The good people at California’s High Speed Rail Authority, who just can’t waste our money fast enough, are moving toward a revised track alignment between Los Angeles and Anaheim. What does this mean? It means a massive boondoggle of course, spending billions to bring a “bullet train” to Orange County that won’t be any faster than the Metrolink line that covers the same distance in the same amount of time.
The new configuration would share existing tracks along the current three-track mainline, and would a add a fourth, dedicated line. And where would the fourth track alignment go? In Fullerton it would have to go on the south side of the main line tracks because there isn’t any room on the northside where the BNSF Railroad currently has two sidings right up to the edge of their right-of-way. The south side of the tracks, however do have room from the Commonwealth underpass as far as Harbor Boulevard.
Of course this would mean using the property that the Parks Department and the Friends of the Trail to Nowhere say is feasible (later on) to take their amenity to the Hunt Branch Library, and beyond. The question of how the trail could get past the BNSF mainline tracks would become moot. The trail would require a prohibitively expensive bridge with elevators; either that or a bridge a quarter mile long, or more. And there goes the alleged connectivity that the Trail to Nowhere boosters keep talking about, even if the BNSF were willing on some distant day to sell to the City.
The trail folks can pick their poison. Useless transit or useless bike trail. Of course they would have to educamate themselves first, and that’s just not going to happen in the Education Community.
A few years ago during the depths of the COVID pandemic, the Fullerton City Council voted to put a sales tax measure on the ballot. Since things were looking grim and with revenue falling off, the best course of action in City Hall seemed to be to lay it on to taxpayers. It was necessary to protect Fullerton’s quality of life, you see; or, to be more precise, to protect the pay and pensions of City employees, particularly the cops and “fire fighters” who suck up the majority of the municipal budget.
Well, the names have mostly changed, except for Ahmad Zahra, but the playbook remains the same.
At their November 7th meeting the City Council heard a report from a company called FM3 that had been tasked with producing a survey of resident concerns, and, significantly, to poll them about how to raise revenue. And lots of it.
Who actually hired FM3 in the first place is a mystery, but it must have been our illustrious City Manager, Eric Levitt, since no record of the Council approving a contract is found in the City Clerk’s database. So far they have been paid $49,000 – most likely sneaking under their City Manager’s spending authorization.
Before delving into the presentation, it’s important to note that FM3 is a consulting operation deeply involved in promoting government tax and bond efforts, and has been supporting liberal Democrat politicians for decades. One of the clients listed on their website is Carter/Mondale! On their splash page we find the slogan: Synthesizing Public Opinion To Help Achieve Your Goals, which is code for push polling that promotes your client’s goal of raising taxes.
The company conducted its polling of likely voters last spring, The “results” were presented to the Council on the 7th.
The concerns of the citizenry polled emphasized Fullerton’s rotten roads and included a bunch of stuff that the City has no control over and is merely being used as data filler. The options were presented by the pollsters.
Notice the inclusion of budget shortfalls on the list. According to FM3, 45% of those surveyed believe budget shortfalls are a extremely/very serious problem. Really? Then the other shoe begins to drop.
First, it’s curious that somehow data relating to 2019 and 2020 are shared. Where did that data come from? And what happened to 2021 and 2022? This presentation is just nonsense.
The bland term “additional funding” to the initiated means more taxes, but probably not to those polled. Not yet anyway, for the respondents are being artfully massaged by people whose job it is to push and pass tax proposals for their governmental “clients.” The bit about providing “the level of services Fullerton residents need and want” is telling, and so is the language. How does one’s “personal opinion” qualify one to opine on all Fullerton residents? The purpose is to loosen the respondents mind into the miasma of the common good, as defined by the principle beneficiaries – City employees. Then the other shoe hit the ground.
It didn’t take very long for FM3 to roll out a couple of “hypothetical” sales tax raising ballot measures, one a general purpose tax and the other more narrowly directed to infrastructure, although including the ambiguous phrase “to maintain rapid police, fire and 911 response.” The general purpose tax only requires 50%+1 ballot majority; the special purpose tax requires a 67% majority. The latter is an almost impossible threshold to get over.
Then FM3 rolls out some interesting language in their push for a general sales tax. Notice how these alleged concerns of the surveyed mimic the language of the typical “push poll.” FM3 is using language that will elicit super-high positive responses and suggestthat others are already on board. The tiny text at the bottom of the slide tells all. But is all this dire language persuasive when it actually comes to voting?
Finally, FM3 sums it up by saying that a general sales tax is winnable. But is it? Somebody said the same thing about the City’s Measure S back in 2020 and it failed.
In the end the Council (Jung, Zahra and Charles) voted to keep the “education” process going, a process that we know is nothing other than political propaganda aimed at persuading a majority of voters and coordinating with a special political action committee set up to scare, cajole, and bamboozle the voters.
As Bruce Whitaker pointed out on the 7th, there is supposed to be a “bright line” that separates government information from government propaganda. But this line only in the abstract law. In practice the line dissolves almost completely.
As you might expect, the application form is boilerplate and gives the applicant the opportunity to pick questions that put its proposal in the best light. Reading it gives one the impression that the State doesn’t do a lot of particular investigation; takes applications at face value, assuming applicant to be honest; and doesn’t condescend to concern itself with real field investigations.
The application is replete with traffic and demographic data of the most useless sort. This tripe can be dismissed as bureaucratic string tying and gobbledegooking. The literary answers in it sounds like somebody describing the Yellow Brick Road leading to the fabulous Emerald City.
But there are specific questions on the application that are germane to effective spending of public money, and the answers elicited shed light into the mindset of our Parks Department personnel.
Let’s look at Lie Collection #1. The City is asked to describe boonful economic impacts of the Trail to Nowhere:
Visit local businesses? What the Hell? Like the back of industrial buildings and junk yards? Countless opportunities for economic renewal and growth? Name just one along this dismal “trail.” We now know the proposed “trail” doesn’t even line up with Phase I, a fact omitted in the project budget and description. We also know it doesn’t go east past the abandoned park and doesn’t reach the Transportation Center. An affordable way to travel? For whom, for God’s sake? And how much does it cost to walk to Independence Park, using safe streets? That’s right, nothing. The “trail” links no disadvantaged community with schools (there aren’t any), or local businesses, and of course the “trail” doesn’t get to the Transportation Center. It stops at Harbor Boulevard.
Here’s another packet of misinformation, Lie Collection #2. Get a load of this.
Somehow the author of this application “anticipates” 105,000users annually,an astonishing 288 users each and every day – 24 every daytime hour. In order to get where? Why to the back parking lot in the northeast corner of Independence Park, that’s where. The statistics thrown into the mush to support this nonsense are of the most generic kind, and .prove nothing. Of course we already know that there is no physical linkage to the half-circle north of the tracks. Calling this strip an “active transportation corridor” is hysterically funny to anyone who has walked the abandoned right-of-way.
I included the paragraph above the c.2 in the snippet just to show the repetition of the lies and the nonsense that this “trail” would be used, miraculously, by bus and train riders. There are no points of connection from the “trail” to either service. And notice that the application includes the names of all sorts of disembodied parks that are nowhere near the “trail” and that are not remotely accessible to it.
Now we arrive at Lie Collection #3. This is more of the same rubbish.
This block of lies is nothing but a bureaucratic word salad of nonsense and misinformation. It’s comical that the described location of Independence Park is actually where the large DMV facility is located. You’d think the Parks Department would know where their parks are, but this geographical illiteracy may explain how the “trail” proposal was cooked up in the first place. And we know the “trail” provides no access to Richman Park, and of course the Big Lie about connectivity to Downtown Fullerton, the High School and Fullerton College must be repeated, and repeated and repeated – ad nauseam.
Lie Collection #4 is crucial to understanding how this grant was approved, rather than booted out the door with guffaws of laughter.
Whether this hot mess was really “shovel ready” as confidently asserted here is a matter of conjecture, based on the presence of carcinogenic toxins adjacent and below a significant part of the “trail.” But observe in the red box how the application writer avers that some sort of “Environmental Review process” was completed in 1998, and how no elements of the “trail” were found to require mitigation. There’s a body buried here and it’s toxic, too. We know this claim is a lie because the UP Park was acquired at the same time as the linear right-of-way, and was found to be contaminated much later – in the 2000s, demanding that we accept the idiocy that the “trail” was tested in 1998, but the park site was not. It’s an inescapable conclusion that no environmental “process” was undertaken by the City in 1998 at all. Furthermore, we know that two recent Public Records Act requests for specific information about testing on the “trail” returned no relevant documents. This means that if any documents for Environmental Phase I and Phase II research and testing were performed in 1998, the City is withholding that documentation. Or, alternatively, no documentation exists, meaning that the claim in the application couldn’t have been verified.
Finally, the application conveniently omits any mention of TCE contamination along part of it, and under it, a fact well-known in City Hall and by the State of California for decades.
And that leads to a significant question: would the State ever have approved a grant based on this dodge about environmental assessment? I seriously doubt it.
Fortunately the question is moot so far as the future of the infamous Trail to Nowhere is concerned. That proverbial train pulled out of the station with the wise vote by Dunlap, Jung and Whitaker. That’s not what these series of posts have been about. They are about what goes on in City Hall, how decisions are made, or, as the case may be, not made; how there seems to be be little or no accountability for things that are done poorly, illegally, illogically, and untruthfully.
The other night I watched an old movie from the 80s called Field of Dreams. Somehow I managed to get through an hour and a half of the worst Hollywood schmaltz imaginable. Some guy hears voices and builds a baseball field in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. And guess what? Magic happens! Long dead baseball players show up to knock the old horsehide around.
Today I realized that 90 minutes of my life hadn’t been wasted after all.
“If you build it, he will come…” He did, and he did. I noticed the same blind faith in principalities of the air in those who kept, and keep yammering about the Trail to Nowhere.
These folk believe that simply building something will cause users to show up on their field of dreams. Somehow. Sometime. Even though they never bother to identify who those users are going to be. And I suspect that this one practical effort is dutifully avoided because at some visceral level they don’t even care if the trail is used by anybody.
Field of Dreams is all about the suspension of reality if you really, really, really just wish it hard enough.
As has been pointed out by several FFFF commenters, there is a mindset that cherishes gesture, not effectiveness, good intention over good outcome. And when this is compounded with the old liberal attitude of happily patronizing minorities (ahem, underserved populations) by granting them government largesse, the recipe is complete.
Anybody who has been along this strip of real estate knows a few things. They can’t figure out who on earth would want to use this as a trail and that the so-called Phase I has been at utter failure in use and design as a recreation facility – even when its terminus, Union Pacific Park, was open. The proposed Phase II runs through desolate industrial buildings, used tire stores, plating and asphalt business; it traverses junk yards parking lots with junk cars. Somehow this bleak, linear experience offers a golden shower of dreams to government employees with too much money and their do-gooding camp followers who seem to think that spending money is more important than spending it well. See, it’s the thought that counts. Just build it. You’ll feel good about yourself.
The intelligent decision by Fullerton City Councilmembers Whitaker, Dunlap and Jung not to waste public money on the abysmal “Trail to Nowhere” has resulted in high dudgeon and angst among Fullerton’s unthinking Observers. They have stirred up uniformed kids (interns they call ’em) to include it in a video about Fullerton’s crumbling infrastructure – missing the rich irony of a city unable to take care of the infrastructure it already has. They have instigated other kids to create a group calling itself “People Above Things” who will bring protest to the City Council meeting because somehow a useless trail is people and not a useless thing.
Here’s a fun anonymous essay that appeared in the latest paper version of the Fullerton Observer full of sturm und drang, confusion and all het up emotion:
What a silly mish-mash of unintelligible nonsense. I notice the reference to “Jane” by which I believe the author refers to a Jane Rands, who stood up and gave a very commonsensical address to the Council, but commonsense is not a highly respected commodity among Observers. What is “Hart?” Who is “Tony?” What on earth is the connection with Associated Road on the other side of town?
I can’t blame the author of this illiterate screed for wanting to remain anonymous, but she didn’t remain anonymous for long. On the Observer blog the author revealed herself: Sharon Kennedy, the long-time proprietess for the Observer whose “news” efforts never failed to read as confused editorial gobbledygook.
It’s clear that the Observers, Yellowing and Pink, will cling to this issue and try to nurture it despite the fact that it’s over and done with and the public at large, if properly informed of all the facts, would overwhelmingly applaud the wise decision of the Council. Facts are the perpetual bogeyman of the Fullerton Observers who peddle emotion, not reason, and promote waste, just so long as the goal satisfies their drive to support patronizing the lower classes, whom they believe depend upon their philanthropic gestures with everybody else’s money.
It’s a sad fact that local politicians usually have no qualms about spending money from off-budget sources – like State and Federal grants to do this or that uber-important thing. And these things don’t really undergo much scrutiny at all because the money the locality gets, if it finds itself awarded such a grant, isn’t competing with other municipal needs. And, better still, the awarding agency very often has no interest in seeing how successful the grant actually was. See, this requires a rear-view mirror, which the government go-carts just don’t have.
This topic came to light during discussion of the ill-fated “Trail to Nowhere” that was going to built with almost $2,000,000 bucks raised from some State of California bond rip-off or other. We heard from the drummed up “community” that the money had been awarded, so better take it; these people being not at all concerned that just maybe the money could be better spent on a project elsewhere. And let’s not worry about the fact that nobody will be responsible for the failure of the scheme.
Which brings me to Fullerton’s history of grant money, utterly wasted, and with absolutely no accountability. Specifically I am referring to the long-lost Core and Corridors Specific Plan. I wrote about it seven years ago, here.
Back in 2013 or so, the City of Fullerton received a million dollars from Jerry Brown’s half-baked Strategic Growth Council to develop a specific plan that would sprawl over a lot of Fullerton, offering by-right development for high-density housing along Fullerton’s main streets – a social engineering plan that would have drastically changed the character of the city. The reasons for the entire project’s eventual disappearance off the face of the Earth are not really important anymore. What is important is that the grant money – coming from Proposition 84 (a water-related referendum!) was completely and utterly wasted.
A page on the City’s website dedicated to the Core and Corridors Specific Plan had quietly vanished by 2017, never to be heard of again.
The lesson, of course is that Other People’s Money causes public officials – the elected and the bureaucratic – to take a whole other attitude toward spending on stuff than it does if the proposed projects were competing with General Fund-related costs – like the all-important salaries and benefits; or competing for Capital Improvement Fund projects that people actually expect a city to pursue. And it’s very rare indeed for a city council, like ours, to realize that grant money can be misused and actually wasted.
And so I salute Messrs. Dunlap, Whitaker and Jung for voting to return the Trail to Nowhere grant money – an act of true fiscal and moral responsibility.
Fullerton has a long and sordid history of City Council making stupid moves and putting personal animus and self-interest above what’s best for the City and it’s residents but this week they’re just insulting us taxpayers.
You see, at the last council meeting a majority of the Council voted to approve a budget with a glaring $10 Million hole in it. That’s right – the budget is in the red and terribly so. We’re broke largely because we’ve been systematically defunded by the Police and Fire Unions over the years abetted by an indebted City Council Majority who can never make hard decisions, do real math or plan ahead for the future.
The current Council has no idea how they’re going to make up this budget deficit or where the money is going to come from to pay the ever increasing union pay and benefits packages they can never deny.
So this week what’s on the agenda? What are the brass tacks they’re going to get down to? What are the hard choices they’re prepared to make in light of our financial woes? Where oh where must the cutting begin?
Somewhere else at some later date. Instead of cutting, the council is instead going to vote on spending – specifically spending for themselves.
That’s right. Self-interest is the item of the day. They’re going to vote on wether or not they should spend $75,000 to give themselves offices on the third floor of City Hall.
You heard that correctly. Just one meeting after admitting they have no idea how to balance our budget they want to reward themselves with new offices for all of their hard work.
This is a level of self-entitlement and tone-deafness that should be unimaginable from true “public servants”. This is nothing less than arrogance of the highest order.
Over the next few years you’re going to be asked to give up more in services, to pay more in fees and taxes and to take it on the chin because of our financial dire straights. Dire straights we were put in BY our bought and paid for City Councils.
Over those next few years Council and their allies will likely be trying to sell you on all of the financial hardships we face as a city – of course right after taking meetings with developers and lobbyists from their swanky new offices they prioritized over balancing the budget because, well, screw you.
I hope they at least have the decency to play the fiddle from up there on the third floor while they watch Fullerton burn but I doubt they’d even give us that much respect.
This Tuesday, at the request of the Fire Heroes Union, the Fullerton City Council will vote (likely 3-2) to light $68,000 dollars on fire to get a bid from the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA).
This is a scam and just a waste of your tax dollars.
Don’t believe the fiscal lies being told here, none of the disingenuous liars who will vote for this care about your tax dollars and they’re certainly not going to get rid of Fullerton’s Fire Department to jump to OCFA.
The entire point of this bullshit bid is leverage to justify a raise for the Fire Department. Nothing more, nothing less.
I’ll prove it by using Council’s own agenda from the exact same meeting this coming Tuesday:
When you join OCFA you typically lease all of your equipment to them at no cost and all of your fire facilities for $1/year (as Garden Grove did a few years ago).
To take this bid seriously, you would have to believe that council is SERIOUSLY considering a bid to change to OCFA and is simultaneously spending $1,546,683.30 to buy Fullerton Fire a new ladder truck that they’ll just gift to OCFA to use as they see fit.
If we went to OCFA, it is them and not us who would decide where trucks (apparatus) would be stationed in order to best serve the cities under their jurisdiction. Thus it makes zero sense for Fullerton to buy a new truck when it might not even stay in Fullerton.
These conflicting agenda items would make no logical sense if this bullshit OCFA bid was serious. But it’s not serious.
This is just the council Dems lighting your tax dollars on fire, well, because screw you, they need to help a union argue for more of your money later during negotiations. Silva, Jung and Zahra refuse to take their role as representatives of the residents seriously any time a union rears it’s ugly head and this is just another gross example.
If the Fire Heroes Union wants this bid so bad they can pay for it their damn selves considering they have no issues spending their own money to try and raise your taxes (Measure S campaigning) or to pick your City Council (campaign contributions).
Your roads suck, your services are getting more expensive and you’re constantly being asked to do more with less by City Hall and City Council. Hell, the City asked you to donate Christmas decorations this last season because they’re so broke.
But not broke enough to avoid spending $65k of your money to help a union at the negotiating table.
If this bid was serious then the council would be getting bids from LA Fire and Placentia as well as OCFA. That’s how you find out the best services with the most benefits fort he residents at the best price – by shopping around. So of course they don’t want to do any of that.
Later this year when the City is selling everything not nailed down, and a few things that are, remember this moment when these disingenuous liars spent your money on political theater to help out the unions who will always put their interests above your safety.
The two default positions of government are corruption and stupidity but this coming week the Fullerton Planning Commission is about to engage in the latter to try and hide the former.
This week’s Planning Commission meeting, as chaired by Elizabeth Hansburg, will be spent pretending to not know what “is” is in order to try and obfuscate the fact that City Hall is acting like corrupt jackasses picking winners and losers.
Ok, so in this case the “is” in question is the phrase “property owner” but the sentiment of obfuscation by semantically playing games is the same.
Here’s the verbatim “background and analysis” from next week’s meeting:
“The City’s land use applications require completion by or authorization from the corresponding property owner”. The Fullerton Municipal Code (FMC) defines “fee owner”. Throughout the FMC, various forms of “owner” are identified as the party to file a land use application. While these terms are commonly understood to all identify the legal owner of a real property, these amendments will clarify what constitutes a property owner.”
This is just blustering bullshit because PC and City Hall got caught with their pants down while trying to violate the law in favor of a preferred business.
Never once in the history of Fullerton has the phrase “property owner” been in contention until City Hall tried to pass off a fabricated Conditional Use Permit in violation of the City’s municipal code. You can read about that particular scam [HERE] & [HERE]. Pretending to not know what words mean after the fact is what liars do to avoid accountability.
If the Planning Commission really didn’t know what “Property Owner” meant it would call into question years of decisions spanning PC and City Council. It would call into question tons of zoning, permitting and a lot of the work being done in the planning department.
None of that is being brought up in this agenda item because Planning Commission isn’t worried about any of that – precisely because they know they’re full of shit and this is a distraction.
But how do I know this isn’t honest stupidity as opposed to corrupt pretend stupidity to cover-up an attempted fraud? Because CA law supersedes the Municipal Code and CA law already clarifies who a “property owner” is and that’s the person who holds the title and pays the property taxes.
I’ll point your attention to the California Department of Real Estate’s website which gives you a nice little history [HERE] of why property has an owner in CA. But let’s just jump to page 55 to get to the meat (bold emphasis added):
OWNERSHIP OF REAL PROPERTY All property has an owner, the government – federal, state, or local— or some private party or entity (typically referred to as persons). Very broadly, an estate in real property may be owned in the following ways: 1. Sole or several ownership; 2. Joint, common, or community ownership; a. Tenancy in common; b. Joint tenancy; c. Community property; or, d. Partnership interests. 3. Ownership by other lawfully created entities. SOLE OR SEVERAL OWNERSHIP Sole or several ownership is defined to mean ownership by one person. Being the sole owner, one person enjoys the benefits of the property and is subject to the accompanying burdens, such as the payment of taxes. Subject to applicable federal and state law, a sole owner is free to dispose of property at will. Typically, only the sole owner’s signature is required on the instrument of transfer/deed of conveyance. See Civil Code Section 681.
When The Other Dick Jones™️ sided with Florentine’s asinine “legal opinion” that Florentine was entitled to bypass the law, all he did was perpetuate a fraud on behalf of City Hall.
It was never in question that Joe Florentine wasn’t the required owner needed for his Conditional Use Permit and the City knew it from day one. Why they chose to pick sides is anybody’s guess but that’s government here in Fullerton.
However – if that isn’t clear enough for the nitwits on Planning Commission let’s look at the requirements for noticing zoning and land use decisions in the Fullerton Municipal Code:
Ah. So we have to refer back to State law again. Here’s the highlighted CA Gov Code:
So the Fullerton Municipal Code says that before a public hearing, of which Chair Hansburg has participated in who knows how many in her years on Planning Commission, the city must notify people based on a State Law that defines a property owner by looking at the “equalized assessment roll” or in laymen’s terms – tax rolls.
It’s never been a question of who owns what property in Fullerton or what the Conditional Use Permit meant by “Property Owner”.
This is bullshitery and bluster to bury bureaucratic bungling. If you don’t believe me – just look at the City of Fullerton’s own Development Portal:
This is Fullerton efficiency for you. Staff’s time and several meetings will be wasted to get to the bottom of the meaning of a phrase in common usage – meanwhile nobody is being held to account for how we got to this level of stupid in the first place. If this is what we can expect from the current planning commission we’re in for a long, rough ride on the Idiot Express.
You may have noticed your streets getting torn up by dudes in personal vehicles lately. That’s because Fullerton is set to become the country’s largest SmartCity in the typical Dumbest Ways Possible that we’ve come to expect from our dear leaders.
By way of example, let me share some of the best work which was done on my street:
I’m not being facetious. This is literally some of the best work they’ve done in town that I’ve seen.
In one neighborhood they removed concrete to install an access box, cut it unevenly and then filled the space with… asphalt. They couldn’t even be bothered to finish it properly.
But don’t worry I’m sure we’ll get some oversight on this slipshod work the same way we got oversight with the Stairs to Nowhere. Oh. Wait. No. We were given excuses and bloviating exhortations about how much people love to exercise on the stairs so that meant quality work was out of the question.
If these contractors screw up our roads who gets held accountable? Who’s fixing the problems?
Likely nobody sadly.
But for the sake of it, indulge me in a little history of how we got here.
This goes back to 2014 with the council voting 5-0 to grant an easement to SiFi networks, a privately held company that promised to make us the most awesomest awesome SmartCity that ever awesomed. Our City Staff crowed about how awesome it would be and the project was approved and began ever so slowly. In that time we’ve gotten rid of the useless and feckless Economic Development Committee that this went through, the head of said EDC and City Manager lackey Nicole Bernard has left Fullerton, City Manager Joe Felz… well, Joe Felz’d into Sappy McTree. The head of Public Works Don Hoppe has been replaced by a non-engineer and so on down the list we can head.
The only folks, as of today, who had approval on this project that are still in office or working for the city are City Councilman Bruce Whitaker and the utterly corrupt and incompetent City Attorney’s office of Jones & Mayer. That leaves us with who is overseeing the work today because as far as I can tell, granting an easement doesn’t grant the right to destroy our roads or screw up our sidewalks.
The company doing this isn’t a fly-by-night operation either. This is a network of companies with deep pockets screwing us right now. Lets to run it down.
SiFi networks is a privately owned company that is being financed through global infrastructure venture fund Whitehelm Capital. These are the people who are themselves contracting with construction crews to tear our streets apart to put in fiberoptic lines for fast internet service.
SiFi will then sell access to those fiber lines to the re-selling company Ting (& in other cities GigabitNow). Ting is who we have the option to buy service from and they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Dish Networks through Tucows.
Our city agreed to this project, without oversight of the actual work being done apparently, despite the deep pockets looking to take us for a ride.
The selling point is that they are offering “Gigabit” internet speeds which means 1000 Mbps or, well, pretty fast, and they claim they’re cheaper than anybody else. In looking at their pricing they run $79/mo + $9/mo for their modem. In contrast, AT&T in my area is offering $60/mo + $10/mo for their modem. Install fees vary and if you do or don’t want a yearly contract seems to be the biggest talking points. There is also the issue of data caps but this won’t impact most people because AT&T offers a lot of data in their basic plan that most people won’t use. I’m a part-time gamer and I watch a TON of Tv/Movies and have never breached data caps. Spectrum’s website indicated they were more expensive which is odd b/c I pay slightly less than AT&T and haven no data caps. I’m coming in at about $20/mo cheaper than Ting is offering.
Even if you factor in AT&T’s installation fee, which I’ve never paid after haggling with the rep, they still come out cheaper than Ting.
If the pricing is HIGHER, is Ting at least a better company? Well, no there is no evidence of that. Ting has a rating of 2.5 stars on Yelp but they’re mostly a wireless cellphone re-sellser of T-Mobile lines so that has a lot to do with their nonsense. Their actual reviews on their internet service are few and far-between.
If the service provided by SiFi on our streets is any indicator of the service we can expect from Ting, I’d recommend opting out and sticking with the devil you know in AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum or whomever.
While I’d like to point to corruption and graft as the culprits for the incompetence here, I think Occam’s Razor tells us it’s just good old fashioned Fullerton City Hall incompetence.
One good thing is that as she’s leaving our council today, Jennifer Fitzgerald has finally managed to keep her word of ruining over 8-miles of road in a year. Oh. She said fix. Damn. Nevermind.