Word has got out that disgraced former city manager Joe Felz is working with Crittenton Services on a new “mixed-use” development on Harbor Boulevard. It’s hard to imagine Crittenden – that takes care of wayward and abused girls – being in the land development business so that doesn’t quite make sense – unless maybe it’s to build themselves a new corporate complex.
Is Felz working for a fee so he can profit from all those inside contacts he continues to cultivate after his (and our) municipal humiliation? Maybe he is donating his valuable time for the sake of the charity. Either way, it hard to see why Crittenden would think the services of Felz, who quit after getting popped driving off the road and trying to make a quick getaway, would be anything other than an embarrassment to them.
A little research shows that Crittenden has been assembled quite a bit of real estate over the years. And curiously (or not) it is directly adjacent to the “Fox Block” monstrosity that never seems to go away.
If the city made a deal to get rid of the “useless” triangle parking lot, the rest of Crittendon’s property along with the covering of a flood control channel and the elimination of an alleyway would make a great apartment block.
And finally, I note that the Fullerton Redevelopment Successor Agency is holding on to $6 million for the Fox Block – vestigial redevelopment Monopoly money that will end up in some developer’s pocket.
It looks like I might be a “hater”. As one of only a handful of people to come out against the “Pine Forest Staircase” I’m going to make the leap that Fitzgerald is talking about me and therefore will respond accordingly.
Let us take the points in reverse order.
This is not a “New” community amenity as this is one of Fullerton’s oldest parks. All of those people who remember the Duck Pond aren’t having a massive shared delusion as it really did exist. The city let this park fall apart and is now trying to sell it as a win that they’re finally fixing what they themselves broke.
Fixing something you broke isn’t an act of respect. The city let this park fall into complete disrepair owing to budget constraints and poor management as folks like Fitzgerald prioritized six-figure pensions for her friends (Danny Hughes, Joe Felz, et al). To make matters worse the city council has yet to budget for more staff to maintain this park once it is completed. Add to that the likely budget cuts coming thanks to her (and her cohort’s) over spending on FPD/FFD Overtime/Pensions.
The Pine Forest Stairs are shoddily constructed and were significantly overpriced. “People like them and use them” Fitzgerald and her friends claim. Do you know what else they’d like and use? Better made stairs that cost less.
This type of fiscal deflection is ludicrous from an elected official who should be demanding the best bang for our buck and not running interference for developers. To be fair this is a common refrain from elected officials. One needs only listen to Bruce Whitaker justifying overpaying for a park because it’s in the “Gem District“. The council literally rewarded owners for their negligence at a premium price in the instance of Pearl Park.
This project isn’t restoring the park to it’s “original grandeur” as you do not restore something by completely altering it. This is a renovation and not a restoration. A bridge nobody will have cause to use is further destroying what was the duck pond and the pine stairs are totally new. Words matters and the idea that this is a “restoration” is an outright lie. Is the city putting the trees back into the park? No. They were too busy pumping water into Laguna Lake to bother putting any of it on the trees they let die and then had to remove.
And finally let us talk about Fitzgerald’s economic illiteracy here.
“A fantastic use of park fees”.
Park Fees are fees the city takes for new development. When the city allows a new mega-apartment complex to go up they collect a bucket load of money for the purpose of adding or improving parks. I’ve addressed this issue before here.
If this is a legal use of fees is debatable but is it a good use let alone a “fantastic” use of fees?
This is nothing more than Jennifer Fitzgerald perpetuating the ‘Broken Window Fallacy’ as explained by Frédéric Bastiat.
I’ll sum it up simply.
The city council and city management broke Hillcrest park and are now using millions of dollars that could have been used to buy land in Coyote Hills or to fix our long neglected “Poisoned Park” or even to purchase Fullerton’s now most expensive park which Whitaker was all too happy to overspend taxpayer’s money upon.
This money is being used in the least efficient way possible because it is fixing that which never should have been broken. It wasn’t an accidental breakage either. Hillcrest Park has suffered decades of neglect as council after council ignores any semblance of accountability while generation after generation of overpaid bureaucrats toil away on grand schemes to fix what they should have been protecting in the first place.
Fitzgerald’s reasoning logically follows that we should neglect and destroy all of our parks in order to spend money fixing them. Wouldn’t that just be “fantastic”?
After years of unbalanced budgets we can’t really expect much more from Fitzgerald or the Fullerton City Council but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be outraged at their cavalier attitudes or sheer incompetence.
I still naively expect elected officials to work for what is in our best interest and to be able to explain away criticisms without resorting to childish colloquialisms.
Fitzgerald might be correct in that “haters will always hate” but it is also true that economic illiterates will never math.
File this one under “Jeezus We’re getting Desperate.” Trotting out a stock photo of an old lady and comparing ripping off “Grandma” with the recall of Josh “Gas Tax” Newman? Man that’s lame.
Opponents of the recall, i.e. the building trades who work on public boondoggle projects like high speed rail, seem to think this sort of nonsense sells. Well, the consultants will burn though a lot of that union cash, but there’s really no way to defend the indefensible: Newman voted for a highly regressive gas tax that will hammer the poor and people on a fixed income while his pals in the trades make bank building stuff like Jerry Brown’s $60 billion bullet train – whether it’s needed or not.
The Democrats in the Legislature have climbed all the way up onto their high horses claiming that recall petition signers were lied to and that recalling Newman won’t get rid of the gas tax, an objection that is really just based on a desperate semantic ploy. The fact is that getting rid of Newman is simply the first step in yanking the chain of the politicians in Sacramento who would rather tax us then curtail their own addiction to wasting the gas tax money we have already been sending them every time we fill up. The end game is a repeal of the tax, and of course, prevention of any more gas or car taxes.
The Democrats have pulled out all of the ethical stops in attempting to derail the recall. They tried to pass midnight legislation changing the recall rules after the recall signatures had been submitted. Then they put pressure on the California Fair Political Practices Commission to re-interpret their standing rules so that Dem politicians can help bail out Newman financially, proving that when it comes to maintaining their super-majority, no trick or hustle is too low to put into action.
Let us talk about priorities. Why has Sharon Quirk-Silva not re-introduced a bill for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine?
Sharon Quirk-Silva introduced a bill into the Assembly for the Veteran’s Cemetery in Irvine (AB409) which never even got a vote in committee.
The (D) Super-Majority outright ignored it. Her bill was later rolled into SB96. SB96 was a budget “trailer bill” which is basically an empty bill that is passed by the Senate with one line to be “Gutted” and a new bill full of legislation to be “Amended” into it by the Assembly before coming back for a vote before both houses. It’s a procedural trick which violates the spirit of the law and the very premise of good and open government.
To complicate matters because the Cemetery was rolled into SB96 with 95 other provisions, one of which is also an appropriations item, it is unconstitutional not once but twice and once specifically owing to the provision for the Veteran’s Cemetery itself. (more…)
The other day I discovered this notice from the City. It’s a class for citizens to help their fiscal literacy. And unlike the proverbial lunch, it’s free!
So let’s get this straight. The City of Fullerton, which has been incapable of balancing its budget for at least four years, and that has dipped into reserved funds to the tune of $45,000,000, and that is a couple years from insolvency, is promoting financial empowerment and estate literacy to the citizenry! How funny and unintentionally ironic.
I wonder if this free class will be promoting the benefits of a new sales or utility tax to pay all the salaries and benefits of those experts in City Hall who have dug us into this hole.
An unhappy customer left a comment yesterday on Facebook about a post FFFF ran regarding new signs at the depot that are not only physically obtrusive, but are also based on erroneous or outright fraudulent Municipal Code citations. These facts would bother a normal citizen, but not a gentleman named Wayne Elms who perceived something “outstanding” about these signs and something wrong with “lifeless losers” who would take exception to being lied to by their own government. Here’s a snapshot:
Naturally, a little investigation reveals that Wayne Elms may not be a normal citizen at all, but rather a highly compensated City employee whose function could be easily contracted out if the City were really interested in a balanced budget. Here’s what the eloquent Stanley Wayne costs us every year:
When FFFF asked the slippery Elms if he had anything to do with the installation of the fraudulent signs, he decided to delete his own comment.
How well can you read? Good enough? Somebody at City Hall desperately needs your help.
These obnoxious signs were installed at the train station last week. Not only are they ugly and obtrusive, parts of the text are a lie. Apparently City staff expects nobody to double-check their work.
“NO Loitering” — Hello? This is a train station where people are encouraged to loiter while waiting for their train. What’s worse is the code citation, FMC 17.105.020, is completely bogus because Title 17 doesn’t exist in the municipal code. The City doesn’t even have a “no loitering” ordinance that would apply here. Somebody made this up!
“NO Handbills” — They cite FMC 7.30.030. Funny, the title of Chapter 7.30 clearly says this part applies to “Private Residential Property” (see below) which the train station obviously is not.
“NO Soliciting” — Here’s what the code says:
No person shall accost any other person in, or on, any public place, or in, or on, any place open to the public for the purpose of begging or soliciting alms or soliciting donations in exchange for a token service that has been provided or promised.
This section shall only apply to areas within fifty feet of a business establishment, unless such area is located in a shopping mall or center, in which case this section shall also apply to the parking and common areas of that shopping mall or center…
I took the liberty of drawing circles with a radius of 50 feet from the Amtrak office, Spaghetti Factory, and Santa Fe Express Cafe. Good news for solicitors, despite the new signs posted all over the place, about 75 percent of the train station is still fair game!
Last, but not least, don’t feed the birds!
A real shocker, I know, but FMC 9.12.208 on the sign only applies to Parks and is worded for the protection of waterfowl. This isn’t enforceable at the train station.
1. “Waterfowl” means and refers to any ducks, geese, or other birds which can be found in a restricted area, which have used a restricted area as a habitat, or are reasonably capable of using a restricted area as a habitat. 2. “Restricted area” means and refers to any publicly owned lake, pond, stream, creek, fountain, or body of water in the City of Fullerton, including, but not limited to, Laguna Lake.
What’s the point of this exercise? To prove just because the City makes a sign, or assures us something is true and correct — that more often than not — they are wrong.
I know you’re reading this [new City Manager] Ken Domer. Now would be a great time to take a stand against the perpetual incompetence that emanates from all levels of City government. Your predecessor, Joe Felz, had no problem doing things poorly. Will your tenure be marked by more of the same?
Some things, like toenail fungus, never seem to go away. And one of them, apparently, is Jay Cicinelli. He is the disabled, one-eyed Fullerton cop who, on the hot July night in 2011, gently kicked Kelly Thomas in the head with his knee and compassionately smashed his face with a taser. At least that’s how Cicinelli’s lawyer wants you to remember it.
The City fired Cicinelli and his pals Manuel Ramos and Joe Wolfe for violating police department policy. Of course on the witness stand FPD’s genial Corporal Punishment T. Rubio exonerated the behavior Ramos, Wolfe and Cicinelli by contradicting his own department, and thus giving a brain-dead jury ammunition to acquit the three of the criminal charges brought by our useless DA, Tony Rackaukas. Of course Rackaukas had every opportunity to skewer the integrity of Rubio who sure seemed to be committing perjury, but the DA didn’t. The whole episode appeared to be nothing other than a grand plan to obfuscate the reality of what happened to Kelly Thomas.
Anyhow, the actions of Cicinelli and their relation to department policy seem to be key in an appalling effort by Cicinelli to seek reinstatement to the FPD, and to no doubt rake in five years worth of back pay and benefits. Well, this is California and the cop unions have us by the proverbial balls, so Cicinelli’s reinstatement is not only plausible, it is highly possible, proving what little control the people have over their “public safety” employees. Here are the relevant docs. Try to keep your last meal down.
Recently we have been introduced to the mind of Ms. Mildred Garcia, current President of CSUF and champion of the downtrodden minorities everywhere. Her record in support of “diversity” is no doubt impeccable and she will surely find a place waiting for her in a properly diverse Heaven. In the meantime there’s that old saying about doing well by doing good.
President Garcia pulls in a tidy $450,000 per year courtesy of the taxpayers, and not only that, she, as befits her office, gets to live on a palatial estate – the old Chapman “El Dorado Ranch.” Here’s a shot not from the famous FFFF Spook Drone.
Of course the apologists for the social justice crusader will argue that the estate is needed to host fancy parties for all those high roller, big donors.
It would be interesting to see how Ms. Garcia characterizes her estate living on her income tax forms, but something tells me that this type of quotidian annoyance is taken care of by the taxpayers, including utilities, landscaping and painting that tennis court.
Of course that’s the real point of this post – not Garcia’s tired, old diversity screed pitched at 35,000 gullible kids, half of whom enter her university as unable to read a coherent sentence as Garcia is to construct one. The real point is to remember next time you hear someone boohooing about the underfunded CSU system to point the boohooer in the direction of Millie’s Mansion.