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.

 

Okay, So Maybe I was Wrong!

By Tony Bushala, Guest Contributor

Hell, yes!
Hell, yes!

Way back in 2010 I offered a post attacking Norberto Santana and his relatively new blog Voice of OC. The title was “The Sad Degenerate World of Norberto Santana.” It was a pretty tough post attacking Santana’s objectivity given the fact of his financial backing by the OCEA union and what some of us perceived as slanted reporting. I won’t go into any more detail. You can check out the original post, here.

Well, over six years have passed and I, like many others have come to appreciate the good things Norberto and the Voice of OC have done uncovering the bad behavior of many of our so-called “conservative” leaders in Orange County. The Voice has been particularly effective uncovering the influence peddling going on in Anaheim, but also covering the County level, where the Board of Supervisors have been working us over like we were peons on their plantation. Their Board’s latest little tactic is to limit public comment to just 3 minutes per person, per meeting. Pretty shameful, right?

With an almost complete lack of competent news coverage on local stuff from the mainstream media, it is more important than ever that we recognize and financially support the the Voice of OC.

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 Larry Bennett Story

If there’s a buck in it, I’ll do it…

There is a newly minted blog called OC Daily, evidently the brain child of GOP slime ball Dave Gilliard, and operated by another small-time hack named Matthew Cunningham. A Friend directed my attention to this post written by Cunningham about our recent Fullerton election that blames Larry Bennetts’ fourth place finish on a divided GOP – basically throwing the rat on Bruce Whitaker (by name) for not supporting Bennett, due lack of supposed conservative purity on the part of the latter. Cunningham also points out Bennett’s broad bi-partisan support as an indication of his strength.

Backed by all the wrong people...
Backed by all the wrong people…

Since this post shared a link to Bennett’s fabulous list of endorses, I will too. Except that I will pick out a few familiar names and add some piquant commentary that may come as surprise to those who hold the opinion that these endorsements have much value outside the aging little clique who signed on. They won’t surprise you, Friends.

 

Bob Huff CA State Senate  bag man for Redevelopment profiteers
Dick  Ackerman State Senate Minority Leader – Retired (Tried to sell OC Fair to pals, tried to carpetbag wife into Assembly; 1994 & 2012 recall opponent)
Jennifer Fitzgerald RINO Mayor – lobbyist for Curt Pringle; refuses to release client list
Jan Flory Mayor Pro Tem, 2012 recall opponent; illegal water tax supporter; supported utility tax in 1993
John (Jack) Bedell, Ph.D. RINO Vice President Orange County Board of Education, recently smeared Chris Norby in BoE election
Molly  Mc Clanahan North OC Community College Vice President (recalled from Fullerton council in 1994 for unnecessary utility tax
Hilda Sugarman RINO Fullerton School Board Vice President,
Janny  Meyer RINO Fullerton School Board Member; wife of previous city manager
Chris Meyer Former Fullerton City Manager (holder of MASSIVE pension; oversaw a city government with zero accountability)
Paul Dudley Former Director of Community Development (responsible for massive over development of Fullerton)
Dick  Ackerman Former Mayor (see above; this scumbag is so repulsive he gets listed TWICE)
Don  Bankhead Former Mayor, only person in the history of California to be recalled Twice from the same office
Buck Catlin Former Mayor, recalled in 1994 for imposition of unnecessary utility tax, father of Janny Meyer
F. Richard Jones Former Mayor, recalled in 2012; rude, bombastic Southern-fried imbecile
Linda LeQuire Former Mayor, repulsive former councilperson resurrected for nasty duty every election cycle
Molly  Mc Clanahan Former Mayor (also listed TWICE did I metioned she was recalled?)
Leland Wilson Former Mayor,(RINO- mitigating factor – got rid of Flory in 2002)
Peter Godfrey Former Mayor Pro Tem, completely useless RINO
Pat Mc Kinley Former Council Member, recalled in 2012 – created the FPD Culture of Corruption “I hired them all”
Jim Blake Former MWD Board, busted partying on the taxpayers dime as the perpetual appointee to the MWD
Rick  Crane Former Planning Commissioner, Redevelopment Agency bonanza beneficiary
Samuel Han Former Planning Commission,  Grace Ministries front man for dad and booze peddler map supporter
Roy  LeQuire Former Planning Commissioner, spouse of Linda LeQuire, above
Wade Richmond Former Planning Commissioner ( Bankhead crony since the year 1492)
Jim  Alexander Local small-time lobbyist
Carol Bankhead Wife of Don Bankhead
Karen Dudley Wife of Paul Dudley, above
Norma  Jones Wife of Richard Joes, above
Tony Florentine  (Guy who buil restaurant addition on public sidewalk; operated illegal dance club)
Pat Florentine Spouse of sidewalk grabber, above
Barbara McKinley Wife of Pat Mckinley, above

 

The future looked bright from his perspective

So, basically Bennett was the front man for Old Fullerton, the same crew that has done everything possible to keep Fullerton in a weird stasis in which they ran the show. These were the people that fought BOTH recalls, tooth and nail; that imposed a utility tax in 1993, that have given away the store to the public employees and upper managers alike; that stole $27,000,000 from us in illegal water taxes, denied it, and never even bothered to say “sorry;” that enabled a Culture of Corruption to pervade the FPD, who denied its existence contrary to all the evidence, and who hid behind their curtains when an innocent man was bludgeoned to death by their own little Praetorian Guard.

And every rancid step of the way  proclaiming with hosannas their dedication to “good government.”

These are the people who now survive in ever-dwindling numbers, their days long past, who see in people like Fitzgerald and Bennett some sort of embryonic form in which their own feeble genetic material is passed on.

Blaming Whitaker for not backing Bennett? How about shame on all of those who did? Electing Republicans qua Republicans, even though they are supported by all of Fullerton’s Old Guard liberals, instead of principled conservatives is how we got into the place we are today – awash in red ink, overdeveloped and with zero accountability in sight.

 

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.

Will We Get a Refund?

Item 7 on Tuesday’s City Council Agenda brings back a sore subject: paying back the water users who’ve been ripped off by years of an illegal 10% tax on their water bill.

Thanks to the previous council the plug was finally pulled on this scam last year. But that was then, and liberals Chaffee and Flory won’t want to give back anything that was pilfered from the taxpayers. So what a bout Jennifer Fitzgerald? She’s supposed to be a Republican, but in Fullerton that hasn’t meant much and she was a die-hard supporter of the Three Bald Tires.

7. WATER UTILITY OPERATIONS
Over the past two years, the City has conducted a review of its Water Utility operations in order to have a comprehensive overview of water utility infrastructure needs, rates and rate structures and define General Fund costs related to operations of the Water Fund.
Recommendation by the Engineering Department:
1. Determine the cost for services provided by the City to the Water Utility.
2. Establish the total amount of refund to be issued (following a cost for service determination).
3. Determine the timing of refunds (one-time or multi-year payments).
4. Establish an Appeals Board to address refund complaints and any other billing conflicts.
5. Authorize the mailing of the required Proposition 218 notice which begins the 45-day comment period related to the proposed “pass-through’ of water supply cost water rate increase.
6. Authorize the update of the July 2011 “Comprehensive Water Rate Study Report” which outlines the recommended infrastructure needs and funding plans.
7. Direct staff to make any necessary City financing processes to implement Council direction.

Here’s my prediction: just as in 2011, the “cost study” will be rigged to jack up the value of City services to the Water Fund to get as close to 10% as possible. Then there will be no need for a refund and no need for an apology for illegally swiping $27,000,000 to pay for their own perks and pensions.

Nice, huh?

SHELTER FALLOUT

The County of Orange’s attempt to cram a permanent homeless shelter in east Fullerton across the street from single-family homes and an elementary school have taught us four things, so far.

First, it is very clear that no Fullerton elected representatives were told anything about this high-handed plan. Second, the County can do it with or without the City’s agreement. Third, nobody at the County gives a damn that they will be paying $3.15 million for a broken down old building that nobody knows the cost to make habitable. Four, the media will never report any of this.

As to the first point, here is a report about a meet and greet event by Fullerton Mayor Bruce Whitaker, who asked the County for a few weeks’ delay so that the City Council could learn just what the County has in store for us. Request denied.

And here is an e-mail we received from some local resident who says he has just started a petition to seek redress:

Subject: Homeless shelter

Hello!I’ve started the petition “Fullerton city council: Stop the County from opening a 24/7 homeless shelter at 301 S St College Bl” and need your help to get it off the ground.Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

http://www.change.org/petitions/fullerton-city-council-stop-the-county-from-opening-a-24-7-homeless-shelter-at-301-s-st-college-bl

Here’s why it’s important:

This is a 29,000 square foot building that is located near an elementary school, park and houses. This homeless shelter will make Fullerton the dumping ground for homeless. Crime will increase and spread to the whole area. This deal is being done without much awareness from the public. A life long friend of County Supervisor Nelson stands to make nearly 100k from the deal. This is bad for North OC. This shelter will end up looking like skid row in downtown LA where crime and drug use is rampant. Fullerton is not LA.

You can sign my petition by clicking here.

Thanks!

Well, good luck with that! Apparently the County can do whatever it likes and your County Supervisor isn’t interested in your opinion.

Now, What About Our Water Tax Refund? Part 3: The Big Lie And The Big Dippers

thief

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.

 

Now, What About Our Water Tax Refund? Part 2: The Phony Report

thief

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.