Once again we have a City Council Agenda loaded with waste and stupidity.
The November 16, 2010 agenda starts off with a dear friend of ours, Milton A. Gordon. You may remember him from a recent post by Greg Sebourn – or from Daily Titan, where he caught grief from one of his current students and junior reporters, Ally Bordas. Well, he’s back and this time he is slated as Item 1 of the agenda. I’m sure he’ll be handing out some do-gooder award or similar…And we’ll be paying the staff to sit and endure the waste! Just remember, we pay him $302,000 to live in a mansion RENT FREE and hand out awards at City Council meetings.
Item 2 of the presentations is none other than our other old friends, Rusty Kennedy who will be giving the OC Human Relations Annual Report. I just can’t wait to hear it…
Moving on t o the consent calendar, let’s see what mischief the council would like to sneak in:
Insurance contracts are up and it looks like Blue Cross, CaliforniaCare, Kaiser, Delta Dental, Vision Services Plan, and CIGNA all win with staff approval. I knew I should have bought a few shares!
Item 3 is the water rate study at a cost of $67,500. How many gallons of water will consumers need to purchase to cover the cost?
There is a NO PARKING ban for a portion of Valencia Mesa Drive just west of Harbor Boulevard. Read more under Item 4.
An update on the building and fire codes is worth looking at. I would be willing to bet more than a few of these changes will come back to bite taxpayers. The changes include a green building code and energy code.
Item 6 is an appointment by the Council of the Fire Marshal and an alternate to the Orange County-City Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Authority (OCCHMERA). The City of Fullerton is a subscriber to the Authority since we do not have our own Haz-Mat team.
More NO PARKING/NO STOPPING is slated for Casa Blanca Drive between Fern and Barris during school hours as Item 8.
Item 9 is an amendment to the agreement between the City of Fullerton and the Fullerton Museum Association. In the end, it looks like the Museum Association gives up their “profits” from the gift store and membership from 10% to 25%.
Item 10 is another Fullerton Redevelopment Agency boondoggle in the making. In the back-up documents for this action item you find that the City “purchased” 34 parcels (each with multiple units for low- and very low-income residents) that are being demolished and replaced with 34 moderate-income homes. How does this help the City of Fullerton with the alleged deficiency in low-income housing? It doesn’t. Unfortunately, you voted for more of the same on November 2nd.
Item 11 is a real gem. It is titled “REALLOCATION OF PROCEEDS FROM 2005 TAX ALLOCATION REVENUE BONDS”. It sounds harmless enough; much like pulling money from a savings account to cover a checking account. Ah, but it’s so much more. It is a huge shell game of millions of dollars to hide the fact that we borrowed against certain funds to cover certain pet projects. Unfortunately, it just shows more mismanagement of tax dollars. Read it carefully and keep one of those airplane bags handy when you read the fine print.
And that was just the consent calendar! Now we get into some really good stuff.
Item 12 proposes Council raise parking fines by as much as $3.50 to cover two issues:
- SB857 which is a $3 per citation “fee” for the State
- and $0.50 because many of the City’s fines are listed to the nearest HALF dollar. Why is that a problem? It seems that the State doesn’t want to mess with $0.50 increments.
So, here we are raising fines because your legislators raised taxes disguised as fees.
Item 13 is the University Heights Development Project wherein the State was supposed to pay the City certain development fees upon the sale of those really nice homes. However, the State decided to lease instead of sell them. Now, we are stuck not getting paid. The State, being the generous body that it is, has proposed making payments. I suggest Council reject the plan (just check the State’s credit!) and order the fees paid immediately – just like they would with any other developer! The total amount being negotiated: $407,202.60!
Let’s look at this in a different light. Taxpayers funded the development so that public employees could get a better deal on a house than non-university employees. Then, when no one wanted to buy them, they come back to the taxpayers and ask us to float the debt a little longer. What a stupid system we have created.
And finally, not last nor least, is the Fullerton Municipal Golf Course under Item 14. Council will be considering a fresh new agreement with American Golf Corporation, the managing company for the golf course, as part of the “Recovery Zone Economic Development Bond” which spends $2,200,000 on new irrigation. The back-up documents indicate that staff thinks “revenue” will increase 200% next year. I’m not sure what they were smoking when the put that thought on paper but Prop 19 didn’t pass. What bothers me about this project is that the agreement should spell out maintenance AND operations for American Golf Corporation. They should collect enough in green fees to cover the irrigation and upkeep of the course. If they aren’t then I suppose they are on par with our council who enjoy passing bonds under the lie of low-income housing only to replace it with moderate income housing. But, you voted for more of the same…
As always, if I missed something important so let me know. If you have anything constructive to add, please do so.