A California State University of Fullerton student reporter has come under attack for quoting me in the Daily Titan.
Ally Bordas wrote a brief article for the Daily Titan on the financial mess at CSUF and pointed out the irresponsibility, waste, and hypocrisy within the university’s management. In her article, she quotes my blog post Cal State Fullerton President – Lifestyles of Our Rich Public Employees at the El Dorado Ranch.
The CSU media specialist didn’t like the fact that Ms. Bordas used my post and even less that it was pulled from the 4F blog. Unfortunately, the story was pulled from the Daily Titan and Ms. Bordas has had to endure a lot of questions on her fact checking.
The fact remains that the words she quoted from me are based on the official legal agreement between the State of California and the Chapman family who donated the El Dorado Ranch. You can find the document at the Orange County Recorder’s Office by asking for Instrument No. 1989-334761 of Official Records. You can also email me at [email protected] and I will email the 28-page PDF to you.
Here are a few facts to consider about the El Dorado Ranch that the agreement spells out:
- It was donated in 1989 by the Chapman Family.
- CSU Fullerton President Milton Gordon takes office in August 1990, almost exactly 1 year after the donation.
- No property taxes are paid on the compound because it is owned by the State of California. However, the Orange County Assessor still keeps track of how much the 4 acre property would be taxed if anyone else owned it. That figure puts it at $3,351,724 in 2009!
- The property was donated and all parties agreed that the mansion would be the “official residence” of the president. This is mentioned multiple times throughout the agreement.
- The agreement stipulates that the property shall not be converted into student housing. However, there is one MAJOR and MASSIVE exception. The “apartment adjacent to the house [which] may be used for support staff for the President of the University and/or El Dorado Ranch. In my initial post I said his assistant had a home on the sprawling estate but I was wrong. He could actually have as many assistants (a.k.a. “support staff”) as he feels he needs to have on hand and all of them are welcome to live at the El Dorado Ranch.
- At the time of the initial donation, there were numerous antiques on loan to the State that remained in the home. Some items dating from the early 19th century.
- The Chapman family still retains mineral rights to the El Dorado Ranch. That means they have a right to pump oil from underneath the State’s property.
- Item 11 of Exhibit “B” of the agreement requires that any garden developed on the property shall be named the “Alice Wilber Chapman Garden”. Alice Chapman was the mother of the donors.
- The property is owned by the taxpayers of the State of California yet the sign at the entrance reads “PRIVATE PROPERTY”. Surely it was an error on the part of some underpaid state employee who didn’t know that public property can’t also be private property.
- Not in the agreement but worth noting is that we all need to do our part to conserve energy because energy conservation is clearly not high on the President’s list of priorities. Of course when someone else is paying the bill, who cares… Thanks for leaving the light on!
At the end of the day, Ms. Ally Bordas was correct to point up the chain of command within the CSU system and call out the hypocrisy that exists. The leadership insists on burdening the students with higher tuition and “fees” but they are not willing to look within their own ranks. The CSU system has many great minds but where they are being used remains a mystery. In my opinion, the media specialist should do a little fact checking of their own.
For Milton Gordon, its still good to be king!