An analysis of the 2-16-16 Fullerton City council meeting-By Barry Levinson


I took the time and effort to explain in detail (at least as much detail that the maximum 3 minutes allows), why College Town should be scrapped permanently and why I believe the city of Fullerton is pushing this disaster so very, very hard.


After I spoke, Joe Imbriano spoke about College Town and correctly stated that the Downtown Core and Corridor is College Town on steroids. (I have commented in past council meetings going… way back that the DCCSP is undemocratic as it gives the power to approve unlimited numbers of high-rise developments to an unelected bureaucrat, namely City Manager Joe Felz and any council member who votes to give their power away to approve individual projects to Mr. Felz is corrupt, period.)

Yet after all these extremely important comments, Not One Member of the Council addressed these two huge issues. But what did one avowed conservative member of the council address, a couple of $400 a night hotel room bills. Although I agree that over 400 a night for a hotel is a little excessive, it pails in comparison to the huge 800 pound guerrilla projects, College Town and DCCSP staring the citizens of Fullerton in the face.

The continued silence by all of our council members is very disturbing to me.

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400 dollar hotel rooms vs. a totally unwanted by the community College Town that will reek havoc with increased traffic, congestion, air and noise pollution, increased water usage we supposedly are short of, etc. etc. etc.

Can anyone on the council get serious about how this city is trying to push through projects that will basically destroy this city as we the people who have lived here for decades know it? The very sad part is that these projects are being pushed with no real good reason except to get the city out of a financial mess totally caused by this council’s and former council’s failed leadership and votes.

I strongly suggest that the 3 council members now running for reelection this November

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start discussing the real important issues now facing this citizens of Fullerton, such as College Town and the DCCSP. We the people deserve to know where they stand on these and other important issues, such as pension reform. I know Mayor Fitzgerald that Love Fullerton Day is a safe and cuddly thing to talk about, but how about discussing the very important issues facing Fullertonians.

Why would all 5 council members refuse to discuss the pros and cons of DCCSP and College Town after it was brought up by Mr. Imbriano and myself? When Mr. Curlee brought up the 400 dollar a night hotel bill, one council member both thanked Mr. Curlee and talked about it as well. Let’s see the importance of one or two $400 hotel bills vs multi-million dollar projects that if passed will greatly alter for the worse the landscape and the quality of living in Fullerton forever. It seems a no brainer on the relative size, scope and importance, which deserved to be discussed last Tuesday at council.

So in the coming weeks and months when these 3 candidates ask for your vote or ask for a campaign contribution, ask them to first clearly discuss their position on College Town and DCCSP on the record at a council meeting.

  1. #1 by Barry Levinson on February 19, 2016 - 9:50 am

    The city council I assume had to give the green light to put together the College Town Plan and approve the $300,000 we were told was spent on outside consultants, which does not include the cost of the countless hours spent by city employees.

    Yet there are so many glaring problems that shine a bright light on the proposal.

    In other words this proposal was not ready for prime time.

    I believe it is the responsibility of the city manager, Joe Felz to ensure that a major plan such as this one, be carefully reviewed by the city before being presented for approval. I guess he had 40 million reasons not to do his due diligence.

    For instance the plan included 4 or 5 alternatives that were not adopted but supposedly analyzed and considered by the city.
    Yet when one of the committee members asked the city how much would a pedestrian bridge cost over Nutwood (which was one of the alternatives), the committee was told that no such estimate of cost was ever determined.

    Therefore, it seems that the alternatives were never given serious consideration.

    It also seems that the city decided on closing Nutwood and then went about trying to justify the plan rather than seriously considering better alternatives.

    All these moves motivated by the almost 40 million dollars the city would receive in Park Dwelling Fees desperately needed to feed a city government with a large and growing budget deficit.

    The city once again shows its true colors by putting the needs of the special interests (public unions and developers) over the needs of the people of Fullerton. The 6% salary increase for next year for the police just approved, which is on top of an already 2.8 million dollar budget deficit shows a willingness by this council to abandon their fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Fullerton. The council also voted to spend additional millions to start to close the unfunded pension liability gap they themselves created when they approved a huge retroactive pension increase for both police and fire in 2002. Thank you so very much Council member Jan Flory who said while running again for council in 2012 that she new the pension increase was not a good idea but was pressured by the unions to vote for it and did so.

    It is just another example of how poorly our city is run.

  2. #2 by Anonymous on February 20, 2016 - 8:14 am

    You bring up a good point Mr. Levinson. How can all council members ignore responding to both Mr. Imbriano and your comments?
    I thought it very strange that Council member Whitaker would not take that golden opportunity to speak about College Town but then chose to speak about a $400 hotel room.
    A huge lost opportunity by Council member Whitaker.

    • #3 by We Deserve Better on February 22, 2016 - 2:28 pm

      Anonymous makes an excellent point. Why did professed fiscal and small government conservative Whitaker remain totally silent on both the College Town and the Downtown Core and Corridor proposals as discussed by both Mr. Levinson and Mr. Imbriano?
      Council member Whitaker is far to intelligent and savvy not to understand what is at stake here if either or both of these two plans are passed by our council. The OC Republican establishment supports major new developments as they have many wealthy contributors from the developer world and the OC Business Council. It seems that Council member Whitaker has been talked to by these special interests and told not to be vocal on these issues or else loose their upcoming support.

      It would be both a shame and a sham if Council member Whitaker continues his silence on these two projects and then when they are passed with a 4 to 1 or 3 to 2 majority (with him voted against them), then lament the results.

      Let us be very clear if that scenario holds, Council member Whitaker will be just as much to blame for the outcome as are all the other council members.

      Leaders lead and politicians lament results they did little or nothing to prevent.

      Remember he chose to ignore Mr. Levinson and Mr. Imbriano but congratulate Mr. Curlee and his concerns about a $400 hotel room bill.

      There very much appears to be something very rotten in the state of Denmark or should I say Fullerton.

  3. #4 by Anonymous on February 20, 2016 - 10:35 am

    I am quoting Mr. Levinson from one of his recent articles as follows:
    “As Albert Einstein once said: Doing the same thing over and over again and then expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity…. and I would add self-delusional as well.

    I would argue that those elected bodies frequently act more like a Private and Exclusive Club than a representative body of the people. Their votes so often ignore the will of the people, but help the well-connected special interests. They also seem to have this unspoken rule, not to openly and publicly criticize colleagues on their respective votes, even when those votes do not agree with their campaign slogans and/or promises. Does this rule help the people or does it shield the politicians from justifiable criticism on their voting records? Are elected officials trading their silence for future political support?”

  4. #5 by Barry Levinson on February 20, 2016 - 12:11 pm

    I have come to realize that when deciding which candidate to support, especially when being asked to support an incumbent, it is critical to separate what the candidate says off the record and what he/she will say on the dais or in front of a camera. The former comments means little if not backed up by similar statements on the dais.

  5. #6 by Reality Is..... on February 20, 2016 - 7:14 pm

    Barry. It appears that Joe Feliz is on his way into his retirement years and has named or created an assistant City Manager position. Any idea who is named predecessor is and what you think of him?

    • #7 by Anonymous on November 7, 2016 - 11:42 pm

      Nine months later and Joe Felz is still in the Fullerton City Manager saddle. We have heard nothing about his retirement that Reality Is thought would happen any day, nine months ago.

      Maybe there are too many skeletons in the closet for Mr. Felz to be comfortable retiring before the election results are in. With the same people in office, maybe then he can breathe a sigh of relief with the knowledge that he is totally safe as long as Fitzgerald and Whitaker are still on the dais.
      After all, a five million dollar finding was handed to the both of them and they conveniently buried it.

  6. #8 by Fullerton Resident on February 22, 2016 - 12:18 am

    Joe Felz’s retirement day will certainly be a day of celebration for the good people of Fullerton. How about we plan it for next week?

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