Back in the balmy summer of 2007, the weather was great – just perfect to spend some time on the water. Lobbyist, front-man, promoter, and all-round cash-conduit Steve Sheldon (not pictured, left) hosted a cruise on his boat the S.S. Cash Cow around Newport Harbor, to be followed by a scrump-diddly-umptious dinner at a swank Newport Beach restaurant. It wasn’t free. Lucky invitees had to cough up $1000 a piece for the priviledge, and that ain’t chump change. The beneficiary of this lobbyist largesse: Fullerton City Councilwoman Sharon Quirk.
Now, Loyal Friends, why would Sheldon organize such an event? Because that’s his job! He represented the “developer” of the massive Jefferson Commons project over by CSUF that would require a general plan amendment and a zone change, demolition of historic buildings, loss of OP zoning, and the usual slide-and-glide job on the required EIR. When you’re in Sheldon’s business you don’t take chances, and of course you wheel your bets.
Any way you slice it, Sheldon performed a big favor for Quirk; and guys like Sheldon know it’s natural for nice people to repay favors.
Among the attendees of Sheldon’s nautical shake down included representatives of John Laing Homes and Pelican Properties – the would-be developers of the “Amerige Court” project – another mammoth project that threatens to consume downtown Fullerton.
And so (to return to our maritime theme) on one pleasant summer day, the developers of two of the biggest proposed monstrosities in Fullerton’s history spent a lovely summer afternoon schmoozing with Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Quirk – presumably sharing the wonderful plans they had for the future of Fullerton. There were a lot of good feelings on board that afternoon, even before the sun crossed over the yard-arm.
Hardly more than a year had passed before Quirk had voted to approve both these overbearing projects – with their dubious environmental reviews, and the evident negative externalities the get-rich-quick entitlements foisted on the rest of us.
Now, in logic there’s a fallacy known as the post hoc, ergo propter hoc, which means that just because B follows A, it doesn’t follow that A caused B. And we’re not claiming that Quirk’s vote was bought by the high-rolling developers and their front man. Quirk could probably come up with all sorts of reasons for supporting these projects on their own merit. We can’t think of any ourselves, but if you can, Devoted Readers and Friends, please feel free to share them. And if Ms. Quirk is reading this, she, too is invited to explain why these projects are so good for Fullerton. We will be happy to give her response its own post – but only if she promises to write it herself!