Tag Archives: Jennifer Fitzgerald

Did Jennifer Fitzgerald Just Admit to Illegal Lobbying on Behalf of Jamboree Housing?

Recently Jennifer Fitzgerald circulated to her closest supporters- via her Curt Pringle & Associates  email account – her opening salvo in the 2020 election, an email entitled “2019 – A Year of Resolution and Re-commitment”.

Plus a few people she thinks are her closest supporters. Whoops.

There’s a lot to digest here, and the amount of mendacity, outright falsehoods and terrible policy proposals would take multiple posts to unpack.

But one particular boast stands out above the others:

No, not the one about the budget (although it is absolutely galling how she can still claim she balanced the budget two years after the City admitted we have a serious structural deficit and four years after members of the public started noticing). Instead, look at her claim that “Looking back over my six years of service on the Fullerton City Council, I’m proud of newly constructed affordable housing communities with… Jamboree Housing.”

So what’s the problem? Well, as Curt Pringle & Associates admit on their facebook page,  Jamboree Housing is one of their clients. Which means that Councilmember Fitzgerald just bragged about breaking the law.

That’s the one.

Two important caveats. First, I know from attending most council meetings over the last four years that Fitzgerald has avoided voting on any agenda item involving Jamboree Housing’s low income housing development since obtaining residence at CP&A. However, Government Code Section 87100 doesn’t just prohibit an elected official from making or participating in making a decision in which he or she has a financial interest – any attempt by an elected official “to use his official position to influence a governmental decision” is also illegal.

Second, and probably more important, this is could be yet another example of Fitzgerald misleading her voters about her accomplishments (and possibly CP&A clients, given that this email was sent via [email protected])  and taking credit for something she had no role in, or claiming she accomplished something she did not.

“Hey, it was balanced for a few seconds!” – Jennifer Fitzgerald, probably

So which is it? Did she break the law and influence a decision that she had a clear financial interest in or does she just have a chronic aversion to telling the truth and chose to brag about her influence and effectiveness to Fullerton voters as well as potentially CP&A’s clients?

A quick poll of FFFF staff seems to indicate that “both” is not entirely out of the question as a possible answer, but maliciousness is in the eye of the beholder.

Downtown Rules Apply or They Don’t

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I’m in Downtown Fullerton as I type this post. Specifically I’m at an office space some friends and I are thinking about renting for our podcasts, the same office space I used for the live video on Flory’s appointment. I’m here because I wanted to reshoot that video owing to the technical and delivery problems of my first ham-handed efforts and I wanted to see how practical this space is for our purposes at night.

I knew the train schedules and checked the sound levels with a decibel meter for quality and started figuring out some of the technical things I wanted or needed to change. Then 8pm hit and I encountered something I hadn’t really planned around – live music emanating from across the transportation center.

Let’s get to brass tacks here; it was coming from the Slidebar – a favorite punching bag of commenters here on FFFF and some of the people I know around town. But this is a problem for me because generally I LIKE the Slidebar. I know Jeremy and he’s always been civil with me. I know Josh and he allowed me to take photos inside the bar back when I shot bands for a hobby. I have little desire to bother people I have no beef with personally and who have been cool with me historically.

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When I go after things I try to focus on issues and the people I think are causing the problems. I spill a lot of digital ink railing against Fitzgerald, Silva, now Zahra and so forth because I think they’re bad leaders and corrupt politicians – but I try to leave their personal businesses and family lives out of my posts, comments and claims as best I can because that’s not where my interests rest unless those things prove to be connected to some form of political corruption, grandstanding or malfeasance.

But tonight I got irritated. I got irritated because this city plays favorites and that favoritism, while common everywhere, shouldn’t exist from government and shouldn’t impinge on my ability to do my work in an office I want to rent. Further, the city lies about basic provable things because they think nobody will bother to call them out on their nonsense. I saw this when Fitzgerald ran all over Fullerton claiming our budget was balanced. I saw this when the city lied about Red Oak’s bonafides to convince the council to approve a zone change. I saw it and heard it again tonight.

Continue reading

Flory Wins Wheel of Candidates

Accountability? It was never on the agenda.

Well, that was predictable.

In fact, after breaking up the FFFF kitty last night, those betting $1 on Jan Flory only got $0.98 back. Everyone knew it was coming.

Why? Because Fullerton gonna Fullerton and the house always wins. There was never any real chance that anyone was going to do the right thing. Ahmad Zahra of 2018 has clearly been through the establishment sheep dip, emerging as the self-righteous lecturer Ahmad Zahra 2.0 of 2019.

You didn’t know what the NUFF forum was for you to learn about a candidate so you could come speak your piece during last night’s public comment period? Ahmad is offended!

You don’t care about Ahmad’s latest sob story justifying his total lack of conviction to do the right thing by the voter? Ahmad is offended!

You expected Ahmad to abide by his word and not vote for someone lobbying for a position that hadn’t even been announced? Ahmad is offended!

Well, we can see where this is going to go for the next four years. Maybe we’ll start keeping a list of reasons why Ahmad is exempt from being held accountable for his own actions and statements. Excuses seem to be his tool of choice.

As for Jesús Silva, Fullerton’s next liberal lion, he just sold out his wife and the rest of Fullerton’s liberal cabal by granting a third vote to continue enforcement of Chevron’s development agreement for West Coyote Hills. There’s a flip flop that would even make Doug Chaffee envious. Sorry Fullerton, the bulldozer is coming, all thanks to Jesús.

No surprises from Fullerton’s Queen-of-Mean Jennifer Fitzgerald. One has to wonder what all those whispers between her, Ahmad, Jesús, and City Manager Ken Domer were all about.

As the council begins to tackle the problems created by their predecessors, at least they’ll be able to look over to the left and ask Jan Flory directly, “Remind us again, why did you do that?”

We, the collective imbalance that is FFFF, look forward to hearing how Indivisible types attempt to exculpate themselves as they realize their progressive reformers are actually no different from the cronyistic corporatists they despise.

Will Ahmad Zahra Hold Firm?

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Back in December, in his first at-bat, Ahmad Zahra surprised me by speaking of the Constitution and transparency whilst simultaneously voting against FitzSilva in their attempt to appoint Jan Flory to Council. Zahra was on fire with gems such as:

“My decision is going to be contingent upon us making sure that the appointment process is fair and open and transparent. So until we can make that decision, I don’t see how we should take votes away from people.

“The question is, is there a fairer and open and more transparent process than voting itself? Can we come up with that? Can we come up with something better than what the Constitution come up with? That is my question for the council. I’m leaving my decision until I hear other council members.”

Tonight we get to find out if Zahra is a man of principle standing by his own talking points at the last meeting or if that was all simply a clever flex to show who has the real authority on this issue in an effort to get his preferred pick onto council.

For those new to the story here’s the gist as I understand it —

Jesus Silva wanted incumbency in 2022 and thus opted to run for the District 3 seat on council.

Council then chose to change the law ON ELECTION DAY in the case Silva beat Sebourn in order to limit the options for voters.

Silva took home the ring on election day and in winning he vacated his at-large seat which runs until 2020.

Then in December the dynamic duo of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva testily complained that they needed Ahmad to go along to get along in order for them to get what they wanted. Zahra didn’t go along which brings us to today.

Tonight we’ll watch as FitzSilva likely tries to lay it on thick and blame Ahmad for the cost of the election should he choose transparency and an election (as he did back in December). This is posturing bollocks but I’m wondering if he’ll stand firm. Both he and our residents need to know that the fault here lies partially with Silva for running, partially with council for changing the city ordinance, ON ELECTION DAY, to facilitate this choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, but really the fault lies with our City Attorney The Other Dick Jones for offering terrible advice and putting us in this situation in the first place. Zahra is blameless here on the issue of cost should he choose openness and transparency by way of a special election.

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Prepare for the same shenanigans with FitzSilva promising a fictionally transparent process in this city which is allergic to the very premise of transparency. The same transparency which had Jan Flory meeting with at least 2 (if not 3) current council members and bringing a cabal of people to lobby for her to be appointed without the citizenry any the wiser. THAT type of so-called transparency should be rejected and here’s hoping that Councilman Zahra continues to impress the way he did during at his last at-bat.

You Gotta Spin It to Win It!

Looks like Fullerton will reconsider its options concerning the existing City Council vacancy tomorrow.  The current agenda goes into detail concerning the city’s options, including when a Special Election might be held, how much it would cost, and what a plan might look like if the Council were to appoint to fill the vacancy by February 2.

We’ve been trying to keep tabs on who’s playing Fullerton’s version of Game of Thrones here. So far, the only person known to openly campaign for the seat is former councilwoman Jan Flory.

So, which option will it be?

A) An unelected bench warmer who likely has no moral authority to do anything other than break tie votes

or

B) Taxpayers spending $400,000 to elect an independently wealthy or political action committee dominated Fullertonian who is only running to secure incumbency in District 1, 2, or 4 for another election in 2020?

Don’t you love choices with no downsides?

Find out who wins (someone) and who loses (you) tomorrow, when we play WHEEL. OF. REPLACEMENT CANDIDATES!

Ahmad Zahra 1, FitzSilva 0

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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.

Then Zahra showed up to play ball and stomped on my assumptions. Continue reading

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Is the Flory Rumor True?

FergusonDeadWrong-Flory

Except we do, and our own budgets prove it.

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 structural deficit. 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.

Funeral for Fullerton’s GOP on Tuesday

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There has been a lot of talk lately about the problems, changing issues and demographic shifts which have basically killed the CA and OC (R) parties. We’re yet to really see anybody do a post-mortem on Fullerton so here I am to explain why Fullerton is going to get higher taxes and no accountability in the days to come using just our recent past.

While Gil Cisneros bought and took a long held (R) Congressional seat and Doug Chaffee bought and flipped a (R) Supervisor’s seat, the shift in parties in Fullerton is more nuanced and problematic.

Fullerton’s (R)s aren’t in demise because Silva beat Sebourn – Fullerton completely lost their (R) bonafides when Jennifer Fitzgerald joined our council.

Fullerton, for the last 6 years, had a 3-2 (R) majority on council. You wouldn’t know it, because despite being a (R) and a darling of the (R) power brokers in OC politics such as Ed Royce, Shawn Nelson and the rest, she spent more time voting to give the 2 (D)s a majority on council than standing behind her own talking points and election material. Cronyism? She’d vote for it. Non-competitive contracts? Yeaup. Huge pay and benefit giveaways to our heroes? Obviously. There rarely seemed to be an issue on the (R) platform she wouldn’t throw to the wolves. While this isn’t new for Fullerton (R)s, per se, Fitzgerald encapsulates everything that has cost the (R)s so dearly. Sure, she made some noise on SB54 that comes out of the quasi-GOP handbook but that wasn’t a policy issue that impacted Fullerton so much as a soapbox to pretend she has some sort of principles.

Over the years Jennifer Fitzgerald was always ready to vote with Doug Chaffee and especially Jan Flory in order to shaft taxpayers and give government employees, employees with no accountability or real oversight, more and more and more while our services dwindled and our city suffered.

I can’t even count the times that fellow (R)s Bruce Whitaker and Greg Sebourn were on the opposite side of the vote from Fitzgerald.

When she ran in 2012 she ran on ending pension spiking and all of the things that (R)s claim to care about and then she spent 4 years betraying her entire campaign website. Yet this isn’t just a post-mortem of Fitzgerald’s current time on council. This is one of the OCGOP and Fullerton (R)s.

Her abysmal record should have sent her packing in 2016 but instead the OC GOP stood strong behind her with Royce, Nelson and the rest handing her endorsements and support which helped her secure more funding and the W. All this in spite of flat out lying about Fullerton’s “Balanced Budget”.

When your party has no ideology and will support cronies for the sake of cronyism you become nearly indistinguishable from the opposition – especially when you vote with them the majority of the time.

It was no surprise that Jesus Silva beat Greg Sebourn in Fullerton’s 3rd District. I like Greg and I think he is a better choice for council but he isn’t on the payroll of a lobbying firm and doesn’t seem to play the crony game and therefore the OC GOP had little use for him and let him twist in the wind. Bruce Whitaker was the obvious choice for LA/OC/SB (R)s to send to Sacramento in the Newman Recall and yet they backed the empty suit that is Ling Ling Chang. All of these problems are the makings of the blind allegiance of (R) voters to their party elders who do nothing but sell them out.

Fullerton has real problems which require real solutions. Our budgets are getting worse and our services are getting sparser. By way of example, we don’t have the staffing to read water meters within the required 60 day window of billing cycles so people are being overcharged for water and there seems to be no recourse. Our parks are falling apart unless we manage to secure state grants to fix them and our roads continue to be in terrible shape. The list of issues that are going to require adult math and belt tightening, especially in regards to Police and Fire, is long. Continue reading

A New Council Member on Tuesday?

18Dec2018 Council Meeting

The agenda is online (HERE) for next Tuesday’s council meeting and the one major item of note, item #3, is the possible appointment of a council member to fill out the remainder of Jesus Silva’s abandoned at-large seat.

Item 3 States:

3. On December 4, 2018, Council Member Silva was sworn in as the District 3 City Council Member. This created a mid-term vacancy in Council Member Silva’s prior at-large City Council seat which expires in December 2020 and requires the City Council to consider the legally available alternatives for filling the vacancy.
Recommendation by the City Clerk’s Office:
  1. Appoint a qualified individual to the fill the vacancy through the remainder of the term, either through direct appointment or following a process for applications and / or interviews and / or other steps as determined by City Council.

  2. Direct Staff to prepare resolutions to call a special election to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term for consideration at the next City Council meeting.

  3. Continue discussion to the January 15, 2019 City Council meeting.

This agenda item, according to City Manager Domer, was written intentionally vaguely so that council can do whatever they want on Tuesday. If they want to just appoint somebody on Tuesday, solidifying the premise that they’ve already been wheeling and dealing behind closed doors, then they can appoint whomever they want. If they want to take a different path, such as an election, they can direct staff to start that process as well.

This item will be somewhat fun to watch because of how it played out up to this point. It only matters because Silva beat Sebourn. As for the ability to appoint a crony to fill out Silva’s seat, that was passed 3-1-1 with 2 (R)s swinging into the Yes column on 16 October 2018 and again 3-1-1 with Fitzgerald ($R), Whitaker (R) and Silva (D) voting for this move on 06 November (election day) 2018.

Direct Appoint Council Vote

If another liberal (D) ends up on council after Tuesday, the (R)s in Fullerton will have nobody to blame but their own council majority. A council majority that this vote could cost them.

UPDATED: Corrected the 06 November vote. A previous version claimed it was 5-0 when it was the same 3-1-1 as the 16 Oct meeting.

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A New-ish Council This Way Comes

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Tonight Doug Chaffee and Greg Sebourn leave the Fullerton City Council and Ahmad Zahra gets sworn in to be the first to represent District 5 on the dais. This wouldn’t be Fullerton if that’s all that was happening tonight – a simple transition of (some) power – but true to form our current Mayor (for a few more hours), Doug Chaffee, opted to ram a pet project down the council’s throat one last time. An unsolicited bid to turn the parking lot used for Train Days into a “boutique” hotel without the pesky bother of worrying about competition or opening a bid process. He wants this to happen now, NOW, NOW! because… reasons. It’s such a great idea that Chaffee doesn’t trust the council to pick it up without him which means he either thinks they’re too stupid to know a good thing when they see it or it’s not… wait for it… a good thing.

Ah the smell of cronyism.

While we’ll eventually get to say goodbye to a few members and add Ahmad which should be the only focus tonight, first we have to see if Jesus has been bought off and has changed his tune on competition. A tune that he sung only 2 weeks ago, mind you.

After that first crony, I mean agenda, item has been dealt with the council will move on to the actual (partial) transition of power.

For those not keeping track here’s what will happen tonight:

Jesus Silva moves from at-large to the District 3 representative. This will leave his at-large seat open until council decides to fill it or holds a special election.

Bruce Whitaker and Jennifer Fitzgerald will stay status quo.

After tonight we’ll also have a new Mayor (likely Silva) and a new Mayor Pro-Tem (likely Fitzgerald). As for the empty seat – don’t forget to comment on who you think will be the appointed council member in our Wheel of Replacement Candidates thread.

We doubt there will be any surprises tonight but we’ll keep you posted as always friends.