On the Agenda: November 17th, 2009

The Fullerton City Council has just released their agenda for November 17, 2009.

Fullerton City Council AgendaLet’s start off with agenda item #8. At a glance it looks like a little book keeping business. Upon closer inspection it appears that the Feds gave the County a grant for the City to purchase 35 tasers. The proposed cost is shown as “None.” I guess training is free?? According to the Chief, each and every patrol officer should have one. I have never seen 35 patrol officers in Fullerton at one time. I think the most patrol officers I have ever seen at one time in Fullerton numbered 7. How about one in each car/bike/motorcycle and a few in the station. Do they need to take the tasers home? And back on the training… According to taser.com, training runs about $395 per person. That doesn’t sound too bad until we remember that we will be paying the patrol officer to sit in a classroom for 6 hours or more rather than patrol the City. Unless there is grant funding to cover the overtime for training, I think the Chief might be mistaken about the proposed costs being “None.” And what about the liability of injury or death which may be less than striking someone with a baton or shooting them with beanbags?

Item #9 is over 100 pages long! From my brief reading it appears to allow the City to take over residential properties to avert abandonment and blight. That sounds a lot like federally subsidized redevelopment without having to declare blight. It’s like a preemptive condemnation. Are we really feeding the machine? This is on the consent calendar as “routine” and is to be lumped together with the tasers and some traffic-related items. The most interesting part is that this agreement will lock us in with Costa Mesa , La Habra , and MHC NSP LLC. Who is MHC NSP LLC? The program cost is shown as $1,369,854. Chump change?

Council is supposed to discuss the appointment process for commissioner. See item #10.

Item #11 is a pay cut for certain personnel. It also pushes the current 2% @ 55 to 2% @ 60. Sounds like a good idea.

Item #12 is the shocker! The City Council is proposing a program whereby they “…may contribute back to the City a portion of their salary.” There is a little more to it than a pay cut. It seems to be voluntary. The Attorney General wrote an opinion on this and noted that State law requires that pay increases begin when an official takes office. The same appears to be true with decreases in pay. So, in an effort to give back a portion of their pay, ±7.5%, they need to pass this resolution. Ok, it gets my vote.

I hope you will take a minute to read the supporting documents which are linked from the posted agenda. If I missed anything, please let us know so we can discuss.

Keep your eyes open for the December 1st meeting. Tentatively scheduled are a few hot-button issues. They include everyone’s favorite, West Coyote Hills, the North Orange County Transportation Partnership MOU, and a public hearing on the landscape ordinance.

13 Replies to “On the Agenda: November 17th, 2009”

  1. Does anyone out there is cyberspace have any info why item #10 is back AGAIN? This issue seems to come up very 6 months.

  2. At the last council meeting someone in the public brought it up. Then at a commision event it was brought up again. I think it was the same person both times.

      1. The process by which commissioners are interviewed and appointed was brought up at the last meeting and at a commission event. I’m not sure why it keeps ending up on the agenda except as noted above.

  3. Excellent perceptive analysis, very helpful.

    Narrowly construed, the agenda item # 8 is accurate (i.e. “no cost” to the city to acquire the new – tasers – equipment). A better analysis or presentation would bring in the cost of training (and equipment maintenence for that matter).

    I am keen on punching taxpayer money wasters in the face, at every opportunity.

    In this instance I don’t see an attempt to hide or deceive regarding costs.

    And “taser training” is VERY SIMILAR to, or reinforcing of, general police training regarding appropriate use of force – something which is the fundamental basis of citizen controlled police protection service.

    You have again done excellent, insightful, diligent work (sort of like a “free press” used to do before the Communists won absolute control over our news media).

  4. Appointing commissioners is the only real chance councilmembers have to get their friends on a commission. Councils constantlly tinker with this if they feel they don’t get to appoint the person they think is right for the job or owe a favor. Just like some city the cow burnt down.

  5. Oh, stop it Art. The City Council are the democratically elected reps. Why shouldn’t they appoint whom they want? We elected them based on their judgment, right?

    In Fullerton these commissions don’t pay much, if anything, to serve on. There’s no Chicago corruption here.

    The alternative is let a bunch of staff-stooge types get on (which is mostly what happens anyway). I like it that Shawn Nelson can appont someone he thinks will do a good job. Of course the others want to strip independent council persons of this ability. The Joneses and Bankheads want to appoint zeros – just like themselves, who will rubber stamp whatever self-serving garbage the staff puts in front of them.

  6. Art,

    You miss the point. Councils regularly appoint friends. The issue is whether a 3 vote majority will get to control ALL the appointments for just their friends or if there will be “friends” from five different council members.

  7. They have had a hard time finding people to volunteer for the commissions. It would be nice to see a few Friends at commission meetings. Most of them are what we used to call “blue hairs”, although I’m gonna be there soon.

  8. In Buena Park the commission appointment are made as follows.
    1. Application is filed.
    2. When vacancy open or every two years when current commissioners come up for reappointment two members of the council and department head who oversees the commisiion interview all new applicants and members up ror reappointment.
    3. appointments recommendations are sent to the council at study session and the full council votes accept the recomendations or reject.
    4. If accepted at study session there is a public action at the next regular council meeting.

    It works well and there are not a lot of personal friends on any commission.

  9. Art,

    We realize Buena Park and Laguna Woods have councils made up of all retired people but for cities that would like to elect people that are still within their working life has it ever occurred to you that the council members that work dont have time to go to all these interviews?

    Oh, I get it. You think Bankhead and Jones should do all the interviewing and we will get all of their friends just like we used to in Fullerton. Meanwhile Quirk, Keller and Nelson will be at work where they are supposed to be.

  10. What’s not being discussed (I hope) is to terminate the direct appointment process. Keller, Quirk and Nelson have all publicly agreed that direct appointments have allowed “them” to appoint people (diverse) to Committees/Commissions who under the old appointment process (Bankhead, Jones, Committee chair, Staff interview process) would NEVER have ever been appointed to any committee. To me, this is the meaning of diversity.

    What is being discussed is the way the at large applicants are handled. Interviews occur at almost every Council meeting, and quite frankly, I think they are getting tiresome. I went through this (Applicant Review Board) process for 3-1/2 years.

    Really and truly, what “they” should do is go to 5 member Committee/Commissions.

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