On The Agenda – May 4th, 2010

Here we are in May and our spend-happy council is at it again.  The closed session has council discussing a law suit with their legal counsel over a law suit by Michael MacDonald.  They will also be talking about labor negotiations and who can negotiate what.

We start off the open session with a feel-good presentation by the Fullerton Sister City Association.

Moving onto the consent calendar we find a $750,000 repaving project of Brookhurst from Orangethorpe to the 91 FWY as item #2.  The bid came in from RJ Noble at $558,534.50 which leaves $191,465.50 left to cover city overhead and oversight.  That works out to be 25% of the total cost of the project to cover the city’s internal overhead.

Item #3 grabbed my attention with a few key buzz words.  The agenda has it as “RESOLUTION TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION FOR GRANT FUNDS FOR THE SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES PLANNING GRANT AND INCENTIVES PROGRAM”.  Actually, the whole title is chockfull of buzzwords designed to elicit emotional responses.  Buzz words aside, Proposition 84 spells out the purpose of the grant and I cannot understand how it pertains to the Downtown Core and Corridors Specific Plan.  The California State Parks Department manages the program and describes Prop 84 as this: “On November 7, 2006, voters passed Proposition 84 by 53.9 percent.  The 5.4 billion dollar “Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coastal Protection Bond Act of 2006” (Safe Drinking Water Bond) is detailed in Sections 75001 through 75090 of the Public Resources Code.” The amount of the grant request is $1,000,000 but could range from $100,000 to $1,000,000.  Do you really think California voters planned on using these funds for Downtown Fullerton planning?  The text for Prop 84 can be found at http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/1008/files/prop_84_text.pdf

Item #4 addresses City Pointe, across Chapman Ave. from the Fox Block McDonald’s money pit, which would like to change their development agreement because one of the partners is selling out.  A brief inspection of the staff report only revealed that our Land Czar, Rob Zur Schmiede, is involved.  The report and supporting documentation looks more like a Wall Street advertisement.  Considering the lengths at which our Land Czar is selling this transfer in ownership, responsibility, and liability, I am concerned that there may be more than meets the eye.

The Parks and Recreation is bringing a policy change to council.  Item #5 the amendment of the memorial tree and bench policy.  The new policy will specifically help address requests from the family and friends of James Wernke and future memorial requests.  This should have been addressed by the Parks and Recreation Commission at the November 17, 2008 meeting.  Anyway, I look forward to seeing the Wernke memorial soon!

Next we jump into a public hearing before the council.  Item #6 is the 2010 five-year consolidated plan and 2010 one-year action plan.   We wouldn’t need to have this hearing but Ol’ Doc Hee Haw keeps grabbing at that Federal HUD money which has this string attached.  It’s not a bad idea to have a plan before you act but it seems Ol’ Doc (literally) and others (figuratively) are asleep at the meetings.  There are over 200 supporting pages to this single item.  How many council members will actually read all of them?  Maybe someone should ask them since it is a public hearing!  There is a lot of money being considered and loans that need to be repaid.  (See page 4 of the 221-page document)  Some of the money will to service providers of important services to the community (like Meals On Wheels) but shouldn’t the service providers be going after these grants without involving the City?

Item #7 is the first item of regular business.  This is the proposed revised budget for FY2010-2011.  The first sentence of the second paragraph of the proposed revised budget says it all: “The General Operating Funds budget is not balanced.”

There is also a lengthy PR/defense piece on tax increments and the Redevelopment Agency.  The statement also makes some broad assumptions about the financial lifecycles that occur in redevelopment districts.  City staffers imply that the Redevelopment Agency knows best how to generate tax revenue.  The staff report closes with the following: “In 2006, the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency merged its four project areas.  More recently, the Agency amended the Merged Fullerton Project Area to add 1,165acres. The amendment is currently in litigation.”

The City will still need to cut $3,260,000 from the $184,000,000 budget, if you believe everything you read.  Keep your eyes open for the June 1, 2010 meeting and public hearing.

Item #8 is the Memorandum of Agreement with the Fullerton Municipal Employees Federation.  Employees will take a 5% cut in pay.  Thanks!  I didn’t see a pension spike but I also didn’t read all 74 pages of the memo.

Item #9 is more of the same but addresses police and safety.  They are also taking a 5% cut in pay to which I say thanks!  The memo is 103 pages and I wasn’t able to get every page digested.  Please let us know if you find anything in it that we should be aware of.

Item #10 is the fire fighter’s bargaining memo.  Unfortunately, the firefighters didn’t want to take a cut in pay like the rest of the world so the fire chief concocted some way to cut shifts that would work out to about a 5% reduction.  The City said no thanks. Due to the impasse between the City and the FFA, they will be using mediation as the dispute resolution procedure.  I say thanks to the chief for trying and a big NO THANKS to the Fullerton Firefighter’s Association!

Look out for these exciting opportunities to see your tax dollars in action:

MAY 11, 2010 – Adjourned Regular Meeting – 5 pm

  • Public Hearing – Coyote Hills

MAY 18, 2010 (partial list)

  • Purchase of Used Fire Truck
  • Closed Session – Property Negotiations – Fox Block
  • Fox Block Extension of ENA
  • St. College Grade Separation Change Order
  • Public Hearing – State College Underground Utility District
  • Bid Award Commonwealth Avenue Storm Drain
  • Bid Award Water Main Sys. Replacement/Sewer & St. Improv. 2009-10
  • Bid Award Water Main Sys. Replacement 2009-10 (Lemon St.)
  • Bid Award Refurbishment of Police Department Elevators

5 Replies to “On The Agenda – May 4th, 2010”

  1. That Clean Water dealio included all sorts of odds and ends just to make enough interest groups happy. A grant could be made for parks or historic preservation, etc.

  2. Probably Sgt. Mike MacDonald, the Fullerton press information officer who sadly died of melanoma in December.

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