The Huntington Beach Lesson:Us Versus Them

Although I don’t think I’ll be doing much posting about non-contiguous cities in OC, something’s a brewin’ down in Surf City and a pretty rancid odor has wafted northward and reached our Fullertonian nostrils. What’s happening is a saga that should be an instructive reminder to us, and, alas, is far too typical of the prevailing attitudes within city halls everywhere.

The story is told in some detail over at the Red County blog by it’s proprietor, Chip Hanlon.

It happens that in 2002 the good folks of HB passed a charter amendment to require that the City allocate 15% of its annual budget to infrastructure. And naturally the bureaucrats in City hall have been ignoring the mandate ever since. Apparently they are counting debt service and other items as “infrastructure” in a way nobody ever intended. Millions of bucks are being deliberately diverted from city infrastructure.

And also, naturally, the HB City Attorney has cooked up a load of legal bullshit to back up the city staff’s self-serving interpretation of what the charter amendment really means.

It seems that people are finally talking about strengthening the language in the charter to make sure the switcheroo stops, and at least one of the employee unions made it clear that they will have none of it.

Sound familiar?

Anyway, the HB City Council met the other night to review recommendations from an ad hoc committee to address this infrastructure issue. They continued the item for a couple weeks, so it’s not over yet. Any takers on how they’ll go?

Its ironic that critics of what goes on in city halls are labeled as divisive. But the divide between ourselves and those who work for us is clearly demarcated and understood by the employees themselves, whose interests are sometimes spectacularly incongruent with ours.

8 Replies to “The Huntington Beach Lesson:Us Versus Them”

  1. HB City Treasurer, Shari Freidenrich, is running for OC Treasurer-Tax Collector to replace the fraudulent embezzling Chriss Street. How much of the HB shell game outlined above is being perpetrated by Freidenrich?

  2. I am soooooo very far behind you guys on this blog on so many things, but I MUST ask, Greg for more detail or the basis and source of his charges of “fraud” and “embezzling” leveled at Chris Street.

    I had developed the complete opposite opinion of Chris Street, and I “owe” him the courtesy of making sure he isn’t maligned unjustly.

    I really hope that Greg can’t back up his charges and they are shown to be merely blogger hyperbole.

  3. That was the OCR story I remembered reading. He used money entrusted to him for self-serving purposes and appeared to have done so in a fraudulent manner. Even his old boss who backed him had some pretty harsh words to say about his dirty deeds.

  4. Thanks Greg and Anonymous for the links to the OC Register story about Mr. Street.

    The OCR reporting presents factual data from both sides in addition to providing typically veniel salacious tidbits (e.g. paid a parking ticket “for his Ferrari”) which only serve to advance the cause for those who now benefit from the attacks on Street’s actions, business decisions (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight) and character.

    Interestingly, the fact that Mr. Street’s actions as ( “court appointed” – that phrase is absent from the OCR article) trustee for a bankrupt industrial company liquidation estate, all had to be specifically approved by the Court, didn’t garner any editorial-type comments such as: “How can the bankruptcy court judge blame Mr. Street alone for actions which the same judge had specifically approved prior to their being taken?”

    It is interesting also that Mr. Street’s efforts, all entirely consistent with the long time business strategy and operation of the bankrupt truck-trailer manufacturing company, were somehow subsequently-newly judged to be contrary to the interests of the many beneficiaries who had received incomes and dividends from that same business for nearly a hundred years, prior to Mr. Street’s involvement as its bankrupt trustee.

    Since I am very favorably inclined toward Mr. Street (and surprisingly-coincidentally also quite familiar with the history of the industrial company that Mr. Street protected as a bankruptcy trustee, as well as with the court rules and conduct for those who serve in such capacity), I remain convinced that Mr. Street is honorable, ethical and highly qualified (and effective) in the job he has performed for our County.

    I hope that he perseveres and recovers his well deserved excellent (previously) reputation.

    1. Regarding Street, we are getting off-topic from the initial post. However, since we are derailed… I have seen many a good name become sullied by shoddy reporting. Since I have yet to here Street come out and tell his side (I would imagine his attorney wouldn’t let him and the reporters wouldn’t cover it anyways), I am stuck relying on a court ruling and several accounts that point at the very least to financial misconduct. I would think his job at the County would have kept him too busy to take on any “extra” work but being a county job, maybe not.

      If you can put Street in touch with FFFF, I would be willing to ask some questions, hear him out, and post what he had to say if he is inclined to tell us his side of what happened. For that matter, I’ll talk with anyone running for any local office if they desire to be heard.

    2. Street was living it up on the trust’s dime.

      But apart from any of that, Chriss Street endorsed the perjuring, carpetbagging assclown Harry Sidhu. And that tells me all I need to know about Chriss Street’s honor and ethics.

      1. It is important for a political officeholder to be careful and well informed about anyone he might “endorse” in some other political campaign.

        BUT, without the careful research of the actual residency-eligibility of Mrs. Ackerman and then Harry Sidhu, I would have (naively) assumed that both of those candidates actually lived in the districts they sought to represent. And even more naive (and stupid) I would have trusted-relied upon the apprpriate government officials (Rigistrar of Voters?) to “police” such matters (what in hell else are they paid to do?).

        Without doing “any” homework, I’d have figured Sidhu was an OK candidate, and unfortunately, I’m probably not the only foolish person casting ballots without “really” knowing the candidate.

        Perhaps the free press could figure into this somewhere, but I just can’t get over the fact that Dan Quayle mispelled potato.

        Did you hear about that? What a scandal and what a news scoop!

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