NIMBY Winning Out Over Autistic Children

TempleBethTikvah

Tomorrow the City Council is going to vote on wether or not a business can help kids with developmental issues here in Fullerton after the Planning Commission voted to deny it.

The story is basically this;

Temple Beth Tikvah here in Fullerton has been up on Acacia for generations – since at least 1971. For quite some time they sub-leased to a Unitarian Church and nobody cared at all about it. There was plenty of traffic and a lot of religious activity and the neighbors never said a thing.

Skip ahead to last year or so and that Unitarian Church outgrew the Temple’s property and moved locations and the Temple then leased part of the property to a company called Sage Behavior Services. In the brief window where the Church was moving out and Sage was moving in – allegedly there was an increase in traffic and a neighbor got big mad about it and started to complain.

She complained and complained and complained. Code Enforcement came to the property about 10 times and was never able to verify her complaints but not one to be denied, she kept on complaining and is complaining to this day.

The issue finally made to the Planning Department and because zoning is stupid the City told TVT that they needed to have an amendment to their Conditional Use Permit to allow Sage to operate in their residentially zoned space despite the work they do being allowed by the code. The Planning Department analyzed the business Sage was running and following the municipal code they determined that Sage was *most like* a school that helps developmentally challenged kids.

This is when the Planning Commission got involved and got stupid. (more…)

Fullerton City Council Gives the Finger to Taxpayers

Fullerton has a long and sordid history of City Council making stupid moves and putting personal animus and self-interest above what’s best for the City and it’s residents but this week they’re just insulting us taxpayers.

You see, at the last council meeting a majority of the Council voted to approve a budget with a glaring $10 Million hole in it. That’s right – the budget is in the red and terribly so. We’re broke largely because we’ve been systematically defunded by the Police and Fire Unions over the years abetted by an indebted City Council Majority who can never make hard decisions, do real math or plan ahead for the future.

The current Council has no idea how they’re going to make up this budget deficit or where the money is going to come from to pay the ever increasing union pay and benefits packages they can never deny.

So this week what’s on the agenda? What are the brass tacks they’re going to get down to? What are the hard choices they’re prepared to make in light of our financial woes? Where oh where must the cutting begin?

Somewhere else at some later date. Instead of cutting, the council is instead going to vote on spending – specifically spending for themselves.

That’s right. Self-interest is the item of the day. They’re going to vote on wether or not they should spend $75,000 to give themselves offices on the third floor of City Hall.

Agenda - Council Office Spave

You heard that correctly. Just one meeting after admitting they have no idea how to balance our budget they want to reward themselves with new offices for all of their hard work.

This is a level of self-entitlement and tone-deafness that should be unimaginable from true  “public servants”. This is nothing less than arrogance of the highest order.

Over the next few years you’re going to be asked to give up more in services, to pay more in fees and taxes and to take it on the chin because of our financial dire straights. Dire straights we were put in BY our bought and paid for City Councils.

Over those next few years Council and their allies will likely be trying to sell you on all of the financial hardships we face as a city – of course right after taking meetings with developers and lobbyists from their swanky new offices they prioritized over balancing the budget because, well, screw you.

I hope they at least have the decency to play the fiddle from up there on the third floor while they watch Fullerton burn but I doubt they’d even give us that much respect.

NeroFiddled

A Manfro All Seasons

The Man from Manfro

Who is Eddie Manfro? I asked myself the other day. Name sounds familiar.

See, I had seen the name pop up on a Fullerton City Council agenda as somebody who was involved as a participant, along with our former City Manager, Ken Domer, in carrying on labor negotiations with the City’s  labor unions.

Hmm. Where had I heard that name before? Then it hit me. He’s the former City Manager of Westminster, who quit last year to become some sort of “human resources” expert whose supposed abilities were now for sale. Apparently Ken Domer was in the market for Manfro’s “expertise.”  If the thought of a couple of bungling bureaucrats negotiating on your behalf makes you a little uneasey, well…but, I digress.

Here’s why I remember Eddie Manfro: he’s the City Manager who willingly participated in the Dick Jones  scam in Westminster, where our ethically plugged-up City Attorney pretended to be a city employee to qualify for the CalPERS pension system and even went so far as to submit fraudulent time cards to line up with the sham. I believe these are all crimes.

No, I wasn’t asleep. I was praying…

And Eddie Manfro went along with the scam; and now, surprise, he is getting work from another agency in Dick Joneses stable of fine municipalities.

How did Eddie acquire this gig, that’s what I would like to know. And when for God’s freaking sake is  Fullerton’s City Council finally going get rid of the incompetent, corrupt, and utterly self-serving, the Dickensianly awful, the I Can’t Believe It’s a Law Firm® of Jones and Mayer?

 

Jones “Public Nuisance” Mayer

If you thought having a City Attorney’s office suing bloggers to cover up their incompetence was bad and unethical, you’ll love this:

Fullerton’s joke of a law firm Jones & Mayer has left their front steps in a state of decrepit disrepair for at least 6 months.  Their office is located at 3777 N. Harbor Blvd, alongside a busy sidewalk.  Imagine taking your young child for a walk, losing sight for a quick second, and then watching them crack their head open on that rusty steel mess, protected only by a 2×4?

Or how about working here under the assumption that that temporary railing is well-secured?  Look closely, it isn’t.

Let’s see what constitutes a “public nuisance” within the City of Fullerton:

Who would have thought the City Attorney is the poster child of how best to violate 6.01.030 (A) and (B) many times over?

I hope the irony of this is not lost on you.  This is a law firm who makes their living advising cities on “public nuisance” cases all over California, presiding over administrative hearings, and in some cases prosecuting land owners who refuse to make repairs for the very same type of neglect and disrepair pictured above.

Time and time again, the arrogance of City Attorney Dick Jones is just stunning.  He interprets or disregards the law in whichever way is most convenient for his interests.  In case you’ve forgotten, now would be a good time to review Dick Jones’ attempt to steal a pension from CalPERS by faking himself as a City of Westminster employee.  He knew better then, and he knows better now but just doesn’t care, and that’s the problem.

My story as a FFFF defendant

Most readers of this blog are well aware of the recent settlement between the City of Fullerton, FFFF, Joshua Ferguson, and myself.

Joshua did a great job explaining various aspects of our lawsuit in a video, and why we settled. I encourage you to watch if you haven’t already. Until now, I’ve been pretty quiet about this lawsuit and haven’t said much. In an effort to clear our names, I’d like to dispute some of the City’s claims and share new information you might find interesting.

This is what the City’s Dropbox account looked like.

Typing www.cityoffullerton.com/outbox into a web browser redirected anybody to this open and unsecured Dropbox account. The City went out of their way to disable security controls to make it possible for all users to see all files.

Notice some of the files have our last names, Curlee and Ferguson, in the file name itself. Who wouldn’t download a file named for you?

(more…)

The Dead Kennedys & Others

Now that the City of Fullerton’s retaliatory lawsuit against FFFF bloggers Joshua Ferguson and David Curlee has finally done its inevitable Zeppelin Hindenburg act, some folks who promoted and nurtured the despicable assault on freedom are already trying to rewrite their participation.

Don’t get too close. They bite…

Kimberly Barlow, Esquiress of the lamentable law firm of Jones, Mayer and Gecko is saying she’s just “happy the City got its documents back” another disingenuous swipe at Ferguson and Curlee who never deprived Barlow of anything; her “happiness” is costing us $750,000, at least , but she forgot to tell the reporter this inconvenient fact.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

Ahmad Zahra the hapless, preening poseur, and insufferable boohoo gasbag is now claiming that he was a “fan” of settling this lawsuit, a statement completely unsupported by any fact as the City continued its legal harassment of FFFF.

The track record was poor…

Then there’s Sharon Kennedy, the (former, supposedly) proprietor of the Fullerton Observer. In a comment string at their blog, Kennedy is now denying her involvement defaming our bloggers and pretending that her involvement was strictly objective. Unfortunately for her, the facts suggesst a slimy collaboration with the City and Jones, Mayer and Gecko. Her “expert” who claimed that she hired him, produced an opinion that was a joint statement to the Observer and an official Declaration to the Court in the case. How that happened and who, if anybody remunerated this self-styled expert is unknown – so far, but it looks suspicious as all Hell. Commenters are questioning Kennedy, but she isn’t answering. And naturally, the expert conveniently backed up the long-since debunked statement of the City’s own “expert.”

Kennedy can claim innocence all she wants, but her track record of venom toward this blog and really toward anybody else whose honesty threatens the well-being of government employees is well-known, and the malice might be pretty easy to prove in court if anybody cared to hold her accountable.

Well, the rats can scurry off the SS Jones, Mayer and Gecko as quick as their little legs will hurry them along. But the facts are incontrovertible and somebody, and soon, is going to have to pay the proverbial piper – just like the taxpayers are going to have to pay for the horrible and intentional malice of City Hall and its lawyers.

 

 

City of Fullerton Calls it Quits Against Bloggers/FFFF

ACLU, EFF, RCFP, ACLU SoCal

Yesterday, in a special meeting,  the City of Fullerton officially bowed to the inevitable and settled its retaliatory lawsuit against Joshua Ferguson, David Curlee, and this blog. The vote was 3-2 with Bruce Whitaker, Nick Dunlap and Fred Jung voting to end the bloodletting. Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, who started the lawsuit and have stubbornly kept it alive, voted no. Whether they were laboring under the sunk cost fallacy or if it was simply a childish aversion to admitting their own culpability in the mess, will never be known.

Zahra-Busted
Why is this man smiling?

It doesn’t happen very often that honest citizens can prevail against their government. In fact it almost never happens – a tribute to the tenacity of the courageous FFFF bloggers and their attorney, Kelly Aviles.

After a year and a half of lies, defamation, obstruction, incompetence, buffoonery, temporizing, more lying and running up huge legal bills the City has given up. Here are the main points:

$60,000 in compensatory damages to Ferguson and Curlee;

A public statement absolving Ferguson and Curlee of any culpability;

Legal fees for Kelly Aviles amounting to $230,000.

The winners here are justice (deliberately stalled, to be sure) and journalistic freedom against prior restraint; and, of course, any people who want to be able to get information that their own government is legally obligated to provide.

The losers, once again, are the taxpayers of Fullerton who are on the hook for $350,000 plus how ever much the legal team of Jones and Mayer have racked up – a sum estimated to be approaching $500,000.

Well, Friends, you can add as well as I can. At least three quarters of a million bucks to pursue this hare-brained retaliation against bloggers whose only desire was to get information from their own city government.

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

And so it is particularly amusing to consider the stammering, babbling statement from Jesus Quirk Silva that he was voting against the settlement because of his “fiduciary responsibility” to the people of Fullerton.

Axis of Casual Corruption.

Too bad the other two vindictive and profligate architects of this disaster have conveniently exited from our political stage: Jan Flory has resubmerged herself into whatever nasty swamp will have her; and our former influence peddling Mayor-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald, is fleeing the state entirely, having feasted on the Fullerton carcass until there was no more meat on the bones.

 

And Another One Bites The Dust

The Word out of City Hall is that the “Community Development” Director, Matt Foulkes, is hitting the road. All the way to neighboring Buena Park, a city half the size of Fullerton. This is not a lateral move.

Matt Foulkes. The spin out left casualties…

Foulkes no doubt saw the proverbial handwriting on the wall and realized the long, long era of incompetence and no accountability in the Fullerton planning process was over.

‘Tam. Smell that smell…

The last straw may have been his ass-backward proposal to convert a park into a private event center masquerading as a aquaponic farm.

Domer-Decorations
Hitching to Buttonwillow…

But Foulkes was by no means simply in over his head. He was part of The Fitzgerald and Domer team that deliberately ignored code enforcement downtown and who actually looked the other way when Joe Florentine forged an official city application document. And then there was the documented theft of the “Fullerton Rail District” name for his own secret plan that envisaged stack n’ pack housing to appease his SCAG overlords, and of course, the now-departed lobbyist, Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Maybe the next Director will be somebody capable of explaining things without a long string of jargon, nonsense and outright lies. It seems unlikely, but the Friends can always hope.