In My Continuing Series Concerning Our Upcoming November Fullerton City Election, I Lay Out Some Of The Parameters Fullertonians Should Consider Before Voting For The Next 3 Council Members.


Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson

In This Context, I Also Discuss The Major Issues That Faced Fullertonians In My Last Run For City Council And How Those That Were Elected Did Not Meet The Needs Of Our Citizens.  By Barry Levinson

 

One of the things I have learned with my close involvement in city government is the following:

Regardless of our party or philosophical differences, especially on the local level, the most important qualities of any candidate for office are integrity, honesty and courage.   First you must have integrity and honesty to be able to serve the people well.  Second, you must have the courage to follow through to always do the right thing.

 

In November 2012, with regard to the major issues facing the voters, I believed the majority of voters agreed with my positions.  I was one of the few major candidates who clearly were in favor of making West Coyote Hills into a park.   61% of the voters that year agreed with me.  I also was for real police reform and oversight, which I believe had and still has a lot of Fullertonian support.   I was for changing the priorities of our then current city council to actually move away from special interest support to supporting the needs of Fullertonians…i.e. roads, infrastructure, library funding.   In order to meet those goals we have to have public pension reform.   Probably the major reason for the lack of funds to take care of our infrastructure is that too much money goes to pay for our public employee benefits packages.  I have spoken out often about the council voting time and again for high density and high-rise developments, which are greatly diminishing the quality of life for all Fullertonians.  These are universal issues that have a great deal of support from both left of center and right of center voters.   I lost that election, yet all three winners were against making W. Coyote Hills into a park.  (You see how undemocratic our Fullerton election system really is, where 18 to 20% of the total vote gets you elected every time.)  Flory and Fitzgerald were vehemently against an independent police oversight board.   I do not recall any of them talking about increasing the funding for the library, so as not to have at that time the Hunt Branch Library opened only two half days a week and restoring the book mobile for those who can’t get to the library.  Why was I for restarting our bookmobile rather than having the vehicle sit idly by in the Fullerton Library parking lot for years as well as restoring the hours of operation for both the Main Library and the Hunt Branch Library.   The answer is simple.  All public libraries are there to serve the public, the entire public.  I believe it is one of the major duties of any well-run city government to ensure the availability of that asset to all citizens.  It is also a great resource that allows children and adults alike with limited finances to have access to a world of information, books, computers, magazines, etc.

 

If you look at the above list of positions, I believed I had a good chance of winning one of the 3 open seats that year.   It was not to be.  After falling short of my goal to get elected to work for real reform, I did not get discouraged.  I decided to double down on my activism to speak out on all the major issues facing Fullertonians.   Based on that effort, I have had a real impact on our city council.   I have led the charge against the original DCCSP in 2014 and subsequent smaller versions of the same, labeling it correctly as an undemocratic power grab by unelected City Manager Joe Felz.  I said this for it would have been Joe Felz that had complete approval authority for all the many multi-million dollar projects that would have fallen under the DCCSP umbrella.  I uncovered a very suspicious activity, as it related to the management deal for the Fullerton Golf Course and the associated bond issue.  I very well documented this will cost the taxpayers in lost net revenue between 4 to 5 million dollars over the course of a 20-year period starting in 2010.  Therefore, the council’s refusal to not only agendize this issue but to not ask me one single solitary question about this analysis by a trained auditor (myself) is so incredibly telling about each one of our five council members, Bruce Whitaker, Jennifer Fitzgerald, Jan Flory, Greg Sebourn and Doug Chaffee.   In other words they are ignoring what I believe to be an ongoing problem, which means they are ignoring their respective fiduciary responsibilities to the Fullerton people.  There have been many other issues that I have spoken out about along with many other fine Fullertonians.  When the community speaks out load and clear, it many times changes votes and outcomes on our Fullerton City Council.

 

So for those Fullertonians who would say that their involvement in city affairs is a waste of time, I say politely but firmly, you are mistaken.  Ordinary citizens can and do have a direct impact on the actions of our city government.  It is not easy and it certainly requires diligence and a whole lot of time and effort, but it can and has been done many times.

 

You might ask will this political process ever stop being an uphill battle against many of the very elected officials we put into office?  My answer is that we must always be vigilant as citizens but that if we elected only honest people with integrity and courage, our task would then become much easier.

  1. #1 by Anonymous on August 28, 2016 - 8:32 am

    So glad an election loser is here to tell us what to think!

  2. #2 by Danny Boy on August 28, 2016 - 12:02 pm

    As a Fullerton government leader, do you feel it’s important to always recognize the good that your people do on a daily basis? Or just ignore it and only try to bash bad things that in your opinion are bad, based on almost zero factual evidence? Just curious. 🙂

    • #3 by Anonymous on September 8, 2016 - 6:06 am

      Danny Boy I would not use the term…”bash” in the City of Fullerton. It should remind you all too well about the 6 cops who were your responsibility as their direct supervisor who either bashed Kelly Thomas or watched it happen without lifting a finger to prevent the murder of an innocent man. Danny Boy you must be so, so proud as was Pat McKinley on National TV of all the same men he hired. You both make such a great, great team. Let me tell you our City Managers and our City Councils sure know how to pick those Fullerton Police Chiefs don’t they!

  3. #4 by Anonymous on August 28, 2016 - 3:52 pm

    The reason nobody asked Barry about his analysis of Fullerton Golf Course deal is because his analysis was nonsense.
    As far as the rest of this blog post, it sure comes off as totally self serving and egotisrical.
    Fact is that Barry couldn’t get elected to the council, despite getting huge financial support from Tony Bushala in the recall election. Funny how the other two candidates who received funding from Tony, namelyTravis and Greg, won their respective seats overwhelmingly. Only Barry fell short. Now THAT’S telling. And Barry has been an angry resentful miserable man ever since.

  4. #5 by Fullerton Rag on August 29, 2016 - 8:29 am

    Barry, you didn’t “(lead) the charge against the original DCCSP .” Yes, you spoke out quite a bit about it, but it was a group effort that included Friends for a Livable Fullerton and others.

    • #6 by Danny Boy on September 6, 2016 - 12:25 pm

      Rag, Barry likes to embellish the truth often. You aren’t allowed to correct him or Joe here. This is all about their factual opinions. 🙂

    • #7 by Barry Levinson on September 8, 2016 - 12:11 am

      Matt I was the first person to identify what the DCCSP represented and what it was at its heart and soul. It was an undemocratic power grab by our unelected City Manager, Joe Felz. It was such a corrupt concept to remove the review process of our Planning Committee and then our City Council to study each development project separately. As important, it would have removed the voice of ordinary Fullerton citizens to speak out on individual projects in hopes of having some influence on its outcome. If it would have been passed by our council, our City Manager would have had complete approval authority over high-story, high density buildings throughout most of the major roads in Fullerton. I pointed out on the record that this would have tempted some less than totally honest developers in my opinion to offer certain incentives to the one person who had all the power over these developments if the DCCSP were passed by our council. I was not accusing anyone of wrongdoing in the city but I was for certain questioning why our city representatives would be considering such a horrible and potentially very corrupt process for a significant part of future city development projects. I was the first to call it exactly what it was and the only person who agreed with me on the record at city hall that I can remember was Joe Imbriano. Yes, others did not like the DCCSP for various totally different reasons, such as impact on property values, traffic, etc. I was highlighting saving the people’s right to review and speak out on each development project separately. In other words, I was warning the city’s residents that a major part of their freedom as it concerned potentially dozens of high rise buildings was about to be snatched from their hands and into the hands of an unelected city bureaucrat, Joe Felz.

      I believe it was this line of reasoning that stopped the DCCSP in its tracks. Yes Matt I am taking credit because I was the only person to call the DCCSP agenda item exactly what it was and what it represented, government taking away the people’s rights and freedoms. As I said before, after I did put this forth, only Joe Imbriano got up as well to support my reasons for it to be defeated.

  5. #8 by Anonymous on August 29, 2016 - 6:45 pm

    Mr. Imbriano is the third rail of politics in Fullerton.

  6. #9 by Anonymous on August 30, 2016 - 4:21 pm

    Barry who you do recommend for November?

  7. #10 by Anonymous on August 31, 2016 - 12:14 pm

    Pat Shuff is still supporting Fitzgerald. What do you make of that? Isn’t her daughter running?

  8. #11 by twisting in the wind on September 5, 2016 - 4:50 pm

    No Barry and Joe. Pat isn’t.

  9. #13 by twisting in the wind on September 5, 2016 - 6:44 pm

    Old list

    • #14 by Joe Imbriano on September 5, 2016 - 7:20 pm

      Great cover for those working together-all that money on a new website and an old list-no accident.

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