Proving That Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Tricks

Here’s the title of Sylvia Mudrick’s press release describing Tuesday night’s council action with regard to Fullerton’s illegal 10% water tax: “Council approves eliminating franchise fee on water rates.” That’s not true. Yes, the council voted to stop transferring the illegal tax to the city’s General Fund, but they most certainly did not approve to eliminate the franchise fee on water rates – just the transfer, which means we will keep paying the illegal tax into some sort of escrow fund until a Prop 218 hearing can be held – the Prop 218 hearing that should have been held 15 years ago! Of course in the meantime there is no legal requirement to hold a Prop 218 hearing to quit collecting the 10%; and it looks like Quirky and Whitaker got sideswiped on the scam that will put another $400,000 in the escrow account as City manager Joe Felz tries to cook up a scheme to hang on to as much of that annual $2,500,000 he can.

But back to Mudrick: of course she has been happily peddling pro-city baloney for years, and as a retiree she is still doing it, now as a double-dipper.

The worst part of the press release is the bogus recitation of the history of the water tax, conveniently omitting the fact that periodic complaints have been coming from citizens since at least the early 1990s. Syl would have you believe that it was the City that brought this scam to light and that they have been proactive. Wrong. The City has been hiding this massive scam for decades; the tax has been patently illegal since 1997,  and everybody in authority in City Hall knew it, a fact curiously omitted by our highly pensioned and still remunerated Public Misinformation Officer.


PRESS RELEASE #09312               4/18/2012

Subject :Council approves eliminating franchise fee on water rates
Contact :Sylvia Palmer Mudrick, Public Information Coordinator, Fullerton City Manager’s Office
(714) 738-6317

The Fullerton City Council voted at its Tuesday (April 17) meeting to eliminate the transfer of a franchise fee charged on water rates in the city, effective May 1.

The water franchise fee was first adopted in 1968 when the council assessed a fee of 2 percent of the Water Fund as a means of reimbursing the costs to the city’s general fund for operating a water utility.  The fee was raised to 10 percent in 1970.

In fiscal 2010-11, the city’s general fund received approximately $2.5 million from the water franchise fee.

The franchise fee came under review in 2009-10 at the conclusion of a five-year water rate study.  At that time, the council formed an Ad Hoc Water Rate Advisory Committee composed of citizens who were tasked with studying all facets of operation of the city water system.

In conjunction with its action Tuesday, the council directed the Ad Hoc Water Rate Advisory Committee to study and make recommendations on a method for the city to charge for the direct cost of operating the water system.

In addition, the council asked the committee to make recommendations on a method for reimbursing citizens for the actual cost of the franchise fee paid for the past three years.

Further information about the council action may be obtained by calling the Fullerton City Clerk’s Office at (714) 738-6350.  Further information about the franchise fee and the water rate study may be obtained by calling the Fullerton Water Engineering Office at (714) 738-6845.

21 Replies to “Proving That Old Dogs Can’t Learn New Tricks”

  1. In addition to the point that there is a difference between eliminating TRANSFER and eliminating the actual FEE-as the above post states,
    the word ILLEGAL is nowhere in this press release-I see PR spin exactly like the propaganda Quick-Silver spewed out last tuesday at the meeting.

    “The franchise fee came under review in 2009-10 at the conclusion of a five-year water rate study. At that time, the council formed an Ad Hoc Water Rate Advisory Committee composed of citizens who were tasked with studying all facets of operation of the city water system.”

    I just hope someone is watching the “escrow” account closely.
    (The escrow account Mckinley requested instead of elimination as he didnt want to act hastily-I believe “knee jerk” is the word he used)

  2. Update on Sara Page:

    My Sweet, Precious Angel was laid to rest today at Forest Lawn, in the city of Cypress. I was honored that Merijoe attended the services, so thank you so much for your kind, warm gesture.
    My babydoll looked wonderful, as she always did. She was a fighter to the end, and will always be in my heart and soul.
    She so loved life, and would want me to move on, so I will; begrudgingly, but I will. I will take the love, caring, thoughtfulness, and can-do attitude she taught me, and use it to better myself and my life. She is with the Lord now, so I know she will be eternally safe. I will be very happy when it is my time for us to meet again, then, we will be complete once more.
    Take care everyone, and fight the good fight..David.

    1. Stay strong David, as we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.
      Sara is clothed in white, completely at peace, and completely loved beyond measure.

      Don’t forget to laugh as that is what her name means, laughter.
      You will be in my prayers
      God bless

    2. David, I’m sure Sara is looking down at you, beaming with pride at your strength through this time. I continue to send positive energies to both you.
      Be well and take care.

  3. David,
    I’m so very sorry that an angel like Sara has left this earth to be at peace with the rest of the angels.
    I am very confident that Sara would want us to continue our fight, and stand up when no one else will, for what is right.

  4. how will the city of fullerton return the money they stole with its illegal water tax to the residents? why do I sense another ad hoc committee to obscure this fact?
    as for Murdick’s efforts to keep the public informed of the truth, she shows herself in her reporting to be a filthy liar hiding behind pudgy sweetness.

  5. I am really amazed by this press release. Does it mirror the confusion of the City Council, or the chicanery of the the City Manager and City Attorney?


    Attorney Jones should have been fired years ago. He has NEVER placed the good of the people first – rather the comfort of the city staff.

  6. I am glad that you caught this “detail.” There is a difference between suspending the transfer of water funds and eliminating the practice all together. Ordinarily I would favor using the otherwise skimmed-off funds for making up ground on what’s now a 400 year pipe replacement schedule together with a new cost of service approach. However, the DIY audit the City Manager is proposing to the Water Rate Adhoc Committee to set up his version of cost of service is defying incredulity. I hope that Whitaker and Quirk-Silva succeed in the upcoming consideration of their motion to eliminate the transfer practice all together. With the City Manager’s passive aggressive tactics, only starting from scratch will allow the city to get this right.

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