WHERE’S OUR MONEY?

For years and years the City of Fullerton has been adding ten percent to the cost you and I pay for our water and re-directing this money to Fullerton’s General Fund; the fund that pays for City Councilmen Jones’ and Bankhead’s pay and perks, and that also pays for Fullerton’s pensions, including the mammoth pension pulled in by Councilmember and former Police Chief Pat McKinley.

Forget for a moment the fact that California’s Constitution prohibits governments from charging more  for services than they really cost, and consider Proposition 218, passed by the voters in 1996. It says that the government can’t dress up taxes and call them fees. It requires justification of such charges and public transparency. Justification and transparency, two commodities in real short supply in Fullerton.

The 10% “in-lieu fee” that the City has been adding (and hiding) in your water bill total is, and always was a fraud, and illegal.

Who wants to put lipstick on the pig?

Coincidentally, our asinine councilmember,  F “Dick”  Jones was first elected in 1996. And that means for every year of his rude, loud-mouthed tenure on the Fullerton City Council he has been approving this rip-off. Of course his sleepy pal Don Bankhead was trudging right along side him every crooked mile of the way.

They ain't very smart, but they sure is slow...

Since the gross rater revenue runs into the tens of millions every year, the  10% rip off has sure piled up. I estimate the total to be somewhere between $25,000,000 and $30,000,000 since 1997 alone. That’s a lot of dough, and I really have to wonder, will Jones, Bankhead and now McKinley offer the water ratepayers of Fullerton a refund of this misdirected money?

Why not?

76 Replies to “WHERE’S OUR MONEY?”

  1. Someone must be upset about Jones, Bankhead and McKinley. I I recently noticed the only thing left of their parking spot signs at city hall are slpinters.

    1. just like the railroad…There is Reality Is, right on time with a snarky comment. So happy that Quirk is the new Mayor. Excited about what can be accomplished as soon as we recall the three deadheads who are snoozing on City Council. Royce’s minion’. Republican hacks who do what they are told.
      I personally want all the criminal pensioned police and fire and other “public servants” – term used loosely – to be ferreted out and their names posted in the newpaper along with their addresses. Every one who stole extra pension money by falsely padding thier final year for higher pension amounts. That would be a great Xmas present. Name these criminals for what they are.

      1. Wow you are really dreaming. Sucks to be so far from reality for you huh?

        Quirk isn’t new. She’s guilty. Stop trying to protect her. It’s politics. Shes dirty just like the other 4. You are playing politics.

        🙂

        1. “Wow you are really dreaming.”

          Without dreams there is no inspiration. Without inspiration there is no action.

          Dreams are what reality is made of.

          And I don’t mean your kind of reality.

    1. lol!! Funny M. Agreed. Snarky ol Reality Is, sipping on public tax dollars pension tea, and trolling the FFF site looking for a fight.

    2. Don’t need to dare me. I know he answer. She will dodge the bullet and refer to the city attorney. She won’t support it or go against it. Politics. 🙂

  2. Sharron Quirks first public representation as mayor is her presence at the Christmas tree ceremony at the armory for the homeless. Former Mayor Jones expressed not being able to attend. Does any one have pictures or a news bite on this.I know a few of the other city council regulars where there.

    1. Pure PR spin for her, give me Jones back for Mayor, at least he isn’t smart enough to spin anything…what you see is what you get, idiocy.

  3. How long has Ms Silva been on the council? And she has not been privy to these taxes? It seems to me the only one in the clear re these taxes would be Whitaker? Am I wrong here?

    1. True,. but you pick your battles Citizen M. I can tell you that if there were you or I added to City Council tomorrow, there would be time needed to set matters traight in this City. Sharon has proposed many,many items for the council that just get shot down by the three white haired old booze guzzlers, asthey smirk at her for daring to try and get anything accomplished that isnt right wing march stepping behind them and Rep Royce. She is a good person to have on the Council, make no mistake

      1. Ahhhh you blame the three for all of her failures? Good out but if that was true you would be hearing from her loud and clear about that. Look at how she has voted during her terms. Consistent with the others. Keep giving her an excuse. She’s a politician just like the other 4. They are identical. 🙂

        1. Reality is she’s not an old white male like old tricky dick, she has an ethnic look, an ethnic last name and of course a woman so expect many to turn a blind eye to her part in the corruption.

          …”Madam Mayor” …Oh brother

      2. NOt liking her or dis liking her….just wanna know a few opinions of those that have had contact with her. Im open- but cynical at this point.

    2. No, you’re absolutely right. And all the others over the years including Norby and Nelson. But they’re gone.

      Quirk has a black mark next to her name on this, too. Enough to be recalled? I don’t make those calls.

  4. I ran the numbers yesterday as about $260 for every man, woman and child in Fullerton… before accrued interest?

    1. And you know the answer on a refund. No. They may change the tax but they ain’t issuing’ no refunds. Lawsuit baby. Lawsuit. This world is all about lawsuits. Anyone can file one anytime they want. It’s all about making the attorneys rich now. 🙂

  5. Reality Is :
    Wow you are really dreaming. Sucks to be so far from reality for you huh?
    Quirk isn’t new. She’s guilty. Stop trying to protect her. It’s politics. Shes dirty just like the other 4. You are playing politics.

    I tend to agree with this!!

  6. OK Dumb Tuco has to tell you what to do! Quirk-Silva and Whitaker need to bring up the question of the 10% tax in public. Ask for the city bureaucracy to make a report on the legality of the tax and where the money has gone over the past say 5 years. Then when the report is completed in 60 days (not 6 months), see what the legal basis is for the tax.
    Alternatively, an outside attorney has to be hired to sue the city to take the tax off, but why pay an outside attorney when the report will have contained half the work of an outside attorney thus saving fees.
    Now, we know that the dinosaurs are going to vote no on this which means they support the tax! That should not help their cause!
    And if Tuco can figure this out, ANYONE can!

    1. They’re already doing it. Dragging their feet, of course since there was (utter incompetence) no Plan B. With HJTA making this an issue the City will cave in accompanied by great handwringing.

      Well, Hell the employees may have to start paying the “employee’s portion” of the CalPERS contribution.

  7. streets of fullerton :Sharron Quirks first public representation as mayor is her presence at the Christmas tree ceremony at the armory for the homeless. Former Mayor Jones expressed not being able to attend. Does any one have pictures or a news bite on this.I know a few of the other city council regulars where there.

    Bruce and his wife Linda were present. Both very warm and great conversationalists.
    McKinley made a solo appearance, at which point it got a bit quiet, as people started whispering, “McKinley just walked in.” I noticed him speaking with Ron Thomas for a few minutes.

    1. Responding on calls like this are so intense. The thought of pulling up knowing this is going on has so much adrenaline. What a nut. Great job LAPD.

  8. It appears that plainclothes officer was on scene pretty quickly.
    YES, nice work LAPD! Now they’ve got a REAL cheif of police.

    1. :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) says:

      of fo sho’ cheezy beck be slanging cell phones in the big house……..stacking that paper

  9. Did anyone get their Re-call your signature for No-Recall/Tony Bushala is evil flyer in the mail today? Hilarious! I am going to mail all the cards with a personal note on each.

    1. What’s with the lies? You never signed the recall petition in the first place.

      I’ll send my three cards in too. Unsigned, but it will knock a buck out of the pockets of the three stooges. Fun!

      1. Travis, I am not sure you were talking to me, but I signed all three recalls in front of Smart and Final when it first began. I am a huge proponent of getting rid of all of them.

        1. In my flyer post, I meant that the flyer was a hilarious piece of crap, I guess my sarcasm didn’t read the intended way. I too can’t wait to spend their money on for their postage!

  10. Reality Is :Wow you are really dreaming. Sucks to be so far from reality for you huh?
    Quirk isn’t new. She’s guilty. Stop trying to protect her. It’s politics. Shes dirty just like the other 4. You are playing politics.

    What did you Bozos think she was gonna be your savior, your buddy. She used all of you to get her where she wanted to go….Suckers!!

  11. Reality Is :
    Responding on calls like this are so intense. The thought of pulling up knowing this is going on has so much adrenaline. What a nut. Great job LAPD.

    Hollywood is a circus!

  12. Dear All,
    If a lawsuit were brought that eventually ended up in a judgment to stop the imposition of the tax, nonetheless only the most-recently collected taxes will be disgorged. There is a fairly short “fuse” for seeking damages or restitution of illegally-collected taxes. There is also an unusual procedural requirement called a “notice of claim” that must be rejected, before a lawsuit against local or state government can go forward.

    When the Utility Tax was imposed back in 1993, a lawsuit was brought to invalidate it. Eventually, the tax was repealed because of a vote by a new council, in November, 1994. But the litigants somewhere along the way dropped the claim for reimbursement of the illegally-imposed tax. As it turned out, it was one or two more years, before the California Supreme Court upheld Prop. 68, and struck down the previous published appellate decision, in “Santa Clara Regional etc. v. Guardino.”

    The mere fact that Prop. 218 “legislatively defined” a tax in 1996 to include excessive fees, does not mean that the earlier Prop. 68 cannot or should not be interpreted to include arbitrary fees that exceed necessary reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses. It is therefore quite possible that the present 10% fee will be struck down, not under Prop. 218 which came later, but rather under Prop. 68 that was in place at the time. As California Civil Code section 3539 teacheth: “Time does not confirm a void act.” If the tax was illegal at the time it was enacted, it remains illegal. The only thing which changes, is how much illegally-collected tax can be refunded to those who paid the tax. OK.
    This would make some great “collateral litigation”. Whoever votes to defend the lawsuit, instead of capitulate to it and stop the tax, becomes an “illegal taxer”, and that becomes a ground for recall. Oh, and by the way: those who vote to continue the tax by resisting the lawsuit, can later be convicted under Government Code section 1223. There is no “legislative immunity” for votes cast, while sitting on local governmental boards.
    Best wishes, WSH

  13. I can live without a refund. :::shrug::: It’s not like we’ll see it and I can square the cost of a Recall that the three stooges and their supporters keep whining about with the illegal 10% water tax.

    Tomorrow’s the 10th…I believe this is date they were told to resolve this, isn’t it?

  14. I also got their mailer today. How nice of them to pay the return postage so I can let them know what idiots they are to think the citizens of Fullerton are so stupid that they don’t know what they’re signing when they sign petitions.

    I urge everyone to do the same with those cards instead of throwing them away like the trash they are. At the very least, send them back blank but please, mail them.

    1. :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) says:

      aw censorship good ole’ internet

  15. Has anybody driven past the Nat’l Gaurd Armory,on Brookhurst,in the past couple of years and noticed that the yard is bare and empty of any military hardware. The US Dep’t of Defense has armed the local police dep’ts with the latest high tech weaponery for use against our own citizens. How is this happening?
    A few small pieces were exposed during the recent OWS demonstrations.
    How is this happening?
    Suggested reading :

    They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©1955, 1966 by the University of Chicago.

  16. Why has there NOT been any criminal charges filed against those FPD personnel that have been terminated or under investigation?
    RINCON is a serial sexual predator and rapist and the others should be charged with felonies.
    Citizens of FULLERTON you have been stole from, your neighbors homes invaded, and your family members molested and raped.
    Suggested reading :

    They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45 by Milton Mayer, published by the University of Chicago Press. ©1955, 1966 by the University of Chicago.

    1. There have been charges. There won’t be anymore on Rincon or others. Those cases have been disciplined out. Outside of any Fed case in 1-5 years, it’s time to look forward not backward. 🙂

      1. Just what kind of amswer is this?
        Disciplined out does not have status in a criminal proceeding and there are a multitude of criminal charges that should be referred to the District Attorney for prosecution.

        1. Agree if you take everything you read here as fact. Problem is everything here isn’t fact and Rincon case had issues with the victims and witnesses. Van case could result in some charges but that’s under investigation for the testimony part. iPad was a Florida case I think? I think those are all the criminal cases known. But yea if you believe everything here the whole PD should be charged today. 🙂

    1. Nope. Already set to proceed with charges on the two cops. Preliminary hearing in a week. Maybe trial in March-June?

  17. How can they give refunds when they are going to be out of money?

    Council to discus water rate hike
    ———————————————–
    Fullerton News Tribune: Orange County Register weekly (CA)-July 14, 2011
    Author: LOU PONSI
    ;
    The Orange County Register

    FULLERTON ? The City Council will hold a public hearing during its regularly scheduled meeting on July 19 to receive public input on a proposed water-rate increase.

    Officials say the increase is needed to fund capital-improvement projects and cover increasing water costs.

    If rates stay unchanged, the city’s water fund would be completely depleted by 2013, according to results of a water-rate study released in May.

  18. ==================================================
    Fullerton to consider raising water rates
    ————————————————–
    Fullerton News Tribune: Orange County Register weekly (CA)-February 10, 2011
    Author: JESSICA TERRELL
    ;
    The Orange County Register

    The city is looking at raising water rates later this year in an attempt to bring in the funds it needs to replace miles of old water pipes put in the ground as long ago as the 1920s…

    …The largest investment any water system has is its buried pipeline, Schickling said. Fullerton has about 420 miles of buried pipes, and the pipes are expected to last about 70 years. There are currently 55 miles of pipes past the 70-year mark; replacing them will cost an estimated $55 million.

    Water customers saw a $2 monthly service charge increase in July. Before that, the most recent increase was passed in 2004 and went into effect over the course of several years, with rates bumping up 5.5 percent each year from 2005 to 2007, and going up 3 percent in 2008 and again in 2009.

    The average residential customer currently uses around 14,000 gallons a month at a cost of $46.20.

    Public workshops on the rate study are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. March 30 in the Council Chambers, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave. and 6:30 p.m. April 12 at the City Maintenance Yard, 1580 W. Commonwealth Ave.

    Copyright 2011 The Orange County Register

    http://docs.newsbank.com/s/InfoWeb/aggdocs/AWNB/1355336C29973780/1028A39C75C2B899?p_multi=OCRJ&s_lang=en-US

  19. Water board members rack up $400,000 in expenses
    Orange County Register, The: Blogs (Santa Ana, CA) – Friday, January 14, 2011
    Author: Teri Sforza, Register staff writer

    So the most generous tipper on the powerful board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California was Angel Santiago of Fontana (right), who thanked folks with $360 of public money.

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Santiago was also the most prolific spender on Metropolitan’s giant, 37-member board, spending $34,628 on airfare, mileage and hotels in 2009 and 2010.

    All told, the city council and water district folks who serve on Metropolitan’s board – setting the policy which allows water to gush from your taps here in the desert — spent nearly $400,000 on meals, hotels, conferences and other expenses over the last two years. That includes:

    * $149,976 for lodging

    * $61,633 for plane tickets

    * $49,259 for conferences

    * and $22,236 for meals.

    ____________________________________________________

    And good ole Fullerton:

    “James Blake, who represents Fullerton , was No. 12, spending $18,302. The bulk of it was lodging ($10,669).

    * No. 13 was John Foley, also of MWDOC, who spent $16,651, the bulk of which was mileage ($5,449) and lodging ($5,263).

    * No. 15 was Linda Ackerman, also of MWDOC, who spent $13,356, the bulk of which was lodging ($6,023) and mileage ($3,021).

    * Ergun Bakall clocked in at No. 25, spending $3,399 in those first six or so months of 2009. (No, the cost of his plane ride is not included in the total.)

    * Marcie Edwards, who also left the board in mid-2009, was No. 28, spending just $1,457.

    Critics say the board should not be spending so much on conferences, hotels and travel when water rates are skyrocketing for consumers.”

    http://docs.newsbank.com/s/InfoWeb/aggdocs/AWNB/134C13FB1F152F10/1028A39C75C2B899?p_multi=OCRBB&s_lang=en-US

    1. Notice The Ackerwoman is one of the biggest rip-off artists. Once you get your lips around that teat it’s hard to let go.

  20. Targeted council members in Fullerton gain support
    Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) – Thursday, September 22, 2011
    Author: LOU PONSI REGISTER WRITER ; The Orange County Register

    “Backed by Tony Bushala, who runs the blog Friends of Fullerton ‘s Future, recall organizers have also accused the three council members of fiscal irresponsibility by voting in favor of what they call an illegal tax on water rates and supporting the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency, which they say results in less revenue to the general fund.

    “They are so far down the power curve of reality, it’s ridiculous,” McKinley said. “You will never find anybody more fiscally conservative than this council is now.”

    McKinley, a former Fullerton police chief, said Bushala “has been a bully in this city for years.”
    ___________________________________________________

    This article caught my eye because of McKinley’s use of the word reality.

    “They are so far down the power curve of reality…”

    Eerily familiar.

  21. A light bulb just went on…

    I have often wondered why the Council insists of water restrictions even tho we are not in drought. Could it be that if we use less water, more of the water money goes to the general fund?

  22. I heard they do this in Fullerton too 🙂

    RIVERSIDE (AP) — The city of Riverside has fired a pair of public utilities workers for making up phony electric meter readings while sitting in their trucks.

    Public Utilities General Manger David Wright told the Riverside Press-Enterprise in a Saturday story that billing system safeguards started catching more mistaken bills than usual, and the bills were traced to the two meter readers.

    The city put a tail on the meter readers and learned they were sitting in their trucks much of the time and plugging in phony numbers.

    The two men were fired. Wright said he couldn’t give out names or other personal details because personnel matters are confidential.

    He says hundreds of customers were affected, but their bills will be automatically corrected the next time their meter is properly read.

  23. Water to the general fund? Hmmmmmm

    Online Database by Caspio
    PASADENA – For those lucky enough to be on Pasadena list of “unclaimed property,” Christmas has come early.
    According to city documents, Pasadena owes $252,628.40 to a variety of citizens, corporations, institutions and former politicians.

    In most cases the city is holding the money because a city-issued check never got cashed, said Andy Green, Pasadena chief financial officer.

    “Either they don’t cash their checks, or they lose them and don’t ask for reimbursement,” Green said. “At some point, we write the checks off, but we must try to contact the individuals or organizations to reach out to them and ask them to cash their checks.”

    The amounts owed by Pasadena range from $15 owed to a variety of citizens, to $13,500 owed to 70 N. Chester, LLC. That check was cut in July 2007

    Others owed include the Pasadena Unified School District, $12,118.55; and St. Phillip the Apostle Catholic Church, which has been owed $9,952.79 since 2008.

    The list also includes Huntington Hospital, former City Councilwoman Joyce Streator, Paseo Colorado and a company identified as DF Polygraph.

    Under state law, the city must contact the person or agency that was issued the un-cashed check, give notice of the un-cashed check and give between 45 and 60 days for the funds to be claimed.

    The most recent batch of checks must be claimed by Jan. 27. If the money is not claimed, Pasadena gets to keep the cash, and “the money goes back to the

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    general fund,” Green said.
    Money is tight around City Hall. Pasadena has reduced staff and transferred $3.2 million from its Water and Power Department to balance the general fund.

    Now the cash-strapped city has launched a scavenger hunt of sorts for unclaimed funds.

    “Especially in the situation we are in now, we are looking under every rock,” Green said. “You take advantage of, legally, what you can do.”

    The oldest checks date from early 2005. Three were written on Jan. 3 of that year.

    For the PUSD, the unclaimed cash could be put to use financing materials for an under-funded arts and music program, said Ramon Miramontes, PUSD board member.

    “Every cent counts,” Miramontes said. “We are always looking for new musical instruments and art supplies.”

    The money could also go to fund needed special education aides for the district.

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