We’ve spent much of the week examining what we could find out about Pam Keller and her “Fullerton Collaborative.” As a Fullerton City Council member she has cast some votes that even some of her devoted supporters have found, well, mystifying. These include the gargantuan “Jefferson Commons” and the mammoth “Amerige Court” messes. Only a crappy economy has stalled these excrescences from going forward, although several historic, mid-century modern buildings have been destroyed to clear the land for Jefferson Commons.
Pam has made a great big deal about not taking developer’s money, and her 2006 campaign manifesto talks about protecting the citizens of Fullerton from the nasty developer special interests that want to “shape our future.” It still sounds like a lot of campaign drivel, but it was clearly intended to appeal to a certain profile voter – just the sort of voter who should now be appalled at those approved projects.
Our series started out with a giggle over her “Woodstock” fundraiser aimed at ex-hippies who could break out their ratty denims and tie-dye T shirts and kick in $1000 to be a “Jimi Hendrix Fan Club” member. The fact that the party nearly coincided with the one year anniversary of her vote to approve the Amerige Court project propelled the conversation in that direction.
The discussion took another turn when we also noticed that Keller’s Fullerton Collaborative is supposed to combat childhood obesity – so it seemed disconnected that she would vote to move a McDonald’s right across the street from Fullerton High; except that the move frees up land for another massive housing project!
The mention of the Collaborative began a look-see into that group. We discovered that Pam is an employee of the Fullerton School District – not the Collaborative, which is convenient – for her – since she can pursue her philanthropy on the public payroll. We remarked that the money that goes to pay the FSD for Pam’s services constitutes the majority of the Collaborative’s expenses, and that in 2007 it operated in the red.
We also discovered that the Collaborative website makes no mention of who its “donors” are, which is pretty weird for a charity and even weirder for people who donate to them; and this led to all sorts of unpleasant speculation about the possibility that private interests in Fullerton that have business with the City might be donating to the Collaborative.
As speculation mounted about the possibility that land developers might be donating to the Collaborative – developers like Steve Sheldon and the Pelican/Laing boys – we picked up a couple of other interesting tidbits, such as Fullerton City Departments being “members” of the Collaborative where their boss runs things (from FSD Trustee Minard Duncan); and then that Pam Keller attended the now infamous Newport Harbor drinkies boat ride and dinner hosted by Steve Sheldon for Sharon Quirk; a boat ride also attended by the Amerige Court developers who paid $1000 a piece for the privilege. Our Friends wondered if Sheldon gave Keller a freebie and whether that fact had been divulged anywhere.
Finally, FFFF blogmeister Travis Kiger issued a challenge for Pam to reveal who the donors to the Collaborative have been. And Pam responded by saying she would take it up with the Collaborative board (of which she is a member) at their meeting next month.
Well, that’s it so far. It’s been interesting digging into theses topics and others seem to be interested too: we have generated our highest visitor and page view numbers ever.
And rest assured, Friends, we won’t be letting go of this story any time soon, so stick around for the continuing saga!