This fun clip has it all, drama, comedy and an anti-climactic bathos that can only come when plumbing the depths of political axle greasing. The topic? The Fullerton City Council choosing a delegate to attend the SCAG annual conference at a posh desert resort.
Right out of the gate, Councilman Doug “Bud” Chaffee assertively announces his disgust with SCAG and their staff, proclaiming his desire to withdraw from the regional planning operation altogether, and even wishing it would go out of business. This brief ejaculation elicits two surprised “wows” from our lobbyist-councilperson, Jennifer Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald has reason to be surprised – and worried. These sorts of footling conferences are designed to throw lobbyists and politicians together in a symbiotic clutch, all the while partying on our dime(s). It sure wouldn’t look good for SparkyFitz if Fullerton did pull out. Using organizations like SCAG to pull and persuade the strings of public policy is how people like her employer, Curt Pringle, make their well-compensated living.
Chaffee, to his credit sees SCAGus interuptus as a way to save the City $23,000 in annual dues. And, credit where credit is due. Greg Sebourn eventually seconds the idea of withdrawal from SCAG for the agenda, at which point Interim City Manager Roeder helpfully steps in to steer the ornery indians back onto the reservation. These types of memberships, says Roeder, will all be open for examination come budget time. Hmm. Well, we’ll see about that.
But Fitzgerald will not be diverted from the task at hand: she quickly announces that she is going out there “for work” anyway, thus fulfilling the suspicion that for her the trip might be the unsavory act of somehow representing both her loathesome boss Curt Pringle, and the people of Fullerton at the same time.
In the meantime it may be a good idea to reconsider membership in other big government organizations that exist for the benefit of lobbyists, public employees and a liberal political agenda: the League of California Cities. And let’s not forget the Association of California Cities – OC, another useless lobby shop where our own Jennifer Fitzgerald holds exalted office.