I was pleasantly surprised at Fullerton’s City Council meeting last night and that rarely happens. I was surprised because Ahmad Zahra stood his ground on the principle of Democracy being the preferred way to settle our current council vacancy caused by Jesus Silva. He withstood Fitzgerald’s venom laced claws and boxed Silva in so much that Silva had to contradict himself by claiming to believe voting is important except, you know, with regards to, uh, the vacancy he created in playing musical chairs.
I had heard going into the meeting that Jan Flory had lobbied 2 if not 3 of the current council members to be appointed to the vacant seat. I had also heard and believed that Fitzgerald and Silva were going to push for an appointment process to get the Flory ball in motion. I also knew, just from historical context, that Whitaker would vote no on that because he and Flory are opposites on most items and he gains nothing by supporting her. I did not know how Zahra would act or vote despite allegedly meeting with and being lobbied by Flory. Owing to Zahra’s campaign and his coziness to people I believe to be ethically challenged I didn’t hold out much hope and assumed he might go along to get along.
Rumor has it that former councilwoman Jan Flory is lobbying to become the appointee to our City Council tonight and has already secured both Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva’s votes. This is the same Jan Flory who voted, with Jennifer Fitzgerald and Doug Chaffee, on multiple unbalanced budgets and who helped lead us into our structuraldeficit. The same Jan Flory who puts City Staff above the very citizens they’re supposed to work for and represent.
Want to know why our roads suck so bad? Blame Jan Flory and her cohorts who think bureaucracy is the true heart of Fullerton. Want to know why Downtown is such a train-wreck? Yeaup. Same cabal of incompetence.
If the council votes to appoint somebody the voting members will own every vote put forward by the new council member. In effect, if they vote for somebody like Jan Flory, who helped sink our budget for years, they will be responsible for both their own votes on the budget (and similar items) as well as hers.
Appointing somebody is bad. Letting Jesus Silva vote on an appointment to the very seat he himself vacated is worse. Having council vote to give themselves the bulletproof majority needed to walk all over the people of Fullerton is downright despicable.
The people should really have a say who in represents them and voting to appoint somebody, especially somebody who will raise our taxes, is the essence of being anti-democratic. Our republic was literally founded against the premise of taxation without representation.
Some things in life are perfectly predicable. Things like physics and math. They’re not really that difficult to understand, but some people in our society are a little slower than others.
For example, next week there will be idiots who put a frozen turkey into a vat of hot liquid fat because #Merica. Despite many public service announcements to the contrary, stupidity will have its unavoidable and predicable consequences.
Tonight Fullertonians will miss out on the discussion taking place behind closed doors at City Hall concerning the state of the city’s budget. Voters won’t get to hear about the new contract negotiations designed to help the massive multi-million dollar structural deficit, the $100,000,000 in deferred infrastructure maintenance, or the equally massive unfunded pension debt. Instead, we’ll get a null report from The Other Dick Jones ™, and the facade of all being well will continue into this year’s planned First Night festivities.
Like so many idiots with a tank of propane, recent City Councils had fair warning of the current financial crisis. The math just isn’t that hard to understand. Every year, every single year, since each of their elections, Fullerton has spent more from the general fund than it has taken in. Tens of millions of dollars in reserves have evaporated. *POOF* gone, without a trace.
At the current rate, Fullerton may be bankrupt in two years.
This Thanksgiving, while you’re enjoying your non-idiot prepared bird, I want you to remember tonight’s secret city council meeting. I also want you to remember a meeting held just last year.
Just last year, the council authorized the largest pay raises for staff in a decade.
“The budget is balanced!” — Jennifer Fitzgerald
“Fullerton is in excellent financial shape!’ — Jan Flory
Well, the math simply doesn’t lie. The budget was not balanced and the city was not in excellent financial shape. Jen and Jan dunked their frozen bird and lambasted all the chronic malcontents who protested their fine stewardship.
Like that, Joe Felz hit a tree, and their financial bird exploded, the raging predictable disaster apparent for all to see.
Tonight the Fullerton City Council will likely authorize reducing pay and benefits for city employees, just in time for the holidays. When this is over, some employees will have their salaries reduced or their hours cut. Others will simply lose their jobs. Many of those individuals are good people who do good work. This isn’t their fault, but it will be their house that gets burned down and it will be their life that gets ruined.
Now Jen and Jan, two of those responsible for dunking this turkey? Don’t worry. They’ll be fine. Jen just gave herself a $9000 raise and Jan retired.
Quadrangle of Casual Corruption and Fullerton First brain trust. Gretch’ is the one in the middle. The rest you already know.
Apparently Gretchen Cox, reactionary pal of J. Flory and J. Fitzgerald has become weary of “malcontents” wasting everybody’s time at City Council meetings. She seems to think all this attention to city employee malfeasance, misfeasance and dumbassfeasance reflects poorly on our great town, using the usual “blame the messenger” routine always deployed by people who have something to hide: like shoddy construction, unnecessary and mind-blowingly expensive boondoggles, drunken city managers, a corrupt police department and a budget that’s a few years away from going supernova.
But that’s not the interesting part. Not surprisingly, lobbyist city council creature Jennifer Fitzgerald is an enthusiastic member of this tribe; but, very tellingly, so is the ethically flexible Matthew Cunningham, whose job is proprietor of “Anaheim Blog” where he runs interference for uber-lobbyist Curt Pringle’s interests, praises Pringle’s political tools, and denigrates Pringle’s political opponents.
It’s pretty obvious that Pringle has set his slimy sights on Fullerton now that his Anaheim well is running dry. We are the pigeons he wants to pluck. Just think “College Town” and other possible gold mines where influence peddling moves things along.
And when Curt Pringle says “Fullerton First” what he really will mean is “Fullerton Next.”
Remember last year when Jan Flory claimed she was ‘retiring’ from City politics? Much to our chagrin, that never happened. Instead, she’s taken up a new calling with close pal Gretchen Cox.
A Friend was gracious enough to share a letter they plastered all over the neighborhood last month:
This isn’t some altruistic idea in the name of public safety. Gretchen and Jan simply have an aversion to the aesthetics of said land, with Gretchen living two houses away and Jan living further up the hill.
Leave it to these numbskulls to use traffic hazard as a ploy for the City to dole out money for appearances. The intersection already has a traffic signal and the frequency of traffic accidents is no worse than other major intersections across the city. Don’t like the appearance of the land? Fine. Focus on that. Don’t try to lump traffic concerns in at the same time.
What’s more, the timing of the letter is particularly obnoxious given that the property was listed for sale in February. Were they hoping to derail a potential sale so the City could swoop in and acquire the parcel?
Since the letter was written, the property has gone into escrow. What an awful way to welcome someone to the neighborhood.
At last night’s Fullerton City Council meeting (21 March 2017) I spoke on Agenda Item 3 regarding budget strategies. Amongst other comments I asked for clarification on what was meant by “Structural Deficit” considering that both Fitzgerald and former Councilwoman Jan Flory constantly claimed we have/had a balanced budget. I asked what changed overnight to take us from a balanced budget on 08 November 2016 into a “Structural deficit” today.
Structural Deficit Evidence
What I got regarding an answer was Councilwoman Fitzgerald dodging the question and blaming Sacramento and the CalPERS rate change. And I quote:
“And I will go ahead and answer the question that was brought up over balanced budgets and what happened overnight and I will tell you, I mean, for former Council member Flory and I, when we talked about balanced budgets. Our 5 year projections, every year showed a balanced budget and what happened overnight is CalPERS decreased the amount of returns that they assumed that we were going to receive. So, that is what happened to those 5 year projections to change them.”
The Case of the Disappearing/Reappearing Balanced Budget
Many of you may recall that during my campaign for Fullerton City Council I wrote an Open Letter to Jennifer Fitzgerald. I’d like to revisit the issue of Mrs. Fitzgerald’s oft-repeated myth of a balanced budget.
On her website as well as on campaign literature she made the point that our budget is balanced. I offer as evidence a screen-grab from her campaign website from 22 October 2016;
I won’t re-litigate the whole letter here but suffice it to say I wasn’t happy about her Public Relations spin on our overspending by at least 43 Million Dollars during her tenure.
I’m bringing this all up due to agenda item #2 from last night’s Council Meeting. The council voted 5-0 to receive and file the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending 30 June 2016. Inside the CAFR was one little nugget really stood out to me when reading the report.
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. Continue reading →
Once again the Boys & Girls in Blue have decided to insult the residents of Fullerton with a poorly timed Press Release via the F.P.D. Facebook Page where they tell that we need to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and that they’ll be “stepping up enforcement” of impaired driving laws.
One Set of Rules for You…
This Press Release is actually dated yesterday, 13 December 2016, the EXACT same day that it was announced at the Special City Council Meeting that the City Manager, Joe Felz, has left his position with the city. Weepy words from Jennifer Fitzgerald notwithstanding we know that Felz left owing to his own alleged D.U.I. Hit-&-Run that F.P.D. and the City Attorney are still attempting to cover up with boilerplate legal obfuscation and the myth of an ongoing investigation.
From the Press Release;
“We want to keep our roads safe for the holiday travelers, so we will have zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving.”
F.P.D. will have zero tolerance. Zero! None I dare say.
Unless of course you’re part of the upper echelon of our City’s Bureaucratic Bureaucracy and can get the Police Chief on speed dial.
I figured the award for most clueless response to the Felz departure would go to Fitzgerald & Flory for their nonsense praise but this press release might take the cake. To be fair the F.P.D. probably didn’t know that Felz was on the way out when they wrote this little public service announcement but they certainly knew of their own culpability in the continuing culture of city corruption.
Word on the street is that City Hall is glad to be rid of Felz and now they’re just itching to get rid of his sycophantic entourage that continues to make city life miserable. Stay tuned as we might be able to help with some of that as time passes. If any intrepid City Employees want to help foster some more changes you know how to reach out to us here at F.F.F.F..
The topic of drinking and driving has been in the Fullerton news the last few days. We all know the story involving City Manager, Joe Felz, by now so there’s no point in rehashing the details. Instead, I want to direct the Friends’ attention to the irony that surrounds us in life, sometimes almost like there’s some sort of cosmic plan.
Way back in August, 2012 at the start of the fall election campaign, Fullerton City Councilmen and candidates Travis Kiger and Bruce Whitaker, along with Greg Sebourn voted to turn back a $50,000 grant from the state to pay for those ridiculous DUI random checkpoints that are probably the least effective ways to corral drunk drivers.
Let’s let Fullerton’s in-house shrew, Jan Flory, herself a candidate that year, fill us in from an August 30, 2012 facebook entry:
OKAY, so let’s get this straight, our Tea Bagger councilmen (Kiger, Sebourn and Whitaker), voted to reject a $50,000 grant and send it back to the state because it was to be used for DUI sobriety checkpoints that they believe are unconstitutional. They did this without walking across the street and talking to Police Chief Dan Hughes, or Captain George Crum who wrote the grant application.
Whoops! They find out after the fact that $146,222 in additional grant funds were tied to the $50,000 for the sobriety checkpoints, soooo, if the $50,000 is rejected, then the $146,222 has to be turned back too. It’s not like our understaffed police department could use the money, right? Maybe they thought the state would know how to use the money better than we do at the local level. Massive miscalculation!
Miscalculation? Certainly, but not by Kiger, Whitaker, or Sebourn. The fact of entangling grant funding (if in fact it existed at all) was never shared with them by their own $200,000 City Manager, Joe Felz, or by $200,000 Police Chief Danny Hughes, both of who were just sitting there during the meeting. Why not? Possibly because they had every reason to try to embarrass them and help get Flory elected. The consequent to-do with a MADD mob orchestrated by the FPD, and quite likely with the approval of Felz and Hughes themselves, was quite entertaining. Whether they knew about a link at the time, they sure found out fast, so fast that one might suppose a little back-room political shenanigans.
So now, let’s return back to late August, 2012 and hear again from the vinegary Flory as she regales us with her demagoguery :