The 2022 Emily Roe Voters Guide!

With ballots being mailed out in next week, it is time for my Fullerton 2022 Emily Roe Voter Guide.

With two districts and six candidates, the choices Fullerton voters will make in November can enhance government accountability and fiscal responsibility.

DISTRICT 3

Shana Charles

An associate professor in the public health department at Cal State Fullerton, Shana Charles has never served on a City of Fullerton commission or committee. As an associate professor in public health, Charles has little to no qualifications to serve on City Council as far as we can tell. Why are you not running for Fullerton School District Board Shana? You seem way more qualified for that than this generous leap to run for City Council. Charles failed to win her last race for School District in 2018. She turned around and tried, unsuccessfully to get appointed to Fullerton City Council in 2019, and then again turned around and unsuccessfully tried to get appointed to Orange County Board of Education this year. 

Those who seek power are not qualified to hold it. 

Charles is a socialist, who has no experience and is not qualified for City Council just like the old disaster Pam Keller. She skipped the only public forum so far so voters had no idea what she stood for beyond her tell us nothing candidate website. And then the Fullerton Observer questionnaire.

When asked about housing in Fullerton, Shana’s answer was: “With median home prices at $900,000 and rentals for $3000, our city cannot house its essential workers. We must work with any and all available programs to provide relief”. Sounds like code for rent control and building low income housing in mass. Fullerton would be the next Santa Ana under Shana’s leadership.

Her thoughts in the city budget being balanced for the first time in decades: “Our current budget is penny wise, pound foolish”. So you would spend money we don’t have as a city to pay for programs like low income housing and rental assistance. Fullerton was a small step away from insolvency before this current Council made the necessary cuts to maintain reserves. But for Shana turning Fullerton into the next Westminster is a good goal. 

Arnel Dino

Fred Jung’s appointee to Planning Commission, Arnel Dino is the Commission’s Vice Chair. His voting record on Planning Commission is in line with solid Planning Commissioners in Fullerton’s recent history like Bruce Whitaker, Nicholas Dunlap, and Ryan Cantor. He is visibly clunky and sometimes talks more than he should, but he could be a viable City Council selection that will mark a huge improvement from the previous Jesus Quirk-Silva. Dino served on the Infrastructure Committee. His resume is extensive so Dino has governing experience that he will need. We are not on fire over Dino, but he could be the best of poor choices. Dino’s forum performance was not off the charts great, but was not a disaster either.   

Johnny Ybarra

After failing miserably to run for City Council in District 5 in 2018, the election that gave us Ahmad Zahra, Johnny Ybarra is now running in the District where he actually lives. The former carpetbagger is a real estate agent. Not sure what to make of his candidacy since he seems to only have signs around. But his answers during the only forum so far – Fullerton Collaborative – was an unapologetically misadventure. He sounded both unqualified and uninformed. The bar is not high to beat Ybarra who is finally being honest and running in his actual District.

DISTRICT 5

Tony Castro

Wow is this kid shot out of a cannon! Not sure how much Red Bull Tony Castro drinks, but leave some for the rest of us buddy! Pro rent control and pro police reform, Castro is hellbent on turning Fullerton into the next Santa Ana, crime ridden and filled with homeless. Castro participated in two forums so far: Fullerton Collaborative and Fullerton Observer. The answers he gave were unbalanced and unbelievable. He actually said that in 2019 Fullerton had a “21 million dollar surplus”! What!?! Did you Google that son? Because Wikipedia is not good governance. 

Oscar Valadez

Oscar Valadez is the best choice of all six candidate running for City Council. A family man, father of two, graduated from Stanford University and has been a church going, volunteer in his community, a community he was born and raised in. He too lacks experience in governing, but he did participate in both Fullerton candidate forums and his answers were thoughtful and articulate. He said he wants to be a “bridge between the community and city staff to implement effective policies”. That sounds like government efficiency, hopefully government accountability and better customer service. His answers to the Observer questionnaire speaks to a man who is prepared to lead with humility, a welcome change for District 5. 

Regarding homelessness the candidate responded: “Fullerton needs to find ways to compassionately enforce our anti-camping ordinances”. Yes.

Commenting on leadership, Valadez answered: “Public representatives must be reminded that they serve for the good of the residents. Council members must prioritize problem solving and focus on building and maintaining productive relationships based on trust. As a fresh voice, I’d focus on collaboration and remain grounded in serving, not myself, but our residents”. Amen. 

Valadez could be a brighter future for Fullerton.

Ahmad Zahra

Not sure what more needs to be said about Ahmad Zahra. He’s the incumbent so Castro and Valadez have a mountain to overcome in an election cycle that will feature historically low voter turnout and engagement. When the public is uninformed or in the case of Zahra, misinformed, it is ample space for bad actors like con artists and ponzi schemers to thrive and that is exactly what Zahra has done, misled and manipulated Fullerton residents, the Fullerton unions, the Fullerton business, the Fullerton Observer, etc. During both candidate forums and the Observer questionnaire, Zahra took credit for everything short of creating the internet. The hubris is astonishing. 

Four more years of Zahra will bankrupt Fullerton, both fiscally and morally.

There is a simple question: Do you support the direction of government accountability, fiscal sustainability, and money for streets and roads that Fullerton seems to be going in under Dunlap and Whitaker? 

If the answer is yes, the choices are simple. 

The Mysterious Police Report

FFFF has just received an interesting document from an anonymous, yet seemingly informed source.

Something happened after a council meeting last year that caused the Fullerton cops to take a police report and to inform the councilmembers, obliquely, what they were doing – as if the council already knew. So what was it? Our informant tells us that Ahmad Zahra, the perpetual victim, filed a complaint against Fred Jung for some sort of assault, or threat or something. That part isn’t clear.

Looking down from above…

The fact that this police report never went anywhere means that there was nothing behind it, and in fact that Zahra probably and deliberately filed a false report to begin with. That would be a crime, of course, if anybody is keeping track, and well within broadly described moral compass Zahra has drawn for himself.

FFFF could do a Public Records Act request to get the documents, but I have a sneaking suspicion they are long gone, rather like the records surrounding Zahra’s battery and vandalism case.

Fullerton 2022 Map Quest

The 2022 effort to create new districts stumbles along. Last week, the Commission set-up to make a recommendation to the City Council met to discuss the several maps that had been submitted. The complete lack of public participation was evident – only a handful of maps were submitted.

At the end of the meeting a 5-2 majority favored Map 114 – the demographers tweak of Commissioner John Seminara’s Map 106. Then they added Maps 111 and 112 as worthy of Council consideration. Take a look at Map 114. The dark lines show current district boundaries:

Map 114 making pre-eminent good sense.

Map 114 isn’t perfect, but it is informed by Fullerton’s clear major street boundaries and respects both ethnic and physical communities of interest. It cleans up the idiotic Tentacles of Interest foisted on the voters in 2016 by our former Mayor-for-Hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald. There would no longer be district contortions so that council members could each have an interest in the public money vortex knows as Downtown Fullerton.

Two of the commission members – former City employee Kitty Jaramillo, and Jody Vallejo preferred Map 110 a bizarre amalgamation for District 3 – a long, thin district that stretches from Placentia Avenue to Euclid Avenue connecting neighborhoods that are physically remote and that don’t share any obvious connection. The adherents of this map apparently banded together into a committee of some kind to concoct this hot, wet mess, proving that more heads are not necessarily better than fewer. Check out this acid burp:

The people who defended this map claimed that it is the “College map,” joining CSUF and FJC with their surrounding neighborhoods as a dubious “community of interest.” The further rationale for its support was that “many people” had participated in its creation. This map violates several basic tenets of district-making, to wit: creating a district (3) that is not compact; splitting the trans-57 community of interest into two separate tribes; and throwing together neighborhoods almost 4 miles apart in a weird, horizontal embrace.

How anybody could justify this District 3 is still beyond me. The demographer tried to make it less ridiculous by whacking it back by a mile (Map 112), but it still looks unsupportable by reason or logic. Here is Map 112.

So what gives? Commission member Tony Bushala dialed in to proclaim that Map110 (and by extension, Map 112 was motivated by purely political consideration, not the Voting Rights Act and the Fair Map Act that govern this process, and would have none of it. He didn’t elaborate.

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

And then it hit me.

Map 110 (and by extension Map 112) was submitted by a group of people committed to keeping Jesus Quirk-Silva, the current liberal, dim-witted D3 councilman in office. The other recommended maps – that removed the gerrymander that put him in the office – would leave him with no place to run in 2022 and out office!

Hence the desperation by this “committee” that wasted a lot of verbal gas doing what it not permitted by the FPA – protecting a party or a politician.

Oh, well, the maps go to the City Council on Tuesday the 8th, where outrage theater, liberally sprinkled with liberal handwriting will be featured on the playbill. Expect long lines the usual weepers, new and old, show up to promote Map 112. Will it work? That depends on Mayor Fred Jung who by now must be getting a shitload of unwanted importunity coming at him.

Of course there is nothing stopping a council majority from devising its own map, drawing on others, or cooking up a whole new one. But as it stands now, Map 114 is the one supported by the Redistricting Advisory Commission.

The Second Try

Nothing says 1962 like Fullerton City Hall

Back in 2020 our Lords and Masters at City Hall cooked up a plan to impose a sales tax increase upon people buying stuff in Fullerton. It was staff-driven natch, and lazy liberals Zahra, Quirk-Silva, Flory and Fitzgerald were on board. It was called Measure S. See, they figured the path of least resistance was deploying a new tax rather than finally exercising fiscal restraint.

Measure S Covid Lie
The Big Lie

Measure S soon found itself in the crosshairs of Fullerton anti-tax advocates and some well-placed signs describing the true nature of the beast doomed it to failure come election time.

Well guess what? They’re at it again. This time the idea is something called a Pension Obligation Bond, a mechanism for paying off part of Fullerton’s massive unfunded pension actuarial liability at CalPERS, the State’s giant pension administrator.

An introductory briefing was on the Council’s agenda last Tuesday to start the cheerleading process – a process that will entail the employment of an “expert” who will certainly benefit from a positive result; and of course “bond counsel” the legal camp-followers who push bonds on lazy elected officials after a hot meal and a few glasses of wine.

As everybody knows, the interest on the bonds are ultimately backed up by the collateral of new property taxes. This revenue would go to pay down the pension debt and free up money owed to CalPERS for staff salaries and benefits that will ultimately, and ironically, increase pension debt.

Here’s the second kicker: because a pension obligation bond is not deemed new debt, per se, but a sort of pea-under-the-walnut shell maneuver, no vote of the people is required – as it is in the case of general obligation bonds. It just gets “validated” by a judge and goes through on the nod unless challenged. Ouch. Of course the Council, if it wanted to could put the issue on a ballot anyhow, if they chose to move ahead with this scheme.

Of course the strategy for this type of thing is to reprimand opponents by citing the fact that the daily cost is little more than a Big Mac, or some other trifle and in return we get…what do we get again? Our loyal and devoted “public safety” club will almost certainly gobble up the lion’s share of this taxpayer largesse, just like they already do, and we’ll be even worse off than we already are, and no desperately needed cultural changes will have been made.

I looked over the agenda material on line and found nary a clue as to how this was even agendized. Another smoke screen protecting somebody.

Fish Farm Failure

“Tam. Smell that smell…

Some folks might think that continuing conversation about Jesus Quirk-Silva’s and Ahmad Zahra’s aquaponic farm/event center scheme would be like smacking a dead mackerel.

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

Well, here at FFFF we believe it’s never a bad idea to remind the public of hare-brained proposals made by bureaucrats and supported by bobble-headed politicians.

So to recap: last spring the Fullerton City Council deliberated on a scheme to create an aquaponic farm on the site of the abandoned Union Pacific Park site. The problem was that the exclusive negotiating deal was with a guy who had no financial wherewithal and proposed an event center on the site – just like he had done in Anaheim and Aliso Viejo. Staff even dredged up a last minute “partner” to sell the deal. The idea was rejected, but not for lack of trying.

And we have just received word from down south in Aliso Viejo about the negative impacts of an identical operation there, Renewable Farms, run by the same people.

Let’s hear from a MV resident to a concerned Fullerton resident:

My name is Dena LeCave and I am a resident of Aliso Viejo.  While looking into information and press on Renewable Farms I came across a story from the Fullerton Observer regarding the aforementioned.  I wish to congratulate you on terminating your contract with Renewable Farms.  As a long time resident of the city of Aliso Viejo, 20+ years, I am astonished and horrified by what our city council has allowed to happen to my community, neighborhood and particularly our quality of life since Renewable Farms started hosting wedding receptions on the vacant land behind our home.  We live less than 50 yards from the event center for Renewable Farms and they host weddings every single Saturday night and have been doing so since May.  The noise, lights, music and constant yelling goes on for 7+ hours.  
The city has done little to alleviate the problem and has instead hamstringed us by making these events private by the City, meaning we have almost no recourse in getting them to quiet down. 
I do not wish to take up your time, I’m sure you’re quite busy, but if you would like to further discuss our situation you may email me back or call me.
Thank you, and have a good day.

Sincerely,

Dena LeCave

Ms. Le Cave’s words have the ring of truth, all right, and they certainly would have applied to the proposal in Fullerton – problems that show the complete lack of concern, disdain even, that our staff shows for this neighborhood. And then of course there was the attitude shown by Quirk-Silva and Zahra about the residents who would have suffered the negative impacts of this proposal, without so much as a by-your-leave. Their current concern over public input on the park site is extremely recent and undisputedly hypocritical.

The purveyors of bad ideas were holding their own. For a while, anyway.

And of course the deal would have illegally converted a public park into a private, fenced and gated place to hold events, and incidentally an aquaponic facility, effectively giving away parkland – something our City Attorney Dick Jones just got caught approving in Westminster. Of course there was no parking, no business plan and nothing but a site plan to recommend it to the Council, so naturally Quirk-Silva and Zahra latched on to it like a couple of lamprey eels.

The Dope Lobbyist

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

We here at FFFF have never thought of Jesus Quirk Silva as a very bright fellow, but he seems to have learned at least one thing on the Fullerton City Council. And that lesson came courtesy of former councilwoman-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.

Gone, but not forgotten…

That lesson is simple: it’s more fun to try to peddle influence based on your elected position than it is to hold down a day job.

And so Mr. Quirk Silva has embarked on a new potential career path – away from teaching multiplication to slack-jawed pre-pubescents, and into the exiting realm of lobbying local governments.

Adan Ortega
Who knew a liquid could have so many angles…

Quirk Silva’s “employer” is Adan Ortega, of Ortega Associates, who you may remember as the desperate Fullerton MWD director who was replaced by Fred Jung, and who then tried to get appointed as a representative from the city of San Fernando.

I fully expect Quirk-Silva to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald, although he can barely utter a coherent sentence.

Now why does any of this matter, really? Because government ought to be about governing, not about being a bagman between special interests, other lobbyists, developers, and your colleagues on local boards and councils.

As a Fullerton Councilman, Quirk Silva doesn’t have that much juice, but he could be pulled and persuaded very easily. More importantly, his wife, Sharon Quirk Silva, is a state Assemblywoman, and as such actually does command respect for how she might be able to move something along in Sacramento.

And now back to Ortega. FFFF sources have indicated that he was attempting to break into the legalized marijuana biz here in Fullerton as a lobbyist, but got caught up in the interminable incompetence of the last city council, and the reluctance of the new council to go down the happy MJ trail. The same sources suggest that a cartel of cannabis interests from Long Beach is still very interested in reviving the issue in Fullerton.

You said it, man. Nobody fucks with the Jesus

The Jesus has been a long-time, big-time cheerleader for legalized dispensaries in Fullerton, so there are several loose strings as yet not quite tied together.

When they are, FFFF will be sure to let you know.

Police Union Getting Desperate

It seems so. Fullerton’s boys in blue sent out a text the other day that looked like this:

The outright lies pile up so fast you’d need wings to stay above the bullshit. Nobody is defunding the police and nobody has suggested doing so – even with the FPDs atrocious record of incompetence, misfeasance, abuse, criminality and oh yeah, sucking up half our budget. In Fullerton the Culture of Corruption gets what it wants. Always had.

The “enough is enough” line is funny, as is the “HELP SAFE FULLERTON NOW.” Maybe the cops can get their money back from whatever idiot wrote that bit of GED illiteracy. Comedy aside, the piece is just a compilation of outright lies.

  1. Fullerton is not overwhelmed by violent crime, especially when you subtract the crime perpetrated by union members themselves.
  2. Whitaker and Dunlap have never attempted to defund the police and has never suggested such a thing. That’s far left stuff that you’d expect to hear from SIlva or more likely Zahra – wanting to appease crazy supporters.
  3. No one is suggesting “additional cuts” to public safety, which is impossible anyhow, because there haven’t been any cuts in the first place.

So what is the purpose of this nonsense? The cop union leadership has never been very bright, relying on bullying rather than strategy, although to them bullying is a strategy. What is the point attacking Whitaker and Dunlap, who aren’t up for re-election for 3 years?

They could be floating these trial balloons to see if they could instigate a recall. But Dunlap could easily beat that and Whitaker could beat it too without some sort of provocation. Or is this some sort of shot across the bow for Fred Jung, the man in the middle of recent budget wrangles? But, Jung isn’t up for re-election next year either, so that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Maybe the cop union just wants to throw its weight around to remind people that they are still around and collecting members’ dues.

Trail To Nowhere Resurfaces; Commonsense Prevails

I know, lets get some running exercise. Before they catch us!

At the Fullerton City Council meeting last week the topic of the idiotic Union Pacific “trail” came up. I put quotation marks around the word trail because it has never been one, and if the council continues to exercise commonsense, never will be one.

On a 4-1 vote our Lords and Masters decided to entertain an RFP process to see if the City might be able to look at wider area on either side of the abandoned right-of-way in a unified, rather than piecemeal fashion.

Parks staff have been trying for a couple years now to waste millions on a “greening” trail that would pick-up where “Phase 1” left off and continue through the junkyards, debris fields, used tire business and junk car to Independence Park. These people who stand to gain from billing hours against this project have no idea how much maintenance will cost, how safety might be ensured, or most significantly, who would even want to use it.

They continue to describe the Phase 1 thing as a trail when it is evidently not; not to anybody who takes the time to see that it does not pass Harbor to the east and ends up at the low point of Walnut Avenue on the west. There is decomposed granite and a horse rail to serve all the equestrians in the barrio to add to the comic nature of the previous development. There are also trash, homeless, evidence of arson, graffiti, and of course recent memories of a murder.

After writing a staff report that positively glowed with the eventuality of “connectivity” to a County-wide rec trail system, even Alice Loya (the Parks employee who has been nurturing this nonsense) was forced to admit that there was no present plan to acquire more railroad right-of-way to get past Independence Park, and no immediately feasible way to cross the train tracks at the Commonwealth underpass.

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

In the world of lefty identity politics it’s the thought that counts, and the more money wasted on the thought, the better. Jesus Quirk-Silva referred to this as a “pipe dream,” his fantasy, apparently. He’s all about “equity” whatever that means, as if wasting $2,000,000 in public money is justified by the kind gesture to an “underserved” population.

But it’s hard to know if these chuckleheads even take themselves seriously. Let’s not forget that Quirk-Silva and his pal Zahra voted just six short moths ago to permanently convert the ill-fated Union Pacific Park to a private events center.

Zahra-Busted
It’s the though that counts…

Zahra trotted out a bunch of middle aged Latina women to blather (in Spanish, just to extend the pain, apparently) nonsense about a veritable linear oasis that of course neither they, nor their children would ever use.

In the end, Quirk-Silva went along with Dunlap, Jung and Whitaker, who reasoned that a broader look at the whole area was needed, and that private sector ideas were just as likely to prove fruitful as the dead hand of the Parks Department under Alice Loya. Where this process will lead is still uncertain. Quirk-Silva said he must have his pipe dream included in any proposal; Whitaker amended that to a multi-modal facility that could serve as some sort of viaduct for the area using the UP right-of-way flexibility that makes a lot of sense.

Joe Felz’s Wild Ride -The Full Monty

Starring former Fullerton City Manager, Joe Burt Felz who got drunk on Election Night 2016, drove over a tree, and tried to escape from his own cops. There is something sort of pathetic about Felz, errand boy and water bearer for Jennifer Fitzgerald, saying over and over that his turn blinker wasn’t working and how he became befuddled, until one of his own policemen tells him to stop yammering about it.

As one of the cops said: “it’s the Chief’s call.” Subsequently Chief Danny “Gallahad” Hughes lied to the Council about the affair even as Felz tried to quietly pay for the tree and move on.

The City of Fullerton tried for years to keep this under wraps because it implicated our MADD rewarded police themselves in incompetent and illegal activity. FFFF sued the City to get the videos, and in retribution two bloggers were personally sued by the City for legal activity, a lawsuit that cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands and that finally exonerated David Curlee and Joshua Ferguson.

The Joe Felz Case and the Culture of Corruption

Before we publish the unedited video of our former City Manager, Joe Burt Felz, arrested for drunk driving, only to be taken home and tucked into bed by his own MADD recognized cops, let us share some highlights of the video as shared and analyzed by FFFFs own Joshua Ferguson. Ferguson was the target of a vindictive and highly expensive lawsuit courtesy of the City’s “I Can’t Believe It’s A Law Firm” of Jones and Mayer. And so it is appropriate for Joshua to remind us what happened – and to remind those not paying attention that the Felz catch and release was a far from isolated case of malfeasance by our police department and our esteemed leaders in City Hall.

There is no no doubt that Danny “Gallahad” Hughes lied to the City Council about Felz, and that the cops knew doing the right thing was professionally dangerous.

As Ferguson says, if there is a lesson to be learned in this long train of corruption, you can be sure that Councilmen Ahmad Zahra and Jesus Quirk Silva haven’t learned it. They voted until the bitter end to keep the moribund lawsuit against FFFF staggering along.