Who Says Fitzgerald Doesn’t Know how to Balance a Budget?

Fullerton City Councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald deserves all the criticism she gets for her primrose path approach to budgetary issues, the extravagant public employee pay raises she approved, and her false claim during her re-election campaign that Fullerton’s budget is balanced!,among other issues.

As balanced as our City Manager was when he reviewed it.

Still, it’s important to note that Fitzgerald does understand the concept of a balanced budget, when it is important to her.

As an example, here is a screen capture from her 2012 campaign statement. As you can see, she contributed $350 of her own money to that initial campaign:

And here is another screen capture of the same campaign statement showing how much of her campaign funds she directed towards her own company (C7 Communications) during that election:

$2,100.02 is a heck of a lot more than $350, meaning her campaign basically turned a profit for her personally of $1,750.02. Whatever else you may think of Fitzgerald, she takes care to make sure her personal finances are balanced. Fullerton’s? Not so much.

It’s Official. Fullerton has the Worst Roads in Orange County

Not bad.

Well done, Fullerton.

A recent report from the OCTA lists OC cities’ “pavement condition indexes” and Fullerton shows up at the very bottom.

And the projected future conditions look even worse.

But that doesn’t stop councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald from shamelessly touting the “success” of her road repair efforts in her campaign material.

Here’s a video of councilmembers Fitzgerald, Flory, Chaffee and Popoff making excuses for the sad condition of our asphalt.

 

Fitzgerald’s 5 Year Deception

At last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting (21 March 2017) I spoke on Agenda Item 3 regarding budget strategies. Amongst other comments I asked for clarification on what was meant by “Structural Deficit” considering that both Fitzgerald and former Councilwoman Jan Flory constantly claimed we have/had a balanced budget. I asked what changed overnight to take us from a balanced budget on 08 November 2016 into a “Structural deficit” today.

Structural Deficit Evidence

What I got regarding an answer was Councilwoman Fitzgerald dodging the question and blaming Sacramento and the CalPERS rate change. And I quote:

“And I will go ahead and answer the question that was brought up over balanced budgets and what happened overnight and I will tell you, I mean, for former Council member Flory and I, when we talked about balanced budgets. Our 5 year projections, every year showed a balanced budget and what happened overnight is CalPERS decreased the amount of returns that they assumed that we were going to receive. So, that is what happened to those 5 year projections to change them.”

There’s a lot to unpack so strap in kiddos.

(more…)

Joe Felz Got A New Job?

Editor’s note: This was originally composed on March 3, moments before Joe Felz was charged with DUI hit-and-run. As such, the Renick agreement may have gone bottoms up. If not, well that just makes it more fun.

A toast to all my good ideas…

I have it on pretty good authority that our former City Manager (and now accused criminal Wild Ride Joe Felz) is picking up a consulting gig for Renick Cadillac down on Orangethorpe and Euclid.

Now what possible use would ol’ StumbleJoe be to a car dealership?

The story goes that Renick would like to acquire the site occupied by the Grand Inn which is situated right between the dealership and the asphalt lot on the corner of Euclid and Hill Avenue where Renick parks its spare Subarus. Looks like the idea may be to get the cops to start dishonestly documenting alleged bad activity at the motel. If you can harass the motel, the owner might have a lot more incentive to sell out.

Just so Renick can park its cars without having to drive out on Euclid. Really?

I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking this source may have it wrong. That maybe Renick is not planning on expanding at all, at least not for the long term; but that rather we are seeing a lot assemblage in order to build a future penitentiary-like apartment block.

Fitzgerald Caught in Another Lie

Everyone is familiar with the politician’s reputation for telling untruths, which are generally more or less creative. Rare is the outright, black and white lie. Once in a while you find it in the politician who is supremely confident of their unaccountability – or clouded in a miasma of narcissistic delusion. Or both. It hardly matters which.

And so we have Jennifer Fitzgerald, who as mayor blatantly lied about the City having a balanced budget, and blatantly lied about the City fiscal prudence that created a balanced budget.

Ever since City Manager Joe Felz’s infamous Wild Ride on November 9th, 2016 folks have been wondering about the role of Fitzgerald in the unfolding scandal in which the FPD collected no evidence and gave a liquor-smelling Felz a ride home.

A few days ago our Friend, Travis Kiger made a Public Records Act request covering:

1. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald on November 9, 2016.
2. Call logs/detailed billing records for all mobile/landline phones used by Police Chief Danny Hughes on November 9, 2016.

This request covers all devices used by these public officials, regardless of ownership.

Here’s what Kiger got back:

Not very good

But hey, wait a minute! What about that memo put out by Police Chief Dan Hughes relating his communication about the incident to Fitzgerald. Remember that? Here he clearly states his communication with Madame Mayor over the Felz affair. The memo is dated November 9th!

And then there was the sad declaration from SparkyFitz herself that she got a call at 3:00 am on the morning of the 9th. Remember that? And are we seriously to believe that Fitzgerald had no city-related phone calls the day her dear friend drove over a tree on Glenwood Avenue? That’s nonsense.

Here we have the spectacle of a public official pretending that there are no records documenting these communications – a position belied by the written and oral statements of the communicants themselves.

“Integrity” is our watchword. Well, that and “hypocrisy”

And then there is the rather odd response regarding Hughes. The fact that he is no longer employed by the City is irrelevant information. The answer about “his” phone is equally evasive. Did Hughes use his own phone or a city-issued phone? We aren’t told. And more to the point, does a public record cease to exist because the recorder is no longer a government employee?

Dry and Reckless

The new, special FPD medal for number of “dry reckless” arrests.

There is a term for a plea agreement for those drivers who may or may not have been legally impaired when they were pulled over by the cops.  It’s charmingly called “dry reckless” and means that the police and the DA aren’t sure they can pin a DUI rap on the driver, and the driver would rather take a big insurance premium hit than take his chances in court.

Cheers. I knew they’d figure it out for me…

And that is exactly what is going to happen with Joe Felz, he of the November 9th, 2016 Wild Ride. The DA can’t win a DUI case against Felz because our sterling police department refused to collect any evidence. And Felz will be more than satisfied with making the stigma of “drunk diver” go away, and no mandatory license suspension. Once the DUI part vanishes, the cops will only be on the hook to explain why they didn’t at least give Wild Ride Joe a traffic ticket for his careening out of control (while driving uphill) on Glenwood Avenue. And that’s nothing for a force that has a history of making up stuff on the witness stand.

Video evidence may or may not ultimately be produced, depending on the daily whim of the DA, but it won’t matter since all the relevant charges will have been dismissed, with all the legal niceties observed.

Ironic?

Fullerton PD Corp. Ryan Warner, left, and Officer Timothy Gibert are honored during a city council meeting for their work in getting drunk drivers off the road.
Incredibly expensive photo paid for by the taxpayers of Fullerton

One of our fine stable of anonymous sources has informed us that former Fullerton star DUI cop Timothy Gibert was on the scene of former City Manager Joe Felz’s Wild Ride. Since the event in question has been deliberately shrouded in mystery, I can’t confirm if this is accurate, but I can say that if true, the needle in the FFFF irony meter just jumped into the red zone.

See, like Mr. Felz, Mr. Gibert has recently found himself in hot water with the District Attorney, albeit (I love writing “albeit”) in San Bernardino County where he and some pals are accused of some nitwit scheme to rip off Home Depot with returned merchandise.

 

The big fish that got away….

How funny. Was the decorated DUI Hero there the night the Joe Felz flashed his get Out of Jail Free card after careening off Glenwood Avenue, ploughing over a parkway tree and trying to drive off on his rims? Yeah, that would be ironic.

An Insult to a Fallen Brother

Photo from Behind the Badge

While on his way to work back in 1975 one of F.P.D.’s own, officer Jerry Hatch, was killed by a drunk driver. Skip ahead a few decades and we have signs on the 91FRWY to honor him. Last July F.P.D. held a special event to honor Officer Hatch with his family and former colleagues.

This is because F.P.D. cares about their brethren. They likewise care about Drunk Driving based on the praise their officers receive when they get awards from M.A.D.D..

Which beggars the question of why was F.P.D. so willing to spit on Officer Hatch’s memory by allowing favors, politics or whatever it was to get in the way of doing their jobs on the morning of 09 November 2016? Why would they send the message that drunk driving is A-O.K. so long as the driver is connected enough?

For all of their continuous grandstanding they were perfectly fine with letting an “alleged” drunk driver walk in the hopes that he didn’t mow down another of their brethren.

On the fateful morning of 09 November 2016, good friend of former Mayor Fitzgerald and all around guy, Joe Felz left our quaint city to spend time with his family. Owing to why Mr. Felz actually separated himself from his position (the 10th highest paid City Manager in California) it’s a bit of a surprise to learn that his family doesn’t reside in the Fullerton Jail.

Amazingly we have a District Attorney who magically found evidence for charges four months after an incident that Fullerton P.D. couldn’t find on the scene. F.P.D. even managed to phone their friend, Chief Danny Hughes, for help and couldn’t find even a citable offense under Sappy McTree or Felz’s missing mud-flap.

Fullerton gives out hundreds of D.U.I. tickets each year. What with 62 liquor licenses in the Downtown Fullerton area alone that’s not as impressive a feat as we’d imagine but F.P.D. is proud of their D.U.I. tickets.

If one looks at the headlines from the Public Relations firm Behind the Badge, which the City of Fullerton pays $50,000+/year, you would think we take drunk driving very, very seriously.

The point is clear that our city and our Fullerton Police Department claim to care deeply about Drunk Driving.

Behind the Badge likewise takes D.U.I.s seriously but are nothing more than a mouthpiece for F.P.D as evidence by the results when one searches “Felz” on their site:

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

B.t.B. wrote several pieces about Officer Hatch but have remained completely silent on the entire Felz affair. It’s not news, just good news.

Just for the sake or irony let us look at one more link from our paid P.R. flacks over at Behind the Badge:

Vargas: Political correctness puts public at risk when PD cancels DUI checkpoint – 06 May 2016

It’s a good thing we never let politics get in the way of the job.

 

Fullerton Makes The Nightly News!

But not in a way that brings anybody any civic pride.

Ms. Pollinger is a well-intentioned person, but she is off target to praise the justice system for collaring itself a bad boy, presumably because the ladder of justice has no top and no bottom. Since the Fullerton cops intentionally failed to collect any evidence and didn’t arrest anybody, there is no crime to prosecute. And anybody who believes this little stage show isn’t designed to tank has taken too many rips on Sergeant Bonghit Schoen’s magical nugg pipe.

 

The Speech From the Empty Chair

So much to skim, so little time…

Lobbyist-councilmember Jennifer Fitzgerald took a powder from the budget meeting on Tuesday. Perhaps the potential embarrassment was too much to contemplate.

But she did send in this letter in lieu of her presence. Since she wants it to become “part of the record” we know that it is really meant to be a political PR document. For a little help FFFF has highlighted some fun parts.

Okay.We now know that Fitzgerald is blaming “Sacramento” for Fullerton’s gloomy, no, desperate fiscal projections. We can’t expect her to make reference to her own irresponsible deals with the unions or remind us of her campaign lie that Fullerton’s budget was balanced. We can’t expect her to admit that everyone has known CalPERS projections have been BS for years. No disappointment there.

Scrolling down her wish-list we see the properties she wants to sell off to her developer pals, a one-time fix that won’t fix anything. More insidious is the “public/private partnership” expansion, or P3 in the parlance of the lobbyist’s guild, in which the public generally pays for the same thing twice. Electronic billboards? Like the fuzzy, illegible ones along the 57 put up by Placentia when things got dire next door? Wow, that really is desperate! The ad revenue from signs would be peanuts (but oh no, let’s not discuss Behind the Badge. That loose change is lost in the couch forever).

You have to give Fitzgerald credit, being what she is. After putting Fullerton in a dire financial hole she is still looking for ways to direct profit to people who have or who might contribute to her political future; or to other politicians in cities where Pringle and Associates have clients.

Do you feel better knowing that “this community always rises to the occasion?”