The Swindle

It’s often said that government spends half its time fixing problems it created with the other half.

And what better way to make problems go away by getting the taxpayers to pick up the tab for your mistakes?

On next Tuesday’s council agenda there is an item to “study” a downtown Business Improvement District (BID). A BID creates a special tax on property owners for specific purposes, generally tied to sprucing up (as the local media loves to say) a geographically limited area. And in this case that area centers on Harbor Boulevard from Truslow to Brea Creek; and from Highland to Lemon.


Below you see a letter sent out from the desk of Community Development Director, Karen Haluza, enjoining property owners and businesses not yet on board to sign up for the great cause. The idea is to generate the appearance of momentum and consensus for a new tax.

Did you notice something very peculiar about this letter? Haluza first admits she is working on orders from the City Council (“tasked” is bureaucrat-speak); but within a few sentences suddenly it is the “stakeholders” (more bureaucrat-speak) who have, seemingly with  spontaneity, made a “formal request” to study the formation of a BID. Can anyone for a second believe this whole concept was not hatched, fertilized and fermented in Wild Ride Joe Felz’s office in City Hall? And check out the list of proponents – mostly businesses, not the actual property owners. On top of that we see the names of several bars and a couple big developers. The developers we can dismiss as toadies looking to score their next big monsters courtesy of Haluza’s Planning Department.  The bars?

Business is booming…

Here’s the real problem, and the reason why Downtown Fullerton is an annual $1,500,000 drain on the General Fund. Cleaning up after the nocturnal mess caused by the customers of the bars costs a small fortune in cop time and city maintenance. It’s a cost that is born by every man, woman and child in Fullerton, even though it is only people like Florentine’s and Slidebar that rake in the bucks.

Downtown Fullerton has been an out-of-control disaster for well over a decade as the City-approved bars proliferated and the mayhem ensued. And now in 2017 city staff is trying to get everybody who owns property in the “district” to fork over a new tax to cover the cost created by the bar owners. A reasonable person might think that cracking down on all the miscreants and scofflaws and irresponsible bar proprietors would be the way to clean up the mess. No. The cops are playing pattycake with the booze culture, and Haluza thinks it’s right and proper that the landlords of all the businesses – good and bad alike – pay the freight.

This new tax proposal is nothing but another Fullerton cover up – on a grand scale. The object? To pay for the disastrous culture of booze and violence that permeates Downtown after dark; a culture that was deliberately created and fed by our own incompetent government. Their solution? A new tax.


26 Replies to “The Swindle”

  1. I love how the meeting will “only” initiate an engineer’s report.

    Ah, well. What’s forty grand to our City Council. SparkyFitz says our budget is balanced, remember? God wouldn’t let her lie to us would he?

  2. Whitaker will never go for this although Sebourn can be talked into anything stupid. Chaffee and Fitzgerald are probably already on board. Silva? If he has any brains at all will get a million miles from this stinker.

    But the cop union will be pushing this big time.

    1. Ms Hulza’s letter brings to mind a couple of questions.

      What exactly is an “assessment engineer”? Does the School of Engineering at CSUF or Cal Poly (or anywhere else) offer this degree? Or is this the latest government buzz word for “tax assessor” without the using the no-no word “tax”.

      Second, exactly how does the city “perform the assessment engineers report”? Is this some kind of performance art like shooting yourself in the foot before an audience?

      Inquiring minds, etc, etc.

      1. “Perform” sounds a lot less annoying that “pay for.”

        Haluza obviously really digs government nonsense talk. And that’s because so many dimwits think it sounds like she’s saying something.

  3. If I owned any of this property, I’d think long and hard about renewing the lease for a business that publicly supported a new tax against ME.

  4. Night Owl wants a new tax? That’s funny. Last month they began begging for customer donations to replace their broken cappuccino machine. If times are that tight, they might try reducing costs instead of increasing them with a new tax.

    1. That picture is from about 1910. The street that is now Harbor seems wider (it isn’t) because seventy years later some idiots decided to put a landscaped median down the middle.

  5. In the good old days of bad Los Angeles cops circa 1940’s, my grandparents owned and ran their bar in this city. They carefully ensured their patrons were not young adults who can’t hold their liquor and usually start a fight before vomiting , gangbangers, tatted ex-cons because it is these customers that requires frequent calls to the police. And In the late 1940’s, LAPD would close down a bar if they were spending too much time controlling its patrons. Why won’t city o Fullerton close these out of control bars in downtown Fullerton? They are a menace to society.

  6. Read it carefully.

    “The effort so far will only be a request to perform the initial assessment engineer’s report that determine how much a property assessment would be, based on the types of improvements and services desired by the Downtown property owners”.

    “In the table below is a list of property and business owners to date who support this effort.”.

    That doesn’t say they support the BID or the assessment. It says they support the initial assessment to determine the assessment. Imagine the conversation; “Are you okay with the city paying for a study to see if a BID could benefit your business? If so, sign here.”

    Considering half or more of the downtown businesses have etched in tagging on their windows and constant puddles of urine to step over they’d consider themselves foolhardy to not look at any option not realizing this will be seen as tacit support to tax them more at the behest of bar patrons.

    Voila. Support.

    1. Joshua, let me give you some advice. Why don’t you try elevating yourself out of that retail clerk jail cell and make a better life for your family instead of meddling in city business? Get your own house in order first. Ok? Seriously. We have families to support too if you didn’t realize that. When we say goodbye to our husbands, wives of family when we go to work, it could be for good. Try to make things better for your own home instead of being Tony’s bitch.

      1. Odd advice. Let the GED cops run the city? No thanks. According to last night’s budget meeting you goons have bankrupt the city.

      2. LOL. Yes, Josh. Stay home instead of being a good citizen by putting a good effort to help the city and the community

        1. We just don’t understand the motivation behind Tony’s minions. Jealousy perhaps? All cities have the same issues everywhere. So do you want all the criminals, rapists and murderers to be let out of jail and for us just to stay home from work? You guys are hilarious. Lets see you extract a family member from a smashed up burning car, a burning building, or arrest an armed and deranged, HIV positive, drugged up burglar with syringes in his pocket as he breaks into your home.

          1. Haha. You bozos can’t even handle a few 909 drunks in downtownright in front of your faces.

            Whan was the last time a GED Fullerton Hero extracted anyone from a burning anything? LOL. I guess I’d better start subscribing to Behind the Bullshit!

            1. Yeah. Watch that video. The streets are full of thugs and not a cop in sight. The heroes are hiding out in the station waiting for the thugs to beat each other up!

            2. Yes my very good friend Lou Ponsi can use your help Tony. It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood with a three day workweek and Jennifer, Doug and now Jesus in charge. Can you let Greg and Bruce know that we appreciate them playing ball? Toodeloo.

          2. Yawn.

            Even with mutual aid & 49 units dispatched the local Fire Depts couldn’t stop a FIRE STATION from burning to the ground in the rain. I won’t hold out much hope that I’ll be rescued should my home catch fire.

            I could easily take apart all of your hero worship “arguments” but thieves will always come up with excuses as for why the property of others, taxes in this case, really belongs to them.

            If I shot down your tired rhetoric you’d likely just come back and say that the council gave you my money because it was a present.

            I’m not even adversarial to police or fire as I have both in my family. I adversarial to theft and bullying and you folks NEVER negotiate in good faith or reality or integrity as a guiding principle.

            But hey, go back to the name calling. It suits you.

          3. I love it When the cops claim critics are motivated by jealousy – as if a normal taxpayer who has to work util they’re 67 before they can collect Social Security wouldn’t be jealous of a bunch o’ lazy, entitled thugs who can retire at 50 with a massive pension and with no college degree,

            The ironic thing is that it DOES occur to an “HIV positive, drugged up burglar with syringe in his pocket” that the guy who owns the house might just try to keep from being robbed by the thief! For some reason the cop union expects capitulation. LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

      3. It’s weird how the insults fly from such heroes.

        Tony’s bitch?

        A) He doesn’t own this site.
        B) He has zero input or notice regarding what I do, write or say. The only person with veto power is my wife.
        C) Pound sand with a plastic shovel you condescending thief.

        You volunteered and applied for a job for which you get paid a salary and benefits that are literally going to bankrupt our town. 71% of our General Fund budget goes to Public Safety currently.

        So if I did take your nitwit advice, likely coming from somebody who doesn’t live in Fullerton, I would be allowing you self-serving and self-pitying mercenaries to bankrupt my town which would do what exactly for my house, friends and neighbors?

        At least my “jail cell” of a retail job is making money for Fullerton via sales tax as opposed to robbing it blind with OT & unfunded pensions.

        1. To borrow from the only voice who spoke from the public, “put the big elephant” in the city hall room. Candidly open its books. Start asking questions. Look at overtime. How much overtime is paid out to cops to appear in court? Given current technology and the near no cost this would entail, can the number of law enforcement officers’ court appearances be optimized to fit their regular work schedule? This would require a fairly simple inter-institutional coordination. Solutions of this sort amount to permanent lifetime savings….Is some overtime, perhaps, caused by excessive PR events? Is the department efficiently managed? 71% of the general fund goes to safety, is a sacrilege or is being “anti-cop” to scrutinize our public funds and ask all these questions?

      4. Hi there, this is Mrs. Ferguson, the wife Joshua talks about so often. I never comment on here, however in this moment I feel the need to step in and say my piece. You sir or mam are making assumptions, and in so making as they say and ass of yourself. Assuming that Joshua does not take care of his family is insulting not only to him but to me as well. You have no idea how our family operates and to say he “needs to get out of retail jail cell” assumes that working retail is demeaning, assumes that you know what he is paid for said job and assumes that I am not a provider for my family.
        Every day, every time, some one walks out the door we run the very solid risk of never seeing them again.
        And to tell someone not to meddle in “city business” is condescending, arrogant and self aggrandizing as it assumes only the wealthy and well connected may be involved, while us the lowly pesants must beg at the table and pray for the good nature of our betters. This is not the world I will raise our children in. We do not live in a class system where bullies paid by the state can take away our freedom of speech if they do not like what we have to say. I live in America where an honest voice is allowed to be heard. If you don’t like it, we can have a nice conversation about the 1st Amendment.
        Do not ever threaten or demean my family again. At the end of the day, what are you teaching your kids? Silence others by bullying because your money is all that matters? I hope not.

        1. “Silence others by bullying because your money is all that matters?”
          You and your family outmeasure the boundaries of any monetary quantity. So glad you share this town with of all of us

  7. I got an idea how to get the BID approved. Why doesn’t Haluza call the cops and say that Travis and Tony are trying to open doors in the parking lot of the Slidebar? Then, no one will know about the impending Tax?

  8. What Haluza promoted in Santa Ana is what she’s promoting in Fullerton.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *