The Brea Dam Denial


Trust us, the answers are buried in there somewhere…

Trust us, the answers are buried in there somewhere…

I began to question the City’s management of the Brea Dam in early 2015.

Numerous problems had one thing in common: Joe Felz‘ involvement during his tenure as Parks and Recreation Director, and then, again, during his transition into the City Manager role in 2010.   Who better to ask about these things than Joe himself?  I tried reaching him by e-mail.  After that failed, I tried calling instead.  He never returned my calls either.

Seeing that as a dead end, I requested copies of documentation from Parks & Recreation staff that I believed to be the responsibility of administrative manager Alice Loya.  Her name appeared on numerous City Council and Parks & Recreation agendas pertaining to the Brea Dam.

My initial records request was denied, in part, because they said the records didn’t exist.  I had requested from Ms. Loya very basic budget and profit/loss statements for the Fullerton Golf Course.  That’s when I knew my suspicions of mismanagement had at least some merit.  We pay the golf course expenses, yet Ms. Loya, whose job it is to supervise these things, could not produce anything of substance to justify the overall financial performance.  She instead offered what I’ve termed monthly invoicing “bundles”, so I requested a full 12 months.  This was the only way to reconcile financial performance over a full fiscal year.  I would later be shamed by the Fullerton Observer for making that request and others.  After all, I was wasting precious City staff time.

Over the summer of 2015, some friends and I studied these documents in depth, and we each came to the conclusion that something is very, very wrong up there. So wrong that, unless corrected, the US Army Corps of Engineers could revoke the lease and evict the City of Fullerton.  That could potentially force the closure of the Fullerton Golf Course, Fullerton Tennis Center, Fullerton Sports Complex, YMCA, Child Guidance Center, and Fullerton Community Nursery School — all of which occupy Brea Dam land leased from the Federal Government.  The Feds could also sue the City for failing to remit revenue.  Believe it or not, we could also face the wrath of the IRS because the bonds we sold to replace the golf course sprinkler system came with strings attached to the interest subsidy the City receives from the Feds. The list of problems just goes on and on and on…

I organized our findings as best I could and published everything to the web in the Fall of 2015.  I purposely tried to keep the website low-profile with the hope the City would find it desirable to fix these issues on their own.   I didn’t want to sound alarm bells with the Army Corps of Engineers.  I reasoned that it was best for the City to ask for forgiveness now instead of begging for mercy from the Federal Government later.

Not surprisingly, the City, in full damage control mode — and with the help of Councilwoman Jan Flory and the Fullerton Observer — tried to make this story all about me.  Behind closed doors, City staff overheard Joe Felz and current Parks and Recreation Director Hugo Curiel telling people I was clueless, to just ignore me, etc.  Over several months the City fed information to Sharon Kennedy, which later appeared in the Fullerton Observer, in hopes of discrediting me. Some of the info was stuff I never disputed in the first place, while other information contradicted official City documents, assertions by City staff, and even earlier issues of the Fullerton Observer.  It was laughable.

My concerns went before the Parks and Recreation Commission in early 2016.  Hugo Curiel made sure to discredit me with individual commissioners to ensure they would both protect the status quo and be in attack mode.  He even told the commission at a regular meeting that I didn’t have the ability to understand the documentation I was provided.  Never mind the fact that at the same meeting, much of what he and Alice Loya said didn’t corroborate with the City’s own documents.

The City’s primary defense for every concern I raised?   David Curlee is wrong…because we said so. 

I have no problem admitting I’m wrong.  In fact, I wish I was wrong about everything, but the City’s own documentation (or lack thereof) says otherwise.  In the case of contracts and leases, words are written on paper for a reason.  The City wants everyone to believe those words have no merit because they’ve been superseded by verbal understandings and their own twisted interpretations that not even a 5th grader would accept.

Stay tuned for upcoming posts as I break this down further.

More about , , , ,

  1. #1 by Porkchop on December 4, 2016

    Huh? Bonds to pay for SPRINKLERS?

    You’re kidding, right?

    • #2 by Bond Salesman on December 4, 2016

      Oooh yeah.

    • #3 by Lab Rat on December 4, 2016

      Yep.

      And by the time the bonds are paid off in 2031, the total cost will be over $5 million.

  2. #4 by The Ghost of Prof. Habermeyer on December 4, 2016

    Everything you say here about the dam has the ring of truth to it.

    Joe Felz got to be City Manager by being perceived as a useful drone by Shawn Nelson. It was just about the only thing Nelson ever got right. And I seriously doubt Alice Loya or Hugo Curiel could tell the difference between a balance sheet and a Baltimore oriole.

    And you got Flory all figured out. She’s just as ignorant and mean as the people she claims are the “heart of Fullerton” – the city bureaucrats.

    There is nothing to be added about Sharon Kennedy and the screed she publishes – it’s all been said on the blog. The funny thing about die hard city hall supporters is that they have no sense of honor or shame. Inside the walls, indeed.

  3. #5 by Joe Sipowicz on December 4, 2016

    There may be a lot of secrets buried under that brown sludge.

  4. #6 by Johnny Donut on December 4, 2016

    ” I would later be shamed by the Fullerton Observer for making that request.”

    Hah! That’s one way to know you’re on to something. If the Observer protests, carry on.

    • #7 by Joe Sipowicz on December 4, 2016

      Exactly. Sharon Kennedy’s sole purpose s to defend City Hall. She’s carrying on the legacy of her dear departed father who in the end came to be a huge drum-beater for Fullerton’s government bureaucrats. It became reflexive after the 1994 Recall. And that’s why these people like Flory and Ackerman and Kennedy hate people who have the temerity to question their own government.

    • #8 by Poe on December 4, 2016

      Yes but what did they say about you in the Informer?

      • #9 by Fullerton Lover on December 4, 2016

        …rather than engaging in subtle innuendo Poe, why didn’t you do your own research, and find for yourself that Joe Imbriano and his Fullerton Informer heaped praise on David Curlee?

        …Well, the Brea dam story has finally been broken by David Curlee. He is an extremely brave, intelligent and conscientious Fullerton resident who has really done his homework and he has just scratched the proverbial surface.

        His website http://breadam.org/ Cronyism, Corruption, and Incompetence in the City of Fullerton, CA reads like a book on the tricks of the trade employed by some in Fullerton City Government who I believe have clearly violated the public trust that has possibly put the Fullerton Sports Complex, The YMCA, The Fullerton Golf course, and the rest of the facilities located on, the people employed by them, and the people that use the 200 plus acres owned by The US Army Core of Engineers in jeopardy. The agreement that the city entered into whereby the land being set aside for the public benefit and enjoyment is revocable if certain conditions are not met or certain provisions are violated.

        The information presented by Mr. Curlee appears to justify a possible revocation and is deeply disturbing to say the least. No matter how you slice it, we deserve better from our public employees and our elected representatives. Share this information and let the city council know how you feel next Tuesday starting at 6:30 pm at City Hall. Let them know that they will be held accountable.

        DAVID CURLEE HAS DONE HIS HOMEWORK FOR ALL OF FULLERTON TO SEE AND FOR ALL OF US TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”

      • #10 by Fullerton Lover on December 4, 2016

        …rather than engaging in subtle innuendo Poe, why didn’t you do your own research, and find for yourself that Joe Imbriano and his Fullerton Informer heaped praise on David Curlee?

        …Well, the Brea dam story has finally been broken by David Curlee. He is an extremely brave, intelligent and conscientious Fullerton resident who has really done his homework and he has just scratched the proverbial surface.

        His website http://breadam.org/ Cronyism, Corruption, and Incompetence in the City of Fullerton, CA reads like a book on the tricks of the trade employed by some in Fullerton City Government who I believe have clearly violated the public trust that has possibly put the Fullerton Sports Complex, The YMCA, The Fullerton Golf course, and the rest of the facilities located on, the people employed by them, and the people that use the 200 plus acres owned by The US Army Core of Engineers in jeopardy. The agreement that the city entered into whereby the land being set aside for the public benefit and enjoyment is revocable if certain conditions are not met or certain provisions are violated.

        The information presented by Mr. Curlee appears to justify a possible revocation and is deeply disturbing to say the least. No matter how you slice it, we deserve better from our public employees and our elected representatives. Share this information and let the city council know how you feel next Tuesday starting at 6:30 pm at City Hall. Let them know that they will be held accountable.

        DAVID CURLEE HAS DONE HIS HOMEWORK FOR ALL OF FULLERTON TO SEE AND FOR ALL OF US TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.”

  5. #11 by The Adversary on December 4, 2016

    You tried to keep your website low profile in hopes that the city would fix the issues on their own? I’m glad you finally put away the peyote.

    • #12 by Disillusioned Ex-hippy on December 4, 2016

      I’d didn’t quite get that.

      But at least now the author knows what he’s dealing with.

  6. #13 by 15511 on December 4, 2016

    HaHAha, this is good stuff

    I work for the City and watched Hugo blow a gasket when you did the web site last year. David Curley You own Hugo and Joe Felz so much it’s not even funny. Hugo’s angry temper boiled over that entire week. Joe tries to bury his frustration like that Serenity NOw episode of Seinfeld. He pretends stuff doesn’t bother him but it’s a matter of time before he loses his marbles

    KEep it up, they deserve every bit of this

    • #14 by Dr. Reinhold Ott's Former Student on December 5, 2016

      “…but it’s a matter of time before he loses his marbles”

      Hard to say. He seems to me like a man who is playing with the house’s money. Of course he may have been tempering one behavioral issue with another – strong drink.

  7. #15 by Martin B on December 5, 2016

    Which one is Watch Commander Goodrich? I don’t see any donut delivery requests.

(will not be published)