Fullerton Votes to Keep FPD in Place

Fullerton City Hall

Sharon Quirk-Silva (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

With a huge turnout at last night’s city council meeting, the Fullerton City Council voted 3-2 to retain Fullerton PD which has a contract with the city through 2015. Newly elected council member Greg Seborn proved to be the wild card and voted with Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk-Silva and newly-elected Doug Chaffee to retain the force rather than gather information about how Fullerton could save the Orange County Sheriff’s Department take over for Fullerton PD.

The Register has details on the meeting here.

The cynical part of me says this “victory” was symbolic for FPD as the city could be found in breach of its contract with the police force. Seborn’s vote “no” designed to show that Fullerton developer and Friends for Fullerton Future blogger Tony Bushala isn’t pulling the puppet strings. The pro-recall advocates can point to this vote and say “see, Tony’s isn’t in charge.” But the reality is the city does have contractual obligations that a council move towards saving money could wind up costing taxpayers more. Even talking about this is simply a first step towards a debate over the removal of FPD in 2014 and a termination in 2015.

It’s fascinating to read posts on FFFF and then hear policy statements come out of the pro-Bushala councilmembers that mirror blog posts. What’s downright funny are positions about transparency from new council members who seem to take direction from anonymous bloggers who hide their identities. If fear of government is a reason for blogging anonymously, why keep doing so the blog took control of a council majority?

Fullerton voters happy with the vote last night really need to know this issue isn’t dead. It’ll be on vacation until 2014. But those who showed up in force last night to support FPD have a more meaningful place to do so in November — the ballot box.

  5 comments for “Fullerton Votes to Keep FPD in Place

  1. Art Pendejo
    August 8, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Dan you’re a nobody. Guess what, Mayor Pulido is paying me another $5,150 to sign the opposition argument for mayoral term limits. HAHAHA I still continue to sell my soul and you won’t get a dime! You’re TOAST!

  2. noclib1
    August 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Dan–You may be right. What struck me as odd about Tony’s FFFF-sponsored candidates during the election is how much time they spent excoriating the sitting Council for bowing to “special interests” (e.g. public unions), when they themselves received nearly all of their money from one person with a very clear agenda. But then again, this may be more transparent than it seems. If you want to know how three of the Council members will vote on Tuesday, read the FFFF blog on Monday.

  3. Phil
    August 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    This is presuming the OC sheriff would be do a better job. As we know this isn’t a sure thing. And as long as Fullerton has its own PD then it has more control. In theory.

  4. Ryan Cantor
    August 9, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Dan,

    If it were me and I were new to the job of a councilman, and I had to hire a new police chief to repair the severely broken trust between the community and the FPOA, I’d want some sort of baseline from which to start. A bid (which doesn’t mean anything . . . it’s not accurate, it’s not binding, and it hurts no one. It’s just an independent place to start.)

    Prior to yesterday’s meeting, I was all for keeping the FPD as my experience has been that the best ideas for improvement almost always come from the line. Individuals almost always want positive change, regardless of external factors (read unions). We have about a year to see how trust rebuilds and performance improves, so this makes sense.

    Barry Coffman’s actions leading up to the meeting and his statements during make it very clear to me that the FPOA’s first duty is to itself. That doesn’t sit well with me. His response to protesters who weren’t happy with a few of his membership was to issue traffic citations. It wasn’t to actively engage with the community to make things better– or better yet to make things right. His response to a preliminary bid from the OC Sherrif was to stonewall and create a phone bank linking the bid to Bushala and a private police force (are you kidding me?!) It should have been to put his department’s best foot forward and accept the competition. Good teams (well, other thank the Yankees) beat their opponents on the field and get better every day before game day. Bad teams find excuses not to play. I don’t feel good at all about Mr. Coffman’s ability to marshal his association in the right direction to fix the trust issue in town. Not after this.

    • August 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Ryan. You are in the minority on this one. The only reason this came up for a vote was for Seborn to show his “independence” so the FFFF could say “see, Tony didn’t buy the city council.” The contract is not up for renewal until 2015 so what’s the hurry? Every force has bad cops but lets not throw out the baby with the bath water.

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