The Great Disappearing Mayor’s Assistant

It was there a minute ago…

Magicians have been making things disappear for a long time. In fact it’s a staple of the repertoire. Making a public employee position come and go is harder. That’s because in a public agency budgeted positions, like money, have to be approved by the governing board in the first place. And once budgeted they never go away.

The pageant is over…

And yet somehow, during the year of her re-election bid, lobbyist-mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald demanded, and got, a special assistant from Joe Felz to help her with her mayoral chores, without getting any authorization from the city council to create a new position.

The individual in question is called Gladys Blankenship, who is probably a very nice person. Here she describes the scope of her “official” position on Linkedin. Check out the second bullet point. The rest is ginned up bureaucratic nonsense.


  • Executive Assistant, Assistant to Mayor of Fullerton, Assistant to Economic Development Manager

    City of Fullerton
    – Present (1 year 1 month)

    • Participate in special projects to develop and implement new processes, develop and standardize practices, assist in streamlining methods for improving existing ordinance and procedures
    Schedule and prepare all appointments and meetings for the Mayor of Fullerton
    • Provide office support for Mayor, City Manager and Economic Development Manager
    • Provide research for ongoing projects being presented to City Council
    • Provide knowledge and personal opinions on subject matters being presented in City Council and Economic Development Commission meetings
    • Perform clerical duties requiring the application of subject matter knowledge and interpretation of policies, rules and procedures
    • Provide assistance in preparation of draft and/or final form of material such as, memoranda, letters, reports, requests, etc., as assigned
    • Check, compile and assemble records information in preparation for City Council meetings
    • Assist in preparing and distributing agendas and related materials to various committees
    • Maintain and update ongoing projects, records and office filing systems for both the Economic Development Department and Commission
    • Provide information, including explanation of policies, procedures, rules and regulations, to City personnel and general public
    • Copy, file and appropriately dispose of sensitive documents
    • Record actions of meetings attended and transcribe taped records into minute format
    • Maintain subject matter files and records
    • Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook

Looks like the deal was supposed to be that once Fitzgerald was safely re-elected, Ms. Blankenship would be quietly moved to another department where, presumably, a vacant budgeted slot existed to receive her tab. And we may safely infer that deal, since that is precisely what has happened; and Ms. Blankenship’s previous job has not been filled, nor will it be under new mayor, Bruce Whitaker.

Ms. Fitzgerald spent a lot of time during the election year lying about Fullerton’s allegedly balanced budget. It isn’t balanced, and hasn’t been for five years – ever since she came on to the city council. And now we discover that while the tide of red ink was rising ever higher, Fitzgerald demanded, and got, an employee all to herself.


17 Replies to “The Great Disappearing Mayor’s Assistant”

  1. Working for Jennifer Fitzgerald and Nichole Bernard sounds pretty terrible. Hopefully her new job is better.

    Where does Fitz get off demanding her own employee? The Fullerton mayor has no extra power over the other councilmembers. Shouldn’t they have been consulted?

    1. The mayor’s duties in Fullerton are ceremonial. There are no additional requirements of the position separate from that of council member.

      One particular council member should not be allowed to demand special staffing, at least not without a discussion from the rest of the council. This is an arrogant and wasteful expense. Has Mrs. Fitzgerald said anything about this?

      1. “Has Mrs. Fitzgerald said anything about this?”

        Not that I’ve heard, but it’s bound to come when she runs for her inevitable next office. Why didn’t it get out this fall?

        1. “Why didn’t it get out this fall?”

          Her council cohorts are slow to blow the whistle. Maybe they thought nobody was listening. Or maybe they were just enjoying the smooth ride.

  2. Bernard needs a good assistant too. She is very busy as member of many boards raising charitable funds from the same individuals and companies enriched by the city. Did she learn the lobbying and networking business from master Fitzgerald or her friend Felz?

  3. There is an interconnectedness between my ears and my nose , such, that when I hear the name Nichole Bernard I smell porn. My sharp senses hardly misguide me

  4. “and Ms. Blankenship’s previous job has not been filled”

    Technically it couldn’t be filled until it was budgeted. As the article infers, it appears that the job never technically existed in the first place.

  5. It’s no wonder Fitzgerald was crying at the news of Joe’s departure. He really bent over backwards to make her happy, screwing over the taxpayer on her behalf. Now that he’s gone, her schemes will unravel pretty quickly.

  6. Gladys is a nice person. Too bad she had to work for the tyrant Jennifer Fitzgerald.

    Jennifer was recently overheard plotting her campaign for OC Supervisor while attempting to muster up Korean money and support.

  7. Economic Development Manager? Who is that? Was that one of Felz’s hats that raised his pay-grade? That’s as much a joke as the Code Enforcement Manager hat that Haluza wears. Fullerton Department managers wear many hats that mean absolutely nothing but pay extra.

  8. We here at City Hall can’t believe Gladys has survived this long. She’s a tough woman and everybody I know respects her. Fitzgerald + Bernard + Felz looking over her shoulder is the worst form of cruel and unusual punishment and I wouldn’t wish that on anybody.

  9. great stories that I never hear about in “fullerton Stories” paper. I remeber when to FFFF subscription was available for kindle, but notice its not accesible anymore. I Think it was Travis K. who set that up.

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