File this one under predictable public employee union self-service. The Orange County Employee Association has endorsed the carpetbagging candidacy of Joe Kerr to represent our 4th Supervisorial District.
The OCEA is a big union that represents the vast majority of County employees. As such, it is always involving itself in County politics, placing it’s own interests in the path of accountable, affordable government. And what better mission for a labor union than to elect one of its own – a former union boss, in fact.
It’s not surprising that the union would place its own self-interest ahead of the public. They obviously see nothing wrong with a guy who lives in a rich, South County enclave trying to represent the working class neighborhoods of north Orange County; or if they do, it takes a distant back seat to electing somebody that will pay attention to their needs. And their needs are ever greater pay and benefits, regardless of the quality of service they provide.
This “early endorsement” serves only one purpose: to clear the field of potential Democrat opponents for the carpetbagging Kerr.
In 2010 the field for this seat was cluttered with several Democrat small fry and none of them made the November run off. And that’s something the unionistas prefer to avoid this time around.
We have recently been introduced to Mr. Joe Kerr, former fireman union honcho who claims to be running for 4th District Supervisor. That’s a problem.
Joe and China Kerr have lived at 29 Palma Valley since 1999. The address is in Coto de Caza, a very wealthy enclave in South County – being a “public safety” union boss must pay real well. Unfortunately, Coto de Caza is in the 5th Supervisorial District. Mr. Kerr chooses not to run against the incumbent 5th District Supervisor, Lisa Bartlett. Instead he wants to run for the 4th District seat, obviously because there is no incumbent.
Over the past eight years many people living in comparatively rich places have tried to carpetbag their way into the hearts and minds of North Orange County. All failed dismally when a concerted effort was undertaken to share their shameless carpetbag hustle with the public, no matter how they tried to fluff up their resumés. Here is a list at the bottom of which Mr. Joe Kerr, of Coto deCaza, will soon find himself:
2009 Linda Ackerwoman – State Assembly (Irvine)
2010 Harry Sidhu, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills)
2010 Lorraine Galloway, 4th District Supervisor (Anaheim Hills)
2016 Sukhee Kang, State Senate (Irvine)
While it’s true that each of these losers carried quite a bit of baggage, the fatal flaw right out of the gate was their carpetbaggage. Because who, really, wants to vote for someone whose first communication with would be constituents is a fraud, a lie, a perjury, or a deliberate omission of fact?
Kerr’s press release announcing his candidacy omits any reference to where he has lived for the better part of 20 years, instead mentioning that he grew up in La Habra and Cypress(!) the slenderest filament of a link to the 4th District and a completely irrelevant one at that. I can’t find a record of Joseph V. Kerr anywhere near the 4th district.
I have no idea how much money Kerr’s “public safety” union pals will be willing to unleash on his behalf – probably a boatload. But member what all that union money got “Hide-and-Seek” Sidhu? Two humiliating losses in just one year.
So come on in, Joe.
The FFFF Welcoming Committee is firing up the barbecue.
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.
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.
Next Tuesday’s Council meeting brings us another Budget Show, one more in a line of footling meetings strung out like faux pearls on a cheap necklace. This one is particularly entertaining since it acknowledges a big structural deficit that the suggested cost savings will do almost nothing to correct: “modest” revenue increases are broadly suggested, but apart from some fee increases and one-time sale of “surplus” property nothing meaningful is proposed. Obviously the recommendation for a utility tax or a sales tax increase will be sprung like a rabbit out of the magician’s hat at the last moment.
One entertaining bit of the agenda memo is the inclusion of a small table identifying some of City Manager Allan Roeder’s “loose sofa change,” giving the impression that maybe, just maybe, Mr. Roeder regrets his previous offhand dismissal of a $50,000 per year contract that accomplishes nothing as not worthy of councilmanic attention. Of course I am referring to the ridiculously conceived and suspiciously ill-managed “Behind the Badge” agreement that was improperly contracted by Wild Ride Joe Felz in the first place.
Well, good for Roeder, even though desperate times call for desperate measures And it takes a lot of desperation for a City bureaucrat to even tacitly acknowledge the expendability of a contract. The irony here is thick. It is the exploding pension cost of the Fullerton police Department that is breaking our bank. Even as we pay for the cops to peddle their dopey PR right back at us.
We don’t deal with County stuff much but when we get wind of something noxious down County way, we share it with the friends, especially if it involves Supervisor Shawn Nelson who comes from Fullerton.
The latest story wafting on the wind claims that Nelson has made a deal with DA Tony Rackaukas to support the appointment of Rack’s mouthpiece Susan Kang Schroder to replace him so she can run for DA next year as the incumbent. What Nelson gets is Rackauckas and Schroeder leaning on their stable of Deputy DAs notto run for the next judgeship, clearing the field for Nelson. And if anybody knows how to lean on people, it’s the completely vile Kang Schoeder. This deal is critically important for Nelson, who, as a defense lawyer, made a lot of money defending sex offenders and the like, stuff that would look reallybad on a campaign hit piece from an active prosecutor.
If this tale is true (and it sure has the ring of truth) it reflects rather badly on Nelson. Susan Kang Schroeder has been connected at the hip to Tony Rackaukas’s incompetent and corrupt misrule for years, and the only case she ever tried, she lost. Real legal talent there, right? But of course expecting ethical behavior from a politician looking for self-promotion is like drilling a dry well.
Well, it looks like more loose change has fallen into Fullerton’s municipal sofa. A lot more. And it’s all so funny. The one thing the Fullerton train station didn’t need was another pair of elevator structures; and the last place they needed it was right next to the existing ones.
But that’s where they’re going. That’s right. A new elevators right next to the old ones that the City has failed so spectacularly at maintaining. “Wait, Joe,” I can hear you saying. “Tell us, for the love of SparkyFitz’s God, this is some sort of cruel joke.”
The joke’s on all of us. Even people who have never been to the Fullerton choo-choo station.The whole thing is costing taxpayers $4,000,000 which is almost three times the amount the exiting one cost 22 years ago. The arguments in favor of building this are laughable as you might imagine, and immediately prove that other taxpayers are picking up most of the tab – as it turns out, money funneled through the bottomless suck hole known as OCTA.
For instance we “had” to build a new set of elevators rather than repair the existing ones. Why? Taking the existing elevators out of service for a long period of time would result in ADA lawsuit. There is not a single filament of proof for these assertions but hey, that money ‘s got to be spent by somebody, right? For $4,000,000 you could set up a daily ADA access shuttle for 20 freaking years. Of course there is also an existing gate opened by a remote control that could access the other side of the tracks at ZERO cost.
But wait!!! (as they said on those old TV steak knife commercials). The new toy is not free to the people of Fullerton after all. A new agenda item asks for an extra $600,000 due to cost overruns. Just a few lost nickels in Allan Roeder’s couch, right? And listen to the string of incompetencies by our Engineering Department that caused the extra cost:
“An additional $ 600,000 is required for the BNSF flagging requirements, unforeseen utility conflicts, escalated cost in securing the elevator subcontractor and additional assistant in construction administration. Due to OCTA funding constraints, only direct construction-related costs will be reimbursable.”
Of course it would be nice if some one on our illustrious city council bothered to ask why a contract was awarded two years prematurely, and why our staff needs “additional assistant” (sic) to administer this simple project, or maybe why the job wasn’t rebid. But they won’t.
And so we witness the comical spectacle of two sets of elevator structures side by side, each slowly deteriorating, until 20 years from now some over-paid idiot proposes a third, because as any artist knows, three objects in a picture are much more aesthetically pleasing than two.
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?”
There is an old saying: “it’s the least I can do.”
And once in a while you get to see the least someone can really do without doing anything at all.
At the last “budget workshop” (cue: a sales tax is coming music), David Curlee brought up the idiocy of the worthless and mismanaged “Behind the Badge” contract – a 50 Grand per year repository of feel-good stories about our police department’s tender employees who, apparently, would rather be well-thought of for anything besides honest police work.
At this prompting, our mayor, Bruce Whitaker raised the issue – where, right on cue, it was peremptorily shot down by our $100 per hour Interim City Manager, Alan Roeder, as chump change that fell into the sofa cushions and isn’t worth digging around for. He warns Whitaker about “obsessing” over such loose change.
And there the matter seems to have died.
Of course if Whitaker had done his job in the first place and agendized the issue as a stand alone item at a regular meeting, this dismissive bullshit could not have occurred. The Behind the Badge embarrassment could not have been written off as an irrelevant, small-picture nothing instead of what it is – a blatant rip-off of the taxpayers that has run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past four years.
And consider this question: how many other loose change contracts, approved by no one other that Wild Ride Joe Felz, are still out there accomplishing nothing? And did any of our council stalwarts bother to make Roeder explain exactly what the monetary level of significance is before he will deign to consider it? We know it’s not $50,000 a year. Is it $100,000? $500,000? A million? Of course not.
Total leadership failure. The litmus test is done. Now we know why Roeder was hired in the first place:
But news from Anaheim isn’t all that happy anymore what with the constant grifting of our lobbyist-council creature Jennifer “SparkyFitz” Fitzgerald’s boss, Curt Pringle; and then there’s all the trouble the City is having with their cops shooting people. To death. Sometimes in the back. Riots ensue.
I won’t bother sharing the litany of bad shootings by the Anaheim PD and the various white washes of our useless DA. But I do want to talk about the most recent incident of bad cop behavior. It’s not about an Anaheim cop, at least not directly, but some off-duty LAPD loser named Kevin Ferguson, who lives in Anaheim and who was having some sort of running feud with eighth graders cutting across his corner lot. Get off my lawn ya no good punks! Here’s a Voice of OC story that includes a video taken by a witness.
When you watch the video you see a grown man physically accosting a much smaller kid, and refusing to relinquish his grasp as he yanks the minor along. Finally some of the kid’s pals intervene knocking the dope over a hedge. At which point Ferguson pulls out a pistol from his pants and squeezes off a round.
Well, pretty soon the Anaheim cops show up and what do they do? Arrest the guy who has committed multiple felonies before our very eyes? Noooooo. They arrest the little kid and send him to juvenile hall. The off duty cop? He is politely escorted home with no charges as the whole assemblage of kids who witnessed the whole embarrassing affair are treated like criminals.
Later, at a press conference, the Chief of Police, Raoul Quezada admits his unhappiness at Ferguson’s behavior, but says there is no evidence that he did anything illegal, but that there is evidence that the kid committed a crime: a threat to “shoot” Ferguson, even though on the video we can clearly hear the kid deny he said that. But they believe the cop. Or at least they say they do.
What I see is a knee jerk defense of a fellow policeman at the cost of justice itself, and here is where the Anaheim incident becomes an object lesson, even if we didn’t need another one. We’ve seen how the “good” cops defend or ignore the crimes of their pals, and how the bad cops lie on the witness stand with impunity about crimes large and small.
Well, here’s a question I put to the idiots who defend Kevin Ferguson, and the Anaheim cops that let him walk: why did this creep shove a loaded pistol in his pants and go outside to confront 13 year old kids? Please ponder the possible answers before responding..
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.