Introducing: Marty Burbank




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.

City staff enjoys strong Chamber of Commerce support...

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.

So Who Does Fullerton’s Chamber of Commerce Really Represent?

Our good friend Joe Sipowicz asked a really good question today on another post. Asked Joe:

How many Chamber board members have received subsidies, favors, or looks-the-other-way by the police in the past? Does the Director owe her job to the influence of City Council members? Inquiring minds want to know.

 Well, Joe, we have inquiring minds too, and decided to check out the Chamber’s board of directors. And what we found ain’t pretty:

A 21 member board. Lets review some of the members, who they work for and see what other telling associations we can discern (in no particular order):

1.Albert Napoli – MWD ( a government sanctioned utility monopoly)

2. Mark McGee – MG Disposal (sole garbage contractor for the City of Fullerton)

3. Burnie Dunlap– St Jude Hospital (former member Brea Redevelopment Agency!)

4. Daniel Kang – Grace Ministries (non-profit Church; beholden to City for gobs of entitlements)

5. Ron Hurst– Fullerton Marriot (Hotel originally built by money put up by the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency

6. Chris Reese – CSUF (a government educrat!)

7. Pat Butress – So Cal Edison (government sanctioned utility monopoly)

8. Jack Franklyn– Heroes (well-known recipient of City look-the-other ways for non-permitted construction and out door amplified music, etc.)

9. Kerry Stock – Costco (Fullerton’s original big-time redevelopment project)

10. Ryan Dudley – The Cellar (son of former Develpment Services Director, Paul Dudley – hmm THAT name sounds familiar!)

11. Cameron Irons – Vanguard Investments (and former partner in downtown restaurants operating out of Redevelopment subsidized buildings)

12. Leland Wilson – Realtor (former Mayor and Chairman of Fullerton’s Redevelopment Agency!)

Okay, we’ll stop there since we are way past a board majority; a majority of folks who have connections to redevelopment, government, family ties, or lots of reasons to be grateful to the City of Fullerton. And we mention in passing their Executive Director, Theresa Harvey, former director of the Fullerton Boys and Girls Club (non-profit operated in building owned by City, etc., etc.).

Please note that we have also passed over a couple of downtown bankers (that relationship needs to be explored), some sort of political consultant, and a lawyer. It appears as if the Chamber board is almost devoid of anybody actually making and selling anything. But, boy do they have ties to the Fullerton City government, government in general, or operate in government sanctioned monopolies.

Is there really any wonder why this crew supports Redevelopment expansion – the greatest anti-business threat in Fulleron’s history? Most of them are connected to the government, and hardly any of them are really in the kind of real, honest-to-goodness retail or manufacturing businesses of the sort that Redevelopment preys upon.

Bleeding Hearts Line Up for Redevelopment Cash


Apparently, the Redevelopment staff got the word out to those already receiving City funds to get behind this redevelopment expansion if you want to score brownie points and maybe a little more dinero.

Speakers at Tuesday’s hearing in favor of the expansion included Jim Ranii of the Museum Board. Of course, the Museum is not blighted (is it, Jim?) and is not eligible for any funding by expanding the RDA. Muckenthaler Director Zoot Velasco talked of the “hidden blight” in Southwest Fullerton. Let’s hope its not so well hidden when it’s challenged in court. And, Zoot, the Muck cannot receive any future loot, so why allow yourself to be used by RDA staff? Then the folks from OCCLA who want grafitti removal (714-738-3108) and code enforcement (they don’t need redevelopment for either), and the Chamber of Commerce director Terresa Harvey, begging for hand outs for her fellow board members like Scott Dowds (who also spoke in favor). And lastly let’s not forget old Louis Kuntz Sr., who supported the expansion as well. Not surprising, since his son Louis Jr. and the Morgan Company who already got an $18 million public gift (including the gift of a public street–100 block East Whiting) from the Agency for his downtown apartment complex…. maybe there are some more profitable projects looming for him in the expanded area.

Now you know what happened to E. Whiting Ave.
Now you know what happened to E. Whiting Ave.

Of course, their pleas had nothing to do with blight. In order to legally declare an area “redevelopment” the area must be blighted.

The process limps forward towards a legal battle, with Shawn Nelson and Sharon Quirk in opposition. At least Nelson and Quirk respect the law that they have sworn to uphold. Stay tuned.

Did NOCCCD Bond Oversight Committee Overlook Stadium Embarrassment?

It’s a sad truth that government projects just don’t seem to have much accountability. There are always lots of impressive titles handed out, but nobody ever seems to have a grip on what’s going on.

Oh no, not again!
Oh no, not again!

Take the NOCCCD Football field-to-stadium sleight-of-hand that took place at FJC. Somehow a project was altered without any policy review, CEQA documentation, or public notification. It only became a problem when neighbors found out about the deception and loudly protested. Who approved these changes? And who is this person’s boss?  We’d like to find out who is responsible for the now very expensive and increasingly embarrassing switcheroo.


And let’s not forget the so-called Oversight Committee – a group of individuals who were either kept in the dark or who had their eyes closed. It’s hard to find anybody who really takes these committees seriously, except perhaps voters who are persuaded by the Bond Salesmen that the committee will actually ensure some sort of accountability for the public’s hundreds of millions of dollars. Nevertheless, there they are, and so they have a responsibility to the public.

In June of 2005, the Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Director, Thresa Harvey was appointed to the North Orange County Community College District  Citizens Bond Oversight Committee as a representative of a “taxpayer group.” We’re not sure what a taxpayer group is since we all pay taxes (well most of us, anyway). In any case it was and is her job to comprehend what’s going on with the bond revenue projects. Was she misled? Did she even know what was going on?

Jeez, maybe we need to do this more often...
Jeez, maybe we need to do this more often...

Things have gotten to the point where even Fullerton’s City Manager Chris Meyer has produced a letter claiming the stadium violates the City’s General Plan, and the City is demanding an EIR. This is doubly ironic, since he routinely attends Chamber of Commerce Board meetings where Harvey can usually be found; and also because the City has been signally deficient when in come to CEQA compliance of its own favored projects.

But, to return to our main story: Who is accountable for this gridiron fiasco? Will we ever know? Probably not. But in the meantime the NOCCCD is facing the increased likelihood of an amended EIR for their stadium and some fancy footwork in the backfield if they want to build it.

Hundreds of Hornet fans disguised as empty seats...
Hundreds of Hornet fans disguised as empty seats...

Led Down The Garden Path; Fullerton on Track For More Redevelopment

Last night we sat through the horrendous hearing on Redevelopment expansion. It was really a pretty painful thing to have to endure.


City staff and their consultant put on a performance that can only be termed embarrassing. To describe it any farther would do an injury to my synapses, and so I’ll pass. Their presentation was eviscerated by Councilman Shawn Nelson and several speakers from the public – notably former Councilman Conrad Dewitte, former Congressman Bill Dannemeyer, GOP Central Committe member Bruce Whitaker; and perhaps the best of all, Jane Reifer . We note that our lawyer Bob Ferguson showed up too. We can smell a lawsuit coming.

The case boils down to this: you can’t create a Redevelopment project just because you need the money. It’s been done for years, but judges are finally starting to uphold the law. About time.

One of the words that the cheerleaders of the expansion kept using was “tool” and this sure was appropriate since city staff  and the Jones/Bankhead team dredged up a number of tools to come to the meeting and add moral support.

They're all so useful
They're all so useful

There was Theresa Harvey of the Chamber of Commerce who mumbled and stumbled her way through a statement clearly not written by her; a character by the name of Rick (or Dick – can’t remember) Price representing an outfit that goes by the hilarious name “Fullerton Positive” and wears smiley face buttons on their lapels; John Phelps – one of the biggest welfare recipients in Fullerton’s Redevelopment history ; and former councilman Peter Godfrey – who could only be seen from behind. It was nice to see Peter again, if only his backside, to remind us of his vacuous tenure on the council and recall that he was one Linda Lequire whip crack away from voting to keep the obnoxious Utility Tax.

get back in line little man..
get back in line little man..

As expected Bankhead and Jones were shilling hard throughout the hearing, Jones giving one of his brilliantly cuckoo rants complete with crazy gesticulations.

I can keep this up all night...
Once you wind me up and set me down there's no telling where I'll go...

Since Pam Keller recused herself, Sharon Quirk became the necessary third vote and she kept noncommittal, sensing no doubt the political pitfalls of either position. She asked a lot of questions that seemed rehearsed with staff, and acted like she wanted more information from the lame consultant. We have to question her sincerity since she’s already had plenty of time to lay out the ground rules before last night – the proverbial 11th hour. And so we got the strong sense of a kabuki performance. The simple fact is that Quirk could have killed the deal last night. The fact that she permitted the monster to live indicates she will be going for this when it comes back on June 18th.

Villagers, get your pitchforks ready
Villagers, get your pitchforks ready

Fullerton Chamber of Commerce Supports Big Government, More Government interference in Marketplace

Once you check in, you don't check out...
Once you check in, you don't check out...

It seems a little strange that an organization that purports to support the interests of business would allow itself to become an impotent pawn in a game run by and for city bureaucrats. And yet that is exactly what has happened.

This afternoon the City Council received an e-mail from Theresa Harvey, Executive Director of the Chamber in support of the proposed Redevelopment expansion on tomorrow night’s City Council agenda. The letter attached to the e-mail would be comical if there weren’t so many dues paying members of the Chamber who will get screwed by Redevelopment.

I'm Theresa Harvey and I Have Absolutely No Idea What I'm Talking About...

Harvey starts out by trotting out all the old cliches about infrastructure, housing and business climate. What she utterly fails to mention is how Redevelopment diverts a finite amount of disposable income of consumers from existing businesses to new ones; how it invites bureaucratic interference in business decisions, thus impinging on entrepreneurialism; how it requires business and property owners to endure the idiotic design review process; how it selects favored businesses and “developers” as winners, to the detriment of others. In short: Redevelopment does not work.  it is a government ponzi scheme that leverages bonded indebtedness off of property tax revenue; it discriminates against the majority of businesses in favor of a few; and any policy or program that discriminates against the majority of business is, by definition, ANTI-BUSINESS!

Ms. Harvey decorates her tribute to Redevelopment by citing the “charm” of downtown Fullerton. Anyone who has been reading these pages lately knows that whatever charm Fullerton has, it has in spite of Redevelopment, not because of it. Does she support giving away public sidewalks? Does she approve of squandering millions of dollars to move a fast food outlet 200 feet? Does she like giving away free public land to developers? She must. She must like it a lot.

I Represent the Biggest Business of All - Government!
We're the Chamber of Commerce and We Represent the Biggest Business of All - Government!

You would think that the businesspeople on the Board of the Chamber of Commerce would have enough sense to grasp these simple notions. But when you reflect on the fact that our old friend Dick Jones, a government educated doctor, used to be the president of the Chamber, the institutional dysfunction of this group can be discerned in much clearer focus. The Fullerton Chamber of Commerce has become nothing but a sissified adjunct of City Hall, confusing their own alleged mission with that of the City apparatchicks.

To the members of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce: stop paying your dues until your Executive Director and Board start defending business instead of government expansion and bureaucracy!