Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fullerton Redevelopment Agency Blows $22,700,000 and Evicts More Than 600 Residents

The OC Register reported July 4th that the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency (FRA) has spent to date $22.7 million tax dollars to rid Fullerton of urban blight and "to build affordable housing" in one neighborhood.  First, who is the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency?  Simply put, the agency is funded by property taxes and bond sales and it is controlled by the Fullerton City Council.  There is no oversight of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency other than the council members which we elect.

So, how does FRA find vacant land in order to build "affordable housing"?  They don't find it, they make it by purchasing and bulldozing apartments and homes in areas declared to be blighted.  Then they "relocate" the families and flip the property to a private developer to build new condos.  So, what happened to the families that were displaced?  Wait for it.

According to the Project Manager, Charles Kovac, the agency's goal is to revitalize the neighborhood, which has had old, dilapidated homes and high crime rates.  So, the city's response to old homes and high crime is to evict everyone, bulldoze their homes, build a few shiny new condos, and BAM, the problem is solved!  If only it was that easy.

Kovac also says that this neighborhood has apartments that are overcrowded. 
"As an example, one two-bedroom apartment unit that has since been relocated had 15 people living there. We're making it a safer and healthier area to live."

In an attempt to control blight (old homes, too?), high crime, and the City's shortage of affordable housing, the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency evicted more than 100 families who could only afford those blighted old homes and apartments they shared with other family members in this crime-ridden area of Fullerton.  That is absolutely the ridiculous truth about the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.  Who are they trying to make it safer and healthier for: the displaced families who were the victims of the conditions which the City allowed or the new tenants yet to move in?

Perhaps if the City used their Code Enforcement as leverage against the building owners, it wouldn't be necessary to displace families and raise the odds that tax payers are behind the creation of a new homeless population.  So I will ask again, what happened to those families who were displaced?  Wait for it.

How's this for planning:  The OC Register goes on to say, "Kovac said the agency doesn't know yet how many more properties it will acquire or how much money it will spend."
 
Kovac goes on to say "It's something that depends on whether people are willing to sell."  In my opinion, that is a lie.  The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency goes into a "blighted" area and attempts to negotiate property sales but at the end of the day, they can take what they want through eminent domain.  And all this so that the City of Fullerton can "provide affordable housing".  The last time I checked, the bulldozers were removing affordable housing with tax dollars! 
 
So why use tax dollars to remove affordable housing and then use more tax dollars to subsidize building affordable housing?   And will those displaced families be given an opportunity to live in one of these new condos?  And what ever happened to those displaced families?? 

"The agency has bought a total of 30 properties in the Richman Park area. It also paid more than $1.6 million to relocate 117 households with nearly 600 residents, more than half of whom were 18 years old and younger. Part of the relocation cost is one-time financial assistance to the families."

Ah, so we subsidize the poor to make room for more poor. 

If the City took that $22,700,000 and purchased bank-owned foreclosed homes in Fullerton.  Then the City sold them to very low-, low-, and moderate-income families, I would estimate we could purchase about 53 homes at $425,000 each!  And NO families would be displaced.  In fact, the City could give those living in the "unhealthy, unsafe, crime-infested, congested, and blighted" areas an opportunity to buy one of these homes.  Then, the property taxes would go up (as they would in the redevelopment districts) however ALL of the property tax revenue due to the City would go towards fixing Fullerton rather than perpetuating a bureaucratic fiefdom. 

Currently, the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency skims the difference between the old property tax and the newly adjusted property tax, known as the tax increment, from the general fund.  This tax increment is siphoned away from police, fire, and school districts (although the schools did get some funds recently from the Agency) and is diverted back into perpetuating the bureaucracy.  Meanwhile, our public safety employees are taking pay cuts, families are being displaced, a private developer makes a lot of money, and our taxes and fees continue to rise. 

When will this madness end?  When voters replace the Fullerton City Council incumbent.

Greg Sebourn

Orange County Bail Bonds

The Beauty of a Storm

The Beauty of a Storm
Orange County, Ca.

My Grandma - A Eulogy

LET'S TALK ABOUT 1914 FOR A MOMENT.



FOR STARTERS, GRANDMA WAS BORN TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22, 1914 IN HER FAMILY'S ATWOOD RANCH HOUSE.



IT IS WORTH NOTING THOSE ALSO BORN IN 1914:

JACK LALANNE

JOE DIMAGGIO

DANNY THOMAS



AND WHO DIED IN 1914:

JOHN MUIR, THE FAMOUS NATURALIST FOR WHICH NUMEROUS ROADS, PARKS, HOTELS, AND NATURE RESERVES ARE NAMED.



IT IS ALSO WORTH NOTING THAT IN 1914 WOODROW WILSON SIGNS MOTHER'S DAY PROCLAMATION AND BABE RUTH MAKES HIS MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUT WITH THE RED SOX. MOTHER'S DAY AND BASEBALL- TWO OF MY FAVORITES!! (PERHAPS HER NICKNAME "BABE" CAME FROM BABE RUTH???)



GRANDMA WAS BORN INTO A PERIOD OF TIME FILLED WITH TURMOIL. IN JUNE OF 1914 ARCHDUKE FRANZS FERDINAND WAS ASSASSINATED. WITHIN ONE MONTH WORLD WAR I RAGED ACROSS EUROPE. TWO DAYS AFTER HER BIRTH HOWEVER, GERMAN AND BRITISH TROOPS INTERRUPTED WWI TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS. (PERHAPS THEY PAUSE KNOWING THAT A GREAT WOMAN WAS BORNE) WORLD WAR I CONTINUED UNTIL THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES IN 1919.



ALTHOUGH SHE WAS ONLY 5 YEARS OLD, SHE SAW THE LEAGUE OF NATIONS CREATED AND THE 19TH AMENDMENT WAS APPROVED BY THE U.S. CONGRESS GUARANTEEING THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN TO VOTE.



SHE LIVED THROUGH MANY NOTABLE EVENTS. LIKE THE 1933 LONG BEACH EARTHQUAKE OR WHEN ATWOOD FLOODED ALONG WITH MOST OF ORANGE COUNTY IN 1938 AND THE FLOOD-WATERS CLAIMED MORE THAN 50 PEOPLE, 43 OF WHICH WERE FROM ATWOOD! ALL OF THIS DURING A TIME THAT WE READ ABOUT IN SCHOOL AND KNOWN AS "THE GREAT DEPRESSION". SOMEWHERE IN ALL OF THAT SHE FOUND THE LOVE OF HER LIFE, GRANDPA LEO, GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL, GOT MARRIED, AND HAD KIDS!



THEN THERE WAS WORLD WAR II. FROM PEARL HARBOR TO HIROSHIMA, GRANDMA WAS RAISING MY UNCLE BOB AND MOM ARLINE. WITH AIR-RAID SIRENS AND BLACKOUTS SHE WAS A WIFE AND MOTHER. WHAT A TIME TO RAISE CHILDREN! I BET GRANDMA'S PARENTS WERE ABEL TO TELL HER A THING OR TWO ABOUT RAISING KIDS IN WARTIME.



GRANDMA WAS THERE WHEN THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA HELD THEIR 3RD ANNUAL NATIONAL JAMBOREE IN 1953. SHE SAW AIRBASES OPEN IN '42 AND CLOSE IN '99. SHE WATCHED WALTER KNOTT START UP HIS BERRY FARM AND WALT DISNEY TURN ORANGE GROVES AND STRAWBERRY PATCHES INTO DISNEYLAND!



SHE SAW THE HORSE AND CARRIAGE FADE AWAY INTO HISTORY AND SPACE TRAVEL EXPLODE BEFORE HER WITH THE FIRST LUNAR LANDING. JUST IMAGINE HOW MUCH TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED OVER THE LAST 100 YEARS. FROM TUBE RECTIFIERS TO SUPERCONDUCTORS; FROM TRANS-ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH CABLES TO SATELLITE TV.



SHE SAW MORE IN HER 93 YEARS THAN MOST OF US WILL EVER READ ABOUT, LET ALONE LIVE THROUGH!



OF THOSE 93 YEARS IT IS MY HONOR TO HAVE BEEN HER GRANDSON FOR 35 OF THEM. SHE WAS MY MOTHER WHEN MOM HAD TO WORK. SHE WIPED MY NOSE AND PUT FOOD IN MY MOUTH. SHE LET ME PLAY WITH GRANDPA EVEN THOUGH SHE NEEDED HIM TO TAKE HER TO THE STORE. SHE WAS MY GRANDMA AND I WILL MISS HER IMMENSELY.



JUST LOOK AROUND THIS ROOM; SHE DID THIS. SHE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR BRINGING SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE INTO THIS WORLD AND TOGETHER TODAY. THIS IS HER LEGACY.



A Dedication To My Loving Wife, Stacey. Thank you for all you do for me!

Brad Paisley - I Thought I Loved You Then


I remember trying not to stare the night that I first met you
You had me mesmerized
3 weeks later in the front porch light taking 45 min to kiss you goodnight
I hadn’t told you yet but I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I remember taking you back to right where I first met you
You were so surprised
There were people around
But I didn’t care I got down on one knee right there
And once again I thought I loved you then

Chorus
Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Like a river meets the sea
Stronger than it’s ever been
We’ve come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then.

I can just see you with a baby on the way
I can just see you when your hair is turning gray
What I can’t see is how I’m ever gonna love you more
But I’ve said that before.

Now you’re my whole life now you’re my whole world
I just can’t believe the way I feel about you girl
Well look back some day at this moment that we’re in
And I'll look at you and say I thought I loved you then
And I thought I loved you then...

Download AutoCAD's Educational Version