No More MIA “Leadership.” No Doug Chaffee.

A fence sitting, cardboard candidate? On June 5th you get to decide.

Perusing the latest yellowing Fullerton Observer I noticed how various candidates responded to the  question “How Would You have Handled The Kelly Thomas Situation?”

First the Three Bald Tires, poster boys for utter leadership failure, were given the chance to reflect on their actions, or lack of same. They offered up the same old “we were told by our lawyer not to say anything” tripe. On his way out the saloon doors Doc Hee Haw managed to serve up this beaut: “I regret that some have acted to circumvent the constitutional laws of justice,” as if to reassure himself that the whole gol’dern commotion was the fault of some “lynch-type mob” and had nothing to do with his own incompetence and fat mouth.

The candidates were all pretty uniform in their responses with the glaring exception of Doug Chaffee, who spooned out this idiotic pabulum:

“I am a strong advocate of community oriented policing. In a community oriented policing system, police officers partner with neighborhoods to build trust and positive community relationships. The system generates mutual respect between residents and police. Being pro-active, the focus is on preventing crime, as opposed to merely reacting to it, and results in a safer City.”

What?

Not a single word about Kelly Thomas or his family, the brutal way in which he was killed, the conspiracy of silence in the aftermath, the disinformation peddled by Goodrich, the cops who were returned to duty, the disappearing police chief, the sick police chief, the pensioned-off police chief, or the charges of murder and manslaughter brought against the two cops by the DA. No explanation from Doug that Kelly was not committing a crime, and that the only criminals on the scene were members of the Fullerton Police Department.

Some have asked where Chaffee has been for these past nine months. I know. He’s been hiding from his own pale shadow.

It is apparent to me that this man is an empty suit, a coward and a damned fool. On the council he would be hardly better than McKinley himself. The last thing Fullerton needs is another superannuated do-nothing, say-nothing, stand-for-nothing yellow observer in office.

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67 thoughts on “No More MIA “Leadership.” No Doug Chaffee.

    1. I think you should rethink Rowe. He is a coward and wants to keep the status quo. I think his failure to answer shows his failure to be a true leader

      1. Coward? That’s a new one. I’ve never been called that before. Please feel free to meet with me any time, or this Wednesday at Rialto Cafe from 5:30-6:00 p.m. I would love to hear your line of reasoning here. Failure to answer? That’s also a new one, considering that I am probably the most active candidate for McKinley’s seat on this blog during this recall election. Baseless attacks are the specialty of anonymous Internet trolls. Who’s the coward?

        1. You couldn’t get any farther from the truth really. “Keep the status quo” – I am the furthest candidate from the status quo. I have spoken out early and often on why the Recall needs to go through and about the failure of the police leadership and current council in the Kelly Thomas case. I am 30 years old and an Independent – how is that status quo? I was also born and raised in Fullerton, unlike most of the candidates and council members. How in any way, would I advocate the status quo, when every single statement that I have made is about cleaning house in Fullerton.
          As far as the “coward” comment; again, I have always spoken truth to power. Here’s an article in the LA Times, citing me giving Chief Sellers a piece of my mind last August before the Recall was ever initiated. He quickly went on medical leave days later.

          http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/04/local/la-me-0804-fullerton-death-20110804

          Here’s a clip of me telling the current council what I think
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9ZUiF_4jHI

          It takes a special type of douche bag to call someone a coward who personally led dozens of soldiers on more than 300 combat patrols, protecting US Army bomb squads in Baghdad from 2006-2007, at the height of the insurgency. I would really like to know what kind of coward, goes kicking through piles of trash and picking up dead bodies, looking for explosives? What kind of coward gets hit by an explosive device and tells his soldiers to fix the flat tires on their Humvee, while he stand guard so they can continue their mission. What kind of coward goes into the home of insurgents in the middle of the night and carries out hundreds of pounds of unstable homemade explosives, transporting them in his Humvee to a safe site for disposal?

          “Failure to be a true leader” – that’s interesting. Here are some email excerpts from some of my soldiers in 2008, a year after we returned from our deployment. Please read, then feel free to talk to me about leadership, you clown.

          “Hello Sir,

          Im glad your getting out. You were meant to do much more than the army has to offer. Im at FT. Lewis. I was put into a year long arabic school as soon as I got here. I will deploy as a translater sometime next summer. Im going to talk alot of shit in arabic. Im starting to get really good at it. I go to school 8 hours a day so I should be awesome by the time this is done. I think everyone would agree that you were a great leader. When you first got to the battery you seemed a little stuck up. By the time we got to Iraq you seemed to be on some what of a friendship level with most of us. Im not saying that you were soft, but more of a trust was built up by deployment time. Your best quality was that you listened and tried to understand what made us who we are. I was 100% sure that if needed you would die right next to me. Thats a very good trait in a leader. To this day I correct people when they say him and me did something. I learned him and I from you. That really stuck in my head. Hernandez is a personal trainer in cali and is starting the police academy for san fran. He is the only person I still talk to. I would like to find 1SG and see how he is. My email is [email protected]. I would be glad to give you honest feedback anytime you need it. Thats what Im best at. Paul M Black”

          “CPT Rowe, I was really surprised when I saw your email. I’m glad to hear you are doing well. Myself, I am up here in Ft. Drum getting ready for another deployment. This time to Afghanistan. I am the senior medic with B Troop 3-71 CAV in 3rd BCT. I am going to the E5 board on Tuesday. I’m a little nervous but my wife is super supportive and everything. Oh yeah… I went and got myself married on Aug 29th. She’s great and takes such good care of me. Because of her AWESOME healthy cooking and keeping me motivated I’ve lost about 30 lbs and am feeling like a million bucks. I saw a few months ago that Smoke Frith was going to Warrant School. I haven’t heard from too many of the other guys but, Walden went and got himself promoted to SGT. He’s in the Artillery unit in my Brigade here. Everyone here has heard the story of when you decided to clear that busted ass building North of Racetrack by yourself and how you chickened out from doing my re-enlistment on the overpass on Sword. Hehe So on to the business at hand….

          I have now had the opportunity to work with quite a few different officers from a few different branches and I still compare their leadership style to yours. You and I may not have always agreed and seen eye to eye but I would follow you into the depths of Hell and back if you asked. As far as I am concerned… you are the standard by which I will base my opinion on all Officers for the rest of my career. If you were looking for some other response, I am sorry but I can only write my honest opinion. Again, thank you for everything you did for me and all the help and guidance you gave me. I hope your future in civilian life is as successful as it can possibly be. Good luck and always remember… PULL CORD GO BOOM!!!

          SPC Sean Niemi
          B TRP 3-71 CAV 10th Mtn Div (LI)”

          – Matthew Rowe

        1. Seriously? I might not be the most humble guy, but I am not going to apologize for defending my reputation. “Loud”? Maybe. “Idiot”? Hardly. “Coward”? Absolutely not. I’ll be damned if I don’t respond to some online troll, questioning my moral and physical courage. You deserve the council you elect. No wonder there are so many spineless weenies in politics.

          1. Matt – I didn’t read anything that you wrote that was “loud”. I surely don’t believe your an “idiot and definitely not a “coward”. In fact I will be voting for you.

            1. Thanks for your support. After reading it again, I am not sure whether the “loud” comment was directed toward me or “Fullerton Watcher.” Regardless, I take a lot of umbrage with Fullerton Watcher’s ridiculous attack. If Mr. Cameron’s comment was in my defense, then I am grateful for that.

              1. I can understand defending yourself against being called a coward. But I don’t see that military service has a damn thing to do with being a good council member or not. The military is a top-down run institution – follow orders, don’t ask questions. That is exactly the opposite of what we need in a city council member. And the use of excessive force, a military specialty, is what led us into the morass we are in today in Fullerton. Also, in terms of waste of taxpayer dollars you can’t really beat the military – how many stupid and pointless wars have we been in the last 10 years for how many trillions of wasted dollars? Oil companies and defense contractors get richer when we go to war and ordinary Americans get poorer. All things told, I can understand you defending yourself from a ridiculous troll attack but highlighting your military service gets you nothing in terms of votes – or at least it shouldn’t. There may be a lot of good reasons to vote for you, or not, I don’t know, but your military service is not one of them. I want my commander in chief to have military service so he knows not to send Americans off to get killed to make oil companies rich, but whether my city council members have served or not makes no difference to anything and is more of a con than a pro.

                1. You make some excellent points there. Consider the loud-mouth buffoon Jones who is always bragging about being a colonel in the Air Force.

                  Just think of all those military nurses and orderlies who had to take orders from that clown.

                2. “So What”,

                  You would probably be surprised to find out that you and I agree on some things. But first, I think you are reading into my comments an assertion that is not there. I never say to vote for me just because I happened to serve in the military. You have to understand that most of my professional life was spent in the military, so that is my record. I take issue with the notion that the military is purely a top-down organization. Yes, it is a hierarchy, but the best leaders in any organization know that they need they buy-in and support of those around them. There are direct orders that are given, but far more often, you have to motivate people and collaborate with various groups to get anything done- even in the Army. Contrary to public perception; it’s not all about blindly following orders.

                  Does the military waste a lot of tax dollars? Absolutely. That is systemic. This is because Congress essentially gives the armed forces a blank check every year and is eager to please defense industry lobbyists by granting lucrative contracts for programs that our military itself might not even need. This issue, however, is outside of the scope of the Fullerton Recall in which I am running. I work for a company that makes aerospace systems for the military and commercial customers. It is my job to eliminate waste and make our supply chain leaner. So if you are looking for someone who advocates reducing waste in city government, that is certainly in line with what I hope to accomplish.

                  Also, to your comment about pointless wars…I agree in the case of the war in which I served. It’s somewhat paradoxical that even though I believe the decision to go to war was wrong, I am tremendously proud of what my soldiers and I accomplished within a disastrous situation. Members of the armed forces don’t decide whether to go to war; politicians do. I lost several good friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 12 of my college classmates (including my first roommate), 3 other friends in the class behind mine, and one of my own soldiers under my leadership. I would be the first to agree that war is not a glorious thing or to be advocated. There are unintended consequences and unfathomable suffering that result in war; and it should always be the last option of public policy. Any reference that I made in this blog to my experiences is in response to the unmerited accusation of an anonymous troll, calling me a coward. Perhaps not every attack is worth responding to, but I take such an accusation seriously as an assault on my character and my honor. I will not take such comments lying down, whether online or face-to-face.

                  If you would like to talk further please meet me tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Rialto Cafe downtown, where I will participate in a question and answer session with Fullerton Stories.

                  Respectfully,
                  Matt Rowe

                3. Quick introduction on why Matt is running. More info on the way.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nd9BMYzScdw

                  Your opinion of the military service sounds very personal. Matt spent his weekend running from Gettysburg, PA to Washington D.C. to raise funds for those wounded during their time in service (www.trwb.com). Military service has many laudable qualities that a council person in Fullerton ought to embrace. Among them: Leadership, life-long service, and leaving no one behind. I think that Matt’s dedication and devotion to help those whom he’s never met bodes well for us in Fullerton and goes a long way to separate him, and his role in the service, from anyone on the recall ballot. This past weekend typifies what I believe service to be.

                  I expect Matt to provide this type of tenacity to do good work in Fullerton and promote the betterment of the community at large. If you think that military service doesn’t lend itself well to a quality council person, perhaps you should sit down with Matt and have a cup of coffee to talk about what he’s done and how that can benefit Fullerton. If not Matt, pay a visit to your local VFW and see what they have to say.

                  Your opinion, like your vote, is very personal and important. There’s a little over a month left before the recall election, which isn’t much time to get to know a candidate. Those of us volunteering for Matt are doing so for much simpler reasons than his military service: He’s the right guy for the job. Let’s not distill that service down to a generalization of what you think the military is or isn’t. We agree that you need more to cast your vote and we intend to provide.

      2. Dear “Watcher”. It is obvious that from your “lack of balls” that you are a Chaffee suporter.(birds of a feather) How dare you call a bronze star reciepient, combat war veteran a coward? That is an insult to all war veterans both present and past. I suggest sir that you are the coward. You say that Mr.Rowe’s ” failure to answer”.
        Failure to answer what? You say nothing specific. You mention no specific question unanswered. Furthermore it is not the duty of the candidates to answer every question posed by some nutjob such as yourself. You Mr Watcher are blind and therefore cannot “Watch”. You have no shame.

      3. Isn’t this “Fullerton Watcher” the same bold soul who ridiculed the “butt pirate” that got yanked off the stage at Fullerton High School?

        I’m thinkin Rowe, Rands, Georgieff … from what I’m hearing about Chaffee. Still hope to meet and talk to him and see how cardboard he actually is. Oh and the other little thing of me not living in Fullerton. DAMN. Should move again.

  1. Ironically, a certain type of “community policing” may have been what led to Kelly Thomas being killed. The problem is that it was the downtown Fullerton business community that the police were “partnering” with, and being “pro-active” in this context meant beating a man to death because he was perceived as having the propensity to harass these businesses’ customers.

    “Community policing” might work if the homeless and other down-and-out people are perceived by the police to be of equal intrinsic value to the community as local merchants and top-of-the-hill bluebloods. Most comments on this board made in support of the police (many of them probably by police officers) indicate that is not the case. I can understand how community policing may be a better model than the McKinley/Gates “beat suspects to death and ask questions later” one, but it in of itself is not the solution.

  2. Rowe, Kiger, Rands, Whitaker, and once we get rid of Silva, maybe we can throw Levinson in the mix.

    That gives Fullerton a healthy political balance of intelligent, competent leaders – an independent, a democrat, and two republicans. With Levinson that would be three, but we’d never have the “voting together always” strategy of the three soiled adult diapers.

      1. Yeah who’d want a bunch of intelligent, competent people in there, FPD Kops sure wouldn’t.

        Oh, Jane Rands is a Green.

  3. Finally, a true observation of Mr. Chaffee. He spends so much time and energy saying nothing. He’s not a bad guy, but I just couldn’t handle the council meetings with him droning on and on. We don’t need a wishy washy on our Council. Whitaker and Kiger get straight to the point. Thank you for the post.

  4. Repost form this morning:

    The Daily Titan

    Department focuses on clarity
    By Mark Payne
    Published: April 30, 2012

    “Stuart said the last year has been trying for the Fullerton Police Department, but when you look at their track record versus other agencies, they do a good job.

    “We want people to come down. I’m proud of this department … We are a good department,” Stuart said. “If you look at the number of calls we handle every year and the number of complaints we get in relation to those calls, (they) are minute — they’re infinitesimal.”

    http://www.dailytitan.com/2012/04/department-focuses-on-clarity/
    _____________________________________________________

    I wouldn’t call Kelly Thomas’murder, Dean Gochenour’s in-custody death, or the numerous women sexually abused by FPD cop Rincon infinitesimal.

    Way to spin it Stuart!

    1. One other note from me. None of the positive changes that have taken place in the City Government or the Police Department (Special Training, the Recall, older citizen complaints that now have resulted in charges or other disciplinary actions against officers to name a few actions) would not have ever taken place if not for the efforts of all of the support of angry citizens and Kelly’s Army helping me. Including Tony and this Blog.

      1. Ron,
        You have had my full support along with my undying respect for standing up and leading the fight for your son like you have.

  5. “I am a strong advocate of community oriented policing. In a community oriented policing system, police officers partner with neighborhoods to build trust and positive community relationships. The system generates mutual respect between residents and police. Being pro-active, the focus is on preventing crime, as opposed to merely reacting to it, and results in a safer City.”

    straight from the Orange County Human Relations Commission handbook run by Sharon Kennedy’s brother Rusty Kennedy

  6. The most dangerous people we can ever elect to a public office imaginable are those that wrap themselves in the flag, talk out of both sides of their mouth, stand up for nothing, agree with everything, avoid conflict, avoid real issues and try to placate everyone. They always clandestinely operate to the detriment of the common people. This sounds all too familiar to me. This is a well traveled road in Fullerton. We need to learn from history. Not another deja vous.

    1. You sure hit the proverbial nail on the head with your graphic description of the elderly electorate who should be held responsible for supporting this regime of Rotarian Repuglicans.

  7. This post sums up my reaction to DC’s Observer comment; I read it and said “WTF?”, all the while shaking my head in disbelief

  8. I don’r know why, but when I look at that picture I’m reminded of a blind mole sticking its head out of a hole.

  9. All I see after researching those individuals and groups that contributed to Doug Chaffee in the 2010 City Council election was that 95% of Doug Chaffee’s financial support came from…
    A) Lawyers.

    B) Teachers. (retired and active)

    C) The Democratic party of North Orange County.

    1. and D) all of the above were nowhere to be found when a homeless man was brutally murdered by the Fullerton Police Department and their cohorts engaged in molesting women and framing people. The silence of D) all of the above is deafening.

      1. I saw teachers and liberals out there protesting too. And lawyers like Mardirossian are very helpful when you need to sue the city because the police just beat you up for no reason.

        But I do have to agree that the Democratic party and the Democrats of note were absent. Plenty of leftists and conservatives, but not a lot of centrist Dems, that’s for sure.

  10. “The candidates were all pretty uniform in their responses…” Not quite. Some are more direct than others, and Chaffee isn’t the only one who dodged the question.

  11. Let’s look at the bottom line here.
    Past Fullerton City Councils have continually increased spending and spending commitments (increased union wages, overly generous pensions, redevelopment debt, etc.) as revenues rose, not as need required. Now that the economy has contracted and revenues have decreased, Fullerton is left with spending commitments it cannot afford. We, the citizens, are left holding the bag, and having to clean up the mess.
    Cleaning house and voting out the establishment and not voting in new names that represent the same old establishment ideology (Chaffee) is our only hope for Fullerton’s future.

  12. I read Chaffee’s duck and cover typical noncommital lawyer speak in that Fullerton Observer-at first I was pissed that he wasn’t challenged on his answer, but it’s good to get an honest reply-this is what you would get with him in office…yikes.

    I think there are more Matthew Hakim sentiments …”I would have had the mayor and the other council members on their knees begging the man’s father for forgiveness….”

    And the Golden Douchbag award goes to Pat Mckinley, who goes on to tell us (with the help of Confucius) that there are two things to remember when arriving at a murder scene-one, there is someone who’s dead and two, you didn’t kill the person.

  13. I don’t know why they say that the ‘third time is the charm’.

    I think that for DC it’s ‘fourth times the charm’!!

    Looks tough to beat

  14. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great News !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    The Fullerton Parks and Recreation Commissioners, including Fullerton City Council candidate, Barry Levinson, voted this evening to recommend to the City Council that they vote to re-open the skateboard park located within Independence Park.

    The manner that everyone involved worked together to craft a solution made me proud of our city and our citizens.

    Well done to all those who were involved in making this happen, and a special thanks to Barry Levinson and his fellow Parks Commissioners for making our children a priority.

    Listed below are some of the ways that everyone worked together to get the Skateboard Facility at 800 West Valencia Drive open to the public once again…

    • Graffiti Removal: FSA and Parks and Rec. to host Community “Park Cleanup Day” to paint and refurbish park surface and walls. This would occur on an ongoing, as-needed basis

    • Fencing: Remove and recycle temporary closure fencing

    • Parks and Recreation to remove and replace the back fence with a ten foot tubular steel fence to prevent pedestrian access access along the railroad tracks

    • Access: Open all parking gates to ensure safe access for participants, parents, parks personnel, first responders and
    police.

    • Lights: Get the lights operational to make the area more visible and less attractive to criminal elements

    • Seating: Re-install appropriate seating for skatepark users inside park and spectators outside of park

    • Drinking Fountains: Re-install drinking fountains that were removed before park closure

    • Signage: F.S.A. to partner with Parks and Recreation to develop and donate appropriate signage encouraging safe usage and code of conduct. (F.S.A. has access to computerized sign making router)

    • Criminal Deterrent: Partnership between F.S.A. and local law enforcement focused on limiting vandalism, gang activity, and other criminal activity through extended hours of operation, improved access and lighting, open dialogue, increased awareness from parents & residents and regular police patrols.

    • Stress “Skate at your own risk” approach to allow for a ticket-free skateboard environment

    • Grassroots Community Involvement- Change mentality of users by encouraging participation in ongoing upkeep and improvements. Get citizens involved and active to feel a sense of ownership. Create a vested interest through direct involvement

    • Start Community Garden around perimeter of park to discourage illegal use of facilities during closed hours. This will encourage increased usage of park by Fullerton Residents who will add eyes and ears to help deter vandalism

    • Grand Re-Opening Party: F.S.A. to partner with sponsors and city to host professional demo and BBQ celebrating Grand Re-Opening of Park Facilities

    Long Term Goals:
    • F.S.A. to obtain 501-C3 Non-Profit status to enable members to work on park maintenance and improvements
    • F.S.A. to lease unused land from city to start building additional skateboard facilities in various Fullerton locations
    • F.S.A. to apply for grants or other Community Re-Development Funds for park improvement and expansion
    • F.S.A. and City of Fullerton to host BBQ’s, Bands, Demos, Contests and Raffles as Fund Raisers
    • F.S.A. to continue meetings with City Council and Parks and Recreation to address and remedy any issues that may arise with park operation

    1. It is wonderful to see how intelligent and dedicated people can make things happen. Our young people deserve no less and the residents if this city are going to start to expect it. The bar is being raised and our leaders can either strive to reach for it or hang themselves on it. Thank you to Barry Levinson for keeping your word and to all of the bright creative people who put the needs of the young people in our community at the forefront.

  15. Blind Roy Fullerton :Saying the Fullerton police aren’t as bad as other agency’s is like saying the Nazis aren’t as bad as the SS.

    I had to chuckle, its like Idi Amin’s mother, saying so he ate a coupla kids,and skinned people, but o my word can he play bridge. Agreed!

  16. Fullerton Lover :!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great News !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The Fullerton Parks and Recreation Commissioners, including Fullerton City Council candidate, Barry Levinson, voted this evening to recommend to the City Council that they vote to re-open the skateboard park located within Independence Park.
    The manner that everyone involved worked together to craft a solution made me proud of our city and our citizens.
    Well done to all those who were involved in making this happen, and a special thanks to Barry Levinson and his fellow Parks Commissioners for making our children a priority.
    Listed below are some of the ways that everyone worked together to get the Skateboard Facility at 800 West Valencia Drive open to the public once again…
    • Graffiti Removal: FSA and Parks and Rec. to host Community “Park Cleanup Day” to paint and refurbish park surface and walls. This would occur on an ongoing, as-needed basis
    • Fencing: Remove and recycle temporary closure fencing
    • Parks and Recreation to remove and replace the back fence with a ten foot tubular steel fence to prevent pedestrian access access along the railroad tracks
    • Access: Open all parking gates to ensure safe access for participants, parents, parks personnel, first responders andpolice.
    • Lights: Get the lights operational to make the area more visible and less attractive to criminal elements
    • Seating: Re-install appropriate seating for skatepark users inside park and spectators outside of park
    • Drinking Fountains: Re-install drinking fountains that were removed before park closure
    • Signage: F.S.A. to partner with Parks and Recreation to develop and donate appropriate signage encouraging safe usage and code of conduct. (F.S.A. has access to computerized sign making router)
    • Criminal Deterrent: Partnership between F.S.A. and local law enforcement focused on limiting vandalism, gang activity, and other criminal activity through extended hours of operation, improved access and lighting, open dialogue, increased awareness from parents & residents and regular police patrols.
    • Stress “Skate at your own risk” approach to allow for a ticket-free skateboard environment
    • Grassroots Community Involvement- Change mentality of users by encouraging participation in ongoing upkeep and improvements. Get citizens involved and active to feel a sense of ownership. Create a vested interest through direct involvement
    • Start Community Garden around perimeter of park to discourage illegal use of facilities during closed hours. This will encourage increased usage of park by Fullerton Residents who will add eyes and ears to help deter vandalism
    • Grand Re-Opening Party: F.S.A. to partner with sponsors and city to host professional demo and BBQ celebrating Grand Re-Opening of Park Facilities
    Long Term Goals:• F.S.A. to obtain 501-C3 Non-Profit status to enable members to work on park maintenance and improvements• F.S.A. to lease unused land from city to start building additional skateboard facilities in various Fullerton locations• F.S.A. to apply for grants or other Community Re-Development Funds for park improvement and expansion• F.S.A. and City of Fullerton to host BBQ’s, Bands, Demos, Contests and Raffles as Fund Raisers• F.S.A. to continue meetings with City Council and Parks and Recreation to address and remedy any issues that may arise with park operation

    Those FSA guys, and their supporters did a great job, they worked their asses off, and they had a decent group to work with, now after watching this unfold, I see the problem is the three bald tires…they are the problem.

  17. The Fullerton Watcher :I think you should rethink Rowe. He is a coward and wants to keep the status quo. I think his failure to answer shows his failure to be a true leader

    Watcher. I just can’t think how you could be more wrong. I tried but it is not possible. You must be a Chaffee supporter

  18. Matthew Rowe :
    “So What”,
    You would probably be surprised to find out that you and I agree on some things.

    Yes, we do. Great response to my comment! I appreciate it.

  19. Matthew Rowe :
    “So What”,
    You would probably be surprised to find out that you and I agree on some things. But first, I think you are reading into my comments an assertion that is not there. I never say to vote for me just because I happened to serve in the military. You have to understand that most of my professional life was spent in the military, so that is my record. I take issue with the notion that the military is purely a top-down organization. Yes, it is a hierarchy, but the best leaders in any organization know that they need they buy-in and support of those around them. There are direct orders that are given, but far more often, you have to motivate people and collaborate with various groups to get anything done- even in the Army. Contrary to public perception; it’s not all about blindly following orders.
    Does the military waste a lot of tax dollars? Absolutely. That is systemic. This is because Congress essentially gives the armed forces a blank check every year and is eager to please defense industry lobbyists by granting lucrative contracts for programs that our military itself might not even need. This issue, however, is outside of the scope of the Fullerton Recall in which I am running. I work for a company that makes aerospace systems for the military and commercial customers. It is my job to eliminate waste and make our supply chain leaner. So if you are looking for someone who advocates reducing waste in city government, that is certainly in line with what I hope to accomplish.
    Also, to your comment about pointless wars…I agree in the case of the war in which I served. It’s somewhat paradoxical that even though I believe the decision to go to war was wrong, I am tremendously proud of what my soldiers and I accomplished within a disastrous situation. Members of the armed forces don’t decide whether to go to war; politicians do. I lost several good friends in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 12 of my college classmates (including my first roommate), 3 other friends in the class behind mine, and one of my own soldiers under my leadership. I would be the first to agree that war is not a glorious thing or to be advocated. There are unintended consequences and unfathomable suffering that result in war; and it should always be the last option of public policy. Any reference that I made in this blog to my experiences is in response to the unmerited accusation of an anonymous troll, calling me a coward. Perhaps not every attack is worth responding to, but I take such an accusation seriously as an assault on my character and my honor. I will not take such comments lying down, whether online or face-to-face.
    If you would like to talk further please meet me tomorrow evening at 5:30 p.m. at the Rialto Cafe downtown, where I will participate in a question and answer session with Fullerton Stories.
    Respectfully,
    Matt Rowe

    I hope there’s no hard feelings from our past discussions.

    Had a discussion with a friend about various candidates. Levinson has an accounting background and works as an auditor. With the water tax revenue going away, the City will be hard pressed to come up with the funds to replace it.

    As my friend pointed out, isn’t Levinson much better equipped to detect City Hall “cooking the books” with more illegal tax and revenue transfers?

    What is your response to that?

    1. Thanks for the question Vernon,

      My response is that you don’t have to be an accountant to balance a budget. So much of Fullerton’s fiscal problems have to do with misplaced spending priorities, not accounting errors. The reason that we have half our budget going to the police department is that there are two retired cops on the city council who are looking after their own, at the expense of the public.

      Being an accountant makes someone knowledgeable about financial statements and budgets, but it does not necessarily mean that they will allocate resources to where they should go. I am not speaking about Barry in particular, but my point is that an accountant may know how to balance a budget, but it doesn’t mean they will spend the money wisely. Similarly, Pat McKinley was the retired police chief…using similar logic, one could argue that he is most qualified to reform the Fullerton Police Department. Just because someone’s professional training is in a given field, does not necessarily mean that they will make the best decisions. From a contrarian point of view, one could even argue that a professional accountant would be more skilled at “cooking the books,” as you put it. Again, I’m speaking hypothetically, not about Barry himself. For the most part, I think that Barry and I agree on many of the city’s fiscal issues, including the water tax and renegotiating labor agreements.

      My background is in operations planning and leadership, in public service and the private sector. I think that my experiences will enable me to understand how the city could operate better and which areas are over or under-resourced. Ultimately, each voter has their own reasons for choosing a city council candidate. If you believe that accounting expertise is more important than operational planning or leadership- or vice versa- then that is your call.

      Matt

      1. There’s two parts to this. How the money is budgeted to be spent at the council level and how that actually happens. In the latter case, I guarantee you that nobody presently on the council is competent enough to understand the city’s accounting. If they were, the numbers would be scrutinized in open session.

        Go back and read this post: http://www.fullertonsfuture.org/2012/the-shameful-water-triple-dip/

        The staffers at City Hall know the council isn’t smart enough to catch misappropriated money and you know what, I’m not either. I have two business degrees and took a lot of accounting classes in college, even getting an award from the accounting dept once. Nevertheless, I lack the expertise (and the time) to follow the complex money trail.

        The reason we’ve had an illegal water tax for 15 years is because the City’s accounting is so complex, it is beyond what the average citizen can comprehend. Right now it is entirely possible for a City Accountant to hide millions of dollars without anybody suspecting a thing.

        What really scares me is that nobody exists on the council, or even at the City Manager level, to question the numbers being fed to them. Joe Felz doesn’t have a clue. For all we know, the City could be an extra $500 million in debt and they’ve been lying to us for decades. Nobody can deny this possibility given the lengths they go to to cover other stuff up. So back to the original question.

        Barry’s expertise might be useless for detecting intentional accounting mistakes. I don’t know. And being an auditor doesn’t make him a good auditor. But given the fact he audits something, isn’t that kind of hard to match up to?

          1. I’m leery about the City contracting out a forensic audit. A lot of these places exist because of public corruption and if that corruption were eliminated, they go out of business. I’m skeptical they would do a good job.

            In other words, the City Council should select a forensic auditing firm without Joe Felz or the City Attorney having any input or knowledge who it is or how they perform their audit.

        1. Thanks Vernon. I may not be an accountant, but I am very comfortable with my quantitative abilities. I earned a degree in nuclear engineering. If I can understand neutron diffusion theory, then I am confident that I can follow the city budget, which is posted online for the public to read.

          Best,
          Matt

          1. I don’t expect anybody newly elected to have all the expertise beforehand. Given that it’s a multi-year term with the chance for re-election, sufficient time exists to learn the ropes and at least try to gain an understanding. Would be great for the city and great for you personally to identify to fiscal mismanagement.

            There’s no excuse for Jones and Bankhead after all these years to say, “well, that’s what they told us” to justify their ignorance.

  20. I loved next door to Doug Chaffee for 9 long years on Hickory place in Fullerton. This man is a complete idiot. He was NOT a good neighbor, was a joke in our homeowner’s association meetings and I know for fact would be the nail in the coffin of our city council. For the love of Fullerton, PLEASE DO NOT VOTE THIS MAN INTO OFFICE.

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