Back on August 18th, out esteemed City Council began the process of declaring a strip of property along Bastanchury Road to be “surplus.”
The vote was 4-1 with Bruce Whitaker in opposition.
The obvious purpose of this strategy is to to sell the property to an affordable housing developer so that the politicians can feel good about themselves and maybe raise some fundraising dough. For Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald this most likely means a lobbying opportunity after December when her presence on the council will mercifully come to an end. Why? Because developer selection and rezoning can be budged along by Pringle and Associates on whose street corner Fitzgerald plies her trade.
But not everybody is happy and there is an election in a month.
The locals on the hills behind the proposed development naturally object, as do environmentally-minded people who want the site preserved as opens space. The locals have even come up with a website and are advertising their displeasure with the City Council.
And naturally this has become a sudden election year issue for the District 1 council seat. Fred Jung has already made his position known that he prefers the open space option. On the other hand, his opponent, Andrew Cho, was hand-picked by Fitzgerald to have a reliable vote on the council. But not only is Fitzgerald gone this fall, but so is her pal Jan Flory which means that after the election there could be three potential votes to save this site as open space.
The Council passed this item with the usual “this is only the first step in the process” bullshit that begins the process of cloaking another hot mess in the mantle of inevitability. For the folk of District 1, however, the story may take a different turn than the City house-acrats and politicians are hoping for.
Whenever government gets itself into a bind, the first impulse of our bureaucratic overlords and their elected representatives is to resort to the taxpayers for relief. In Fullerton the case is not much different except that here, allegedly, managers and department heads have agreed to 5% and 10% cuts, respectively during our time of troubles. Likewise, according the the union boss, rank-and-file paper pushers have been told to accept the same 5% deal. Whether this gesture of sacrifice is meant to be reimbursed if the proposed 17% sales tax increase is approved by voters remains to be seen.
But that’s not the point of this post.
The point of this post is to ask whether anybody has requested the same sacrifice from our Heroes – the guys and gals who provide “public safety” services to us peons. Word out of City Hall is that no offers have been made voluntarily and none have been demanded. Could it be that’s because the Hero unions are much richer and much more political than the organization representing other city workers?
We are always being bombarded by Hero propaganda that promotes the selfless service and sacrifices by people who ride around in cop cars and fire trucks. Well, I’ll believe that when these worthy public servants step up to the proverbial plate and take the same haircut as everybody else.
We all knew that we were going to be bombarded with political mail in support of the City Council’s proposed 17% sales tax hike on this November’s ballot. And we all knew that the City Council hired a PR outfit to blow our money to educate usabout the beauty of the thing – to the tune of $130,000. Of course none of this is legal, but this is Fullerton where everything is legal that the deplorable City Attorney “Dick” Jones says is legal.
Some of the Friends have already received pro-tax propaganda from our masters in City Hall and here is a sample:
As usual, government tries to con us into bailing it out after it has failed so spectacularly the past decade to maintain reserves, balance budgets and pushing back against never-ending salary and pension demands from the public employee unionistas. Care about the homeless? Vote for our tax; Want potholes fixed? Tax! Youth programs? Who doesn’t love ’em – vote for our tax. Seniors? Ditto. Emergency services? They’re really getting hungry. A usual, the propaganda is larded up with misleading information and scare tactics and, gosh, we should be scared.
You will not be asked to reflect upon the reality that this same operation has dismally failed to fix roads in the past; that this bureaucracy has no intention of starting now. A Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department? Oh, we fixed that years ago – no, don’t look at that body over there, we have no idea how it got there. You’ll have to sue us to find out!
This crew has burned through tens of millions in reserve funds while its spokeholes on the council Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jan Flory lied about balancing the budget.
Good luck, passing this obscentiy, boys n’ girls. The public is hurting badly at the moment and your first recourse was to try to harness us oxen with the yoke of a new and regressive tax. Well, guess what? The yokes on you, City Hall, and you’d better have a Plan B stuffed into one of Domer’s desk drawers if you know what’s good for you.
Last night’s City Council hearing on moving ahead with a marijuana ordinance produced the usual incoherent blather from our distinguished electeds, none of whom seemed to know what they were talking about, and two, in particular, who seemed to have been coached by representatives of the legal pot lobby. Of course we learned that the previous outreach didn’t reach anybody not looking to make a buck in the weed biz.
Somehow in its latest incarnation, staff’s proposed framework for allowing these uses, particularly dispensaries. reduced the “buffer zone” at schools and parks from 1000 feet to only 600, and eliminated the buffer for residential zones altogether. Why? Pretty obviously to increase the opportunities for locating dispensaries.
Councilmembers Zahra and Silva, who gave every appearance of repeating “consultant” talking points expressed concern that workers in these places be unionized and that to proceeds go to kiddie social programs, but they were more interested in increasing parcels available for development than they were about the impacts on residential neighbors. The bumbling Silva in particular made a big deal about having most permissible zoning in order that the burden of hosting these facilities would be shared by rich folks up in the hills, an idiotic pretext since a majority of the council spent a good deal of time extolling the virtues and minimal impacts of licensed shops.
Councilmembers Whitaker, Flory and Fitzgerald indicated their desire for a 1000 foot buffer, and the inclusion of residential use as a “sensitive receptor” requiring a buffer. So good for them. However, Fitzgerald and Whitaker both voted against going forward with more “outreach” and a future ordinance anyhow, meaning that either Zahra, Silva or Flory somebody is going to have to change their support for a residental buffer, ultimately, in a final ordinance. I leave it to the Friends to guess who that might be. On the other hand it’s hard to see how this can make it back to the Council before the election and both Flory and Fitzgerald will be gone, meaning that we may get lucky in Districts 1 and 2 and get a level-headed council majority who can make a decision that isn’t bogged down by fake concern, verbal gas, and union stoogery.
By now you Friends are well aware of the flaming crash and burn known as Yes on K – the $300,000,000 Fullerton Joint Union High School bond grab that was hammered at the March 3rd polls. Yes, we know about the scam: the last minute approval, the deceit and flim-flam, the illegal use of public facilities and personnel to foist this bureaucratic-inspired, taxpayer funded joyride on the public.
Maybe the worst offense by the educrats and their pals who worked behind the curtain for Measure K was the way in which the legal campaign reporting requirements were mysteriously dodged – no records of the Yes on K campaign were to be found on either the Secretary of State’s website, or on the Orange County Registrar of Voters’ pages. How come? We’ll never know because those in charge of such things don’t care and know they are shielded by a system that tolerates it.
But that omission spurred a complaint by anti-K activist Tony Bushala, whose complaint produced, finally, an actual record by the Yes On K Committee. Now we finally get to know who funded this dumpster fire, who organized it, and who profited by it.
First, let’s examine the names of the contributors. You’ll notice that there aren’t very many. And please note that there are are no citizens listed. None. Just parasites of the educrational system: architects and engineers, all. People who have been cajoled, sweet talked, coaxed into giving money – lots of money – to the cause.
Something called Ghataode Barron Architects got stuck for an amazing 50 grand. Let’s remember that name, folks. Another happy contributor was pjhm, a lower case sucker looking to make bank on our dime. And there’s an architectural consultant from North Carolina? Really? Our overpaid administrators had to work overtime to find somebody across the country , Little Diversified,that was dumb enough to be shaken down for a lost cause. Obviously, the Newport Beach office didn’t inform corporate about how little $49,900 buys you in Fullerton these days. Finally, let us not overlook PBK, another architectural operation that has gotten greasy-fat off over priced school construction.
Fortunately the campaign filings also reveal some of the educrats who got themselves reimbursed out of petty cash for “phone bank supplies,” whatever that means. Here they are:
Hmm. Will Mynster. Now where have I seen that name before? Oh, right Principle of Troys HS and an architect himself – an architect of illegal use of public school resources and property for campaign purposes. Renee Gates is an Assistant principal in the district. So is Dan Sage. So is Caroline llewellyn. So is Jacqueline Barry. So is Marvin Atkins. So is Marcene Guerro. So is Steve Garcia. So is Belinda Mountjoy. So is Katie Wright. So is Jill Davis. Adam Baily has graduated to full-fledged principal. Todd Butcher is the guy in charge of construction for the district – a guy whose livelihood depends on a flow of cash from these massive bonds. What these six-figure educrats were reimbursed for remains a secret, although one supposes that manning the phone bank as the campaign took on salt water required lots of pizza and red wine. The real point here, of course, is that the whole operation was run by well-paid public employees with a personal interest in the outcome – and no private citizens, at all.
And finally we come to the campaign consultant, who, along with some unnamed bond salesman shares the credit for this fiasco, although we should be thankful for their failure.. The name is Clifford Moss, who charged the District, er, um, the Committee over $30,000 in “fees,” not counting what they raked in as overhead on stuff like crummy mailers and yard signs. Clifford Moss. Hilariously Cliff’ got their ass handed them by a local guy, Tony Bushala, who didn’t cost anybody else anything. And it looks like Clifford Moss’s Laura Crotty, who somehow managed to spend fifty bucks on name tags, won’t be bragging about her 2018 100% campaign win rate anymore.
The Yes on K campaign blew over a hundred grand, outspent the opposition 10 to 1 and still lost in the “Education Community.” For those in the business that might suggest a rough road ahead – almost as bad as Fullerton’s notorious potholes. But the K Committee left almost 90 grand in the locker room, so don’t be surprised Dear Friends if they don’t try to slip this onto a future ballot at the end of some little-advertised board meeting.
This week FFFF and local hero Joshua Ferguson do battle in a courtroom with the defenders of incompetence and opacity – the City of Fullerton, represented by in incomparably stupid and corrupt law firm Jones and Mayer. The Voice of OC outlines the details here, so I’ll let it go at that, other than to remark on the sad state of affairs when a citizen is sued by his own government in retribution for what they did.
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.
Some poor dopes think that history repeats itself, and yet there are times when it’s hard to argue the point, as when the City Deciders of Fullerton wade out into the same quicksand again and again and again.
I’m referring to the tedious habit of entering into lame exclusive agreements for stupid projects involving public property – which are then renewed and extended year after dismal year. We’ve seen this sorry practice with the massively moronic massive Amerige Court/Commons/Whatever mess; and again with the Transportation Center Master development fiasco, both of which were kept on life support for years and years by a city staff and city council who just couldn’t admit a bad idea had somehow festered forth from City Hall.
The latest in the string is the unsolicited proposal for a “boutique” hotel in the train station parking lot, an idea so stupid that only our city council could embrace it. FFFF has posted about it twice.
First we noted that some sort of pressure or promise was made to Weakest Link Jesus Quirk Silva to get him to change his vote and approve an exclusive negotiating agreement with some guy calling himself Park West Contractors and Westpark Investors. That was a year ago.
And then a few weeks ago FFFF shared the story of local union goons popping up at some dog and pony show to promote the project.
Anyway, the year term of exclusivity given to Mr. Parkwest Westpark has come and gone and so naturally the City has decided to give him another year, rather than to actually put the property on the market for alternative ideas. The November 19 vote was 4-1 with Bruce Whitaker opposing. We also learned that Ms. Jan Flory, true to form, strongly backs this concept, which is pretty ironic, given her past support of time extensions to the “developer” given the exclusive right to negotiate on the Transportation Center cock-up, a plan whose key component is the site of the proposed boutique hotel.