Will Ahmad Zahra Hold Firm?

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Back in December, in his first at-bat, Ahmad Zahra surprised me by speaking of the Constitution and transparency whilst simultaneously voting against FitzSilva in their attempt to appoint Jan Flory to Council. Zahra was on fire with gems such as:

“My decision is going to be contingent upon us making sure that the appointment process is fair and open and transparent. So until we can make that decision, I don’t see how we should take votes away from people.

“The question is, is there a fairer and open and more transparent process than voting itself? Can we come up with that? Can we come up with something better than what the Constitution come up with? That is my question for the council. I’m leaving my decision until I hear other council members.”

Tonight we get to find out if Zahra is a man of principle standing by his own talking points at the last meeting or if that was all simply a clever flex to show who has the real authority on this issue in an effort to get his preferred pick onto council.

For those new to the story here’s the gist as I understand it —

Jesus Silva wanted incumbency in 2022 and thus opted to run for the District 3 seat on council.

Council then chose to change the law ON ELECTION DAY in the case Silva beat Sebourn in order to limit the options for voters.

Silva took home the ring on election day and in winning he vacated his at-large seat which runs until 2020.

Then in December the dynamic duo of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva testily complained that they needed Ahmad to go along to get along in order for them to get what they wanted. Zahra didn’t go along which brings us to today.

Tonight we’ll watch as FitzSilva likely tries to lay it on thick and blame Ahmad for the cost of the election should he choose transparency and an election (as he did back in December). This is posturing bollocks but I’m wondering if he’ll stand firm. Both he and our residents need to know that the fault here lies partially with Silva for running, partially with council for changing the city ordinance, ON ELECTION DAY, to facilitate this choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but really the fault lies with our City Attorney The Other Dick Jones for offering terrible advice and putting us in this situation in the first place. Zahra is blameless here on the issue of cost should he choose openness and transparency by way of a special election.

dick-jones

Prepare for the same shenanigans with FitzSilva promising a fictionally transparent process in this city which is allergic to the very premise of transparency. The same transparency which had Jan Flory meeting with at least 2 (if not 3) current council members and bringing a cabal of people to lobby for her to be appointed without the citizenry any the wiser. THAT type of so-called transparency should be rejected and here’s hoping that Councilman Zahra continues to impress the way he did during at his last at-bat.

You Gotta Spin It to Win It!

Looks like Fullerton will reconsider its options concerning the existing City Council vacancy tomorrow.  The current agenda goes into detail concerning the city’s options, including when a Special Election might be held, how much it would cost, and what a plan might look like if the Council were to appoint to fill the vacancy by February 2.

We’ve been trying to keep tabs on who’s playing Fullerton’s version of Game of Thrones here. So far, the only person known to openly campaign for the seat is former councilwoman Jan Flory.

So, which option will it be?

A) An unelected bench warmer who likely has no moral authority to do anything other than break tie votes

or

B) Taxpayers spending $400,000 to elect an independently wealthy or political action committee dominated Fullertonian who is only running to secure incumbency in District 1, 2, or 4 for another election in 2020?

Don’t you love choices with no downsides?

Find out who wins (someone) and who loses (you) tomorrow, when we play WHEEL. OF. REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES!

A Hill. Wrapped in Plastic

A few weeks ago while at a local eating establishment in the Downtown area a gentleman stopped me by name, which isn’t always a good thing in malcontentville, and asked me to inquire about the plastic sheeting up near the YMCA.

You may have seen it while driving North on Harbor Blvd:

YMCA-Plastic

So ask I did. Here is the recent answer according to some undisclosed source at the Public Works Department as communicated by the Clerk’s office:

YMCA-Plastic-Email

“Plastic sheeting the slope on Harbor Blvd is done with City staff and costs about $12,000. We have been sheeting the slope for 6+ years.”

I’ve not sent in followup requests for invoices or details about this particular project but I’m sure if somebody wanted to do so the city would be happy to explain why spending at least $72K for this particular issue/area is the best solution and has been the best solution for over half a decade.

What say you friends? Is this project worth $12k/year for who knows how long?

More for Less in Public Works

It looks like Fullerton is again in the business of paying more for less when it comes to hiring bureaucrats to bureaucrat. One of our newest hires, Mary “Meg” McWade, who is set to replace Don Hoppe is going to be paid $195,000 + bennies. This despite some questions about qualifications.

Being that the Director of Public Works is also the City of Fullerton’s “Civil Engineer” it is preferred that our Director be, well, a certified engineer.

If you look at the qualifications for this Director position you’ll find:

I suppose emphasis on preferred. (more…)

It’s SB1421 Day

Today is the Day.

Today Police records are supposed to become a little more transparent and officers with “sustained” complaints (and a few other issues) get to share with the world their bad deeds by virtue of some Sacramento mandated sunshine disinfectant. With SB1421 to the rescue we might finally get to see what happens behind union closed doors when officers misbehave.

The law changing and becoming effective today, owing to the holiday, convinced some friends to put in a few records requests based on suggestions which we complied and others which were emailed to us after this post dropped.

Thanks to everybody who shared what they knew and pointed us in a few interesting directions. I was copied on the request and it contains over 40 officers both current and former, most of whom we believe to have had sustained findings against them. Because police departments refuse to tell us who has findings against them we had to take quite a few guesses based on the best information we could obtain. That or pay FPD $250+ to maybe compile a list per their Public Information Officer.

Being that we’re volunteers who don’t run ads or try to monetize FFFF we opted against the $250 check to FPD.

With the requests in the virtual mail we should be seeing some interesting things provided that the records aren’t obfuscated, buried and denied. We’ll keep you posted as things come back or don’t.

We’re also always open to suggestions so if we missed anybody let us know the details in the comments or via email. Who did what and where should we look? What officers had sustained findings in other departments? We’ll send requests for those records as well.

(more…)

Who Are the Bad Apples?

Bad Cop

Over the years we here at Friends for Fullerton’s Future have written about what feels like countless stories on the culture of corruption. A lot of facts, some rumors and a lot of annoyance as the city, police department and union goons do everything in their power to keep all of us from knowing anything even slightly negative happening behind the badges of our betters.

Well, on January 1st, 2019 California law changes to allow a little bit of information to eek its way past the Blue Wall of Silence. Thanks to the usually ridiculous California legislature and soon to be former Governor Jerry Brown, we’ll be able to learn about some of the actions perpetuated by some of the officers around the state. Here’s the law in question.

You’ll want to read section C and the bits about lies and dishonesty. I previously had it quoted it here but it’s too much legalese to blockquote. Basically if it’s proven that a cop lies or falsifies a report you can get the records of those findings.

(more…)

Paulette Chaffee Gets Slap On Wrist for Stealing

Ah, privilege.

Raise your hand if you thought that Paulette Marshall Chaffee getting caught on video, TWICE, stealing campaign signs was going to result in justice.

*Raises Own Hand*

Yup. I really did. I thought that getting irrefutable evidence that the Mayor of Fullerton’s Orange County Supervisor’s wife, a candidate running for office, blatantly broke the law to stifle the right of others to freely express themselves during an election was going to result in some sort of real justice.

I am that stupid.

Paulette Marshall Chaffee pled guilty to two charges of petty theft.

Her sentence? A small fine and a few hours of community service and restitution to the victim of $20.

If this wasn’t bad enough, after completing the terms of her plea, the District Attorney will completely wipe the event from history.  Paulette will legally be allowed to claim the incidents never happened.

This isn’t justice. This is a Chaffee getting away with cheating, because that’s what rich well connected politicians do.

Best of all? No one is doing to do a damn thing about this. Because in Fullerton what you do isn’t what really matters. It’s who you know and who you call a friend.

That’s the shallow self absorbed city we really live in. Because if Paulette was a crazy homeless person in a parking lot, she wouldn’t be spending Christmas dinner at her big home in District 2 feasting on roast beef and a side of steaming hot victory.

She’d be dead in a gutter while her husband told the media how fabulous the Fullerton Police are for dealing with the criminal element undermining our beautiful town.

Ahmad Zahra 1, FitzSilva 0

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I was pleasantly surprised at Fullerton’s City Council meeting last night and that rarely happens. I was surprised because Ahmad Zahra stood his ground on the principle of Democracy being the preferred way to settle our current council vacancy caused by Jesus Silva. He withstood Fitzgerald’s venom laced claws and boxed Silva in so much that Silva had to contradict himself by claiming to believe voting is important except, you know, with regards to, uh, the vacancy he created in playing musical chairs.

I had heard going into the meeting that Jan Flory had lobbied 2 if not 3 of the current council members to be appointed to the vacant seat. I had also heard and believed that Fitzgerald and Silva were going to push for an appointment process to get the Flory ball in motion. I also knew, just from historical context, that Whitaker would vote no on that because he and Flory are opposites on most items and he gains nothing by supporting her. I did not know how Zahra would act or vote despite allegedly meeting with and being lobbied by Flory. Owing to Zahra’s campaign and his coziness to people I believe to be ethically challenged I didn’t hold out much hope and assumed he might go along to get along.

Then Zahra showed up to play ball and stomped on my assumptions. (more…)

FPD Officer on Wrong Side of DUI

We’d like to introduce you to Officer Marc Bastreri — and his DUI in Huntington Beach — a whopping 113 days after becoming a Fullerton officer.

More info to come as we get it.

Officer-Bastreri-DUI

Officer-Bastreri-Hired

This is Fullerton’s best and brightest.

Seriously, according to Fullerton’s own Comprehensive Financial Audit Report, as received and filed at council last night, we’re in the black because we’re understaffed and we only hire the best.

Or, rather:

“Expenditures decreased $1.5 million over the prior year due to increased vacant positions as a result of increased hiring scrutiny and the region’s competitive work force with low unemployment.”

We might need to work on that increased scrutiny thing what with alcohol related shenanigans being such a problem at FPD lately.

Is the Flory Rumor True?

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Except we do, and our own budgets prove it.

Rumor has it that former councilwoman Jan Flory is lobbying to become the appointee to our City Council tonight and has already secured both Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva’s votes. This is the same Jan Flory who voted, with Jennifer Fitzgerald and Doug Chaffee, on multiple unbalanced budgets and who helped lead us into our structural deficit. The same Jan Flory who puts City Staff above the very citizens they’re supposed to work for and represent.

Want to know why our roads suck so bad? Blame Jan Flory and her cohorts who think bureaucracy is the true heart of Fullerton. Want to know why Downtown is such a train-wreck? Yeaup. Same cabal of incompetence.

If the council votes to appoint somebody the voting members will own every vote put forward by the new council member. In effect, if they vote for somebody like Jan Flory, who helped sink our budget for years, they will be responsible for both their own votes on the budget (and similar items) as well as hers.

Appointing somebody is bad. Letting Jesus Silva vote on an appointment to the very seat he himself vacated is worse. Having council vote to give themselves the bulletproof majority needed to walk all over the people of Fullerton is downright despicable.

The people should really have a say who in represents them and voting to appoint somebody, especially somebody who will raise our taxes, is the essence of being anti-democratic. Our republic was literally founded against the premise of taxation without representation.