Ready to Recall New Senator Newman?

Carl DeMaio out of San Diego has been pitching the idea of a recall for our new CA State Senator Josh Newman. Why Newman? Because Newman voted to increase our gas taxes for the dubious claim of fixing our roads. He barely won his seat and without him the State wouldn’t have a (D) Super-Majority with which to tax us into oblivion.

While it’s true that Mah Roads need fixing it is not true that the government needs to steal more money in order to accomplish this task. Sadly Newman, like nearly every (D) in Sacramento (I’m looking at your Quirk-Silva) thinks theft is the only way to combat incompetence and prior graft. The cycle will continue unabated until we get mad as hell and don’t take it anymore.

Will the recall succeed? Considering Newman barely won by a razor thin margin this last November it’s definitely possible that he could get the boot. While Newman’s district covers quite a bit of real estate it’s not as if this would be Fullerton’s first recall rodeo.

SD29. Hooked on spending.

For those that support the recall I’d recommend checking our DeMaio’s page HERE. While I’m inclined to give the boot to anybody who saddles the working class with such ridiculous taxes – I remember who our last recall gifted us in this fair town and substituting Newman for a Fitzgerald type would be no win for taxpayers. I’m also of the opinion that if we’re going to boot Newman for being a party stooge reaching for our wallets we should probably aim for a twofer and do the same to his colleague in the Assembly at the same time.

Newman & Quirk-Silva Help Families Prioritize Spending

By Making Sure They Have Less Money to Spend

There are few things harder than trying to prioritize your spending. This is easily evidenced by the new law which is slated to bring in “much needed” transportation funds to fix our ailing infrastructure and yet amazingly has close to the same price-tag as Jerry Brown’s Bullet Train to Nowhere. The train is currently slated to cost $68Billion while the new tax will bring in $52Billion over 10 years. If we stopped the Brown’s Folly we would be able to pay for our infrastructure but alas those whacked priorities in Sacramento.

Enter Josh Newman (D. 29th State Senate District) & Sharon Quirk-Silva (D. Assembly District 65) to save us from the grief of budgets and the balancing acts that follow. They both surely read the study that claims that poverty taxes the brain and are thus worried about the poorest amongst us. What better way to make sure the poor can make fewer bad decisions than by pricing them out of those very decisions?

Please Sir, may I have my State back?

This is an act of benevolence on the part of our elected betters. Nay! An act of sheer mercy. We tried shaming you out of going to McDonald’s so now we’ll just increase prices so you can no longer afford it.

Of course this new tax increase has led to a flurry of interest and even the call for recalls. However we would all be remiss if we didn’t give credit where credit is due. We should acknowledge that Newman & Quirk-Silva, along with their (D) allies such as Senator Anthony Canella, have finally found a way to try to balance the budget on the backs of everybody as opposed to simply taxing “The Rich™” or “The 1%™”.

The rich will certainly be hurt by Newman and Quirk-Silva’s $100/year tax on zero emission cars that doesn’t go into affect until 2020 (with the gas taxes going into effect this coming November and the increase in the vehicle license fees next year). However even if the zero emission fees were immediate the $100/year isn’t so bad owing to the heavily subsidized nature of Teslas & other zero emission car sales in the first place. It could take up to 70 years before the rich will have paid back that subsidy $100 at a time.

No, this new tax is first and foremost a tax on the poor. After all of these years of saying that people need to pay their “fair share” of taxes the (D)s finally approved a bill that further socks it to the poor in a way they can’t escape. While quite a bit of ink has and will be spilled on both inflation-adjusted taxes which include the increase of $0.12/gallon on fuel and $38/year in registration fees less ink has been spilled on the $0.20/gallon diesel excise tax increase or the $0.04 increase in the sales tax on diesel fuel.

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The Bearer of New Taxes Adds Insult to Injury

The Tax Bear Cometh

The same day that Senator Josh Newman (D. 29th State Senate District) voted to further rob us at both the gas pump and DMV he claimed support for CA Assembly Bill 5. This bill would let California Voters decide, in June of 2018, if the legislature can use our stolen money to do anything but fix our failing infrastructure. Our failing infrastructure that should already be funded and fixed by our current gas taxes.

To his credit he wants to put a toothless California Constitutional Amendment on the ballot to make sure that our new CalPERS transportation taxes aren’t misspent. It’s too bad he didn’t care if we voters got a say on the issue of these taxes in the first place.

This bill was introduced in March of 2015 and has sat in committee as a non-urgent matter since that time. This means that it was proper urgent that Newman, Quirk-Silva and the rest of the Democrat-Controlled legislature to tax us into oblivion NOW NOW NOW but not so important that the money they steal from us via ever higher taxes actually gets used for their intended purposes.

Inactive and Unimportant.

Assembly Bill 5 is a perfect example of how everybody in Sacramento does things in entirely the wrong order. It would have been smart and prudent for the Assembly/Senate to put a bill on Gray Davis’ Jerry Brown’s desk to limit how money is spent for the intended purposes and then put the NEW TAXES on the ballot and not the other way around. Sadly we don’t get a choice in how much they rob you, just a choice in how they pretend to spend the ill-gotten goods.

That this sort of measure is even needed and yet ignored until politically convenient shows you all you need to know about the priorities of our electeds such as Josh Newman & Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Quirk-Silva & Newman Throw Taxpayers Under Brown’s Train

Choo-Choo! Onward to higher taxes.

Our local statewide electeds, Josh Newman (D. 29th State Senate District) & Sharon Quirk-Silva (D. Assembly District 65), have opted to vote to increase vehicle registration fees, gas taxes and add a new tax on zero emission cars in order to fix the budget that their own party is too incompetent to balance.

The vote was on California Senate Bill 1 (SB1) and both Newman and Quirk-Silva voted “Aye” on 06 April 2017.

I’m especially annoyed with Josh Newman because I thought, at the very least, that he wasn’t totally full of it. That he had a solid first name helped some during the election as did the GOP running their own brand of horribleness. Newman seemed like a reasonable guy who wouldn’t buckle to the whims of his party’s thievery.

Newman’s website, in the “Why Newman” section, states the following:

Boilerplate nonsense that clearly meant nothing to him.

It’s time to push back against the special interests and political careerists in Sacramento. As your State Senator, my priorities will be your priorities: creating opportunity, improving schools, balancing budgets, and solving problems.

I didn’t read that as “I’ll tax you into oblivion and work with the political careerists to give them their gas and vehicles taxes that they’ve been clamoring for for far too long”. True to that (D) behind his name Newman played the standard tax’em-into-oblivion game that his chosen party oh so loves.

I voted for Josh Newman but bear suit be damned I will not make that mistake again. (more…)

Fullerton Parking – State ADU Edition

You! I need your gas taxes & vehicle license fees… so stop driving.

Tomorrow the planning commission is going to be dealing with more parking issues. Or shall I say they’re going to be talking about something they have no control over because the State already stepped on them.

Back on 27 September 2016 Governor Moonbean signed SB 1069 into law. SB 1069 deals with “Additional Dwelling Units” or in the common vernacular “back houses”. You know the units as they’re the ones that get added behind a house so a homeowner can rent their second/third/fifth property to two groups of people as opposed to one. Charitably they’re known as “Granny Units” and uncharitably as “‘Mommy why is the creepy man staring at me all the time’ Units”.

The merits or pitfalls of these units notwithstanding, as we now legally have to allow for them all over town, this particular piece of legislation includes the following nugget:

Cities must waive parking requirements for ADUs that are entirely contained within existing structures, or that are within one-half mile of public transit, one block of a car-share vehicle, or in a historic district.

Within one-half mile of public transit. Okay, so let’s put that into context. Here’s a map of Fullerton to which I’ve added the major bus lines of OCTA in blue.

At least OCTA doesn’t go near the nicer houses.

Using the Google Maps Distance Tool I can say that 1/2 mile would mean that Fullerton cannot require additional parking for ADUs anywhere approximately South of North Court. Likewise no new parking requirements would be allowed 1/2 mile East or West of Euclid or State College for ADUs. I’d worry about the neighborhood by CSUF but with CollegeTown coming back (courtesy of Japanese Chat Girls) that’s the least of their worries.

I loathe writing about roads and parking, truly I do yet unfortunately our elected betters seem to not understand human nature and thus the issues constantly come up.

This no required parking if within a half-mile of public transit is because allegedly the low-income take public transit unlike those who write these stupid laws. The poor take so much public transit that we subsidize the snot out of buses, streetcars, trolleys and hubs such as ARTIC. The poor love their public transit so much that we keep having to exempt streets from overnight parking in the lower-income apartments thanks to their under-parked nature. Why if only the folks in those low-income apartments could find parking for all of the public transit that they love to take we wouldn’t need to exempt so many streets.

Add this newest parking issue to the quiver of arrows that will be used to kill the overnight parking ban. As an aside I wonder how many new AirBnB rentals will be built here in Fullerton thanks to this “affordable housing” bill.

Fullerton’s Leadership Void

Fullerton has a serious leadership void. No, I am not talking about our electeds telling us our budgets are balanced when they clearly aren’t and I don’t mean that we have a culture of corruption/cover-up with different rules for different people.

Those are well documented issues which will continue to be explored. No, today I’m talking about our actual leadership void.

Since last year Fullerton has lost City Manager Joe Felz, Police Chief Danny Hughes, Library Director Maureen Gebelein and now according to public 700 disclosure forms our Deputy Fire Chief Julie Kunze as well as Museum Director Dannielle Mauk.

That leaves a yearly compensation package of $1,245,302.21 on the table for those 5 positions so get your resumes ready.

Fitzgerald’s 5 Year Deception

At last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting (21 March 2017) I spoke on Agenda Item 3 regarding budget strategies. Amongst other comments I asked for clarification on what was meant by “Structural Deficit” considering that both Fitzgerald and former Councilwoman Jan Flory constantly claimed we have/had a balanced budget. I asked what changed overnight to take us from a balanced budget on 08 November 2016 into a “Structural deficit” today.

Structural Deficit Evidence

What I got regarding an answer was Councilwoman Fitzgerald dodging the question and blaming Sacramento and the CalPERS rate change. And I quote:

“And I will go ahead and answer the question that was brought up over balanced budgets and what happened overnight and I will tell you, I mean, for former Council member Flory and I, when we talked about balanced budgets. Our 5 year projections, every year showed a balanced budget and what happened overnight is CalPERS decreased the amount of returns that they assumed that we were going to receive. So, that is what happened to those 5 year projections to change them.”

There’s a lot to unpack so strap in kiddos.

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An Insult to a Fallen Brother

Photo from Behind the Badge

While on his way to work back in 1975 one of F.P.D.’s own, officer Jerry Hatch, was killed by a drunk driver. Skip ahead a few decades and we have signs on the 91FRWY to honor him. Last July F.P.D. held a special event to honor Officer Hatch with his family and former colleagues.

This is because F.P.D. cares about their brethren. They likewise care about Drunk Driving based on the praise their officers receive when they get awards from M.A.D.D..

Which beggars the question of why was F.P.D. so willing to spit on Officer Hatch’s memory by allowing favors, politics or whatever it was to get in the way of doing their jobs on the morning of 09 November 2016? Why would they send the message that drunk driving is A-O.K. so long as the driver is connected enough?

For all of their continuous grandstanding they were perfectly fine with letting an “alleged” drunk driver walk in the hopes that he didn’t mow down another of their brethren.

On the fateful morning of 09 November 2016, good friend of former Mayor Fitzgerald and all around guy, Joe Felz left our quaint city to spend time with his family. Owing to why Mr. Felz actually separated himself from his position (the 10th highest paid City Manager in California) it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that his family doesn’t reside in the Fullerton Jail.

Amazingly we have a District Attorney who magically found evidence for charges four months after an incident that Fullerton P.D. couldn’t find on the scene. F.P.D. even managed to phone their friend, Chief Danny Hughes, for help and couldn’t find even a citable offense under Sappy McTree or Felz’s missing mud-flap.

Fullerton gives out hundreds of D.U.I. tickets each year. What with 62 liquor licenses in the Downtown Fullerton area alone that’s not as impressive a feat as we’d imagine but F.P.D. is proud of their D.U.I. tickets.

If one looks at the headlines from the Public Relations firm Behind the Badge, which the City of Fullerton pays $50,000+/year, you would think we take drunk driving very, very seriously.

The point is clear that our city and our Fullerton Police Department claim to care deeply about Drunk Driving.

Behind the Badge likewise takes D.U.I.s seriously but are nothing more than a mouthpiece for F.P.D as evidence by the results when one searches “Felz” on their site:

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

B.t.B. wrote several pieces about Officer Hatch but have remained completely silent on the entire Felz affair. It’s not news, just good news.

Just for the sake or irony let us look at one more link from our paid P.R. flacks over at Behind the Badge:

Vargas: Political correctness puts public at risk when PD cancels DUI checkpoint – 06 May 2016

It’s a good thing we never let politics get in the way of the job.

 

BREAKING: Joe Felz Charged with DUI, Hit and Run

A toast to all my good ideas…

Updated 4:55 PM:

The Orange County District Attorney’s office has issued a press release: FORMER FULLERTON CITY MANAGER CHARGED WITH DUI AND HIT AND RUN ON ELECTION NIGHT:

Case # 17NM03367

Date: March 3, 2017

FORMER FULLERTON CITY MANAGER CHARGED WITH DUI AND HIT AND RUN ON ELECTION NIGHT

FULLERTON, Calif. – The former city manager of Fullerton was charged today with driving under the influence and hit and run on election night. Joseph Burt Felz, 58, Fullerton, is charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and one misdemeanor count of hit and run with property damage. If convicted, Felz faces a maximum sentence of one year in county jail. The defendant is scheduled to be arraigned on April 3, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-8, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

On Nov. 8, 2016, Felz is accused of driving a vehicle under the influence in a residential area of Fullerton, driving over a curb and striking a tree. A witness to the incident called 911 and the Fullerton Police Department (FPD) responded and located Felz nearby. Felz is accused of unlawfully failing to stop his vehicle immediately.

FPD initially responded to the scene and then transferred the case to the OCDA for further investigation and legal review.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Nichols of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Updated 4:50 PM:

An anonymous source has sent in the following regarding the DA’s decision to charge Joe Felz with two misdemeanors.

 

Updated 4:45 PM:

View the criminal complaint – California v. Joe Felz

Original Post:

Former Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz is being charged with TWO Misdemeanors, DUI and Hit & Run, for his wild ride on 09 November 2016. After nearly 4 months of nothing and obfuscating from the Fullerton City Attorney as well as the Orange County District Attorney’s Office it looks like something is finally being sorted out.

We will update you as more information comes out.

The Cost of Worker’s Compensation

There are some hidden costs to government that are hidden in plain sight. One of these costs is the amount we pay in settlements for various lawsuits.

Some settlements are easy to figure out. We know why the City of Fullerton paid the family of Kelly Thomas close to 6 Million dollars. When somebody goes after the city for work related issues, however, it is much less clear what we’re paying for or why we’re paying.

What we do know is how much we’ve paid. Here’s the total we’ve paid from 2010-2016 in Worker’s Compensation Settlements.

Owing to privacy laws we can’t know who got what and why so be certain that there are shenanigans going on with some of these payouts.

2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total
626,566.15 280,603.92 351,040.96 476,534.54 575,798.79 147,178.62 493,533.50 2,951,256.48

That’s the thing about government. No matter how much you think it’s costing you, it’s always costing you and your children more.