A few items in 2009 have caused me to reflect on the way things go in Fullerton, the way things have always gone, in fact. My poodle friends have a saying: la plus ca change, la plus c’est la meme chose. Man, that’s Fullerton all over!
In Fullerton, no screw-up, no cluster f, no civic disaster ever goes away if the city staff doesn’t want it to. They’ll dig in their heels and start the ol’ push-back as soon as it looks like something they really want is about to get torpedoed.
Consider the absolutely horrible decision to relocate the McDonald’s outlet at a jaw-dropping cost of six million bucks. Not even the most compliant council could swallow that one, and ours pulled the plug on it (so we thought, foolish us!) last summer. But within a a few weeks, the Redevelopment staff cooked up a “new” plan for the brainless “Fox Block” scheme. And guess what? It too, involved relocating McDonald’s – just not all the way to the corner. Geez, wasn’t anybody paying attention? That episode was so bad that it really crossed the line of insubordination. But did anybody on the council say a word? ‘Course not. This is Fullerton!
Of course the real problem is is the sort of people that we keep electing to the City Council. The mentally lame, the incompetent, the inert; people who by political and personal inclination identify with the bureaucracy instead of the citizens and taxpayers of Fullerton; people who dodge responsibility. Of the current crop, only Shawn Nelson really seems to take offense at being lied to and led around by the nose like a prize bull. And speaking of bull, Sharon Quirk seems to have finally realized that her advisors have their own agendas that more likely than not are incongruous with the interests of the rest of us. Well, that’s some progress, anyway.
What will 2010 bring? More of the same, no doubt. This is Fullerton. If there’s any hope for us the brain-dead gerontocracy must go. And by gerontocracy I mean the ossified geriatric thinking displayed by councilmembers of all ages, and the interests they represent. Of course Bankhead must go. Jones, too. And Keller. But if they’re replaced with stooges like Marty Burbank or Pat McKinley what the hell’s the difference?
Well let’s throw out a few issues to track to see how bad, or good, things will be in 2010 as far as accountability goes:
Will the council finally once and for all end the Fox Block scam?
Will Keller, Quirk, and Nelson stick to their promise to put the issue of term limits on the June ballot?
Will the council quit wasting time and energy on the idiotic Transportation Center master plan?
Will the council give up on the bogus Redevelopment expansion?
Will the council ditch the moronic “at-large” members of commissions altogether?
Will the council demand accountability on the UP park scandal before they sink another dime into more Redevelopment of it? Will they tell the city manager to quit making unilateral policy decisions?
Will the council have the courage (very little required really) to forget the useless UP ROW “trail”?
Will the council quit subsidizing and encouraging illegal behavior by downtown bars and dance halls?
Well, really, the list is endless and the Friends could no doubt supply their own favorites. Bon chance!