15th ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREAT FULLERTON RECALL

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the event that has shaped Fullerton’s political landscape ever since: the Fullerton Recall of 1994. Three stubborn, entrenched councilpersons chose to side with the bureaucrats over the citizenry and imposed an unnecessary utility tax on the populace. Well, the citizenry struck back. Common folks, many of who had never taken any part in municipal politics banded together and began a yearlong recall effort that eventually ousted A.B. “Buck” Catlin, Molly McClanahan, and Don Bankhead.

The event was seminal and pitted the old, statist interests that had run Fullerton since the beginning of time and the barbarians who had very recently arrived at the gate. The statists of both political parties looked on in horror as the Outsiders assaulted their citadel. For them it was indeed a contest of good (them) versus the evil of untutored and unwashed common folk.

The resulting recall, the determined effort of those recalled not to leave office, and the ultimate repeal of the utility tax were formative events that created a permanent citizen political presence and a resolute effort by the statists to regain control of the city. The middle of the road Chamber of Commerce Republicans were thrown together with the Fullerton do-good Democrats who had newly discovered their dedication to the City Hall bureaucratic apparatus.

The fact that the old guard managed to secure its position by the re-election of Bankhead and the election of “conservative” empty suit like Godfrey, Jones, Clesceri and Wilson, and outright liberals like Quirk and Keller has shown just how stubborn political interests resist real change. Fullerton has failed to elect a representative who wasn’t beholden to vested interests, and who was willing to challenge the authority, or even the competency of the city manager and staff.

There is hardly any way to gauge the level of animus that some of the old guard, especially the leftists, have nurtured toward those they deem rabble. Will that change with the emergence of a new generation of politicians?

We hope that new leaders will be able to start seeing issues through their responsibility to their constituents more than their affiliation with the apparatchiks in City Hall and the vested interests that have been so cozy with incumbents over the years.

The Recall was memorable less for what it ultimately accomplished than that it demonstrated, for a brief, shining moment, at least, that in a democracy the people can exercise their sovereignty.

Fullerton Council to Discuss TERM LIMITS

At the request of several Council Members, the City Council will discuss the issue of term limits, and if the matter should be placed on the next ballot. How many years do YOU think is enough? Some say 8 years, others 12, Mr. Dick Jones says NO term limits. Don Bankhead has been on the Council for 22 years and counting. What will Mr. Jones have to say about agenda Item #13, will he “blow his lid”… again? Stay tuned this Tuesday evening, it should be one to remember.

OC REGISTER SPIKES BALL TOO SOON ON PENSION ISSUE

On Sunday the OC Register recognized Fullerton Councilman Shawn Nelson’s lone stand to protect the Fullerton taxpayer against a proposed employee pension spike plan that was being discussed behind closed doors last summer. Register Editorialist Steve Greenhut commended Nelson for saving Fullerton from an underfunded pension disaster of the sort that is bankrupting California cities like Vallejo. Click here to read article.

Poor Steve! He spoke too soon! This Tuesday the very council that chose behind closed doors to accede to union demands last summer will now conduct a hearing to approve the proposed pension increase.

The vote should be fairly predictable. Union water bearers Dcmocrats Sharon Quirk and Pam Keller plus quasi-Republican Don Bankhead are safe votes for the increase, which is all that is needed for passage. More entertaining will be the action of Mr. Dick Jones, another iffy Republican who previously supported the proposal, at least until the GOP Central Committee got wind of it. Then he changed his tune. Now that he has been re-elected it will be interesting to see if he will keep the promise made in order to keep the Republican endorsement, or if he will once again flip back to his natural inclination of giveaways to public employees at the taxpayers expense.

The issue is Item #14 & 15 on the meeting agenda. The Council will meet at 6:30 Tuesday night at City Hall. Public participation is strongly encouraged by Friends For Fullerton’s Future.