The Mayor Game!

Arf!
Arf!

Yes, Favored Friends! It’s time once again to play…The Mayor Game!

Every December our illustrious city council elevates one of their own to assume the august tile “Mayor.” The Mayor of Fullerton gets to preside at meetings and that’s about it. Almost a kind of booby prize if you think about it. And yet our elected representatives lust after the title, particularly if there is an election the following November.

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown...
Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown…

For years the selection was fraught with political tension as the repuglican old guard, orchestrated by the odious Dick Ackerman contrived to keep Dems (and Chris Norby) from ascension to this lofty estate.  In recent years though, the process has become less political. The Council even adopted a process for non-partisan rotation in which it would be the turn of the that person serving longest without wearing the bejeweled tiara. This process is not enshrined in any law or code. It’s just sort of a Gentleman’s Agreement between people who really don’t trust each other – and for good reason.

The humble office of Mayor Pro Tem serves as the approach to the green and thence the flag.

Will the bonhomie last?

It was a rough landing...
It was not a smooth landing…

The current Mayor Pro Tem is my broomstick-wielding former mistress, Jan Flory, who will mercifully be out of office in a week or so. This means that it is Councilman Bruce Whitaker’s turn to shimmy up the greasy pole. Whitaker became mayor in the Fall of 2012, but it wasn’t without nervousness since it was well known that Flory and Bud Chaffee opposed him. But Jennifer Fitzgerald was given a directive and fell into line. But that was then.

What, me worry?
What, me worry?

 

Another wrinkle this time is that both Whitaker and Fitzgerald are rumored to be seeking the job of 4th District County Supervisor in 2018, and running with title of mayor next year would be just dandy, at least according to conventional wisdom.

So will the new council stick to its own policy or will they dump it? Will the new guy, Jesus Silva go along, or will he cut a deal with Fitzgerald and Chaffee to the exclude Whitaker? In the past it was not uncommon for councilmembers to gin up any stupid sort of excuse to keep the incumbent in place for another year.

In the end what it takes is three votes, and everything else is eyewash.

And now I must to attend to my nether parts.

The Yellowing Submarine

Things never looked better for Fullerton.
Things never looked better for Fullerton.

An alert Friend directed our attention to the Fullerton Observer’s “reporting” of the recent Joe Felz/Danny Hughes Glenwood Ave. Road Rally. Here’s the article. As usual the Observer does its level best to downplay the incident –  since for the Yellowing Observers City Hall can do no wrong. If you want, you can see it here. Below is a facsimile.

Journalism at it's finest!
Journalism at it’s finest!

Let’s enjoy some of the unintended hilarity.

First notice that neither the chief player in this drama, nor even his august title are mentioned in the headline, a rather glaring omission, one would think.

It is not until the end of the second paragraph that we discover the tree killer is our beloved city manager; and it wasn’t until the next sentence that he is identified – only as “Mr. Felz.”

None of the pertinent facts are shared: that Felz had been drinking; that he had tried to drive away; that he had been given a pass on the breathalyzer test that would have been forced on you or me, or even Sharon Kennedy, editor of this mess.

Ironically, Page 6 contains a saccharine farewell to Chief Dan Hughes, whose last official task as chief was to make sure his boss got a safe ride home and tucked into bed without the worry of an annoying and embarrassing DUI rap. Thanks for the solid, man!

“Leaked to a local blog.” Ha ha! Yes, indeed! But no mention of the evil FFFF, where original and dangerous attitudes prevail! Jeez, even Sappy McTree got more shine than we did.

And finally: “…witnessing a driver (you mean THE driver) trying to maneuver his vehicle off the causeway.”

Causeway? Just like The Observer of old: error riddled, incompetent, supine and illiterate.

Molly’s Problem

 

Nothing intelligent was forthcoming...
Nothing intelligent was forthcoming…

Could be trouble’s a-brewin’ for our old acquaintance, North OC Community College District trustee Molly McClanahan.

Now, in case you’re not familiar with the life and times of McClanahan, here’s a primer: rightfully recalled from the Fullerton City Council in 1994 for imposing a stupid and unnecessary utility tax (at the behest of the public employee unions), she was tossed a little political plum as an appointee to the NOCCCD. There she has been a reliable cheerleader for a bloated, overpaid and incompetent administration for over 20 years.

A few years back we followed the tale of the magical football stadium at FJC, an embarrassment on so many levels that I won’t recount them, just give you Loyal Friends the link.

Seven years have passed and apparently the football practice facility is still slated to become a completely unnecessary game day venue – given the fact of the FHS stadium a few hundred yards away and the CSUF stadium less than two miles away. looks like some of the neighbors are still as unhappy about this as ever. In fact, somebody has started a website dedicated to pressuring McClanahan to act on behalf of her constituents instead of her district bureaucrats, with the promise of a recall. Since they linked to the old post of ours, I felt compelled to return the favor.

Now Molly may have a problem, maybe. Recalling anybody is hard, especially in a big JC district that nobody even thinks much about. Yet the NOCCCD has seven much smaller individual districts. I don’t know for sure, but I’m supposing the individual trustee districts have about 70,000 people, so gathering signatures would not be impossible. But would anybody off the hill behind the campus even care?

Unfortunately, the website isn’t real clear on what how McClanahan is supposed to do anything at this point. Maybe the proprietor of that blog will stop by and give us some more information. One thing is certain, though. Whoever is behind this is pretty pissed off. The hostility comes through loud and clear; and tellingly, there is a pointed reference to McClanahan’s illegal gift-taking from a bond peddler and the consequent FPPC fine.

A Streetcar Named Desire

It was bound to be a rocky ride.
It was bound to be a rocky ride.

Last week the ever helpful Fullerton City Hall scribe Lou Ponsi scribbled a story about how Fullerton needs a transit dedicated line from the CSUF area to the Fullerton “metro center.”

No, I am not kidding. “Senior” Planner Jay Eastman believes Fullerton has a metro center.

A cynic might conclude that the sole purpose of this venture is to more efficiently direct college kids into the open air saloon that downtown Fullerton has become.

Trolley? Bus? Light rail(!)? The world is Jay Eastman’s oyster, just so long as somebody else is picking up the tab. In this case the OCTA is going to pay 90% of the cost of a “study” to determine just what Fullerton needs: $270,000 worth, with us paying the other $30,000.

All of which goes to show that OCTA has an awful lot more money than they know what to do with.

Prepare to be “Educated”

shawn-nelson

The other day a sharp-eyed commenter noticed that OC Supervisor Shawn Nelson is rolling into town on Tuesday to make a “presentation” about his homeless shelter proposal over on State College to the City Council. The County wants to buy a run-down commercial building and put north OC’s homeless in it. They are already in escrow.

As a former liberal myself I am very well-aware of the idea among my former soul-mates that everything is about education, as in: if only these dummies in Fullerton knew the real story there is no way they could possibly oppose our grandiose plan.

All I can say is beware of politicians with big ideas and lots of our money.

We Get Mail: A Most Unhappy Neighbor

Friends, here is a letter sent to Mayor Bruce Whitaker and thoughtfully provided to us from a citizen who live in the Chapman Park neighborhood across the street from the proposed site of a County homeless shelter.

I omit this individual’s name and number to spare them annoying calls from the bureaucrats but it was included in the letter to Whitaker:

Subject: proposed homeless shelter

Mr Mayor,
This is in regards to the proposed homeless shelter to be opened in the old Linder’s Furniture building on State College in Fullerton.  I am a long time Fullerton home owner (almost 30 years) and live in the Chapman Park tract directly across State College from the proposed site.  I would like to voice my adamant opposition to this project!  If the shelter goes in at this site you are opening us up to security and safety issues, property value drops & outright living in fear.  We have a park in our tract that will potentially become the hangout for the people of the shelter, all they have to do is walk across State College Blvd and they are at the pedestrian entrance to our housing tract.  This park is a little league park full of kids on the weekends, and homeowners including myself walk the park frequently in the mornings and evenings. A great many of the homeowners in this tract are older single women like myself who live alone and the thought of our community/tract being opened up to this kind of influx of homeless and mentally ills is frightening.  I have already had my house broken into and robbed in the recent past and what is being proposed will bery likely increase the chance of this happening again.  It’s bad enough that our neightborhood has been turned into a parking lot by the students from Cal State Fullerton and the city won’t help us with that issue, now we are going to be asked to have the residents of this shelter desend on us also.  I know this seems like the old “not in my backyard” standard but truthfully this is a very disconcerting and potentially dangerous situation for us. It seems like there must be an available building in a more industrial location rather than this one so close to homes, little league fields and schools. And what happens when the over/under pass project reaches State College?
 
I know my voice probably doesn’t matter and nothing will change as it appears deals have already been made and this is being railroaded through but I hope at the very least that the pedestrian entrance at the corner of  State College and Fender will be completely sealed up.  And when our houses get broken into or tagged and the mentally ill and homeless accost us at the park I hope you will personally come visit us to see what you have allowed.
 
Sign me
A very unhappy Fullerton resident
Hopefully this tax-payer’s voice will matter, although the odds seem against it.

Two Kinds of Deflection

In the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder at the hands of the FPD, two different yet eerily similar tactics emerged for deflecting responsibility away from the cops.

Fullerton’s antique liberal crowd quickly banded together so that society itself could be blamed, not the FPD: the problem was not murderous, corrupt or even incompetent cops. Oh, no. The problem was one of homelessness and the solution was to provide a homeless shelter! Why Kelly would probably even be alive today!

On the other hand, the anonymous cop-protectors keep insisting that the problem lay with poor parenting for Kelly’s death, as if a schizophrenic, 35 year-old man was somehow the responsibility of his parents, and as if that somehow exculpates the six cops who beat him to death and stood around laughing as he died in a pool of his own blood.

Of course both groups relied heavily upon a completely comical whitewash of the FPD Culture of Corruption by paid-for opinion of Michael Gennaco.

Two different cliques, two very similar tactics.

 

The Great Plutonium Scare and The Local Media Dust Up

It is no secret that we here at FFFF have little use for the brainless Establishment boosterism that some clown named Davis Barber dishes out at a website called FullertonStories under the rubric of fair, balanced journalism. Of course this man is entitled to ladle out any crappy pabulum he likes and can call it anything he likes, even “journalism.” Who can ever for get the ridiculous lies by Richard Fritschie, happily passed along by Barber in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder.

However, this story is about a hoax earlier this month, a false tale that somebody was in possession of plutonium at the FPD HQ. Apparently the Homeland Security apparatchiks rode to our rescue and our local leaders, as usual, were given little or no information about what was going on. This was reported in The Fullertonion, here, and here. A news source was Mayor Bruce Whitaker.

At the next council meeting Mr. Barber, apparently offended that he had not been granted an interview, showed up to chide mayor Bruce Whitaker for not returning his frequent entreaties to talk to him. This public importuning resulted in offending the good folks at The Fullertonion who took umbrage at the assertion that they were somehow inferior to FullertonStories as a journalistic endeavor, and who share the whole story, here.

A tempest in a teapot to be sure. But underlying this fracas is the reality that Whitaker didn‘t choose to communicate with Barber, a choice obviously based on some cause.

It may very well be that Whitaker, like FFFF, sees FullertonStories and Mr. Barber just a shill for whatever his pals in the Fullerton City Hall bureaucracy want him to promote. During the past two-years’ revelations of serial crimes committed by the FPD, and an illegal rip-off of almost $30,000,000 in an illegal water tax we’ve heard virtually nothing from Barber that could possibly be construed as reflecting negatively on the egregious behavior of the City Manager, the City Attorney or any employees of Fullerton or their protectors on the City Council.

And when you think about it that’s quite a feat.

Anyway, thumbs up to The Fullertonion whose mission really appears to be promoting an informed public.

 

 

Homeless Shelter A Big Step Closer

Linder

It appears that the good folks down at the County of Orange, allied with the local professional do-gooders are intent on placing a regional homeless shelter at 301 S. State College, in Fullerton.

The only problem is that nobody decided to let the neighbors know; or, even our own City Council, it seems.

The County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to proceed with the purchase of the old Linder’s Furniture store for $3,150,000. Yes, you read that right. Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker showed up to the meeting asking for more time so that his City Council could at least be afforded the opportunity to at least get briefed on the matter (gee that would have been nice). Some neighbors showed up, too, but to no avail. They may as well have stayed home.

The project, apparently the brainchild of our own Supervisor Shawn Nelson, is located across the street from a single family neighborhood and an elementary school, too. It’s hard to tell what is motivating Nelson, but judging by comments to the Voice of OC and the Register he seems intent on proving to the housing bureaucrats and Fullerton’s liberals what effective leadership looks like. Unfortunately he forgot that leaders need to build consensus around their ideas, not dictate them from on high.

Anyway, the pictures of the building on the County’s website show a decrepit 45 year-old building that I think is going to have to be completely rebuilt before humans can spend the night in it. Nobody has even begun to calculate those costs, although the County has 150 days to do “due diligence” whatever that may mean. You may count on many times the purchase price before they are done; running the operation will be a non-profit paid for by you and me.

The other four Supervisors are probably snickering at Nelson behind his back. They’ll get credit for their humanitarian propensities. East Fullerton gets the booby prize.

County Wants To Build Homeless Shelter On State College

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.