The Mantra of Economic Development

No news is good news…

A Friend just forwarded an article in the Yellowing Fullerton Observer about the City’s latest foray into something called economic development – an effort to create more tax revenue, somewhere, somehow, sometime. The good folk in City Hall are alarmed at the looming budget deficit they forecast in the next few years. And they know full well that another attempt at a sales tax like the ill-fated Measure S promoted by Ahmad Zahra and Jesus Quirk-Silva would be a shaky proposition.

According to the Observer the City hired an entity called Kosmont Companies to assay Fullerton’s future and determine where tax generating opportunities may lay. At the June 20th meeting of the City Council a report by Kosmont was submitted for general perusal.

Exhausting all options…

I note that Kosmont Companies is an operation whose sole raison d’etre these days is to work for Redevelopment Successor agencies and municipalities trying to gin up revenue to support the bureaucratic establishment. According to the staff report Kosmont was employed by “the City” in February 2023; since no agenda report exists for this contract, it must have been executed out of the public eye by our esteemed City Manager, Eric Levitt. I’ll address the report itself and the Council’s reaction in another post.

I often wonder why anybody thinks local government have any business promoting these types of endeavors. Government employees know little about business operations, nothing about the concept enterprise; they know defined benefit pensions, their union agreements and petty, make-work bureaucratic stuff. These same chuckleheads just up-zoned and entitled a massive apartment project on land they sold to the developer for 10% of its new value. As far as the unknown amount paid to the “consultant” I wonder if even that expense will be recouped by their own work product.

Just as bad, the economic development concept is created and run, for and by, the same people who stand to benefit from it – it it were to even work at all. And of course there is never any accountability for public resources expended in the pursuit of this talisman.

15 Replies to “The Mantra of Economic Development”

  1. Yes this is window dressing for the inevitable next sales tax proposal. Economic development is just a ruse. These people couldn’t run a pop stand. They’re only recourse is approving high density housing on tiny lots and hope for enough new property tax to tide them over. Then it’s a sales tax.

  2. Thanks for reminding us of that idiotic apartment/hotel mess where they boobs left millions and millions on the table. Too bad Fitzgerald couldn’t stick around to see the fruits of her poisonous tree.

  3. I like the idea of doing a comparison between the amount spent on consultants and economic development employees and the verifiable amounts of tax revenue they generate. But that analysis will NEVER occur.

  4. I can’t wait for a recital of the actual report and what Zahra has to say about it. He keeps spouting off about his contribution to the concept.

    1. Zahra invented economic development. Plus he’s doctor and a movie director and father to a bunch of Latino looking kids.

  5. ” gin up revenue to support the bureaucratic establishment”

    Or, say, to speed up fixing the roads and parks.

    Fullerton is anti tax and pro bitching.

    1. Like Measure S? It was all about paying cop and (non)fire fighter’s pensions and pay. Idiot.

      1. And you probably don’t support raising tax to pay for more road maintenance either.

        Anti tax, pro bitching.

  6. Expect the sales tax to come back around in time for the November 2024 election. This kabuki theater surrounding this economic development discussion is simply the start of setting the table for the real goal which is to increase the sales tax. Levitt just gave the firefighters a 20%+ raise that he absolutely cannot pay for and the rest of the city employees are not unsurprisingly demanding the same largesse now.

    1. Levitt can’t do any labor agreements without, at least, the explicit (or implicit) support of Jung

  7. Fullerton will be bankrupt within the next 3-7 years. It’s going to happen. Spending money on ways to stop it will only hasten its doomsday.

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