So what do you do as a candidate when you’re a liar, a self-admitted thief, a phony carpetbagger, and quite possibly the worst human being in north Orange County; and because of these sad truths you can’t raise any campaign dough?
If you’re Paulette Marshall, the Constant Candidate, you write yourself a check. A big check
Ms. Marshall did it last time, too, when she previously ran for the OC Board of Education in 2020, and blew through hundreds of thousands of dollars to come in 3rd, 5,000 votes behind Vicki Calhoun who spent almost nothing.
Apparently Marshall and her hubby, the odious rodent Doug “Bud” Chaffee, who serves as our County Supervisor believe any amount is worth it to promote the missus into some elected office – any office probably.
Meantime, she and her pals are trying backdoor legal means to get rid of the incumbent Tim Shaw, and if that works maybe she can save some of that money.
Last Wednesday, Elizabeth Hansburg quit the Fullerton Planning Commission.
FFFF has already introduced Ms. Hansburg to the Friends, noting her involvement in the drive to cover Fullerton in penitentiary-like apartment blocks. Her “non-profit” is used to provide Astroturf support for developers of huge housing projects and of course donations from said developers are always welcome.
Ms. Hansburg was also part of the shadowing clan that developed a new housing plan that almost nobody knew anything about until it was conceptually presented the the City Council. The idea was (and is) to achieve the preposterous new housing unit needs count – 13,000 -proffered by SCAG, the Southern California Association of Government – an unelected agency run by and for bureaucrats and their Big Ideas.
Well, anyhow, Hansburg has had enough. Here’s her petulant good-bye speech at the end of the meeting in which she attacks the City Council, bemoans the loss of her beloved fellow 5th Columnists in City Hall, and of course praises the contemptible camera hog and credit thief, Ahmad Zahra.
Self-righteous, indignant, know-it-all. Hansburg went out of her way to promote God-awful projects that were intrusive, obnoxious, and promised a tsunami of negative impacts on our neighborhoods including more parking disasters.
Good riddance. This is exactly the sort of person that causes regular folks to be wary of self-proclaimed “experts” and the bureaucracies they love so dearly. Now she can peddle her services to developers free from legitimate charges of conflict of interest.
We have also seen how Zahra claimed authorship of Water District-related articles actually ghost-written by a district bureaucrat; and how he tried to leverage this pseudo-expertise to keep his well-compensated seat on that board.
Then there’s the about-face Zahra played on the suckers of Fullerton when he announced that the open seat on the Council should be decided by a vote, and then promptly voted to appoint Jan Flory to the vacancy at the behest of Jennifer Fitzgerald.
And that last bit is what this story is about. The deal that Zahra cut with Fitzgerald to appoint Flory and get himself appointed to the lucrative Orange County Water District Board, a board that pays stipends for all sorts of meetings and sub-committee meetings.
Check this out:
And did Zahra have a role in this little handout? Was this a little payback for getting appointed in the first place? These sorts of little deals happen in OC political/government circles all the time. It’s all just easy government cheese. Maybe Zahra will be forthcoming about what this was all about. Maybe, but don’t count on it.
Yes, Friends you heard that right. In the long history of official misfeasance regarding the ill-fated “Union Pacific Park” we’ve seen stupidity, indifference, lack of accountability waste, more stupidity. A project that nobody in the community wanted, but that a fun thing for Parks Director Susan Hunt to play with, and for Redevelopment Monopoly bucks to buy, has been a humiliation for everybody involved; or should be, except that bureuacrats in Fullerton have no shame and no rear-view mirror.
But now we discover, courtesy of a 19 year-old document, something a lot more nefarious than just the usual City Hall incompetence. Consider the following letter written to local property owner Tony Bushala, from then Redevelopment flunky, Ken O’Leary.
Here’s a smoking gun. The City had already purchased contaminated property, not bothering to employ a Phase 2 environmental assessment. And they knew that the perp was already cleaning up contamination “in the vicinity.” And yet the City proceeded building a park knowing that soils contamination was an issue surrounding the park, and evidently not giving damn whether their own soil was contaminated. So the park was built for well over a million bucks, then Lo and Behold – the park, by now renamed “Union Pacific Park,” was contaminated too. It was fenced off from the junkies and homeless and borachos that haunted it.
Naturally O’Leary is long gone, as is his boss, the ever-hapless Gary Chalupsky. Gone too are bungling bureaucrats Hunt, F. Paul Dudley, Bob Hodson, and former City Manager, Jim Armstrong, all enjoying six-figure pensions courtesy of you, me, and the people of the communidad who never wanted a park at all.
And now it seems the death march is to continue. Only recently City staff cooked up a lame scheme to put a private event center on the site, masquerading as an “educational” aquaponics farm. This hare-brained idea was ardently supported by Jesus Quirk Silva and Ahmad Zahra, two councilmen immune to common sense; and these two now, all of a sudden, want to start a whole new process to find out what the “community” wants, just like Susan Hunt did over 20 years ago.
Many people tend to dismiss the visionary dreams of large, regional government consortiums as either too impractical, too complicated or too abstruse to either worry about or even pay much attention to. Those people are wrong.
As we have seen, these agencies have long tentacles and provide funding, or pass through funding, to promote the Big Plans they have for us. And that money goes to pay people we wouldn’t give a dime. Worse, their housing needs projections are so wildly unrealistic that if implemented would destroy the suburban fabric of towns across Southern California.
Which brings us back to Elizabeth Hansberg, whose brainchild, People For Housing, sends folks around to local planning commissions and councils to promote high-density housing projects that promise no concomitant benefits to the communities in which they are crammed. And as we have seen Hansberg’s “non-profit” has received somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 from SCAG to promote its agenda of a high density housing jamboree – based on a claim that says we need another 13,000 housing units in Fullerton.
The problem is that Hansberg is on our Planning Commission. The Chair, in fact. The bias, if not outright conflict of interest toward high density housing is cemented by her pecuniary reliance on SCAG. And thus planning in Fullerton is compromised. Think I’m exaggerating? Think again.
Hansberg was selected by our staff to be part of a collection of high-density housing enthusiasts who amusingly called themselves “Project Champions” and have participated in an idiot document called the Fullerton Housing Game Plan. And within this document is concrete evidence of what these people want to do in Fullerton. It’s called the Rail District.
Now this idea is not new. Apparently our crack staff have stolen both the boundaries and even the name from local business guy Tony Bushala who’s been trying to promote a sustainable, mixed use plan for his vision of the Fullerton Rail District. But no. The SCAG-Hansberg plan is all about high-density housing, not livability or sustainability.
And here’s the proof: a plan drawing from this hitherto secret draft Specific Plan, already developed without even being shared with property owners in the area or even members of the City Council. And guess what? The Specific Plan is being paid for by SCAG. And SCAG is also paying to develop a plan to change the Poison Park within the site to an aquaponic farm, ditching the promised park and tying up valuable land in the process. And finally, SCAG grant money is also being eyed by the City bureaucrats to plan a half mile trail along the abandoned Union Pacific right-of-way, an idea so stupid that not even Ken Domer’s predecessors tried it.
It’s very clear that the giant thumbprint of SCAG is placed squarely on these hairbrained and even dangerous ideas. And with the enthusiastic support of their local auxiliaries like Elizabeth Hansberg, they are well on the way to entangling Fullerton in “plans” that will finish off our crumbling infrastructure and add 100,000 new traffic trips to our streets everyday.
You are excused for not knowing a goddamn thing about SCAG – the Southern California Association of Governments. There’s a good reason for this. SCAG operates as a completely opaque government entity; it is run by public employees, for public employees with no accountability to anybody. Its reason for existence is to promote whatever the latest liberal idea de jour happens to be.
And right now, the idea de jour is housing units. Lots and lots of housing units. In fact, in SCAG’s humble opinion…er…a, I mean expert opinion, Fullerton needs 13,000 new housing units, a notion, if executed would complete the destruction of our already overburdened infrastructure and increase our current population by 33%.
“Well, okay, Joe,” I can hear you saying. “So what?”
Here’s what: SCAG creates what is known as Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) concocted by who knows who, and that assumes the temerity to tell cities how they are deficient in their provision of housing for po’ folks.
“Well, okay, Joe,” I can hear you saying. “So what?”
Here’s what: the State of California Housing and Development Department, another bureaucratic godzilla, is becoming militant in making cities comply with some sort of plan to accommodate these idiot quotas – or else.
And although the circle hasn’t yet closed, the arc is extending: there are special-interest groups, allied with developers who are mining the opportunity to exploit the bureaucratic trend for fun and profit. The consequence that matter to you and me don’t concern them in the least.
Fullerton is currently represented by Adan Ortega on the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California’s Board of Directors. Tomorrow the City Council will vote to keep him on as our representative or replace him with somebody else.
Normally I don’t care about commissions or regional seats but this guy bugs me for two reasons. First, his company “Ortega Strategies Group” looks to be a lobbying firm in the municipal water industry and that just stinks of regulatory capture / cronyism.
Second, he’s a racist peddling racism to get his way.
To quote Adan Ortega from last week’s Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District meeting (approximately 20:10 into the audio link, emphasis added)
“Finally, as a Latino and Latina majority board, you outta ask yourselves if it is right to let white people representing Pasadena, Sierra Madre, Foothill and La Canada to choose the winner when people of color on the MWD board disagreed. If you choose this path, then nothing has changed in the empowerment of Latinos, Latinas, African-Americans and women and we are inviting more injustice.”
More “injustice” because somebody disagreed with you. GTFO.
This is naked racism on the part of Adan Ortega and it has no place in Fullerton or elsewhere. If “white people” can’t represent “people of color” it would be logical that “people of color” cannot represent white people. There goes 2 council votes for Adan right out of the window. Also, it is laughable on it’s face to think that a hispanic person can represent Asian, Middle-Eastern, African-American or any other non-Hispanic group or person simply by virtue of not being white when different peoples have such different backgrounds, cultures and histories. This would mean that, per Adan’s own argument, the only person Adan would be representing on council would be Jesus Silva and he would only be representing approximately 35% of our population.
Now, it doesn’t matter that Adan is hispanic here as I don’t believe the horseshit that he’s peddling. Anybody who puts the interests of the Fullerton ratepayers first is who should be on this and every board representing our city. But the important part is that Adan believes the racist horseshit he’s peddling (otherwise he’s a disingenuous liar). Therefore taking him at his own word, Adan believes that race dictates who you can and cannot represent. Adan believes that you are defined by your skin color and sexual orientation and other characteristics of birth. Adan is channeling the Klan like talking points of naked discrimination in his rhetoric and it’s time we moved away from the ugly racial divineness of the past.
Racism is racism even when you try to hide it behind “equity” and other fashionable vulgarities. It’s time to tell this racist to kick rocks and appoint somebody who wants to represent all of Fullerton.
Last night the City Council voted to appoint Bruce Whitaker To the OC Water District Board of Directors. The term of the previous incumbent, Ahmad Zahra had expired at the end of 2020.
The vote was 3-1-1, with Whitaker, Jung and Dunlap voting for Whitaker; Zahra nominated and voted for himself; Jesus Silva decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and abstained.
It was not for lack of trying to keep this paying gig that Zahra relinquished his job. No, Indeed, for a line of scripted commenters tried valiantly to praise Zahra to the Heavens, why, Good God! The man practically invented water!
The funniest commenter was none other than Fullerton’s Mistress of Disaster, Jan Flory, who joined in to share in the hosannas for Zahra. She read her script okay, but it included her statement that Zahra had actually authored articles about water,,,for the Fullerton Observer.
Whitaker was clearly the better choice. The water board has jurisdiction over the aquafer on which we sit. The district has massive financial reserves paid by us in ad valorem taxes. And in the past decade the OCWD has been at the center of a massive rip-off called Poseidon, a desalinization scam meant to provide more water to OC county for the purposes of south county development.
Unlike Zahra, Whitaker will not posture on the board for publicity and to be able to pretend some imagined expertise. He won’t use the agency to promote his own agenda and his own political prospects. And Whitaker is not currently charged with crimes by his own police department; nor is he under threat of recall by his district constituents.
Riddle: what’s worse, an endorsement by a greasy political bagwoman, or the endorsing of a perjurer, a confessed thief, and a desperate office-seeker?
I don’t know, and I don’t need to.
Here is our lobbyist mayor, the ethically challenged Jennifer Fitzgerald endorsing the equally unspeakable Paulette Marshall to her fellow female Republican cohorts.
Whoa! What’s this? Endorsing a non-Republican?
There are two things we may discern from this cozy relationship. The first is that Fitzgerald thinks she can get her scuzzy self re-elected without local party help, and second, more importantly, Curt Pringle, for whom Fitzgerald plies her wares, is betting the farm on the Chaffee Crime Family.
Yes, Dear friends, it’s that time of the political season when we can count on the reappearance of our old pal, Barfman. Barfman has been making periodic visits to Fullerton ever since Roland’s Chi’s restaurant code violations finally caught up with him in 2010. Ever since then Barfman has returned to inform Fullerton taxpayers about particularly vomitous political campaigns. In this case it’s the horrendous and duplicitous Fullerton school bonds – Measures J and K that would cost the average homeowner $400 per year in new property taxes – even if the actual value of their houses goes down.