So, I figured a recap of the meeting was in order.
Some of the officials present included City Manager Joe Felz, Community Services Director Al Zelinka, Police Captain Dan Hughes, and Council Member Sharon Quirk-Silva. Noticeably absent from the panel was Public Works Director Don Hoppe.
Also present were various commissioners like my self.
I attended the meeting acting in my official capacity as the Chair of your Citizen's Infrastructure Review Commission (CIRC). I took notes and asked questions.
The somewhat informal meeting kicked off at 6pm with about 40 people present. City Manager Joe Felz spoke briefly and gave a general State of the City report. Community Development director Al Zelinka acted as the facilitator.
The bulk of the meeting consisted of Captain Dan Hughes and questions by residents. One of the single best things I heard was from Captain Hughes who told the audience, "Hold me accountable."
Some of the discussions included crime prevention, crime mapping, and how to deal with the police department effectively.
Also, discussed were quallity of life issues like tagging. Captain Hughes described a recent crackdown on taggers that used a number of plain-clothed officers from the patrol division.
If you have a Police Department issue, please use the following phone numbers:
Front Desk 714-738-6816
Dispatch 714-738-6800 (press zero)
Capt. Hughes 714-738-6840
My short mention of the lengthy discussion doesn't do justice in describing the depth and breadth of Captain Hughes' nearly 2-hour attempt to inform the public.
Many residents complained of poor lighting, deteriorating roads, and "abandoned" buildings.
Some residents proposed turning the vacant Fullerton Dodge property at 1100 W. Orangethorpe into a park. Many were concerned about too much high-density residential development on the west side.
Many of the comments and questions pertaining to lighting and roads would have been best directed to Public Works Director Hoppe. In his absence, the other officials made attempts to address the concerns.
The people speaking need to use a microphone. A large number of the residents appeared to be senior citizens and many told me that it was very hard to hear.
City Manager Joe Felz explained that the City is looking at a shift in the use of Redevelopment Agency funds. Felz explained that state law requires 20% of the funds be spent on affordable housing. The remaining funds could be spent on infrastructure needs like roads and sidewalks. He said there were a couple of pending law suits which would ultimately decide if the money could be used in such a manner.
Those who know me also know how I feel about the Redevelopment Agency. Since this post is specifically to address the meeting, I will refrain from expressing my opinion of the Fullerton Redevelopment Agency.
Lastly, and most importantly, the department heads (PD, Community Development, City Manager) are talking to one another. They are attempting to reorganize a downsized City Hall and address the issues which many feel were ignored by their predecessors.
I will give the Citizens Infrastructure Review Committee a brief report on the meeting to share the concerns brought forward by the public. Tentatively, the next CIRC meeting is scheduled for November 14 at 4PM at City Hall. The public is encouraged to attend and speak about infrastructure related issues or just listen.