Fish This: Burning the Budget

Some things in life are perfectly predicable.  Things like physics and math.  They’re not really that difficult to understand, but some people in our society are a little slower than others.

For example, next week there will be idiots who put a frozen turkey into a vat of hot liquid fat because #Merica.  Despite many public service announcements to the contrary, stupidity will have its unavoidable and predicable consequences.

Tonight Fullertonians will miss out on the discussion taking place behind closed doors at City Hall concerning the state of the city’s budget.  Voters won’t get to hear about the new contract negotiations designed to help the massive multi-million dollar structural deficit, the $100,000,000 in deferred infrastructure maintenance, or the equally massive unfunded pension debt.  Instead, we’ll get a null report from The Other Dick Jones ™, and the facade of all being well will continue into this year’s planned First Night festivities.

Like so many idiots with a tank of propane, recent City Councils had fair warning of the current financial crisis.  The math just isn’t that hard to understand.  Every year, every single year, since each of their elections, Fullerton has spent more from the general fund than it has taken in.  Tens of millions of dollars in reserves have evaporated.  *POOF* gone, without a trace.

At the current rate, Fullerton may be bankrupt in two years.

This Thanksgiving, while you’re enjoying your non-idiot prepared bird, I want you to remember tonight’s secret city council meeting.  I also want you to remember a meeting held just last year.

Just last year, the council authorized the largest pay raises for staff in a decade.

“The budget is balanced!” — Jennifer Fitzgerald

“Fullerton is in excellent financial shape!’ — Jan Flory

Well, the math simply doesn’t lie.  The budget was not balanced and the city was not in excellent financial shape.  Jen and Jan dunked their frozen bird and lambasted all the chronic malcontents who protested their fine stewardship.

*POOF*

Like that, Joe Felz hit a tree, and their financial bird exploded, the raging predictable disaster apparent for all to see.

Tonight the Fullerton City Council will likely authorize reducing pay and benefits for city employees, just in time for the holidays.  When this is over, some employees will have their salaries reduced or their hours cut.  Others will simply lose their jobs.  Many of those individuals are good people who do good work. This isn’t their fault, but it will be their house that gets burned down and it will be their life that gets ruined.

Now Jen and Jan, two of those responsible for dunking this turkey?  Don’t worry.  They’ll be fine.  Jen just gave herself a $9000 raise and Jan retired.

Seems just, don’t you think?

Fish This: Fullerton Bars Need More Drunks

Naw, I done that myself…

You can’t make this stuff up.

At the last Fullerton City Council Meeting, a posse of local bar owners demanded that the city council allow them to stuff more drunken twenty somethings into their bars.  They went so far as to claim their businesses were suffering because Fullerton’s FIRE CODE prevented them from making as much money as their peers in neighboring cities.

The response from our elected city council?

Absolutely.  More drunks.  And it was unanimous.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  You’ve been to downtown Fullerton on a Friday night.  You’ve seen young ladies puking on the sidewalk outside of the Tuscany Club at 9pm.  You’ve seen young men getting into brawls behind Joe’s at 10:30.  And you’ve seen the rivers of piss and vomit trickling into the parking lot behind Matador early in the morning.  It all just glistens in the moonlight.

And of course a grand night out in historic downtown Fullerton wouldn’t be complete without a stabbing outside of the Continental Room, shootings on Santa Fe, and the drunk driving, more drunk driving, inevitably more drunk driving, and . . . did we say the drunk driving?

But hey, we need more drunks!  According to Fullerton Bar owners (and I’m not making this up):

Under the current situation, if coming to historic downtown becomes a negative experience for patrons because they can’t get into restaurants and bars and they are uncomfortable with the crowded streets, sidewalks, and parking lots; they may go to other cities that offer a more positive experience.  As a result, if business owners income’s (sic) decrease to where they are not profitable, some will have to close.

Wait, some of the 50 odd bars in downtown Fullerton will have to close if we keep the FIRE CODE as it is?

GOOD!  And don’t the the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Because let’s be honest.  More people in bars means one thing: MORE DRUNKS.

Instead of caving into the Bar owners who profit on littering our streets and alleys with vomit and excrement each weekend, perhaps our city council should finally take a small step to restore civility.

Let’s not amend the fire code to allow for more drunks drinking.  Let’s keep it exactly how it is and how about we shut down any bar that exceeds its occupancy limit down for a month.  Fullerton’s current practice allows a bar caught breaking the law to reopen on the same night.

Betcha didn’t know that.

What do you think  Fullerton?  Do you want more drunks?  Let your city council know how you feel about their vote, 5-0, to give you more of this, this, and this.

But hey, we’re just a bunch of malcontents.  Maybe more of this, this, and this is exactly what you want.

Congratulations Fullerton Bar Owners.  You went fishing for a handout and caught the means to finally bring some order to the shit show that is Saturday night.

Fish This: Hughes Caught in a Lie

Disney Danny.

There’s one thing about government officials that we can always count on: they are in love with themselves.  Give a public official a platform and they’ll gladly blab about their own greatness.

Of course, most public officials are stupid.  Their self-promotion inevitably leads to self-humiliation.  Look no further than the sad case of Orange County Counsel, Leon Page.

Earlier today, the Voice of OC published an update on the still pending case involving ex-City Manager Joe Felz.  While we’re approaching the one year anniversary of Mr. Felz’s alleged hit and run while drunk, still without a scheduled trial date, a few months ago an Investigator working for the District Attorney made a formal accusation that the DA’s office was involved in yet another cover up.

The Investigator, Abraham Santos, claims his boss interfered in his investigation of Felz and the circumstances surrounding that night.  Specifically, he was explicitly forbidden from investigating the involvement of the Fullerton Police Chief, Danny Hughes.  Santos made additional claims concerning other cases, but we’re obviously more concerned with this one.

We don’t have a clear picture of what happened during and after Joe’s Wild Ride, but we do know that Hughes was contacted by phone, that he spoke with Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, and he spoke with officers at the scene and at the station.  We also know that the City of Fullerton has refused to hand over records concerning Hughes’s call log as well as recordings taken by officers at the scene.

According to Santos, those conversations included instructions to conceal evidence collected from the scene and Felz, to not take Felz to jail, and to drive Felz home.

Put bluntly, Santos– a public employee charged with a duty to investigate criminal activity and report on truth and facts– accuses the Fullerton Police Department and Danny Hughes of committing multiple felonies including Obstruction of Justice, which not only has the potential to send Fullerton sworn officers to prison, but to revoke their tax-payer funded pensions as well.

Someone is lying.  It’s either Hughes and the DA or it’s Santos.

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