Fullerton’s City Lights – FUBAR From The Word Go – Chapter The Fourth
Loyal and Patient Friends, our long narrative of the City Lights SRO is coming to a sordid climax, and a merciful denouement. We have witnessed incompetence, vindictiveness, cultural vandalism and bureaucratic usurpation of authority, But we’re still not finished. The SRO project appeared dead. The elected representatives had killed it. Democracy at work! But as long-time city-watchers know, the project is only dead when staff says it’s dead, and none of the architects of this disaster – City Manger Jim Armstrong, Planning Director Paul Dudley, or their puppet, Redevelopment Director Gary Chalupsky, wanted it dead. Because that would be an admission of what everybody else already knew – they were largely incompetent.
We left off with Dick Jones at a March, 1997 meeting waxing voluble about drug users and their nefarious ways. Nuh-uh, not in my city! Unfortunately, Jones discovered that getting the foot into the mouth is a whole heckuva lot easier than extracting it.
Jones was not acute enough to pick up on clues that the City Manager, Flory and Bankhead were not going to let this die. He should have been clued in during the March meeting by the Agency attorney, who, at the insistence of Flory, Bankhead, and a clueless Julie Sa, gave a legal opinion in public stating that Mithawalla could have a case against the Agency. Here’s where the story gets a bit murky, culpability-wise, and who orchestrated what, so rather than accuse anybody we’ll just let you – the Friends of Fullerton – draw your own conclusions.
A civil rights lawsuit was adventitiously filed against Jones and the City by some guy nobody knew, claiming that the targets of Jones’ tirade were protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act; Mithawalla was waiting in the wings to go after the City for breach of contract – although clearly no contract had been established. With enough proper coaxing from people who wanted this project to live, Dick Jones, the Big Man with The Big Mouth suddenly experienced a case of shrinkage.
A new hearing was held in May 1997. The stage was re-set to take up the SRO project one more time. It didn’t matter that the Council majority had already spoken. The City Staff, the Redevelopment Attorney, Flory and Bankhead were determined to have the last word in order to remind everyone who really runs the City of Fullerton.
Read the rest of “Fullerton’s City Lights”: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 – Part 4 – Epilogue
5 Replies to “Fullerton’s City Lights – FUBAR From The Word Go – Chapter The Fourth”
I go with the staffa on this a one.
I had to look up “adventitiously” in the dictionary, but now I want to know more. Someone actually sued Jones for one of his “good drugs and bad drugs” rants? What was the outcome? This whole story is both hilarious and disgusting.
Let’s see. Anytime one has to hire a lawyer –it’s not a small matter. Jones cost the city money, and instead of taking him out of office the community decides to overlook his recklessness and keep him in office for a very long time.
Just wondering….Isn’t that like giving a teenager another car after he’s already wrecked one? Why the indulgence?
The “nuh uh not in my city” attitude has turned into a folksy platform for discrimination of all sorts.
Better to have people on methadone and in support groups than strung out on the streets or stealing for their next hit.
Someone once told me that a staff member once said, “city councils come and go, but staff is here to stay.” That saying, while technically correct, doesn’t exist as much in spirit anymore…now if we could just get council members who believed in principal and the big picture rather than trying to appease the hispanics, the poor, the homeless, the republicans, the democrats and the this’ and the thats!