FFFF has published lots of posts about the way in which our highly paid “experts” in City Hall have made it their business to run interference for the numerous scofflaw bar and “club” owners downtown when it comes to ignoring annoyances like Conditions of Approval and the municipal code’s Noise Ordinance.
Both topics have been addressed in the same way: if they can, they simply ignore the situation. The blind eye approach has worked most of time. When it hasn’t, Step 2 is invoked. Step 2 is to diligently pursue making the laws laxer, so lax in fact, that the lawbreaking is no longer lawbreaking. This bureaucratic gambit is really nice because the Planning Department Staff can always claim that something is in the works that will address the situation. Of course that’s a lie. What’s really happening is that the department is trying really hard to come up with a legal absolution so low even the lowest douchebag can slither over it.
At every step of the way, the scofflaws – Jeremy Popoff of Slidebar fame and the Florentine Mob spring most readily to mind – lubricate the gears of Fullerton’s small town political machine who have seemed ever-ready to support the law breaking.
While we here at FFFF have extensively covered the abuse of CUPs and other land use issues, the history of the ongoing issue of nuisance noise traces a perfect trajectory of incompetence or casual corruption, or most likely, of both.
The story spans three city managers, four planning directors and a whole slew of elected ciphers who would rather defend purveyors of nuisance over the right of their constituents to quiet enjoyment of their property.
This Tuesday, at the request of the Fire Heroes Union, the Fullerton City Council will vote (likely 3-2) to light $68,000 dollars on fire to get a bid from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
This is a scam and just a waste of your tax dollars.
Don’t believe the fiscal lies being told here, none of the disingenuous liars who will vote for this care about your tax dollars and they’re certainly not going to get rid of Fullerton’s Fire Department to jump to OCFA.
The entire point of this bullshit bid is leverage to justify a raise for the Fire Department. Nothing more, nothing less.
I’ll prove it by using Council’s own agenda from the exact same meeting this coming Tuesday:
When you join OCFA you typically lease all of your equipment to them at no cost and all of your fire facilities for $1/year (as Garden Grove did a few years ago).
To take this bid seriously, you would have to believe that council is SERIOUSLY considering a bid to change to OCFA and is simultaneously spending $1,546,683.30 to buy Fullerton Fire a new ladder truck that they’ll just gift to OCFA to use as they see fit.
If we went to OCFA, it is them and not us who would decide where trucks (apparatus) would be stationed in order to best serve the cities under their jurisdiction. Thus it makes zero sense for Fullerton to buy a new truck when it might not even stay in Fullerton.
These conflicting agenda items would make no logical sense if this bullshit OCFA bid was serious. But it’s not serious.
This is just the council Dems lighting your tax dollars on fire, well, because screw you, they need to help a union argue for more of your money later during negotiations. Silva, Jung and Zahra refuse to take their role as representatives of the residents seriously any time a union rears it’s ugly head and this is just another gross example.
If the Fire Heroes Union wants this bid so bad they can pay for it their damn selves considering they have no issues spending their own money to try and raise your taxes (Measure S campaigning) or to pick your City Council (campaign contributions).
Your roads suck, your services are getting more expensive and you’re constantly being asked to do more with less by City Hall and City Council. Hell, the City asked you to donate Christmas decorations this last season because they’re so broke.
But not broke enough to avoid spending $65k of your money to help a union at the negotiating table.
If this bid was serious then the council would be getting bids from LA Fire and Placentia as well as OCFA. That’s how you find out the best services with the most benefits fort he residents at the best price – by shopping around. So of course they don’t want to do any of that.
Later this year when the City is selling everything not nailed down, and a few things that are, remember this moment when these disingenuous liars spent your money on political theater to help out the unions who will always put their interests above your safety.
The two default positions of government are corruption and stupidity but this coming week the Fullerton Planning Commission is about to engage in the latter to try and hide the former.
This week’s Planning Commission meeting, as chaired by Elizabeth Hansburg, will be spent pretending to not know what “is” is in order to try and obfuscate the fact that City Hall is acting like corrupt jackasses picking winners and losers.
Ok, so in this case the “is” in question is the phrase “property owner” but the sentiment of obfuscation by semantically playing games is the same.
Here’s the verbatim “background and analysis” from next week’s meeting:
“The City’s land use applications require completion by or authorization from the corresponding property owner”. The Fullerton Municipal Code (FMC) defines “fee owner”. Throughout the FMC, various forms of “owner” are identified as the party to file a land use application. While these terms are commonly understood to all identify the legal owner of a real property, these amendments will clarify what constitutes a property owner.”
This is just blustering bullshit because PC and City Hall got caught with their pants down while trying to violate the law in favor of a preferred business.
Never once in the history of Fullerton has the phrase “property owner” been in contention until City Hall tried to pass off a fabricated Conditional Use Permit in violation of the City’s municipal code. You can read about that particular scam [HERE] & [HERE]. Pretending to not know what words mean after the fact is what liars do to avoid accountability.
If the Planning Commission really didn’t know what “Property Owner” meant it would call into question years of decisions spanning PC and City Council. It would call into question tons of zoning, permitting and a lot of the work being done in the planning department.
None of that is being brought up in this agenda item because Planning Commission isn’t worried about any of that – precisely because they know they’re full of shit and this is a distraction.
But how do I know this isn’t honest stupidity as opposed to corrupt pretend stupidity to cover-up an attempted fraud? Because CA law supersedes the Municipal Code and CA law already clarifies who a “property owner” is and that’s the person who holds the title and pays the property taxes.
I’ll point your attention to the California Department of Real Estate’s website which gives you a nice little history [HERE] of why property has an owner in CA. But let’s just jump to page 55 to get to the meat (bold emphasis added):
OWNERSHIP OF REAL PROPERTY All property has an owner, the government – federal, state, or local— or some private party or entity (typically referred to as persons). Very broadly, an estate in real property may be owned in the following ways: 1. Sole or several ownership; 2. Joint, common, or community ownership; a. Tenancy in common; b. Joint tenancy; c. Community property; or, d. Partnership interests. 3. Ownership by other lawfully created entities. SOLE OR SEVERAL OWNERSHIP Sole or several ownership is defined to mean ownership by one person. Being the sole owner, one person enjoys the benefits of the property and is subject to the accompanying burdens, such as the payment of taxes. Subject to applicable federal and state law, a sole owner is free to dispose of property at will. Typically, only the sole owner’s signature is required on the instrument of transfer/deed of conveyance. See Civil Code Section 681.
When The Other Dick Jones™️ sided with Florentine’s asinine “legal opinion” that Florentine was entitled to bypass the law, all he did was perpetuate a fraud on behalf of City Hall.
It was never in question that Joe Florentine wasn’t the required owner needed for his Conditional Use Permit and the City knew it from day one. Why they chose to pick sides is anybody’s guess but that’s government here in Fullerton.
However – if that isn’t clear enough for the nitwits on Planning Commission let’s look at the requirements for noticing zoning and land use decisions in the Fullerton Municipal Code:
Ah. So we have to refer back to State law again. Here’s the highlighted CA Gov Code:
So the Fullerton Municipal Code says that before a public hearing, of which Chair Hansburg has participated in who knows how many in her years on Planning Commission, the city must notify people based on a State Law that defines a property owner by looking at the “equalized assessment roll” or in laymen’s terms – tax rolls.
It’s never been a question of who owns what property in Fullerton or what the Conditional Use Permit meant by “Property Owner”.
This is bullshitery and bluster to bury bureaucratic bungling. If you don’t believe me – just look at the City of Fullerton’s own Development Portal:
This is Fullerton efficiency for you. Staff’s time and several meetings will be wasted to get to the bottom of the meaning of a phrase in common usage – meanwhile nobody is being held to account for how we got to this level of stupid in the first place. If this is what we can expect from the current planning commission we’re in for a long, rough ride on the Idiot Express.
It didn’t take racist grifter Adan Ortega long to find a new city to help him keep him aboard his little crony gravy train.
You’ll recall that Mr. Ortega was removed from the Metropolitan Water Board of Directors by Fullerton back on 02 February. Now, according to their agenda for 01 March, Ortega is going to be appointed back to that very board by San Fernando.
Not even a month went by before he managed to get back on the board that allows him to so easily peddle his municipal lobbying firm “Ortega Solutions” to unsuspecting entities. And just like that the grift keeps on grifting.
That he also peddles in racism & the San Fernando City Council is a-ok with that is further evidence that porn is still the moral and ethical bright spot in the San Fernando Valley.
This just goes to show that Fullerton was right to remove him because representing Fullerton’s interests was never his agenda – the same as representing San Fernando won’t be going forward. I guess the taxpayers of San Fernando better hope those evil “white people” in Pasadena look out for their best interests because Ortega will be too busy looking out for his own.
The Joe Felz Cover-up is nearly complete. Yesterday the officer, Jeff Corbett, who falsified his report, was slapped on the wrist for his felonious actions.
While we don’t know what happened in his Jury Trial, the bench trial ended yesterday with the judge giving him less time for lying in his official capacity as a police officer than you can get for contempt of court.
His attorney said this case, where an officer lied on a report, was more of a “political football than a felony”. Let that sink in. Lying under the color of authority isn’t that big of a deal in this system.
His attorney also claimed that Corbett was being prosecuted for his “opinion” that Joe Felz wasn’t intoxicated. What this defense attorney and judge ignored is that it took Corbett over an hour to conduct his “limited investigation” because, according to Corbett himself, the “back and forth phone calls” took too long. Those are the phone calls between Corbett, Danny Hughes, Jennifer Fitzgerald and lord knows who else.
So the powers that be were pulling strings for Felz to not get treated like any other DUI in Fullerton (hi MADD!) and Corbett went along with it by stating that an obviously intoxicated Felz (who plead guilty to that fact) didn’t seem intoxicated. The other officers reported that Felz “smelled of alcohol” but something something Corbett is hero and deserve.
The judge admitted she had no idea there was an independent investigation by RCS and she clearly didn’t know the facts of the case or she wouldn’t call this just a “sloppy investigation”.
The judge claimed there are a lot of politics involved and then claimed she was going to avoid the politics to “follow the law” but you cannot untangle the two in this case. Let us not forget that the Mayor and Chief of Police directed the actions of a police officer in relation to the drinking and driving by the City Manager. That the officer was on the up-and-up when he claimed to not think the City Manager was drunk under the law (after not doing a breathalyzer and waiting over an hour to conduct any sobriety tests) is laughable at best.
It only took 51 months, 14 days (or 1,567 days) for the illusion of justice to be handed down in the Joe Felz Sappy McTree Caper.
All in all he got 80 hours of community service, is required to pay restitution (that may not even exist), is required to pay $500 to the “victim witness” and Corbett can’t work in law enforcement anymore. Once this “diversion” is completed in a year the record will be sealed.
All that remains is for the body worn camera footage to be “lost” by FPD now that there is no reason to legally withhold it from the public.
Fullerton has a new(ish) online Public Records portal to view records requests made by the public. If you put in a Public Records Request, and I urge you to submit them often for fun and profit, you’ll get a response sometime within 10 days telling you to wait longer. When you finally get an actual response to your request the Assistant City Clerk will likely email you and in the email will include the following line;
“The City of Fullerton has reviewed its files and has located responsive records to your request. You can inspect these documents online in the Fullerton Public Records Center.”
Maybe you’ll get a link, maybe you won’t. But the “Public Records Center” looks like this:
BE WARNED. This could be a trap.
If you, acting like a normal person on the internet, click on “Public Records Home” and navigate to the “Public Records Request Log” you will be able to see all current public record requests and their responses. This is where the trap comes into play. You see, the City of Fullerton has NOT given you “Expressed Authorized Permission” to view these publicly available public records and as such could be trying to entrap you into a legal case.
After all, that is EXACTLY what they’re claiming we did over on their former PRR portal (Dropbox) and we’ve been in court for over a year with City Hall calling us “hackers” and “thieves” for clicking links on a website (Dropbox) they told us about and sent us links to click.
Now they’re telling people about this new portal and sending people links to this GovQa powered portal as though everything is fine and on the up and up. It is not.
If, or more likely WHEN, the City screws up again and puts something on this new PRR Portal that they later claim shouldn’t be online, they’re likely to sue you under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as well as the CA counterpart the CDAFA.
To drive the point home that this is serious and not just me trolling you, the hosting software is run by “GovQA” which is a private equity owned company that even tells you in their terms of service (TOS) that you are responsible if you are granted access to things by mistake;
“You must not retrieve information, or in any other way disclose information, for someone who does not have authority to access that information.”
This is precisely what the City of Fullerton claims happened with us on Dropbox.
But how will you know when you’ve been granted access to something you shouldn’t have access to? You won’t. That’s the point.
In our case Fullerton’s City Attorneys have been incapable of figuring out which records on Dropbox were public and which were allegedly not. In their court documents they’ve claimed AT LEAST 4 different lists of offending files.
That’s right. First the City claimed everything on Dropbox wasn’t public. Then some of it was public, then a different some of it was public and then a different some of it still. If City Hall and their small army of attorneys don’t know what’s public – how are you supposed to know what you’re allowed to look at?
This is how you risk getting blamed for City Hall’s screw-ups the way we’re getting blamed.
It gets better. GovQa even EXPLICITLY references the CFAA in their TOS (emphasis added);
“You understand that any person or business entity who obtains information from a computer connected to the Internet in violation of computer-use restrictions is in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.“
Fullerton, in court, is arguing that clicking on a link we weren’t explicitly told it was okay to click is a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. That is their actual legal argument.
Consider yourself warned. Do not trust this new system in Fullerton as our case is ongoing with no end in sight. Fullerton City Hall & City Council have never taken responsibility for their own screw-ups so it is incumbent upon you to protect yourself from their litigious and corrupt nature.
Use TOR or a VPN if you need to access these systems. Set up a dummy email account. Do whatever you need to do to protect yourself because even though you have every right to view every document published on that public facing website – that they’ll tell you about – it doesn’t mean that the city won’t entrap you, slander you and play the victim with your own money.
I get quite a lot of pushback from people around town for picking on District 5 Council member Ahmad Zahra. Leaving out the partisan hacks, the biggest pushback I get is from people who, naively, genuinely believe that he puts in the work and cares about their interests. The single biggest issue of contention from these fine well meaning folk is Fullerton’s water. Constantly we hear about how much Zahra cares about the quality of our water. After all, his caring was the key reason people bemoaned his not being re-appointed to the Orange County Water District (OCWD).
The evidence of his caring most commonly referenced are usually the articles he wrote for the Fullerton Observer on water. Such as HERE and HERE and HERE.
But what if I told you that he only cares so long as somebody else is doing the heavy lifting and/or thinking for him?
The truth is that Ahmad Zahra, like many politicians, wants you to believe that he does the homework because he cares about you, while in reality he’s nothing more than a puppet.
Here are those three Fullerton Observer articles “by” Ahmad Zahra side-by-side with the original counterparts as written by a spokeshole for the OCWD:
Recently said spokeshole retired from OCWD which means you can expect the quality of Zahra’s “writing” to change as well.
Why do I care about this ghostwriting?
First of all it’s because he’s pretending that this is his work as evidenced by the “By Ahmad Zahra” byline over at Press Release Central, the Fullerton Observer.
Second, it’s because it shows who Zahra was really working for while over at OCWD. His job as Fullerton’s Representative at OCWD was to represent Fullerton’s interests – the interests of we residents – but somehow he decided that instead he would represent the interests of OCWD going so far as to pass off their PR as his own ideas and work.
Like most dishonest puppets in government he forgot the very role he promised the people he would do while chasing the gravy that was his $40k+/year stipend from OCWD.
I didn’t expect anything else from this peacocking faux-pontificator but many people around town took him seriously that he was serious and that’s why this matters.
The best defense for Zahra here is that he had somebody rewrite OCWD’s work just enough to not be straight up ghost-writing. Even he knew that he had to make the PR look a little less PR-ey to get passed the “eagle eyes” over at the Observer who only publish City Hall’s propaganda without question.
Perhaps one of the saddest things is people actually believe that Zahra isn’t your typical politician because he checked all the right boxes and said all the right things. He claims he is so different and he really cares, but at the end of the day, he’s just as much the same bought and paid for crony who needs a PR rep to write his own words for him.
The hacks over at the Los Angeles Times are super concerned that Adan Ortega was removed from his non-paying gig as Fullerton’s representative to the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) because he’s a champion of the working classes or some shit. I don’t know, I lost interest in their most recent #MeToo story when I remembered that Fullerton City Council member Ahmad Zahra has been charged with battery against a woman of color and the LA Times has said precisely ZERO about the story.
Their interest in such topics tend to have a very partisan flavor and it’s both predictable and boring.
Because of course they did, the LAT omitted that Ortega is a racist because he’s the fashionable type of racist that the LAT employs and endorses. They also omitted that he’s a grifter who quite literally is a lobbyist in the municipal water industry and therefore is logically conflicted out of putting the residents of Fullerton first in his now former position on the MWD.
Gee, it’s almost like there were good reasons to replace Mr. Ortega outside of the claims being made by the local union hacks. I could point to his $5000/mo consulting gig over in 29 Palms (Page 70) or perhaps that MWD was even a client of his but that would be journalism.
Sadly the press was too busy reprinting the talking points of Ortega’s allies to get into the details of a basic google search.
Because of their tedious brand of hackery, the press, largely, should not be taken seriously or at face value until they either admit their biases or start acting like honest reporters. A good place to start would be to report about the news as it relates to ALL elected officials as opposed to just those accused of wrongthink.
By way of example they could avoid talking, relentlessly, about Tito Ortiz not wearing a mask because of the dangers of Covid-19 while simultaneously ignoring that Ahmad Zahra violated social distancing guidelines in order to, allegedly, batter a women of color. Unless of course he allegedly battered her from 6 feet away.
But of course this won’t happen because journalism is thinly veiled activism and almost nobody wants to agitate against their own allies. They don’t want to lose out on an invite to the socially distanced soirees.
This isn’t an issue isolated to the wasteland of Los Angeles either.
ALL of the other major outlets, both in print and on Tv, who couldn’t get enough of Tito are guilty of the same partisan hackery. The OC Register, to their credit, ran a puff piece talking about how stunning and brave and bravely stunning Zahra is in reference to his being charged with battery but the rest of the gang have been nowhere to be seen. I expected better from the Voice of OC but alas they too have fallen victim to this consensus of reporting conformity.
While City Hall continues to attack us in the courts and pretend we’re not journalists, I’d like you to remember that we’re the ONLY local source willing to upset the status quo to tell you the truth whether you want to hear it or not.