Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fullerton's Future

As Costa Mesa begins the largest layoff in Costa Mesa history, I can’t help but wonder what may be in store for Fullerton’s 700-plus employees.  For that matter, public employees throughout Orange County should be very nervous. 

Our country and certainly our OC cities are struggling to maintain basic services while Wisconsin public employees battle their governor and legislature to protect their ability to collectively bargain and negotiate salaries.  Costa Mesa employees discovered the price for their great salaries and benefits the hard way. 

Although Fullerton employees are not as likely to see half of their co-workers get pink slips, they should nonetheless step up to the table and make concessions from within, if for no other reason than to save their own job from getting cut.  There are some large expense coming and something somewhere will have to be cut.

The water rate study with its built in franchise tax has me pondering the future of Fullerton.  Specifically, I can’t help but repeat the same question to myself, searching for the answer.  What else, besides our water system, has city management neglected to plan for?

We carefully prepare all sorts of planning documents with the craftiest of legalese to head off and divert certain disasters such as having a tattoo parlor too close to a school or live outdoor entertainment.   These plans serve to protect our city from unscrupulous developers and businessmen who would otherwise wreak havoc on our [perfect little town while corrupting the morals of our youth.

Unfortunately, as the quote goes, even “the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”   

So, back to that haunting question, what has management missed that needs to be accounted for and planned for, like the water system?

Roads.  Those are important and they are terrible, at least in most of Fullerton.  The potholes wreck my suspension and tires.  The broken asphalt soon turns to loose gravel and we’ve all seen those loose gravel signs.

The sidewalks and curbs are pretty bad, too.  There is a very real and hidden danger with broken and uplifted curbs when they create ponds that act as mosquito nurseries.  Mosquitoes transmit West Nile virus and dozens of other dangerous pathogens. 

Our street lights are in bad shape.  There are about 6 or 8 street lights that I drive past early every morning on my very short commute.  Several have been out for as long as I can remember noticing the absence of light.  And you may recall the story in the Orange County Register that featured several downed street lights still lying where they had fallen.  In one case, the light remained for a month and a half!  

Electricity, gas, phone…all are provided for by private companies, not the City of Fullerton.
There is our sanitary sewer, yet to be mentioned.  The irony is paralyzing.  There is nothing sanitary about any sewer!  In Fullerton, we pay to maintain the sewer through our water bill.  The powers of City Hall have determined that the water that flows through your meter will eventually trickle into the sewer.  That’s a good theory if we all had landscape water meters and used reclaimed water which few homeowners have.  My point being that the sewer fee attached to our water bill should be enough to maintain the sewers forever.  But will it really cover the true costs?  Doubtful.

What about our public buildings?  Do we have a plan to repair and eventually replace all of our public buildings?  The taxpayers are in the process of building a shiny new $28 million community center in Amerige Heights.  Do we have funds set aside to maintain and eventually replace it? 

The City of Fullerton owns several parking lots.  Have we set aside the appropriate funding to repair and replace the pavement?

As a licensed professional land surveyor, I am always in search of survey monuments.  Some mark property lines and others are reference markers to help piece land boundaries together with the infrastructure like puzzle pieces.  When cities ramp up their maintenance operations, the survey monuments get destroyed.  Despite the fact that destroying a survey monument is at the very least a misdemeanor (CPC605), they are still destroyed by well intentioned engineers and contractors.  Replacing just one monument can cost thousands of dollars if it is not accounted for before construction.  And who pays the bill to replace them?  According to California’s Business and Professions Code (§8771), the contractor and the government agency who hired the contractor are both responsible.  Eventually, all of California’s cities will have to take stock of their monuments and pay to replace them; it’s just a matter of time.  Anaheim and New Port Beach have done a great job which will help keep costs low for many years. 

Whether we are talking survey monuments, water systems, or streets, Fullerton is behind the curve and the cost will be substantial.

All too often, we feel good about a project and move forward without thinking about tomorrow. 

3 comments:

  1. Sounds terrible, I would move. Oh wait, I did.
    I don't even know what to say after seeing the video at the link below. I haven't seen any outrage from you or any of my contacts from OC on facebook.

    http://tomsebourn.blogspot.com/2011/03/ugly-face-of-islamophobia-in-orange.html

    To ignore this disgusting protest in Yorba Linda and worry more about how your tax dollars are spent shows the mentality of the O.C. It's all about the quality of life for those that have the right religion or color of skin.

    The children that had to endure this will most likely grow up to resent people like those that yelled disgusting things as they walked with their parents into the fund raiser to raise money for a food bank. Shame on OC for not having a bigger counter protest against these racists!

    I'm sorry for taking your blog a bit off topic but it's like watching sports while
    Rome is burning.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yes, you did move away. You left to live an easier way of life in a place known as much for its beauty as it is for its pot farms.

    And I get to stay in OC and fight to fix the mess that lazy and shortsighted leadership has given us.

    About that protest... Out of more than a thousand protesters (peaceful and respectful) a few dozen behaved badly and CAIR got them on camera. It doesn't represent the protesters nor the spirit of OC. CAIR's video shows only that which CAIR wants you to see. Why don't they share video of the event inside the community center?

    If Muslims and CAIR want to change the perception of being terrorists, then I suggest they denounce terrorism, Hamas, and all of the other radical, evil, Islamic-related groups around the world. But they won't.

    The keynote speakers at the event are outspoken radical imams who support violent terrorism and sharia law.

    So, while I cannot control the bad behavior of a few people at a PUBLIC protest and while I can not stop terrorism in its tracks, I can call out my city leaders when they drop the ball and waste tax dollars that I worked my ass off and give them.

    Quality of life is the single most important issue for ALL humans. Some worry about the quality of life for children in third-world countries. Others worry about the quality of life of farm animals. I choose to worry about the quality of life of my family by holding my ground and challenging the broken system. Do you really have a problem with people trying to improve their community and, in turn, their quality of life? As I recall, you protest over the quality of life for the homeless in Humboldt. Taking your logic, why don't you go to Florida and protest there too? Or Los Angeles? You don't go to those places because you would have to risk homelessness yourself and that would jeopardize your quality of life.

    Now, back to the subject at hand, Fullerton is behind the curve.

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW ... I hadn't even heard of the "protest" in Yorba Linda until I watched the video on Tom's Blog.
    Greg, I hope you're right that those on the video represent a small minority of people. We should respect all faiths in America, I belive that's what this nation was founded on if I remember my constitutional history correctly.

    ReplyDelete

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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