Several years ago Morris Feinberg penned a biography about his late brother Larry Fein entitled “Larry, The Stooge in the Middle”. This clever and memorable title suggests a parallel to our own Fullerton City Council.
Twice a month first term Mayor Pro Tem Pam Keller takes her seat at the council dais between Dick “Moe” Jones and Don “Curley” Bankhead. In recent months she has become the crucial third vote to approve some dubious Redevelopment projects. No stranger to giving her stamp of approval to terrible developments like Amerige Court and Jefferson Commons, she is always careful to pepper the city staff with a few probing questions before throwing her support firmly behind it (“I got it Moe!”). Lately, though, with Sharon Quirk-Silva withdrawing her support for boondoggles like the recently approved low income housing on Richman and the illegal Redevelopment expansion, and Shawn Nelson voting likewise against them or taking a powder entirely, Pam Keller has cast the deciding “yes”, taking her place as The Stooge in the Middle.
Larry Fein had a long stretch as a Stooge, but Pam Keller is up for re-election this year. One has to assume that challenger Marty Burbank has come to boot Pam aside to claim the mantle of middle Stooge for himself. He has already signaled his worthiness of the title by shilling for the Chamber of Commerce in support of the aforementioned expansion of Fullerton’s Merged Redevelopment Area. Of course, we don’t know what else Marty stands for, since the “Issues” page on his website is completely empty, but we don’t suppose he means to bump aside fellow Rotarian Bankhead, who will undoubtedly endorse the new would-be Larry.
There are some wild cards in play, however. What if Shawn Nelson is elected as 4th District County Supervisor? What if the rumors are true that Dick Jones plans to step down sometime this year? There may be room for Shemp, and even Curley Joe to fill out the second half of as many as two council terms. Then who will be The Stooge in the Middle?