Here’s the ad that Marty Burbank has been running on local cable channels:
Getting government out of the way so businesses can flourish seems to be a popular message this year. Local business owners love to share their city hall horror stories, providing ample fodder for candidates willing to speak out against the bureaucratic nightmare that Don Bankhead has excused for decades.
It’s just too bad guys like Marty can’t extend that “get government out of the way” concept to the redevelopment agency, which harms the local economy in much the same way through economic interference, crony capitalism and the diversion of tax dollars from core services.
Oh well. Getting it half-right is better than nothing.
Dear Friends, we just received this fun post from a mutual Friend and I believe you will agree that it’s funny and pretty accurate. So enjoy.
Several years ago Morris Feinberg penned a biography about his late brother Larry Fein entitled “Larry, The Stooge in the Middle”. This clever and memorable title suggests a parallel to our own Fullerton City Council.
Twice a month first term Mayor Pro Tem Pam Keller takes her seat at the council dais between Dick “Moe” Jones and Don “Curley” Bankhead. In recent months she has become the crucial third vote to approve some dubious Redevelopment projects. No stranger to giving her stamp of approval to terrible developments like Amerige Court and Jefferson Commons, she is always careful to pepper the city staff with a few probing questions before throwing her support firmly behind it (“I got it Moe!”). Lately, though, with Sharon Quirk-Silva withdrawing her support for boondoggles like the recently approved low income housing on Richman and the illegal Redevelopment expansion, and Shawn Nelson voting likewise against them or taking a powder entirely, Pam Keller has cast the deciding “yes”, taking her place as The Stooge in the Middle.
Larry Fein had a long stretch as a Stooge, but Pam Keller is up for re-election this year. One has to assume that challenger Marty Burbank has come to boot Pam aside to claim the mantle of middle Stooge for himself. He has already signaled his worthiness of the title by shilling for the Chamber of Commerce in support of the aforementioned expansion of Fullerton’s Merged Redevelopment Area. Of course, we don’t know what else Marty stands for, since the “Issues” page on his website is completely empty, but we don’t suppose he means to bump aside fellow Rotarian Bankhead, who will undoubtedly endorse the new would-be Larry.
There are some wild cards in play, however. What if Shawn Nelson is elected as 4th District County Supervisor? What if the rumors are true that Dick Jones plans to step down sometime this year? There may be room for Shemp, and even Curley Joe to fill out the second half of as many as two council terms. Then who will be The Stooge in the Middle?
One of our eagle-eyed Friends has noted that for the past two weeks The Fullerton News Tribune’s Barbara Giasone has written articles about a fellow named Marty Burbank doing good deeds, here and here.
Well good deed doing is fine, and we applaud good deed doers, but really, were either of these newsworthy in any real sense?
See, the problem we’re having is that Marty Burbank has shown himself to be a big City Hall cheerleader in the past year, here. And on top of that he’s running for Fullerton City Council in 2010. So is it more than just the coincidence of a local minor philanthropist getting his name in the paper? Hmm. Since we had never even heard of the guy (or any previous good deeds) until last summer may we be forgiven a little cynicism? But really, wouldn’t the same thing have occurred to Giasone? Maybe it did. And maybe she’s just passing along stuff from a campaign PR guy.
A few items in 2009 have caused me to reflect on the way things go in Fullerton, the way things have always gone, in fact. My poodle friends have a saying: la plus ca change, la plus c’est la meme chose. Man, that’s Fullerton all over!
In Fullerton, no screw-up, no cluster f, no civic disaster ever goes away if the city staff doesn’t want it to. They’ll dig in their heels and start the ol’ push-back as soon as it looks like something they really want is about to get torpedoed.
Consider the absolutely horrible decision to relocate the McDonald’s outlet at a jaw-dropping cost of six million bucks. Not even the most compliant council could swallow that one, and ours pulled the plug on it (so we thought, foolish us!) last summer. But within a a few weeks, the Redevelopment staff cooked up a “new” plan for the brainless “Fox Block” scheme. And guess what? It too, involved relocating McDonald’s – just not all the way to the corner. Geez, wasn’t anybody paying attention? That episode was so bad that it really crossed the line of insubordination. But did anybody on the council say a word? ‘Course not. This is Fullerton!
Of course the real problem is is the sort of people that we keep electing to the City Council. The mentally lame, the incompetent, the inert; people who by political and personal inclination identify with the bureaucracy instead of the citizens and taxpayers of Fullerton; people who dodge responsibility. Of the current crop, only Shawn Nelson really seems to take offense at being lied to and led around by the nose like a prize bull. And speaking of bull, Sharon Quirk seems to have finally realized that her advisors have their own agendas that more likely than not are incongruous with the interests of the rest of us. Well, that’s some progress, anyway.
What will 2010 bring? More of the same, no doubt. This is Fullerton. If there’s any hope for us the brain-dead gerontocracy must go. And by gerontocracy I mean the ossified geriatric thinking displayed by councilmembers of all ages, and the interests they represent. Of course Bankhead must go. Jones, too. And Keller. But if they’re replaced with stooges like Marty Burbank or Pat McKinley what the hell’s the difference?
Well let’s throw out a few issues to track to see how bad, or good, things will be in 2010 as far as accountability goes:
Will the council finally once and for all end the Fox Block scam?
Will Keller, Quirk, and Nelson stick to their promise to put the issue of term limits on the June ballot?
Will the council quit wasting time and energy on the idiotic Transportation Center master plan?
Will the council give up on the bogus Redevelopment expansion?
Will the council ditch the moronic “at-large” members of commissions altogether?
Will the council demand accountability on the UP park scandal before they sink another dime into more Redevelopment of it? Will they tell the city manager to quit making unilateral policy decisions?
Will the council have the courage (very little required really) to forget the useless UP ROW “trail”?
Will the council quit subsidizing and encouraging illegal behavior by downtown bars and dance halls?
Well, really, the list is endless and the Friends could no doubt supply their own favorites. Bon chance!
Yes, Friends, it’s time to recognize the outstanding among us Fullertonians. And by outstanding I mean the brain-dead, the lethargic, the incredibly stupid, the greedy, the shifty, and, every so often, the actual achievers. So let’s start.
In the category of Stupidest Statements Made in Public in 2009 we have four nominees. It’s interesting because three of them center around the person of City Council woman Pam Keller.
1. First is Pam Keller herself with the now legendary “fiscal conservatives as the five of us are” comment. It’s not long but it’s pretty breathtaking. Here’s the link to the post.
2. Second is the loud-mouthed member of Pam’s Posse with no “political whatevers” who made a spectacle out of herself with a long-winded, lame, and ultimately satiro-brilliant string of drivel about why Pam Keller should be mayor. Although not nominated because she didn’t actually say anything, Saint Joan at the Stake in the background deserves special recognition for wonderfully pious gestures and glances skyward. Enjoy again.
3. Third, this wonderful piece of utter nonsense uttered by every one’s favorite hysterical corn pone pontificator, Dick Jones, on why you don’t change horses in mid-stream, and why Don Bankhead should be mayor two years in a row – because (not in spite of the fact!) that the City’s proverbial barrel bobs along in a “raging financial torrent” toward Doc Heehaw’s “symbolic Niagara Falls.” Great fun.
4. Finally, there’s this pearl mumbled out by Council aspirant Marty Burbank last summer: “as a lawyer” he doesn’t know if the Redevelopment expansion is legal, but of course he supports it anyway. Well he certainly demonstrates all the requisite qualifications to be on the Fullerton City Council with this gem.
UPDATE: HERE IS A POST THE HARPOON PUBLISHED LAST SUMMER. AFTER YESTERDAY’S ITEM ON A COUNCIL-WANNABE NAMED MARTY BURBANK, WE FIGURED IT MIGHT BE TIMELY TO POST THIS AGAIN – JUST TO LET THE FRIENDS GET AN EYE AND EARFUL OF A MAN WHO WANTS TO BE OUR LEADER.
WHAT A GUY. EVEN THOUGHT HE KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT HOW REDEVELOPMENT WORKS, HE IS PERFECTLY HAPPY TO SUPORT IT, MISCHARACTERIZE IT, AND START GIVING LECTURES TO THOSE WHO ARE JUST AS UNINFORMED AS HE IS.
THE COMMENTS WE RECEIVED WERE ALSO RIGHT ON.
When the Redevelopment expansion proposal was first trotted out by the City Council a while back, we noted that one of the orchestrated cheers came from a chap named Marty Burbank. Now, we had never even heard of Mr. Burbank until he popped up to announce his support of the plan that necessarily requires the City Council to making legal findings of blight where none exists, thus requiring them to mislead the public about the basis for the whole deal. Well, okay. Just another sycophantic Chamber of Commerce shill who doesn’t even appear to understand what he is cheering for. If he does, so much the worse.
But, as they say, the plot thickens. One of our pajaritos informed us that Mr. Burbank is not only a lawyer and an up-and-coming Chamber of Commerce figure, but that he has politicalaspirations, too. Well, that figures. This is Fullerton where knowledge of municipal government is an immediate disqualification for office, and stoogery always gets you a leg up. Sure enough, we located his website promoting a campaign for City Council in 2010. And the guy’s a Rotarian! Be still Dick Jones’ throbbing…er, heart.
Well, we hate to be spoilsports, but we don’t think starting out a campaign for public office by encouraging the City Council to perpetrate an illegal fraud is a great beginning.
Also we have grown a bit weary of the Chamber of Commerce being represented by “professionals” and educrats who really aren’t in business at all, especially when they perform as stooges for City Hall. And Chamber Executive Director Theresa Harvey is one of the biggest City Hall stooges we can recall – and that’s saying something! She is deliberately screwing all the Chamber members who will be ultimately hurt by Redevelopment discrimination and corporate subsidies.
Marty, Theresa, et al., here’s a quick Redevelopment primer and one you will take to heart if in fact you care anything about free enterprise and small businesses, or your members, for that matter:
Redevelopment favors a relative few selected businesses at the expense of the all the others in the pursuit to claim a share of a finite amount of consumer disposable income. Any government policy that favors a minority of businesses at the expense of the majority is, a fortiori, ANTI-BUSINESS!
Get it? Good.
Anyway, we’ll be keeping our eye on Marty and any other political aspirants who want to dump the Redevelopment load on the good folks of Fullerton.
Well, you’ve gotta give Marty Burbank credit for unmitigated gall; or as my friend Jeffrey Goldfarb’s Nana used to say in Yiddish: chutzpah.
This Chamber of Commerce/Repuglican/Rotarian/Redevelopment cheerleader-type zero (think Dick Jones and you have the model) who wants to be on the Fullerton City Council, recently sent this supplicating letter to 4th District Supervisor Chris Norby. One of our fearless white van investigators got a hold of it.
Marty wants Norby’s endorsement, and tries to grease up Chris a little bit about how much Norby loves his town and ergo should consider giving Burbank his endorsement.
But wait! Only two weeks before he sent his letter to Norby, Burbank was supporting Linda Ackerwoman in the 72ndSpecial Election primary; he made a contribution to her carpetbagging, lying, smear-filled campaign against Norby on October 9th. Burbank’s contribution went to fund the slime Ackerwoman threw at Norby.Oy vey!
It’s pretty clear that Burbank was following along with of many other Fullerton drones who were swayed by Dick Ackerman’s promises of easy victory lubricated by a big ol’ sack o’ Sacto lobbyist cash. Too bad Marty chose to participate personally in contributing to the defamation of Norby, as well as being a willing participant in the Ackerman, Inc scampaign, of course.
Now, we know Chris, and we know him to be a very forgiving kind of guy. But really, you’d think ol’ Marty could have waited more than a couple of weeks to come a knockin’ at Norby’s door.
Hopefully Norby won’t forget. We won’t. And that’s a promise.
UPDATE: HERE’S AN INFORMATIVE POST WE RAN A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO ABOUT HOW GOVT REVENUE RAISERS DO IT AND EVADE THE “TAXER” LABEL. THE OTHER GIMMICK IS ‘FEE” INCREASES. IT TELLS YOU ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACKERWOMAN’S HOLLOW NO TAX PLEDGE.
Yesterday we published an e-mail from Joe Sipowicz about the lame-brain “no tax pledge” signed by Mrs. Linda Ackerman, presumably to shore up uncertainty about her conservative credentials. She needs to.
As Joe trenchantly pointed out, there are all sorts of ways to raise revenue without calling them taxes. Let’s cast our minds back a few months.
Back on April 14 of this year, never dreaming of ever becoming a candidate for political office, Linda Ackerman went along with the pro-government revenue crowd – voting to raise MWD water rates by an astounding 19.7%. That’s right folks. A 20% commodity increase for the water MWD provides to local water purveyors – like the City of Fullerton; and to the OC Water District for basin replenishment.
Here’s the excerpt from the April 14, 2009 MWD meeting minutes.
47859 Regarding the water rates and charges, Business and Finance Committee Chairman Grunfeld remarked on the unprecedented amount of time both Directors and staff spent on the rates and charges, keeping in mind their fiduciary duties and general responsibilities to the 19 million people that Metropolitan serves via their respective member agencies. Committee Chairman Grunfeld then moved, seconded by Director Santiago, that the Board adopt the CEQA determination and approve Option #2 set forth in the revised board letter signed by the General Manager on April 7, 2009, with an amendment to add Item (d) and:
a. Approve an 8.8 percent increase in water rates, plus a $69/AF Delta Supply Surcharge for a total average increase of 19.7 percent, effective September 1, 2009; b. Adopt Resolution 9087 to Impose the Readiness-to-Serve Charge;
Minutes -9- April 14, 2009
c. Adopt Resolution 9088 to Impose the Capacity Charge, said resolutions entitled:
Resolution 9087: RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIXING AND ADOPTING A READINESS-TO-SERVE CHARGE FOR CALENDAR YEAR 2010
Resolution 9088 RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA FIXING AND ADOPTING A CAPACITY CHARGE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2010
d. Direct staff to work with the member agencies and the Board to evaluate the historical cost-of-service methodology utilized by Metropolitan, including a review of additional fixed charges, including property taxes, with the intent to ensure that all rates and charges recover the full cost of service when the Board establishes rates for the 2010/11 fiscal year .
Comments were made by Directors for and against the motion with emphasis on the treatment surcharge and decreasing reserves. The Chair called for a vote on the motion.
The following is a record of the vote on the motion:
Ayes: Anaheim (Dir. M. Edwards, 3,466 votes), Beverly Hills (Dir. Wunderlich, 2,033 votes), Central Basin Municipal Water District (Dirs. Apodaca and Hawkins, 11,185 votes), Eastern Municipal Water District (Dir. Record, 6,731 votes), Inland Empire Utilities Agency (Dir. Santiago, 8,440 votes), Las Virgenes Municipal Water District (Dir. Peterson, 1982 votes), Long Beach (Dir. Lowenthal, 3,984 votes), Los Angeles (Ayes: Dirs. Grunfeld and J. Murray. Absent: Dirs. Quiñonez and Sutley. 40,455 votes), Municipal Water District of Orange County (Ayes: Dirs. Ackerman, Dick, and Foley. Absent: Dir. Bakall. 34,917 votes), San Diego County Water Authority (Dirs. Barrett, Lewinger, Pocklington, and Steiner, 38,213 votes), San Fernando
Minutes -10- April 14, 2009
(Dir. Ballin, 150 votes), Santa Ana (Dir. Griset, 2,169 votes), Santa Monica (Dir. Abdo, 2,332 votes), West Basin Municipal Water District (Dirs. Gray and Little, 13,663 votes), Western Municipal Water District of Riverside County (Dir. Lopez, 8,456 votes). Total 178,176 votes.
Noes: Burbank (Dir. Brown, 1,803 votes), Calleguas Municipal Water District (Dir. Grandsen, 8,160 votes), Foothill Municipal Water District (Dir. J. Edwards, 1,272 votes), Fullerton (Dir. Blake, 1,457 votes), Glendale (Dir. Kavounas, 2,226 votes), San Marino (Dir Morris, 399 votes), Three Valleys Municipal Water District (Dir. De Jesus, 5,031 votes), Torrance (Dir. Wright, 2,186 votes), Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District (Dir. Robinson, 7,257 votes). Total 29,791 votes. Not Participating: Pasadena (Dir. Brick, 2,037 votes). Total 2,037 votes. Absent: Compton (Dir. Arceneaux, 362 votes). Total 362 votes.
The Chair declared the recommended water rates and charges and resolutions to impose charges for fiscal year 2009/10 passed by 178,176 ayes, 29,791 noes, 2,037 not participating, and 362 absent.
Thanks, for that one Linda! Anything else you’d like to share with us?