OC GOP Endorses Whitaker, Kiger

Last night the OC GOP Central Committee endorsed incumbent Fullerton City Councilmembers Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger for re-election in November.

From a practical standpoint that’s good news for Whitaker and Kiger. The party still carries a lot of weight in Fullerton elections as demonstrated by leland Wilson’s blow-out of Jan Flory in 2002, and even Pat McKinley’s razor-thin victory over Doug Chaffee in 2010.

What To Do About The Illegal Water Tax

On Tuesday the City Council is scheduled to discuss what they want to do about the embarrassing fact that the City charged an illegal 10% tax on our water bill for fifteen years, amassing a total rip-off that easily topped $25,000,000. The funds were deposited in General Fund and mostly went to pay for salaries and pensions of City employees that had absolutely nothing to do with the acquisition and transmission of water – the ostensible purpose of the levy. It even went to pay for four-star hotels for Councilmembers’ League of City junkets.

Some folks think reparations are due, in some fashion, to the rate payers that got ripped off. But how? A check in the mail? Lowered rates in the future? Repayment from the General Fund to the Water Fund?

The City doesn’t have $25 mil laying around, and rebates in the future for past indiscretions would certainly create inequities. Going back just a few years for reparations may be a logical and practical step. Repayment from the General Fund over time may be the only recourse and would certainly address the original purpose of the “in-lieu fee” which was the cost of delivering water to the people and businesses of Fullerton. However it should be pointed out that the the 10% that was raked off was never connected to the true cost of the water in the first place.

Another question to be dealt with is what is an applicable rate for miscellaneous City costs that are currently unrecompensed by the Water Fund? There isn’t much unaccounted for, and the “consultant” for the Water rate Ad Hoc Committee tried to cook up some phony percentage between 6 and 7 based largely on the cost of the City charging the Water Fund rent!

This raises all sorts of embarrassing questions about why the Water Utility was not permitted to acquire all this valuable real estate in the first place, dirt cheap, if now it is to be treated as a separate entity; and how a landlord can negotiate rent with his tenant when they are both one and the same person. In any case there is a new council that is a lot less likely to cave in to this sort of nonsense than the old stumblebums.

In any case, I want to mention a couple of things. First, the perpetrators of the scam need to be identified and chastised for their complicity in the tax: they would be all of the former councilmen of the last 15 years who let this happen; the city managers Jim Armstrong, Chris Meyer, and Joe Felz, who participated in the scheme and who either knew or should have known it was illegal; and let’s not forget Richard Jones, Esq., the City Attorney, who was there every single step of the way and damn well knew it was illegal. Second, Joe Felz’ obvious strategy of stalling and temporizing on this issue, aided and abetted by the Three Hollow Logs and Sharon Quirk, protracted the rip-off by another full year and compounded the problem even more, even as they knew the jig was up.

It should be interesting to see if any of our aspiring council candidates show up to share their wisdom on this subject.

What do you think?


Justice and Peace, That’s All We Want!

Teresa Smith (middle), Marlena Carrillo (left), Shelly Kearney (right with hat)

On Sunday I had the opportunity to witness an amazing display of principle and courage. As many of you know, our neighbors to the south in Anaheim had the misfortune of yet another police killing of 25-year-old Manuel Diaz who was unarmed. Diaz is the 7th person killed by Anaheim cops this year. The killing sparked neighborhood protests, one of which I attended outside the Anaheim police station.

A group of anarchist protesters armed with short sticks approached police on horses in front of the police station where Anaheim Crusader Teresa Smith was standing and protesting. Teressa’s son, Cesar Cruz, was another victim who died at the hands of the APD in 2009. She’s been protesting and advocating for peace and justice every Sunday outside the Anaheim police station for the past two years.

The anarchists were carrying short broom sticks and had their faces covered with bandannas. As they approached, Teressa told the angry group of anarchist to put down the sticks and protest peacefully. Marlena Carrillo and Shelly Kearney with Kelly’s Army showed up to support Teressa and also encouraged the angry protesters to stand down.

The angry group calmed down and the rest of the protest went peacefully from that point on. No broken windows, no rocks or bottles, although the police did arrest several people for no apparent reason.

Sunday’s protest ended peacefully despite the ARMY of cops there prepared to maim and kill. That’s a direct result of the courage of a group of principled women who were driven by peace to advocate for peace.

A New Era of Responsibility and Accountability

What was that noise?

As it streamed into my one-room cabin out on Screech Owl Road, last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting was a joy to watch. After three or four decades of watching nattering imbeciles following the direction of staff like stringed mannequins, we finally got to see a rare treat: a Fullerton council that is decisive, in charge and most importantly – accountable.

Let’s take the meeting itself – a special meeting called by Travis Kiger to address critical issues including the nagging problem of city spokesholes peddling self-serving disinformation; the thirty million dollar housing bond that was being used by the Three Dim Bulbs to hand out millions in patronage to their pals; and the issue of releasing the much-discussed phone call that claimed Kelly Thomas was trying to break into cars, and that led, ultimately to his murder. Doug Chaffee agendized his request that the Council take direct responsibility for the hiring and subsequent activities of the new chief of police – a clear indictment of how your City Manager Joe Felz has mismanaged oversight of the police department during its final descent into the Quagmire of Corruption. The very fact that a council member called this meeting, and not city staff, is revelatory. Former councils simply received their instructions and voted aye every couple of weeks – like clockwork. Not any more.

The Council approved an ordinance to take responsibility for the police department. They did it decisively and courageously. Only Sharon Quirk shied away from taking that authority from the ineffectual Felz.

On the subject of releasing the call from the downtown bar, the council voted unanimously to make redacted versions of the audio and transcript public, demonstrating that to this council, unlike its predecessor, pointless and stupid obfuscation is no longer going to be tolerated by the public’s elected representatives.

For years I’ve been shouting at my computer screen as the puppet-like figureheads of the entrenched, sclerotic regime wasted, stole, diverted, covered up, and insulted. Last night I was audibly cheering in support as the council ushered in a new era of accountability, competence, and intelligent government. No one heard me out on Screech Owl Road except a passing coyote and a sleepy iguana. But I was satisfied.

Well done Fullerton!




Judge Says No to “Top Secret” Tony Rackauckas (with update)

No, you may not hear it!

UPDATE: Stop the presses. It seems as if I were a tad premature in my post. According to the OC Register, the judge gave the DA the right to come after a specific request is made by the Fullerton City Council:

The judge said the D.A.’s motion is a tad premature because with the City Council meeting tonight, there’s no way to know what the panel is going to ask for. Prosecutors asked for, and the judge granted, permission to renew their request, based on what develops.

This one’s not over yet. Top Secret Tony will be back.

Apparently the OC District Attorney was rebuffed this morning in his attempt to keep secret the audio record of the call made to Fullerton cops the night of July 5th 2012, that led to the detainment and subsequent murder of the mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas.

The judge hearing the request said no. This seems to indicate that the releasing the audio would not impair any cases the DA is pursuing. Why Rackauckas ever wanted to keep it under wraps remains a mystery. Maybe somebody in Fullerton asked him to.

More information with details as we get it. Meantime, this item has been agendized for discussion at tonight’s special council meeting, so there should be some interesting councilmanic conversation.


Council Pulls Plug on Crappy Subsidized Project

Hey y’all, we gotta do it. Its dun been man-dated!!!

Last night our new council majority voted to end a monstrously dense “affordable” housing project on Commonwealth  Avenue.

I put the word affordable in quotation marks because these 100% subsidized projects somehow end up costing two or three times the amount to build the regular kind of multi-family housing that is built without government subsidy.

This project, targeted for the 300 block of East Commonwealth, was planned for about 361 stories and was approved on the nod by the old recalled council – Bankhead, Jones, McPension plus, of course Sharon Quirk.

But the times they are a changin.’

New councilmen Kiger and Sebourn, along with Bruce Whitaker said no to a continuance, and then, despite the attempts of Doug Chaffee and Sharon Quirk to keep the monster alive, killed it outright.

And to this I say God bless! No more nonsense from cretins like Dr. Dick and his coterie of self-interested hacks about how we are “mandated” to litter our city with this crap.


New Council Kills Illegal Water Tax

They did it.

Last night the new city council killed the “in-lieu” franchise fee that illegally tacked on an additional 10% to our water bills. Redeeming their campaign pledges, Travis Kiger and Greg Sebourn led the charge, along with Bruce Whitaker. Doug Chaffee followed their lead, as did Sharon Quirk-Silva.

So after a year’s dilatory foot-dragging by city staff and a clueless council majority,  the deal is done, effective July 1st, 2012. Future rate increases necessary for infrastructure maintenance will be treated, rightly, as a separate issue, as will any legitimate indirect and overhead costs from the City.

And Bruce Whitaker succinctly summed up the what happens to the money – $2.5 million a year – that is tacked on and skimmed off. 70% went to pay for non-water related salaries, benefits, and pension costs. The scam lasted for over forty years.

I offer my profound thanks to the council for doing the right thing.

Also invigorating was the minor tsunami of requests from councilmen for future agenda items:

Kiger: a study of nepotism in the police department; a fireworks referendum.

Sebourn: an independent audit of City Hall; a report on police disciplinary statistics.

Whitaker: discussion of disclosure to council of public records requests.

Doug Chaffee: discussion of direct council hiring (and presumably oversight) of the police chief.

It was refreshing and exciting to finally see a Fullerton city council take charge, direct policy issues, and deliver on campaign promises.

Well done, and thank you!



Freedom Ain’t Free

In a democracy the elected representatives work for the people. When they forget that, and when they come to affiliate themselves with the governing class, the results can be consequential. Sometimes it takes a while, but sooner or later their dereliction catches up to them.

The image above symbolizes freedom from tyranny – the tyranny of incompetent, entrenched, befuddled decrepitude.

Happy 4th of July, Fullerton. Have a cold one and congratulate yourselves!

The Three Empty Pez Dispensers

Looking for brains, courage, a heart.

You know, Larry Bennett really could have just left it alone. After dodging a final, humiliating meeting to certify the recall election that drove them out of office, at least one of the Three Bald Tires finally deigned to show up at Fullerton City Hall tomorrow morning to do the deed. It could have been done quietly with as little fanfare as possible. Actually only one of them even needed to show up.

But no.

Bennett seems to think the Three Dead Batteries need a sendoff appropriate to all the wonderful things these men have done for Fullerton. Friday he notified supporters of the Three Tree Stumps that there was to be a special council meeting, and that he hoped everybody would show up to let them know what terrific public servants they have been.

Bennett has likely spent the week-end making phone calls to drum up some folks willing to say kind thing about the Three Pea-less Pods. No doubt some will show up. And others are likely to show up now, too. People who recognize the disastrous misrule of these three characters:

Yes, I was the king.

Don Bankhead: dumb-bell, and self-annointed king of Fullerton, whose somnolent councilmanic career was punctuated with one Redevelopment boondoggle and union give away after another.

Crazy? Check. Rude? Check. Gone? Check.

Dick Jones, the southern fried lunatic and loud-mouthed bully who never came to understand that the authority to give orders doesn’t confer wisdom – or even relevance.

To all appearances it looked a lot like a street gang.

Pat McKinley: protector and apologist for the undeniable Culture of Corruption in the Fullerton Police Department that he himself had created. Those ladies weren’t like you. Aliens. Don’t rush to judgement.

Well, good bye and good riddance.

The sun had been warm and life was good. But all that changed.

And please take Larry Bennett with you. The tide is rising.




The Dilapitated Dinosaurs Want Their Money Back

Heh heh. The hardest part of the game is gonna be keeping the score down. Heh heh.

If you think about it, anti-recall managers Bennett, Ackerman and Ellis really screwed the pooch (and I don’t use that phrase lightly).

The Three Bald Ties put their reputations in the hands of Amateur Hour.

The metamorphosis into an oxygen breathing creature was slow and painful…

Remember the stupid rescission cards fiasco? The embarrassing website that just reproduced damning posts from FFFF and nonsense from Fullerton’s delusional gerontocracy?

Rock on!

And the of course there was the idiotic Stop Bushala campaign, ultimately doomed to fail since the name Bushala did not appear on the ballot.

Larry had sacrificed speed for size.

Stupid door hangers, stupid mail piece, stupid signs. Remember that awful video they touted as “hard hitting”?

These assclowns found the Recall team waiting for them with knives drawn around every corner as they kept pitching thousands of dollars into old school repuglican moneypits like Jim Bieber and Adam Probolsky.

And they lost by thirty points.

Need a jump?

True, the Three Dead Batteries put almost none of their own money into this disaster, perhaps showing the greatest wisdom of which they were capable. But even so, somebody should be asking for his money back.