March Madness of the Mindless is here.
Tuesday night’s Closed Session means Rob Zur Schmiede, everyone’s favorite redevelopment director, will be speaking with council regarding 324 W. Valencia Drive to negotiate the strong-arm takeover and redevelopment of the property.
Also, council will be discussing “Parameters of authority for negotiating salaries, benefits, and working conditions.”
In the open session we have the usual dog and pony shows of certificates and feel-good resolutions. At the top of that list is a man I remember from my Junior year of high school at Fullerton High, Wayne Daniels. He is one heck of a nice guy and a snazzy dresser for sure. But why exactly is the council giving him a certificate for being “The Tulip Man”?
There are no appointments on the agenda which is a little sad since the City could use some good people to help steer the staff and council away from stupid decisions.
There are a total of 19 items on to be discussed and/or voted on so sit back as I try to scrape off the layers of doublespeak to uncover the depth of waste we are about to endure.
The minutes and financial reports are items #1 and #2, respectively. We jump right in at #3 which is a massive reconstruction of Harbor Boulevard from Chapman to Berkley. This stretch of road is plagued with potholes, cracked concrete, broken curbs, general disrepair, and lumpy asphalt created by trucks and buses. As soon as the project is complete, I would imagine a utility company will come in and tear it up. At least that’s Murphy’s Law. This little paving effort is to run about $1,121,000. That’s a lot of asphalt… Staff reported that the low bidder isn’t the winner because they didn’t get their forms filled out completely or correctly and that they didn’t have sufficiently disadvantaged business owners that met the City’s requirements. The contract will be going to PALPA, Inc. DBA Excel Paving Company.
Item #4 is a brand new sewer for Riverside Drive and Raymond Avenue area. This section of fecal conduit will run us a mere $1,064,038.50. Several streets in this area received fresh asphalt just in the last year or so. You would think someone could plan it out a little bit so that we replace the broken and aging pipes and THEN replace the asphalt. But that’s Fullerton for you: placing the cart in front of the horse…
It looks like the airport is signing a new lease agreement with Cardinal Air Services and a long term lease for Frank Sator under Item #5. If you want to see some pretty slick shell games with public funds, check out the supporting documentation for this item. We, the city, take a loss but in comes OC Fire Authority to lease a portion of the area we are taking a loss on and then they make up the difference. The problem is that we are paying for OC Fire to lease the space through our taxes. Does this mean we are subsidizing ourselves?
Item #6 is all about John Shipman who as a member of the Community Development Citizen’s Committee showed up to some meetings and not others. After missing three in a row, he was booted for being absent too many times pursuant to municipal code 2.11.050. He is now appealing and wants to participate. Shipman, it appears, is a Keller appointment and some sort of teacher whose teaching assignment conflicted with the committee meetings.
Item #7 contains two resolutions for grant funding of Independence Park and the Fullerton Community Center. Each grant is worth $5,000,000 but you will need to chip in an addition $4,000,000 for the Independence Park project to make it happen. That’s like paving Harbor Boulevard from Commonwealth to Brea Boulevard! But I suppose the kids need a place to loiter… At the risk of expressing my own ignorance, once we pay for the project, how will we pay for maintenance? Maybe I should show up at the Park & Rec meetings so I’ll understand the funding.
According to item #8 and #9, a few people need special disabled person’s parking spots.
Item #10 seeks to make it illegal to park in the alley that runs north/south and is south of Valencia and west of harbor Boulevard. If you live in that area, be sure to show and express your feelings on the pros and cons.
It looks like the PD wants to buy some guns and ammo with the approval of item #11. They will be using asset seizure funds so, in theory, it won’t cost you a dime. What’s not included is the training to use these guns and the training for the armor to repair and service them. Training is expensive and necessary. There is no reason we cannot include the other costs incidental to the purchase. The details are: 14 guns for $18,812.92; ammo for $25,719.38; 36 gun safes $5,617.64. I assume the PD has other guns which will use the safes and ammo.
The FD wants some donations to be “accepted” by the council under item #12. The total amount is a whopping $650.00. Maybe the council should make a motion to allow the City Manager to “accept” on behalf of the city any donation under $1,000.00 so long as the manager reports them in the City’s financial reports.
Item #13 is titled “GOOGLE FIBER FOR COMMUNITIES PROGRAM”. It sounds intriguing but what is it? The summary states that Google is looking for communities in which to test ultra-high speed broadband networks to ultimately compete against the cable and telephone companies. Good idea! I know I have to pay extra for AT&T to NOT slow down my connection. It’s the same wires as everyone else except that if you pay the minimum, your connection is slower. Pay more and it get’s a little faster. FFFF has a few IT/ITS people who can explain better…
Thales Raytheon wants to donate six laptops to the Park & Rec for use at the Gilbert Community Center. Item #14 doesn’t state the total value. I would guess the laptops, if new, would be worth $1,000 each or more. I find it humorous that Parks & Rec have to justify why the laptops would be beneficial but the PD doesn’t have to say what the guns are for. In both cases it is obvious so why the extra ink?
Now you get to punch that gas pedal and really feel the wind in your hair! Item #15 seeks to change the speed limits on Sunny Ridge and Pioneer Avenue. The PD asked Traffic Engineering to conduct a traffic study. The results: RAISE, that is correct, the speed limit! Here is the breakdown:
Pioneer Ave (Sunny Ridge to Gilbert) Increase from 25mph to 30mph
Pioneer Ave (Gilbert to Parks) Establish a speed limit of 40mph
Sunny Ridge Dr (Malvern to Pioneer) Increase from 25mph to 35mph
Sunny Ridge Dr (Pioneer to Roscrans) Increase from 25mph to 30mph
All other speed limits remain unchanged.
Item #16 eliminates a bike path that isn’t complete due to OCTA Metrolink expansion which would not give bike riders enough room.
Posting public notices comes in as item #17. It looks like running the notices in the papers is a bit pricy. This item will give staff four places to post public notices. They are:
Maintenance Services Yard
Item #18 is the continuance of the aforementioned shell game. It involves leases on the airport property.
Lastly, item #19 is titled “LOCAL TAXPAYER, PUBLIC SAFETY AND TRANSPORTATION PROTECTION ACT OF 2010”. Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services Coalition is requesting that Fullerton adopt a resolution in support of this Act. It sounds nice but the reality is that our state assembly has to stop allowing our local coffers to be raided by Sacramento. This is a feel-good resolution with no teeth. It should be noted that MAJOR funding for this “coalition” comes from the League of California Cities. In other words, you and I have already paid them, their lobbyists, and whoever else has their hands in our cookie jar. The bottom of the website has this:
“Paid for by Californians to Protect Local Taxpayers and Vital Services, a coalition of taxpayers, public safety, local government, transportation, business and labor, with major funding from the League of California Cities (non-public funds and CitiPAC) and the California Alliance for Jobs — Rebuild California Committee”
March 23, 2010 – Special Meeting
2010/11 Budget Decision Packages
April 6, 2010 – Council Meeting
BID – Agreement with Urban Place
Fox Block Extension of ENA
Recovery Zone Designation
More strong-arm wrangling of property rights a.k.a. property negotiations