Matthew Leslie

A remarkable thing happened during the August 2 Fullerton City Council meeting. During the long period of comments offered by members of the public, one in the parade of stooges supporting Map  8A, the bar owner map, admitted that it was indeed about development. Referencing his own half term as Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald’s appointee to the Fullerton Planning Commission, Sam Han cited the need for all five council members to have a voice in planning developments downtown.

Of course, every city council member is responsible for planning decisions all over the city now, and would be under a district elections system too. What Mr. Han and his fellow Stooges for Fitzgerald find alarming is the idea that a member might be elected by the downtown area residents to make the case for responsible planning decisions in the area, instead of packing it with cheap high-rise apartments. Map 8A idiotically divides the downtown into five pieces, robbing the area residents of a community voice.

Calling Downtown Fullerton the “face of our community, moving forward,” Sam Han stated that “when you have planning decisions, every city council (member) has to be responsible for those planning decisions, and I fear that if we go with Map 2B, yes, I agree there are merits to both maps, but I think in Map 8A the long term strategic planning of our city from what downtown could become, it would be more wise for the council to adopt those decisions.”

One could hope that Mr. Han’s sermons are better composed and delivered than his wandering comments at public meetings, but we take his point to be that it’s all about development.

Note that Sam Han clearly stated, this time, that he spoke only on behalf of himself and his family. The last time I wrote about Sam Han it was to question his claim that his words of support for Map 8 (now 8A) were on behalf of the “five thousand members of our church” referring to Grace Ministries, an almost exclusively Korean-American Church located on Brookhurst and Commonwealth, where he serves as a pastor.* (See Jesus Loves the Nightlife?…).

Earlier in his comments Mr. Han acknowledged that many other members of the Korean community were there that night to support a different map, and oppose Map 8A, but that he disagreed with them. Their support for a different map was a wise choice on their part, since each of the three other maps drew an Asian voting majority in the northwest area of Fullerton. Only the makers of Map 8A, supported by Mr. Han and his patron, Mayor Fitzgerald, somehow managed to formulate a northwest district without a majority Asian voting population, quite the high wire act. Jennifer Fitzgerald happens to live in what would be the northwest district in Map 8A. Coincidence that it doesn’t have an Asian voting majority? What do you think…?

 

*When he is not serving as District Representative for 68th District Sate Senator Donald P. Wagner (R).

 

Fitzgerald State of City Campaign Website Comp copy

The taxpayer funded State of the City videos, as they appear on Jennifer Fitzgerald’s campaign website.

Fitzgerald State of City Campaign Website 2

The “Economic Development” segment of the taxpayer funded State of the City video, as it appears on Jennifer Fitzgerald’s campaign website.

Matthew Leslie

Jennifer Fitzgerald’s super slick, professional re-election campaign website features something that should surprise and anger voters. Scroll down past the billboard sized images of the candidate to find prominently displayed the five-part “State of the City” video. Separated into subjects like “Quality of Life,” and “Economic Development,” the video was presented in April as a regular part of an annual fundraiser for the local Chamber of Commerce. The video is also available on the City of Fullerton’s website, because the city pays for it, and it isn’t cheap.

City of Fullerton State of the City

2016 State of the City video as it appears on the City of Fullerton’s website.

The 2016 State of the City video was produced by Pipeline Digital Media of Fullerton. (You may have seen Pipeline’s Todd Huffman on the evening of August 2nd shilling for the awful district elections Map # 8A, supported by Jennifer Fitzgerald.) The City of Fullerton’s check register shows two 2016 payments to Pipeline Digital Media in the amounts of $ 9,600.00 and $ 15,700.00, as well as three other payments to the company in 2015. One cannot ascertain from the check registers provided which of these two payments might have been made for the State of the City video, but a Public Records Request filing should provide that answer.

City of Fullerton Pipeline Screen

The State of the City, produced by Pipeline Digital Media.

What is certain is that Jennifer Fitzgerald’s campaign didn’t pay for the video, because it isn’t listed on her Form 460 campaign filings. If someone else paid for it, it should be listed as an in-kind donation to her campaign. No such in-kind donation appears on her 460 filings either, so we can only assume that Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald is appropriating an expensive, taxpayer funded video meant to promote the city for her own personal political campaign. Is it realistic to think that no one at city hall has noticed?

pipeline_3-11-2016

City of Fullerton check register showing a $ 9,600.00 payment to Pipeline Digital Media on March 11. 2016.

pipelinedigitalmedia

City of Fullerton check register showing a $ 15,700.00 payment to Pipeline Digital Media on May 13, 2016.

 

Matthew Leslie

District elections Map # 8A splits the entire downtown residential district into five separate pieces, an idea so obviously stupid that the bar owner map’s supporters had to line up a veritable parade of stooges to speak in its favor during last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Many of these speakers had something to gain from the scheme, as we’ll see in later parts of this story. Others, well, one has to question both the judgment and humanity of whoever put Don Bankhead up this task.

Mr. Bankhead made a rare appearance in the chambers he occupied as a councilman and mayor for so many decades, “over thirty years,” he claimed that night, even though he served for only 24 years.

We begin this clip with Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald, who couldn’t keep the exasperation from her face as Mr. Bankhead approached the podium and then began his comments with an audible grunt. Next, Jan Flory and Don Bankhead shared a chuckle about who was going to kill him first, Ms. Flory or his wife, if he ran for office again. My money is on Jan Flory.

Mr. Bankhead unintentionally made a terrible argument against district elections by opining that things ran pretty well the old way, without districts, presumably when he was on the council. He followed it with a pretty good argument for the proposed new system by noting that “the only benefit” candidates would receive would be that they would only have to walk their respective districts during election season, and not the entire city, as he recalled having done when he ran for office. Somehow, I don’t imagine Don Bankhead knocking on doors in every part of the city. I never saw him at my door.

Throughout his comments he repeatedly confused the names of maps 2B, the map supported by Kitty Jaramillo and others, and 8A, which he was obviously supposed to support. The twice-recalled former councilman voiced his support for map “2A,” though there was no such map before the council that night. Even when queried by Jan Flory and then corrected by Jennifer Fitzgerald, Mr. Bankhead tragicomically stuck to his guns, insisting that “2A” was “the one that we’re here to talk about.” In other words, it was just like old times, when he was serving on he council, but without the highlighted script for him this time.

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