The Numbers Are In — The Illegal Water Tax Cost Us $27 Million Since 1997


The City of Fullerton bookkeepers have provided us with a summary of the money illegally added to our water bills over the last 15 years, and boy does it add up. You see, 10% has been added on to our water rates, then immediately siphoned off to pay for non-water related expenses.

Where does the money go, you ask? Well, among other things it  goes to pay for Pat McKinley’s bloated pension, stays at four-star hotels for Don Bankhead and Dick Jones, etc., etc., etc. Feel violated by the scam? You should.

Here’s the shameful tally. Read. Weep.

Year Illegal Franchise Tax
1997  $704,480.50
1998  $1,281,107.00
1999  $1,364,716.00
2000  $1,456,399.00
2001  $1,435,202.00
2002  $1,558,578.00
2003  $1,576,091.00
2004  $1,775,133.00
2005  $1,771,294.00
2006  $2,065,417.00
2007  $2,287,693.00
2008  $2,278,041.00
2009  $2,388,515.00
2010  $2,479,930.00
2011  $2,532,595.00
 Total  $26,955,191.50

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  1. #1 by homebaseump on December 22, 2011

    Can these funds be returned via a rebate to present water users?

    We need to take this to a good class action lawsuit attorney.

    This could amount to about $9 million for the attorney fees.

  2. #2 by praying about this too on December 22, 2011

    sort of like tithing but not

    • #3 by Anonymous on December 22, 2011

      LOL! Kind of!

      Could we possibly see the written request for these dollar amounts?

    • #4 by Joe Sipowicz on December 23, 2011

      Now that’s hilarious. I know stealing is a sin, so I am just going to borrow that.

      • #5 by The Desert Rat on December 23, 2011

        No, no! I’ve got this one covered, Joe!

      • #6 by Anonymous on December 23, 2011

        Not what I meant. I mean could we see the public records request for these figures?

  3. #7 by homebaseump on December 22, 2011

    Does the CITY have any kind of independet auditing or review process?

    I smell a rat with this proposal to consolidate the water and maintenance departments.

    It would be prudent for the City Council to put this consoldation plan on ICE until the water fiasco is settled and competent legal services is retained.

    A really good case of obstinate arrogance.
    And this is only what you see and thats just the starting point.

    • #8 by Rain on December 22, 2011

      Our new Mayor has the power to set the City Council Agenda, and thus keep this proposed consolidation of the Water and Maintenance Departments OFF of the agenda.

      This will be an important matter for her to demonstrate her good judgment.

      • #9 by Anonymous on December 22, 2011

        I’ve heard that Fullerton has had a TON of layoffs this year. In fact, I guess that Fullerton is down to 1 building inspector now instead of the 5 we had before. Could it just be that they’re combining departments to save $?

      • #10 by Anonymous on December 22, 2011

        Speaking of layoff’s I think this poster nailed it.

        At least 7 officers (that we know of) have been an paid leave for months pending investigations involving one or more of the crimes that I listed and Chief Sellers continues to extend his medical leave. This means tax payers are on the hook for about $50,000-$60,000 a month for officers and a chief who are never on duty.

        On top of this, tax payers are going to be paying millions of dollars in settlements and law suits directly related to the conduct of these officers. I have a feeling that as time goes by there will be more people coming forward to report additional instances of misconduct and crimes involving Fullerton PD.

        The roads are disrepair, the sidewalks are cracked and crumbling and the abandoned buildings are a blight but this is just the beginning of worse things to come. If FPD is allowed to continue to operate, other much needed programs will be discontinued and employees ranging from parks and recs & streets will be laid off.

        Businesses will continue to leave along with citizens and people will not come into the city to buy products, attend venues or eat out of fear that they could be harassed by FPD. All of this means an even greater revenue loss for the city.

        There is also the public safety issue. Citizens are afraid of their police department and likewise officers are afraid to normally perform their duties due to what has transpired.

        A long time resident… on October 4, 2011

        I think someone read this at the council meeting a few months ago.

        • #11 by Wrong Guy on December 23, 2011

          This was a spot on post by ‘A Long Time Resident’ which is why I read this at a council meeting in October.
          Thanks for reposting Anon.

  4. #12 by One for the books on December 22, 2011

    A total sham!!

  5. #13 by Chris Thompson on December 22, 2011

    The sham is that they squandered the $26 million on exorbitant salaries and benefits instead of keeping up our water system or reducing our water rates. Clearly they have learned nothing…including Sharon Quirk…voting to dramatically raise Felz salary and lock him into a year contract with a year’s severance clause. As McKinley said, Felz is the Albert Pujols of City Managers. I wonder what the worst guy in the league’s numbers look like?

    • #14 by Screenwriter on December 23, 2011

      “voting to dramatically raise Felz salary and lock him into a year contract with a year’s severance clause.”

      Oh no, you dont want outsiders in an evil criminal enteprise.

    • #15 by JK on December 23, 2011

      Chris, the $26M was not squandered (past tense). It was squandered and the anticipated return of future illegal tax revenue was leveraged so it will be squandered over and over forever.

    • #16 by karma on December 23, 2011

      The sham is that the city is CURRENTLY STEALING from every citizen that pays a water bill. I don’t care if they snorted it up their noses, there is nothing they could explain to me to justify stealing money from me.

      Silva is a snake in the grass, nuttin new.

  6. #17 by PJ on December 22, 2011

    Slightly o/t, I would also like to know where the extra money now being charged on our gas bills to subsidize the gas charges of “poor” people really goes. Is that, and the extra money we pay on phone and electric, also going to pensions and salaries? Or poor people!

    I have a guess…

  7. #18 by Screenwriter on December 23, 2011

    This is the Crystal Cathedral without the Bibles.

  8. #20 by Hee Said Haw on December 23, 2011

    Hell-nation, that there’s ever ye-ah since ah bin on tha’ cowncil.

    Who-ee, thass alotta boobie jahbs.

    Shucks tho,’ t’ain’t that much fo’ the gummint. You’all pissants ain’t a-gittin’ nuthin’ back!

  9. #21 by One for the books on December 23, 2011

    The reason they used a water tax is because it is, apparently, the most appropriate way to “siphon” and “drain” the wallets of Fullerton residents!

  10. #22 by One for the books on December 23, 2011

    Would like to see an actual accounting of WHERE this tax revenue is going!

  11. #23 by merijoe #1 on December 23, 2011

    Its going toward pensions, salaries and for those fat loads donut kitty

  12. #24 by The Desert Rat on December 23, 2011

    I’ve said it before: somebody needs to find out if any/all of the alleged personnel overhead is actually being charged as a direct expense to the Water Fund. If this is true then those costs would kick up the water works cost, and the 10% add-on: the double-dip would obviously make the fraud even worse!

  13. #25 by Van get it da artiste on December 23, 2011

    we, the good people of Fullerton, have the right to see where this illegal tax was spent, what it was spent on . the city of Fullerton must keep documents showing how it paid for pensions when the general revenue could not afford it

    • #26 by The Fullerton Harpoon on December 23, 2011

      That you will never know. It disappeared down the rabbit hole known as the General Fund.

  14. #27 by The Ghost of Pat McPension on December 23, 2011

    If this ain’t enough reason to recall Bankhead and Jones, I don’t know what is!

  15. #28 by truthseeker on December 23, 2011

    The $27,000,000 was more than enought to put a reverse osmosis system in every home, apartment and on every drinking fountain in the entire city of Fullerton. How about it gang? Cough it up. Let’s start with the elementary schools in the first phase. Oh wait a minute maybe lead, aresenic, bromine, sodium fluoride, and a myriad of other loving disenfectant chemicals is good for the children. UMMMMMM. The water that comes from Fullertons tap kills fish-dont believe me? Try it-go spend a buck at the pet store and see for yourself. Funny how the price of the water keeps going up and the quality keeps going down even with the record snowpack and our 4000 foot deep aquifer that nobody realizes exists underneath The OC. Sham scam yeah whatever you want to call it.

    • #29 by nipsey on December 23, 2011

      Tap water is always bad for fish.

      • #30 by truthseeker on December 23, 2011

        Anaheim has a massive reverse osmosis system that delivers a top notch product to the tap. As a Fullerton resident I have to buy a system, filters and pay for extra water as well as the extra sewer use fee for the back-flush. The Anaheim system operates on a 1-.25 ratio of waste whereas the typical home system a 1-6 ratio. Once again leaders with no vision leave us poor and costly choices and public health is by no means the benefactor either.

        • #31 by nipsey on December 23, 2011

          That’s great, far better than the Fullerton chumps are doing. And tap water is still bad for fish. Even in Anaheim, if you plonk your fish straight into tap water without getting the chlorine/chloramine out and possibly adjusting the ph, they will die. OK.

  16. #32 by Fulerton Public Servant on December 23, 2011

    I was wondering if the city ever responded to the letter sent by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association requesting the cessation of the 10% “fee”……. I believe the group wanted Fullerton to respond by the middle of December or risk possible litigation. Anyone with an update?

  17. #33 by Hee Said Haw on December 23, 2011

    Ah dunno whatcha’all be a wantin.’ We’uns is jes’ alookin’ out fer the liddle man cuz, y’all kent figger out compikated things ‘n sechlike.

  18. #34 by One for the books on December 23, 2011

    truthseeker :
    Anaheim has a massive reverse osmosis system that delivers a top notch product to the tap. As a Fullerton resident I have to buy a system, filters and pay for extra water as well as the extra sewer use fee for the back-flush. The Anaheim system operates on a 1-.25 ratio of waste whereas the typical home system a 1-6 ratio. Once again leaders with no vision leave us poor and costly choices and public health is by no means the benefactor either.

    What do you know about reverse osmosis?

  19. #35 by ttuthseeker on December 24, 2011

    What i know is that no home should be without a system and they are very inexpensive …$150 at Costco .

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