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.
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Kenneth A. Domer
City of Fullerton
It’s a good thing the City has so much money to play with.
Lo and Behold! The survey is nothing other than:
An attempt to get you to prioritize the various messes the politician and bureaucrats have created, and,
Ignore the biggest problem – a vastly expensive, often criminal, and completely irredeemable police department; and,
Subtly offer a 1% sales tax as a way to fix the problems; and,
Failing that, howdja feel about a .75% sales tax? And,
Gather that prioritization information you gave them to fashion their propaganda campaign for the inevitable tax.
My advice is to ignore the survey except for amusement purposes and remember that we will have school district bond proposals on the ballot in 2020 as the insatiable maws of local government takes ever more and returns ever less.
As you Friends can imagine the FFFF industrial complex has been engaged, mano a mano, with the yapping legal beagles employed by the City.
But now I take a break from the marblemouthed drone of Dick Jones’s lies to catch up our Dear Readers with other events of the past few months. If you supposed that the spotlight of media attention on its legal mischief has caused Fullerton politicians and bureaucrats to call a pause to its idiotic endeavors, boy, would you be wrong.
In October, the proposed dee-veloper of a “boutique” hotel on a parking lot next to the Santa Fe Depot gave a show for us rubes.
You may recall this dubious project – Doug “Bud” Chaffee’s parting gift to us: approval of an exclusive negotiating agreement based on the developer’s unsolicited proposal for a hotel on what is now a parking lot. Nobody had ever heard of this bold impresario before, but no matter. Jennifer Fitzgerald has always wanted one of these “boutique” hotels, even though it was never in the Transportation Center Specific Plan she kept foisting on us all those years.
In case you don’t remember, I bring your attention to the record of our dimwitted and unintelligible mayor, Jesus Quirk Silva, who changed his vote from the previous meeting to make this absurdity move along. He even made up fake “experts” who supposedly changed his mind.
Anyhow, it seems this newly minted “hotelier” thinks downtown Fullerton is “dilapidated” and needs his special kind of remedy – a boutique hotel for all those fancy swells who haunt DTF’s exclusive nightclubs and other highfalutin venues. The pictures, however, suggest a six story stucco box with some brick veneer stuck on the front to satisfy the locals sensibilities.
And at this meeting a strange apparition appeared: a bunch of carpenter union goons in jobsite safety vests. Presumably their presence was meant to impress upon the assembled citizenry how necessary such city-supported boondoggles are to their well-being. It’s become common for this in Anaheim, but this is ridiculous. It wasn’t even a public hearing where such theatrics might persuade the more feeble-minded decision maker.
Apparently, word has not yet got out from City hall about whether this harebrained scheme is going to be subsidized with free or discounted land, but I’d be willing to bet on that. After all, this City is not for sale. If you’re connected with the city council you just step up and take what you want.
Most people, after having been nabbed committing trespass and theft would at least lay low for a respectable period of time.
But Paulette Marshall Chaffee, the former carpetbagging sign thief who quit the Fullerton City Council race less than a year ago is not respectable. She has decided to run for the Orange County Board of Education, a fairly obscure and almost totally opaque local agency.
One of our attentive Friends actually received a push poll promoting this miscreant. Just in case you don’t know a push poll is one of those phony calls that ask questions like: “if you knew Paulette Marshall invented a cure for cancer would you be more or less likely to vote for her?”
Well, I have a question of my own: what in the world are this woman’s qualifications? She can’t even steal campaign signs without getting busted.
Paulette and her doddering husband Doug “Bud” Chaffee have a long history of arrogance and indifference to the people of Fullerton, and so this move shouldn’t be too surprising.
And neither should it be surprising that we, the good folks at FFFF, will be conducting our own outreach: if you knew Paulette Marshall Chaffee plead guilty to theft would you be more or less likely to vote for her?
Uh oh. Another sexcapade courtesy of the Fullerton Joint Unified High School District.
A few weeks ago we learned of the fun hijinks of FPD Pervy Peeping Policeman Jose Paez deployed on FJUHSD campuses as a “resource officer” which, if you think about it, if a pretty funny title for this creep.
Yesterday, news outlets reported on the playful doings of Ms. Kristin Lynn Boyle, a school psychologist at La Habra High. She is accused of rape in a classroom.
What is it with this sort of thing? Makes you wonder why the grossly overpaid educrats can’t run their operation just a little better. Did anybody bother giving the psychologist a psych test of her own? And how many of these minor transgressions will be successfully whitewashed and written off as bad luck for the organization?
First we get to hear the obligatory boohoo tale from our imbecile mayor, Jesus Silva about how a cop with a growing family just can’t afford to live with the paltry crumbs doled out by the taxpayers of Fullerton.
Then we get to hear from our $230,000 a year City Manager, Ken Domer, as he focuses his keen, analytical mind on the issue:
“We’re about 18th in pay, but we’re also the sixth largest city in Orange County. So our pay is clearly not where it should be,” Domer said.
Notice how this dull blade conflates city population with deserved cop pay? This is just insulting. Is he that stupid or just have that low opinion of our intelligence? And notice the language: “clearly not where it should be” as if perhaps his moronic formula is actually validated somewhere by a scale he just made up. No, Domer, what’s not where it should be is the monster salary we pay you not to be stupid – or at least not to say stupid things that end up in the media.
If anybody cares, the vote was 4-1 with Bruce Whitaker voting no. The rest, of course, went along for the ride, even though the City’s finances are so precarious Silva is promising a new tax on the ballot next year. And no doubt the cop union that is more interested in keeping dues paying members than in the well-being of our city will be backing it big time.
And as our decrepit roads and infrastructure deteriorate ever farther, they will be used by the cops and the bureaucrats to leverage more revenue from us. Revenue that will go right back into employee compensation for the people who brought us the bad roads in the first place, and who have cultivated and protected the FPD Culture of Corruption.
Folks here at FFFF have been prognosticating a new tax for several years. Even as councilcreatures Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory lied to the public by telling them the budget was balanced, we’ve been watching the strategic reserve fund dwindle away to almost nothing, leveling off last year only because so many positions were vacant.
The fact is that ever-escalating “public safety” pay and benefits, and a ruinous CalPERS pension debt have created what budget bean counters call a structural deficit; meaning, that the annual red-ink baths are a permanent condition that you can’t weasel your way out of selling marginal city-owned properties.
And so the harsh and inescapable reality has finally come home, like a wayward vulture, to roost. And harsh realities always trump the happy lies of politicians. It’s just a matter of time.
And that is why so many people have begun to hear stories that Councilcreature Jesus “Don’t Call Me Jeesis” Silva is sending up the trial balloon of a sales tax on the November 2020 general election ballot. The choice of that date is cynical since the General Election is will produce an electorate much more sympathetic to tax and spend policies of liberals like Silva, Ahmad Zahra, Flory and of course Fitzgerald. The seeds will be officially sown during the 2020-21 budget kabuki next spring. I am giving huge odds.
It’s going to happen. Zahra and Silva are not up for re-election so they must figure they’re safe; Flory is the lamest of lame ducks, a flightless bird, in fact, and thoughtful Friends have already suggested that she was put back on the council precisely for an automatic yes vote on a new tax. After all Flory’s first love has always been public emplyees.
And this leaves Fitzgerald, an erstwhile Republican free to oppose the vote putting the tax on the ballot in order to unburden herself of running for re-election with the tax monkey on her back – exactly where it belongs.
The pieces are now pretty much in place. The only question is how much the FPD Culture of Corruption and their buddies lounging in the “firehouse” are willing to invest in their shakedown.
And so we ventured out on a proactive foot patrol to see what effect the intervening eighteen months may have had on this dismal boondoggle. What we found was not shocking, for our sense of shock at the ineptitude of our City’s park and engineering departments dissipated years ago.
The structure is noticeably creaking, treads are wobbly and handrails are coming loose. This barely two-year old ramshackle pile of lumber is showing unmistakable signs of decrepitude and neglect. Its creators have moved on to new ventures.
What did we find?
Uncorrected code violations like tread width? Check.
Failed irrigation? Check.
Uncontrolled erosion? Check.
Risk management potential? Check.
No correction of substandard design and construction? Check.
What is it about the Orange County Transportation Agency and its love of bicycle boondoggles? We know they are obligated to pretend they care about multi-modal transportation, but why the silliness? FFFF readers will recall we talked about the ludicrous $800 per bike ride fiasco overseen by former County Supervisor and OCTA Boardmember, Shawn Nelson.
Now it appears that Nelson’s sclerotic successor, Fullerton’s own Prince of Potholes, Doug “Bud” Chaffee is following in the noble tradition.
I just received a self-promoting e-mail from Supervisor Chaffee touting OCTA bike day. For ten bucks you get bike training, a nifty bike helmet, bike lights and a delicious lunch. What the subsidy for these days of fun is the public is not informed. However the impoverished need not worry; for “scholarships” are available on a limited basis although we are not enlightened as to who might qualify, and how. The provided link says nothing about “scholarships.”
Now while there’s nothing wrong with bicycle safety, per se, one wonders why we are paying for classes on how to ride a bike, and on “fun” bike tours and “advanced” bicycling skills. And why does the public have to pay for the political promotion of “public servants?”
During a quick stop at the on-line Fullerton Observer I read an article by Jane Rands about a dope forum held by the folks at NUFF – an organization of mostly geriatric liberals whose mission seems to be to promote safely pro-government candidates and causes. Aha, thought I, perhaps someone will stand up for the rights of the people of California who have voted twice for marijuana legalization and twice have been thwarted, whenever possible, by the Drug Warrior/Prison Industrial Complex.
The three members of a panel, selected by who knows who, were Ahmad Zahra, Temp Fullerton Top Cop Bob Dunn, and some dude named Richard Ham about whom I know nothing.
Whatever hopes I had about this get together were quickly dashed reading the article. Smilin’ Zahra, it seems, once got a prescription for medical weed for his fibromyalgia, but was too chicken to try it. Scary stuff. Ever the wordy equivocator, Zahra seemed to be all for lots of regulation because gosh darn it, the kids have already been exposed to cannabis by illicit shops popping up next to schools.
The large and seemingly self-satisfied Chief Dunn, who used to be a spokeshole for the notorious Anaheim Police Department, gave the usual cop-blather about the evils of drugs (kiddies were getting into mom and dad’s digestible stash!) and reminding Fullerton’s tremulous seniors that drug driving is a crime. In typical police fashion he suggested that a confused public causes his boys “a lot of effort with little return.” Same ol’ bullshit the cops have been peddling for 60 years. In a grand gesture of philanthropy, however, he did let it be known that he and his posse intended to follow the law. Gee thanks, Bob.
The third member of the Dope Troika was Mr. Ham, a Korean business guy in some sort of hotel business. Good thing he was there, because somebody was able to point out the all the flaws in the present system where cities are allowed to opt-out of legalization and the ultimate consequences of California ridiculous 2016 referendum: the maintenance of an illegal, underground system of cultivation and distribution.
Zahra proclaimed the meeting a “good start” begging the question of why in the world anyone needs to start considering these issues. Why there is any confusion about marijuana in this state after over twenty years of legalization? It’s because the cops and the cowardly politicians don’t want clarity, they don’t want freedom and they don’t want to be deprived of the seizure asset income they get from the War on Drugs.
Mr. Zahra did accomplish one thing. Because of the presence of Mayor Jesus and Jan Flory he warned of the dangers of a Brown Act violation, chasing our stalwart mayor out of the room.
I noticed two things in the Fullerton Observer the other day that on the surface are pretty innocuous but that upon a little reflection seem to be symbolic of the way our city government has operated over the years.
The first is the City’s proclamation of Arab American Month, a first, and no doubt conceived by new councilmember Ahmad Zahra who is himself an Arab American. Here is Zahra:
“As an Arab-American myself, I’m very proud of this moment, and I’m proud of our city for being such a wonderful, diverse place where everybody can celebrate who they are but work together for what is best for our community.”
Diversity and celebration. Hmm. Well, okay, a little color toner and some quality legal-sized paper, a few minutes of everybody’s time and you’ve got your proclamation. Go in peace.
The second item is about the rainbow flag flapping on the pole in front of City Hall. The City Council in March approved flying the banner that symbolizes LGBTQ rights, etc for LGBTQ Month. Mr. Zahra is also gay and this may account for the fact that Fullerton has finally got around to this pressing issue. This is a bit more problematic because here we have an official endorsement by the City. Personally, I’m all for equal rights for everybody – including marriage, and I couldn’t care less if Jennifer Fitzgerald orders that a Goofy flag fly over the City Hall. Still, it gives one pause to consider the priorities of our esteemed leaders – nobody’s rights are threatened by not flying the flag; meaning, of course, that the whole thing is an empty gesture.
And this brings me, finally, to the point of this post. We have a city council that has spent us to brink of fiscal disaster with no accountability, no responsibility and no concern at all for the taxpayers and citizens of Fullerton. They have squandered millions on vanity construction projects that were mismanaged, unnecessary, or downright dangerous. They have let the streets of Fullerton become the joke of Orange County. They have turned over downtown Fullerton to a gang of scofflaw saloon owners. They have nurtured a deadly Culture of Corruption in the police department, an infection that reaches from top to bottom. Meantime they are determined to ignore any of the calls for a correction to the course they have navigated.
Ask yourselves this question: Are any of the real municipal problems of Fullerton ever addressed? The answer, sadly, has been no. Meanwhile, empty symbolism and diversion are the order of the day. It’s easy pandering, and to the uninitiated might even look like something is being accomplished.
The question whether hollow gestures are better than none at all, especially when promoted by incompetent or corrupt officials, may remain academic. What is a practical reality is that in a month or so Fullerton will begin its Annual Can Kick – known as the budget approval. But the can is getting more obdurate every year and the lies coming from Fitzgerald and Flory ever more outrageous. Soon we will be able to see what sort of new flags from Mr. Zahra and his colleagues will be run up the flagpole. Will anybody salute?