests is also encouraged.
- Blue Flu – This one is very rarely used and only in dire circumstances. As with all of these, please consult your association’s attorney before even discussing this issue with your members.
- Public Ridicule – Blunders by the City Manager, Mayor, or City Council members or wasteful spending should be highlighted and pointed out to the public at every opportunity.
- Referendum / Ballot Initiatives – Getting the public to vote for a wage increase is seldom going to fly, however, as a pressure tactic, seeking petition to file a referendum on eliminating the City Manager’s position for a full time elected mayor may cause the City Manager to rethink his or her position.
- Mailers – Again, the message should be for “public safety” in getting the public to attend city council meetings and to call the City Council members (preferably at home) to chastize them for their inaction.
- Campaigning – If any members of the governing body are up for election, the association should begin actively campaigning against them, again for their lack of concern over public safety. If you are in a non-election year, make political flyers which you can explain will be mailed out the following year during the election season.
- Focus on an Individual – Avoid spreading your energy. Focus on a city manager, councilperson, mayor or police chief and keep the pressure up until that person assures you his loyalty and then move on to the next victim.
- Press Conferences – Every high profile crime that takes place should result in the association’s uproar at the governing body for not having enough officers on the street, which could have avoided the incident.
Of course, other ideas that cops come up with are very imaginative. Just keep in mind, the idea is to show the decision makers that the public favors public safety and it will only harm their public support by not prioritizing you and almost equally as important, to let them know that next time they should agree with you much sooner.
Posted by The Desert Rat in Behind Closed Doors, Boohooism, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Former Fullerton Councilmembers, Fullerton City Council Candidates, Gin Flurry, Hidden Government Agencies, Patdown Pat McPension, Redevelopment, Setting The Bar Low, Sharon Quirk, Strange But True, The Culture of Corruption, Union Goons, Watch Your Wallet on August 26, 2012
Okay this post is not about Jan Flory discussing anything remotely “sexy” because the thought of that…well, never mind.
The post is about her latest Facebook scribblings in which she opines on a subject near and dear to the hearts of Fullerton reformers: the illegal 10% tax on your water that the City collected for the past 15 years. $27,000,000 worth.
First I’ll start by stating what you could have already guessed. Jan Flory does not want you to get a refund of the theft. In her world-order the taxpayers are meant to be milked, not refunded.
Her assertion that the collection was “illegal” the past three year is a bad lawyer’s half-truth that amounts to a bald-faced lie, of course. It has been illegal for 15 years, six of them on her watch as a council person. The City has a legal opinion that it is only obligated to refund three-year’s worth of the theft. Not the same thing, is it? Of course Mrs. Flory is desperate to disassociate her name with the tax. Too late. She is on record in the 90s as having known it was wrong and doing it anyway.
Mrs. Flory and her ilk love footling committees, especially when they are selected by ozone brains like Jone, Quirk, McKinley and Bankhead. Even better are the “consultants” selected by staff who give them their marching orders. The “report” cooked up by the water rate consultant was so evidently bogus that it hardly needs to be restated. But I will: their goal was to gin up as much phony cost as possible to keep the bureaucrats greedy little fingers on that 10%. Flory may think this gives her cover, and under the old Culture of Corruption it would have. Not any more.
The 10% was expressly collected to cover specific City staff costs associated with the water utility. However, it turns out that those departments were already charging directly to the Water Fund. Which is why I am happy to refer to the tax as an illegal theft.
And another point: it’s real easy to say that the illegal tax should be refunded to the Water Fund for capital improvements. That’s convenient, but immoral. The tax that was collected had nothing to do with infrastructure. Nothing. True infrastructure costs should be rolled into an effective rate for water transmission, a correction of years of mismanagement by Mrs. Flory and her cohorts that still needs to be done. Confusing these two issues is simply a convenient way for the perpetrators to hide their crime and their dereliction.
Now, let’s address the issue of the reserve funds, a subject that Mrs. Flory wants people to believe she knows something about. There is no need to empty these accounts to pay refunds. No, indeed. I find it remarkably disingenuous for anybody to assert this, especially given just two of City manger Joe Felz’s most recent “cost saving” measures.
First there was the egregious relocation of former Redevelopment personnel into General Fund departments for which they had no apparent expertise. Most recently the City contracted out your graffiti removal services for $120,000. Yay! Big savings, right? Wrong. The city employees were simply reassigned to other jobs in the Engineering Department that were vacant. Net cost savings? -$120,000.
The City just missed an opportunity to shave a million bucks off its payroll costs. Of course, my point is that the General Fund is far from depleted.
Finally, in closing, I would submit that Mrs. Flory knows more about witching hours than any of us. However, if she doesn’t like staying up that late every other Tuesday night, then she has no business on a city council. And it’s really too bad that the Council is scheduling special meetings to attend to the people’s business.
Mrs. Flory’s little rubber stamp has been put away and locked up.
Jan Flory Update: Says She Likes DUI Checkpoints (!) And Spending Other People’s Money; Admits Water Fraud Was a Tax!
A few facts.
1. The State of California is broke. Why? Mostly because spendthrift incompetent politicians like Jan Flory keep spending more and more.
2. DUI checkpoints and their random stop of law-abiding citizens violates the spirit, if not the letter of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution.
3. DUI Checkpoints provide lots of overtime for cops, most of whom just stand around doing nothing but socializing.
4. The removal of drunks from the road per man-hours in DUI stops is less than if the cops just pulled over real drunks driving drunk. In Downtown Fullerton that would be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Now let’s observe the vinegary observations of a local Fullerton spendthrift:
Jan Flory thinks somebody needs to consult with the cops to find out if they support overtime for the troops, paid for by somebody else? Hoo Boy, what a great idea. Here’s my idea: arrest people for driving drunk instead of arbitrarily harassing sober motorists.
51 bars? Yeah, right. You and your pals, the Three Bald Tires, turned downtown Fullerton into an open air liquor parlor, so thanks for that.
Oh, yeah. And another thing. Thanks, Jan for recognizing that the “in-lieu fee” was really a tax! Now just repeat: illegal tax, and you’ll have it 100% right. You should; you voted for the illegal tax each year for six years!
Wolfe is gone. So are Ramos and Cicinelli. The other three cops involved in the Kelly Thomas beating death, despite violating policy, have had their jobs saved by a watery Gennco report and an acting police chief eager to do damage control in the ongoing struggle to deny the obvious: a Culture of Corruption in the FPD.
The other three cops: Blatney, Craig, and Hampton. Hampton. Now why does that name sound familiar? Let me think.
Oh that’s right! He’s the fine fellow who assaulted a bystander who made the mistake of trying to video record a downtown Fullerton incident involving the FPD. Poor Veth Mam never knew what hit him. Fortunately a bystander picked up Mam’s phone and continued the video. Watch as Hampton throws Mam to the ground, swings him around like a rag doll, and sits on him.
But the story was far from over. Mam was arrested and jailed on charges of assaulting the cops! The DA was fine with the story Officer Frank Nguyen cooked up which was so obviously contradicted by the video that Mam was eventually unanimously acquitted by a jury.
So were there any repercussions? Of course not. According to spokesman Andrew Goodrich, the cops really and truly thought they had the right man, even though it’s obvious in the video that from the time Hampton arrives on the scene and his immediate attack of Mam he can have known nothing of any alleged previous assault on a cop.
Now that’s mad excessive!