About a month ago the Fullerton Police Department sent a preemptive letter to city households in advance of the trial of two former FPD officers charged in the death of Kelly Thomas. Chief Danny Hughes warned us that we would “likely read and hear reports about the trial, including comments and opinions both positive and negative, concerning the officers who were involved and the Fullerton Police Department in general.”
The letter also offered updates about the department’s efforts to improve itself. In a December 1, 2013 blog post about the letter I estimated its cost to be about $ 16,000.00, based on postage for each letter multiplied by the number of households in Fullerton. It turns out that I was not far off the mark.
During the Public Comments segment of the December 17th Fullerton City Council meeting another resident of the city objected to the expense of sending the letter. He estimated the total cost to be over six million dollars, based on the mistaken idea that it had been sent to every resident of the city instead of to every household. When asked to comment on any concerns raised by any of the speakers, City Manager Joe Felz was quick to point out that the actual cost of the mailing was “approximately $ 14,000.00.”
The Rag commends Mr. Felz for his ability to provide such a specific figure so quickly following unexpected comments on the expense made just minutes earlier by a member of the public. Such efficiency is only to be matched by not wasting thousands of dollars on public relations letters in the first place.