Category Archives: Behind Closed Doors

Rumblings In Sunny Hills

Back on August 18th, out esteemed City Council began the process of declaring a strip of property along Bastanchury Road to be “surplus.”

The vote was 4-1 with Bruce Whitaker in opposition.

Down on the farm…

The obvious purpose of this strategy is to to sell the property to an affordable housing developer so that the politicians can feel good about themselves and maybe raise some fundraising dough. For Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald this most likely means a lobbying opportunity after December when her presence on the council will mercifully come to an end. Why? Because developer selection and rezoning can be budged along by Pringle and Associates on whose street corner Fitzgerald plies her trade.

But not everybody is happy and there is an election in a month.

The natives are restless…

The locals on the hills behind the proposed development naturally object, as do environmentally-minded people who want the site preserved as opens space. The locals have even come up with a website and are advertising their displeasure with the City Council.

Fred in nature…

And naturally this has become a sudden election year issue for the District 1 council seat. Fred Jung has already made his position known that he prefers the open space option. On the other hand, his opponent, Andrew Cho, was hand-picked by Fitzgerald to have a reliable vote on the council. But not only is Fitzgerald gone this fall, but so is her pal Jan Flory which means that after the election there could be three potential votes to save this site as open space.

The Council passed this item with the usual “this is only the first step in the process” bullshit that begins the process of cloaking another hot mess in the mantle of inevitability. For the folk of District 1, however, the story may take a different turn than the City house-acrats and politicians are hoping for.

 

The Latest City Scam – Campaigning for Measure S

It’s supposed to be illegal to use public resources in support of ballot initiatives, but of course the concept of illegality only applies to losers like you and me, and not to government agencies.

Here’s an example of the City of Fullerton blatantly using your money to propagandize you about the proposed sales tax increase, Measure S.

 

Tell me how this is not obvious political campaign propaganda from start to finish.

The Sacrifice

Whenever government gets itself into a bind, the first impulse of our bureaucratic overlords and their elected representatives is to resort to the taxpayers for relief. In Fullerton the case is not much different except that here, allegedly, managers and department heads have agreed to 5% and 10% cuts, respectively during our time of troubles. Likewise, according the the union boss, rank-and-file paper pushers have been told to accept the same 5% deal. Whether this gesture of sacrifice is meant to be reimbursed if the proposed 17% sales tax increase is approved by voters remains to be seen.

But that’s not the point of this post.

The point of this post is to ask whether anybody has requested the same sacrifice from our Heroes – the guys and gals who provide “public safety” services to us peons. Word out of City Hall is that no offers have been made voluntarily and none have been demanded. Could it be that’s because the Hero unions are much richer and much more political than the organization representing other city workers?

We are always being bombarded by Hero propaganda that promotes the selfless service and sacrifices by people who ride around in cop cars and fire trucks. Well, I’ll believe that when these worthy public servants step up to the proverbial plate and take the same haircut as everybody else.

Right Out of the Gate – A Scam

Look familiar? Not to me, either…

The other day FFFF introduced the Friends to Andrew Cho, some dude Mayor-for-Hire Jennifer Fitzgerald trawled into her net to run for the Fullerton City Council for District 1. I noted that his list of endorsers included the usual assortment of grifters, con artists and liars.

I’m not telling the truth and you can’t make me…

And now that he’s running as the stooge of this pack it should come as no surprise that his first campaign act is a scam – a violation of election rules regarding what you can call yourself on the ballot. Please observe, from the City Clerk’s webpage:

Whether Cho is more a lawyer with a dingbat law degree than a “businessowner” (by the way, that’s two words shoved together) is debatable. What is indefensible is the designation “Fullerton Parent” which is a blatant violation of the Election Code requirement for a candidate to describe his job or source of livelihood. Being a parent is not this clown’s vocation.

Section 13107. Ballot Designation Requirements
(3) No more than three words designating either the current principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate, or the principal professions, vocations, or occupations of the candidate during the calendar year immediately preceding the filing of nomination documents.
One really is forced to wonder why the Fullerton City Clerk was party to this clumsy attempt to get some sort of advantage, but one gets a strong odor of Ms. Fitzgerald in the room making sure the bureaucrats do what she tells them to do.

And So It Begins…

We all knew that we were going to be bombarded with political mail in support of the City Council’s proposed 17% sales tax hike on this November’s ballot. And we all knew that the City Council hired a PR outfit to blow our money to educate us about the beauty of the thing – to the tune of $130,000. Of course none of this is legal, but this is Fullerton where everything is legal that the deplorable City Attorney “Dick” Jones says is legal.

Some of the Friends have already received pro-tax propaganda from our masters in City Hall and here is a sample:

Like it? You paid for it.

Tap dancing around the edge of the truth…

As usual, government tries to con us into bailing it out after it has failed so spectacularly the past decade to maintain reserves, balance budgets and pushing back against never-ending salary and pension demands from the public employee unionistas. Care about the homeless? Vote for our tax; Want potholes fixed? Tax! Youth programs? Who doesn’t love ’em – vote for our tax. Seniors? Ditto. Emergency services? They’re really getting hungry. A usual, the propaganda is larded up with misleading information and scare tactics and, gosh, we should be scared.

You will not be asked to reflect upon the reality that this same operation has dismally failed to fix roads in the past; that this bureaucracy has no intention of starting now. A Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department? Oh, we fixed that years ago – no, don’t look at that body over there, we have no idea how it got there. You’ll have to sue us to find out!

This crew has burned through tens of millions in reserve funds while its spokeholes on the council Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory lied about balancing the budget.

Ken Domer

Domer. There’s a lot less there than meets the eye.

Good luck, passing this obscentiy, boys n’ girls. The public is hurting badly at the moment and your first recourse was to try to harness us oxen with the yoke of a new and regressive tax. Well, guess what? The yokes on you, City Hall, and you’d better have a Plan B stuffed into one of Domer’s desk drawers if you know what’s good for you.

Ballot Argument Against The New Sales Tax

Leaving Fullerton City hall a lot worse off than she found it…

Pulled from the City of Fullerton’s website, here is the official ballot statement of opposition to the new sales tax proposed by our Mayor-for-hire. Jennifer Fitzgerald. If you think about it the tax proposal is a monumental indictment of the tenure of Fitzgerald and her yes vote, Jan Flory, on the city council. Employee pay raise after pay raise, unbalanced budget after unbalanced budget.

VOTE NO!
Ask yourself: Does the City of Fullerton need even more money from me? If this tax
passes, every time you make a purchase, you will pay 9% sales tax in Fullerton, the
second highest sales tax in Orange County.
The ballot measure title is deceitful. This massive tax increase is not dedicated to fix
Fullerton streets, which are rated the worst in Orange County by OCTA. Rather, the
money would go into the General Fund and could be used for anything.
This 1.25% sales tax increase would be permanent. It is general, not specific, meaning
the City Council could spend this money on salaries and pension benefits for City
Administrators and other City employees.
Over the past decade, Fullerton’s failed leadership spent nearly all revenue increases on
salaries and pension benefits:
Since 2011, sales tax revenue grew by 51%, property tax revenues increased 52%.
Between 2015-16, Council majority approved $19.5 million in pay increases.
Since 2011, the Council raised its two largest department budgets 41% and 55%.
In 2019 alone, according to Transparent California: 146 City of Fullerton employees
received over $200,000 in total compensation, while 51 employees received over
249,000 in total compensation. Fullerton pension recipients collected over $43 million.
The City has already increased water rates by a whopping 29% since June 2019, and is
scheduled to increase rates again by another 11% next July 1st.
The facts are: the City had plenty of money to repair our roads many years ago had it
adopted sensible reforms and reasonable, balanced budgets. Fullerton should already
have smooth streets and water pipes that do not routinely burst.
Vote NO on higher sales taxes!

So Now We Know

Some recent commenters on our humble blog have wondered aloud who outgoing Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald was going to pick to be her choice for successor. Now we know.

Look familiar? Not to me, either…

Today a Friend forwarded some sort of statement (an English version) from a fellow by the name of Andrew Cho. Who is this person? Nobody I’ve asked today has ever heard of the guy; but, one thing is certain: he was chosen to be a reliable vote for all the things the Curt Pringle lobbyist Fitzgerald holds near and dear. I’d rather not slam the guy right out of the chute, but, hell, just look at who this mysterious person reports as his endorsers.

First, of course is the utterly unspeakable Fitzgerald.

Leaving Fullerton City hall a lot worse off than she found it…

If that weren’t bad enough, number two (and I really mean number two), the completely corrupt Dick Ackerman whose record running a fake non-profit to pay his wife, creating a fake address so she could run for the legislature in our district, and illegally participating as a lobbyist to promote the 2008 OC Fair swindle, have been well-documented on these pages.

Oh no, not again.

Next we discover Ling Ling Chang, our current State Senator who originally ran for office pretending to own a business and attending Harvard. Both were lies, but that mendacity didn’t seem to put a dent in her armor of shamelessness.

Ling Ling shocked by some new liberal outrage!

Then there’s the support of Young Kim, the bubbleheaded perpetual candidate and her slimy husband Charles, who foisted the incomprehhensible nitwit Julie Sa on Fullerton way back in 1992.

No there, there…

Of course poor Cho must not have a clue that these endorsements will do a lot more harm than good, and if he doesn’t yet, he soon will.

 

 

 

 

 

If You Weren’t So Dumb You’d Know The Right Thing To Do

Accountability? It was never on the agenda.

And so education is the key. To that end our esteemed City Council voted 4-1 last week to pay some sort of “consultant” $129,000 between now and the November election to educate us all about why we need to vote for a new 16% increase in city sales taxes.

That’s right. A few minutes earlier, in the wee small hours, the council voted 4-1 to put a sales tax increase on the ballot. Then they added their little Maraschino cherry right on the top.

The government is not allowed to promote a ballot issue. Of course this prohibition never stopped agencies and school districts in the past. In fact they do it all the time. Wasting $129,000 gives them cover, they believe to promote their shake down. Well, we already know the “educational” pitch:

Lookit all the goodies we will get! Of course we should be getting all this stuff anyhow, if our city government were capable and honest instead of feeble, self-defensive, and in too many instance just corrupt. For years as our reserves were eroded every year Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory and their feel-good choir insisted that the budgets were balanced, projects were well-run, and infrastructure was prioritized. We all knew those were lies and now that we are scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel it’s obvious to even the most oblivious observer.

For years Fitzgerald and company kept pouring money into the “public safety” sack, a move that endeared them to their union supporters but that jacked up payroll and pension costs while delivering zero increase in public safety. Our famous police department continued to nurture illegal behavior in its ranks and the City did its utmost to cover it all up.

Well these worthies have a tough row to hoe given the mood of the public and the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic. They’d better have a back-up plan because there’s little chance the electorate is going to want to protect the business-as-usual gang in City Hall. The completely hollow and cynical promise of oversight and audits isn’t going to persuade anybody.

 

Zahra and Silva Think A Pot Shop Next to Your House Is Okay

Last night’s City Council hearing on moving ahead with a marijuana ordinance produced the usual incoherent blather from our distinguished electeds, none of whom seemed to know what they were talking about, and two, in particular, who seemed to have been coached by representatives of the legal pot lobby. Of course we learned that the previous outreach didn’t reach anybody not looking to make a buck in the weed biz.

Somehow in its latest incarnation, staff’s proposed framework for allowing these uses, particularly dispensaries. reduced the “buffer zone” at schools and parks from 1000 feet to only 600, and eliminated the buffer for residential zones altogether. Why? Pretty obviously to increase the opportunities for locating dispensaries.

Councilmembers Zahra and Silva, who gave every appearance of repeating “consultant” talking points expressed concern that workers in these places be unionized and that to proceeds go to kiddie social programs, but they were more interested in increasing parcels available for development than they were about the impacts on residential neighbors. The bumbling Silva in particular made a big deal about having most permissible zoning in order that the burden of hosting these facilities would be shared by rich folks up in the hills, an idiotic pretext since a majority of the council spent a good deal of time extolling the virtues and minimal impacts of licensed shops.

Councilmembers Whitaker, Flory and Fitzgerald indicated their desire for a 1000 foot buffer, and the inclusion of residential use as a “sensitive receptor” requiring a buffer. So good for them. However, Fitzgerald and Whitaker both voted against going forward with more “outreach” and a future ordinance anyhow, meaning that either Zahra, Silva or Flory somebody is going to have to change their support for a residental buffer, ultimately, in a final ordinance. I leave it to the Friends to guess who that might be. On the other hand it’s hard to see how this can make it back to the Council before the election and both Flory and Fitzgerald will be gone, meaning that we may get lucky in Districts 1 and 2 and get a level-headed council majority who can make a decision that isn’t bogged down by fake concern, verbal gas, and union stoogery.

 

Fitzgerald Is Quitting, She Says

Sucked dry…

But the problem is that everything she says is a lie. Don’t believe me? Then read this self-satisfied “I’m Done” statement sent out this AM.

The bullshit was piling up so fast we needed wings to stay above it…

First let’s celebrate this announcement, if actually true. It means everybody’s life is going to get better in Fullerton as the sticky webs of self-interest entangling Fitzgerald and the taxpayers are cut.

And now let’s examine the stockpile of dishonesty this statement contains.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not “comprehensively” reform a corrupt police department. In fact, you permitted the fester to continue with zero accountability and more massive legal settlements. When anybody tried to uncover your malfeasance, you used public resources to sue them into submission. Even that failed.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not discover stable sources of revenue to address water and sewer. You continued the rip-off of the water fund by diverting a massive amount of money to pay for general fund expenses. And as you passed out more pay and pension increases to your union friends, you told everybody the budgets were balanced, a reckless lie that led Fullerton toward insolvency.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, you did not increase road repair in your 8 long years. The roads in Fullerton are now the worst in the county according to your own pals at OCTA.

No, Ms. Fitzgerald, Hilcrest (sic) Park is not rehabilitated. It’s landscaping is still a disgrace and dying faster than ever, retaining walls and paving are deteriorating. Instead you wasted millions on poorly built, ramshackle woods stairs and a ceremonial bridge that nobody uses.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald at the behest of your developer buddies you are personally responsible for adding thousands of “housing units” – mostly in the form of massive, overbuilt tenements-of-the-future that made a mockery of Fullerton’s zoning and have placed an even greater burden on our frail infrastructure.

Yes, Ms. Fitzgerald you sure did prioritize “downtown revitalization,” if by that you mean running interference for scofflaw bar owners like Florentines and the douchebag Jeremy Popoff; defending a scene of nightly mayhem that cost the citizens $1.5 million more per year than it generates in revenue. Your “improved working relationship” with business owners meant directing staff and the City Attorney to ignore serial code violators and even to tolerate forged official city documents; and to harass people who didn’t fling themselves at your feet.

Sorry, dear, but nobody is going to be unhappy to see you go, if in fact and at long last you are finally telling the truth. You may feel “immensely proud” of all your alleged good works, but that’s just obvious self-delusion. Your constituents almost without exception – at least the ones paying attention – are feeling immensely relieved at the happy prospect of your departure; and immensely disgusted at your legacy of putting the interest of you and your friends above the interest of the city.