High-Speed Rail Circus Comes to Fullerton

The High-Speed Rail Authority is bringing the show to our own Fullerton Senior Center on Thursday evening.

Considered by many to be the greatest boondoggle in the history of California, high speed rail will waste billions of dollars, threaten homes and businesses throughout the state while claiming to solve an inter-state transit problem that doesn’t exist.

Be sure to get informed before you attend.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) will host a public open house in the City of Fullerton to provide the community with a project update, information about the proposed alternative alignments, design options, and station locations being considered, as well as details pertaining to the environmental process. Residents will be able to see which areas might be needed for right-of way acquisition.

Fullerton is being considered for a station, in competition with Norwalk for the only other station between Anaheim and Los Angeles.

CHSRA is planning high-speed train service for travel between major metropolitan areas of California. The high-speed train is proposed to connect Anaheim to San Francisco in less than three hours. The Los Angeles to Anaheim high-speed train section proposes to travel adjacent to the existing Los Angeles to San Diego Rail Corridor from LA Union Station to the future Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC), although OCTA and Metro are now proposing a shared-track agreement.

Thursday, April 29, 2010, 5 to 8 p.m., presentation at 6 p.m.
Fullerton Senior Center, 340 W. Commonwealth Ave.
For more information, call (877) 724-5422

Moorlach Orders Investigation Into Daly’s $10 Million Nightmare

Was it fraud, negligence, incompetence or just an honest to goodness mistake when Tom Daly approached the Board of Supervisors and asked for $2.1 million to purchase a dilapidated building 433 W. Civic Center Drive?

Did Daly forget to tell the Supes that the building was a tear down and not in turnkey condition? Or did he actually believe that the building was ready to move into?  If he did then he needs to fire his real estate agent! There are many hard questions that remain to be asked and answered.

At Tuesday’s board meeting, Supervisor John Moorlach asked County CEO Tom Mauk to bring back a report detailing what happened to the missing information on the useless multi-million dollar building.  Was it lost or intentionally withheld? Did Tom Daly just forget to tell the Board the complete facts about the money-sucking building, knowing that they would have said “HELL NO!” when they found out that it would cost another $7.6 million to make it suitable for the archives and the Orange County Sports Hall of Fame?

Let’s not forget the Sports Hall of Fame was being “brainstormed” by Daly’s BFF Brett Barbre to the tune of another $48,000.

So back to the word “fraud.” What does it mean and how is it really pronounced?



1. deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

433 W. Civic Center Dr. 2 years later, still vacant

It’s Never Too Late To Be Smart, Or Is It?

It wasn’t but five minutes after I published City of Orange Votes To Kill HSR: Wake Up City Of Fullerton, NOW post, and look what I found in the mail:

The HSR “consultants” are having an “open house” Thursday 5:00p.m. – 8:00p.m, April 29th at the Senior Center. It should be interesting to see the usual collection of redevelopment cheerleader-types that will come out in support of the HSR.

Of course the City itself remains silent as the the big construction, engineering and influence peddling interests bore down on Fullerton.

I really hope the good citizens of our town will wake up and realize that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train – and it’s going to run us over unless we take action before it’s too late.

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City of Orange Votes to Kills HSR; Wake Up Fullerton City Council, NOW!

Jon Dumitru request public hearing on HSR!

On Tuesday night, the Orange City Council, led by Councilman Denis Bilodeau (left) and Jon Dumitru, took a bold first step supporting Dianne Harkey’s AB2121 bill here that would put a screeching halt on the high speed rail (HSR). The HSR is perhaps the biggest boondoggle in the making in the history of the United States.

On a 2 – 1 – 1 vote the Orange Council supported AB2121 with Mayor Carolyn Cavecche abstaining. Apparently, Cavecche the former Chair of OCTA said she needed more information, sure she does.

The HSR as currently planned would cut a swath through southern California wiping out untold numbers of homes and businesses, and will leave us and our descendants a massive debt. With our state on the verge of bankruptcy we cannot afford the damage or the cost, especially when the promoters of this scheme like Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle don’t even have a business plan.

Well, Pringle has his own private business plan, as usual – income  from consulting contracts, no doubt. Just in case you don’t know what Curt Pringle does with his time, then you should read this, this and this post.

When will Fullerton citizens and business owners get our chance to provide input into this HSR boondoggle, when it’s too late? Probably never. Remember this is Fullerton where good manners dictate that you sit down and shut up.

PTA Wants to Raise Your Taxes

Parents, the PTA that you all belong to is behind trying to raise your property taxes by reducing the threshold for passage of parcel taxes.

The California State PTA has endorsed the “Local Control of Local Classrooms Funding Act” which reduces the voter approval requirement to raise taxes from 2/3rds down to 55%. This will make it much easier for local school districts to place new property taxes on local homeowners to benefit the teachers’ unions.

Your local PTA: Always thinking of the children

QUIT THE PTA. It is a bad lobbying organization disguised as an innocent thrower of classroom ice cream parties. It hurts children, families, the state and the country.

Moms and dads can help in the classroom, support schools and be great parents without supporting this organization which is stabbing you in the back as a pawn of teachers unions.

Cal State Fullerton’s Pension Tsunami Shell Game and Our Kid’s Future

Titan waste

After showing you how management lives in the lap of luxury last week, I received an email from a Friend who brought to my attention a Cal State University system business practice that forces out qualified, lower paid part-time lecturers and untenured faculty, and brings back higher paid, semi retired faculty. The faculty and management at our own Cal State Fullerton know this practice as FERPing. Just the sound of the acronym sounds like something they should apologize for and we haven’t even said what exactly FERPing is.

The Faculty Early Retirement Program, as the name implies, allows faculty to retire early and then come right back to work. On the surface it creates a lower fiscal burden on local university funding which looks like a cost savings for guys like Milton A. Gordon, who gets $302,042 per year while living rent-free at the El Dorado Ranch. The reality is that it costs taxpayers and students more than if the schools utilized the lower paid, part-time faculty who are otherwise forced out under FERP.

Retirement never looked so lucrative. While everyone else must take furloughs or are getting laid off outright, the FERPers receive FREE parking, ALL of their retirement benefits, and 50% of their last salary. That’s part of the reason why your kid’s tuition continues to rise and classes are getting canceled. This Cal State double-dipping program is brought to you by the public employee unions as a result of the spineless leader who is content to live in his rent-free mansion with an inflated salary and the entitlement attitude of senior public employees. Some FERPers have been milking us for more than 5 years!

Here is an example of the compensation structure that FERPers use to determine just how good retirement might be:

Age: 63 1/2 years (CalPERS retirement age percentage factor: 2.5%)
Length of Service: 27 years
Highest Salary: $87,500(during any 12 month period of CalPERS covered employment)(minus $133.33 monthly deduction for Social Security = $1,599.96)
Calculation: 27 years x .025 (age factor percentage) = 67.5% of highest salary
Estimated CalPERS retirement salary: $85,900 x .675 (age factor percentage) = $57,982
Plus estimated FERP salary: (half of faculty base $70,800) $35,400
Total estimated retirement salary plus FERP salary: $93,382

It’s time to wean the leaches off our sweet cream before all we are left with is sour cream for our kids. Email Milton Gordon at [email protected] or you can call him in his CSUF public employee office at (657) 278-3456. Tell Milton Gordon it’s time to act fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.

Below are some links I stumbled over which helped put FERPing in perspective for me:


Fullerton’s $100,000 Pension Club Welcomes 15 New Members

It’s been almost a year since we published the original list of retired Fullerton public employees earning over $100,000 per year in pensions.

Since then we have learned that our state’s unfunded pension liability has grown to over $500 billion dollars. Our Friends over at California Pension Reform have updated their list of CalPERS pensions, bringing on fifteen new “hundred grand” members from Fullerton this year. That’s an increase of 40% in a single year.

So let’s see who is getting the most from largess from taxpayers. New members are in bold:

Name Annual Pension Position
JAMES “JIM” REED $166,781.88 Fire
GEOFFREY SPALDING $149,852.88 Police
GREGORY MAYES $148,889.40 Police
MICHAEL MAYNARD $140,317.20 Police
DANIEL CHIDESTER $139,416.72 Fire
FRANK PAUL DUDLEY $133,821.00 Development Services Director
ALLEN BURKS $133,782.36 Police
DOUGLAS CAVE $130,761.36 Police
GLENN STEINBRINK $127,533.00 Administrative Director
ANTONIO HERNANDEZ $127,402.20 Police
H SUSAN HUNT $126,970.80 Director of Park and Recreation
STEVEN MATSON $126,430.68 Police
RONNY ROWELL $125,168.40 Police
TERRY STRINGHAM $123,482.28 Fire
GEORGE NEWMAN $121,410.60
RICHARD RILEY $121,113.36
MARK FLANNERY $120,934.68 Director of Personnel
DAVID STANKO $120,279.84 Police
ROBERT HODSON $119,956.08 Director of Engineering
ROBERT “BOB” RICHARDSON $119,720.88 Police
PATRICK MCKINLEY $118,446.48 Chief of Police
DANIEL BECERRA $116,917.20 Police
NEAL BALDWIN $116,740.68 Police
PHILIP GOEHRING $115,076.04 Police
BRAD HOCKERSMITH $115,053.84 Fire
JEFFREY ROOP $113,618.88 Police
KURT BERTUZZI $109,255.08 Fire
LINDA KING $108,168.84 Police
DONALD “DON” PEARCE $107,972.76 Police
CAROLYN JOHNSON $107,179.80 Library Director
PAUL TURNEY $105,747.12
RONALD “RON” GILLETT $105,499.56 Police
ARTHUR WIECHMANN $104,153.76 Police
JONATHON “JON” MCAULAY $102,034.80 Fire
JOHN PIERSON $101,524.92
HUGH BERRY $100,488.84 Assistant City Manager
WILLIAM KENDRICK $100,194.48 Police

Remember… public employee pensions are negotiated between the unions and our city council. It’s time to figure out who has been representing the taxpayers and who has been sticking up for the unions.

Bad Time to Raise Taxes; Especially to Save the League of Cities Baloney

Taxes takin’ my whole damn check, junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,  the price of food is goin’ up, an’ as if all that shit wasn’t enough, this Tuesday evening the city’s considerin’ a water rate increase.

Furthermore, the city is going to use the rate increase to pay for the League of Cities baloney. The two spendthrift promoters of this idea are Don Bankhead and Pam Keller  who in 2008 attended the League of Cities conference in Long Beach here and here, a mere 25 miles from their front doors and racked up $400 per night waterfront hotel bills.

The League of Cities is a do nothing operation run by bureaucrats for the purpose of promoting their own policies. Fullerton’s annual membership budget is $75,000 – not an inconsiderable sum, exactly why the City of Orange quit the League.

NO new taxes, NO bogus water rate increase. We all know Bankhead and Keller are going to vote for this tax increase and I suspect Dick “RINO” Jones will, too.

We’ll find out tomorrow night.

A Little Common Sense Could Go a Long Way

The other day one of our Friends asked Shawn Nelson for his impressions on the much-discussed High Speed Rail project. Our Friend has helpfully forwarded Nelson’s reply:

I have been struck lately by the supporters of the high speed rail and their seeming lack of common sense when it comes to problem solving; my observations have led me to believe that the current leadership of the program has become more focused on getting a pot of government gold to spend (the more the merrier) and enriching the myriad players involved in the process. By ignoring existing opportunities to run the rail project on the already existing lines of the Metrolink and Amtrak the current design for the high speed rail (HSR) to run from Anaheim to Los Angeles provides a windfall to those in the consulting industry by requiring countless hours of public outreach and environmental impact study.

Why aren’t the leaders of the program asking the basic questions and looking for basic answers? Case in point: I went to a presentation in Anaheim two weeks ago given by the project team of HSR. They explained that the HSR will be able to connect Anaheim and LA in 23 minutes. Of course to accomplish this the tracks would need to be able to cross existing streets that are not presently separated from the rail line (think at grade rail crossings with the drop arms and flashing lights) and some improvements to a curve in the tracks in the Buena Park area. They admitted that the first leg could be a stand alone service in case the rest of the project were never built!

After a few follow up questions we learned the existing system only takes 30 minutes as is and with a few of the improvements that are necessary for the HSR the Metrolink will be able to achieve the same speed as the HSR from Anaheim to LA. With a few of the upgrades being made to the existing system we could all make it to downtown LA in about 26 minutes.

In layman’s terms the first leg of the project is a likely multi-billion dollar effort to shave a few minutes off the average commute from Anaheim to LA. It would save ZERO time if we just made the grade separation improvements and ran an express line (i.e. no stops in between) once per hour! Is there anyone on the HSR board that is thinking this through? Clearly we do not need to spend billions of dollars to avoid running an express train once an hour to LA do we?

The concept of HSR in California could be a useful project tying the central parts of the state with the major metropolitan areas of the San Francisco Bay area and greater Los Angeles. Why isn’t the current effort focused on getting the communities in between tied in to the anchors on each end? Couldn’t Amtrak funding be tied in if the train went to the exact same locations on the route? As things stand now both ends of the line have currently operating rail systems that could be used and result in tens of billions in savings. Can’t the HSR start out by connecting the southern most terminus of BART with the northern most terminus of Metrolink?

Art Leahy, former OCTA president and now the current head of the MTA in Los Angeles, has gone on record acknowledging the problems with the existing approach. I applaud Art for standing up. He has a working knowledge of these systems and we should listen to him. I hope he takes a prominent role in the discussion going forward. Another public figure to recently demand some common sense be included in this process is Assemblywoman Diane Harkey of south Orange County who recognized the disaster we are walking into if we sell bonds to cover the costs for the current proposals.

There are a number of other problems such as why would our Measure M dollars be used to fund the vast majority of the HSR train storage facility/transit link planned in Anaheim? Isn’t measure M money generated here for the purpose of helping all commuters get around Orange County? This is a state and federal project not a local project. Getting people from San Francisco to Anaheim was never the purpose of Measure M. To make matters worse, the $140 million or so in Measure M funds being proposed for the train parking facility are desperately needed by cities like Placentia and Fullerton to finance underpasses at railroad grade crossings – grade separations that will make life better for everybody in North Orange County.

The road we are on now is going to exhaust all the funding available at the state and federal levels, enrich a few well-connected consultants, ruin many neighborhoods that don’t need disturbing and accomplish virtually nothing but duplication of service already provided. Why can’t common sense have a place at the table? Government doesn’t have to be the home of poor execution, but in order to get results that are good for the citizens we need to demand accountability before it is too late.

A Little Posturing for a Parcel Tax in Fullerton?

This video is from the South Pasadena School District.  Fullerton School District Superintendent Mitch Hovey felt that this was a good enough example of how a school district could “send a message to Sacramento” to present it at the FSD School Board meeting the other night.  Enjoy the manipulation of children by the same mindless fools who put our current legislature in office.  You should have seen the FSD employees and most of the board members smiling and bopping their heads to the music.

Incidentally, South Pasadena passed a $120/year parcel tax last year.