$1.6 Million Stairs to Nowhere

Comically happy rendering by overpriced design “consultant”

The City’s budget is a total disaster and so are our streets. But Fullerton’s Parks and Rec visionaries would like us to know that construction is underway on a brand new set of 3 stairs. From Lion’s Field to Hillcrest Park. The cost is $1.6 million worth of small change that fell into the cushions of Joe Felz’s municipal couch, and that interim City manager  Allan Roeder will no doubt tell us isn’t worth worrying about.

Not Roeder’s first rodeo…

Here’s a PR article in the Register.

A typical bureaucracy driven idea that nobody wanted – a very familiar tale indeed for poor, neglected Hillcrest Park. The most idiotic part of the story is a quotation from Hugo Curiel, the drone in charge of the City’s parks:

“They can use (the stairs) leisurely, also for exercise, in a positive way. The stairs will open the floodgates from Lions Field into Hillcrest Park.” 

Apart from the hilarious malaprop (floodgates don’t open to release anything uphill!) the idea that there is a line of people waiting to somehow access Hillcrest Park from the fake turf playing fields of Lions Field is ridiculous.

But if you read the article you will find something a bit more sinister: city staff blaming the state of Hillcrest Park’s botany on the drought. That is an outright lie. The park’s dying plant life and the resultant erosion on the north and west flanks of the hillsides have been going on since the 1980s –  even as the City under the “guidance” of Susan Hunt and Joe Felz wasted all sorts of money on “studies” and an event center and other useless projects.

A pile of dirt symbolized the effort.

A moronic stair way from Lion’s Field that nobody is going to use is the last thing Hillcrest park needs. Are you reassured by the fact that our visionary  “leaders” believe we have $1.6 million lying around to pay for this nonsense?

42 Replies to “$1.6 Million Stairs to Nowhere”

  1. Yes a staff-driven waste to be sure. But Flory says the “staff is the heart of the city” so what does that tell you?

  2. What’s at the top of the park that all of these people are rushing to? Isn’t it just a buried tank and some dead grass?

    1. No, actually it’s like starving your pig then butchering it and telling everybody it’s top sirloin. Then putting lipstick on your own face and telling everyone how beautiful you are.

  3. And how many more million for the matching bridge to nowhere on Harbor?

    It all comes out of our pockets, but just how much of the total cost for the stairs and bridge is direct Fullerton money (that we don’t have) and how much is grant money? Although according to city thinking, grant money is free, so it’s OK to blow it on stupid projects like the stairs and bridge instead of actually maintaining the park.

    1. $1.6 million for the stairs to Heaven, yet Parks and Recreation has failed for decades to decently maintain the parks we have. At lucky times they reseed a park, but the same “motocross terrain” remains. So many of our parks look and smell like manure fields. This applies too to our high school fields which are in a deplorable state and where outdoor sports cannot be practiced under good standards. All high school track & field teams in Fullerton train on dirt tracks. All this while our City has taken us into deficits. Enough is enough!

      1. Don’t forget that they have no money to fund the Hunt Library which serves the poorer children on the west side, and is now being used for next to nothing by Grace Ministries, which is Pastored by Fitzgerald old appointment to the Planning commision, and the mouthpiece for the Korean Christian community that sends all those voters Jennifer’s way, Sam Han.

        1. Amounts to a subsidy for Grace Ministries and not to other churches which are not in the business to define themselves so clearly politically.

    1. Parks and rec department is rotten to the core. Joe Felz gave exclusive club soccer use of parks to Jimmy Obleda for years. Fullerton did not allow any other soccer club in town. Fullerton Rangers director Obleda was Felz pal. Obleda & the club’s treasurer had to leave through the backdoor for embezzling money from soccer moms

      1. Your comment is correct in that Parks and Rec is corrupt. Your fact on Felz and Obleda are 100% false. Your connection between Obleda and the former treasurer are pure slander and defamation of character. You could be held liable for your statement and your blog name is not anonymous.

        1. Interesting. A charge of slander and defamation? Really? Help us out here.

          Let’s break it down sentence by sentence:

          “Joe Felz gave exclusive club soccer use of parks to Jimmy Obleda for years.” True or false?

          “Fullerton did not allow any other soccer club in town.” True or false?

          “Fullerton Rangers director Obleda was Felz pal.” True or false?

          “Obleda and the club’s treasurer had to leave through the backdoor for embezzling money from soccer moms.” True or false?

            1. Easy. Felz is now a known criminal. Everything he did in Fullerton is suspect. All of his friends are potential co-conspirators. Why would anyone want these bloggers to stop digging? Very wrong.

            2. Played out? I find it very interesting that an organization that was taken over by swindlers had an exclusive deal to use soccer fields that belong to everybody. That sounds like vintage Felz to me.

              1. Felz set forth field use policy in 2010 to help Obleda exclude all other clubs. From day one Rangers violated the rules like the 80% Fullerton residents requirement but Felz scrutinized all clubs except Obleda’s. It was only in Feb 2016 after criminal charges were filed when Felz said to news outlets he’d been duped.
                Lucrative private coaching was going on at the same time and fields where the Fitzgeralds’ practiced. All parents saw it , many paid money but didn’t know it was illegal. I hoped mayor Fitzgerald had said something about it before February 2016 taking into account her familiarity with city regulations. I can’t give you the full story which included an assault in public place . I’m bz and can’t write for hours about all the city’s crooks

  4. I like the picture. Very athletic blonde chick. Merry atmosphere. Nice view. Consistent with Red Oak’s rooftops where satisfied tenants indulge themselves before New York’s skyline whilst sipping Martini. My fervorous gratitude to Roger Torriero and former NYSE trader Joseph Flanagan

  5. The stairway won’t be used that much for excersize because there is no parking near the entrance. The soccer moms might walk up and down while they are waiting. Wnen you get to the top it isn’t acutally the top & there are too many trees in the way to see the panarama. A stairway that works and cost little is the Baldwin Hills stairway. The view is a complete panorama and the stairs are recycled concrete . https://i.imgsafe.org/05e11dc468.jpg Our problem is we throw money at our problems instead of using common sence. Whittiker can see the bigger picture on these things but the other council members seem too eager to settle for the quick fix.

  6. The earlier comment is correct. At least two stages of the Hillcrest design phase were given by Joe Felz to his old friend Roger Torriero of Griffin Structures. You see, Joe Felz never believed in competitive bidding as required by state law. Far easier to do personal favors for his friends.

    I went through the Check Registers and found $92,139.71 paid to Griffin Structures through January 2017. That’s just for the Hillcrest project under account number 7454500-6371.

      1. Oh, you mean the “Public-Private Partnerships” that Fitzgerald is so fond of?

        How could I forget Jennifer in this fiasco? Roger Torriero and his EVP Kelly Boyle are friends of Jennifer as well. They contributed a combined $625 to Jen’s 2016 reelection campaign.

  7. If my recollection is correct the modifications they did to Lion Field illegally encroached on Hillcrest Park territory anyway. That one beautiful place has suffered at the hands of so many morons/douchebags over the decades is it criminal.

    The city could have approached the Fullerton arboretum, and mustered many volunteers, to develop a completely appropriate and drought friendly native landscaping plan and it would have cost a pittance.

    1. “That one beautiful place has suffered at the hands of so many morons/douchebags over the decades is it criminal.”

      The first culprit was smash n’ pave Hugh Berry back in the 60s. Then the long decline followed by the self-serving interventionism of Susan Hunt and joe Felz. They only saw a resource insofar as it gave their staff something to oversee.

      And after the Landmarks Ordinance was passed in 1980 (or so) the City violated it’s own law by continually refusing to treat the park as a designated historical landmark.

      The old pictures from the 20s and 30s show a real asset to the community and people driving down the original Highway 1.

      Fullerton has a very strange history of ignoring historical landmarks (Hillcrest, etc.), painting over priceless murals (Charles Kassler) and refusing a world-class museum (Norton Simon).

      Maybe I’ll do a post on our “leaders” acts of cultural vadalism over the years.

  8. As an example of how clueless the city staff can be, the description on the city web site about the Hillcrest Park renovation states that they will be restoring “… the 1920’s era Works Progress Administration (WPA) historic fountain”.

    Uhhh, I believe that the WPA started in 1934, not the 1920’s.

    The park is listed on the historic register, yet the people pushing the so-called “renovation” seemingly haven’t a clue about the history.

    1. Sad but true. The Hillcrest concept was a legacy of the City Beautiful Movement from the Progressive Era.

      Hillcrest started as a motor park along the first Highway #1 where people could camp, etc. In the 30’s the rock work and steps and fountain were built with WPA money.

      In the 60s that fathead Hugh Berry started putting in concrete clock walls and standard concrete light poles. Nobody cared and it was all down hill from there.

      1. Fullerton’s public spaces have-and are going through- the politics of public space homogenization. We- and to a much extreme degree our kids-have lost the cognitive appreciation for the artistic,poetic and even subtle mood-based space differentiation within and between our common sites. Intertwined with the above, it could be asserted that our being ,progressively but surely, is suffering a dispossession of meaning, meaning which can uniquely exist outside the dominant homogenization process. From a very general view, our local popular talk has it right here: what is distinctive about Fullerton vis-a-vis Brea and other neighboring cities is its age; truthfully its history. Hillcrest park work, indeed, spanned many years, although to keep it short we will say that the New Deal did finally make it possible. Despite its many years of neglect, many Fullertonians will agree with me: Hillcrest is not a park, Hillcrest is a PARK (all caps). As one goes up from Harbor on Valley View Drive, the garden-park surprises us in a way that is not that of shock, but of natural mystery, of poetic seclusion. There, the park has to be found anew every single time,and the most hidden layer of the park secretly becomes its central focal point….But I will skip for now everything else on the park such as the flagstones and an aesthetic botanical allegory taken from a very little known Seupelt document…
        So, what are the crony city officials and their ignorant selfish corporate partners doing to Hillcrest Park? Two things: 1. park thematization 2. “tackyfication” of an arduous historic natural art labor
        Today I will only talk about park thematization. What makes a work historic and artistic is not just its age, but its agelessness. The number one rule for the preservation of that principle (the work defines an epoch, yet can not exhaustively contemporarily be exhausted and defined) is the “staying away” from a temporarily imposed current thematization. Some Fullertonians do exercise running up the Hillcrest Park hills, they fast-step the stairs; other Fulertonians smoke weed on the park’s upmost top. All this is fine and some of it should continue. However, this does not mean that the park has to purposely be reconfigured to make it an athletic performance park or a smoking grass shrine. It is not accidental that the Chamber of Commerce offspring-Jennifer Fitzgerald- and the culturally inept -Hugo Curiel- peddle the $1.6M new long stretch of stairs as the functional body performance wonder, which because is not a wonder should belong somewhere else in the city and never at the Hillcrest historic natural art park.

        1. This way of thinking is also responsible for the ubiquitous lighted “sports fields” that are useless unless your kid happens to be engaged in one of your kiddie sports-as-conspicuous consumption expenditures.

          Passive parks only need maintenance and irrigation – no city “programming” busybodies determining who can use the fields, when, and for how much.

  9. My friend, who was born in this town 67 years ago and who knows about lots of the corruption you all cite, says I’m a fool for wanting to be informed about various civic issues. He lives across Brea Blvd. from Lions Field and has a great view- and great viewpoint- of the stairs: he calls the area Suicide Glen…too funny!

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