So Who Does Fullerton’s Chamber of Commerce Really Represent?

Our good friend Joe Sipowicz asked a really good question today on another post. Asked Joe:

How many Chamber board members have received subsidies, favors, or looks-the-other-way by the police in the past? Does the Director owe her job to the influence of City Council members? Inquiring minds want to know.

 Well, Joe, we have inquiring minds too, and decided to check out the Chamber’s board of directors. And what we found ain’t pretty:

A 21 member board. Lets review some of the members, who they work for and see what other telling associations we can discern (in no particular order):

1.Albert Napoli – MWD ( a government sanctioned utility monopoly)

2. Mark McGee – MG Disposal (sole garbage contractor for the City of Fullerton)

3. Burnie Dunlap– St Jude Hospital (former member Brea Redevelopment Agency!)

4. Daniel Kang – Grace Ministries (non-profit Church; beholden to City for gobs of entitlements)

5. Ron Hurst– Fullerton Marriot (Hotel originally built by money put up by the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency

6. Chris Reese – CSUF (a government educrat!)

7. Pat Butress – So Cal Edison (government sanctioned utility monopoly)

8. Jack Franklyn– Heroes (well-known recipient of City look-the-other ways for non-permitted construction and out door amplified music, etc.)

9. Kerry Stock – Costco (Fullerton’s original big-time redevelopment project)

10. Ryan Dudley – The Cellar (son of former Develpment Services Director, Paul Dudley – hmm THAT name sounds familiar!)

11. Cameron Irons – Vanguard Investments (and former partner in downtown restaurants operating out of Redevelopment subsidized buildings)

12. Leland Wilson – Realtor (former Mayor and Chairman of Fullerton’s Redevelopment Agency!)

Okay, we’ll stop there since we are way past a board majority; a majority of folks who have connections to redevelopment, government, family ties, or lots of reasons to be grateful to the City of Fullerton. And we mention in passing their Executive Director, Theresa Harvey, former director of the Fullerton Boys and Girls Club (non-profit operated in building owned by City, etc., etc.).

Please note that we have also passed over a couple of downtown bankers (that relationship needs to be explored), some sort of political consultant, and a lawyer. It appears as if the Chamber board is almost devoid of anybody actually making and selling anything. But, boy do they have ties to the Fullerton City government, government in general, or operate in government sanctioned monopolies.

Is there really any wonder why this crew supports Redevelopment expansion – the greatest anti-business threat in Fulleron’s history? Most of them are connected to the government, and hardly any of them are really in the kind of real, honest-to-goodness retail or manufacturing businesses of the sort that Redevelopment preys upon.

25 Replies to “So Who Does Fullerton’s Chamber of Commerce Really Represent?”

  1. Well that pretty well sums it up. Thanks, Shadow. A real public service. I wonder how many dues paying members know that the Chamber of Horrors is run by a bunch of pro-government stooges and parasites.

    1. Jack, first of all, I am not a man.

      Second, its easy to connect the dots. Redevelopment has lots of tentacles and many suckers.

      The Chamber has been nothing but a useless City Hall shill for years, at least back into the 90s. If you’re a member I suggest you stop paying dues until the group actually starts representing its members instead of the City Manager.

    2. Those are not casual relationships Jack. They’ve got two former Redevelopment Agency members for chrissakes. Not to mention government workers and people who have either hold city contracts, have received city favors, or who want to receive city favors. Sorry, Jack. Something is really rotten over there at Chamber HQ, and it’s starting to stink.

  2. The Chambers modern shilling for City Hall began in the aftermath of the Fullerton Recall of 1994. The Chamber was regarded by the anti-recall statists as supporting it. Some members no doubt did. But the Chamber’s only position was to oppose the obnoxious and unnecessary Utility Tax. Then Presiedent Tom O’Neill was a very vocal foe of the tax and he carried the Chamber with him.

    Afterwards Chamber leadership fell into dubious hands. Jim Alexander, Terry Kerr and worst of all – wait for it – Dr. Dick Jones ushered in a period that was presented as reconciliation (why reconcile when you’ve done nothing wrong?) but that was really nothing but abject stoogery. It became apparent to observers that the Chamber had become nothing but an auxilliary of City Hall. And so it has been for 15 long, dreary years.

    1. FHT, welcome to FFFF. Great synopsis and thanks for the look back. Let us know if you ever want to do a post!

  3. These are all great business persons and active members of team Fullerton. They are looking out for the interests of ALL Fullerton and should be thanked for their commitment of time to serve on the Chamber board. It’s folks like these that make Fullerton what she is today!

    1. How do I join Team Fullerton? My business could use a little redevelopment cheese, if you know what I mean.

  4. I urge other business people to quit the Chamber like I did. The Chamber DOES NOT SUPPORT THE FREE MARKET. Great post Shadow !!!

  5. How about the connections between sitting City Councilman Shawn Nelson and Shaun Francis? Will this be explored in any future features, or are these types of connections ok because they are people you agree with?

    1. Neither of these gentlemen are on the Chamber Board of Directors. That’s what this post is about.

  6. Chambers are prmarily social organizations for 2 groups: 1) PR people for utilities, corporations & gove’t agencies, and 2) newly minted real estate & insurance agents who think they’ll find clients. The former have an interest in big government, and the latter are soon out-of-business anyway.

    Actual successful business people have little time for the chamber and no interest in it. When was the last time an actual entrepreneur was chamber president?

    Chambers-to-cities have become like PTAs-to-school boards: and amen corner rather than real adocates for their supposed constituents.

  7. JustAGuyInFullerton :
    How about the connections between sitting City Councilman Shawn Nelson and Shaun Francis?

    This post is about the Chamber of Commerce, what do Nelson or Francis have to do with the Chamber Board?

  8. This is a good one. I’d like to see it turned into a comprehensive list of every Fullerton business that’s ever received any kind of Redevelopment subsidy.

    When they show up at city council meetings and tell us about the wondrous benefits of redevelopment, the public will be able to see how much they’ve personally benefited from the generous hand of our ever-expanding city government.

  9. There are 3 type of stooges:

    1) those who have slurped the gravy and want to slurp more of it; and

    2) those who want to start slurping the gravy; and

    3) those who are just inveterate, hopeless, genetic stooges and don’t even need any gravy to make them stooge. This group is the saddest one of the lot.

  10. admin :

    JustAGuyInFullerton :
    How about the connections between sitting City Councilman Shawn Nelson and Shaun Francis?

    This post is about the Chamber of Commerce, what do Nelson or Francis have to do with the Chamber Board?

    Oh… I’m up for this! Let’s use Shadow’s thought process:

    Shawn Nelson is on the City Council and was once in the Chamber’s offices for a meeting… and he is was once the CHAIRMAN of the Redevelopment Board! Oh my! He is a guilty crony!

    Shaun Francis is also named Shaun, but spells it differently to intentionally deceive Fullertarians (obviously to hide his real identity as Sean Francis former Chairman of the Planning Commission). I also think Sean (Shaun) was once at a Chamber event or hosted one and he once had lunch with Robert Zur Schmiede and may have discussed a low interest loan to improve his building.

    EVERYONE in Fullerton is corrupted by redevelopment! Let’s only appoint Canadians from Vancouver. They might not have a connection to Fullerton redevelopment… but I’m sure the Shadow would find something to link them….

    We’re doomed…. doooooooomed…….

    1. Jack, you are so right. These relationships are meaningless. Delving into them will only make people upset and accomplish nothing positive. Welcome aboard. Welcom to Team Fullerton!

    2. Jack, check out comment #18. I’ll bet my bottom dollar that you are either category #1 or #2. Are you asking for a “low interest loan to improve your building”?

      1. I Remember Terry :
        Jack, check out comment #18. I’ll bet my bottom dollar that you are either category #1 or #2. Are you asking for a “low interest loan to improve your building”?

        I am neither… Unfortunately, the only gravy I ever get is on Thanksgiving… sigh…. boring life, I know.

        You can send your dollar to the Fullerton Boy’s and Girl’s Club as a donation under the name “Shaun Melson”.


        Jack B. Nimble, “Team Fullerton”

  11. Shadow’s right. If Nelson stood up and started pimping Redevelopment I’d make that tie, too.

    So let’s just ask: how did Leland Wilson and Bernie Dunlap vote when it came time to support the redevelopmet expansion proposal? Leland? Bernie?

    To my knowledge Sean Francis has avoided getting tied up with city loans. But if he did and stood up to promote Redevelopment I’d have an issue with that, too.

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