Recall Election Candidates Forum

Here is the League of Women Voter’s Recall candidates forum held last night. It was held in three shifts, one for each city council seat being contested. To his credit, Sleepy Don Bankhead actually showed up to try to explain his 25 year record of failure. The two other Recall targets, Pat McKinley and Doc Jones flipped the LWV The Bird by not even bothering to show up to defend their misrule.

60 Replies to “Recall Election Candidates Forum”

  1. I thought She-Bear was pro-women, oh wait sorry the League of Women Voters must not be the right kind of women

  2. Ecclesiastes 8:11 “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.”

    1. Okay, so he doesn’t know what Laura’s law is. He also doesn’t know what he had for dinner or what all the fuss is about Kelly Thomas or why everybody is suddenly making a big deal about that 10% thingy.

      Mmm. Pudding cups.

      1. Correct me if I am wrong, but it looked like Councilman Bankhead had one police escort there. I hardly doubt FPD does security work for the League of Woman Voters. So if that is true, atleast he knows his life could be in danger. Too bad he doesn’t know why.

    2. It was hilarious and a few minutes later, Netherlands backpedaling begins. How could he not know? It’s come up at several of the council meetings, not just by us but Sharon and Bruce have mentioned it, too. Oh wait…he’s the one who naps up there, isn’t he?

      1. Sher – I watch the council meetings through UVerse; there is someone (male) on an open microphone who can be heard breathing heavily or lightly snoring – I think it’s bonehead.

        I can’t decide if McKinley and “Dick” Jones have decided they won’t prevail (given absence from candidate forums and apparent lack of “vote for” signs) or if they are arrogant enough to think Fullerton voters are not going to recall them.

        I know several folks (all homeowners – reference a post elsewhere!) from the Senior Center who don’t care for the three “elder statesmen”, esp. not “Dick” Jones who at some point made a comment during a meeting about the renovations that proximity to the railroad tracks didn’t matter “because they are all deaf”.

  3. I currently don’t have time to watch this diatribe…I already know who to vote for and can’t wait for election day. RECALL YES!!!

  4. Yawn…if you have something to spew…you must be a McKinley or Chaffee supporter. Or is that one and the same? No idea if any of the candidates have had a bk. But unless it occurred from recklessness, who cares. Really…unless someone blows money instead of meeting their financial obligations or files for bk protection to screw business associates or others…what business is someone’s misfortune to us? I’m more interested in why one occurred which has yet to be provided every time you drop this.

  5. Holy crap, did I just hear Sleepy say he wasn’t really sure what Laura’s law was when asked if he would give it local support? His answer-probably not.
    yes I did.

    Laura’s law was a huge issue in several council meetings-This proves he doesn’t pay any attention at council meetings or to anyone who speaks.
    He Just hears Charlie Brown’s teacher. waa waa waa.

  6. The lack of discussion of individual candidates, here, is telling…..

    What do you all think of some of the less known candidates like Matt Hakim, Rick Alveraz, and Sean Paden?

    1. That they all need to do a better job of getting their message across to the local electorate.

      An electorate relying on glossy campaign flyers, sponsored by the Fullerton Police and Firefighters Officers Association is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    2. Hakim came across very sincere but he has no real plan of action. He would be better suited on a committee working with others. Alvarez seems like the same ol’, same ol’ just wrapped in a different package.

        1. Very sincere family man that is genuinely concerned about the state that Fullerton finds itself in. Not as specific on how to affect change as I would like my candidate to be.

  7. It’s a good thing FFFF was there to record this forum. How else would anyone have had access to what was said unless they had been in attendance? In other election cycles the city council chambers have been used for such forums, and the city’s video and broadcast system utilized to bring the proceedings to residents watching at home–and even rerun later for those who might have missed it.

  8. #24:

    I can understand your impression. We were given a total of 6 questions with one minute to answer each and specificity is difficult in that context, at least if you want to wrap up your thoughts coherently within the time alotted.

    One position I would have liked to have discussed was for the city to consider competitive bidding for paramedic services. Our city obviously needs a fire department, but utilizing the FD to ferry paramedics to medical emergencies is a huge waste of money, unless the person requiring medical attention has also spontaneously combusted, which is pretty rare, I suspect.

    For reforming the Fullerton PD, I am frustrated by state law which impedes what I belive would be the best solution: placing all officer misconduct administrative opinions online for the public to view, complete with a formal opinion analazying the factual allegations, evidence, which witnesses were deemed more credible and the appropriate punishment, along with the supporting evidence. Since this issue is off the table until our Penal Code is reformed, I am onboard with a Citizens Advisory Committee, despite my loathing of creating yet another committee when we should be reducing our government. I would make the following caveats: #1) The committee members should be appointed by the City Council, not the Police Department; #2) the Committee should review and advise on appropriate response for actual use of force complaints, not just department procedures; and #3) the Committee should have standing to appeal decisions directly to the City Council should it disagree with the eventual decision by the Department.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Excellent answers Mr. Paden. I honestly believe that you care deeply about our city’s future, and that you would be a straight shooter as a city councilman,

      As an aside, I too believe that the paramedics are extremely unnecessary on the majority of calls that they respond to, and I also believe, that they have grossly failed us and themselves, by failing to report instances of police brutality involving the FPD.

      1. FL. Think realistically. They aren’t there when force is used. They get there after. Them and Doctors could report anything they want but any use of force is reported and documented thoroughly. So it goes back to good command staff looking at each report and complaint the best they can. People wont always be happy, as you can see by the LASO complaint article recently posted. A large amount of complaints are Bs and reported back and documented accordingly. Yea I know. Outside investigations etc. all comes down to money. California a broke broken state.

    2. Paden.

      The more common practice is to hire a private company to do the transports only. That can fly anywhere. Then you have the fire department with medics and then the ambulance company that doesn’t treat. Just assists and transports. Saves a ton of money.

  9. Sean Paden :
    One position I would have liked to have discussed was for the city to consider competitive bidding for paramedic services. Our city obviously needs a fire department, but utilizing the FD to ferry paramedics to medical emergencies is a huge waste of money, unless the person requiring medical attention has also spontaneously combusted, which is pretty rare, I suspect.

    This position doesn’t make any sense.

    Paramedics double as firefighters. If you outsourced the paramedic duties, the paramedics would have to be replaced, at least partially, by other firefighters to fill out the crew on each engine.

    A lot of paramedic responses involve traffic accidents. Under your proposal, they would have to dispatch separate fire and paramedic crews any time there is possible entrapment. The same scenario applies to medical aid of any type in residential or commercial settings with limited access.

  10. How does that cost us more money?

    Remember, if the fire department responds to a purely medical emergency they still have to dispatch an ambulance, since they cannot transfer the patient to the hospital. In the cases where a fire truck was needed for other reasons we would have exactly the same number of vehicles responding to the call as we do now (2 trucks and one ambulance). The only difference is the paramedics would be riding in the ambulance instead of the fire truck. In other words, there would be no additional cost even in those situations you are talking about.

    1. The number of engines or trucks assigned to a call depends on a number of factors. Paramedic calls don’t require 2 engines, the reason multiple engines sometimes respond is because:

      1. The closest engine is not a paramedic unit, so they dispatch both, if both are available depending on the urgency of the call. (Note: Only half of Fullerton’s fire engines are paramedic units)

      2. The medical aid call is upgraded to ALS (advanced life support) by a non-paramedic unit, so a paramedic engine is dispatched.

      The paramedics already ride in the ambulance when an ALS patient is transported to the hospital. That’s why you see the engine following the ambulance up to St. Jude all the time. The other firefighters on the crew are going to pick up the paramedics.

      Fullerton, like many OC cities, contracts the ambulance service out to CARE Ambulance. The ambulance is staffed by EMT’s not paramedics that work for CARE. They are never dispatched to a medical aid call by themselves.

  11. All correct, but if the City could competitively bid for paramedic services then the EMT providers who bid on the proposal could hire paramedics themselves and staff them on their ambulances. Thus, no need for the fire department to act as a de facto (and very expensive) taxi service for those purely medical calls.

  12. And just in anticipation of your likely response, I do understand that there are some important legal hurdles that would need to be followed. OCEMS is ultimately responsible for approval of EMT-P providers in Orange County and in order for Fullerton to be able to bid for an EMT provider to provide paramedic services as well it would first need to ensure that the ambulance service it wished to use was approved by OCEMS. The City of Costa Mesa attempted to do exactly what I’m proposing about a year ago and the entire proposal fell apart because the ambulance service they were seeking to assist in obtaining OCEMS approval pulled out of the deal under political pressure.

    So, yes, this would be a fairly difficult reform from a political standpoint, along with a number of other reforms advocated at the debates, including pension reform. But that shouldn’t be the point: if a reform makes sense from a fiscal/ policy standpoint the priority should be in creating the political consensus for the reform, not lamenting how difficult it will be to accomplish.

    1. LAFD does something along these lines, except that the paramedics are employed by LAFD.

      I don’t know the legalities of using private paramedics for 911 responses. Who would be responsible if they make a mistake, their employer or the City of Fullerton? And would the standard of care be just as good, I don’t know.

      Going back to the Fullerton scenario, the three paramedic engines have a crew of 4, while the other engines have (I think) a crew of 3. If you removed the two paramedic positions, you still need a third man on the engine.

      In other words, the net staffing reductions would be 3 firefighter/paramedic positions (one per engine) which amounts to several employees. With the amount of money you’d have to pay a private paramedic company, I question if there would be any cost savings at all.

  13. Those are all good questions but my key point is that we should consider this as a proposal. I suspect it would save a great deal since the majority of Fire Dept. calls are medical only and benefit packages for EMP-P paramedics would be dictated by the market, rather than through “negotiations” by union backed Council Members. But first impressions can be misleading and I agree it would need to be studied first before making committing to this as course of action.

    1. Did OCEMS give its approval for private medics? I know the Costa Mesa deal fell through but I don’t recall why.

      I have a friend who used to be a private paramedic in San Diego County. He quit and went back to college because he couldn’t make it go with the low wages. So yeah, there’s a colossal difference in pay. He says there is high turnover and only the desperate or independently wealthy folks hang around for very long.

  14. #36: No the OCEMS didn’t, unfortunately. The EMT provider pulled their request before approval could be granted, apparently due to pressure from the Costa Mesa FD.

    Also, regarding your earlier comment on the potential savings versus potential cost increases, medical calls outnumber fire calls by a margin of 5 to 1, so the potential savings would appear to be be substantial, even allowing for the occasional medical call in which fire service was needed.

    #37: I agree, and that’s part of the benefit of a EMT-P system. Without so many medical calls taking filling up Department time it would be harder to justify the 24 hour shifts.

    1. I lost you there, Sean. How do you figure there would be substantial cost savings since the medical calls outweigh other calls? Are you suggesting the City close fire stations?

      Every time there is a decent fire in Fullerton, it requires the Truck, and four or five Engines. Without 24-hour staffing, how would Fullerton have enough manpower in these situations? Also, fire stations 1, 2, 3, and 5 respond to car accidents on the 57 and 91 freeways. I believe there are state/federal staffing requirements for a city of this size, that would prohibit the staffing reductions that you seem to be advocating.

      And even if I’m wrong on that point, if you reduced staffing or closed fire stations permitting the response times to swell from 3-5 minutes up to 8-10 minutes, the city would be exposed to a firestorm of litigation. This is a trial lawyer’s dream for the person whose house burned down, or whose family member died in a car crash because they weren’t extricated fast enough.

  15. #39: I’m not proposing we close fire stations, as the major capital investments have already been made. And I can understand the benefit of some 24 hour staffing. However, with less calls coming in there would be less of a need to have 24 hour shifts staffed to the same level we currently have.

    I would propose investigating what level they could safely be reduced to given the sharp reduction in calls that would need to be made and to determine what savings could be utilized from that reduction. That factor isn’t a 1 to 1 raio — a 50% reduction in call volume would not justify a 50% reduction in the work force, but it would justify some reduction and I’d like to determine how much money the City could save by studying the matter.

    Anyhow, its time for me to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’ll have to wayt till tomorrow to pick up this conversation if you still want to.

    1. I personally wouldn’t waste my time with arguing with the Fire Department apologists.

      These guys are just as dirty as the cops.

      1. You made a similar comment the other day. Why the dislike for the fire department? I can understand if their pay/pensions bother you, but why are they “just as dirty”?

        1. Maybe “dirty” was a bad choice of words.

          How about “complicit”?

          Just my opinion.

            1. I believe that the court system is currently addressing your question, and we’ll all have to see how justice plays out.

              1. I have no idea what you’re referring to. The court system? How justice plays out?

                I’m confused. What has the fire department done wrong?

    2. I need to duck out of here pretty quick myself, but I will say this:

      1. As I explained above, when a major fire breaks out, it requires the response of Fullerton’s only truck (Truck 1) and multiple engines. We have 6 firehouses and each houses one engine only, with the exception of Station 1 which also houses Truck 1 and USAR 1.
      Whichever engines are not sent to the fire are responsible for the rest of the city should a medical aid, traffic accident, or fire call come in.

      2. As far as I know, there are no extra employees hanging around at the fire stations, only the minimum necessary to staff the rig, which breaks down as follows:

      Non-paramedic engines:
      -Fire Captain
      -Fire Engineer

      Paramedic engine:
      -Fire Captain
      -Fire Engineer

      3. Given that information, if you reduced staffing levels, effectively removing engines from service, you might end up with no remaining engines should another 911 call come in. Mutual aid from adjacent cities is available to an extent, but you can’t rely on Anaheim, Brea or OCFA to bail Fullerton out on a regular basis simply because Fullerton wants to save money.

      4. There’s no way to predict when a fire or medical aid call is received. The nature of fire and EMS work is based on unpredictable events. We wouldn’t need the fire department if fires, traffic accidents, heart attacks, etc could be predicted and dealt with in advance.

      So I don’t know how you could reduce staffing based on the time of day. A lot of structure fires break out at night after employees have left work or people are asleep at home. Similarly, a lot of medical aid calls come in at night because there’s no way to contact the doctor at 2:00am.

      On the flip side, people are active during the day, and that activity leads to car accidents, fires, workplace accidents/injuries, and other medical emergencies just the same.

      1. How does the shared duties (for want of a better term) contract with Brea not help with extra engines and a truck in such situations? Or does “sharing” not extend to where apparatus are used during major fires?

        Is there not any “mutual aid” agreement with OCFA? Anaheim? La Habra? for such situations?

        1. Fullerton and Brea Fire Departments are not completely merged (yet). Only the administration duties are combined into one with Fullerton’s management overseeing both departments.

          They have mutual aid agreements with adjacent cities that are exercised on a daily basis, most commonly with OCFA (Buena Park & Placentia), Anaheim, or Brea.

  16. #53:

    Keep in mind that the Fire Dept handled 5100 calls in 1996 (the last year information is available on the city website). That works out to 14 medical calls per day, the vast majority of which, I suspect could have been handled strictly by an EMT-P.

    I couldn’t find a study indicating how long these medical calls take but if the time from response to delivery of first aid to transfter to the hospital runs 100 minutes on average then, statistically speaking, at least one fire truck is handling a medical call somewhere in the City, and there is a possibility that 2 or 3 need to be available to handle emergency calls and still be available for fire emergencies. Given that, I believe there is at least a strong possibility that the City could achieve substantial savings under an EMT-P system without undermining public safety.

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