Mayor Dick Jones is a councilmember in the City of Fullerton. He is known for using his position on the council to serve out mindless babble and execute revenge on those who have spited him in decades past.
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.
Posted by Mr. Peabody in A Step in the Right Direction, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Fullerton BooHoo, Gin Flurry, Home Town Hero, Pam Keller, Patdown Pat McPension, Sharon Quirk, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Crime Beat, The Culture of Corruption, The Observer, Up In The Attic, Watch Your Wallet on October 16, 2012
It’s funny, in a sick sort of way, but the very types who used to bray the loudest about the need for “social justice” have been virtually silent in Fullerton in the wake of the Kelly Thomas murder at the hands of members of an out-of-control police department.
The graying establishment Democrats had been hiding behind their drawn chintz curtains, curled up in an intellectual fetal position on their plastic slip-covered Naugahyde sofas. It was just too scary and, well, controversial to say anything, let alone actually do anything.
Fortunately, others, such as Stephan Baxter, Marlena Carrillo and Lauren Becker are willing to keep up the pressure.
Here is a link to Becker’s website that reminds us exactly what a Culture of Corruption can do, and try to get away with, when left to its own devices. It also reminds us what we can do to push back against an entrenched system.
Democrats like Jan Flory, and Molly McClanahan and Pam Keller didn’t say a word in the aftermath of the murder. No, they only got outraged when people outside their cozy little circle took the reins of government out of the hands of three incompetent old fools.
These people are a lot more worried about the fate of the bureaucracy than they are about the people of Fullerton. All of them.
Posted by Joe Sipowicz in Boohooism, Chronic Failure, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Fullerton City Council, Fullerton City Council Candidates, Gin Flurry, Repuglicanism, Setting The Bar Low, Sharon Quirk, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Strange But True, The Crime Beat, The Culture of Corruption, Union Goons, Watch Your Wallet on September 6, 2012
I have always been fascinated by the urge for government employees and their die-hard supporters to cling to the notion of collective bargaining as some sort of birthright. The ability for public employees to unionize is actually not even that old, but is a comparatively recent and curious chapter in the history of organized labor.
Classical Marxist doctrine holds that in the capitalist phase of history there are two elements contributing to economic activity. There are capital and labor; the first representing the bourgeois investment class (and their managerial overseers); the second is the workforce that sells its labor to the former. Naturally, the cost of labor , the investment of the capitalists, and the return the latter is willing to accept determine the supply side cost of goods.
The Marxists believed that capital habitually exploited an oversupply of labor through poor working conditions and long hours of employment. There was certainly evidence to support this contention and the capitalists did their best to outlaw labor “combination” through their control of legislatures.
(For the sake of argument I will happily stipulate the socialist fact in evidence.)
Of course labor did combine.
But the idea of government workers unionizing did not enter the into the equation. Why? For several reasons, one of which is succinctly stated by the most effective liberal in American history, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Roosevelt realized that people who work for the government cannot hold the same employer/employee relationship since their employer is the people as a sovereign whole. Clearly the idea of collective bargaining, and particularly militant union tactics used against the citizenry was abhorrent to old FDR himself.
Another related problem is that government employees do not fit into the labor-capital equation, since the “capitalist” investor in their operation is none other than the taxpayers and citizens – and not a natural adversary in an economic system. And public employees were granted civil service protection and security to make up for comparatively modest wages.
And then there is the problem of the complete public sector labor monopoly. Producers of goods compete with each other in marketplaces that, among other things, sets a value on product that helps determine the cost of labor. No such balance exists in the public sector where nothing is for sale and there is no competition in the labor market at all.
The ability to unionize and the concomitant ability to engage in collective political action has enabled the public sector labor monopoly to elect its favored candidates at all levels, and subsequently to exact greater and greater salaries and benefits for themselves; and always using the argument that all they seek is parity with the private sector. Yet never have they jettisoned the civil service protections that makes in almost impossible to fire an incompetent public worker.
Most comical are the “management” unions that represent the upper tier employees who oversee the lower, and whose own interests in running the “company” are inexplicably linked with the benefits conferred upon the latter!
And so dear Friends, next time you see a “retired” 50 year old cop who was granted almost 100% of his salary as a pension, and who was given two decades of retroactive benefits, ask him whom he has to thank. I guarantee it won’t be you, or even the other public employees who negotiated his benefits on your behalf; nor even the lackeys on the city council like Don Bankhead, Dick Jones, and Jan Flory whom his union got elected. Nuh, uh. He will thank an anonymous “system” that has created this mess and that has virtually bankrupt California and threatens almost every municipality in the state.
Well, we know who to thank.
Posted by The Desert Rat in Behind Closed Doors, Boohooism, Dead heads, Dick Jones, Don Bankhead, Former Fullerton Councilmembers, Fullerton City Council Candidates, Gin Flurry, Hidden Government Agencies, Patdown Pat McPension, Redevelopment, Setting The Bar Low, Sharon Quirk, Strange But True, The Culture of Corruption, Union Goons, Watch Your Wallet on August 26, 2012
Okay this post is not about Jan Flory discussing anything remotely “sexy” because the thought of that…well, never mind.
The post is about her latest Facebook scribblings in which she opines on a subject near and dear to the hearts of Fullerton reformers: the illegal 10% tax on your water that the City collected for the past 15 years. $27,000,000 worth.
First I’ll start by stating what you could have already guessed. Jan Flory does not want you to get a refund of the theft. In her world-order the taxpayers are meant to be milked, not refunded.
Her assertion that the collection was “illegal” the past three year is a bad lawyer’s half-truth that amounts to a bald-faced lie, of course. It has been illegal for 15 years, six of them on her watch as a council person. The City has a legal opinion that it is only obligated to refund three-year’s worth of the theft. Not the same thing, is it? Of course Mrs. Flory is desperate to disassociate her name with the tax. Too late. She is on record in the 90s as having known it was wrong and doing it anyway.
Mrs. Flory and her ilk love footling committees, especially when they are selected by ozone brains like Jone, Quirk, McKinley and Bankhead. Even better are the “consultants” selected by staff who give them their marching orders. The “report” cooked up by the water rate consultant was so evidently bogus that it hardly needs to be restated. But I will: their goal was to gin up as much phony cost as possible to keep the bureaucrats greedy little fingers on that 10%. Flory may think this gives her cover, and under the old Culture of Corruption it would have. Not any more.
The 10% was expressly collected to cover specific City staff costs associated with the water utility. However, it turns out that those departments were already charging directly to the Water Fund. Which is why I am happy to refer to the tax as an illegal theft.
And another point: it’s real easy to say that the illegal tax should be refunded to the Water Fund for capital improvements. That’s convenient, but immoral. The tax that was collected had nothing to do with infrastructure. Nothing. True infrastructure costs should be rolled into an effective rate for water transmission, a correction of years of mismanagement by Mrs. Flory and her cohorts that still needs to be done. Confusing these two issues is simply a convenient way for the perpetrators to hide their crime and their dereliction.
Now, let’s address the issue of the reserve funds, a subject that Mrs. Flory wants people to believe she knows something about. There is no need to empty these accounts to pay refunds. No, indeed. I find it remarkably disingenuous for anybody to assert this, especially given just two of City manger Joe Felz’s most recent “cost saving” measures.
First there was the egregious relocation of former Redevelopment personnel into General Fund departments for which they had no apparent expertise. Most recently the City contracted out your graffiti removal services for $120,000. Yay! Big savings, right? Wrong. The city employees were simply reassigned to other jobs in the Engineering Department that were vacant. Net cost savings? -$120,000.
The City just missed an opportunity to shave a million bucks off its payroll costs. Of course, my point is that the General Fund is far from depleted.
Finally, in closing, I would submit that Mrs. Flory knows more about witching hours than any of us. However, if she doesn’t like staying up that late every other Tuesday night, then she has no business on a city council. And it’s really too bad that the Council is scheduling special meetings to attend to the people’s business.
Mrs. Flory’s little rubber stamp has been put away and locked up.
Too bad it’s not 1971. Too bad for Jan Flory, that is.
See, her vision of a know-it-all government, whose “expertise” the citizenry is obliged to (shut up and) obey was much more prevalent then. But a decade of suffocating inflation, ever-escalating taxes and ballooning interest rates got people thinking about things.
By the time Mrs. Flory was first elected to the Fullerton City Council in 1994, the world had changed a lot, although she hardly knew it. And by the time she was fired by the voters, in 2002, she was as obsolete as the horse and buggy.
You need only observe her behavior during the past year to witness a mind soaked in a nasty vindictiveness as her “esteemed” idols, the Three Bald Tires, were driven from office themselves for incompetence and dereliction.
Where was Flory when an innocent man was murdered by the cops? Where was Flory when the City paid out $350,00 to two victims of Albert Rincon’s sexual batteries? Where was Flory when FPD employees were looting the evidence room and ripping off Explorers; or beating up, arresting and prosecuting innocent bystanders?
I’ll tell you where Flory was. She was snuggling up to the Three Hollow Logs in their secret sound-proof bunker.
If Mrs. Flory thinks posting her mindless musings on a Facebook page means that she is in any way more useful than a lost shoe, she has another think coming.
And we’re not going to give Fullerton back to the decrepit mind-set of Flory, Jones, Bankhead and McPension and their incompetent, arrogant ilk.
As Doc HeeHaw would say: Nuh uh!
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.
Friends, here’s a repeat post by our esteemed JFD from last November. It is even more trenchant now that his former mistress has declared war on the only two really good councilmen Fullerton has had as long as I can remember – and that’s a long time.
- The Desert Rat
Whenever my former mistress got into a mood or had a couple too many G&Ts, and picked up that broomstick I always made myself as inconspicuous as possible. Looking down from doggie heaven I can see she hasn’t changed much. It’s good to know she still has that metal rod firmly stuck in there.
Here she is at the Fullerton City Council meeting during public comments handing out some cooked-up award to Pat McKinley.
Notice how she grieves for Fullerton because of the incivility to her “esteemed” councilmen, Sleepy, Dopey, and Doc (I gotta tell ya she never grieved after whacking my orbital bone with that broomstick, but that’s a another story altogether, eye blousing-wise).
Obviously she has set a rather low bar for estimation; if Old Doc HeeHaw can haul himself over it, I guess almost anybody can.
Apparently my former mistress doesn’t give much thought to the $350,000 settlement that a hand-picked McKinley cop cost the taxpayers of Fullerton because he sexually assaulted women in the backseat of his patrol car; or that McKinley thinks that it’s okay for a certain kind of woman to be so victimized; and that, according to Big Mac “it’s just touching. Not a good thing, but it ain’t a dangerous thing;” or that her esteemed councilmen turned over Fullerton to the cops to do with it as they liked – theft, beatings, perjury, false arrest, a killing.
Mrs. Flory somehow got an extra seven minutes to ramble on and on about all sorts of bullshit, whereas others get the microphone shut off after three. Looks like there really is a double standard there.
Anyway, there you have a fine representative of what’s left of Fullerton’s Old Guard liberals: stubborn, frightened, clueless, self-righteous, dwindling fast.
I’ll see you there.
By William Zdan:
The term “Pollice Verso” means (roughly) “thumbs down”. It’s in reference to the (albeit incorrect) traditional depiction of a Roman emperor giving the “thumbs down” signal that dictated the fate of a vulnerable/defeated fighter…usually a slave or other “expendable” that was forced into brutal exhibition.
I’ve toyed with the phrase, changing it to “Police Verso”..in obvious reference to the despicable actions that took place in Fullerton last year. In my painting, Dick Jones plays the part of a distant and ineffectual Caesar. He thumbs the fate of the unseen victim in smug disinterest, not even allowing his glaze to meet the atrocity for which he shares ownership. A panel of piggish spectators oversee the event, in uncontrolled animalistic enthusiasm.
When watching a television report with Dick Jones last year, I was disheartened by the comments he had made about the murder. “I don’t know why he died” was the comment from Jones that affected me the most. Jones made a point to boast about his war-time efforts and how much worse, non-fatal injuries had been experienced there. Jones, we know and YOU know why he died. And it wasn’t just because of the fierce bludgeoning that he received by your endeared law-enforcement brethren. He died, Jones, because of a culture that still treats other human beings as “expendable”. Because people like Kelly are easily marginalized. Homeless people, especially mentally ill homeless people, clearly don’t count to Jones…and he did not create that sentiment, he just reflects it. Just as the slaves and expendables of the Roman Empire could have their humanity stripped of them by a blood-thirsty crowd, eager to do so…so was Kelly Thomas rendered a worthless item by those people we trust to protect the rest of us who do “count”. As I heard Jones speak, I thought (as I often do), “we have not progressed as a society. We are no different than Rome”.
Despite the (much needed) height of the soapbox upon which I like to stand relative to this topic, I cannot dismiss my own contribution to the negative and destructive culture in which I actively participate. So…the pawn/villian in my painting takes the form of my own image. Shamefully turned away from the viewer, I still raise my tool of destruction above my pig-like visage. I still perform for the pigs and am obedient to the tyrants of norms and expectations. I still pass by countless expendables, which whom I ironically share so much commonality.
I spent much of my young adulthood studying and working with the mentally ill. I worked at occupational, psycho-social rehab facilities for schizophrenic people during college. I even interned at a psychiatric prison for 6 months. During that time, I imagined that my idealism and self-congratulatory understanding of those emotionally suffering individuals would allow me to make a difference. Instead, I’ve become homogenized, like the dizzying amount of conscientiousness introverts that allow people like Jones to have any say in the direction of our society. Despite the fact that Kelly walked the same blocks that I walk every week, I had never even seen him…and wouldn’t have remembered if I had. I stretch my own rubber glove over my hand every day…keeping my fellow man at a distance…careful not to touch the blood that I shared in spilling. Because if I (a so-called idealistic artist with fair exposure to the troubles of the mentally ill) can willfully ignore injustice for the sake of convenience, I am just as filthy a pig as Ramos.
So, I am the ultimate executioner and THAT illness is worse than Kelly’s was. I am the baton-waving brute in my painting. I was never so aware of this until I met Kelly’s mom yesterday. I stood next to her as she looked at the painting that I shat out for this important event. I had jumped onto a cause for someone I never met or cared about. Nowhere in the painting is Kelly’s personal injustice really depicted. Rather, in the form that fell Rome, mine is a self-indulgent view. And here was this man’s mother, looking upon my painting about..well, about something to do with being angry and selfish and pointing fingers, I guess. She said to me, “he was really a good kid”. I bet he was.
You know, Larry Bennett really could have just left it alone. After dodging a final, humiliating meeting to certify the recall election that drove them out of office, at least one of the Three Bald Tires finally deigned to show up at Fullerton City Hall tomorrow morning to do the deed. It could have been done quietly with as little fanfare as possible. Actually only one of them even needed to show up.
Bennett seems to think the Three Dead Batteries need a sendoff appropriate to all the wonderful things these men have done for Fullerton. Friday he notified supporters of the Three Tree Stumps that there was to be a special council meeting, and that he hoped everybody would show up to let them know what terrific public servants they have been.
Bennett has likely spent the week-end making phone calls to drum up some folks willing to say kind thing about the Three Pea-less Pods. No doubt some will show up. And others are likely to show up now, too. People who recognize the disastrous misrule of these three characters:
Don Bankhead: dumb-bell, and self-annointed king of Fullerton, whose somnolent councilmanic career was punctuated with one Redevelopment boondoggle and union give away after another.
Dick Jones, the southern fried lunatic and loud-mouthed bully who never came to understand that the authority to give orders doesn’t confer wisdom – or even relevance.
Pat McKinley: protector and apologist for the undeniable Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department that he himself had created. Those ladies weren’t like you. Aliens. Don’t rush to judgement.
Well, good bye and good riddance.
And please take Larry Bennett with you. The tide is rising.