Coto Joe On The Move Again

Remember last year when County Supervisor candidate Joe Kerr kicked off his 4th District campaign by claiming he had moved from his Coto de Caza palace to someone else’s house on Stony Lane in Brea?

Perhaps the rent was too high, or maybe the neighborhood just didn’t feel right. A few days ago Coto Joe registered to vote at the fine Merrick Apartments over in Placentia. Here’s a closer look at his new digs.

Free furniture.

Joe’s wife is still registered to vote 35 miles away behind the gate at Joe’s million dollar south county home.

Who knew “firefighting” paid so well? Well, almost everybody…
Left behind for apartment 49D.

The clumsy execution of this carpetbagging scam reminds one of another failed Supervisor candidate from a few years ago.

Welcome to the traveling circus.

A Trip Up and Down Memory Lane…AKA The Pine Wood Stairs.

“Pine Wood Stairs” looked a lot better in concept than in reality…

Back in May, FFFF documented the lamentable construction disaster of the Pinewood Stairs, a $1.6 million boondoggle created by City staff, whose construction defects were so bad and so plentiful that a reasonable person might even inquire about how we could get our money back. In fact, City Councilman Sebourn mumbled something about getting our money back, then said he was just kidding. Bruce Whitaker said nothing at all. On Facebook City Hall bureaucracy advocate Gretchen Cox cooked up a story about some alleged City “report” that exonerated all concerned.

Nine months have passed and I thought it might be interesting to revisit the site of the fiasco and share a visual tour to take another look.

Here’s a typical example of a project with nobody in charge and nobody who knows what they’re doing.

The caisson footings with the wood posts are almost all cracked; some of the posts aren’t even vertical. Some of the caissons are out of plumb, too.

Aspects of the construction reveal building that was cobbled together to make the contraption fit together.

 

Now, as then, the wooden rails are extremely rough and splintiferous.

Rough cut

The lack of quality workmanship, structural and cosmetic remains in evidence. And those fraying cable ends? Why, they’ve been taped! Of course the tape is falling off.

Simple things – like removing the cardboard tube form from the caissons seem to have eluded the City’s crack inspection team. Crack. Get it?

Basic design oversight problems were jerryrigged and never addressed properly at all.

Weird features that are nothing but potential for risk management headaches and taxpayer payouts are still much in evidence – like this trip hazard. Shrug, indeed.

Loose cables. Down the hill goes the toddler.

As usual, maintenance of  public property remains a challenge for the City. Loose ends are not their specialty.

How hard is it to keep a tree alive? Don’t bother asking. You won’t get an answer.

The effects of the inevitable pedestrian shortcuts betray both design and maintenance failure. It looked better on paper.

We have been reassured by people who don’t know what they are talking about that everything was just grand about this grand failure; but, the evidence did and still does point to the exact opposite: a project that suffered from fundamental design shortcomings, incompetent and careless construction, a construction manager whose only function seems to have been to cash our check, and inspectors who were (and probably still are) a disgrace to their profession.

As you can see driving up Harbor, the City is now building its splendid new entry to the park – including a bridge – costing millions and accomplishing nothing but wasting park construction resources. Apart from the obvious uselessness of the project I have to wonder if it will suffer from the same dereliction that informs the so-called “Pinewood Stairs.” Nothing leads me to hope for the contrary.

Ed Endorses Young Kim

No there, there…

Running true to form, Ed Royce (R- Bad Dye Job) has apparently endorsed his vacuous protege, Young Kim, to replace him in Congress. It would seem that the job of County Supervisor isn’t as inviting an opportunity for this dedicated public servant to be serviced by the public.

Yes. I could do that job.

This really isn’t much of a surprise, given the Little Corporal’s penchant to endorse unqualified candidates for office. Of course a ling cod would make a better congresscritter than Young Kim, but that cuts no ice with Royce, whose career has been marked by a decided indifference to the well-being of his constituents.

The Village People just called…

This is good news for Tim Shaw who is now the only Republican candidate for 4th District County Supervisor, and as things stand, would certainly make a run-off against the Democrat’s carpetbaggin’ union goon, Coto Joe Kerr.

Still doesn’t live in district…

LA County Firefighters Back 5th District Resident For 4th District Supervisor

Good union luvin’ for Coto Joe

Sounds about right. A “public safety” union is endorsing union boss and massive pension receiver, Coto Joe Kerr for Orange County Supervisor.

What’s really funny is that the union isn’t even from Orange County. It’s actually from Los Angeles County and is hired by the City of La Habra to run around town making paramedic calls and  firehouse chili. So I guess it’s appropriate that the out-of-town union is endorsing a candidate who is out-of-town, too.

Who knew “firefighting” paid so well? Well, almost everybody…

As we have amply documented, Joe Kerr lives in a million dollar McMansion in Coto de Caza, a long, long way from our 4th District. In fact it’s just about as far as you can get and still be in The OC. But Joe has concocted a “residence” in Brea and has sworn on his voter registration that that’s where he lives.

Well, I ain’t a-swallerin’ that.

The Waiver

Gravity asserts itself…

Recently FFFF has been chronicling the goings on at the Fullerton Airport, specifically a lawsuit by a former tenant, AirCombat USA,  and the non-aviation commercial use by another tenant, Hangar 21, who is desirous of expanding its party venue. The two issues are only conjoined only because Hangar 21 was recommended by staff to move into the space that CombatUSA was kicked out of.

With enough fuel the party will get off the ground. An aviation use.

On Tuesday, December 5th, the City Council reviewed and approved the selection of Hangar 21 to occupy the space and signaled its intention to change the Zoning Code to legalize what is obviously not permitted under current zoning regulations.

The issue of Federal Aviation Administration approval of hospitality use was raised by Councilman Greg Sebourn. Fullerton Airport Manager Brendan O’Reilly, in a convoluted statement, finally got around to claiming that he had received a “waiver” from the FAA for using the airport for parties. He didn’t produce this document. Maybe we can help.

We know that back in 2014, O’Reilly communicated with the local branch of the FAA seeking advice on establishment of a non-aeronautical use in a hangar at our airport. Who this proposed lessee was we don’t know because we don’t have the attachments described in the written response from an LA FAA dude,  David Cushing. It may have been the establishment of a party venue known as Hangar 21 Venue.

Here’s what the FAA had to say:

Well, I don’t know about you, but I can read English pretty darn well. Once you strip away the cross-bureaucracy congratulations and the double-talk, the message is crystal clear: raise money to support the airport, but continue to keep non-aeronautical uses out of aeronautical areas. I don’t  know which part of an airport is non-aeronautical, but an airplane hangar ain’t it.

Is O’Reilly’s FAA waiver in reality the Cushing letter of October 2014? I can’t be sure, but that’s what the City provided when asked for documentation of FAA approval. If it is we may be heading for turbulence up ahead.

 

 

Airport Saga Continues. Does “Hangar 21” Conform To Zoning Law?

Gravity asserts itself…

In my previous post regarding recent doings at the Fullerton Airport I described a big lawsuit by a disgruntled former tenant, Air CombatUSA, and also remarked upon the propriety of the use of airport property as a party venue called “Hangar 21.” The implication was there might be some sort of Federal Aviation Administration issue. One Friend, “Order 5190.6B, Chapter 9” provided the name and place where such issues as equality access to aviation facilities are spelled out by the FAA.

Getting prepared for takeoff…

But then another of our Friends, “Little City Planner School Graduate” questioned whether such use was even legal per the Fullerton Municipal Code. I didn’t have a clue. So I looked it up.

Per Fullerton’s Zoning Map, the airport is designated “P-L,” i.e., public land. Municipal Code Section 15.25 describes permitted and CUP uses for the P-L designation. Here they are:

Bookmark15.25.020.  Permitted uses.
   The following uses are permitted in a Public Land (P-L) zone, subject to the provisions of this chapter:
   A.   Flood control reservoir areas.
   B.   Public parks and open space areas.
   C.    Public educational facilities.
   D.    Public buildings including administrative buildings, libraries, fire stations, reservoirs, and maintenance facilities.
   E.     Public parking facilities.
   F.     Public transportation facilities.
   G.    Public golf courses.
   H.    Other similar public facilities when in conformance with the purpose of this zone when recommended by the Director of Development Services, and approved by the City Council.
(Ord. 2982, 2001)

Bookmark15.25.025.  Conditionally permitted uses.
   A.   The following non-public uses or activities are permitted in a Public Land (P-L) zone when approved by and subject to conditions of the City Council:
      1.   Commercial stables, subject to the development requirements, provisions and conditions of Subsection 15.55.030.C of this title.
      2.   Open-air marketing activities including, but not limited to such activities as a cooperatively sponsored farmers market or swap meet.
      3.   Commercial agricultural production and non-retail plant nursery operations excluding cannabis cultivation as defined in Chapter 15.04.
   B.   A special event may be permitted on a property with a Public Land (P-L) zone pursuant to Chapter 8.71 or Chapter 9.12 of the Fullerton Municipal Code.
(Ord. 3227 § 3, 2016; Ord. 2982, 2001)

You will notice that there is no provision for a private party venue, no matter how tenuously tied to a legitimate “public transportation” use such as helicopter rides.

So what gives? Hangar 21 as a party spot seems to be in violation of the Code since it is not consistent with the uses described above, and since the City Council has never even tried to legitimize it via 15.025.020(H).

Trouble at the Airport?

Gravity asserts itself…

Perhaps. Big trouble. The City is being sued by a former tenant – Air Combat USA – whose owner is claiming the Airport Director conspired to keep him from renewing his lease option for another thirty years, and thus depriving him of the revenue and profit therefrom.

Here’s the complaint:

Air Combat USA vs City of Fullerton Complaint

$50,000,000 is a lot of dough, so we’ll have to watch this one. Is there any validity to the complaint? I don’t know. A lot of facts are asserted that may be very hard for the plaintiff to prove even if they are true. Some of the allegations have the ring of truth.

Unfortunately for the taxpayers, Fullerton city employees have a pretty poor track record when it come to mismanaging facilities and interfering with people they don’t care for via restraint of trade practices. And just because Redevelopment is sort of gone doesn’t mean the bureaucratic lust to play Monopoly is gone with it.

Getting prepared for takeoff…

Meantime, other airport lessees have been heard complaining about a tenant called Hangar 21 that is operating a big party space out of a hangar – a non-aviation use that may not be kosher for a general aviation airport, and that might therefore have Federal funding implications for the City.

Suspect Apprehended by FPD

A notorious criminal was nabbed by FPD after giving chase up North Pomona Avenue yesterday afternoon. Reports had been received that Victor J. Testudines had been spotted in the neighborhood.

Deceptively evasive.

Testudines was eventually apprehended by officers around 5:45pm by police after a lengthy foot pursuit.

“We had to chase  him down and that really pisses us off” said FPD spokesman Jeff Fragnet. Two officers received broken bones in the ensuing scuffle and were taken to St. Jude’s, according to Fragnet. “This is a bad hombre,” he added.

Please Cap Pic

Someone sent in this image of  Fullerton City Councilman Doug “Bud” Chaffee and his mate Paulette Marshall. I’m not sure why. Maybe the friends can shed some illumination on this with a helpful caption.

Who Is Paulette Marshall?

Good question. She is the spouse of Fullerton Councilman Doug “Bud” Chaffee, and has often been considered the brains of the operation.

She is also rumored to be a future council candidate from the 2nd District once that district comes up for election – now slated for 2020. Here is Ms. Marshall attending an underpass opening ceremony. She’s the one over on the left wearing the purple jacket.

Here’s a close up.

But wait. Why is she even there? She doesn’t hold any official position in the city. And even more importantly, why is she wearing a City of Fullerton badge bearing the official city seal?  How did she get that badge and why is she wearing it?

A cynical person might suspect that Ms. Marshall is posing in a photo op like this for future campaign material, projecting the subliminal message of “incumbent.” But that would be extremely unethical and really hard to credit.