There is a pattern of deceit/gamesmanship going on within our Fullerton City Council. On September 20th, 2016 it was in full view. There was a disagreement between Whitaker and Fitzgerald about answering a few questions from the public as well as the absence of the grant application as part of the supporting documentation for two agenda items. So the argument went like this.
Whitaker commented that the public’s questions needed to be addressed prior to the agenda vote. Whitaker’s comments annoyed Fitzgerald. (She frequently gets annoyed when she feels, rightly or wrongly that she is being questioned or second-guessed. After all, anyone who attempts to legislate the removal of polite clapping has some obvious control issues.) Whitaker says he is for getting the grant money but will not be voting for it because of the absence of the grant application to review. Flory reads some of the documentation to suggest that the grant application is not needed at this time but will be produced later. She insists this is normal and the back and forth goes on and on. It was great theatre but little else since the agenda item passed easily and nothing was resolved for the future.
However, in the middle of all this back and forth, the public learned a key point of information. Namely, that if the council did not approve these two grant applications that night, the city would lose the opportunity for these grant monies for at least a year or maybe even forever. Once this was learned the solution to all the issues being raised by Bruce Whitaker were solvable in the future. If I were Bruce Whitaker or any of the other 4 council members, I would have made a motion that all future agenda items that have a date certain necessary for its approval, must come before the council at least 3 to 4 weeks prior to the deadline. This would allow staff to provide any and all documentation necessary to answer all questions at the next council meeting prior to the deadline if necessary. Whitaker did not consider this simple and very straightforward solution.
Why not? He is a very bright man. Every council member had the opportunity to actually accomplish a permanent change in process that would have benefited the public’s right to know and ensure that all council members had all the information necessary to make an informed decision prior to their votes. Yet when push came to shove, not one of our council members had the integrity or the courage to make a motion to do the right thing, the honest thing and the transparent thing. Bruce Whitaker was once again all talk and no action. He huffs and he puffs but instead of blowing the political corruption house down, he allows it to continue, to actually flourish in full force after throwing some political phony crumbs to his supporters.
The result of this back and forth accomplished absolutely nothing. The same problems as discussed will be repeated again and again in the future for all ignored the real solution. However, Fullertonians it was good political theatre. For I am certain Whitaker will now claim he was looking out for the people of Fullerton. But my question is simply…. was he really?
He had a golden opportunity to make a difference and all he did was object to the process while ignoring the solution staring him and all the others in the face. He could have accomplished much more than the political points he made in an election season. Once more, it proves that all on that dais including Bruce Whitaker are self-centered politicians, only looking out for Number 1 and that is certainly not you and I.
Gamesmanship is alive and thriving in the Fullerton City Council.