|Al Zelinka, Director|
Zelinka began with a state of the city from a planning perspective. He noted that planning and community development had been out-dated and out of sync for perhaps several decades.
A shift from business as usual to long-term investment in the City's infrastructure was outlined.
The residents and business owners expressed their strong displeasure with the City's streets and the aesthetics along the main roads, Euclid, Orangethorpe, Brookhurst, and Magnolia to name a few.
Among the topics of discussion were the "abandoned" businesses like the old Dodge dealer on Orangethorpe. Neighbors want the site maintained and free from vandalism. Joining Zelinka was Building and Code Enforcement Manager Kirke Warren. Warren said the City has been working for months to uncover who was responsible for the property and have come up empty-handed each time.
Many questions about code enforcement were raised. From graffiti to shopping carts, it seems residents are tire of the mess. Although homelessness was brought up as was the task force on the issue, the discussion didn't progress beyond acknowledgment of the problem.
Also discussed was a Planned Parenthood clinic on the west side, though details were sketchy.
My hat goes off to "Adam" who walked door-to-door in his neighborhood to tell residents about this meeting. He was unanimously elected to represent the residents of those west side neighborhoods. Zelinka gave him a credit for helping bring attention to these often overlooked areas and the quality of life issues they face to the attention of city staff.
Zelinka, a 3-year veteran of the City, is the first non-elected department head to step out into the community to ask how he can serve the people better. After nearly 2 hours, Zelinka wrapped up with explaining that there is a shift afoot within City Hall to use Fullerton Redevelopment funds for the City's infrastructure.
The residents all commented that they want to know more about what goes on at City Hall. They all expressed an interest in being involved. As I said last night, the easiest way to know what's happening is to subscribe to the City's eLists. The site will take you through the process of setting up the customized service that will email you about upcoming public meetings and events. And you have already paid for it with taxes!
You can also subscribe to this blog by entering your email address in the box on the right side of this website.
The next "Community Dialogues" meeting is scheduled for November 22 at the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce at 8AM.
My thanks and appreciation goes to Al Zelinka for his willingness and effort to reach out into Fullerton and seek input. I am impressed by his desire to empower residents with improving their neighborhoods. Community input is a big step in the right direction.