Sometimes problems are complicated. Sometimes they’re not.
Fullerton’s biggest problems aren’t really that complicated. The real reason our problems get worse and worse every year is because our elected officials insist on spending their time and energy on inane and self-serving gobbledygook that serve no real public purpose and/or accomplish nothing beyond weak symbolism.
Look no further than tonight’s agenda. Fullerton is going to spend a few hours (after Jesus Silva approves cutting yet another tax payer check to one of his campaign donors– Townsand Public Affairs– so the city can pay to lobby his wife) accomplishing exactly nothing. We’re going to vote to support spending time and money to weigh in on a legal discussion between the United States Federal Government and the entire State of California concerning immigration enforcement.
Because Fullerton and it’s 140,000 residents need to say something special that can’t or won’t be said by the Federal Government, who represent nearly 400,000,000 people.
Here are some topics not on tonight’s agenda:
1) Fullerton’s $5,000,000-$8,000,000 structural deficit for the current fiscal year.
2) Fullerton’s $50,000,000 budget gap over the next five years.
3) Why recent property sales of $4,000,000 went to filing this year’s deficit instead of fixing roads like we were promised.
4) How Fullerton plans to address $100,000,000 in deferred road maintenance
5) When the zoning code will be amended to prevent another mosoleum from being errected on Harbor
6) What to do about downtown puke piles
7) What to do about downtown brawls
8) What to do about rampant drunk driving?
9) What to do about tax evasion on illegally collected revenue at downtown bars?
10) Finally, why after over a year, has the city council not ordered Councilwoman Fitzgerald to release unredacted phone records from the night of City Manager Joe Felz’s Druken Ride as well as police body cameras for the entire event?
When you drive home tonight, count the potholes you hit and the homeless you pass, then ask yourself why Fullerton needs to spend ANY of its time and money getting into a pissing contest between Donald Trump and Jerry Brown.
Back in 2016, FFFF filed a personnel complaint with the Fullerton Police Department against the officers involved in the attempted cover-up Joe Felz DUI accident. The complaint offered a tiny bit of hope that a quasi-legitimate internal investigation might be carried out. It also entitled us to a legally-mandated notification as to whether the complaint was “sustained” or “not sustained.” Sadly, this process represents the absolute limit of public visibility into the California system of police self-governance that has drawn the ire of FFFF for a decade.
Well over a year later, this letter shows that some of the accusations leveled at Sergeant Jeff Corbett and Lieutenant Goodrich, under the leadership of the since-departed Chief Danny Hughes, were indeed sustained.
While state law prevents the public from knowing what disciplinary actions were taken as a result of the investigation, sources inside the Fullerton Police Department indicate that Sergeant Jeff Corbett was terminated in February. Lieutenant Goodrich, who once considered himself a promising candidate for promotion to Captain, was pushed into an earlier-than-planned retirement beginning this Tuesday.
Remember the OCDA investigator who faced the wrath of Rackauckas and his minions for suggesting former Fullerton Police Chief Dan Hughes be charged with criminal obstruction?
Abraham Santos and co-plaintiff Tom Conklin have recently filed a lawsuit in Federal court. Be sure to read pages 23-24 where it talks about our esteemed former City Manager Joe Felz and his wild DUI ride home. “JC” refers to FPD Sergeant Jeff Corbett.
The City is in the process of approving a new labor contract with the Fullerton Firefighter’s Association. Buried deep in the agreement on page 52 is this nugget — the City will be going from six (6) engines to five (5) engines. We’ve had six fire engines in Fullerton for many, many years.
At no time has the City come forward with any candor to admit to this change, except when I brought it up during the previous City Council meeting. Even then, none of our council members seem to care very much.
This change may well result in every property owner in the City paying higher property (fire) insurance rates. One of the factors that insurance companies use to determine rates is the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Public Protection Classification (PPC) score calculated for every fire district around the country.
The ISO score takes into consideration many factors, including the strength of the fire department and the City’s water supply. More specifically, the fire department score includes calculations for the number of engine and truck companies, their locations around the City, and the number of firefighters on duty. The fire union agreement, set for final approval on Tuesday, reduces the level of staffing by 1 position per rotating shift, which will further reduce our score.
Fullerton scored 76.71 points out of a possible 100 the last time ISO evaluated the City of Fullerton in 2012. This equates to an ISO PPC “class” of 3 on a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being best).
You can read the full report here. As much as the City wants to rubber stamp the agreement and forget all about it, this is very much a matter of public policy that warrants further discussion. We will likely pay more for homeowner’s insurance due to the City having one less fire engine in service.
Do we, as a City, want to:
Pay more in homeowner’s insurance premiums in return for less fire department staffing and resources?
Pay more in taxes to maintain the current level of fire department staffing, and, hopefully, preserve lower insurance premiums?
Pay the same amount in taxes, for the same, or even improved levels of fire department staffing, by forcing the firefighters to contribute more toward their pensions?
This is a choice that needs to be made now before going any further. I suggest attending Tuesday’s meeting prepared to speak, and/or send your thoughts to [email protected].
Remember last year when County Supervisor candidate Joe Kerr kicked off his 4th District campaign by claiming he had moved from his Coto de Caza palace to someone else’s house on Stony Lane in Brea?
Perhaps the rent was too high, or maybe the neighborhood just didn’t feel right. A few days ago Coto Joe registered to vote at the fine Merrick Apartments over in Placentia. Here’s a closer look at his new digs.
Joe’s wife is still registered to vote 35 miles away behind the gate at Joe’s million dollar south county home.
The clumsy execution of this carpetbagging scam reminds one of another failed Supervisor candidate from a few years ago.
Those who saw my post from the other day would probably be interested in Sonny Siliceo’s misdemeanor plea and sentencing documents.
Once the Orange County DA took the Felony charge off the table, Sonny readily admitted to making a false police report, among other things:
On 7/9/15, I was a police officer employed by Fullerton Police Department and on this date I did use excessive force by assaulting John Doe while acting under the color of authority. Additionally, I knowingly & intentionally filed a false police report with Fullerton Police Department in case number 15-44269, making a material false statement regarding the commission of a crime.
There you have it, everyone. Sonny just admitted to being a corrupt police officer. Now that he’s unemployed, one can only hope this is a positive step forward for the Fullerton Police Department.
Former Fullerton Police officer Miguel “Sonny” Siliceo — recently fired by the department — yesterday pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of PC 149, Assault and Battery by Officer. The conviction follows on the heels of a false police report filed by Siliceo accusing a man of resisting arrest.
What the Orange County DA press release conveniently left out is that Sonny was originally charged with PC 118.1, a Felony. As is common with criminal cases, a plea bargain of a lesser charge was offered to avoid going to trial.
And what a bargain it was. Not only did Sonny escape a Felony on his record, the plea deal ensured his CalPERS pension would be left intact.
Under California Govt. Code section 7522.72, a Felony conviction in the performance of official duties would have barred him from accruing additional CalPERS service credits after July 9, 2015 — the date of the crime.
Instead, Sonny remained on patrol until October 2016, and then on paid administrative leave for well over another year, all the while collecting a salary and accruing additional CalPERS credit. Given Sonny’s salary of over $100K, and under the 3% @ age 50 retirement formula, the time between the July 2015 date of the crime and his February 2018 termination guarantees him an extra $7,000 to 8,000 per year (maybe more) until the day he dies.
This miscarriage of justice will net Sonny, currently age 52, an additional:
$283,977 to $324,545 — if he lives until age 82
$422,814 to $483,216 — if he lives until age 92.
(figures include annual 2% COLA increases)
It is important to emphasize this is NOT the total size of his pension, it is the additional amount he will receive after the date of the crime he committed while on-duty. He gets to keep this money because he was convicted of a Misdemeanor, not a Felony.
Quite the deal in return for a measly 30 days in Orange County Jail and three years of probation. Crime really does pay when you’re a government employee and the DA has no desire to pursue a felony conviction.
(Update: According to the agenda forcast, the vote on this ordinance will be held on March 6, 2018)
Writing for FFFF is a volunteer effort, aside from the stipend we receive from NASA and the Round Earth Cabal (which really hasn’t kept up with inflation, if we’re being completely honest here). Our lack of compensation gives us the advantage of calling things like we see them, without having to worry about how our opinion will play with our employer/advertisers, but it also means that issues often come up and none of us here at FFFF have the time to dig into the issue and provide any meaningful commentary on the subject.
This was the case for the recent vote on the Planning Commission, which will soon be appearing before the City Council, to rezone all commercial property to allow for homeless shelters provided they operate with a CUP. The decision was made as part of a settlement with Curtis Gamble filed through the Pacific Legal Aid Foundation. Local resident Scott Hess, who is opposed to the rezoning, has investigated the change to the ordinance, and much of the information below is from my email exchanges with him on the subject.
On January 24, 2018, the Fullerton Planning Commission adopted a code amendment to allow 24 hour Emergency Homeless Shelters in any of the commercial districts in Fullerton.