Chris Meyer; Local Hero? Hardly.

If you don't watch out, I'll take the credit...
If you don't watch out, I may take your wallet, too!

In case any of you Friends happened to come across this 10/12/09 blog post in The Register, by Teri Sforza, you might have come away with the idea that Fullerton City Manager Chris Meyer was the white knight who came to Fullerton taxpayer’s rescue last year when the unions proposed to increase their retirement formula.

The usually healthy skepticism of  Ms. Sforza seems to have been suspended in her conversations with Chris Meyer. He fooled her into thinking that he was the fiscally responsible official who put a stop to the craziness.

Wrong! That person was Councilman Shawn Nelson – who the blew the whistle on Meyer & Co., who had been trying for months to push the deal through quietly, behind closed doors. The poor public suckers who are ultimately on the hook weren’t supposed to know what was going on, so the agenda items were not described. It was only after Nelson went public with the news that a pension spike was on the way, and Steve Greenhut of the Register brought wider scrutiny to the secret plan, that it was ultimately dropped. The fact that the market had really tanked by then helped.

For Meyer to try to grab the credit a year later is pretty low. Especially when he was one of the prime architects of the plan. He must think we have real short memories. Here’s your real hero:

Shawn Nelson

Ultimately the credit goes to Nelson for the fortunate turn of events. For Meyer to take credit for any of this is just laughable.

22 Replies to “Chris Meyer; Local Hero? Hardly.”

  1. That’s very funny. I remember how the staff stooges Bankhead, Jones, Keller and Quirk all went frothy. Jones likened him to a traitor.

    Bankhead and Keller tried to get Greenhut fired!

    Did any of these bozos bother to thank nelson later?

    And now Meyers tries to pretend he was hero. Hell he was the main villain.

  2. Real hero? You may be a Shawn Nelson fan (obviously), but to label him a HERO? The man who’s conflict of interest force him to recuse himself from many of the votes by our Council? This is an ambitious attorney that is seeking higher office, nothing more. I would reserve the “hero” word for much more worthy people, not a politician maneuvering for his own political gain (by the way, I’m not a Chris Meyer fan either).

  3. Got to agree with JustAGuyInFullerton he has/had some questionable friendships. To get some credibility this website needs to quit being such obvious Norby/Nelson fans. They both have some major flaws that are never written about here but all other political figures are fair game. I too am not a Meyer or Council fan.

    1. Gilligan, you must have missed all those posts that ridiculed Norby for his County Clerk run.

      Nelson does have flaws, as do we all. But in comparison to the hypocrisy, stupidity, and (in Jones’ case) outright idiocy, of his colleagues Nelson starts to look awful good.

      Faint praise, indeed, and the bar should be set way, way higher, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  4. JustAGuyInFullerton :
    Real hero? You may be a Shawn Nelson fan (obviously), but to label him a HERO? The man who’s conflict of interest force him to recuse himself from many of the votes by our Council?

    Remember when Pam Keller called Nelson out at the first council meeting following Greenhuts news story? She actually said “Shame on you Shawn Nelson”.

    Yes Nelson saved Fullerton from financial disaster not Chris Meyers, he had the courage to stand up against the rest of the council and city staff. Furthermore, Nelson DOES recuse himself instead of voting with conflicts of interest.

  5. #3 Just a Guy:

    Obviously you cant evaluate what the issue is here. But for Nelson, the city would be facing millions of dollars in unfunded liability going forward. Its really that simple. The future buget of the library would be swallowed by the pension costs that the staff and evidently all the other council members wanted to give away.

    Fullerton like all cities right now is struggling financially. Imagine the disaster Nelson avoided by bringing this to the public’s attention. At least so far as this issue goes, hero, is the operative word.

    It seems you would be unimpressed that a guy saves a kid from a burning house because he has a code enforcement issue back at his house. No one here is saying Nelson or anyone else is perfect. Understand the difference and when you do, send a big thank you to Nelson for us.

    1. Teri, we like what you’re doing at the Reg, but on this story you only got the bureaucrat’s side of the story – which was just baloney.

      And the post did make Meyers look like a responsible manager who saved the city from crisis, when in reality he was just the opposite!

  6. My point, Hollis Dugan, is that you may admire or want to thank Shawn Nelson (you, not me), but to call him a “hero” is WAY over the top considering that he is an opportunistic politician, like ALL opportunistic politicians.

    And if I’m not mistaken, the group that he “saved us” from was paying for 100% of the increased pension costs out of their own pocket. That never gets reported. But be that as it may, Nelson was primarily responsible for stopping those pensions, not Meyer…

    …but Hero? C’mon…

    1. Just so you understand:

      The employees can talk about “paying for the increse” all they want, but with a defined benefit plan the taxpayer is ultimately on the hook.

      Also the increase will only persuade more employees to retire at 55 while the rest of us toil on until were damn near seventy. And soon it will be beyond that!

  7. …and Admin…Nelson shouldn’t get CREDIT for recusing himself. It would be entirely unethical and illegal if he didn’t…that’s like giving a guy props for paying his child support…he’s SUPPOSED to do that anyway…

    …my point is that we have a councilman that’s too personally embroiled in the business of “Downtown” to be able to even vote on many issues. What good is that councilman then?

    1. Agreed.

      This kind of conflict begs the politics-of-favors question: Are some votes cast by other Council members in favor of projects that benefit Nelson in the hopes or with the understanding that he’ll return the favor when it comes time for their own pet projects?

    2. Well, if you want to know what happens to politicians that have the audacity to stand up to other main stream political hacks like BankRuptHead and ‘Do I have my Dicky on Backwards Jones’ just look at Norby. He dared to stand up to the Fullerotn RDA machine, the RDA abuses in that sham of a city known as Industry, how about La Habra he refused to endorse those nimrods when every Repuglican on the council fought to get a utility tax/hotel tax/and increase sales tax, and now none of them will endorse him. Why? Becasue he stood up and called BS on them in order to protect the public.

      Once you begin to stop the “machine” the Machine will start coming after you.

      It takes a big set of Brass to stand up against your colleagues and be able to skillfully and articulately call out there errorous ways. Unitl you’re sitting in that seat up there, you have no idea.

      Hero? Maybe not by Military standards but by political standards he’s got brass.

      1. Scarlet, I think the comment was whether Nelson was a hero or not, not Norby.

        …not that Norby is a “hero” either. But if someone wanted to argue the point, Norby has a MUCH stronger claim on that title than does Nelson.

        1. Wow, you really missed the point. It takes Brass to do what he did and if he keeps it up he will have the public on his side but the political machine will set its sights upon him.

          Norby was an example, that is from Fullerton, was on council there and has Brass. I never said Norby was a hero, in fact I state my idea of Hero and opt for the word Brass.You have put electrons in my mouth for something I didn’t say.

          I don’t use the word hero for any politicain only those folks in the military and even then I’m selective about its use. It is a term civilians like to throw around.

          1. Anon…my comments to you were listed below…

            I’m commenting on the others, including the original poster and Bushala who referred to the “real hero” as Nelson.

            In the end, as much as you may admire Norby, he needs a job. He’s termed out of his high-paying BOS job, and he was/is looking for ANYTHING that will pay him. He was going to run for County Clerk, for pete sakes…

            He loves to lambast public employees…and yet he’s one (and WAS one, as a former teacher). This web-site loves casting dispersions on ANY public employee as the root of all evil…and yet the candidate they’re endorsing is a perennial public employee.

            Is that not a huge inconsistency?

  8. On 9-17-09 Barbara Giasone reported that the city, Chris Meyer, imposed a 5 % pay cut for executive managers ( at will employees) for the next two years instead of a furlough program. That pay cut has not occurred. Meyer is waiting to see what happens when the employee groups; fire, police and other groups sit down with the city.

    Meyer made it sound like the managers were taking the lead on this but that is simply not true.

  9. Anonymous (#14) is correct. They “agreed” to a 5% cut, but haven’t taken it. Shows real “leadership” on the part of Meyer.

    …and to Empathy…or does the reverse happen. Do the projects that Nelson has interest in get NO votes from other council members BECAUSE of his involvement?

  10. Saw Chris Meyers with Joe Felz, Dannielle Mauk at the Thursday Market last night, 10.15.09, that’s a tight tight group.. Chris has gained a substantial amount of weight..

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