What’s going on in Fullerton? Many city officials seem intent on “redeveloping” a city that has no blight — even as they have wasted $20,000 in bureaucratic expenses to make sure kids don’t ride their bikes in a vacant lot. As the economy worsens for everyone, the city just can’t get its priorities straight.
First, the redevelopment absurdity. The city claims West Fullerton’s commercial areas and East Fullerton industrial areas are “blighted” and wants to redevelop them. This could mean using “eminent domain” to forcibly take property from its rightful owners, then give it to other private owners for a supposedly “better” use. And it could mean using our hard-earned tax dollars to “help” the new owners redevelop the property.
At a recent City Council meeting, City Councilman Shawn Nelson ripped the redevelopment “argument” to shreds. “Clearly, the data has been manipulated, and it’s been manipulated for a purpose,” he said, referring to a report that supposedly proved the areas were “blighted.” He added, “This is not an objective report…. I don’t think that any… objective report would have reached the conclusion that there’s blight.” He pointed out that the supposed “blight” in Fullerton “doesn’t come anywhere near” the threshold set by the California Court of Appeal for imposing eminent domain. Click here for the YouTube of Shawn’s comments:
Second, the Fullerton Code Enforcement Department spent $20,000 and countless hours of staff and attorney time prosecuting local businessman Tony Bushala (admin) for allowing his sons and their friends to ride bicycles on three acres of vacant land he owns behind the Brea Dam. The bureaucrats grandiosely called the vacant lot “outdoor recreational facilities.” Will they next also call every home driveway in the city “outdoor recreational facilities” — and ban kids from using driveways to ride up to park their bikes in the home garage?
How silly. Isn’t it better to have kids riding their bikes on private property owned by one kid’s dad, than to have them hanging out somewhere else, possibly getting into mischief? And that $20,000 in wasted tax money could have meant half a year of work for someone in the private sector — instead of staying in an unemployment line in this severe recession.
After various bureaucratic wranglings, the Appeals Board found that “no nuisance exists.” But the bike incident produced an incredible 47 pages of documents. What a waste.
These are serious economic times. The go-go days are over. We need to save our money, both private and public. The city needs to stop attacking the private-property rights of citizens, whether by threatening to take their property through eminent domain, or by stopping kids from having innocent fun on family property.
Leave us alone!