Avast, Landlubbers…And Let Us Spin Ye a Fulsome Yarn; We Be Callin’ It: The Curse O’Quirk’s Cruise

A Three Hour Tour...
A Three Hour Tour...

Back in the balmy summer of 2007, the weather was great – just perfect to spend some time on the water. Lobbyist, front-man, promoter, and all-round cash-conduit Steve Sheldon (not pictured, left) hosted a  cruise on his boat the S.S. Cash Cow around Newport Harbor, to be followed by a scrump-diddly-umptious dinner at a swank Newport Beach restaurant. It wasn’t free. Lucky invitees had to cough up $1000 a piece for the priviledge, and that ain’t chump change. The beneficiary of this lobbyist largesse: Fullerton City Councilwoman Sharon Quirk.

A little Dramamine goes a long way...
A little Drammamine goes a long way...

Now, Loyal Friends, why would Sheldon organize such an event? Because that’s his job! He represented the “developer” of the massive Jefferson Commons project over by CSUF that would require a general plan amendment and a zone change, demolition of historic buildings, loss of OP zoning, and the usual slide-and-glide job on the required EIR. When you’re in Sheldon’s business you don’t take chances, and of course you wheel your bets.

Any way you slice it, Sheldon performed a big favor for Quirk; and guys like Sheldon know it’s natural for nice people to repay favors.

Among the attendees of Sheldon’s nautical shake down included representatives of John Laing Homes and Pelican Properties – the would-be developers of the “Amerige Court” project – another mammoth project that threatens to consume downtown Fullerton.

Environmental impacts? No, we don't foresee any big problems...
Environmental impacts? No, we don't foresee any big problems...

And so (to return to our maritime theme) on one pleasant summer day, the developers of two of the  biggest proposed monstrosities in Fullerton’s history spent a lovely summer afternoon schmoozing with Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Quirk – presumably sharing the wonderful plans they had for the future of Fullerton. There were a lot of good feelings on board that afternoon, even before the sun crossed over the yard-arm.

Love, exciting and new, come aboard - we're expecting you!
Love, exciting and new, come aboard - we're expecting you!

Hardly more than a year had passed before Quirk had voted to approve both these overbearing projects – with their dubious environmental reviews, and the evident negative externalities the get-rich-quick entitlements foisted on the rest of us.

Arrrrrrgh! The key to the City! What a deal ya scarvy dogs...

Now, in logic there’s a fallacy known as the post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which means that just because B follows A, it doesn’t follow that A caused B. And we’re not claiming that Quirk’s vote was bought by the high-rolling developers and their front man. Quirk could probably come up with all sorts of reasons for supporting these projects on their own merit. We can’t think of any ourselves, but if you can, Devoted Readers and Friends, please feel free to share them. And if Ms. Quirk is reading this, she, too is invited to explain why these projects are so good for Fullerton. We will be happy to give her response its own post – but only if she promises to write it herself!

26 Replies to “Avast, Landlubbers…And Let Us Spin Ye a Fulsome Yarn; We Be Callin’ It: The Curse O’Quirk’s Cruise”

  1. Is she Ginger or MaryAnn?

    I’m not so sure about letting her pen her own blog article. I mean, this isn’t equal opportunity, but stating how things appear to those who have watched in horror as 2 mega projects have been approved, and taking the time to put the pieces together.

    But then again, her response could be interesting. Maybe she’ll say she’s sorry, perhaps she will offer a long explanation, or she could always evade the question and offer asides.

    Sad thing about The Professor, Gilligan, The Skipper and all the rest is that their being stranded on that deserted island was fate. With Quirk, hers isn’t fate. It was a choice. She took the money, she got the office, as far as I’m concerned leave her on the island with nary a life saver.


  3. I know Im beating this theme to death but maybe sheldon after the cruise and swanky meal for quirk, gave her crayons and a coloring book for her to take home.
    Obviously, the scenario discribed above stinks of kick backs and graft. but it is reasonable to expect this when mediocre people are handed too much power via government. It seems our civic leaders lose their ethics when they get to play with our tax dollars.

  4. I can’t wait to hear Quirk explain her $ boat ride to all of her boohoo friends who think she’s the best thing to hit town since Flory got run out of office.

    The Jefferson Commons project was already well-known when she got on that boat. Forgt about the ethics, let’s just talk about the total lack of judgement!

    Crayons and coloring book! Well, maybe that’s true.

  5. Write a response herself? She can barely read the scripts put in front of her by city staff!

  6. Okay Quirk, what’s up with that? Please explain why you’re taking money from people like that.

  7. You mean she took money, food, cocktails, boat cruise, and then voted for that CRAPPY Jefferson Commons project that the Planning Commission unanimously denied, WOW this is BIG.

  8. When you need money, $10,000 goes a long way when your up for re-election, and yes, it’s money that is needed to win an election! Quirks a Sell out, and she thought we wouldn’t find out… too much glue. I’m still waiting to be saved, Sharon can you ask Steve to send his boat

  9. Yes, it takes money to win elections, but it isn’t always the best funded candidates who win. The difference is in grassroots support. Candidates can refuse to take developer dollars for campaigns, but they need enough people to behind them to do the footwork to win elections.

    If they do win, it is very important for campaign volunteers to stay on board for the term of the council office to serve as volunteer staff. Otherwise, how do we reasonably expect a council person to read everything put before them and make informed decisions? It’s easy if you just do what the staff and/or developers etc. tell you to do, but if you really want to make intelligent decisions you need to rely on others you can trust.

  10. Quirk is the deciding vote on the redevelopment expansion — she is probably fielding a slew of money cruise offers from lobbyists as we speak. Will she continue down that path? It’s going to get ugly.

  11. “It’s going to get ugly.”

    Yes, when Amerige Court and Jefferson Commons are built it will get very ugly, indeed.

  12. Quirk and Keller started planning their move into politics years before they ran. They knew they’d have to become bedfellows with all sorts, and that in exchange there would be projects they’d have to give a green light to. Like everyone else on council, they got their groups all lined up. Neighborhood groups, non profit groups, the Chamber, political parties, and yes, developers.

    If this group is the one calling them on the mat for decisions which are bad for the community and it makes them squirm, then we’re doing a much-needed job. I don’t think we want Quirk or Keller to be next generation’s Jones and Bankhead. To entertain either one of them in even a higher office would be even more worrisome. So best to get started on them now.

  13. For the benefit of some of our readers who may question the accuracy of this post, I will confirm that it is true, I was on board that day. The Shadow is right, there was a lot of love on board that day!

  14. Aha! So that’s where The Shadow got her information. I was wondering about that.

  15. You’re not my friends! You name callers! I hate you!! I just want to be liked by everyone!! I do so much for the community!!!!
    There, I just crossed you off my list of people to invite to my fundraiser-birthday dinner!!!!!!

  16. McQuirk, you seem to have captured the very essence of this person.

    Remember: shallow waters (except for me) run noisiest!

  17. HEY TONY! if you were on the boat, that means you paid the $1,000 too. why were u on the boat and what did you get for your money!!!

  18. admin, you got ripped off.

    Jerk, there’s nothing wrong with contributing to a candidate or organizing a fund raising bonanza for her. Unless you happen to have tens of millions of dollars in controversial projects on the agenda. Then it gets problematic for both the giver and the gifted. I doubt if Bushala had any projects going at the time at all since he seems to have given up developing anything in Fullerton.

    1. No way! I’ve been following the city council for the past quarter century and let me tell you that Quirk-Sylva has proven to be much more courageous and honest than most others who have been on the council.

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