Archives for category: NUFF

Should we even try to fill in the blank?

Matthew Leslie

“The City of Fullerton is pleased to announce the Neighbors United For Fullerton will be hosting a public forum with Applicants for the City Council Vacancy at the Fullerton Public Library Conference Center at 6:45 p.m. on Monday, January 28, 2019.”

So reads a city press release advertising a hastily scheduled forum for the twenty five candidates who have submitted applications to fill a vacancy on the Fullerton City Council resulting from now-Mayor Jesus Silva switching from an at-large seat to one in District 3 in the November election. The forum will also serve as one of NUFF’s familiar meet-and-greet opportunities for candidates to speak directly to the public.

Awkward, a little? Perhaps, given that so more than two dozen people are asking the four members of the current council (or three of them, at least) to appoint them to fill out the rest of the at-large term that extends through 2020. It’s difficult to imagine how anyone will have time to properly evaluate so many candidates in such a short time frame. The forum itself is only happening because NUFF moved aside the program originally scheduled for this date and time to accommodate the City Council’s need for a meagre appearance of public process literally the night before possibly appointing one of these lucky Fullerton residents to the seat on Tuesday night, January 29 in during a Special Meeting called for that purpose.

To its credit, the city is live-streaming the forum on its Facebook page:

but no single forum can adequately serve even the four members of the council themselves in making an appointment that comes just days after the close of the application deadline. Most council members will no doubt simply ignore at least three quarters of the applicants, or more, in a tug of war to form a developer friendly majority for the next two years, with newly elected Ahmad Zahra holding the swing vote power to make it so. Let’s hope Mr. Zahra understands that joining forces with the likes of Jennifer Fitzgerald and Jesus Silva in supporting a candidate like Jan Flory or Larry Bennett will instantly relegate him to an insignificant minority voice on the council for the next two years.

Our best hope is a deadlock to force an election in November, but, meanwhile, enjoy the pretense of democracy tonight before the circus tomorrow night.

Some candidates from a past election in another city.

Some candidates from a past election in Luton.

Two City Council Candidate Forums and a “meet and greet” have been scheduled prior to the November 4 Election Day. First,

Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF) presents a Meet and Greet with the City council Candidates

Monday, September 22, 6:30 – 8:15 p.m.

Osbourne Auditorium, Fullerton Public Library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton

NUFF is a PAC that will eventually endorse two candidates in the race. The Meet and Greet is a good way to talk to the various candidates face to face, one at a time, in the same place. Each candidate will have a table set up in the auditorium, where voters can drop in and speak with them informally.

The Fullerton Chamber of Commerce presents

Fullerton City Council Candidates Forum

Tuesday, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton

Questions posed to the candidates in the forum are generally related to business in the city. An added bonus is the two minute introduction given by each person at the beginning of the program. There is nothing like letting a person go on about themselves and why they are running for office to give you an idea of whether or not they have anything substantive to say.

The Chamber asks attendees to RSVP in advance to 714-871-3100.

Just two days later in the same location,

The League of Women Voters of North Orange County presents a Fullerton City Council Candidates Forum

On Thursday, October 2, 2014, 6:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers, 303 W. Commonwealth Ave., Fullerton

According to the organizers, “All candidates for the Fullerton City Council have been invited to a forum where each candidate can be asked questions by the audience. The program will be televised by the City. A trained League member will Moderate the evening with an opportunity for you to ask questions by writing your question on a card. League rules include no campaign materials in the room during the forum, but a table will be available afterwards.”

Of course, audience members cannot directly ask questions of the individual candidates. Instead, cards are passed to audience members, who may write down a question in hopes that the moderator will ask it for them. All questions are directed to all candidates, resulting in a fair enough, if sometimes monotonous format.

The Rag appreciates the ongoing efforts by these organizations to present the voting public with forums where the candidates can distinguish themselves from one another. What we really need, however, is an honest argument between them. We need to hear them directly ask each other difficult and sometimes uncomfortable questions, like “how can you be objective about police oversight if the police union is spending money on your campaign?,” or “what alliances do you have with lobbyists in Orange County?,” or “Why is so much of your funding coming from out of town?” You know, the questions the other groups are too polite to ask.

Not registered to vote? Do it here:


Will Westwood work in Fullerton? Does it work in Westwood?

The City of Fullerton and Califronia State Univeristy of Fullerton are teaming up to promote a plan called College Town, and it has some residents of the city up in arms. The general idea is to transform an area at the southern border of the university into “a place where campus life and city life converge,” according to the “Vision” section of the College Town document available on the city’s website. CSUF has been a nearly exclusively commuter campus since it was founded, but in recent years the university has added dorms to provide on-campus housing for more and more of its students. The idea of a quasi-school space that spills out into the city around it, providing the feel of an actual college town, is certainly attracive for many reasons, but there are also some good reasons it doesn’t exist there now.

The most inconvenient impediment to this plan is Nutwood Avenue’s automobile traffic. The planners behind College Town would like to eliminate that traffic to create a cluster of mixed use buildings and plazas north of Chapman and east of Hope University. Residents in the area are fuming over the prospect of vehicular traffic moving over to their streets to reach other freeway onramps when a portion of Nutwood is closed.*

There is a steady press by the city and the university to promote College Town. Last month CSUF President Mildred Garcia welcomed community leaders, senior city staff and department heads, and university staff to a reception at the El Dorado Ranch.

At least some attendees perceived the event to have been scheduled, at least in part, to gently lobby community leaders to support the College Town plan.

Monday night, May 12, it’s City Manager Joe Felzs turn to pitch the plan to local residents. Without a current Community Development Director, it falls to the City Manager to respond to the concerns of many local residents who say that their neighborhoods are already overburdened with traffic.

Neighbors United for Fullerton (NUFF), a local political action committee (PAC), invite you to hear Mr. Felz speak about College Town and “other projects that are in the process or slated in the future for development in the City of Fullerton”.

“What About College Town” begins at 6:45 p.m. and ends at 8:30 p.m. at the only remaining branch of the Fullerton Public Library, in the Osbourne Auditorium (the windowless one downstairs). There is no charge to attend.

*An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that access to the 57 freeway from Nutwood would be closed entirely.

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