Municipal Redevelopment Arrogance: A Common Scourge

Sometimes you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like the case in Philly where a local businessman may be sued by the Redevelopment Agency for cleaning up trash and beautifying a piece of blighted Agency-owned property that they willfully refused to clean up. So ths guy spends 20 big ones of his own dough since the City blatantly ignored its own mess, and is now looking at a potential lawsuit – a lawsuit some asshole city bureaucrat says is based on “principle.” Principle. Now that’s a scream.

What’s really funny is that if the city had done the work it would have cost twenty times as much and taken ten times longer.

Of course apologists of Fullerton’s former Redevelopment Agency (you know who they are) would be quick to point out is that this sort incompetence and arrogance  never happened in Fullerton; Fullerton Redevelopment folks were  just so darned…well… you know.

But consider this: Fullerton has had a long and inglorious Redevelopment history that includes building, then demolishing concrete trestles along Harbor, giving away a public sidewalk to a politically connected apaign contributor, subsidizing dozens of boondoggles, supporting architectural design Nazi-ism, stealing an old lady’s property to give to a car dealer, and nasty little sales tax kick backs from Redevelopment funds – all done to promote more tax revenue to pay for pensions, League of City junkets, and all those inevitable step pay increases for the gang.

A final thought: even though Redevelopment is supposedly dead in California you can bet the farm (if they don’t steal it for High Speed Rail) that the lobbyists are busy at work in Sacramento trying to revive it, and that local mall fry politicians and local political wannabes are real eager for it to come back.

Why not? It’s fun and it isn’t their money.

Never Forget

It’s been a year since the election of 2010. But let’s take a moment to reflect upon those who were endorsed by the public safety unions in Fullerton:


Right. Bankhead, McKinley and Roland Chi. What a crew!

Bankhead, the brain shift-slip octogenarian; McKinkley, the bad cop who littered the Fullerton Police Department with thugs, goons, pickpockets, pill-popping con men, sexual predators, perjurers, and of course murderers; and Roland Chi, the food poisoner from Garden Grove who only escaped prosecution by handing over his DNA to the DA.

Like the unionistas themselves, huge pension recipients Bankhead and McKinley could be safely counted on to curry favor with labor; and oh, they tried so hard after the brazen Kelly Thomas murder at the hands of six Fullerton cops to protect their campaign benefactors. Roland Chi was just a contemptible scofflaw who never should have come out from behind the rancid squid display in the first place.

And all three were safe bets to impose the annual and illegal 10% tax on your water, a tax that goes to pay their own pensions!

And folks this is why we need a recall!

Fall Out of a Chair, Get a Tax Break. Bankhead Discovers “Chief’s Disease”

Some say Mayor Don Bankhead retired from the police force too early, unfortunately missing out on the last decade’s massive pension spikes that have driven modern public safety pensions well into six figures. As a result, Bankhead’s annual CalPERS pension is only $81,351.16, still about three times what the rest of us might be able to get from Social Security.


But Bankhead found another way to boost his pension. Through a series of dubious disability claims filed towards the end of his career, he was able to make at least 40% of his retirement tax-free. The injuries were allegedly suffered when Bankhead fell down some stairs and then later worsened when he fell out of a chair, according to this LA Times article from 1990.


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“Chief’s Disease,” as these disability pension spikes are commonly called, were all the rage in law enforcement circles in the 80’s and 90’s. At one point, eighty percent of senior CHP retirees had curiously developed debilitating injuries in the last two years of service, which made up to 50% of their pensions tax-free for the rest of their lives.

So how much does Bankhead get tax-free? The city won’t tell us, and neither will CalPERS. Bankhead’s case file was recently destroyed by the workers’ comp court where his case was heard, and no journalists bothered to follow up on the story.

In my day, we didn't have 3 at 50. We had to be creative.

One thing we do know: Bankhead didn’t “throw in the towel” due to alleged injuries. He quit after he had been passed over for the Police Chief job, and promptly announced his ambition to run for the Fullerton City Council. Then he tried (unsuccessfully) to run against Brad Gates for Orange County Sheriff.

That’s a lot of ambition for a guy who doesn’t pay his share of income taxes because he’s “totally disabled.”

Fullerton Police Department Dysfunction

Out here on Screech Owl Road I’ve been tuning in on the doings in sleepy little Fullerton that is sleepy no more. It’s hard to miss. You’ve made world-wide news – and not in the way anybody wants to become famous.

Anyway, I got to wondering the other day about the Police Department spokeshole, Sergeant Andrew Goodrich, a bumbling oaf who has made a real hash out of public relations in the aftermath of the Kelly Thomas homicide.

I know who I work for and it isn't you!

For a while I tried to make sense of the weird things he was saying, and obviously leaking to selected individuals, individuals who then exercised no intellectual scrutiny over what they were disseminating.

My friends back in Fullerton informed me that Goodrich is a shot-caller in the Fullerton Police Officers Association (FPOA), the local cop union. These are the boys (and girls) in blue who pour tens of thousands of dollars into Fullerton elections to get the most simple minded pro-cop lackeys they can find into office. Over the years they have succeeded marvelously.

Then all of Goodrich’s bullshit started to make sense: Kelly Thomas ran; he was combative; he had “legal documents” that didn’t belong to him; a photograph of a dirty, muscular, mean-looking guy was released purporting to be a two-year old booking picture of Thomas; two cops suffered “broken bones” in the encounter. All this trash was floated out to the public to discredit the victim and divert attention from the horrific bludgeoning death perpetrated by the police.

Of course, later it was revealed that there were no broken bones (the cops were back on the street); the identity of the man in the picture was challenged; the so-called legal documents in Thomas’s possession was trash Kelly had fished out of a dumpster; reports from people who knew him that Thomas was basically a harmless dude.

So who does Goodrich really work for? Fullerton taxpayers pay his salary, but it is crystal clear that he he is working for his brethren in the FPOA and will do anything he can to obfuscate, obscure, misdirect and mislead you – the very people who pay his lavish $130,000 a year salary plus benefits.

This becomes even more troublesome when you consider that he is one of the leaders of the union that has hired a lawyer to defend the six cops that participated in the Thomas beat down.

Who in God’s name permits a union officer be the official spokesman for a city department? The egregious Chief Mike Sellers, for one. And, naturally, the ex-cops on the city council Pat McKinley and Don Bankhead, as well as the buffoonish Dick Jones, of course – another individual embraced by the cop union.

Well this crap has got to stop. Sellers should be fired of course, and he should take his union spokesman with him when he goes.

Looking Back on His First Campaign

Local art gallery owner Jesse La Tour just blogged an honest retrospect on his grassroots campaign effort for the 2010 Fullerton city council race:

Whether you agree with him or not, it’s hard to ignore a refreshingly forthcoming guy who jumps in as an unfunded but creative underdog, gets licked by the moneyed interests, but then dusts himself off and vows to return again.

And five thousand votes for a $1,000 ain’t bad at all. See you in 2012, Jesse.

Quirk Screws Silva; La Plus Ca Change…

It happened. As predicted. At the behest of the repuglican puppetmasters that helped put him on the Fullerton City Council, ex-police Chief and $215,000 a year pension puller-downer Pat McKinley bypassed Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva for Mayor Pro Tem. Instead Fullerton’s former top cop and election winner by 90 votes went with the feeble octogenarian, Don Bankhead. Gotta keep that winning team intact, right?

Well, goddamit, the ‘pugs weren’t the only people who helped put McKinley on the council. They had help. As noted previously, many of the the Yellowing Fullerton Observers went for McKinley, too, including folks like Molly McClanahan, Jan Flory and….wait for it…Sharon Quirk-Silva! It cost Doug Chaffee the election.

Two years ago these same people helped put the cracker back in the cracker barrel.

Say, guys, hows that strategy working out for ya?

HeeHaw, It’s The Law!

No, no, no! I ain't a' gonna do it!

Well, not the law, exactly. More like City Council Administrative Policy #37, approved last February. Check it out:

Administrative Policy #37

Here’s the deal: the guy with most seniority since last being Mayor shall be appointed, plain and simple. And that means our Crazy Ol’ Doc Heehaw is line to shoulder the burden of the mayoralty, like it or not. Well, he can shirk his duty again, like he did before, and go to the second spot.

Not time to step up?

That means the next in line to be Mayor is Sharon Quirk-Silva, with Dr. Phogbound as Mayor Pro Tem; and if he declines the second spot, too, that would fall to the highest vote getter in the last election. And that’s our old Friend, Bruce Whitaker.

Now it could very well be that Sharon Quirk-Silva would defer her place until next year to run for re-election in 2012 with the title “Mayor of Fullerton,” in which case our next mayor would be Whitaker.

Could greatness be thrust upon him?

Of course Administrative Policy #37 isn’t worth the TP it was written on or the Sharpie it was written with – despite the fact that it’s the wet-dream of all Fullerton liberals, and ironically could produce the first truly conservative mayor since…well, since anybody could possibly remember.

How will it play out? Who knows? One thing is certain. This is Fullerton and it’s bound to be a confused mess. But the entertainment value should be high.

Chaffee Recounts Chiefee

According to the OC Registrar of Voters, Doug Chaffee has requested a recount in the election for Fullerton City Council in which he finished 90 votes behind former Po-lice Chief Pat McKinley.

90 votes. A seemingly insurmountable lead, really. After all, any errors in counting are just as likely to go against Chaffee as for him. It sure seems like a fool’s errand, but what the hell, gotta give it that last shot, right?

Not too sure how this effects next Tuesday’s swearing in of McKinley since the recount will not have happened.

Chaffee’s Choke Cost Him The Election

A lot of people in Fullerton are wondering why council candidate Doug Chaffee permited himself to be a GOP establishment punching bag.  Did his natural inclinations lead him to avoid attacking the out-of-control public employee pension mess as embodied in his two GOP and union backed adversaries? Probably.

If so, it cost him the election.

When he finally reached down and grabbed hold of his huevos he produced this devastating comparison piece between himself and his “public safety” union-backed opponents.

Although effective, it was too little, too late. By the time it came out absentee voting was well underway. The oblique admonition to “bullet vote” was already an effort in vain.

And the rest, as they say, is history.