Archives for posts with tag: Fullerton

Dec. 5 Water Ad Hoc

Matthew Leslie

Fullerton has a Water Ad-Hoc Committee for the purpose of reviewing “… anticipated cost increases for maintenance and operations, as well as robust funding for the water system infrastructure.The Water Ad-Hoc Committee reviewed the last approved water rate increase in 2013, which saw a “phased five-year rate increase ending in Fiscal Year 2017-18,” with the last increase occurring just six months ago on July 1, 2018.

Ratepayers (aka Fullerton residents–you) are invited to attend the meeting tonight and provide input on the Ad-Hoc’s next recommended set of increases over the next five years. The plan calls for a 13% increase beginning in 2019, followed by additional increases over successive years, ending in 2019. The committee has been meeting since August of this year to “vet water rate increase scenarios proposed by the Stantec Consultants for recommendation to the City Council,” according to an article by Water Ad-Hoc Committee member Jane Rands in the Early December, 2018 edition of the Fullerton Observer.

The city’s cited reasons for a planned increase in water rates includes our crumbling water infrastructure, the “final expansion of the Orange County Water District’s Ground Water Replenishment System and “other costs,” but the Fullerton Observer notes that an increase in 2014 “intended for the city to be able to step up water mainline replacement from one mile to six miles per year. Over the last five years of increases, however, the City has not replaced more than two miles in any single year for several reasons.”

Paulette Poppins Departs copy

“I shall stay until the wind changes…”

Matthew Leslie

I have too much respect for the people in this community to continue to put them through this clearly toxic campaign.” –Paulette Marshall Chaffee, oblivious to the disrespect she showed the people of the 5th District by moving there this summer to run for office in the first place.

Paulette Marshall Chaffee’s carpetbagging run for Fullerton City Council has come to an abrupt and ignominious end, announced by an email to supporters on Monday:

Paulette Suspension Letter

Mrs. Marshall Chaffee moved into a condominium on the edge of the 5th District just in time to legally qualify as a resident to run for office there in August of this year. She previously resided in the comfortable 2nd District Chaffee family home, also the residence of Mayor Doug Chaffee, who is running for Orange County Board of Supervisors. Even longtime supporters of the Chaffees were taken aback by the brazen move to a district created as a result of a lawsuit citing the lack of Latino members on Fullerton’s City Council.

Disingenuous to the end, she doesn’t even mention the obvious reason for quitting in her weepy, self-pitying announcement, instead complaining about “animosity, negativity, and corrosive discourse,” as if her own inappropriate presence in the race wasn’t a major distraction from any meaningful discourse in the first place. She also charges no one in particular for a campaign that has “devolved into a debate about race and ageism,” which she “personally finds offensive.” She still seems completely unaware of, perhaps even incapable of understanding, how grossly offensive many voters found her expedient move from an expensive neighborhood up in the hills into a heavily Latino and less affluent district expressly for the purpose of running for office there.

The opening sentence of her swan song email begins with the proclamation “When the City of Fullerton voted to have elections by districts, I saw an opportunity to make a difference in the community I grew up in, went to school in, and have worked in for many years,” echoing the rationale of many carpetbaggers who think they are somehow entitled to represent a district where they haven’t lived for decades, just because they work there or “grew up there.” Yes, she “saw an opportunity,” all right, an opportunity to completely violate the spirit of the new district based system by simply switching residences when her husband, Doug Chaffee was unsuccessful in his attempt to have the council select District 2 as one of the two districts to go up for election in 2018.*

Nowhere in her announcement does she reference the two videos that have surfaced, each of which appears to show her removing signs critical of her campaign, one from private property, and walking away with them—not exactly an honorable, or legal, way for a credible candidate to behave. Indeed, such a thin skinned reaction to legitimate criticism and cavalier disregard for the law (from a lawyer!) demonstrated a lack of either appropriate temperament or character, making her unsuitable to hold public office. It’s a good thing that the people of Fullerton will be spared her services.

Hastily bowing out on the eve of a forum traditionally well attended by City Council candidates provided a swift answer to the question of what she could possibly do to salvage her campaign in the face of such an embarrassing and unexpected revelation of her activities. Needless to say, it was the proper decision to make, ending a campaign that should never have begun in the first place. Even so, a little humility would have been in order, but is nowhere to be found in her emailed explanation for withdrawing. Now that she has, let’s see how long it takes her remove her OWN signs from the streets of Fullerton.

*A decision from which he, arguably, ought to have recused himself. It is difficult to believe that he was unaware of his wife’s plans to run for City Council.

Coyote Hills Vista

by Angela Lindstrom

Reprinted from the Early October Issue of the Fullerton Observer

The Friends of Coyote Hills vs. The City of Fullerton and Chevron-Pacific Coast Homes (PCH) appeal was heard in court on September 20, 2018. The Friends sued the City in 2016 after it approved the West Coyote Hills Vesting Tentative Tract Map (VTTM) that gave Chevron-PCH vested right to develop the site. This was despite a successful 2012 Measure W referendum that should have overturned the City Council’s approval of the Development Agreement.

 The lawsuit was first tried in October 2016. The judge ruled against the Friends, reasoning that Measure W did not overturn or terminate the Development Agreement. Rather Judge Claster said it negated the Mayor’s authority to sign this Agreement. Therefore the Development Agreement never came into effect.

While this may seem like splitting legal hairs, terminating the Development Agreement is significant because the City wrote in other ordinances that upon the termination of the Development Agreement, all of the West Coyote Hills development approvals are automatically nullified.

The City holds the view that only they and Chevron-PCH can end the Development Agreement, not voters because that is the power the City gave themselves in the Development Agreement. In the event of a successful referendum, they have the option, not mandate, to terminate the Development Agreement (Section 2.3). Since they didn’t choose to terminate it after Measure W, all other development approvals are still valid; no auto-nullification.

That raises the question: what was the point of Measure W if the people’s vote could not overturn the Council’s approval of the Development Agreement?

The California state constitution grants voters the right to overturn laws made by their government.

The City Council approved the Development Agreement. Sixty-one per- cent of Fullerton voters rejected that approval. And yet, the City took no action to end the Development Agreement.

The appeals court judges challenged both sides on whether the Development Agreement was terminated by Measure W. Does the City have the last say to terminate the Development Agreement over the people’s referendum?

If so, what would be the point of a referendum? The Friends’ attorneys argued that when the Development Agreement was terminated by Measure W, all development approvals were auto-nullified — just as the City wrote in other ordinances they approved (No. 2011-32 and 2011-33, Condition 26).

Chevron-PCH’s attorney stuck to the lower court’s reasoning — the Development Agreement was never effective due to Measure W, so it can’t be terminated and that Measure W was a single-issue referendum. Fullerton voters were just trying to strike a better deal than the City for the development of West Coyote Hills. This case is not about the people’s referendum right he said.

 The City’s attorney argued that the Development Agreement was an exchange of public benefits for the City and private benefit for Chevron-PCH (vested right to develop West Coyote Hills). They would never allow the development to proceed without this guarantee, so after Measure W, it re-codified the terms of the Development Agreement in the VTTM (which is not subject to a referendum).

In a final remark, the Friends’ attorney pointed to recent cases where the California Supreme Court upheld the people’s right to referendum over city policy making that interfered with that right.

“It’s a complex case,” concluded Judge Bedsworth. 

The judges have up to 90 days from the September 20th hearing to publish a ver- dict which will be determined by agreement of at least 2 of the three judges. 

For updates on this and other Coyote Hills issues visit http://www.coyotehills.org 

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