Here’s a fellow named Skip Davis who gives our “honorable” City Council an earful about the proposal to create a new property tax in downtown Fullerton to pay for the mess created by City politicians in the first place: the Culture of Booze.
It was fun to watch ol’ Skip unload on the notion of a Bizness Improvement District with its attendant tax, a tax generally aimed at people completely innocent of the mayhem that our City Council caused and their cops can’t control. But Skip makes a salient point: why is his retirement income so easy for the government to lay its hands on when the Heroes in the back of the room have completely sacrosanct (and massive) pensions.
FFFF has tracked the obscene waste of taxpayer money – $200,000 so far – on a vacuous, pro-cop PR outlet run by Cornerstone Communication called “Back the Badge.” We have noted a supremely fuzzy contract, approved only by a bureaucrat and managed in the most slip-shod fashion.
On February 2nd, Mr. Travis Kiger sent a communication about it to Mayor Bruce Whitaker. We faithfully reproduce it, here:
After reviewing the contract, purchase orders and payments to Cornerstone Communications, along with the communication from the city below, it is clear that the City Manager issued the contract and payments improperly.
City code 2.64.050 and city policy requires a Formal Bid Procedure be followed for awards over $50,000. On 3/28/2013, the City Manager signed a contract with Cornerstone Communications not to exceed $40,000 with no evidence of a Formal Bid Procedure. On 5/20/13, less than 2 months later, the city issued a purchase order extending the contract by 6 months and $23,000. This PO brought the total contract value to $63,000 in the first year. This maneuvering suggests that the City Manager intentionally bypassed the city’s requirement for a formal bid procedure.
This issue is even more alarming considering that City Manager and the Chief of Police had an existing relationship with Bill Rams, the proprietor of Cornerstone Communications, prior to the initial contract issuance.
Additionally, there were $32,000 of payments to Cornerstone Communications from 4/1/14 through 11/1/14 that were made without an active contract or purchase order. This is an egregious error that is further complicated by city management’s pre-existing relationship with the vendor.
There are other problems with this vendor relationship. Purchase orders were issued in excess of the contracted amounts and term without an updated contract. The contract is open ended, vague and does not provide for specific performance. The contract does not require the vendor to deliver performance reporting, nor is there evidence that the vendor provided evidence of effectiveness of deliverables, which is customary in online marketing agreements.
Given the improper nature of the issuance of the contract, which was renewed over four consecutive years without the approval of the City Council, and the sudden departure of the City Manager who oversaw this contract, I strongly believe the council should review the contract and payments to Cornerstone Communications at a public meeting immediately.
Way back in 2010 I offered a post attacking Norberto Santana and his relatively new blog Voice of OC. The title was “The Sad Degenerate World of Norberto Santana.” It was a pretty tough post attacking Santana’s objectivity given the fact of his financial backing by the OCEA union and what some of us perceived as slanted reporting. I won’t go into any more detail. You can check out the original post, here.
Well, over six years have passed and I, like many others have come to appreciate the good things Norberto and the Voice of OC have done uncovering the bad behavior of many of our so-called “conservative” leaders in Orange County. The Voice has been particularly effective uncovering the influence peddling going on in Anaheim, but also covering the County level, where the Board of Supervisors have been working us over like we were peons on their plantation. Their Board’s latest little tactic is to limit public comment to just 3 minutes per person, per meeting. Pretty shameful, right?
With an almost complete lack of competent news coverage on local stuff from the mainstream media, it is more important than ever that we recognize and financially support the the Voice of OC.
Friends For Fullerton’s Future was born on November 6, 2008, and this will be our farewell post. We will be setting the blog a sail for now, into the deepest oceans of the blogosphere. It will remain online as a testament to what we stood for and didn’t stand for, to our principles or lack thereof, and to those principles which were worthy enough for a fight of our time, our knowledge and of our lives.
This farewell post is dedicated to my Friend and Hero Zach Reed who was born October 17, 1992. His mother Stacy and stepfather Dave Miranda loved Zach just as his twin 15 year old sisters Daily and Brooke and his older brother Cody did. Zach was a Troy High School Warrior just like me, but Zach was much braver and courageous than I. Zach was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (bone cancer) at 18 and fought every day and night for peace and happiness for the last 3 years of his life.
Zach’s doctors tried almost every known manufactured drug after nasty drug, but nothing helped Zach like cannabis did. Cannabis helped Zach eat, sleep, relax, and most importantly relieved his piercing aches and pain. Cannabis pills, rubs, cookies, buds, tinctures, anything that contained THC helped ease Zach’s pain and brought him a little happiness.
About a year ago, I heard about Zach’s need for cannabis through a mutual Friend and contacted him immediately. As a medical marijuana farmer, I was able to grow six plants and ended up with many more flowers than anyone would need in six years. Zach needed help from friends who had extra flowers; help to get get a medicinal flower that came from a plant that grows in back yards or in closets from a seed that comes from a flower from another plant…light, water and care- virtually free and that’s the way it should be!
The last time I saw Zach was after the November election results were certified. We were sitting in my truck eating Taco Bell. Zach turned to me and asked why I looked sad. While explaining to him about the election results, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Tony, you tried your best, you fought hard, maybe it’s time to move on”.
Friends, Zach was right…maybe it is time to move on. Thank you Bloggers, Friends, Contributors, Readers and to all those who have come here at one time or another. Thank you for all your encouragement, time and knowledge that you have given and for learning and understanding things that we never knew or thought about before.
Remember it’s never too late to be smart. Cheers!
Tony “admin” Bushala
FFFF Blog Facts:
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Friends, here is a letter sent to Mayor Bruce Whitaker and thoughtfully provided to us from a citizen who live in the Chapman Park neighborhood across the street from the proposed site of a County homeless shelter.
I omit this individual’s name and number to spare them annoying calls from the bureaucrats but it was included in the letter to Whitaker:
Subject:proposed homeless shelter
This is in regards to the proposed homeless shelter to be opened in the old Linder’s Furniture building on State College in Fullerton. I am a long time Fullerton home owner (almost 30 years) and live in the Chapman Park tract directly across State College from the proposed site. I would like to voice my adamant opposition to this project! If the shelter goes in at this site you are opening us up to security and safety issues, property value drops & outright living in fear. We have a park in our tract that will potentially become the hangout for the people of the shelter, all they have to do is walk across State College Blvd and they are at the pedestrian entrance to our housing tract. This park is a little league park full of kids on the weekends, and homeowners including myself walk the park frequently in the mornings and evenings. A great many of the homeowners in this tract are older single women like myself who live alone and the thought of our community/tract being opened up to this kind of influx of homeless and mentally ills is frightening. I have already had my house broken into and robbed in the recent past and what is being proposed will bery likely increase the chance of this happening again. It’s bad enough that our neightborhood has been turned into a parking lot by the students from Cal State Fullerton and the city won’t help us with that issue, now we are going to be asked to have the residents of this shelter desend on us also. I know this seems like the old “not in my backyard” standard but truthfully this is a very disconcerting and potentially dangerous situation for us. It seems like there must be an available building in a more industrial location rather than this one so close to homes, little league fields and schools. And what happens when the over/under pass project reaches State College?
I know my voice probably doesn’t matter and nothing will change as it appears deals have already been made and this is being railroaded through but I hope at the very least that the pedestrian entrance at the corner of State College and Fender will be completely sealed up. And when our houses get broken into or tagged and the mentally ill and homeless accost us at the park I hope you will personally come visit us to see what you have allowed.
A very unhappy Fullerton resident
Hopefully this tax-payer’s voice will matter, although the odds seem against it.
Our dear friend Mike Atta, is a founding member of the iconic OC punk band The Middle Class and the owner of downtown Fullerton’s coolest store, Out of Vogue and he needs our help. Hibbleton Gallery at the Magoski Arts Colony will be hosting a benefit art and music exhibit to raise money for Mike’s treatment and for his family. Mike has been an integral part of Fullerton’s art and music scene for many years and Mike and Pam are generous and kind to everyone that walks into their store. All proceeds will go directly to the Atta Family.
We are accepting art and music memorabilia donations up until 7pm tonight, but most of all we want you to be part of something positive and come to the Arts Colony at 223 W. Santa Fe anytime between 6 and 10 pm. You will have fun, see wonderful artist space and you will know that you started 2013 out by helping a wonderful family.
Art for this exhibit has been being donated by:
John M. Sollom
Christie Yuri Noh
Jonathan St. Amant
Shannon Le Clair
Jeñifer Míller Hernández
Alan De Herrera
Music & More (autographed LPs, t-shirts, posters, etc) by
Signed skateboard by Christian Hosoi
The Middle Class
Sons of Anarchy
Love & Rockets
LIT (J-100 Gibson Guitar)
Stuffed Animal Baby
Stephan Baxter | Organizer/Co-Currator
Art With An Agenda
Mail: 917 N. Ford Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
email: [email protected]
Bruce is the obvious choice to lead Fullerton – he is calm, intelligent and principled. After a year of rambling, southern fried idiocy that was completely MIA, and then another year of pea-brained, pedagogic scolding we are now set for a strong, responsive, and responsible mayor.
We all know that during the past eighteen months Whitaker has stood up for accountability from an out-of-control FPD Culture of Corruption, and justice for Kelly Thomas, a homeless man murdered by members of a police department that subsequently tried to hide the whole mess. I also did a little background check on Bruce’s history of activism in Fullerton. It is impressive.
Whitaker became involved in Fullerton politics in 1993 when the newly minted City Manager, Jim Armstrong tried to strong arm an unnecessary utility tax. Naturally, the antiquated liberals, RINOs and former public employees on the City Council went for it. Bruce and a handful of compadres organized to recall Bankhead, Catlin and McClanahan, and, ultimately get the tax repealed. Fullerton did just fine without it.
After the County bankruptcy in 1994, Whitaker plated an important role in organizing resistance to the usual “break it and tax you” model of government. The big government crowd tried to get a new sales tax to pay for their own disaster. That too, failed.
Subsequently Bruce has had a distinguished record as a appointed office holder in Fullerton, a conservative watch dog, and a determined foe of abusive Redevelopment. He was elected to the Council in 2010.
From what I’ve seen Bruce is the real deal – a man for whom the concept of “freedom friendly” has nothing to do with the Curt Pringle-like crony capitalism that passes for conservatism in Republican Orange County.
Congratulations, Bruce. We’re counting on you to look out for the interests of the citizens and taxpayers over the interests of the public employee unions.