Behind Closed Doors

Jan Flory and the “3@50″ Sinkhole

Jan Flory is running for Fullerton City Council. Jan Flory used to be on Fullerton City Council. Jan Flory is hoping that nobody remembers her disastrous decisions on Fullerton City Council.

Oops!  Too late.

In one of the costliest misjudgments in Fullerton history, Mrs. Flory joined her fellow council members in approving the horrible, retroactive 3@50 pension formula for the City’s “public safety” employees that was a massive gift of public funds and created a huge unfunded pension liability that eats up a bigger percentage of Fullerton’s budget every year.

Bankhead, Flory, Clesceri, Jones and Norby.  At least Norby apologized for his blunder. Flory never has. She even made the motion to approve the gargantuan giveaway!

View the agreement

Post meeting party at the police station!

Of course the excuse Don Bankhead and Patdown Pat McPension used was that without the benefit Fullerton couldn’t recruit the best and brightest. You know, cops like Ramos and Wolfe and Cicinelli, and Rincon, and Mater and Mejia and Major, and well, you get the idea.

Of course Mrs. Flory never got around to explaining how giving away a retroactive benefit to current employees would improve future recruitment.

Being on a city council for eight long years can create an embarrassing trail of disastrous decision. Our job will be to remind the public of Mrs. Flory’s string of expensive votes.

 

146 Comments

So Which Is It?

Check out my former mistress Jan Flory’s ballot statement job designation. Family Law Attorney. Did she re-hang her dusty shingle? Maybe. Because a few short months ago she kicked in some dough to fight the Recall and claimed she was actually “retired.” Oops!

flory-filing.jpg (844×500)

I’m a bird, I’m a plane, I’m a lawyer!

Well maybe she just had one of her forgetful moments.

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What To Do About The Illegal Water Tax

On Tuesday the City Council is scheduled to discuss what they want to do about the embarrassing fact that the City charged an illegal 10% tax on our water bill for fifteen years, amassing a total rip-off that easily topped $25,000,000. The funds were deposited in General Fund and mostly went to pay for salaries and pensions of City employees that had absolutely nothing to do with the acquisition and transmission of water – the ostensible purpose of the levy. It even went to pay for four-star hotels for Councilmembers’ League of City junkets.

Some folks think reparations are due, in some fashion, to the rate payers that got ripped off. But how? A check in the mail? Lowered rates in the future? Repayment from the General Fund to the Water Fund?

The City doesn’t have $25 mil laying around, and rebates in the future for past indiscretions would certainly create inequities. Going back just a few years for reparations may be a logical and practical step. Repayment from the General Fund over time may be the only recourse and would certainly address the original purpose of the “in-lieu fee” which was the cost of delivering water to the people and businesses of Fullerton. However it should be pointed out that the the 10% that was raked off was never connected to the true cost of the water in the first place.

Another question to be dealt with is what is an applicable rate for miscellaneous City costs that are currently unrecompensed by the Water Fund? There isn’t much unaccounted for, and the “consultant” for the Water rate Ad Hoc Committee tried to cook up some phony percentage between 6 and 7 based largely on the cost of the City charging the Water Fund rent!

This raises all sorts of embarrassing questions about why the Water Utility was not permitted to acquire all this valuable real estate in the first place, dirt cheap, if now it is to be treated as a separate entity; and how a landlord can negotiate rent with his tenant when they are both one and the same person. In any case there is a new council that is a lot less likely to cave in to this sort of nonsense than the old stumblebums.

In any case, I want to mention a couple of things. First, the perpetrators of the scam need to be identified and chastised for their complicity in the tax: they would be all of the former councilmen of the last 15 years who let this happen; the city managers Jim Armstrong, Chris Meyer, and Joe Felz, who participated in the scheme and who either knew or should have known it was illegal; and let’s not forget Richard Jones, Esq., the City Attorney, who was there every single step of the way and damn well knew it was illegal. Second, Joe Felz’ obvious strategy of stalling and temporizing on this issue, aided and abetted by the Three Hollow Logs and Sharon Quirk, protracted the rip-off by another full year and compounded the problem even more, even as they knew the jig was up.

It should be interesting to see if any of our aspiring council candidates show up to share their wisdom on this subject.

What do you think?

 

87 Comments

CSUF Giving Up on “University Heights” Fiasco?

Those birds won’t be coming home to roost. Not if CSUF can help it.

A few years ago Cal State Fullerton decided to get into the housing business for its employees. Why public employees should get any sort of preferential treatment for housing is beyond me, but that’s the society in which we live.

Anyway, the whole thing turned out to be a massive disaster, but not an embarrassment, of course, for such things are not permitted in the lofty ether of educratic circles. FFFF posted about it here, and here.

Recap: the university made a deal with the Elks for land up on Elk Hill and sold a bond to build a bunch of cookie-cutter tract duplexes that were to be sold to professors and administrators, and such like, and subsidized by you and me. The only problem was that an underlying deed restriction required sale to others in the same category, an encumbrance that turned out to be a lot more than a mere nuisance, especially when real estate prices were plummeting all over the place.

The university also had the responsibility to make monthly payments to the Elks for their land, which were to passed on to lucky buyers: a sort of Mello-Roos arrangement, if you will.

The eggheads never made it to Egghead Hill

But nobody was buying. So the university opened up residence to any government workers. Still no sales. Finally they just started renting them out to anybody with a cleaning deposit and first month’s rent. Could it get worse?

Looks like it could. Persistent rumors suggest that CSUF wants out of the University heights disaster altogether by completely removing the deed restriction and just selling them off – individually or as a group – no doubt at fire sale prices. They obviously need the cash.

The losses on the original deal would be quietly swept under the rug – no doubt with diminishing fund balances bailing out the catastrophe.

And what for? According to an acquaintance at Western Law School, CSUF wants to buy their facility for $20,000,000, give or take, and metastasize across State College.

It’s pretty clear to me that the CSUF appetite for real-estate wheeling and dealing is insatiable, even as the CSU system teeters on the financial brink. It’s also clear that nobody is going to be held accountable for the University Heights quagmire. F. “Dick” Jones, the City mastermind, is recalled; his buddy, former City manager Chris is fatly pensioned off; Bill Dickerson, the CSUF architect of the fiasco is retired, too. CSUF President, the dopey Milton Gordon? You guessed it. Gone, as well.

Would it be asking too much for our State Assemblyman Chris Norby to demand an inquiry on what unfolded up on Elk Hill?

 

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THE BIG SACRIFICE: .6%

The BS had a high caloric content.

Over at the Save Our Culture of Corruption website, the FPOA shares this rather interesting tidbit:

Last year, the Fullerton Police Officers Association along with City Employees and the Firefighters Associations agreed to cost savings, pension reform and more cuts, which totaled $1,065,000 per year in real dollars for Fullerton taxpayers and the City! (Italics added)

Now I have absolutely no idea what this means, or where that number comes from. It doesn’t matter. It was meant to look impressive and impress the masses with all the sacrifices and cost savings our wonderful police have made. You are supposed to glide over the fact that the number (whatever it means) includes all union employees in Fullerton, but that doesn’t matter much, either. As the lawyers say, I’ll stipulate that it’s a meaningful figure and not just some chunk of stray pastrami that fell out of Barry Coffman’s mustache.

And now for context, let us consult the City’s Annual Budget and contemplate that number in relationship to total projected City expenditures for FY 2011-12.

On page A-21 we note that the total General Fund expenditures will be $71,784,315. Do the math. Divide the alleged savings of $1,065,000 by that total and you get a pipsqueak 1.5%, and only a fraction of that attributable to the rank and file cops themselves. 1.5%. Feeling rosy yet? But it gets even more comical.

On page A-28 you will see that the total projected City expenditures from all sources, including the grants that pay for cop overtime, is a $178,800,088. Do the math, again. Now the percentage of alleged sacrifice compared to the total cost to run the City shrinks to a minuscule .6%. That’s 6/10ths of one percent, Pythagoras, even if the number is legit.

Wow, what a sacrifice! 

If you didn’t know any better you might credit the FPOA for their heartfelt concern for the taxpayers who employ them.

Now you know better.

 

198 Comments

Sharon Quirk’s Problem With The Ladies

Those ladies weren’t like us…

The Voice of OC(EA) is reporting here about the protest held in front of the Old Courthouse by NOW, the OCEA and others demanding that the State’s Attorney General look into the sexual mistreatment of female County workers at the hands of Carlos Bustamante and his superiors.

You’ll notice that one of the “others” was our own Mayor Sharon Quirk. Well, okay.

GOD MODE ACTIVATED. Lookin’ out for the ladies, oh yeah!

But wait!  Almost immediately the name Albert Rincon sprung to mind. Who is Albert Rincon? He is the stand-up Fullerton cop that none of the FPD apologists ever want to talk about; the creep who was accused of serially molesting women in the backseat of his patrol car and who cost the taxpayers of Fullerton $350,000 to settle two of the cases.

Remember that these assaults took place during Quirk’s tenure on the council; and that Rincon, in response to numerous complaints from abused women, was merely required by his superiors to take patdown training classes; and that after the settlement was announced, Rincon was quietly permitted to walk away from the FPD – for entirely different reasons.

And what did the outraged Quirk do to investigate an institution that not only permitted, but virtually encouraged this predator? What did she do to bring justice to all the victims?

What’s that Sharon? We can’t hear you?

Next time she goes looking for female victims to stand up for, I humbly submit Quirk doesn’t have to look quite so far afield.

100 Comments

Disband The FPD? Really?

The FPOA sure brought out their gang to lean on the City Council the other night. Geez, the whole union might have been there, maybe including the ones that have been charged with felonies by the DA and the ones currently the subjects of an array of civil lawsuits.

Their misinformation pitch that the item was all about disbanding the FPD and not merely soliciting information from the county’s Sheriff Department, helped divert attention from what really happened.

One of our perceptive FFFF commenters appears to have captured the gist of what occurred.

#203 by Down on the Farm on August 9, 2012

Good story, but wrong. The FPOA would be on the spot to start making concessions now, maybe even renegotiating a new contract. They aren’t very smart but I’m sure even the idiot Coffman could figure that out.

It wasn’t about disbanding the FPD. For the union it was all about maintaining the status quo for another three years.

This observation seems to ring true: that what the union was really afraid of was not future disbanding of the department and, a fortiori, their union, but rather that there would be no immediate pressure for them to start negotiating concessions now, instead of in two and a half years.

Which means maintaing the current gravy for another three years. So all that FPOA hysterical sturm und drang was really just a fight to keep things just the way they are. A victory? I guess it depends how you look at it.

 

220 Comments

Stop Bushala From Establishing His Own Police Force!

Tiffany likes it!

Imagine a world where you could establish your own police force. A force that doesn’t kill innocent human beings and pretend it never happened; one whose members don’t falsify evidence, or beat people up, or steal from the evidence room, or from TSA checkpoints.

Imagine a police department where male members don’t sexually assault women in their police cruisers, and in which evidence in a jail suicide is not destroyed; where the official spokeshole doesn’t peddle bullshit to non-inquisitive media with impunity. Imagine a department where no lazy or crooked cops ID the wrong man and send him to jail. Imagine a force where the chief doesn’t deny the undeniable; or where the chief can’t get a disability retirement for high blood pressure and an achy tummy.

Can you imagine such a world?

The folks who put to gather this website can’t.

Fail

They also can’t spell the name of their antagonist.

By the way, do feel that you have had one iota of control over the Culture of Corruption?

 

160 Comments

Keep The FPD!

The natives are getting restless. Well, some of them, anyhow. It appears that a campaign to keep the Fullerton Police Department is underway. Here’s the Facebook site.

Obviously the cop union has decided to start promoting its own perpetuation since the union would cease to exist if, say, the OC Sheriff Department assumed a police services contract with Fullerton – as Yorba Linda just did. And the residents of Fullerton are paying over 30% more, per capita, for municipal policing than the good folks in the City of Gracious Living.

The union’s intention is no doubt to try to make “local control” a fall 2012 campaign issue – and that’s good. Given the behavior of the FPOA brethren and sistren the past couple of years, and budget-busting cost of the FPD to the taxpayers, reasonable people may well be wondering about alternatives.

A lot of people will be asking where was the “local control” when Veth Mam was framed? Where was it when Albert Rincon was molesting women in his patrol car? Where was it when Kelly Thomas was murdered?

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The Revolution Was Televised. But You Were Watching Dancing With the Stars.

Check this out:

We have met the enemy and he is us.

The streets of Bagdad or Kabul? No, this occupying force is all dressed up with no place to go – except the mean streets of Anaheim, where the police department has done just about everything possible to take a bad situation and make it worse.

But what’s with all the paramilitary bullshit? Camouflage? Really? What the Hell have we let out country become? Why did we let a bunch of neo-conservative chickenhawks and cowardly statist liberals turn our nation into a place where the local street cops are parading around with all the latest military hardware Homeland Security could buy for them?

Courtesy of the OC Weekly

I don’t know about you, but the thought of a Cicinelli, a Wolfe, a Ramos, or a Hampton decked out like GI Joe, gives me nothing but apprehension. In Fullerton our new council needs to start scrutinizing this militarization of the flatfoots, and PDQ.

476 Comments