Chris Norby is State Assemblyman for the 72nd District. He is a former Orange County Supervisor for the 4th district, and a former Fullerton City councilmember.
Of course everybody in City hall knew the dirty little secret. The illegal 10% water tax that was hidden by the confusing name of “in-lieu fee.” Year after rancid year the City Fathers and Mothers – from daffy and angry liberal spendthrifts like Molly McClanahan and Jan Flory, to supposed conservatives Dick Ackerman and Chris Norby blessed the scam and put their imprimatur of approval upon it.
Of course they knew, or must have suspected, that the 10% was nothing other than a greasy rake-off that made their jobs easier and rewarded their friends in the bureaucracy. And they knew, or must have suspected, that the various City departments were already charging directly to the Water Fund – in direct contravention to the purpose of the original Resolution that created the”fee.”
This means that because the City departments were already charging to the Water Fund, that cost too jacked up the tax. Double Dip.
And all that free water wasted by the City over the years? You guessed it: the cost jacked up the illegal water tax. Triple Dip.
The fee was set at 10% of gross water revenue, meaning that every time the commodity cost of water went up, or transmission cost went up, so did the absolute amount of the tax itself. Quadruple Dip.
Naturally, the water tax itself was considered to be part of the gross “cost” of the water works, meaning that as the absolute value of the 10% increment rose, so did total of the tax!! The true amount of the tax was 10% of cost plus 10% of the 10%!!! Which is why the tax was actually about 11% of the true cost. Got it? Quintuple Dip.
The defenders of the Old Culture of Corruption and its slimey shakedown want you to believe that everything is pretty okay, that no harm was done, and that refunding any part of this felonious rip-off would just be a big waste of everybody’s time.
Wrong. Accountability and responsibility have their cost. Sooner or later you have to pay the piper.
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.
Okay, I really want to know.
Our State Assemblyman and former County Supervisor has made some really lame endorsements in the past, including the unspeakable corn pone donkey, Dick Jones.
But this time he has really surpassed himself, bestowing his political benediction on an Anaheim city council candidate named Steve Lodge. Except that his name isn’t Steve Lodge at all. It’s Steven Chavez Lodge, a name he recently adopted in an attempt to curry favor with Anaheim Latino voters and, not insignificantly, get his name to the top of the ballot.
Let’s set aside the fake name gambit for a moment and consider a few other unsavory facts about Lodge. First he is an ex-cop with a dirty record, “retired” with a disability at 52, set up in a make-work schmooze job by who knows who, and of course, worst of all, this cypher is a creation of the Kurt Pringle government for sale machine that has a hold of the City of Anaheim by the balls.
“Chavez’s” list of endorsers includes a who’s who of OC repuglicans including “Everything Must Go” Bill Campbell, carpetbagging spouse Dick Ackerman, carpetbagger Harry Hairball Sidhu and the other Pringle puppets on the Anaheim City council. Disney and the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce have joined the band, endorsing this miscreant as some sort of businessman who didn’t just move into Anaheim in the past year. Naturally, Ed Royce is a supporter.
And then there is Chris Norby. An endorser. Why? Why on Earth? You’ll have to ask him since the answer isn’t readily apparent. Maybe his political handler John Lewis dictated that it must be so. Maybe Norby was simply flattered to be asked for an endorsement that is now completely devalued.
But this Lodge creep stands for everything that is abhorrent to those who want intelligent and responsible leadership. So what could Norby be thinking? Who knows.
Doesn’t look like he is thinking at all.
Posted by Joe Sipowicz in Behind Closed Doors, Chris Norby, Chronic Failure, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Former Fullerton Councilmembers, Fullerton City Council, Fullerton City Council Candidates, Gin Flurry, I Ain't a Swallerin' That, The Culture of Corruption, Union Goons, Watch Your Wallet on August 21, 2012
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
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.
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.
On Sunday various groups, objecting to what looks a lot like an assassination by the cops, and what was a police induced riot later, held a protest at the Anaheim Police Headquarters. My husband and I went down to show some solidarity with our neighbors to the south.
Tony Bushala was there along with some Kelly’s Army folks that I remembered from the Fullerton protests last summer. Even mean, uncaring Republican State Assemblyman Chris Norby was there with his family. But where was our would-be squishy-feely Assembly person for the 65th District, Sharon Quirk? I have no idea.
Most liberals used to stand for things like social justice, fighting cop brutality, especially when applied to minority neighborhoods. And this would have been a good opportunity for Quirk (whose sole chance of beating Norby, according to her drum-beaters, is winning over neighborhoods in the western part of Anaheim) to show she cares about the little people who can’t fight back. Of course after the Kelly Thomas thing I’ve come to realize that establishment liberals are mostly just empty talk on the subject of police malfeasance.
Anyway, Ms. Quirk, here are some topics about the Anaheim incident you may contemplate at your leisure:
1) Possible assassination by cops of man in front yard
2) Arrest of innocent bystander for no particular reason, charged with obstruction, etc.,etc.
3) Overreaction by cops, contributing to near riot and assault on innocent men, women, and children by rubber bullets and attack dog.
4) Accusations of cops trying to buy potential evidence.
Yes, Sharon, Anaheim is in the district you wish to represent. Time to get out and meet your constituents.
Oh, yeah, about that PORAC endorsement thing…
Or to be more precise, Loretta Sanchez has one and is sharing it with Quirk in the latter’s campaign for the 65th State Assembly seat. The location is 1660 West Lincoln Avenue, in Anaheim, and according to a Quirk supporter is part of a master plan – a message to the hard-working families of west Anaheim that legislative help is on the way – Sharon Quirk style.
The liberal OC blogs had announced a grand opening party for Sunday, 1:00 to 3:00 pm and one of our Anaheim Friends, lured by the possibility of free drinks and snacks, took a spin by HQ for the advertised open house. It was scheduled from 1:00 to 3:00.
Unfortunately our Friend says he didn’t get there until a little after 3:00. And guess what?
“I motored by at 3:10 or so. The place was a ghost town. That party was either cancelled or cleared out faster than you-know-what through a goose. I did snap a pic.
For some reason Sanchez and Quirk rented a place next to The Chain Reaction, an Anaheim night spot whose notorious parking problems and near-nightly events will wreak havoc on running a campaign office.
Anyway, we in Anaheim are likely stuck with Sanchez. But you in Fullerton can keep Quirk.”
Back on May 6, 1997 a resident named Tom O’Neill told the City Council that he opposed the practice of transferring money from the Water Fund to the General Fund. O’Neill said it’s deceptive and builds mistrust in elected officials. Then Mayor Chris Norby noted that the City attorney was reviewing this issue and would report on it at a future meeting.
Then, in September of 1997, the Water Fund issue rises again as the priorities for Hill Crest Park were being considered. The Water Fund and Redevelopment Fund were being eyed as the primary funding source.
The City’s consultant tried to explain why these funds could be used. His logic? If a new waterline and reservoir were to be installed, many of the other park improvements could be logically tied to the water work.
Marie Whaling and Barbara Marr asked questions about the use of Redevelopment Funds and Water Funds for the park.
Mayor Norby explained that Redevelopment Funds were to be used for alleviating blight. He went on to say that the concerns expressed regarding funding sources are legitimate and that Water Fund monies are for water purposes and expenditures must be related to water and its delivery.
Tuesday was a big day for Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk Silva. Only the day before Quirk-Silva had issued a bold press release to her pals in the liberal blogosphere stating that she was going to request that her colleagues on the city council suspend the illegal 10% water tax. She even helpfully explained why the new 6.7% number was a load of manure.
Here’s what she said, quoted verbatim from a press release sent to an admiring Liberal OC: “I will also call upon members of the city council to join me in a motion to stop any further diversions of water revenues to the general fund until these questions are answered,” Mayor Quirk-Silva asserted.
Naturally, when the chips were down, SQS chickened out. Don’t believe me? Here she is, right after Councilman Bruce Whitaker made the motion she herself had said she was going to make, that is, agendize the suspension of the illegal 10% tax on our water.
Well, there you have it. Quirk decided to side with the blowhard who attended (and fell asleep at) the Water Rate Ad Hoc Committee meeting, and put off the decision to do the right thing for some other day.
The courage of Monday morning evaporated by the next afternoon.
What a leader!