Candidate for Fullerton City Council Rick Alvarez has accepted a late contribution in the amount of $ 4,000.00 from a single donor, according to recently filed campaign disclosure forms available on the city’s website.
Mr. Alvarez missed the late October filing deadline for the Form 460 all candidates must file periodically or risk fines from the Fair Political Practices Commission. The missed deadline was noted in the latest edition of the Fullerton Observer in a feature compiling information about who is contributing to each of the seven City Council candidates. When asked to provide the information directly to the Observer prior to its publication deadline, Mr. Alvarez reportedly declined, saying he was “too busy.”
However, the Form 460 later appeared on the City’s website, and we can all see now why Mr. Alvarez might not have been so eager to have his campaign contributions made public in the Observer story—the last edition before the election on Nov. 4.
The huge $ 4,000.00 contribution came from a Shirin Hezar, of Corona del Mar, whose occupation and employer are is listed as “Self Employed, Collision Concepts.” According to Linkedin, Ms. Hezar is Director of Industry Relations for Pacific Elite Collision Centers. Assuming this job title is still accurate, the connection between Pacific Elite and the very large contribution to the campaign of Rick Alvarez, is troubling.
Pacific Elite Collision Centers owns fourteen auto body repair centers in Southern California. One of them is located at 600 W. Commonwealth Ave. Formerly known as Cone Collision Center, this business is located on property that also contains a former Chevrolet dealership, now a mostly empty parking lot, that is the potential site of a multi-story residential and retail development given 5 million dollars in leftover Redevelopment subsidies for affordable housing earlier this year. The project is described as 147 units, only 20% of which would be rented as very low income housing, and includes over 4,700 square feet of ground floor retail space.
The Waterford Group, who presented the project, have received the assurances of affordable housing subsidies, but have not had their project itself approved yet by the Fullerton Planning Commission or the Fullerton City Council. Such an approval would make the land at the 600 W. Commonwealth address far more valuable. If elected, Mr. Alvarez would be in the position of approving the project. If he is not elected and remains on the Planning Commission, he would be in a position to approve the development on that body instead.