Category Archives: Bruce Whitaker

Bruce Whitaker is signatory of the Great Fullerton Recall of 1994. He was elected to the Fullerton City Council in 2010.

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.

 

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!

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.

 

Courtroom Showdown!

Hero. Deserves.

This week FFFF and local hero Joshua Ferguson do battle in a courtroom with the defenders of incompetence and opacity – the City of Fullerton, represented by in incomparably stupid and corrupt law firm Jones and Mayer. The Voice of OC outlines the details here, so I’ll let it go at that, other than to remark on the sad state of affairs when a citizen is sued by his own government in retribution for what they did.

Our New Mayor

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

Our esteemed City Council appointed lobbyist-councilcreature Jennifer Fitzgerald to be the new mayor a couple weeks ago. Supposedly it’s her turn again. How and why Jan Flory was appointed Mayor Pro Tem is anybody’s guess, especially since Bruce Whitaker and Ahmad Zahra have been on the council longer without appointment – supposedly the criterion for getting the job.

Zahra and Jesus Silva Quirk are no doubt angling to grab the mayor titlee when they run for re-election in 2022. They aren’t too bright, but they’re smart enough to count in four-year increments.

But the nasty machinations of our talent-free council are not the point of this post, merely a rolling introduction. What I really want to share is the completely self-serving and fraudulent mayoral bio Ms. Fitzgerald has placed on the City’s website, the first two paragraphs of which I reproduce here:

Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald was elected to the Fullerton City Council in November 2012 and served as Mayor Pro Tem in 2014/2015 and Mayor in 2015/2016. In her first three years in office, Mayor Fitzgerald played a key role in several significant accomplishments, including a $3.5 million retroactive refund of water rate overcharges, public safety reform, a substantive increase in funding to repair the city’s aging roads and water infrastructure, and adoption of new transparency measures for public employee labor negotiations.

Mayor Fitzgerald represents the City of Fullerton on the Board of Directors for the Association of California Cities-Orange County Chapter and she is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Orange County Taxpayers Association. She is a former Metropolitan Water District Director, Past President of the North Orange County Chamber (formerly Fullerton Chamber of Commerce) and past Member of the Board of Directors for the Fullerton Historic Theater Foundation. Previously, she served the City of Fullerton on its Planning Commission and General Plan Advisory Committee.

It’s pretty bad that Fitzgerald is trying to take credit for the water refund she fought tooth and nail to minimize. It’s worse that she is trying to get gullible folks to think she has done anything about police reform , when in reality she has been an ardent defender of cover-ups for eight years –  including hush-up settlements and even being implicated in hiding the drunk hit-and-run perpetrated by her buddy Joe “Wild Ride” Felz. The unkindest cut of all may be her bragging about “increased funding” for street and water infrastructure that she and her comrades let sink into a deplorable mess – the worst in Orange County.

At least this go ’round she omits her oft-repeated lie that she has balanced budgets, but her re-election campaign material will no doubt rectify the omission. I’ll be checking into that.

And finally I direct your attention to paragraph two, wherein the tone deaf Fitzgerald blithely recaps all the public money laundering agencies she has consorted with, peddling her wares as a lobbyist for one of the greasiest operators in OC – Curt Pringle.

I Believe I’ve Seen This Show Before

The view doesn’t get better…

Some poor dopes think that history repeats itself, and yet there are times when it’s hard to argue the point, as when the City Deciders of Fullerton wade out into the same quicksand again and again and again.

I’m referring to the tedious habit of entering into lame exclusive agreements for stupid projects involving public property – which are then renewed and extended year after dismal year. We’ve seen this sorry practice with the massively moronic massive Amerige Court/Commons/Whatever mess; and again with the Transportation Center Master development fiasco, both of which were kept on life support for years and years by a city staff and city council who just couldn’t admit a bad idea had somehow festered forth from City Hall.

Enhanced with genuine brick veneer!

The latest in the string is the unsolicited proposal for a “boutique” hotel in the train station parking lot, an idea so stupid that only our city council could embrace it. FFFF has posted about it twice.

The train of thought was weak but it sure was short…

First we noted that some sort of pressure or promise was made to Weakest Link Jesus Quirk Silva to get him to change his vote and approve an exclusive negotiating agreement with some guy calling himself Park West Contractors and Westpark Investors. That was a year ago.

Davis, meet Bacon…

And then a few weeks ago FFFF shared the story of local union goons popping up at some dog and pony show to promote the project.

I know who I work for, and it isn’t you!

Anyway, the year term of exclusivity given to Mr. Parkwest Westpark has come and gone and so naturally the City has decided to give him another year, rather than to actually put the property on the market for alternative ideas. The November 19 vote was 4-1 with Bruce Whitaker opposing. We also learned that Ms. Jan Flory, true to form, strongly backs this concept, which is pretty ironic, given her past support of time extensions to the “developer” given the exclusive right to negotiate on the Transportation Center cock-up, a plan whose key component is the site of the proposed boutique hotel.

 

Can We Finally Say Good Riddance to Dick Jones?

Marblemouth and Mayer Pulling Out?

Word has seeped out from the once hermetically sealed walls of City Hall that we may not have Richard “Dick” Jones, Esq. to kick around much longer. It would seem, if the rumors are true, that Good Ol’ Dick has had enough of screwing the taxpayers of Fullerton with his pettifogging, self-serving legal advice and is “retiring” with all of his ill-gotten spoils.

Where there’s smoke…

Well, possibly not all his spoils, because he must believe his “I Can’t Believe Its A Law Firm” will have some residual value after Mudslide oozes off.

Now I don’t know about you, Friends, but a collection of lawyers that includes Kimberly Barlow and Gregory Roosevelt Palmer doesn’t seem like it could be worth very much to me; but Jones is supposedly pitching the continued services of his collection of miscreants, so he must plan on keeping his name on the letterhead and probably receiving revenue thereby.

Let slip the dogs of law…

Will our city councilcreatures keep this gang on retainer? After the abysmal performance of Jones in the pas it’s hard to imagine anybody wanting them around, at all. Of course this is the same gaggle that has kept Jones, et al., on the clock for over twenty years – and that’s a lot of bungling and cover-ups.

Meanwhile, Back @ The Ranch – Part 3

dick-jones

Mudslide and Mayer. Staying awake long enough to sign the invoice…

Fighting your own incompetent and belligerent government can be distracting. And so rather than be distracted, I’ve been playing catch-up with some more of the doings of our idiocracy since the City’s legal lizards tried to stomp on our 1st Amendment rights.

Back on October 1, our esteemed council took on the business of people camping out in their cars. Naturally, the problem needed to be institutionalized, and institutionalized it was – by giving the Illumination Foundation a contract up to $100,000 to run a site-specific car and RV park. FFFF correspondent T-REX covered the story, here.

Play it again, Ken…

With their usual political courage, the council directed that their City Manager, Ken Domer, could decide the location and thereby let a bureaucrat insulate them from the repercussions of their own decision.

Now that location is known – the alley and public parking between the historic Western marketing Building and the Elephant Packing House, a building on the National Register of Historic Places.

Maybe the less said, the better…

Well, fine, say I. This site is directly adjacent to the crown jewel of Fullerton’s Failures, the so-called Union Pacific Park, or, as it is charmingly referred to by neighbors, The Poison Park. it seems right and proper that the City deposit one failure next to another, which is already situated across Harbor Boulevard from one of Fullerton’s first Redevelopment boondoggles, the Allen Hotel eyesore.

Redevelopment Redux…

And stay tuned for episode 4, in which the Poison Park returns to the agenda, and the Fullerton City Council steps on its own weenie again.

Meanwhile, Back @ the Ranch – Part 2

You pay the mortgage, we live in the palace…

When a government sues its own citizens you have the spectacle of a taxpayer having to pay for for his defense and pay for the legal attack upon him. And what a sad, Kafkaesque sight it is.

Another disgusting passion play is when governments use your money to try to propagandize you for their scheme to take more of your money.

Play it again, Ken…

And so very recently the Fullerton City Manager Ken Domer paid to survey the local gentry about the state of the city.

Dear Resident:

The City of Fullerton has hired an independent public opinion research company to conduct a public opinion survey to obtain feedback on key issues facing the City and identify residents’ priorities.

Thank you for participating in this important research.  Please click here to take the survey or copy and paste the link below into your web browser.

https://opinions-survey.com/index.php/survey/index/sid/242328/newtest/Y/lang/en/token/3065BT818751

Your participation and responses to this survey will be completely confidential. The identity of individual respondents and their individual answers to survey questions will not be shared with City staff or officials.

Please do not forward the survey link to others or share it to social media as it is personalized for each recipient of this invitation to ensure that the survey link will only work once.

Sincerely,

Kenneth A. Domer
City Manager
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:

  1. An attempt to get you to prioritize the various messes the politician and bureaucrats have created, and,
  2. Ignore the biggest problem – a vastly expensive, often criminal, and completely irredeemable police department; and,
  3. Subtly offer a 1% sales tax as a way to fix the problems; and,
  4. Failing that, howdja feel about a .75% sales tax? And,
  5. Gather that prioritization information you gave them to fashion their propaganda campaign for the inevitable tax.

The heart of the City celebrates another impending victory…

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.