Category Archives: Former Fullerton Councilmembers

Is Fitzgerald Out?

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

Rumor is circulating that our Mayor-for-Hire, lobbyist Jennifer Fitzgerald isn’t going to be running for election to represent District 1 in Fullerton this fall. Good news, indeed, if true, for those who care about honest, competent government.

But is it true? No pronouncements have been forthcoming from the woman herself which suggests that the rumor isn’t true, or that the influence peddler is going to try to slide in a candidate of her own choosing – one who may just be amenable to continuing the Culture of Corruption in the FPD and the Culture of Incompetence in City Hall.

Pringle and Fitzgerald

What her departure might mean for her future value for the swamp known as Pringle and Associates remains to be seen.

Well, I guess we’ll know in about six weeks. And if Her Highness is just playing games and is going to run after all, we’ll be reminding voters of her:

  1. Promise to take no pay or benefits, and then doing just that.
  2. Lying about a “balanced budget” for years while depleting reserve funds to pay for ever-greater pension obligations.
  3. Covering up the drunk driving of her best buddy, City Manager Joe Felz, a spectacle that has embarrassed the City, ever since.
  4. Ignoring the roads of Fullerton until they have become the worst in Orange County , as determined by the OCTA.
  5. Presiding over the shoddy or incompetent  construction of vanity projects that put money in the pockets of her campaign contributor.
  6. Working as a lobbyist while representing the City of Fullerton.

Axis of Casual Corruption.

So bring it on Jen.’ We’ve been paying attention and we’re gonna make sure your neighbors know all about your record. Stooge endorsement from recalled former council buffoons, corrupt liberals and government camp followers and a new tsunami of prevarication ain’t gonna cut it in 2020.

 

Don Bankhead Dead

The thing that many people thought inconceivable has happened. Don Bankhead, former Fullerton city councilman, has gone on to his reward.

On Earth, Bankhead’s reward was being the only person in the 170 year history of California to be recalled twice from the same office.

Details are non-existent to the general public since no published obituary is readily available. However the Loma Vista website informs us:

James “Don” Bankhead
Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 12:30 p.m.
Graveside Service

Note – I found this write-up on-line. No mention of 2 recalls. Still the only thing other than my own post. Sort of sad.

https://everloved.com/life-of/james-bankhead-sr/obituary/

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.

The Doug Chaffee Experience, Kindness Edition

Just in case you were still wondering about his competence and priorities, our Supervisor, Doug “Bud” Chaffee has helped out with his latest insipid e-mail. The latest installment invites nominations for something called a “4th District Kindness Award.” No, I am not making this up. Here it is:

Sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind…

Now coming from a dyed-in-the-wool SOB like Chaffee this is really a bit much. His record of screwing the people of Fullerton through incompetence, spleen, rancid deal making with FitzFlory; and his aiding and abetting his criminal wife in stealing campaign signs and creating a phony residence to run for office, would lead a normal person to suspect that kindness in any form is the last thing on Chaffee’s shrinking mind.

Why Keep Threatening Us?

For every problem that isn’t a nail, there’s a moron ready to swing a hammer.

20 Days ago FFFF got another threatening letter from the City that said if we don’t stop reporting news and telling the public the truth about what’s actually happening in their town, apparently there will be consequences.

We told them to kick rocks.

What really strikes us as odd is how hard the city works to solve real problems v make work problems.

If they’re willing to go after local journalists connected to a blog that city employees routinely insist that no one reads, one can’t help but wonder what wrath the city brings down on real problems.

Can we assume that the city also takes things like life safety issues impacting the public, police brutality and sexual misconduct, wasted tax dollars, theft by employees, recklass or perhaps drunk driving by employees, or total disregard for budget discipline, public trust, and basic fairness as seriously as they take shutting down transparency?

Oh wait, we don’t need to assume anything as we know exactly what kind of resources the city spends on those problems. None.

We know because we broke and covered those stories.

Maybe that’s what this is about. Maybe the City is tired of having a group of “chronic malcontents” embarrass them by telling the truth. Continue reading

Chasing Rainbows

I noticed two things in the Fullerton Observer the other day that on the surface are pretty innocuous but that upon a little reflection seem to be symbolic of the way our city government has operated over the years.

AhmadZahra

Movin’ on up

The first is the City’s proclamation of Arab American Month, a first, and no doubt conceived by new councilmember Ahmad Zahra who is himself an Arab American. Here is Zahra:

“As an Arab-American myself, I’m very proud of this moment, and I’m proud of our city for being such a wonderful, diverse place where everybody can celebrate who they are but work together for what is best for our community.”

Diversity and celebration. Hmm. Well, okay, a little color toner and some quality legal-sized paper, a few minutes of everybody’s time and you’ve got your proclamation. Go in peace.

The second item is about the rainbow flag flapping on the pole in front of City Hall. The City Council in March approved flying the banner that symbolizes LGBTQ rights, etc for LGBTQ Month. Mr. Zahra is also gay and this may account for the fact that Fullerton has finally got around to this pressing issue. This is a bit more problematic because here we have an official endorsement by the City. Personally, I’m all for equal rights for everybody – including marriage, and I couldn’t care less if Jennifer Fitzgerald orders that a Goofy flag fly over the City Hall. Still, it gives one pause to consider the priorities of our esteemed leaders – nobody’s rights are threatened by not flying the flag; meaning, of course, that the whole thing is an empty gesture.

And this brings me, finally, to the point of this post. We have a city council that has spent us to brink of fiscal disaster with no accountability, no responsibility and no concern at all for the taxpayers and citizens of Fullerton. They have squandered millions on vanity construction projects that were mismanaged, unnecessary, or downright dangerous. They have let the streets of Fullerton become the joke of Orange County. They have turned over downtown Fullerton to a gang of scofflaw saloon owners. They have nurtured a deadly Culture of Corruption in the police department, an infection that reaches from top to bottom. Meantime they are determined to ignore any of the calls for a correction to the course they have navigated.

More negativity. Just think positive!

Ask yourselves this question: Are any of the real municipal problems of Fullerton ever addressed? The answer, sadly, has been no. Meanwhile, empty symbolism and diversion are the order of the day. It’s easy pandering, and to the uninitiated might even look like something is being accomplished.

The question whether hollow gestures are better than none at all, especially when promoted by incompetent or corrupt officials, may remain academic. What is a practical reality is that in a month or so Fullerton will begin its Annual Can Kick – known as the budget approval. But the can is getting more obdurate every year and the lies coming from Fitzgerald and Flory ever more outrageous. Soon we will be able to see what sort of new flags from Mr. Zahra and his colleagues will be run up the flagpole. Will anybody salute?

Flory Wins Wheel of Candidates

Accountability? It was never on the agenda.

Well, that was predictable.

In fact, after breaking up the FFFF kitty last night, those betting $1 on Jan Flory only got $0.98 back. Everyone knew it was coming.

Why? Because Fullerton gonna Fullerton and the house always wins. There was never any real chance that anyone was going to do the right thing. Ahmad Zahra of 2018 has clearly been through the establishment sheep dip, emerging as the self-righteous lecturer Ahmad Zahra 2.0 of 2019.

You didn’t know what the NUFF forum was for you to learn about a candidate so you could come speak your piece during last night’s public comment period? Ahmad is offended!

You don’t care about Ahmad’s latest sob story justifying his total lack of conviction to do the right thing by the voter? Ahmad is offended!

You expected Ahmad to abide by his word and not vote for someone lobbying for a position that hadn’t even been announced? Ahmad is offended!

Well, we can see where this is going to go for the next four years. Maybe we’ll start keeping a list of reasons why Ahmad is exempt from being held accountable for his own actions and statements. Excuses seem to be his tool of choice.

As for Jesús Silva, Fullerton’s next liberal lion, he just sold out his wife and the rest of Fullerton’s liberal cabal by granting a third vote to continue enforcement of Chevron’s development agreement for West Coyote Hills. There’s a flip flop that would even make Doug Chaffee envious. Sorry Fullerton, the bulldozer is coming, all thanks to Jesús.

No surprises from Fullerton’s Queen-of-Mean Jennifer Fitzgerald. One has to wonder what all those whispers between her, Ahmad, Jesús, and City Manager Ken Domer were all about.

As the council begins to tackle the problems created by their predecessors, at least they’ll be able to look over to the left and ask Jan Flory directly, “Remind us again, why did you do that?”

We, the collective imbalance that is FFFF, look forward to hearing how Indivisible types attempt to exculpate themselves as they realize their progressive reformers are actually no different from the cronyistic corporatists they despise.

29 Jan Council Vacancy Agenda

The following came through from the City Clerk’s office regarding the agenda for tonight’s special meeting:

“Following applicant presentations, City Council will hear public comments regarding filling the City Council vacancy.  After public comments, City Council will deliberate and vote to appoint an applicant to fill the vacancy through December 2020.”


It looks like the cat is out of the bag and this farce can be put to bed. The council is going to appoint somebody and all discussions related to a special election and the integrity of voting rights, transparency and openness is and was just gloss. You can’t claim to be open and transparent when you’ve already decided, without public notification and input, on the council’s decision before the “special meeting” meant to decide the very issue of direction.

Don’t think the council has decided already? Then ask yourself why 2 of 4 council members couldn’t even be bothered to show up to the Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) forum last night? Not one of them was present for the entire event, a whole whopping 2 hours of their precious time was too much to give up for this oh so important open process.

Silva gave an opening statement and Whitaker stayed the longest which is amusing considering he voted for a special election and was the only voice really against this sham. The “public forum” that council directed staff to ask about and that council voted to approve and that NUFF was kind enough to host – was too much of a hassle for our council to attend. Go figure.

NUFF by the way deserves a hearty thank you from the citizens of Fullerton for rearranging their agenda to accommodate this charade. It’s not NUFF’s fault that Fullerton’s council acts like Fullerton’s council. NUFF did a great job all around and I personally thank them.

On a personal note, it was nice to see Josh Newman acting like the man I voted for in 2016 and not the man we recalled from office in 2018. I know he loathes me, which is fine, but you wouldn’t have known it last night which is what mattered.

Back to the travesty of the appointment process – with all of the behind the scenes meetings, deal making and huckstering going on right now it’s anybody’s guess how long it’ll take tonight for the anointed one to finally be appointed.

Should the obvious not happen, the council has a pretty good crop of people if they’re looking to find the least suitable, most mathematically challenged applicant to rubber stamp higher taxes and less accountability for staff. I counted at least 3 people in last night’s beauty pageant who wouldn’t hold anybody accountable or demand fiscal restraint – which really is a hallmark of Fullerton’s electeds.

I’m probably the only person who put in an application who can unite the council – but that’s because they’re united in not wanting me anywhere near that dais. Heck, I’m pretty confident that I wouldn’t want me anywhere near that dais.

As far as beauty pageants go I was the best dressed but we never made it to the swimsuit competition or special talents so that was sad. Maybe tonight will be different. Maybe not.

A New Council Member on Tuesday?

18Dec2018 Council Meeting

The agenda is online (HERE) for next Tuesday’s council meeting and the one major item of note, item #3, is the possible appointment of a council member to fill out the remainder of Jesus Silva’s abandoned at-large seat.

Item 3 States:

3. On December 4, 2018, Council Member Silva was sworn in as the District 3 City Council Member. This created a mid-term vacancy in Council Member Silva’s prior at-large City Council seat which expires in December 2020 and requires the City Council to consider the legally available alternatives for filling the vacancy.
Recommendation by the City Clerk’s Office:
  1. Appoint a qualified individual to the fill the vacancy through the remainder of the term, either through direct appointment or following a process for applications and / or interviews and / or other steps as determined by City Council.

  2. Direct Staff to prepare resolutions to call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term for consideration at the next City Council meeting.

  3. Continue discussion to the January 15, 2019 City Council meeting.

This agenda item, according to City Manager Domer, was written intentionally vaguely so that council can do whatever they want on Tuesday. If they want to just appoint somebody on Tuesday, solidifying the premise that they’ve already been wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, then they can appoint whomever they want. If they want to take a different path, such as an election, they can direct staff to start that process as well.

This item will be somewhat fun to watch because of how it played out up to this point. It only matters because Silva beat Sebourn. As for the ability to appoint a crony to fill out Silva’s seat, that was passed 3-1-1 with 2 (R)s swinging into the Yes column on 16 October 2018 and again 3-1-1 with Fitzgerald ($R), Whitaker (R) and Silva (D) voting for this move on 06 November (election day) 2018.

Direct Appoint Council Vote

If another liberal (D) ends up on council after Tuesday, the (R)s in Fullerton will have nobody to blame but their own council majority. A council majority that this vote could cost them.

UPDATED: Corrected the 06 November vote. A previous version claimed it was 5-0 when it was the same 3-1-1 as the 16 Oct meeting.

Let’s Play WHEEL OF REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES!

UPDATE 1/14/2019

This item is back on the agenda for tomorrow. You gotta spin it to win it!

 

With Jesús Silva big win in Fullerton’s District 3, Fullerton is abuzz with potential names for who the Council might pick as a replacement.

So, who’s it going to be? Here’s some gossip for you to discuss. Feel free to nominate your own darlings for consideration on the WHEEL . . . OF . . . CANDIDATES!

Updated 11/27 with reader suggestions

Free Play– Current Councilman (odds 1:1)

Greg Sebourn

Seems like the easiest option. Someone familiar with the current issues and has existing relationships with city staff and council, and isn’t eligible to run in District 1, 2, or 4 in 2020. Let the voters spin again in 2020.

Lose a Turn– Leave it Open (Odds 1.5:1)

If three votes can’t be found to put a warm body in a cold chair, Council could choose to leave the vacancy open. The vacancy could last through 2020 or until a Special Election gets called.

Bonus Round– Former Members of Council (odds 2:1)

Still can’t come up with an answer to the riddle? Bring back some former contestants for another crack at solving the puzzle.

Jan Flory, Fullerton City Council (twice)

Chris Norby, Assemblyman, Supervisor, Fullerton City Council

Shawn Nelson, Supervisor, Fullerton City Council

Leland Wilson, Fullerton City Council + Fox Theater Point Person

Pam Keller, Fullerton City Council, Ex-Fullerton Collaborative

Buy A Vowel– Current and Former Fullerton Officials (odds 3:1)

Get some help with those neighboring consonants from people who’ve helped reveal a simple phrase to  Council before.

Chris Meyer (Former City Manager)

Joe Felz (Former City Manager)

Wolfgang Knabe (Retiring Fire Chief)

Pete Beard (not a former employee, but Fullerton’s current Metropolitan Water District Representative)

Paul  Dudley (Former Dev Services Director)

Ed Royce (No way in hell, but hey, we’re listing everyone on the wheel)

Luxury Resort Vacation– A Bar Owner (Odds 7:1)

Relax and let all your troubles float away as you blissfully drift from lane to lane down Commonwealth Avenue…

Tony Florentine

Jeremy Popoff

Toss Up– Former Candidates (odds 9.5:1)

Just like an Olympian disqualified by a post race drug test, let the title go to the runner-up!

Paulette Marshal-Chaffee

Vicky Calhoun

Larry Bennett

Jane Rands

Jose Trinidad Castaneda III

Kitty Jaramillo

Joe Imbriano

Mystery Wedges– Other Notables(odds 10:1)

Marty Burbank (Infrastructure Review Commission)

Nick Dunlap (Chair, Planning Commission)

Christopher Gaarder (Vice-Chair, Planning Commission)

Patrick McNelly (Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Ad-Hoc Commissions)

Arnel Dino (Infrastructure and Water Ad-Hoc Commissions)

Rusty Kennedy

Tony Package

Gretchen Cox (Parks, Energy, and Water Ad-Hoc Commissions)

Erik Wehn (Parks Commission)

Kathleen Shanfield (Planning Commission)

Kevin Pendergraft (Planning Comission)

Ryan Cantor (Planning and Library Commissions)

BANKRUPT Anyone Associated with FFFF (odds 100:1)

Sure would put is in a pickle. What would we live for? Criticize ourselves?

The inevitable self-loathing may morally bankrupt us, if it doesn’t destroy us first.