I noticed two things in the Fullerton Observer the other day that on the surface are pretty innocuous but that upon a little reflection seem to be symbolic of the way our city government has operated over the years.
The first is the City’s proclamation of Arab American Month, a first, and no doubt conceived by new councilmember Ahmad Zahra who is himself an Arab American. Here is Zahra:
“As an Arab-American myself, I’m very proud of this moment, and I’m proud of our city for being such a wonderful, diverse place where everybody can celebrate who they are but work together for what is best for our community.”
Diversity and celebration. Hmm. Well, okay, a little color toner and some quality legal-sized paper, a few minutes of everybody’s time and you’ve got your proclamation. Go in peace.
The second item is about the rainbow flag flapping on the pole in front of City Hall. The City Council in March approved flying the banner that symbolizes LGBTQ rights, etc for LGBTQ Month. Mr. Zahra is also gay and this may account for the fact that Fullerton has finally got around to this pressing issue. This is a bit more problematic because here we have an official endorsement by the City. Personally, I’m all for equal rights for everybody – including marriage, and I couldn’t care less if Jennifer Fitzgerald orders that a Goofy flag fly over the City Hall. Still, it gives one pause to consider the priorities of our esteemed leaders – nobody’s rights are threatened by not flying the flag; meaning, of course, that the whole thing is an empty gesture.
And this brings me, finally, to the point of this post. We have a city council that has spent us to brink of fiscal disaster with no accountability, no responsibility and no concern at all for the taxpayers and citizens of Fullerton. They have squandered millions on vanity construction projects that were mismanaged, unnecessary, or downright dangerous. They have let the streets of Fullerton become the joke of Orange County. They have turned over downtown Fullerton to a gang of scofflaw saloon owners. They have nurtured a deadly Culture of Corruption in the police department, an infection that reaches from top to bottom. Meantime they are determined to ignore any of the calls for a correction to the course they have navigated.
Ask yourselves this question: Are any of the real municipal problems of Fullerton ever addressed? The answer, sadly, has been no. Meanwhile, empty symbolism and diversion are the order of the day. It’s easy pandering, and to the uninitiated might even look like something is being accomplished.
The question whether hollow gestures are better than none at all, especially when promoted by incompetent or corrupt officials, may remain academic. What is a practical reality is that in a month or so Fullerton will begin its Annual Can Kick – known as the budget approval. But the can is getting more obdurate every year and the lies coming from Fitzgerald and Flory ever more outrageous. Soon we will be able to see what sort of new flags from Mr. Zahra and his colleagues will be run up the flagpole. Will anybody salute?
18 Replies to “Chasing Rainbows”
Thanks for the post.
Of course these recognition and good government can co-exist, but your point is well-taken. Eat your Brussels sprouts and you can have dessert.
Imagine if the biggest thing you accomplished after a year on the job was hanging a flag.
Did LBGTQ month and Arab American month happen at the same time?
The city is “understaffed” and “overworked” but they have time for this pomp and circumstance? Why is this man wasting everyone’s valuable time with flags and proclamations when he should be out there shoveling asphalt into potholes.
Did the City establish an ordinance after approving the pride flag? I thought the genuine concern was that other entities would request their flag to be displayed at City Hall. If so, why did they fly the Donate Life flag on April 2?
Speaking of dumb flags, I would love to see the removal of those stupid POW flags since there aren’t any POWs. More fake valor from our warrior nation.
Go to the devil, whomever you are!
Maybe he likes people who haven’t been captured. Or maybe he opposes silly empty gestures by politicians looking for cheap credit.
Diminishing the value of recognition of diversity and unity in our town is shameful.
Yes, a flag might not mean anything for the majority of the community but that was put there to represent the minorities. We need that representation in a still conservative town.
There is a lot of work to do in our city but that is not the responsibility of one council member only. We have to work all together and less whining about it.
Pretty sure it was put there to grandstand a point.
That on its own is pretty damn shameful.
When do I get my flags run up the pole?
“but that was put there to represent the minorities.”
The US and State flags represent everybody. Boohoo.
Agree. It’s a nice, kind, feel good gesture. Costs nearly nothing.
But some Grinch always obsesses and gets upset about even the most innocuous things. Reminds me of when conservatives EXPLODED over the first lady pushing exercise and improvements in school nutrition? What in the world makes these people so angry?
You’ll be feeling even better when this council passes a utility tax to cover for its own ineptitude.
What makes people angry is that Akmad is a self serving, self centered, pompous arse who can only support issues that will cost the city money that could be used elsewhere. This is about his legacy not the people of Fullerton. Remember the mural he wants repainted and he already found the artist for it. Um thats not done by council, he doesn’t get to choose the person, that is done by an RFP or council vote. Wait and see, his next spending spree will be huge! He’s just getting started folks.
and Laguna Beach thinks they have flag problems, wait till they see ours. I wish the trans genders confused would pick a color instead of all of them… grey maybe ? becasause that is the hue you get when you mix the whole spectrum together …grey.. the color of deadness that all the colors are trying to disguise.
Cop waterboy,Rusty Kennedy, has endorsed Zahra for Fullerton city council. Rusty boy tie titles himself CEO(ret) of Orange County Human Relations. Does (ret) mean the current Board of Orange County Supervisors booted Rusty boy tie towards the exit sign of OC Human Relations Commission in November, 2017? Does Zara know ,in 2009, he gave awards to Fullerton Police Department for their exemplary community-police relations which is the same year Fullerton Police Officer Rincon was molesting female detainees in his squad car? Does Zara know Fullerton Police. Chief McKinley served on Rusty’s Orange County Human Relation Board as a member of law enforcement advisor to Rusty during this same time Rincon committing these crimes? Does Zahra know in July 2011, six Fullerton Police Officers beat a mentally ill, homeless man to death? His name was Kelly Thomas, and good water boy Rusty Kennedy was summoned by then Fullerton City Council Member and retired Fullerton Police Chief McKinley to deflect guilt from these murderous police officers. Rusty boy tie said in his letter published in his sister’s very local newspaper the Fullerton Observer that it was the community of Fullerton’s indifference to Thomas’ lack of a home that killed him; is anyone feeling nauseous yet? And if Zahra does know these facts, and still allows CEO Rusty Kennedy (ret) Orange County Human Relations Commission to appear on his vote for me endorsement that he put outs to the voting public, I would not for Zahra. Do the good people of Fullerton need to repeat the evil history of Fullerton’s city council by voting Zahra into the position of Fullerton City Council Member? If he continues to have Rusty Kennedy’s name attached to his, then Zahra may tacitly approve above mentioned nefarious tactics?
If he knows he doesn’t care. That’s obvious now.