Fullerton recently was “awarded” more Federal Debt ($25Trillion and counting) by way of a $34,000,000 stimulus with the requisite strings attached. While it’s true that this $34M could pave a lot of roads, fix a lot of infrastructure and solve a lot of problems – City Hall wants this money to be used solely for salary & pension needs.
At Tuesday’s City Council meeting the pitch was made to “make whole” the staff who so bravely took a 5% pay cut when budgets were put into peril by the State mandated lockdowns in response to covid-19. This item was continued until the money is actually in hand.
Despite the item being continued, let us do away with this nonsense right here and now. Government is not supposed to be a job’s program. The entire purpose of government is to accomplish things the government won’t let us accomplish alone such as policing powers, infrastructure and the so forth.
When the government CEASES those activities, they don’t “deserve” your tax money. They haven’t earned it. The entire lie of the “social contract” is predicated on you paying taxes and getting things in return and we have a clear cut case of you getting nothing from much of staff and them still demanding their tribute.
The best example of this is the Parks Department. As far as I can tell, all of the parks were closed back in March of 2020 due to State mandated lockdown orders. The play equipment was roped off, all events were cancelled, youth sports went on hiatus, etc etc. There seemed to be zero actual parks activity going on in Fullerton for the better part of a year. Sure, the City laid off the part timers but what was the rest of staff doing?
Fuckall apparently because at Tuesday’s Council Meeting, City Manager Ken Domer ALSO wanted to get approval on a $236,000 “Parks Master Plan”. He manipulated the staff reports to bury the important point that the Parks and Rec Commission unanimously voted 5-0 against this “Master Plan” with a member of the Planning Commission voicing opposition as well.
Alas, we need a “Master Plan” because staff doesn’t know how to contact people online, hold surveys, get feedback and figure out how to do their jobs.
The audacity here is rather stunning even to a cynical individual such as myself.
Despite having a year sabbatical from actual work where staff spent their days attending pointless Zoom meetings to pad their hours, they couldn’t be bothered to spend any of that year figuring out what was wrong with our parks department.
They took a 5% pay cut from the City and took a near 100% work cut for themselves. Now they want their 5% back because they are hero and deserve, meanwhile we’re still not fully back up and running as a City AND they want us to continue to outsource their jobs because, well, screw you, that’s why.
To add insult to financial injury, City Hall didn’t bother to help most of you out. Did they pro-rate your business licenses since it was the threat of their police keeping your business closed? No. Did they cut you a break on your property taxes? Of course not. Hell, the schools refused to educate your kids and still demanded you pay up but that’s a different post for a different corrupt bureaucracy.
The point here is that government is a trade of taxes for services. That’s the deal. It’s City Council’s job to make sure that we residents get our end of the bargain at the best rates possible and while too many on council refuse to understand this basic principle of government – their ignorance (or willing corruption) doesn’t change the dynamic of how this is supposed to work.
If City Hall is closed, salaries need to reflect the lack of services and hours being delivered to the residents of Fullerton. If parks and events are closed, likewise the same reductions. If the City is enforcing State mandates that shutter businesses and lower capacities, the City needs to return a percentage of the taxes and fees extorted out of these businesses who are being handcuffed and given nothing in return.
It’s long overdue that City Hall realized that their job is to do their jobs and not simply collect a paycheck while dicking over the residents who fund those very checks.
Let us not forget to mention that some economic illiterates here in Fullerton are actually proposing back pay for the jobs that weren’t being done. You may have lost your business, may be facing eviction once evictions are allowed to resume, may have lost customers and clients – but hey – it’s City Hall who had to do nothing for a year that’s really suffering.
As for that $34Millions in BidenBucks – money is fungible. If Fullerton can screw us on in lieu water fees to prop up the heroes for a generation and then shaft us on the return of stolen money – council can cut & shift funding so that this money goes to where the Feds demand without the citizens of Fullerton getting shafted once again in favor of, as Ken Domer would have us believe, apparently useless staff.