The $4 Million Elevator That Nobody Needs

It looked so bad another one was needed…

Well, it looks like more loose change has fallen into Fullerton’s municipal sofa. A lot more. And it’s all so funny. The one thing the Fullerton train station didn’t need was another pair of elevator structures; and the last place they needed it was right next to the existing ones.

But that’s where they’re going. That’s right. A new elevators right next to the old ones that the City has failed so spectacularly at maintaining. “Wait, Joe,” I can hear you saying. “Tell us, for the love of SparkyFitz’s God, this is some sort of cruel joke.”

Let the groundbreaking begin. No point in waiting to waste other people’s money, right?

The joke’s on all of us. Even people who have never been to the Fullerton choo-choo station.The whole thing is costing taxpayers $4,000,000 which is almost three times the amount the exiting one cost 22 years ago. The arguments in favor of building this are laughable as you might imagine, and immediately prove that other taxpayers are picking up most of the tab – as it turns out, money funneled through the bottomless suck hole known as OCTA.

Yes I’m on the OCTA Board, and no, I couldn’t care less about wasting four ‘mil.

For instance we “had” to build a new set of elevators rather than repair the existing ones. Why? Taking the existing elevators out of service for a long period of time would result in ADA lawsuit. There is not a single filament of proof for these assertions but hey, that money ‘s got to be spent by somebody, right? For $4,000,000 you could set up a daily ADA access shuttle for 20 freaking years. Of course there is also an existing gate opened by a remote control that could access the other side of the tracks at ZERO cost.

But wait!!! (as they said on those old TV steak knife commercials). The new toy is not free to the people of Fullerton after all. A new agenda item asks for an extra $600,000 due to cost overruns. Just a few lost nickels in Allan Roeder’s couch, right? And listen to the string of incompetencies by our Engineering Department that caused the extra cost:

“An additional $ 600,000 is required for the BNSF flagging requirements, unforeseen utility conflicts, escalated cost in securing the elevator subcontractor and additional assistant in construction administration. Due to OCTA funding constraints, only direct construction-related costs will be reimbursable.”

13 Transportation Center Pedestrian Overpass Elevator – Budget Transfer

Of course it would be nice if some one on our illustrious city council bothered to ask why a contract was awarded two years prematurely, and why our staff needs “additional assistant” (sic) to administer this simple project, or maybe why the job wasn’t rebid. But they won’t.

And so we witness the comical spectacle of two sets of elevator structures side by side, each slowly deteriorating, until 20 years from now some over-paid idiot proposes a third, because as any artist knows, three objects in a picture are much more aesthetically pleasing than two.

33 Replies to “The $4 Million Elevator That Nobody Needs”

  1. The city is run by retards. They should have made a ramp towards Harbor, gone under the tracks and back up. Costs less than one elevator, let alone two.

    1. Hell, they could jack an underpass casing under the tracks for half the cost.

    2. Orange has a nice underpass/walkway next to Ruby’s. We met some friends for dinner there and listened to a nice blues trio. I took the kids outside for some air and we walked around the pedestrian underpass and I was impressed. Not by the cockroaches running around, but the area looked nice and well thought out. I can’t remember the number of tracks it went under, perhaps that’s the reason our electeds chose to go over the tracks, but 4 million for a double up bridge is embarrassingly unimaginative.
      I Am SoDoNoCha

  2. “Additional assistant for contract negotiation” is code for sneaky transfer from capital repair fund to general fund to temporarily patch up the budget hole.

  3. More evidence of of Felz’s incompetence. I wonder if that guy ever climbed out of the bottle long enough to do one thing right.

    1. Mr. Peabody took the pics and set up the post draft.

      But thanks for paying attention. I guess.

  4. Thanks for the picture of Fitz and Chaffee. Two solid Democrats standing side by side. Only where’s the old nag?

  5. Fullerton’s Director of Engineering, Donald K Hoppe ‘earns’ $244,877.29 per year (total pay + benefits), and unnecessarily lets this crap happen to our city. Please let that sink in for a minute…

    Anyone who works for the city pulling down more than $100K should all be fired and they should start with a whole new crop of public employees that actually do their jobs rather than protect their pensions. Oh wait- that will never happen.

    Sorry to get your hopes up. Have a nice Saturday.

    1. True, Hoppe laid out the delicious banquet. The council gobbled it up like ignorant but hungry little piglets.

  6. Its my understanding that new elevators will open up next to the old ones on the east side at the top of the stairway. The same bridge will be used.

      1. Public works construction. The original cost a million bucks barely twenty years ago.

    1. interesting. So $4 million gets us two short elevators? Somethings REALLY wrong with this.

  7. The stairway at the end of the platform that goes down to harbor and back up the other side is heavily used, much more than the elevators. I believe this was TonyB & Mayor Whittikers idea, (as this was discussed at location).

    1. This idea belonged to Vince Bike and was championed by Chris Norby – 25 years ago.

      Of course the city didn’t bother with it until they started subsidizing commuter parking on the other side of Harbor. Of course Felz & Co. screwed up the design by making the steps go all the way down to Harbor. Wild Rde said his plan was to “energize” Harbor as it passes under the tracks.

      1. Yes, lets drop pedestrians right onto the edge of the fastest, most dangerous section of Harbor Blvd. for absolutely no reason. They will be energized by the speeding buses, for sure.

  8. Looks like Fitzy is channeling Flory – couturierwise. All she needs is a set of big wooden beads rattling around her neck.

        1. So funny! The demeaning hat is the way bureaucrats mark their political turf, showing that the politician has bought into the scam.

          The politician goes along because he/she thinks there’s proof that they are accomplishing something – anything – and they mistakenly think that a photo op wearing a stupid hardhat makes them look “hands on,” and any publicity is better than no publicity, right?

          Too bad there’s no photo follow-ups of projects that went sideways, were involved embarrassing construction lawsuits, or that nobody uses, or that just became a maintenance sink hole.

          1. Good comment. I think I’ll do a post on that concept of symbiosis as evidenced by the hard hat.

  9. Hey wait a minute. Isn’t that staunch conservative, Mr. Accountability, Shawn Nelson on the OCTA? Maybe he can drop by and explain why we’re paying 4 million buck for two unnecessary elevators.

    1. Good point.

      But then Nelson has done nothing but disappoint since the day he got elected. That was almost 7 years ago.

  10. “this simple project”

    You got that right. Five trades?

    Concrete, steel, electrical, paint, elevator.

    Now watch the disaster unfold.

  11. a few years ago two Fullerton city council members, Sharon quirk-Silva and Pam Keller, promoted/voted to spend 6 million tax dollars moving the McDonalds on Chapman near Harbor a few feet to the west because these two logical thinking believed this fast food restaurant was detrimentally close to Fullerton High School. Quirk_Silva and Keller just knew moving a few feet away would force high school students to eat healthy food. This move put forth by Fullerton city council was so stupid it got local news coverage. Its sad to see the legacy of Qurik-Silva and Keller lives on in Fullerton politics.

    1. Actually, the move was to put the McDonalds closer (right across the street) to FHS. This was going to free up the current McDonald’s site for THE NEXT BIG REDEVELOPMENT DEAL -The hideously stupid “Fox Block.”

      Of course over the years the City bought up the existing houses and apartments on the west side of Pomona (affordable housing!) and knocked them all down – proving just how stupid the council was – made up of idiots like Flory, Bankhead, Jones, Nelson, Clesceri, Wilson, Quirk and Keller.

      1. did you ever wonder if all those redevelopment projects that used redevelopment funds(our tax dollars) had silent partners with the developers and if these silent partners were part of Fullerton’s municipal government?

  12. The elevator is out of service today. There is a minivan waiting around to drive people back and forth. The driver doesn’t seem too busy. I didn’t ask how much he makes but I bet it’s less than $4 million.

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