A Promise Was Made. Will It Be Kept?


More than a year (and a half) ago a majority of the Fullerton City Council agreed to put the idea of a three term limit to a plebiscite. Councilmembers Sharon Quirk, Pam Keller and Shawn Nelson were for it; Dick Jones and Don Bankhead were against it.

Dick and I aren't going anywhere...

At the time we ran this post, which we updated in last October. Well, Friends, with the impending June primary election the time has come to remind Quirk, Keller, and Nelson of their promise. It’s not that we don’t trust them, but folks just get so gosh darn busy and their calendars fill up.

But seriously: now that a year has passed and the cold reality of actually having to do something approaches, will there be political remorse?

We’ll soon find out.

Hey, What Gives, Pam?

This picture of our esteemed City Council done by some kid was recently featured on The Fullerton Observer’s “April Fool’s” back page. There was some sort of attempt at a joke that I didn’t get – probably because the Yellowing Observers are not known for their senses of humor. If you read the stuff you’ll see what I mean.

What I really don’t get is how come of all the council members, Pam Keller’s head appears to be photo-shopped on to this picture from a real photo. You can even see the stitching at the neck.

There’s a story behind this pic. Anybody know what it is? Now I’m really curious to see the original picture to see how the artist captured our Pam.


The Fullerton City Council held a special meeting the other night to address the City’s projected budget deficits. It ain’t pretty.

Man, that's a big ugly hole...

But even uglier was watching the discussion unfold on what to whack and what to keep when the discussion turned to the City’s membership in the California League of Cities –  a do nothing operation run by bureaucrats for the purpose of promoting their own policies. The annual membership cost is something like $75,000 – not an inconsiderable sum.

To their credit both Shawn Nelson and Sharon Quirk-Silva recognized the elective character of this annual expense and are willing to dispense with it – a gesture both symbolic and practical. And then into the breach to save the day leaped council members Don Bankhead and Pam Keller, relating how important membership in this organization really is. Looks like Dick Jones is the swing vote on this.

Mmm. Shrinp cocktail and Jack Daniels.

Hmm. Bankhead and Keller. League of Cities. Now why does that ring a bell?

Oh yeah, now I remember.  And here. These two spendthrifts attended the October 2008 League of Cities conference in Long Beach, a mere 25 miles from their front doors and racked up $400 per night waterfront hotel bills. Keller’s total was an embarrassing $1200+. Not even her die-hard posse could defend that profligacy.

Party hats extra?

The League of Cities is wonderful metaphor for government that can’t be bothered to control its spending and is accountable to no one. The real purpose of this operation is to give bureaucrats and ambitious local politicians a chance to hobnob, network, self-promote, and eat, drink and be merry on our dime. In some circles it is being claimed that Keller is using the League to wangle a seat on the OCTA, where her mission will be to promote Curt Pringle’s HSR agenda.

As long as free spenders like Bankhead and Keller promote this expensive joke we know we are not being properly represented.

And thanks to Nelson and Quirk-Silva for being accountable to the people of Fullerton.

Council Fusterclucks Mayoral Succession

Okay, Friends, this draft fell out the back of the blog sock-drawer and I just rescued it. It’s a couple weeks old, but still germane, of course.

At last Tuesday’s meeting we expected some fun on the agenda item of who gets to be mayor, but boy did we underestimate the Council’s ability to entertain.

Tanned, rested and ready.

Of course Pam Keller was still sore about getting passed over by the “good old boys” in December and still wanted to kick the issue around. Apparently Pam and her Posse of Political Whatevers had been doing some lobbying behind the scenes, because at the end of issue the council collectively settled upon a “policy” approach that will rotate the mayor gig via seniority. And Dick Jones is next in line followed, finally by Keller, presumably in 2012. Unless Jones declines the honor or hits the road.

The proceedings included the usual incoherent ramblings and musings by some of our council favorites and of course a Fullerton City Council meeting wouldn’t be any fun without Don Bankhead re-inventing history and suddenly claiming he was for this “rotation” system all along (even though he was part of the deal to keep himself mayor two short months ago, and despite the fact that there has never, ever been any system of the kind).

Did I do that? I don't remember. Where's Miss Fullerton?

In the end the promises don’t mean all that much. It still takes 3 votes to elect somebody mayor and by next fall there may be three brand-new council persons – some of whom may very well be disinclined to follow the “policy” set by their predecessors. On the other hand the mission of keeping Keller from running for re-election with the title “Mayor” has been accomplished by Ed Royce & Company. So maybe after 2010 nobody will care for another three years who the mayor is.

Fullerton Collaborative Website Vanishes Into E-mist

Gone. Poof.

For the past six weeks I have been visiting the Fullerton Collaborative website periodically to determine when, if ever, the Collabricorns were actually going to put any activities on their calendar. It was a complete blank. For the whole year. And that was interesting because the blurb above the calendar ever so earnestly solicited public participation in the many upcoming Collaborative events.

Mick said to paint it black...

I couldn’t figure it out. The Collaborative has a well-remunerated Executive Director, Pam Keller, and surely that type of administrative chore would fall under her job responsibilities. Having no calendar of events didn’t look too good. Was Keller just too darn busy? Too lazy? Does the Collaborative really not care much about public participation?  Or was there just really not much going on?

Now we may never know. On my visit to the website – www.fullertoncollaborative.org – yesterday, I was immediately shuffled off the the Collaborative’s “Facebook” page. Now that looks pretty bush league for a non-profit to suddenly take its website offline.

Will it be back? I sure hope so because I want to keep the dark calendar meter running – 35 days and counting.

The Pam Keller Recap

Let a smile be your umbrella.

Some man/woman calling him/herself 4th SD Observer started giving me and this blog a rasher o’ crap on a Pam Keller post yesterday; you know, we’re conspiratorialist wackos, yadda, yadda, yadda.  This technique is common in blog circles: you try to color your political opponents as paranoid, nutsy, weird, tin foil-hatted, cross-dressing Nazis – whatever. And of course their objective is not only to marginalize you, but to divert attention from your point.

In response I was inspired to do a Pam Keller recap.

And just so my “true colors” are not seen to be in anyway unclear, here they are: Pam Keller is a hypocritical, shallow, self-serving, irresponsible public servant (and employee) whose manifest conflicts of interest make her unable to serve her constituents honestly, and who seems to be incapable of demanding accountability on the part of herself or her underlings.

There! I feel ever so much better! A veritable catharsis.

Now let’s take a peek at some of the Keller record; and I’ll keep it short(er) by just looking at stuff that has been written about her on what “admin” likes to call “our humble blog.”

Here are some items for your consideration:

1. When she ran for office in 2006 Keller promised that Fullerton residents would dictate the direction of development in town. And yet within two years Keller had voted to approve the gargantuan, staff/developer driven Amerige Court and Jefferson Commons monstrosities that involved huge get-rich-quick entitlements for their sponsors and that would stick the rest of us with the environmental impacts. Only the recession intervened.

2. When she ran for office for in 2006 Keller promised not to take money from developers. Instead she solicited developer’s contributions to her Collaborative, revenue that supported her employment. And the developers were proposing the  Jefferson Commons and Amerige Court projects. Hypocrisy? Much?

3. In August of 2007, not even in office a year, Keller joined the now infamous Steve Sheldon (Jefferson Commons) $1000 per person drinkies-boat-ride-dinner fundraiser for Sharon Quirk. Also on board were the Pelican/Laing hucksters greasing the axles of their Amerige Court investment. Did Pam pay her way, or was it a gift from an importuning developer? Too easy. No prize for answering correctly.

4. Even though St. Jude’s Medical Center is a member and contributor to the Fullerton Collaborative of which Keller is the Executive director, Keller, as a city councilmember voted in December 2007 to approve their development  entitlements for its massive project west of Harbor Boulevard. Conflict? Much?

5. In August and September of 2008 Keller supported keeping the public in the dark about the fact that she and her council colleagues were negotiating a retroactive pension spike for City employees. She publicly castigated Shawn Nelson for disclosing the fact that the topic was being deliberately concealed from the public.

6. In October 2008 Keller spent over $1200 in public funds for bills run up at a fancy hotel while attending a League of Cities conference in Long Beach – about 25 miles from her house.

7. In June 2009 Keller enlisted members of the OCCCO to publicly promote the fraudulent Redevelopment expansion. They sure owed her a favor since her Collaborative had funneled over $25,000 their way in 2007 for “community organizing.”

8. In June/July 2009 Keller voted for the bogus Redevelopment expansion with its evident failure to indicate any blight. The findings were a lie. Of course the expansion area had been redrawn to exclude a property Keller owns so she could vote on it. How’s that for fancy footwork?

9. Also in June 2009 Keller supported the relocation of a McDonald’s franchise about 150 feet to the corner across the street from Fullerton High – to tune of 6 million bucks. The childhood obesity issue was embarrassing since one of the Collaborative’s mission is to fight it, not facilitate it. Keller only backtracked when it became clear that the jig was up. Later that summer she proclaimed herself a “fiscal conservative.”

10. In July Keller proposed a City of Fullerton blog – without any bloggers, of course. In other words a City propaganda vehicle that would disseminate filtered information and necessarily involve city employees in censoring the unpleasantries often associated with participatory democracy on the internet.

11. In August and September 2009 our investigation into the Fullerton Collaborative and its doings discovered that the vast majority of  Fullerton Collaborative expenses went to pay for Keller herself; that her hapless fellow boardmembers were woefully ignorant of her both her fund raising sources and her activities; and furthermore,  that since she was considered an FSD teacher and public employee, she got to maintain her benefits thereof, but was cut loose from any District supervision to pursue her dream of philanthropy and self-promotion.

We connected the dots for you.

12. In October 2009 as a city council person she voted to postpone debt payments to the City from…her employer, the Fullerton School District. Sharing smiles with her boss who was sitting in the front row.

13. In December she voted to approve the fiasco-in-the-making Richman housing project scam – another staff/developer driven monstrosity (see #1, above) that even fails to address Fullerton’s most pressing housing needs (if you happen to be persuaded by such SCAG priorities).

14. In January 2010 it became apparent that for $50,000+ you can’t even hire an Executive Director that will take the time to update her organization’s on-line calendar events. Move along folks, nothing to see here!

15. In February 2010 we learned that even though Keller is a treated as teacher (for her own benefit) not only is she freed from the drudgery of the classroom, but she has apparently failed to account for her time away from FSD on political junkets, etc., as all teachers are required to do. Of course this means the accrual of unused sick/personal day time. It turns out that some real teachers resent it. How odd. Naturally FSD is clueless. Naughty!

Oh, well. That’s enough for now. No doubt more dubious Keller behavior will surface in the coming months, and as it does we will surely share it with you; and just as surely Keller’s Posse of Political Whatevers will make looking the other way into a full time job.

The Stooge In The Middle

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.

I always prefer the middle

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.

The middle here I come

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?

Large clumps of hair went missing