Friday, August 13, 2010

The California Republican Party Platform and the City of Fullerton - Part V

How long can the California Republican Party (CRP) continue to ignore the elephant in the room – the Redevelopment Agencies?

The official CRP platform, which can be found at www.cagop.org/pdf/platform.pdf, outlines several key areas that are in direct conflict with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency's practice. I have been highlighting these areas and articulating how they conflict with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency so that Republicans who have supported Redevelopment Agency efforts will realize the incompatibility between the Party and the Agency.

Today, I'm focusing on the CRP's topic, regarding taxes and government spending. First, let's see what the CRP has to say on the subject.

 The Fullerton Redevelopment Agency has enjoyed spending freely through the issuance of bonds.  There has been no 2/3 majority of voter approval, not even 50+1%.  In fact, the matter was never brought before the voters.  The City Council members acting as the politic body of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency has been quite content to spend the current tax increment along with future revenues.  All the while, streets all over town are neglected, water pipes are leaking, and the overall infrastructure lies nearly ruined.
TAXES AND GOVERNMENT SPENDING
The California Republican Party is the party of balanced budgets, limited government, and fiscal responsibility.
We stand for the wise stewardship and responsible use of the people’s money. We support without exception and without apology a two-thirds vote requirement for the passage of tax increases, tax increases labeled as fees, bonds, and the state budget. We call for a constitutional ban on any bonded indebtedness to cover general operating deficits.

 
The FY2010-2011 budget estimates that the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency will receive about $18,000,000 in property tax increment (the difference in the regular property tax assessment and the new assessment under redevelopment).  Add that $18,000,000 back annually to the general fund and we will be able to begin restoration of our infrastructure.  Thanks to the indebtedness brought on by overly zealous bond issuance, we must first pay off our creditors before we can begin to use all $18,000,000.
 
Let us also not forget that when the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency declares blight and evicts hundreds of families, a new problem emerges.  All of the surrounding businesses which were once quite vibrant with the area's residents are transformed overnight into empty stores of despair.  No sales take place, therefore no sales tax is collected.  Where there was once a tax revenue source for the general fund, a void of hopelessness is created. 

Government is not equipped to participate, and should not compete, in the free market.  Wherever the public’s money can be saved and the level of service increased, we call for the privatizing of services now delivered by government.

Let private developers funded through private sources recognize the opportunities that exist in our City. 

Next week I will tell you what the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency does well and why we should implement this mystery policy for the City of Fullerton. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The California Republican Party Platform and the City of Fullerton - Part IV

How long can the California Republican Party (CRP) continue to ignore the elephant in the room – the Redevelopment Agencies?

The official CRP platform, which can be found at www.cagop.org/pdf/platform.pdf, outlines several key areas that are in direct conflict with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency's practice. I have been highlighting these key areas and articulating how they conflict with the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency so that Republicans who have supported Redevelopment Agency efforts will realize the incompatibility between the Party and the Agency.


Today, I'm focusing on the CRP's topic, regarding the property rights. First, let's see what the CRP has to say on the subject.

PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
We stand for the principle that condemnation and government restriction on private property must only occur for public uses.
One of the purest forms of tyranny is government confiscation of its citizens’ private property. We reject condemnation or government restrictions on property without full compensation for such condemnations or restrictions. We also reject condemnation by governments of private property to be used for non-public uses.
Wow, do I really need to add anything to that? I believe condemnation should be reserved for public rights-of-way. I believe strong-arm tactics like devaluing private property by declaring blight so that the Redevelopment Agency can get a "good deal" circumvents the 4th and 5th Amendments and undermines two of the most important rights we have.



4th “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…”
5th “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Reason.TV - RICHARD FLORIDA DISCUSSES THE GREAT RESET OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT IN ECONOMIC DOWNTURNS



Although I disagree with Richard Florida's value of high-speed rail with huge taxpayer subsidies, he does make some interesting observations that are at the very least worth considering. 

The most important point regarding urban development comes at the end of the video (at 00:09:12) when Richard mentions, almost in passing, that Miami Beach Community Development Corporation (MBCDC) has been purchasing some of the "surplus" foreclosed on homes and condos and renting them back to low-income families.  MBCDC used City of Miami Beach HOME funds to purchase four condominium units, which are currently occupied and managed by MBCDC.

This creates low-income housing throughout the city rather than concentrating it in one area.  The program is in line with what I have offered up as a possible solution to the low-income housing shortage that is exacerbated by the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.  Learn more about Miami Beach's solution at http://www.miamibeachcdc.org/scattered_sites.htm.

Pension Spiking and Fraud 101


I was watching a short interview with Steven Greenhut on Reason.TV and heard Steven mention "Chief's Disease".  After a few quick google entries, I tripped over this 2005 exerpt from Reason.org.  Click HERE to read and download the entire PDF.

THE GATHERING PENSION STORM: HOW GOVERNMENT PENSION PLANS ARE BREAKING THE BANK AND STRATEGIES FOR REFORM
By George Passantino and Adam B. Summers
June 2005

The California Republican Party Platform and the City of Fullerton - Part III

I have been highlighting specific platform topics and articulating how they conflict with the  Fullerton Redevelopment Agency so that Republicans will realize the incompatibility between the Party and this abusive agency.  Today, I will be discussing the CRP's take on the family unit and how the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency destroys families. 

"A strong and healthy family unit is the heart of the home – a safe surrounding where family decisions are made, children are raised, and morality is taught. The family is a foundation upon which American society has grown and prospered for over 200 years."
When the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency chose to spend $22.7 million, bulldoze several apartment buildings, and evict more than 600 people I think a reasonable person would have concluded that this would place a tremendous strain on the families being evicted.  I believe these actions by our City Council acting as the Board of Directors of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency have contributed to needless heartache and suffering of Fullerton families while ignoring the increasing deficiencies in our infrastructure.  We claim these areas to be crime infested, yet with each FRA action, more and more property tax revenue is siphoned off away from the police and fire departments. Using public funds for private ventures is bad policy. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Government Over-Reaction Threatens to Force California Fish Farmers Out of Business

A friend emailed this to me and I thought I should share it.  When will our elected leadership stand up to outrageous restrictions which will surely cost California more jobs?

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...

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