There isn’t much worse in this world than a sad clown.
I feel for this clown. Something bad happened to him. He’s a clown! He’s supposed to be happy. He’s not. Clearly this is wrong. This is not his natural state.
One could say the same thing about a man. A man who’s not in his natural state is a sad thing to behold. He’s supposed to be something. He’s supposed to exude something. For some men it’s confidence. For others, it’s strength. For a few men, it’s hope or inspiration. Whatever it is, a man’s natural state is something good.
Bulls**t or not, Josh Newman got crushed by the voters in the mid-term primary which is currently sitting at nearly 60/40 in favor of Recall (though the totals will change slightly). Newman’s supporters seem to be caterwauling about how (D)s only show up in Presidential races and low turnout caused Newman’s electoral demise but to that I say “so what?”.
If your electoral success is predicated upon people who are too lazy to mail back an absentee ballot more than once every four years I don’t have much sympathy in your loss.
Josh Newman could have easily survived this recall had be run as the man I interviewed on my podcast but instead he ran into the arms of Brown/deLeon and got the shellacking he deserved. A little less contempt for voters and a lot more explaining of facts/reasons would have gone a long way but alas that’s not how he rolled. His staff is now unemployed owing to his arrogance.
It is true that I likewise lost in the recall. Current results have me at about 12% of the vote across the 3 counties. Obviously I would have preferred a better showing but if this is the way I go out I’ll take it because removing Josh Newman was more important.
I’ll suffer through L2 if it means humbling a man who lied to my face at his swearing in ceremony. My bet is that Newman will be back in 2020 but for now he has 2 years to consider this an abject lesson in how Representative Democracy works in California. You don’t raise our taxes and then insult our intelligence without some consequences.
In other election news two of Fullerton’s own, and yet worst, appear to have made it passed the June 5th Primary in contentious races: Doug Chaffee & Young Kim.
In the still being counted Supervisor race, for the seat being vacated by Shawn Nelson, Chaffee is ahead of Kerr by a few hundred votes for Top2. Kerr may still have a shot to knock him out of it but it seems unlikely. It is also likely that provisional ballots could swing left and Kerr/Chaffee could knock Shaw out so I wouldn’t want to be sitting in Shaw’s seat right now.
In the big money race for Royce’s seat we see that Kim managed to absolutely STOMP local boy Shawn Nelson with the help of DCCC attack ads and other (R)s splitting the vote.
Young Kim owes Huff and Libertore a round of drinks for their hard work in keeping Nelson out of Royce’s seat and then the (R)s will likely need to apologize to Nelson after Cisneros stomps Kim should she agree to a debate.
There were only two people running for Assembly so they both advance and that race stays uninteresting until November.
Did you vote in any of these races? Are you happy with the election results? What did the voters get right/wrong? What do you think we should expect in November?
Some of you might remember Fullerton’s previous attempt to deal with homeless persons at the train station. Those signs were removed not long after my blog post went live. Fast forward to this week, the City has tried once again with a different strategy — declare the train station a “Paid Fare Zone” with threats of citation and arrest.
This attempt isn’t any better, taking the form of a metal scarecrow decorated with words.
Neither Penal Code 602.1(a) or Fullerton Municipal Code 7.105.010 require a fare to be paid. The Penal Code section has to do with obstructing or intimidating a business and then refusing to leave when asked. The Fullerton Municipal Code wording is clumsy and ambiguous in its own way:
7.105.010 Trespassing unlawful.
It is unlawful for any person to be upon any publicly or privately owned property at any time, except upon lawful business, or with permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession of such property. (Ord. 2799, 1992).
I doubt that ordinance was intended to declare public property off limits merely on the basis of convenience, as they seem to be doing here. So it’s more than likely any attempt to enforce a “paid fare zone” under the guise of Trespassing would be decimated by a good, and maybe even a bad(!) attorney in court.
Nevertheless, this whole thing demonstrates an embarrassing amount of ignorance on the part of City Hall and the Police Department.
1. The “Paid Fare Zone” Must be Violated to Buy a Ticket.
A person wishing to buy an Amtrak or Metrolink ticket must access the platform — and violate the “paid fare zone” — before they’ve had an opportunity to look at the schedule board or buy a ticket.
Same story on the south platform, take five steps off this OCTA bus, and you’re immediately in violation.
2. Good Reasons Not to Have a Ticket.
Metrolink tickets have a 3-hour time limit on One Way, and the first segment of a Round Trip ticket. Say you’re traveling somewhere like Ventura or Palmdale with a necessary layover in Los Angeles. A ticket purchased too early will expire before reaching your destination, and subject you to a possible citation. People in this situation often wait until the very last minute to buy a ticket.
Amtrak tickets can be purchased on-board the train, meaning you won’t have evidence of a paid fare while on the platform. This is not the usual way of doing things as you would normally visit the ticket office. Nevertheless, they allow it.
Both Amtrak and Metrolink have e-ticketing options that allow purchase up to the last minute using a smart phone.
Any strategy that bullies passengers into buying tickets a certain way to comply with a “paid fare zone” is no good.
3. Passenger Safety.
Amtrak has two or three employees who remain indoors most of the time, and Metrolink has zero employees on site. There is no dedicated security or police force.
Until this week, a person traveling alone could be accompanied by a friend or family member dropping them off until their train departs. But now, fewer people allowed on the platform makes everybody less safe. Who’s going to call the police, or intervene in a bad situation, if a lone passenger is being attacked and nobody else is around?
Elderly or disabled passengers will have added difficulty getting around and hauling their luggage to the train. That’s because nobody is available to help. There are no luggage carts like at an airport, and no employees on an electric cart to assist. This is just another reason why a “paid fare zone” is a terrible idea. Instead of allowing a passenger’s loved ones on the platform to assist them on/off train and help carry their belongings, it’s just a matter of time before somebody falls and suffers a traumatic injury.
My friend took the photo shown above. The man in the wheelchair cannot wheel himself around and is dependent on others to help him.
How does the City expect people like him to get to/from the train when his caregiver must buy a ticket to legally be within the “Paid Fare Zone”? That’s not only ridiculous, but probably illegal under ADA laws that protect caregivers.
4. The Pedestrian Bridge is a Public Thoroughfare.
One of the justifications for building the pedestrian bridge in the early-1990’s was to connect the neighborhood south of the tracks with Downtown Fullerton so people didn’t have to cross the train tracks at ground level and risk getting hit by a train.
There’s literally hundreds of people who use the pedestrian bridge daily, many of them kids walking to/from Fullerton High School. But under the “paid fare zone” they too must enter the zone without a ticket and risk citation or arrest.
People have visited the train station to watch trains and socialize with others for over a hundred years. There’s nothing inherently strange about it. Anybody raised in Fullerton was probably brought here by their parents at a young age to do the same.
There are small, informal groups of railfans who do this on a more frequent basis and congregate on the platforms various days of the week. Some of these groups include current/former/retired City employees. We also have railfans from other parts of the United States, Canada, Europe, and sometimes Asia who visit Fullerton just for this reason, and they frequent many of the downtown restaurants.
The regular Fullerton railfans are an extra set of eyes and ears for any sort of bad situation or suspicious activity. Railfans have pulled suicidal people off the railroad tracks, and have come to the aid of injured railroad employees or passengers before. They’ve also prevented high speed derailments at the train station by noticing track or equipment defects gone undetected. Many of the police calls for service originate with one of the railfans noticing something not right.
All of these things make Fullerton a better place, all at no cost. To expel them from the platform because they don’t have a ticket is foolish.
The fact these signs are intended to drive the homeless away should be painfully obvious. There’s no other justification to put them up. My sources at City Hall are saying FPD Cpl. Dan Heying in his role as Homeless Liaison Officer, Dave Langstaff and Ty Richter in Public Works, the City Manager’s office, and Deputy City Attorney Ivy Tsai are all involved.
I’d like to believe this is an innocent mistake on the part of the City. But the speed at which the signs are removed (again) will be the real test.
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].