On the Agenda: November 3rd, 2009

This might become a regular feature: an FFFF reader just sent in a quick summary of interesting items up for discussion/vote at tonight’s Fullerton City Council meeting.

If there is anything else that needs to be brought up before tonight’s meeting, this is place to discuss it.


Fullerton City Council AgendaNothing too exciting for the open session.

FFFF and Tony make the #2 Closed Session Agenda for tomorrow night’s meeting. Oh, to be a fly on that wall!

Heads up on Item #15 of the Open Session Agenda. Is management taking a pay cut? Great idea, take one for the team!

Item #16 looks like a ban on cell phone use. This matter concerns the use of cell phones and other electronic communication devices by Council Members and staff during Council meetings. One can only wonder what would be so important that it needed immediate attention by staff and council. Maybe it’s to deter all out secret bidding/bribing? Who knows! Sounds like a good idea to me.

Aside from the MILLIONS of dollars being allocated and reallocated into various projects, it looks like a quiet night…

Respectfully Submitted,

30 Replies to “On the Agenda: November 3rd, 2009”

  1. I’m fascinated with #10, the Fishing Grant.

    The feds are paying Fullerton $5,000 to teach people how to fish in Laguna Lake. WTF?

  2. Christian, item #4 is a biggie.

    The Wishing Well Apartment Complex was one of the best kept and maintained apartment complexes in the city. I don’t know why, but the redevelopment agency buys the complex and voila the place turns blighted. Again, the redevelopment Agency does more harm than good and spending MILLIONS of our tax dollars in doing so. Below is the staff report:

    Item #4

    On June 17, 2008 the City Council approved HOME funds for the acquisition of 16 one bedroom units located at 446 West Valencia Drive. Since that time the City has been maintaining the facility and has now identified a local eligible Community Housing Development Organization CHDO to rehabilitate and manage the facility.

    That the City Council approve the developer selection of Orange Housing Development Corporation and C C Development Orange Housing for the apartments at 466 W Valencia Drive

    The total cost will be $2,238,720
    FUNDING HOME funds will be used to cover City costs…


      1. Submitted on 2009/11/03 at 2:18pm

        $1,985.000 to purchase, another $2,238,720 for relocation benni’s and remuddle, this comes to: $263,982.50 per unit. Keep in mind these are all 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom units. THIS IS SINFUL.


        READY, AIM, FIRE.

  3. Small potatoes, all of the above. No one complained about $40,500,000 of state, measure M and Prop 116 money going to build a parking lot for the SOCO district. S’pozed to be for rail commuters, but it’s two blocks from the train station. Only 1.5 mil of our RDA money.

  4. That’s government for you.

    Parking is always more expensive than one would think. Structures are an economic disaster but are an absolute necessity in downtown areas such as ours. Hey, at least you can back into the parking stalls!

    The entire SOCO deal was a surprise to me. Why burden the main railroad line with residential units. Historically it is industry that should abut the railroad. Based on the revenue numbers I heard tonight, we need more industry contributing to the tax base, not homes. And when you put the homes up against one of the busiest sections of track in southern California, you are grossly limiting our industrial capabilities. Besides, who would want to pay $500,000 or more to live in a small condo next to the tracks in a high crime area??? Just curious…

    1. Greg, you forgot an important fact: the SOCO Walk condos are next to the Metrolink/Amtrak Station, and around 25% of the residents use Metrolink to commute to work.

      Furthermore, commercial and residential zoning within 1/2 mile radius of a transit center is good planning. My family lived SOCO (south of Commonwealth) for 15 years, and my office has been SOCO for 25 years, the area you call “high crime” is no higher than the rest of the city.

      FYI, the SOCO Walk condo (2,300 sq. ft. units that’s not “a small condo”) development was a free market transaction that now brings in over 1/2 a Million dollars/year more in property tax than the prior mix of apartments and shacks did. Note: there were no industrial buildings that were removed for the project.

      1. Yeah, and all that property tax goes right into the redevelopment Agency coffers so Rob ZurSchmiede can play big-time dee-veloper. Yay!

      2. The renditions and literature I saw many years ago from a firm showed them at just over 1000sqft. Indeed, 2300sqft is pretty luxurious when you sit on top of the tracks.

        Of course there were no industrial buildings removed for the project. They had been demolished years ago. Some burnt down or were in such bad shape that they were torn down. I remember playing there when I was a kid. As a young adult I was robbed, one friend beat up, and another raped. The police told us we didn’t belong there and were asking for trouble because we were white and this is the barrio. That was 20+ years ago. I walked the Walk last year and saw all of the same FTT tagging, Budweiser cans, and used condoms just outside of the complex. Anyone that has lived in Fullerton a few years knows that area is the bad part of town, Gringos Keep Out.
        I think the project is better than dilapidated buildings but is still a poor use of the land. Fullerton needs industries who will contribute to the tax base, not Prop 13 residences that are great for the short term but add a huge burden to our infrastructure as the clock keeps ticking. Look at cities like Placentia. They have no significant tax base for their size and they are on the verge of going BK. Way back, they had a fire department but had to give it up. Pretty soon, Placentia will be like Stanton. FFFF could figure prominently to our city’s future and whether we head down the toilette like Stanton or up the food chain like Brea.

        1. I forgot to mention that 25% use of the Metrolink doesn’t sound like a good trade off considering what I said. Further, if we had industry in town there would be no need (ok, less need) to use Metrolink! I suppose the kids still want to take it to San Juan Capistrano every year.

          1. Greg :

            The renditions and literature I saw many years ago from a firm showed them at just over 1000sqft.

            What was the name of the “firm”?

          2. admin,
            It was an A/E firm that I think was partnering with Olsen to do the marketing. I could be mistaken about Olsen since this was more than eight years ago and about 2,000 projects later. I know the architect’s name, but I won’t post it it since it is irrelevant.

    2. Living near a transit center is important to a lot of people. I moved to Fullerton just so I could be within a short bike ride of the Metrolink/OCTA connections in downtown. I’ve worked in both LA and south OC and I almost never have to drive the freeways.

      Over the last 10 years I estimate that I have recovered about 5,000 hours of my life that would have otherwise been spent sitting with my hands at 10 n’ 2 in traffic. Instead, I read, sleep, compute, etc. while a government employee drives.

      As energy prices and traffic congestion continue to rise, I think more Orange County professionals will see things in the same way.

      1. Living NEAR a transit center is one thing, but the SOCO Walk is up against the tracks. Can’t people walk an extra block or two? Installing rail spurs to get rail cars to industry is very expensive and maintaining the access that exists is the fiscally conservative approach.

        1. Any idea how many OC/LA businesses still use rail spurs? Just curious. It seems like the transit industry has decided that it’s more efficient to truck everything to Commerce.

          1. My neighbor, a BNSF engineer, runs cars all night long around Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, and parts of Fullerton. Each night he says he hits 10-20 stops depending on day of the week.

            Actual numbers for metro LA/OC businesses with active spurs, I couldn’t tell you. But I do know that each of those spurs is under the authority of the Federal Railroad Administration and the fine for being on THEIR right-of-way is $27,000!

  5. Smithers,
    I would have had a more detailed post but I did not see the Agenda until late last night. I have a full-time job as well as a few part-time jobs so my time is limited. At the very least, I hope we will all be a little more aware of what is happening with our money.

    I saw Item #4 but I didn’t have any facts on it. Thanks for shedding that much more light on an obscure (and obscene) use of our precious tax money.

  6. Item #16 is because someone reported a city council for texting each other during a meeting in violation of the “Brown Act” (no relation). The Buena Park City Attorney brought it up last month and advised not to engage in such conduct. This was reenforced by the city clerk. Council stopped even checking e-mail during meetings to avoid the appearance of evil.

  7. “Council stopped even checking e-mail during meetings to avoid the appearance of evil.”

    So who were the miscreants “checking e-mails” when they should have been at work – for the public?

    C’mon Art! Name names!

  8. Greg :

    I walked the Walk last year and saw all of the same FTT tagging, Budweiser cans, and used condoms just outside of the complex. Anyone that has lived in Fullerton a few years knows that area is the bad part of town, Gringos Keep Out.

    Graffiti happens all over the city including Sunny Hills, and your not serious on the “Gringos Keep Out” crap are you?

  9. admin,
    I’m serious that I would not walk down Valencia between Lemon and Harbor on a Friday night. I’m serious that I encountered a lot of young and old gang bangers that were yelling obscenities to me in Spanish which all seemed to end in “gringo”. Along time ago I worked with a few guys, maybe 6, in a restaurant who lived right there off of Valencia and Pomona. Those guys were openly racist. They hated me because I was a gringo. They were all about Brown Pride! Could you imagine me walking around with a white pride mentality? Since then, one went into the Army, a few went to prison, one went out on state disability, and who knows about the others. Some were old (like 50ish – hey I was a kid and 50 was OLD) and some were young (16-20). I know that they did not accurately represent the Latino’s of Fullerton but they certainly made an impression on my young mind.

    Like I said, I walked the SOCO Walk last year. Maybe that part of town and the gang element has changed, but I have not heard nor seen anything to convince otherwise.

    If you ever wonder where all the crime is, don’t turn to the crime blotter. Those statistics are cooked up based on certain DOJ requirements. If you looked at calls for police and fire services, you see a concentration of resources spent in this area. The fact that the downtown contributes to the burden due to the over abundance of bars further clouds the statistics. Fullerton has some big issues which impact all of us. It also has some big issues which impact a few neighborhoods.

    1. Greg, lets meet anytime and take a walk around the neighborhood, it’s time for you to get over your phobia 🙂

      1. Ok, I’ll take you up on that! But it might have to wait a week (bigger fish to cook).

        If things have really improved that much, I will eat my words and say I was wrong right here.

        I will assume you have my email…

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