Friends for Fullerton's Future supports causes that promote intelligent, responsible and accountable government in Fullerton and Orange County
Author: Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody is a Child of Aquarius, a former hard drug user, and a devotee of lawn bowling. He abandoned a profitable career as an curb address number painter to fulfill a lifetime dream of mastering the zither.
It happened pretty quickly, just like a UFO sighting, and just as rare: a Fullerton councilperson suggesting accountability. But here you see Greg Sebourn raising the embarrassing subject of the lamentable Hillcrest Park “stairs to nowhere.”
If you’ve been paying attention, you know very well by now that these rickety looking wooden “exercise” stairs are a $1.6 million waste, a genuine Fullerton-type boondoggle that nobody outside City Hall wanted; a mess compounded by what can only be called substandard materials, workmanship and incompetent oversight – and that’s being charitable.
No, Greg, we cannot get a refund and good luck finding anybody to second a motion to do a full and complete audit of this project to find out how and why the whole thing went sideways so badly.
In 2015, the former Mayor of Irvine moved into a gated Fullerton neighborhood to run for the State Senate. His name is Sukhee Kang and his embarrassing and embarrassingly expensive campaign ended in a primary election disaster when he came in last, behind Fullerton’s Josh Newman.
Poor Sukhee had nothing to offer except a disastrous record in Irvine, a phony ballot designation as an educator, a vanity press “autobiography” written by somebody else, the dubious title of carpetbagger, and of course a long list of Democrat party big shots from up and down California who were unconcerned over the ethical problems of an incompetent politician moving into a district to hijack it for his own political aggrandizement.
One of Sukhee’s imbecile Democrat apologists actually tried to make it seem like a perfectly reasonable move – he and Mrs. Sukhee were just a couple of lonely, restless empty-nesters on the move. In reality the ploy was a race-based scam that necessitated hiding Sukhee’s political origins and record.
And now this poor fool is gone – back to Irvine according to Thy Vo of Voice of OC, thus abandoning his wafer-thin commitment to north Orange County. FFFF checked. Sure enough, Sukhee sold his golf course house on November 16, 2016 – eight days after the general Election created a new, Democrat State Senate incumbent. And after his realtor’s commission got paid, Sukhee took another loss.
And here’s the fun, ironic bit. The campaign guy who took over the Josh Newman senate campaign after Sukhee hit the showers, a person named Derek Humphrey, is also working for our latest carpetbagging opportunist – millionaire union executive Joe Kerr, who, in reality lives in ritzy Coto de Caza and wants to be a county supervisor for us. Once again the Democrat establishment seems intent on coalescing around a man who is blithely unconcerned about the ethical problem of carpetbaggery – at least so long as victory seems even remotely plausible.
You would think Mr. Humphrey would be acutely aware of the pitfalls of north county carpetbagging, but, hey, a job’s a job, right?
For our local historians, and Humpy, too, here is a list of well-off carpetbaggers who have recently failed when folks in north Orange County were made aware that a carpetbagger was on the loose:
Friends, in response to our public records act request regarding council communications on November 9th, 2016, we actually received the image below from newly-elected but not even sworn-in councilman Jesus Silva.
The first message from the afternoon of November 9th is “responsive,” but not requested since Silva was not yet a councilman. Still it’s pretty darn funny.
The second message dated five days later is a completely gratuitous offering, and you are free to make of it what you will. To me it looks an awful lot like Jesus was planning a list of invitees to an upcoming fundraiser. Let’s hope Felz didn’t waste any time on a purely political exercise for somebody too lazy too do his own research. Of course Stumblejoe had other things on his mind on November 14th.
Here is Coto Joe’s previous address, a million dollar house that he must be hanging on to since he hasn’t sold it. But if Joe did move, even pretend-like, he may have left an important item behind, namely, his wife. China Kerr, is still registered to vote in the posh environs of Coto de Caza:
Like his carpetbagging predecessors, Coto Joe is wisely hanging on to his real estate – the big house in the swanky community behind guard gates, where his wife is still registered to vote. It’s not even listed for sale, although Joe declared his new abode, under penalty of perjury, ten weeks ago.
Young Kim, who last year managed to get herself unelected as our State Assemblywoman still lusts after political office, it seems. So now, unemployed, she is running for County Supervisor, a job she is no more qualified to hold than she was a seat in the State Legislature. Actually, a ling cod is more qualified to be a County Supervisor.
Her campaign, run by the proudly sleazy Dave Gilliard, just announced that Kim is endorsed by OCs two top law enforcement officials: DA Tony Rackauckas and the Sheriff, Sandra Hutchens. In days gone by these endorsements were no doubt a help to a campaign. Now? Probably not so much.
Hutchens and Rackauckas are both embroiled in a several years-old scandal involving the illegal creation and deployment of a system of jailhouse snitches. The jail deputies have repeatedly lied about the existence of the system and its use, and the DA’s crew has not only known about it, but has prosecuted people based on it. And tellingly, the DA has charged no Deputy Sheriffs with perjury even as the evidence of their lies and their destruction of evidence has become irrefutable. The result of this crooked fiasco so far is that the Feds are investigating the County – which will, of course, lead nowhere. More problematic is the DA causing the release of murderers and other not nice people in order to keep a lid on the whole steaming pile.
I know, “public safety,” right?
But loyal repuglican foot soldiers that they are, both the DA and Sheriff got on board the Young Kim Express as it was crawling out of the station, getting behind, they hope, the front runner who might eventually approve their budgets some warm June day at the County; and maybe willing to deploy the considerable resources of the County of Orange to run interference for their own criminal behavior.
When it comes to influence peddling, nothing succeeds like alcohol and that’s what Curt Pringle and Associates is peddling at the upcoming big SCAG event down in the desert.
For the uninitiated, SCAG is “Southern California Association of Governments,” a regional agglomeration of government planning know-it-alls whose vision for the future includes big expensive transit projectors, ever more stack and pack housing, and, well, you get the drift. Here’s a funny Fullerton example of the mental perspicacity of one of their “senior” planners.
And Curt Pringle? That’s the employer of our lobbyist-councilcreature, Jennifer Fitzgerald, whose sole loyalty on the Fullerton City Council appears to be to big out-of-town developers. What a match.
The idea that SCAG needs to shift its bulk down to a swanky Palm Desert resort just to celebrate the sort of future it wants to shove down our throats is laughable, but this is a Big Annual Event, and as you can imagine the tab is on the dues paying members – budget-busted cities just like ours. And what better way to get lobbied than at a free wine bar before the Big Banquet (yes they are throwing a “banquet” for themselves!).
Will Jennifer Fitzgerald be going this year? Will she be going as an elected official or as a lobbyist? Is there any difference in her mind? Probably not. It’s called multi-tasking. Or God’s Front Row Seat. Or something.
When you were a kid your parents most likely told you what parents have been telling their children for thousands of years: if you don’t take care of your toys you won’t have any toys to take care of.
Too bad such admonitions are often lost on the custodians of public property. How often have you seen property owned by you and me left without proper maintenance or even abused by it’s supposed caretakers? It happens all the time, and with impunity. But how often have you seen a government actually refused resources because they can’t take care of what they already have? That’s right. I can’t remember a single instance, either.
It’s bad enough the new elevators are unnecessary; they are also in the wrong location since so many commuters will use the Harbor Boulevard underpass to get where they want to go – to the bridge that gets them to the huge parking structure west of Harbor.
But the most unkindest cut of all is the brutal fact that the existing bridge is a disgrace to the entire City. The glass elevators have been etched with so much tagging that they are becoming opaque; the paint, where it hasn’t peeled off, is discolored and oxidized; and the steel stair steps are rusted through. The deformed stair treads have been patched here and there with caulking, and that, too, is decaying.
So next time somebody like Jan Flory or Jennifer Fitzgerald sneeringly defends of the “experts” in City Hall, please point them in the direction of the Fullerton Transportation Center; and remind them that thanks to the ever-generous taxpayers nobody in City Hall has to worry about breaking their toys. New ones will always be handed out.
Another would-be County Supervisor has declared his 2018 candidacy for the 4th District. His name is Joe Kerr. He is a Democrat. He is also the former boss of the union that represented the Orange County Fire Authority. As such it was his sole responsibility to shove his hand as hard and as deep into the pockets of the taxpayers as possible to provide his members with spectacular pay and pensions, and to perpetuate a scam in which his members enriched themselves on a gamed overtime system.
Voters will not hear about that from Mr. Kerr, of course, even as he brings in “public safety” union bucks to grease his campaign, We will hear that Joe is Fire Hero and Deserves.
Will the voters go for this? I don’t know. Right now Fullerton is facing a massive fiscal drain due to the exploding pension costs of the cops and the “fire fighters.” Having one of the chief perpetrators of this meltdown trying to run for public office seems ill-timed.
Everyone is familiar with the politician’s reputation for telling untruths, which are generally more or less creative. Rare is the outright, black and white lie. Once in a while you find it in the politician who is supremely confident of their unaccountability – or clouded in a miasma of narcissistic delusion. Or both. It hardly matters which.
And so we have Jennifer Fitzgerald, who as mayor blatantly lied about the City having a balanced budget, and blatantly lied about the City fiscal prudence that created a balanced budget.
Ever since City Manager Joe Felz’s infamous Wild Ride on November 9th, 2016 folks have been wondering about the role of Fitzgerald in the unfolding scandal in which the FPD collected no evidence and gave a liquor-smelling Felz a ride home.
A few days ago our Friend, Travis Kiger made a Public Records Act request covering:
1. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald on November 9, 2016.
2. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Police Chief Danny Hughes on November 9, 2016.
This request covers all devices used by these public officials, regardless of ownership.
Here’s what Kiger got back:
But hey, wait a minute! What about that memo put out by Police Chief Dan Hughesrelating his communication about the incident to Fitzgerald. Remember that? Here he clearly states his communication with Madame Mayor over the Felz affair. The memo is dated November 9th!
And then there was the sad declaration from SparkyFitz herself that she got a call at 3:00 am on the morning of the 9th.Remember that? And are we seriously to believe that Fitzgerald had no city-related phone calls the day her dear friend drove over a tree on Glenwood Avenue? That’s nonsense.
Here we have the spectacle of a public official pretending that there are no records documenting these communications – a position belied by the written and oral statements of the communicants themselves.
And then there is the rather odd response regarding Hughes. The fact that he is no longer employed by the City is irrelevant information. The answer about “his” phone is equally evasive. Did Hughes use his own phone or a city-issued phone? We aren’t told. And more to the point, does a public record cease to exist because the recorder is no longer a government employee?
Next Tuesday’s Council meeting brings us another Budget Show, one more in a line of footling meetings strung out like faux pearls on a cheap necklace. This one is particularly entertaining since it acknowledges a big structural deficit that the suggested cost savings will do almost nothing to correct: “modest” revenue increases are broadly suggested, but apart from some fee increases and one-time sale of “surplus” property nothing meaningful is proposed. Obviously the recommendation for a utility tax or a sales tax increase will be sprung like a rabbit out of the magician’s hat at the last moment.
One entertaining bit of the agenda memo is the inclusion of a small table identifying some of City Manager Allan Roeder’s “loose sofa change,” giving the impression that maybe, just maybe, Mr. Roeder regrets his previous offhand dismissal of a $50,000 per year contract that accomplishes nothing as not worthy of councilmanic attention. Of course I am referring to the ridiculously conceived and suspiciously ill-managed “Behind the Badge” agreement that was improperly contracted by Wild Ride Joe Felz in the first place.
Well, good for Roeder, even though desperate times call for desperate measures And it takes a lot of desperation for a City bureaucrat to even tacitly acknowledge the expendability of a contract. The irony here is thick. It is the exploding pension cost of the Fullerton police Department that is breaking our bank. Even as we pay for the cops to peddle their dopey PR right back at us.