Here’s something for Latino voters to contemplate: their current representative in District 5, Ahmad Zahra. Dope near schools. What a piss-poor idea. Well in Zahra’s orbit, marijuana money talks. Loudly. Zahra is always bleating some “progressive” platitude or other to manage his little social media coterie, but the fact is he is in deep with the weed lobby despite the Latina opposition that spurred a recall attempt.
Here’s the front of a mailer we just received:
And of course there’s a backside.
No, Zahra isn’t working for D5. In fact he isn’t working for anybody. He’s unemployed. But he is looking for work – with the Long Beach Cannabis Cartel that’s just dying to make inroads into Fullerton.
The Fullerton Collaborative hosted a candidate forum, which featured some good questions and some not so good. It featured 5 out of 6 City Council candidates running in Districts 3 and 5 this year. Shana Charles received a hall pass and did not stay for the forum.
Ahmad Zahra was his usual full of himself self. The notorious man who never wasted a selfie opportunity was untruthful, effortlessly deceived the audience, remaining true to his duplicitous self.
Here’s a list of the many, oh, so many lies.
LIE #1: “The district I’ve called home for the last 21 years.”
TRUTH: Zahra’s voter registration record doesn’t agree.
LIE #2: “As a medical doctor.”
TRUTH: Zahra is not a licensed medical doctor or a medical professional of any kind.
LIE #3: “The budget needs to be reflective of the needs of our community.”
TRUTH: Zahra wasted a million dollars of the people’s money frivolously suing a local blog and its authors, and were it not for the new Council, that bill would still be accumulating. A million dollars would have paid for a fire engine and more than a handful of Parks and Recs, Police, or Firefighter, or Maintenance employees.
LIE #4: “We have a shortage of staff and we need to invest in those areas.”
TRUTH: Zahra had an opportunity to pass a budget with a 1% cut and $1 million dollars to the City Manager to fill staffing concerns. He voted no, not once, but on three different City Council meetings.
LIE #5: “I would love to see more drug programs and engaging our school district on drug prevention programs.”
TRUTH: Zahra advocated for publicly and voted for on four separate occasions to have weed sold in Fullerton with only a 100 foot buffer zones to schools or homes or churches or parks.
LIE #6: “Supportive housing is crucial, but we need to make sure we are also outreaching and creating transparency.”
TRUTH: 1600 Commonwealth is an affordable housing development and so little transparency and outreach was done that the neighbors protested en masse and killed the deal with Pathways of Hope because of lack of outreach and transparency.
LIE #7: “We need to make sure our parks are maintained and cleaned.”
TRUTH: Zahra voted to give away Union Pacific Park in the heart of his district to a for-profit event planner for weddings.
LIE #8: “I have been one of the most engaged Council members. Everybody knows I’m out there.”
TRUTH: Woodcrest neighborhood mothers and residents have come to one Council meeting after another in the past 2 years complaining about Zahra’s lack of accessibility and lack of engagement with them. But then again, they are not kissing his ass and stroking his giant ego. He works with the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods. Why? Because their director donates to his campaign and their employee Egleth Nuncci is his permanent tag-a-long. No other non-profit or community group gets any engagement from Zahra.
LIE #9: “We also need to expand our ability to do corporate partnerships.”
TRUTH: Zahra strong armed Republic Services, the City’s trash hauler to give his pet project city in a foreign country a trash truck and then promptly took a selfie and credit for saving democracy. That’s not a corporate partner. That is a quid pro quo.
LIE #10: “I have worked with this Council, despite sometimes the hard times and differences we’ve had.”
TRUTH: Zahra only works for and with Zahra. He has no contact with his Council colleagues. So how are you working with this Council, Ahmad?
LIE #11: “Be faithful with my votes.”
TRUTH: Zahra made an impassioned speech about how important voting was in his country of Syria and that the at large Council seat vacated by Jesus Quirk-Silva should be determined in a special election to betray the people and his faith in democracy the very next meeting and appoint the elderly disaster Jan Flory, who in turn voted to appoint him to the Orange County Water District and its healthy stipend, one he took without objection and then donated to his campaign.
LIE #12: “We see so many Councilmembers come and then they make backroom deals.”
TRUTH: See TRUTH #11.
The truth is Ahmad Zahra is nothing more than a serial liar. Things come apart so easily when they are held together by lies. It’s always the ones with dirty hands doing all the finger pointing isn’t it?
We here at FFFF have never thought of Jesus Quirk Silva as a very bright fellow, but he seems to have learned at least one thing on the Fullerton City Council. And that lesson came courtesy of former councilwoman-for-hire, Jennifer Fitzgerald.
That lesson is simple: it’s more fun to try to peddle influence based on your elected position than it is to hold down a day job.
And so Mr. Quirk Silva has embarked on a new potential career path – away from teaching multiplication to slack-jawed pre-pubescents, and into the exiting realm of lobbying local governments.
Quirk Silva’s “employer” is Adan Ortega, of Ortega Associates, who you may remember as the desperate Fullerton MWD director who was replaced by Fred Jung, and who then tried to get appointed as a representative from the city of San Fernando.
I fully expect Quirk-Silva to attempt to follow in the footsteps of Fitzgerald, although he can barely utter a coherent sentence.
Now why does any of this matter, really? Because government ought to be about governing, not about being a bagman between special interests, other lobbyists, developers, and your colleagues on local boards and councils.
As a Fullerton Councilman, Quirk Silva doesn’t have that much juice, but he could be pulled and persuaded very easily. More importantly, his wife, Sharon Quirk Silva, is a state Assemblywoman, and as such actually does command respect for how she might be able to move something along in Sacramento.
And now back to Ortega. FFFF sources have indicated that he was attempting to break into the legalized marijuana biz here in Fullerton as a lobbyist, but got caught up in the interminable incompetence of the last city council, and the reluctance of the new council to go down the happy MJ trail. The same sources suggest that a cartel of cannabis interests from Long Beach is still very interested in reviving the issue in Fullerton.
The Jesus has been a long-time, big-time cheerleader for legalized dispensaries in Fullerton, so there are several loose strings as yet not quite tied together.
In a previous post I alluded to Jan Flory’s alleged investments in the weed industry. Today I’m confirming it (as others have) and shedding light on a possible reason for her willingness to vote for an ordinance to put weed in neighborhoods despite HER OWN expectations that a buffer be added later.
A buffer that cannot be added until AFTER the ordinance goes into effect.
So not only did Jan Flory open us up to litigation by expecting a future council to take away zoning rights from landowners, playing along with The Other Dick Jones as he gave terrible legal advice which pushes Fullerton closer to being sued (all under the negligent eye of City Manager Ken Domer), but she ALSO voted to possibly enrich herself in the process. (more…)
It’s high time the Fullerton City Council fired City Manager Ken Domer and the City’s resident law firm Jones & Mayer. They have opened the city up to too much litigation (including a public records lawsuit I have against the City) and frankly are incapable of doing their jobs in an honest and professional way.
Allow me to explain by way of legal weed in Fullerton. (more…)
Jan Flory’s last full meeting on council sums up pretty much everything I hate about hack politicians. When the Marijuana map and ordinance came up for a vote she expressed dismay that the ordinance had been “turned upside down” at the second reading which she’d never seen in her 14 millennia on council for all the good it did.
The issues mostly related to zoning and where legal weed shops would and wouldn’t be allowed in Fullerton. Many people didn’t want the council to change our zoning laws to allow weed into neighborhoods, requesting a farther “buffer” between homes and pot.
Before voting, Flory lamented that she understood why voters might not like having pot shops in their neighborhoods and that the council should “amend the ordinance as soon as possible”.
She then, of course, voted for the ordinance with Jesus Silva & Ahmad Zahra giving it the third vote needed to become the law of the land.
Let’s go to the video evidence:
What the ever loving hell Jan. That was literally your job – to make sure the ordinance was good & respected the wishes of citizens BEFORE voting for it. That’s how this whole “representative democracy” thing is supposed to work. Oh. Wait. I forgot. She only represented Fitzgerald, Silva and Zahra this time around as they’re the only ones who actually voted to put her on council.
As for her bluster about the ordinance being turned “upside down”, it clearly wasn’t turned upside down enough in the second reading or it would have addressed the VERY citizen concerns that Flory herself thought needed to be addressed. I can’t decide if this was stupidity or just arrogant preening. Both. Both is probably it.
Why not just vote no? Or vote to leave it to the next council? Clearly by her own words, Jan Flory thought that the new council was capable of fixing her mistake but she just had to vote because… why?
The best part is that her vote actually changes zoning and therefore adds a vested property right in the properties that she voted to allow to sell weed. It’s not an easy fix to now take away that vested right and in fact opens the city of Fullerton up to possible litigation should somebody be able to show a loss (or taking) from the government action of removing their new right to sell weed in the future.
Not only does the new council have to vote to fix Flory’s arrogant/ignorant mistake, per her own wishes, they have to do it quickly before somebody can build a strong enough case to sue.
Way to go Jan, despite all of your years bragging about your law practice you managed to open the city up to yet another potential set of lawsuits because you just had to get the last vote in before leaving council once again. After 14 years on council I would expect you’d have learned a thing or two but alas I suppose not.
It should be noted that at no time did the City Manager, City Staff or City Attorney’s Office correct Mrs. Flory in order to let her know the complications of overturning her vote. That, of course, would have required them to proactively do their jobs and that’s just not how we do things in Fullerton.
Here in Fullerton, where our downtown is essentially wall-to-wall bars with hundreds of DUIs a year as a result, we don’t take alcoholism or drinking and driving very seriously.
Sure we hand out awards to the officers with the most DUI arrests but when it comes to the over-serving or other bad behaviors by bars we don’t just turn a blind eye, as a city we change the laws on the books to make it easier for those bad bars to operate. Hell, Jennifer Fitzgerald is so blind on the issue that she’s on record blaming “pre-gaming” in the parking structures for the problems.
You can get drunk and kill a 6yo in her front yard and Fullerton’s Staff and Council will yawn at the DUI culture they’ve created. That’s not fair – they won’t just yawn. They’ll actively spend the next year making the DUI factory in downtown worse.
But weed? Now that’s a problem that Fullerton is willing to tackle.
Fullerton City Manager Domer and Chief of Police Dunn want help from the State of California to crack down on “black market marijuana retailers” despite the city council steadfastly refusing to allow legal dispensaries to exist in the city.
My City Manager forwarded me an article from the OCR..
Despite the vote, the Fullerton City Council has refused to allow a single dispensary anywhere in Fullerton. They won’t zone any industrial or commercial areas for legal weed leaving sellers in non-compliance.
You can run an illegal venue at the airport, refuse to put in mandated fire sprinklers in the largest nightclub in downtown, run a bar without the legal permits and so much more and the city is more than happy to let you get away with it. But weed? Oh man, that’s a sin too far and a sin that might cut into the profit margins of the bustling bar and fight scene.
This is substantially no different than Measure W, where 60% of voters voted against the development of Coyote Hills and the council is going to do it anyways. Welcome to Fullerton where your vote counts as long as we like the way you vote.
During a quick stop at the on-line Fullerton Observer I read an article by Jane Rands about a dope forum held by the folks at NUFF – an organization of mostly geriatric liberals whose mission seems to be to promote safely pro-government candidates and causes. Aha, thought I, perhaps someone will stand up for the rights of the people of California who have voted twice for marijuana legalization and twice have been thwarted, whenever possible, by the Drug Warrior/Prison Industrial Complex.
The three members of a panel, selected by who knows who, were Ahmad Zahra, Temp Fullerton Top Cop Bob Dunn, and some dude named Richard Ham about whom I know nothing.
Whatever hopes I had about this get together were quickly dashed reading the article. Smilin’ Zahra, it seems, once got a prescription for medical weed for his fibromyalgia, but was too chicken to try it. Scary stuff. Ever the wordy equivocator, Zahra seemed to be all for lots of regulation because gosh darn it, the kids have already been exposed to cannabis by illicit shops popping up next to schools.
The large and seemingly self-satisfied Chief Dunn, who used to be a spokeshole for the notorious Anaheim Police Department, gave the usual cop-blather about the evils of drugs (kiddies were getting into mom and dad’s digestible stash!) and reminding Fullerton’s tremulous seniors that drug driving is a crime. In typical police fashion he suggested that a confused public causes his boys “a lot of effort with little return.” Same ol’ bullshit the cops have been peddling for 60 years. In a grand gesture of philanthropy, however, he did let it be known that he and his posse intended to follow the law. Gee thanks, Bob.
The third member of the Dope Troika was Mr. Ham, a Korean business guy in some sort of hotel business. Good thing he was there, because somebody was able to point out the all the flaws in the present system where cities are allowed to opt-out of legalization and the ultimate consequences of California ridiculous 2016 referendum: the maintenance of an illegal, underground system of cultivation and distribution.
Zahra proclaimed the meeting a “good start” begging the question of why in the world anyone needs to start considering these issues. Why there is any confusion about marijuana in this state after over twenty years of legalization? It’s because the cops and the cowardly politicians don’t want clarity, they don’t want freedom and they don’t want to be deprived of the seizure asset income they get from the War on Drugs.
Mr. Zahra did accomplish one thing. Because of the presence of Mayor Jesus and Jan Flory he warned of the dangers of a Brown Act violation, chasing our stalwart mayor out of the room.
The fine state of Washington recently made the bold move to end the senseless prohibition on marijuana. Not only will citizens who want to enjoy a puff o’ pot in private be spared being processed through the legal system, it also sets the stage for the state to collect up to 500 million dollars annually in taxes.
So if you’re in Washington, it’s now legal for adults 21 or older to consume marijuana in private, and to possess up to an ounce for personal use. And, like alcohol, open consumption in public can result in a citation.
On the Seattle police department’s blog, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee explains how the department views these recent developments:
But the police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a Lord of the Rings marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.
Hmm, what are the chances for our own men in blue to sport such a sensible attitude? Could it ever happen here in Fullerton?