Good Bye and Good Riddance

You have nothing to lose but your brains...
You have nothing to lose but your angry refrains…

Our old friend the historian Karl Marx wrote” History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.

And so in Fullerton we have had the spectacle of Jan Flory, a councilperson who worked us over good for two dismal terms in office, was driven out, and who returned 10 years later to provide the final act of a deplorable career.

I know who I came to work for…and it isn’t you!

Back in 1994 Flory ran as the Establishment candidate to push back against the reform-minded Recall that dared to drive out the incumbent stooges who imposed an unnecessary utility tax. She was the perfect candidate to advertise the fear and loathing the Old Guard had for anybody outside their inner circle.

In her first go-round she obligingly put her fingerprints on every big-government, no accountability scam put in front of her. She supported the illegal “in-lieu fee” water tax; she voted the cops and firemen the bank-breaking 3@50 retirement formula. She approved massive apartment projects in downtown Fullerton and actually voted to give away public streets to private business interests. She voted for every Redevelopment boondoggle that crossed her path. She bought the “Poisoned Park.”

And every step along this trail of tears she palpably dripped bitter venom for those who dared cross the “experts” at City Hall. Tragedy, indeed.

From 2002 to 2012 we were mercifully spared the the effluence of vindictive spleen sprayed on anybody who had the temerity to question what was going on in their own government.

But in 2012 the moribund Establishment needed someone to ride to their rescue; and to defend, deny, excuse, ignore and cover-up the serial crimes committed by the police department; and to fight the agenda begun by a new council majority, ushered in by yet another recall perpetrated by unwashed outsiders. Who better to call upon than the old warhorse, herself.

Flying hight at 8:00 AM
Pegasoid

Yes she won, by a scant 29 votes, and she immediately resumed her old role. Yet something was missing. Yes, the muumuus and wood beads were still there, and so was the old surgically implanted steel rod. The complete lack of humor, grace or introspection suggested the Flory of old. But you could tell. Her heart wasn’t in it. Her performance was thin, shadow-like, even as she continued the water rip-off, covered-up the FPD Culture of Corruption with gargantuan out-of-court settlements, approved four non-balanced budgets – raiding reserves $43,000,000, approved more massive apartment blocks – activities that in the past would have brought a smug, self-satisfied smile to her sneer. But the old joy was gone.

The third act was a farce – even until the inevitable bitter end: as left she hoped to give Fullerton a parting gift – the sad sack and detumescent Larry Bennet, whose job would have been to keep the for sale sign over the sliding doors of City Hall.

Ah, well. Now, Mrs Flory departs again, hopefully for the final time. And as we see this petulant shrew out the door, let’s always remember her words from the 2012 campaign: to my lights… the city department heads are the heart of the city.

 

Who Watches the Watchers?

No news is good news...
No news is good news…

A while back Fullerton City Councilman Bruce Whitaker proposed the creation of an audit oversight committee, rather like the one they have at the County. His concern was that the City do more than just meet the bare minimum of accounting standards, but is actually doing the things that are legally required by some of our budget funds. This is called accounting for management. Are you curious to see how his colleagues felt about the idea? Enjoy this clip:

 

The head and the hat were a perfect fit.
The head and the hat were a perfect fit.

How entertaining! Bud Chaffee sees the proposal as bureaucratic metastasis and preposterously claims to want to reduce the number of city commissions! The proof of this big government liberal’s insincerity (okay, he’s a liar) can be found by counting the number of commissions proposed for elimination by Chaffee both before and after this escape of gas. What? You want a round number? How about the roundest number of all: 0.

The bars stayed open and the band played on...
The bars stayed open and the band played on…

Missus Flory chimes in with her generous offer to act as “interpreter” with her staff for Mr. David Curlee, who has actually uncovered evidence that the City government most assuredly did not want advertised: very possible misfeasance in the Brea Dam area accounting, (including out of fund transfers)  that could actually jeopardize the whole enterprise. Apart from the fact that Flory couldn’t understand the illegal water tax ripoff in 2012, she is hardly qualified to discuss accounting issues at all. She is so drenched in venom;  just look at the utter disdain she demonstrates for a “a few verbal allegations.”

 

I hear you. Well, no I don't, not at all.
I hear you. Well, no I don’t, not at all.

Finally we see our Lobbyist-Mayor buzz in. She “hears” what Whitaker is saying but her retort is that Fullerton only hires “experts.” She includes the lamentable example of hiring Michael Gennaco to oversee the FPD Culture of Corruption, one of the most egregious examples of a cover-up anybody could possibly think of (she says she’s proud of it!). She too, seems to believe that the “expert” accountants the City hires to look at the financial documents do anything other than make sure the numbers all add up at the end, don’t ruffle any feathers, and collect their fat taxpayer funded fees. Of course Ms. Lobbyist-Mayor’s statements are just as phony as Chaffee’s. See, un-expert Fitzgerald herself sits on a citizens’ audit oversight committee – for the Fullerton Joint Unified High School District. 

 

You pay the mortgage, we live in the palace...
You pay the mortgage, we live in the palace…

 

Well, Friends, there you have it.

The Brea Dam Denial

Trust us, the answers are buried in there somewhere…
Trust us, the answers are buried in there somewhere…

I began to question the City’s management of the Brea Dam in early 2015.

Numerous problems had one thing in common: Joe Felz‘ involvement during his tenure as Parks and Recreation Director, and then, again, during his transition into the City Manager role in 2010.   Who better to ask about these things than Joe himself?  I tried reaching him by e-mail.  After that failed, I tried calling instead.  He never returned my calls either.

Seeing that as a dead end, I requested copies of documentation from Parks & Recreation staff that I believed to be the responsibility of administrative manager Alice Loya.  Her name appeared on numerous City Council and Parks & Recreation agendas pertaining to the Brea Dam.

My initial records request was denied, in part, because they said the records didn’t exist.  I had requested from Ms. Loya very basic budget and profit/loss statements for the Fullerton Golf Course.  That’s when I knew my suspicions of mismanagement had at least some merit.  We pay the golf course expenses, yet Ms. Loya, whose job it is to supervise these things, could not produce anything of substance to justify the overall financial performance.  She instead offered what I’ve termed monthly invoicing “bundles”, so I requested a full 12 months.  This was the only way to reconcile financial performance over a full fiscal year.  I would later be shamed by the Fullerton Observer for making that request and others.  After all, I was wasting precious City staff time.

Over the summer of 2015, some friends and I studied these documents in depth, and we each came to the conclusion that something is very, very wrong up there. So wrong that, unless corrected, the US Army Corps of Engineers could revoke the lease and evict the City of Fullerton.  That could potentially force the closure of the Fullerton Golf Course, Fullerton Tennis Center, Fullerton Sports Complex, YMCA, Child Guidance Center, and Fullerton Community Nursery School — all of which occupy Brea Dam land leased from the Federal Government.  The Feds could also sue the City for failing to remit revenue.  Believe it or not, we could also face the wrath of the IRS because the bonds we sold to replace the golf course sprinkler system came with strings attached to the interest subsidy the City receives from the Feds. The list of problems just goes on and on and on…

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The Bitterness of Negative Banter

What is “negative banter?”

I got a letter from Fullerton’s Lobbyist-Mayor, Jennifer Fitzgerald congratulating “us” for rising above it by re-electing her. I love it when personal-agenda laden politicians complain about “negativity.” Generally they are just reacting to embarrassing scrutiny they’d rather not have to endure.

Here’s the missive:

Cut through the baloney to find the bullshit...
Cut through the baloney to find the bullshit…

Ms. Fitzgerald is happy to share the issues she “campaigned on.” Road repair, more, and higher paid cops, and get this… a balanced budget! Now we all know that Fullerton’s budget has not been balanced since she got on the City Council four years ago. We’ve been leaking red ink worse than Laguna Lake has been leaking Grade A MWD water. The amount during Fitzgerald’s tenure runs in the millions. So not only is she still lying about having a balanced budget, but any other pipe dreams like cops and parks are going to have to come at the cost of draining our reserve funds even more.

Of course this means nothing to Ms. Fitzgerald. After all she is all about politics, not governance. She is a Vice President of Curt Pringle & Associates, an operation that has tried its level best to rip off Anaheim taxpayers to benefit Pringle’s clients. She will be long gone by the time Fullerton goes into receivership.

I really like the part about ensuring “that every Fullerton neighborhood is served well by its city government.” I guess that excludes the people who live in and around downtown Fullerton: it was only recently carved up into five separate council districts by Ms. Fitzgerald and her downtown bar pals like a Christmas ham, precisely for the purpose of disenfranchising the residents while the drunken party rolls merrily along.

And then there’s the part about having a “community-wide discussion” about providing library services for Southwest Fullerton. Quite delicious irony coming from the head of a city government that can’t afford to keep the Hunt Branch Library open; or does she really believe nobody is paying attention?

Finally, I note that “working positively together” is code: what it really means is not criticizing the massive budget deficits; not complaining because there is no adult supervision over the cops; looking the other way as the Lobbyist-Mayor herself helps cover up the madcap motoring adventures of her City Manager returning home from her own election night party.

Well, you know, I just don’t feel like it.

And now, Friends, please share any negative banter in the comments section we thoughtfully provide, below.

 

Felz After a Fortnight

The last official word we heard on the status of our City Manager post the Sappy McTree incident was that, besides apologizing, Joe Felz was on leave for 2 weeks.

The Official Story, if you recall, started on 15 November 2016 when the City Attorney, “The Other Dick Jones“, told us that City Manager Joe Felz would be on leave for 2-weeks which prompted Jones to ask Mayor Fitzgerald to immediately put forth an emergency motion to appoint Gretchen Beatty as “Acting City Manager” and once that was done she’d stay in the Acting City Manager position until the Council voted to remove Ms. Beatty from said position. None of this was 1) an emergency or 2) needed as legally we don’t need a City Manager but I don’t expect the City Attorney to bother with such details as State Law.

The pertinent issue is that nobody on Council bothered to ask timely questions on this matter and so the fact that there wouldn’t be a Council meeting 2 weeks later (yesterday) never came up. Now 2-weeks has passed with the next Council Meeting scheduled for 06 December 2016 and it’s at THAT meeting that the Council would have the first opportunity to remove Ms. Beatty from her Acting position in order to put Joe Felz into his chair again.

joe-felz-up-close

Does that mean that Mr. Felz is back now twiddling his thumbs with nothing to do (2-weeks later as stated) or that he’ll stay gone until next week when the Council can remove Ms. Beatty from her Acting position or later due to the ongoing Felz/FPD investigation? Who knows with answers not exactly forthcoming from City Hall. We won’t even know if it’ll be on the Council Agenda until this coming Friday night.

As for the inevitable “What difference does a week make?” question I will posture that it speaks to the nature of our City Government and the way our city is run. It’s slapdash thinking & haphazard decisions over even such basic calendar items that showcases the culture in City Hall where there is almost zero attention paid to details. This sort of intellectual laziness is how we end up with unaccountable bureaucrats spending time in Las Vegas or elsewhere while the city bleeds red ink and puts our kids further into debt with only high-density boondoggles on, and blocking, the horizon in order to offset the bloated spending.

We shouldn’t have to point this sort of stuff out but our so-called leaders can’t be bothered to do the jobs they voluntarily took and that leaves us, the malcontents and rabble-rousers,  to do the job of making sure that somebody is paying attention.

A Glimpse Into Fullerton’s Future

It wasn't safe. but it sure was uncomfortable...
It wasn’t comfortable. but it sure was dangerous…

Okay, Friends here’s a pop quiz. What do Jan Flory, Bud Chaffee, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn have in common? Think for a second…

Got it? Of course, it was an easy question.

They are collectively responsible for the overdevelopment of Fullerton. Look around: Commonwealth, Orangefair, Santa Fe, each now, or soon to be home for massive, overbearing penitentiary-like apartment blocks.

The Thing That Ate Fullerton...
Cliff Dwelling Is The Life For Me, or: Thing That Ate Fullerton…(image swiped from Orange Juice Blog)

The ridiculous and deathless “Amerige Court” monster is back, too being pimped by a guy named Cameron Irons.

Follow my easy method, and one of us will get rich!
Follow my easy method, and one of us will get rich!

You remember him, right? County Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s crony who stood to make a $100,000 commission as Nelson tried to ram through the County’s big homeless shelter next to Fullerton’s Commonwealth Elementary School.

Nelson wears his game face.
Nelson wears his game face. Too bad we’re not on the same team.

And there’s very little need to hold our breath until the “College Park” upzone Godzilla rears its ugly head, once again.

Whatever the motivation of our “representatives” to jam ever more high-density residential projects into Fullerton, the result is the same: more burden on the City’s utilities and infrastructure, and above all, more traffic cramming our streets, costs that are carried by all of us as the developer makes his bundle and skips off to his next monster.

Is it really too much of an exaggeration to say that soon the major intersections at Harbor, Orangethorpe and Lemon will become virtually gridlocked at certain times of the day? Soon we may all have to find alternative ways to get around Fullerton.

It’s pretty clear that none of these lofty people have the best interests of ordinary Fullerton residents in mind. In fact, we seem to be nothing more than an annoyance to their big plans, that is if you can call helter-skelter development a plan.

The (Other) Case of the Missing Sidewalk

Híjole. Here’s an example of the special treatment that a well-connected developer can get in Fullerton. At Harbor and Orangethorpe, a fast food-type developer has been allowed to monopolize the sidewalk for the last six months. The use of this public space probably saved him a few bucks on construction. How thoughtful of our city planners!

Of course, this sidewalk is heavily used by poor pedestrians, who can’t seem to muster an equivalent offering up at city hall. So they’ll have to walk around. Or up the middle of the lane, as the hesitant abuela does in this video.

It’s only a matter of time before someone is hit by a car. Is this a fair deal for people of Fullerton?

By the way, I’m told this is the future site of Jersey Mike’s, Chipotle, The Habit, and a Verizon store.

The Sound of Silence

I would have done it even cheaper...
I would have done it even cheaper…

Not much has come out of Fullerton Junior College lately on the case of cop-turned-security guard Dino Skokos who handed out an unwarranted beat down on an undernourished FJC student in October.

A writer for The Hornet named Madalyn Amato,  reports that although an “independent investigator” has been engaged, nothing else has been forthcoming. The fact that the investigator, a law firm called Currier & Hudson, solely specializes in acting as defense counsel for government agencies, should send out appropriate warning bells. See where this is going?

In the aftermath of outrage, the bureaucratic playbook is being executed as expected.

First, ignore any criminality on the part of the district employee and announce an independent investigation, with the goal of diverting responsibility, or even better, procrastinating ’til everybody’s forgotten about the incident.

Naturally, the independent investigator is really just a carefully selected government defense pettifogger, hired to relieve the agency of as much liability as possible and absorb any leftover PR issues. Of course, hiring a law firm comes with desirable effects, such as the benefit of attorney client privilege. See, it’s easier to control an investigation if the investigator can’t actually reveal any findings detrimental to the institution.

The cleanup is underway
The cleanup is underway

And now we wait. The employee takes a paid vacation, the real police fail to deliver a criminal investigation, and NOCCCD eventually pays out a quiet settlement to the victim who will make a deal in a civil courtroom. Nothing to see here.

Close enough...
Close enough…

And now let’s let Fullerton Junior College President Greg Schulz take us home via The Hornet article:

President Greg Schulz promised the college’s full dedication in reaching a conclusion regarding the incident.

Trust the System that Can’t be Trusted

Remember when Our Mayor, Jennifer Fitzgerald, had the City Attorney, “The Other Dick Jones“, repeat the city’s position on the Joe Felz alleged D.U.I. incident?

That they’re looking into it, via an outside investigative group without subpoena power that is answerable only to the City Brass, and that any potential criminal charges would be forwarded to the District Attorney?

It’s a good thing that we can trust the District Attorney, Tony Rackauckas, to be interested in the law and to not be too cozy with Law Enforcement.

Oh wait. Nevermind.

In the latest episode of “You’ve Got to be F*^%ing Kidding Me” the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has kept the entire D.A.’s office off of the most high-profile shooting case in county history for misconduct. All because the D.A. is too cozy with Law Enforcement and doesn’t follow the law.

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We Get Mail

FFFF has always been a drop box for mail from sources that prefer not to be identified. Some are obviously credible; others perhaps less so – sort of like like Sgt. Andrew Goodrich the FPD spokeshole who claimed that the cops who killed Kelly Thomas suffered broken bones, etc.

Yesterday, we received an e-mail from one of our readers identifying himself as “DTF” who passed along what was presented as information sent out by a disgusted cop who was hired, and departed the FPD for a different agency during former POChief Danny Hughes reign:

cop-letter

 

And there’s more, relating to the Joe Felz incident:

I have excellent sources at FPD who hate the Hughes clan because of the lies and double standards. 

Get a hold of those videos before they are  erased, hopefully that hasnt already happen. Admin is trying to make the officers sign a new policy to prevent them from talking about the incident.

When the first two officers arived on scene, Felz was still in his car trying to free it from the sidewalk and tree. The officers pull up behind Felz just as he dislodges his car and drives away. The officers purse him and actually perform a semi pit maneuver to stop his vehicle. (There is minor damage to one of the police cars if not both) 

This next part is sketchy. One version he was pulled out of his car at gunpoint and Felz identifies his self and  immediately says to call Hughes. The other version is he flees his car when it has been immobilized and there is a short foot pursuit.

But one thing I know is that the officers on scene said Felz was HAMMERED there was no doubt he was drunk. 

There is definitely video of the whole incident from the point the officers arrive on scene.

FYI no breathalyzer is necessary on scene. You can’t make a person take one at the scene. But the accident it self, coupled with his obvious impairment is plenty to have arrested him.

Put pressure on the PD to release the video. This is another huge cover-up by Hughes and his boys.

DTF

Friends, feel free to lend credence to this information in any degree that makes you feel comfortable.