Fullerton is in the state of California, which has many problems of its own.
An article from Yahoo on the best and worst run states.
Naturally ours is the worst run. Number 50. Check out the top and bottom five and see if you can discern any commonalities.
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.
Um, Chris Norby, you are a State Assemblyman, right? You stand for something, right? You ran for office for some reason, right?
So now that you’re up in Sacramento, why don’t you do something about the hideous union scam known as POBR – the Police Officer’s Bill of Rights – that grants special protection to cops good and bad. It seems that POBR keeps honest, law-abiding, tax-paying citizens from knowing which crooked cops have been preying upon the very citizens who pay for their salaries and exorbitant pensions. Are you in favor of this? Do you care? Are you worth a dehydrated ostrich turd?
You’ve been in Sacramento for over two years and so far have accomplished nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zero. So how about finally showing some guts by doing the right thing. Make it legal for all police departments to release all relevant information on cops who have been separated from their police force. If they’ve done nothing wrong the facts will bear this out. If they have violated policy, or worse, if they are criminals, the public has a right to know.
And Sharon Quirk, if you’re reading this (and I know you are) what do you have to say about fixing POBR.
The OC Republican Party went to bat for “Patdown” Pat McKinley when he ran for Fullerton City Council in 2010. With the help of his influential ‘pug friends like Dick Ackerman he secured the OCGOP Central party endorsement. Party volunteers even helped oversee Doug Chafee’s recount effort against him.
So what’s this we see, above? Oh oh. It looks like Patdown Pat is backing a Democrat, Sharon Quirk. Now that’s not very good, is it?
Right alongside old guard liberals Jan Flory and fellow massive pension suckateer, Chris Meyer.
And to Ed Royce, who created this twisted McMonster and foisted him on us all, all I can ask is: are you finally satisfied with the damage you’ve done?
The original and the best. Nothing quite like it.
Here is Doc Foghorn sharing his thoughts on medical marijuana. Notice that Jones is all about control. Mindlessly so. See, he knows what’s best and tarnation if’n he ain’t a gonna give it to you – whether you like it or not.
But really: heroin products and oxytoxin??!! This assclown’s gears was a slippin’ two years ago.
– Joe Sipowicz
Posted by The Fullerton Shadow in Behind Closed Doors, Bruce Whitaker, Chronic Failure, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Fullerton City Council, I Ain't a Swallerin' That, Patdown Pat McPension, Repuglicanism, Sharon Quirk, Statewide Stuff, The Culture of Corruption, The Fullerton Recall, Watch Your Wallet on March 19, 2012
Teri Sforza of the OC Register has done another piece on Fullerton’s fraudulent 10% water tax and the equally fraudulent study commissioned by the City Council to justify keeping as much of the tax as they can. Naturally the consultant ginned up some phony rent value for City owned property that water reservoirs sit on! In fact the bogus rent topped $1.3 million, a figure so absurd that even Mayor Sharon Quirk took offense. It’s a good thing Ms. Quirk is running for the State Assembly or she might not be so concerned about the wear ratepayers getting ripped off in an illegal scam. Whatever. At least she finally seems to have somebody who knows what’s going on advising her.
Our Friends over at the Orange Juice blog are reporting that Fullerton’s Sharon Quirk has pulled papers to run against Chris Norby in the new 65th State Assembly District.
Good luck Sharon! And wake up Chris! You may have an opponent!
The real interest for FFF is that this will free up Quirk’s seat on Fullerton’s City Council, and will give Fullerton residents a chance to elect a pro-accountability candidate in November.
With a little hard work we can clean up Fullerton for a long, long time.
UPDATE: As noted in the comment from Chris Thompson below, he did not learn about the Beechwood situation (whatever it is) from FFFF. This was my error. I misread the following comment made by Thompson in yesterday’s post:
For clarity’s sake, I have NOT been briefed on any aspect of this story beyond the information which has been made publicly available in the meeting posted here.
I read this to mean that he had not been briefed at all. I do not know if he had an independent briefing from Hovey, but he was actually at the meeting in question. My mistake. I have edited the text below.
In the past few days in Fullerton we have witnessed the usurpation of public sovereignty by government employees and contractors who seem to believe it is their right, not our representative’s, to determine what sorts of information the duly elected representatives are, or are not permitted to see.
First, was the protracted saga of Fullerton City councilman Bruce Whitaker, who for seven moths has been trying to get access to the video of FPD cops beating Kelly Thomas to death. This is a pretty reasonable request, you would think, given the fact that the cops have watched and re-watched the video (Acting Chief Dan Hughes says he’s seen it 400 times); it’s been viewed by the DA; it’s been watched by Cicinelli and Ramos’s lawyers; apparently it’s even been watched by Ron Thomas, father of the dead man. But for some reason the City Manager and City Attorney believe they have the authority to deny access of this public document to Bruce Whitaker, and have used the majority vote of the Three Dim Bulbs to continue to deny Whitaker access.
This is just an outrageous usurpation of the authority that accrues to elected officials by virtue of their popular election. Despite what the bureaucrats and their die-hard elected supporters believe, the sovereignty invested in the elected is indivisible and should never be confused with the practical exigency of majority rule that determines policy and decides the quotidian issues of managing a city.
And then, we have the very recent sad spectacle of a Fullerton School District trustee, Chris Thompson, not being adequately briefed on a matter involving a teacher at Beechwood Elementary School – a matter so serious that the Fullerton police were called in to investigate it, and an emergency parent meeting held. Whatever is going on, the Superintendant, Mitch Hovey decided that the trustees didn’t need to know about it.
The question of whether other trustees besides Thompson were briefed remains to be ascertained, and if so that would make matters even worse.
But here’s the really bad part. According to Thompson: Dr. Hovey informed me that he had been advised by the district’s law firm as to what information he could and could not give to the board members. He did confirm that he knows more than we do.
Say what? That law firm doesn’t work for Hovey; it works for the Board of Trustees who hired them. It has no business collaborating with the Superintendent to decide what information can and can’t be parceled out to the Board. And anybody who doesn’t grasp this basic tenet shouldn’t be on the Board or work for it, either.
As Assemblyman Norby pointed out in his newsletter, it is both the right and the responsibility of elected officials to have reasonable access to public property and documents in order to do their jobs. The Legislative Counsel for the State of California said so. This precept is all about accountability and responsibility in our representative democracy.
So why is this basic concept being flagrantly flouted by Fullerton’s bureaucrats? Who is in charge here, indeed?
Here is an interesting bit from Assemblyman Chris Norby’s latest newsletter documenting his effort to promote legislation to guarantee elected officials – like Fullerton’s Bruce Whitaker – access to public documents and records.
Well, Lo and Behold: it’s not necessary according to Legislative Counsel who determined that such a right already exists. Looks like somebody forgot to tell our esteemed City Attorney Dick Jones, who has publicly defended denying Whitaker access to city-owned records.
And it looks like we have another Recall issue.
So who the Hell is really in charge in Fullerton? The cops? The bureaucrats? The unelected City Attorney? The Three Triassic Fossils who have no authority to deny a duly elected official access to official records? Who?
In the words of the Bard, Bob Dylan in “Oxford Town”: somebody better investigate soon.
“Bruce’s Law” Restates Obvious
Can elected officials be denied information obtained at public expense on public property? Can unelected attorneys and administrators keep such information hidden from those who appointed them?
That’s what’s happening to Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker. His request to view the city’s video of the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas has been denied by the City Manager and City Attorney. That video was made by a city-owned camera at the city-owned Fullerton Transportation Center. Three of Bruce’s colleagues have chosen not to watch the tape, but have never voted to deny it to him.
Bruce doesn’t seek to release the tape to the public, or even have his own copy. He just wants to see it, to be in better position to understand what happened on that fateful July night. So I drafted a bill clarifying an elected official’s right to the same information as those they hire. “Bruce’s Law” would assure those we elect have access to information they need.
My bill was rejected by Legislative Counsel, however, as unnecessary. I was told that elected officials already have this right. I was told that unelected government employees cannot deny public officials information they need to represent their constituents. I was told that video camera footage taken by a public agency can be viewed by an official elected to govern that agency.
A new bill cannot be introduced which simply duplicates existing laws. But Bruce is still being denied the tape.
FFFF’s own Travis Kiger, a member of the City’s Planning Commission hit a home run last week in his comments about the proposed high-density government subsidized housing project on W. Santa Fe Avenue in downtown Fullerton.