Happy Felziversary

Poor Sappy.
Poor Sappy. So young, so vibrant…

One year ago today I wrote my first piece for this site, Friends for Fullerton’s Future. It was on the tail end of my lackluster city council bid when I was approached to join the site. I was asked to keep up the writing that I was doing during my campaign but here instead of my own site to which I was agreeable. No timelines had been discussed or content hashed out but the premise was we would revive FFFF because nobody else was effectively putting a spotlight on Fullerton’s abysmal government.

Then Joe Felz killed Sappy McTree after drinking his way through every election party in downtown.

One year ago this morning Joe Felz “took a wide turn” and ran down a tree only for Fullerton’s Finest to be called to the scene of the crime and offer cookies and a glass of milk to our beleaguered city manager instead of the breathalyzer and night in the drunk tank any regular Joe would have received. (more…)

It Was the Fullerton Hunger Games

And the Odds Were Not in District Three’s Favor

Do not be fooled; Fullerton had it’s first Quarter Quell on Tuesday and Councilman Greg Sebourn was put up as Tribute and didn’t make it out of the games alive. Somewhere a canon is being fired in his honor.

The vote was all about self-interest and gerrymandering and anybody who says otherwise is either lying to you or is too dishonest with themselves to know the truth. I’ll explain quickly.

The city never really gamed this out or explored any options legal or otherwise. I had asked, several times, if the city could require sitting At-Large Council members to resign their At-Large seat to run in for a District Seat and the response I got was “We don’t know if that’s legal”. Gee, if only we had a lawyer in the room during Council to answer these things or research them.

I also inquired if it could be made random in order to take the horse-trading and politics out of the equation and again crickets. All of this means that the city never gamed these basic scenarios out.

To make matters worse we had no study-session or talks about how this would play out post-election. The election happened, with a gerrymandered council approved map, and voila they voted on who got to stay and who got to go.

The real meat about this crap is that it was all race based if you read the complaints and lawsuits that got us here. There hadn’t been an Asian on council since X-Date or a Hispanic since X-Date and thus we got sued and the council settled. So the Council voted to put up District 5 under the guise of giving the Hispanic vote a voice. District 3 means that the likely scenario is that the Hispanic vote will have 2 voices on Council while the Asian vote will have none until 2020 when somebody can run for Fitzgerald’s seat only to have the District Map change in 2022 after the 2020 census. It played out this way because apparently;

  1. Jesus Silva is not Hispanic?
  2. Silva living 2 blocks from District 5 is too far for him to understand that district’s “unique voice”?
  3. The Asian vote doesn’t matter as much as protecting Fitzgerald?
  4. Oh and Sebourn gets the bum’s rush owing to reasons Whitaker has yet to articulate publicly.

I’ll admit that I don’t like the way Sebourn votes on a lot of issues. Further I think Fitzgerald is the worst kind of tax-and-spend bankruptcy-inducing fiscally irresponsible politician the GOP can muster and that’s saying a lot. However — at least with the GOP you get the theory of a sliver of a chance of maybe some fiscal sanity. With the next few years of belt-tightening, thanks to the greed of public safety and the insanity of CalPERS, we’re going to require more budget allies and not fewer. Throwing 1/2 of our current 3-2 fiscally responsible minority out with the bath-water in the hopes that 2018 will maybe, possibly, hopefully and somehow see some balance seems foolhardy to me.

I still contend that the map should have been chosen randomly but I prefer governmental honesty to political expedience and crony gamesmanship.

Now going forward should a Republican decide to run in 2020 against Silva I can only offer one bit of advice:

Amerige Court Becomes Amerige Commons

Hello Fullerton Friends. I’ve been gone for a few weeks owing to the Flu, Family, Festivus and other merriment this time of year. I hope you’re all enjoying your holidays whichever ones you choose to enjoy. Feeling better I wanted to start to dive into some of the public records requests I’ve received from the city but my wife wants me to write about Amerige Court. As my Grandfather once told me that the two most important words in a marriage are “Yes, Dear” I suppose I’m going to have to write about Amerige Court.

For those who don’t keep track of Fullerton boondoggles year in and year out Amerige Court was originally planned to be a 9-Story Mixed Use monstrosity which would sit on the property that is currently some of the most heavily utilized parking for Downtown Fullerton straddling Amerige Avenue between Harbor Blvd and Malden Avenue.

The plus side, at the time of inception anyways, was that it would provide Downtown with 150% of the parking that was (and is) currently available with the downside being every other aspect of this plan. When people got wind of it the city pushed the plan into a “Study Session” where it was cut down from 9 stories to a more reasonable size and the 150% parking requirement was nixed because why not take the only good thing away from the plan. (more…)

I Don’t ♥ Fullerton Police

I am still struggling to get over the images from last week’s city council meeting in which one city councilman donned an “I ♥ Fullerton Police” t-shirt while another declared proudly “I support the Fullerton Police Department.” Another incongruous image also hard to clear from my mind: a city council chambers and adjoining room spilling over with people sporting the same t-shirts with the same baffling message.

Mr. Chafee and Mayor Quirk-Silva, I hope you don’t mind me telling you why I find these statements so inexplicable.

The Fullerton Police Department is an institution – an organization which hires individuals to enforce laws. In the last 16 months or so the number of reports of incidents of police misconduct and resulting lawsuits grew exponentially. The Kelly Thomas killing represented the brutality and savagery of out-of-control police, not merely locally, but globally. The brutally damaged face of Kelly dying in the hospital became an iconic image showing the depth of depravity to which law enforcement in our country has stooped. This was then followed by report after report of other victims of Fullerton police brutality: assaults, battery, false imprisonment, sexual assault, false arrest, perjury. Few if any of these crimes by the police were prosecuted, as if police officers in the City of Fullerton were far above the laws they ostensibly enforce. It wasn’t that long ago.  OC Weekly did a whole cover story on “The Bullies in Blue.” Do you remember? You should. Your police force was the shame of the nation.

I’m sure you remember the name Kelly Thomas, because the citizens have insisted that you don’t forget. Do you remember the following names?  Veth MamAndrew Trevor ClarkeEdward QuinonezEmmanuel Martinez.Christopher Spicer Janku. How about the nameless victims of Albert Rincon, Vincent Mater, John Cross, and many others whom you “support” and now publically ♥?

Mr. Chafee and Ms. Quirk-Silva, do you know there were others brutalized by the police who were too afraid to talk, even to us? That they told us stories of being randomly assaulted but refused to go public because of fear that they would be falsely accused and charged if they did? How many others are out there, severely assaulted, beaten, and tortured by “our” police?

These crimes were committed by individual members of the Fullerton police, but the lack of investigations, adequate disciplinary measures (would anything less than firing be appropriate when you look at the details of these cases?), or reports on what the department leadership is going to do to prevent these things from happening again has NOT been forthcoming. All we have as evidence that the department has supposedly reformed – righted these wrongs, fired the brutalizers, implemented mechanisms to ensure that none of this can happen again – is their word. Is that word really good enough, given the severity of the crimes?

We need some type of law enforcement in Fullerton, but we need law enforcement that does not commit harm against the public. This is not a political stance, this is a public right – as basic and elementary a right as we have. The public’s right to safety from its own police comes before loyalty to an institution of government, before political alliances, before personal friendships with officers or officials, before the considerations of endorsements or campaign contributions or ideology or anything else. As elected officials you must serve the public and serving us means protecting us – in this case, from our police department who have shown that they are fully capable of inflicting grievous harm upon vulnerable citizens.

I do not understand how one can in good conscience embrace, love, or unconditionally support an institution that has a history of violently committing harm against the public. Voting your conscience or your beliefs on the issue of soliciting a bid from a rival law enforcement institution is one thing. Expressing love and support for an institution that has repeatedly hurt innocent members of the public, in front of a room swarming with police officers and their supporters, is a slap in the face to the victims and to the citizens of your city.

Who Opposes The Recall and Supports Doug Chaffee?

This guy. That’s who.

That would be former Redevelopment Director and big Fullerton pension recipient Gary Chalupsky.

Some may remember Chalupsky for his long string of embarrassing boondoggles and Redevelopment expenditures of questionable legality – like building the Muckenthaler amphitheater which is not even in a Redevelopment project area.

Just type in “Redevelopment” in our search box and knock yourself out. From the Knowlwood fiasco and North Platform smash up to The City Lights debacle and the humiliating Poisoned Park disaster, Chalupsky was there every inept, unaccountable step of the way. For well over ten years. Plenty of time to get vested in CalPERS.

Gary Chalupsky was the guy who proved beyond all doubt that Fullerton was very much for sale. Ever wonder where the 100 East section of Whiting Avenue went? Ask Chalupsky.

Others may also remember this upstanding individual for his phony “retirement” and immediate double-dip that was countenanced by an incompetent council who seemed to think Chalupsky knew what he was doing.

Redevelopment is now thankfully dead. But it feathered a lot of nests along the way.

We Get Mail: Fence Sitting Cardboard Candidate?

I found this communication in our in-box yesterday:

An Open Letter to Doug Chaffee

April 23, 2012

Dear Mr. Chaffee:

I support the recall effort and will vote in favor of removing all three councilmen on June 5th.  I support the statements made on the Notice of Intent to Recall, and I believe any candidate running to replace a recalled councilman should believe the same.

I saw this on Euclid today.  The homeowner seems to be on both sides of the fence.  It begs the question: Are you?

Um, anyone miss the irony?

The rumor mill is spinning around town.  It claims that you’re proud to receive Pat McKinley’s endorsement of your candidacy should the recall succeed; and worse publicly stated as much during a fundraising event at the Pint House several weeks ago.  If this is true, this is not compatible with the Notice of Intent to Recall.  You have to pick a side and you have to do so definitively.

In fact, I demand you take one of four positions immediately.

1) If you have stated that you’re proud to receive McKinley’s backing, you must withdraw your candidacy from the special election on June 5th.  This statement does not meet with the spirit of the recall and is insulting to the electorate.  Candidates not supporting the spirit of the recall should not be on the ballot.  Just because you had some extra campaign signs sitting around from 2010 doesn’t mean you’re entitled to run.

2) If you find it morally acceptable to be proud of McKinley’s endorsement of your candidacy, state so in bold letters on all your campaign literature, website, Facebook account, and during any public appearances you make.  Failure to be transparent on this issue is dishonest.

3) If you’re not proud of McKinley’s endorsement, state loudly and often that you’ve signed the recall petition and outline why Pat McKinley needs to go.  Demand that those posting propaganda against the recall remove your name from their lawns.  Take a stance and make it clear that no supporter of Pat McKinley is a supporter of yours.

4) Do nothing.  If you ignore this open letter and succeed in your candidacy, count on being recalled.


Ryan Cantor

P.S. Dear Friends, just to show what a small world it is, after all, the property above is the residence of one Beatriz Gregg, mater familias of the Gregg clan that includes our old pal Aaron, whose 2010 campaign was, um, something of a personal embarrassment.


Chaffee’s Choke Cost Him The Election

A lot of people in Fullerton are wondering why council candidate Doug Chaffee permited himself to be a GOP establishment punching bag.  Did his natural inclinations lead him to avoid attacking the out-of-control public employee pension mess as embodied in his two GOP and union backed adversaries? Probably.

If so, it cost him the election.

When he finally reached down and grabbed hold of his huevos he produced this devastating comparison piece between himself and his “public safety” union-backed opponents.

Although effective, it was too little, too late. By the time it came out absentee voting was well underway. The oblique admonition to “bullet vote” was already an effort in vain.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Did Fullerton’s Yellowing Observers Cost Doug Chaffee the Election?

The fourth drink made me do it!

Well, technically it’s not over yet. But the trend since election day is going the wrong way for Doug Chaffee. In second place on election day and looking good for the second council opening, Chaffee has seen his slim lead shrink and then disappear in the ensuing days.

Which leads me to reflect upon Fullerton’s liberal clique, and the choices it makes. You will recall that in 2008 the Fullerton Observer endorsed the egregious Doc Heehaw, who came in ahead of dyed-in-the-wool liberal, Karen Haluza. Sure, you you remember. We wrote about it, here.

And this year? We posted a piece about how ex-Police Chief and astronomical pension-puller-downer Pat McKinley was getting support from some of Fullerton’s most prominent lefties, most notably Jan Flory and Molly McClanahan.

I'm a trustee. You can always trust me.

I visited the Fullerton Observer website and noticed that according to to its editor, second place support by the herd of Yellowing Observers was split between McKinley and Jesse la Tour! Could support for the hand-picked boy of Ed Royce and Dick Ackerman, a career cop, really have been that high among the hardest core Observers? Is Ralph Kennedy rolling over in his urn?

Of course Sharon Kennedy will blame out-of-town money used to hit Chaffee. But how many of Fullerton left-leaning tribe are starting to regret their second vote?

Chaffee’s Magical Tax

Plenty of bad ideas were tossed about at the candidate at the forum on Monday night, but this one from council hopeful Doug Chaffee takes the cake:

So according to Chaffee, doubling the hotel tax in the middle of a recession will bring more hotels and visitors into the area. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of logic behind his idea, but perhaps that’s why he calls it “magical.”

Chaffee pushes the idea further by suggesting that Fullerton should “generate” (aka subsidize) a new hotel to compete with Disneyland, the most famous theme park in the entire world.

Gee, another one?

Of course we’re later reassured by Chaffee that the tax would only be tacked on to “other people” who make the mistake of taking brief refuge in our city. That’s the old divide-and-conquer tax scheme that’s plagued California businesses for a long time:  levy heavy taxes against each industry, one at a time. Who’s next?

Hey Doug, a tax is a tax, and there has never been a worse time to raise taxes. And quit trying to convince us that we should be more like Anaheim.

Update: Click here to suffer through the entire event.