What’s that you say? The pickings are just too plentiful to settle on a mere handful of nominees? True. But let’s not let that hinder our purpose. And remember. We are not just scoping out the most expensive screw-up by highly paid public servants. No. We are also going after the comical and the perplexing, too. So here goes, in the category of Worst Bureaucratic SNAFU. And by SNAFU we really mean embarrassing bungle. And by embarrassing bungle we mean FUBAR.
1. The hilarious Magical Football Stadium that materialized out of nowhere at FJC when NOCCCD bond revenue squanderers revealed their complete contempt of, or ignorance of, (or both) the California Environmental Quality Act; a law that you or I would violate only at the risk of incarceration.
2. The Poisoned Park. True most of the horrific damage was done years ago in the whole Union Pacific Park fiasco, but City Manager Chris Meyer has put his own special stamp of futility on the mess by unilaterally closing the non-toxic part and ordering – you guessed it – more Redevelopment! The perfect bureaucratic antidote for what ails you! Waste millions? Don’t worry, there’s more where that came from!
3.The Great Hillcrest Park Massacre. So what do you do when you own an historic resource? That’s easy. First you neglect it terribly for years and years; then you let pervs hang out there; then you waste money building unnecessary and unwanted facilities that you can run and charge the public for; finally you just start ripping it up so you can rebuild it. Bravo! Well done!
4. The incredibly stupid affair of the Red Light Cameras documented here, here, and here. Policy disaster; financial embarrassment; dismal legal entanglements. You want ’em? We got ’em. The sad tale of Fullerton’s relationship with Nestor Traffic Systems and the eventual legal bills for lost law suits paints an ugly picture of bureaucratic bungling.
5. The Trail of Tears. Rather than abandoning the idea of continuing the foolish “Trail to Nowhere” along the contaminated Union Pacific ROW (see nominee #2), the City is forging ahead, trying to get other people’s money to extend the horse trail without horses; the bike trail without bikes; the paseo without paseo-promenaders. As in most of these cases the City Council is complicit in the thing, but as we all know…
Good God who’s in charge over there?