We Get Mail

Here’s an e-mail we got from a chap calling himself Michael Corleone. He hit the nail right on head. When the Godfather talks reform, the FPD should listen.

Name: Michael Corleone
Privacy: You may publish this under my name

Subject: FPD Reform

I was wondering if you could forward this to The Desert Fox:

Thanks for responding to my post I left under Michael Corleone.  I would like to write a post on the FPD leadership issue as well.  I don’t think John Q. Public understands the finer points of this issue.

1.  Officer Schoen dropped the gauntlet at the last City Council meeting, the message was, “You’ve had  your dissent, now get out of our way.”  Judging by his poor performance at the meeting, he was put up to it.  

2.  Anybody who thinks Hughes should be Chief, and even worse, that the Chief should come from the FPD rank and file, has a fundamental lack of understanding of the state of affairs in the City of Fullerton.  A search needs to commence for a Chief as well as a professional Internal Affairs leader.

3.  Non-resident FPD addressing the Council in their bar-b-q shirts?  They need to be in uniform.  Extremely unprofessional.

4.  Why is Law Enforcement one of the few professions where leaders don’t generally get smoked for the actions of their subordinates?  It’s crazy.  Look at Lee Baca, Eric Holder, etc.  There’s no incentive to lead, they don’t have to.

5.  Remember the “Social Contract” we learned about in high school civics class?  In order for a contract to be valid there needs to be “adequate consideration.”  Simply put, both parties put up something of value in exchange for something of value.  POBOR, the “circle the wagons” mentality of City Government and Public Safety Officials, along with public indifference, have turned the “Social Contract” into a worthless platitude.

Next Week:  Deconstructing/reconstructing the FPD.

Good job MC. Michael, please write up your post. We look forward to publishing it!

P.S. I am a rat, not a fox.

Municipal Redevelopment Arrogance: A Common Scourge

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like the case in Philly where a local businessman may be sued by the Redevelopment Agency for cleaning up trash and beautifying a piece of blighted Agency-owned property that they willfully refused to clean up. So ths guy spends 20 big ones of his own dough since the City blatantly ignored its own mess, and is now looking at a potential lawsuit – a lawsuit some asshole city bureaucrat says is based on “principle.” Principle. Now that’s a scream.

What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.

Of course apologists of Fullerton’s former Redevelopment Agency (you know who they are) would be quick to point out is that this sort incompetence and arrogance  never happened in Fullerton; Fullerton Redevelopment folks were  just so darned…well… you know.

But consider this: Fullerton has had a long and inglorious Redevelopment history that includes building, then demolishing concrete trestles along Harbor, giving away a public sidewalk to a politically connected apaign contributor, subsidizing dozens of boondoggles, supporting architectural design Nazi-ism, stealing an old lady’s property to give to a car dealer, and nasty little sales tax kick backs from Redevelopment funds – all done to promote more tax revenue to pay for pensions, League of City junkets, and all those inevitable step pay increases for the gang.

A final thought: even though Redevelopment is supposedly dead in California you can bet the farm (if they don’t steal it for High Speed Rail) that the lobbyists are busy at work in Sacramento trying to revive it, and that local mall fry politicians and local political wannabes are real eager for it to come back.

Why not? It’s fun and it isn’t their money.

Jan Flory Talks About Sex and Water

Correct. We do not want you to discuss sexy issues.

Okay this post is not about Jan Flory discussing anything remotely “sexy” because the thought of that…well, never mind.

The post is about her latest Facebook scribblings in which she opines on a subject near and dear to the hearts of Fullerton reformers: the illegal 10% tax on your water that the City collected for the past 15 years. $27,000,000 worth.

First I’ll start by stating what you could have already guessed. Jan Flory does not want you to get a refund of the theft. In her world-order the taxpayers are meant to be milked, not refunded.

Her assertion that the collection was “illegal” the past three year is a bad lawyer’s half-truth that amounts to a bald-faced lie, of course. It has been illegal for 15 years, six of them on her watch as a council person. The City has a legal opinion that it is only obligated to refund three-year’s worth of the theft. Not the same thing, is it? Of course Mrs. Flory is desperate to disassociate her name with the tax. Too late. She is on record in the 90s as having known it was wrong and doing it anyway.

Mrs. Flory and her ilk love footling committees, especially when they are selected by ozone brains like Jone, Quirk, McKinley and Bankhead. Even better are the “consultants” selected by staff who give them their marching orders. The “report” cooked up by the water rate consultant was so evidently bogus that it hardly needs to be restated. But I will: their goal was to gin up as much phony cost as possible to keep the bureaucrats greedy little fingers on that 10%. Flory may think this gives her cover, and under the old Culture of Corruption it would have. Not any more.

The 10% was expressly collected  to cover specific City staff costs associated with the water utility. However, it turns out that those departments were already charging directly to the Water Fund. Which is why I am happy to refer to the tax as an illegal theft.

And another point: it’s real easy to say that the illegal tax should be refunded to the Water Fund for capital improvements. That’s convenient, but immoral. The tax that was collected had nothing to do with infrastructure. Nothing. True infrastructure costs should be rolled into an effective rate for water transmission, a correction of years of mismanagement by Mrs. Flory and her cohorts that still needs to be done. Confusing these two issues is simply a convenient way for the perpetrators to hide their crime and their dereliction.

Now, let’s address the issue of the reserve funds, a subject that Mrs. Flory wants people to believe she knows something about. There is no need to empty these accounts to pay refunds. No, indeed. I find it remarkably disingenuous for anybody to assert this, especially given just two of City manger Joe Felz’s most recent “cost saving” measures.

First there was the egregious relocation of former Redevelopment personnel into General Fund departments for which they had no apparent expertise. Most recently the City contracted out your graffiti removal services for $120,000. Yay! Big savings, right? Wrong. The city employees were simply reassigned to other  jobs in the Engineering Department that were vacant. Net cost savings? -$120,000.

The City just missed an opportunity to shave a million bucks off its payroll costs. Of course, my point is that the General Fund is far from depleted.

Finally, in closing, I would submit that Mrs. Flory knows more about witching hours than any of us. However, if she doesn’t like staying up that late every other Tuesday night, then she has no business on a city council. And it’s really too bad that the Council is scheduling special meetings to attend to the people’s business.

Mrs. Flory’s little rubber stamp has been put away and locked up.

A New Era of Responsibility and Accountability

What was that noise?

As it streamed into my one-room cabin out on Screech Owl Road, last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting was a joy to watch. After three or four decades of watching nattering imbeciles following the direction of staff like stringed mannequins, we finally got to see a rare treat: a Fullerton council that is decisive, in charge and most importantly – accountable.

Let’s take the meeting itself – a special meeting called by Travis Kiger to address critical issues including the nagging problem of city spokesholes peddling self-serving disinformation; the thirty million dollar housing bond that was being used by the Three Dim Bulbs to hand out millions in patronage to their pals; and the issue of releasing the much-discussed phone call that claimed Kelly Thomas was trying to break into cars, and that led, ultimately to his murder. Doug Chaffee agendized his request that the Council take direct responsibility for the hiring and subsequent activities of the new chief of police – a clear indictment of how your City Manager Joe Felz has mismanaged oversight of the police department during its final descent into the Quagmire of Corruption. The very fact that a council member called this meeting, and not city staff, is revelatory. Former councils simply received their instructions and voted aye every couple of weeks – like clockwork. Not any more.

The Council approved an ordinance to take responsibility for the police department. They did it decisively and courageously. Only Sharon Quirk shied away from taking that authority from the ineffectual Felz.

On the subject of releasing the call from the downtown bar, the council voted unanimously to make redacted versions of the audio and transcript public, demonstrating that to this council, unlike its predecessor, pointless and stupid obfuscation is no longer going to be tolerated by the public’s elected representatives.

For years I’ve been shouting at my computer screen as the puppet-like figureheads of the entrenched, sclerotic regime wasted, stole, diverted, covered up, and insulted. Last night I was audibly cheering in support as the council ushered in a new era of accountability, competence, and intelligent government. No one heard me out on Screech Owl Road except a passing coyote and a sleepy iguana. But I was satisfied.

Well done Fullerton!




Old Guard Won’t Go. Better Call a Judge.

So ordered.

I keep hearing on the Fullerton grapevine that Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz, doggone it, just can’t get one of the recalled Three Bald Tires to show up to validate the June 5th Recall election. Without at least one of these clowns there is no quorum and a meeting can’t be held. Apparently they have been individually agreeing to show up then later, suddenly have other plans.

This could go on for quite awhile, and if left to their own devices, these miscreants may actually file to run for election in November before they’ve officially been run out of office.

Well, this might explain why it’s been three weeks since the election and the new councilmen Kiger, Sebourn and Chaffee have not been sworn it yet. That’s pretty reprehensible, if you ask me, and it begs the question – how much longer is this farce going to go on before somebody goes to a judge and gets a court order validating the election?

I remember well in 1994 that the three recalled councilmembers simply refused to schedule a replacement election (different laws then) until ordered to do so by a judge. Then as now, the incompetent, arrogant Old Guard refused to go quietly into that good night. And Don Bankhead, recalled the first time, got himself elected again.

And here’s a final thought for you Fullerton water rate payers. Every single day that passes costs you all another $7000 in an illegal tax that is still being collected. 

Are you angry yet?

Who Opposes The Recall and Supports Doug Chaffee?

This guy. That’s who.

That would be former Redevelopment Director and big Fullerton pension recipient Gary Chalupsky.

Some may remember Chalupsky for his long string of embarrassing boondoggles and Redevelopment expenditures of questionable legality – like building the Muckenthaler amphitheater which is not even in a Redevelopment project area.

Just type in “Redevelopment” in our search box and knock yourself out. From the Knowlwood fiasco and North Platform smash up to The City Lights debacle and the humiliating Poisoned Park disaster, Chalupsky was there every inept, unaccountable step of the way. For well over ten years. Plenty of time to get vested in CalPERS.

Gary Chalupsky was the guy who proved beyond all doubt that Fullerton was very much for sale. Ever wonder where the 100 East section of Whiting Avenue went? Ask Chalupsky.

Others may also remember this upstanding individual for his phony “retirement” and immediate double-dip that was countenanced by an incompetent council who seemed to think Chalupsky knew what he was doing.

Redevelopment is now thankfully dead. But it feathered a lot of nests along the way.

The Lost Generation

Ah, dear me. I was just waiting for a last gasp from the old, die-hard liberals in Fullerton to oppose the political colonic flush Fullerton needs so badly; they didn’t disappoint. Check out this lame ad placed in the Fullerton Observer:

Predictable. We’ve already dispensed with the “recalls are for malfeasance” nonsense, here. Ironically, some might argue that cultivating a corrupt and murderous police force, colluding to keep an illegal tax, and giving away public property to campaign donors all rise to the level of “malfeasance,” but I’ll just let that pass.

What’s interesting in this list of names is that the average age is somewhere between 70 and 70 million, and that would take us back well into the Mesozoic Era.

A large meteorite was on the way...

These are the worthies who believe in City Hall heart and soul, no matter what idiocy emanates from it. These people sit on committees and even serve on the council itself whenever the repuglicans can’t stop them. They share a common love for government bureaucracies and processes, and more than anything else they believe in hollow platitudes and meaningless abstractions.

And where were these honorable men and women after a helpless, homeless man was murdered by their own police department? Nowhere near the protests, you can be sure of that. It just wouldn’t look good.

Larry Bennett Owes You A Month’s Worth of Water

The sad slouch became a permanent thing...

Several months ago Anti-recall lackey Larry Bennett challenged you to find the illegal tax on water on your monthly bill. It was pretty disingenuous even for a slimmer like Larry. FFFF pointed out that the illegal tax wasn’t listed on the bill, which of course is one of the reasons it is illegal!

On Tuesday night good ol’ Larry all but admitted that there was indeed a 10% tax on your water. Of course he tried to diffuse the ugly truth by saying that 1) he likes paying the tax (could be true – he’s a damned fool); and, 2) the tax helps keep his grass green and his flowers happy because he’s a water hog (the first part is a falsehood; the second, yes, I believe he likes to waste water). Naturally, he was just parroting the nonsense of his hero Doc HeeHaw who also claimed some part of the 10% went to water delivery – an outright lie.

Anyway, I think that if he had a shred of honor, Bennett would now make good on his promise to pay your monthly water bill. But if you want to ask him you’d better hurry up. Larry will only pay the first person to e-mail him!

The Power to Recall: Unambiguous, Indivisible

Twenty years later and as clueless as ever.

The opponents of the Fullerton Recall, just like their predecessors in 1994, keep yammering about the “proper” use of the recall process. According to these worthy folks, the power of recall is only to be exercised in cases where an office holder has perpetrated malfeasance in office. Their argument is self-serving. And wrong. Here is what the State Constitution actually says, clearly and succinctly:


Recall is the power of the electors to remove an elective officer.

And that’s it. The rest is all about the technical procedure of doing it. There is no discussion of when recall is appropriate or when it may be used. None. From this terse definition we may reasonably infer that any use of recall is appropriate when the electorate deems it to be so. But what about malfeasance in office? That’s why we have a criminal code!

Of course it hardly needs to be pointed out that the Fullerton Recall has several great reasons to get rid of the Three Dithering Dinosaurs, including failure to lead, creating and tolerating a Culture of Corruption in the FPD, backing an illegal tax on your water for 15 years, and of course, let us not forget, all those insider deals to cronies and campaign contributors in which they gave away streets, sidewalks and government subsidies worth millions.

Anyway, next time you hear somebody like Molly McClanahan or Jan Flory cluck-clucking about this, be sure to to ask them if they’ve ever even bothered to read the State’s Constitution.