Thanks to District 2 OC Supervisor Michele Steele. the Bears, a non-profit youth football league in Fullerton, has a one-day extension to the county eviction notice to vacate the sports fields at Clark Park. According to notice the Bears were supposed to remove all gear stored at the field by Sunday, March 3rd even though the contract they signed with the county gave them license to use the fields until 2020.
Mr. Fred Jung, who heads the league said that after failed attempts to contact District 4 OC Supervisor Doug Chaffee who represents the Fullerton area, he contacted Supervisor Steele. She was able to set up a meeting for the Bears with Chaffee on Monday.
Whether the meeting will result in a reprieve of the eviction is up in the air, since Chaffee told Voice of OC online news editor Noberto Santana that he favors the City of Fullerton taking over operations of the fields. See that story at https://voiceofoc.org/2019/02/santana-let-them-play/
The eviction notice came in response to an initial accounting error on the county’s part where the Bears were sent a Notice of Final Demand in May of 2018. The letter threatened legal action if a balance of $995.21 was not paid. Problem was that the Bears had received no prior invoice, nor paid any partial payment. At that time, then OC Supervisor Shawn Nelson’s Chief of Staff Cardenas was able to solve the dispute and instructed Jung to “disregard the letter, you’ll be assessed no fee.”
As time went on, Mr. Jung contacted many officials at the county level in the attempt to have a further accounting error resolved. According to the OC Parks/Bears contract the league was to pay a yearly fee of $9,540 for use of the fields. But, because the City of Fullerton was in charge of programing through June of 2018, Mr. Jung contested the bill which should have been half the amount since the league only used the fields half the year beginning in July.
The matter was still unresolved when in November 2018 the league received the Second Notice of Delinquent Invoice, this though they had received no prior invoice or First Notice.
In February of this year the league received a “Notice of Termination.” Mr. Jung paid the bill immediately fearing loss of the field use over an accounting error.
When Mr. Jung was able to talk with OC Parks Mr. Inouye and explain the problem Inouye said if he could show proof from the city that the Bears had only used the field for half a year – the county would reimburse the over-payment. Mr. Jung was able to get that proof – but was told it would not make a difference in the termination.
Still at question is what will happen to the $18,000 permanent Scoreboard installed on the fields by the Bears with a county permit, if the eviction continues.
Meanwhile the county says they have collaborated with the City of Fullerton, which received a county permit to program the Clark Park fields for the spring 2019 season in February 2019.
Those interested in helping the Bears might contact OC Supervisor Chaffee at (714) 834-3440. Though he has not responded to attempts to contact him from the Bears or the Observer to date – he might listen to other voters he represents.