Local Government

City Council Notes: August 1, 2023

Consent Items Approved from JULY 18, 2023
Items 2 and 3 were pulled from the consent for public comment and discussion 
         Item #2: City of Fullerton Response to OC Grand Jury Report on OC Animal Shelter
         Item #3: City of Fullerton Response to OC Grand Jury Report on School Shooting Preparedness
Consent Items that were passed:
• Property, Casualty, and Workers’ Comp Insurance Program Report
• Classification Plan Update for Police Behavioral Health Clinician Series
• INFOSEND, INC. Purchase Order for Print and Mail Services not to exceed $200,000 to InfoSend, Inc.
• CA Class Joint Powers Authority Investment Pool as Additional Investment Option
• Amendment Number One to Professional Services Agreement with URBAN FUTURES, INC. for continuing Disclosure and Post-Insurance Compliance Services
• OCTA Cooperative Agreement for Countywide Traffic Signal Synchronization Baseline Project


The City is naming the area of Hillcrest Park adjacent to the Korean War Memorial as the Korean Garden and authorizing City Manager to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the Korean American Federation of OC to maintain the Korean Garden site.
• Vehicle Detection Equipment Purchase not to exceed $200,000.
• S. Acacia and E. Valencia Dr. Storm Drain Repair Project Contract Award
• Sidewalk Management Program Contract Award
• Balcom Alley Sewer Replacement Project Contract Award

Public Comments

“The last session Curtis Gamble wanted to make a public comment, and [Mayor Fred Jung] had the audacity to say to make it brief. Curtis Gamble is entitled to the same 3 minutes as every speaker is granted, so how dare you [Mayor Jung] rush him and say make it brief. He advocates for a number of communities that are my neighbors. Your brand of narcissism is bonkers. Shame on you,” said Fullerton Resident Bernard Oh.
“My wife Yolanda and I are so far still Rancho La Paz residents here in Fullerton. I spoke to you about the history of Mr. Saunders’s assault on the senior residents of Rancho La Paz. In two weeks, I will likely speak of his latest offenses and efforts to render us homeless,” said Todd Harrison.
He went on to say, “I spoke before of the other five mobile home Park owners here in Fullerton uniting to push back against the then-proposed emergency ordinance. They were very strongly claiming they were not Saunders, and action against him would also harm them. They self-identified as caring landlords with a long history of treating their homeowners well, maintaining their property, and limiting rent increases. Perhaps they even meant it. I warned the council that the large amounts of profit to be made would change that care. Saunders paid the owners of Rancho La Paz $86 million for the property, knowing he would have to destroy the lives of every one of those residents to profit from his investment. Rancho Fullerton did not sell out, but the vast profit made is too much of a temptation. Since July 18, there has been more evidence that Rancho Fullerton Mobile Home Park is indeed following Mr. Saunders’ game plan. This council needs to work on the issue before you end up having to deal with every current mobile home Park residence as another unhoused victim of landlord greed. We all know Fullerton cannot afford to help the homeless here already, so do something.” 
“A year ago today, I came in front of you to say you guys almost killed my husband, and the stress caused by Rancho La Paz that killed 20 seniors in the month before he went down for a heart attack. Things have not gotten better. What has happened with Rancho La Paz is spreading to other manufactured home parks and seniors resource centers where they live. We are talking about elder abuse. This is elder abuse, and it’s not something that should be taken for granted. It’s something that should be fought. It’s something that should be stopped,” said Yolanda Harrison.   
“I am a professor of political science at Chapman University. I believe passionately, as I’m sure you do, that climate change is real, and education is the key to helping to mitigate it. I was able to get a $5 million grant from the state legislature to put on the Orange County sustainability decathlon. This will take place from October 5 through the 15th. I have invited all of your high schools. Cal State Fullerton has a house in the competition. We’ve asked Fullerton College. We want all of our important schools to come. We have 15 universities from around the world, mostly from California, buildings these sustainable homes, but we also have an outreach to K through 12 with scholarships for teachers who build projects related to climate change. You can find more at ocsd23.com,” said Fred Smoller.
“To begin with Orangethorpe School at Brookhurst and Roberta Ave. Parents walk their elementary school children to school five days a week in the streets; there are no sidewalks on Page Ave. For children’s safety and health, a safe sidewalk should be provided for the children before 1 dime is budgeted for any bicycle lane.
Second, last meeting Supervisor Chaffee was here and gave you $1 million for mental health, so if this is a county issue, I’m sure Supervisor Chaffee would agree that children’s safe passage to and from school is something he could help with.
Two meetings ago, a gentleman presented statistics about taxes for businesses and homes in the city of Fullerton. Dr. Charles asked a specific question about an auto mall, and the analysis reported that he didn’t think that an auto mall would work. I wish to share with you this: two years after the Tustin auto mall opened, the city of Santa Ana began work on its auto mall, which is just 3.4 miles from Tustin, the largest tax revenue in Santa Ana. Councilman Dunlap said publicly that that ship has sailed.
Third, on tree trimming that came up last meeting: In Southern CA, the tree season is a very long growing season. We don’t have a winter that leaves the trees dormant. So when they cut the trees back so you don’t have to cut them every year, you can cut them every two to three years. It’s purely economics. We have Evergreen, Elm, eucalyptus, Magnolia, and Jacaranda. They can be trimmed way back like they are for economic reasons. If you had a fruit tree and cut it back like that, you’d kill it,” said ZJ Hanh.
“I am an activist for the homeless um the veterans, the Octa bus drivers, and the low-income community. The city of Fullerton municipal code for emergency shelters allows grace ministries and other churches to shelter up to 12 homeless individuals which should also include RV, movable homes, hotel rooms, and shipping container homes on all church properties which would be on a first-serve first come first serve basis. The housing element for 2021 through 2029 should also include a safe RV safe and truck trailer parking program in the city of Fullerton. Point in time count states that Fullerton has over 300 homeless people living on the streets. Many also live on the OCTA buses and OCTA bus shelters. In 2016 a three-year $1 million lawsuit settlement agreement with Curtis Campbell versus the city of Fullerton states that the city of Fullerton will provide two temporary restrooms in the area of the Fullerton transportation center.  Fullerton Observer July 2023 article, OC Judge Blocks Fullerton’s Anti RV Camping Law. The city received $10 million in state funds to purchase the Fullerton Navigation Center building,” said Curtis Campbell.  
“I’m going to bring up my plea again for right-hand turn signs only on Entrada until a new signal is installed. According to David Grantham, that’s going to take possibly over a year to install the new signals. If you have a right turn-only sign on each side of the harbor it’s going to cut down accidents possibly. And if somebody does make a left-hand turn and does cause a problem, it’s on them, not on the city, because they have broken the law. Also, the new development they’re talking about at State College only has one entrance and exit. I think that’s going to cause another problem, so look into that one too, please,” said Maureen Milton.  
“I wanted to bring up something that I’ve noticed from watching some of the committee and Commission meetings. Sometimes some of our members are extremely rough on our actual city employees, and in some instances, they’ve actually been extremely rude, condescending, and their behavior is unacceptable. I sincerely hope that whoever has appointed these people is being made aware of this behavior and that our employees realize that while all of us are putting in our volunteer time to try to improve the city our volunteers should be treated by our employees with respect. Also, understand they’re there to help us. They’re not there to be at our beck and call,” said Manish.

City Response to the Orange County Grand Jury Report on the OC Animal Shelter 

Councilmember Dr. Ahmad Zahra interjected before public comment: I wanted to ask if we can continue this item until the next meeting (AUGUST 15) because our response seems to be lacking details. Many of our responses disagree because of the lack of information, which warrants more discussion.
Mayor Fred Jung agreed.
That will be the motion, and I’ll provide the second, but we would appreciate public comments. 
Helen Higgins, ATC member Jane Rands, Diane Vena, and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Angela Lindstrom  
All requested that the proposed letter in response to the grand jury report findings and recommendations for OC Animal Care Shelter be thoroughly read and rewritten. The City response should actively influence Orange County Animal Care to implement improvements using the Orange County grand jury report as a reference. This is not the first or second grand jury report on Orange County animal care, but the sixth investigation. All asked the City not to ignore the grand jury report or defer to OC Supervisors. Every day that goes by without action means more animals are killed unnecessarily. How we treat domesticated animals that have been our loyal companions and working partners for thousands of years speaks to our humanity.
Councilmember Zahra motioned to continue the item, Mayor Jung seconded it, and it was passed unanimously.

Pines at Sunrise Village 

Mayor Jung said, “Director Chang, I’ll expect a very brief presentation.”
The community facilities district (CFD) formation process for the Pines at the sunrise village asks to hold the public hearing and take public comments.
The motion to defer the matter was brought by Dunlap and seconded by Zahra.
Mayor Protem Whitaker said, “I’ve long opposed Melrose and CFD because of key tenants contained within proposition 13 proposition 218, which grant the public the right to vote on taxes. In these cases, the public has no right to vote on taxes that will be assessed to them, so I vote no.”
City Council adopted Resolutions of Intention to establish and incur bonded indebtedness for the City of Fullerton Community Facilities District No. 3 (The Pines at Sunrise Village) (“CFD No. 3”) on June 20. This item is the next step in the CFD No. 3 formation process, which requires public hearings and a special landowner election.
Passed 4 to 1. 

Affordable Housing and Property Disposition Agreement and Affordable Housing and Loan Agreement (Home Funds) for Pointe Common at 1600 W Commonwealth Ave with META DEVELOPMENT, LLC 

Consideration of the Affordable Housing and Disposition Agreement and HOME Loan Agreement with Meta Housing Corporation to construct a 65-unit affordable housing project known as Pointe Common.
Passed Unanimously. 

General Plan Revision to Add two Local Landmarks to the City of Fullerton Historic Preservation Element, Register of Historical Resources, and Map of Historical Resources

This application requests a General Plan revision to add properties located at 444 West Malvern Avenue and 125 West Elm Avenue as Local Landmarks to the Register of Historical Resources and Map of Historical Resources.
Passed Unanimously.

Historic Property Preservation Agreement Revisions (Mills Act Contract) Between Cullerton and Historic Property at 330 W. Whiting Ave Owner 

Consideration of proposed revisions to the Historic Property Preservation Agreement (Mills Act Contract) for property located at 330 West Whiting Avenue for historic preservation, rehabilitation, and maintenance.
Passed Unanimously.

Chapman Ave and Hart Pl Crosswalk Removal Reconsideration

Reconsider eliminating marked crosswalks at Chapman Avenue and Hart Place and consider installing a barrier at the southerly right-of-way to prohibit access to the neighborhood south of Chapman Avenue.

Public Comments:

Several Residents of North Hart Street and community members said the crosswalk is unsafe, underused, and should be removed, but were more concerned with the gap in the wall and wanted it to be closed off. Residents said, “We would rather lose access inconvenience for our street to the post office, restaurants, and shops. We’re happy to take the extra steps to walk around.”
Active Transportation Committee members Anjali Tapadia and Jane Rands said they did not support the closure as the City Bicycle Master Plan route includes both the crosswalk and the wall gap and is the only route that connects the existing class three bike routes of the Wilshire bike Blvd. and Victoria. The courses then lead to CSU Fullerton on Associated Road and beyond. The closest alternative is Victoria which is 500 feet away and a long distance to walk. They recommended that the council vote to fix the safety issue instead of removing an essential route without due process and consider bringing the item back before the relevant committees and providing an alternative way to satisfy all parties.
Jane Rifer said that keeping pedestrian access is essential as there are people who need to catch the bus and walk as the only mode of transportation they have. Making the crosswalk safer is more important than eliminating pedestrian access.
City Council unanimously passed eliminating the crosswalk and closing the wall gap that served as the pedestrian/bike path.

Housing Loan Committee Decision for a Deferred Home Improvement Loan Appeal  

The City denied an applicant’s request for a Deferred Home Improvement Loan. The applicant appealed the staff decision to the Housing Loan Committee, who rejected the appeal. The applicant has appealed the Housing Loan Committee’s decision to City Council.
A housing rehabilitation program offers forgivable loans, block improvement grants, deferred loans for mobile home loans, and Lead Reduction Programs. The general requirements are the location within Fullerton city limits, that the owner lives at the property, income, and assets meet HUD guidelines (these are the current income guidelines for 2023 from HUD).
Home improvement program residential and mobile home loans are for anyone under the 80% or below income guidelines. Forgivable loans are for our residents that are 50% or down. These are the maximum current assistance that the City gives. There is also a lead paint reduction plan with no limit.
The City has ten working days to review any application that comes in. All supporting documents must be provided, and a complete environmental for anyone, not a senior credit report, must be checked. A pre-approval and home inspection, title report, appraisal, and termite and lead report are completed.
Deferred and mobile home loans go to the housing loan committee, which is the director of community and economic development, director of administrative services, and director of public works.
In reviewing the bundle application and the committee decision, the applicant first came to apply in October. Their income didn’t qualify them for the forgivable loan. However, they were allowed to apply for the deferred loan. They were pre-approved for the deferred loan in January. The City started to do the inspection report and the title report.
Between October 2022 and January 30, 2023, the title report showed they had a second mortgage on the property. The City does not stand in the third position on titles or liens. During the appeal process, it was discovered that they owned two additional properties they did not disclose, putting them over the limitation of 30,000.
The applicant is appealing the housing loan committee’s decision to deny the loan.
Councilmember Zahra asked if the guideline that the City will not stand in third position on a loan was city guidelines or Federal guidelines. The city reviewer, Naomi, said the guidelines were city guidelines, not Federal ones.

Public Comments: 

The homeowner, Bernadette, is elderly and Mobily challenged. Her daughter Theresa spoke.
“As a daughter of senior citizens, you’re trying to help and take care of them,” said Theresa, “We’ve tried to give you as much information as you need with the emails going back and forth from what I could see from Dad. Yes, they did not qualify for the initial forgive forgivable loan. They were invited to apply for the deferred loan, which, I can see, was approved from the notes. They got the letter of approval in December, and then in January, they received a notice that an audit was going on, so they needed to provide a copy of the grant deed. That notice upset them because when they were asked to apply for the deferred loan in December, they were told that all the documents were in. It was a great Christmas for us. So come January, there’s an audit and a copy of the needed grant deed. So in February, Naomi says I apologize for the delay in sending your letter. The City will send you the denial letter later this week. The denial came from the City on April 4.”
“The denial letter says that per city policy, it is the position of the City to not stand in third position on loans. I looked for the city policy. I could not find it. I would love a copy. On the application form, it does not state that. My father appealed, and we were denied again. Communication is key to everything, and the communication is unclear and inaccurate. I aim to get some time to allow my parents to get their assistance. Time for my parents to get an accurate review of the documents. Please allow us that.”
City Council voted to direct the City Manager, Eric Levitt, to work with the family to devise a solution and bring it back to the council. It was passed unanimously.

Fullerton Municipal Code Chapter 8.46: Amendments to Revise Recreational Vehicle Parking Provisions; Relating to RV Parking, Stopping, and Standing 

Proposed ordinances to amend and modify Fullerton Municipal Code Chapter 8.46 Recreational Vehicle Parking Provisions to make Code compliant with matters determined by a Court and in keeping with the City’s intent as to the scope and meaning of the parking regulations, as well as the City’s actual enforcement and application of the Fullerton Municipal Code.
The two ordinances before you tonight are an urgency ordinance and a non-urgency ordinance relating to the recreational vehicles ordinance, chapter 8.46—primarily making changes to the definitions of the term recreational vehicle (RV) to include ones that have been physically modified to be equipped for human habitation and also to provide a reasonable time to park for businesses and services within the City. These items were already included in the police department’s policy for implementing the code provisions, but we’re now putting these into the municipal Code itself. There were some issues or questions in the pending litigation relating to whether the ordinance was enforced against vehicles that were stopped, specifically ones that were stopped at stop signs or red traffic lights, or in traffic. It was never implemented that way, but we’ve added provisions to clarify that. Mostly these changes are the original intent and the way that the Code has been enforced, but it’s to put it into the Code itself and these revisions because they’re minor changes. We’ve identified an exemption that applies from the guidelines section 15061, so there’s no need for any environmental review for these changes.

Public Comments

Curtis Gamble
I think that Fullerton has been tough on the RV parking. I believe that RVs should have the same rights as regular cars, but what we’ve done here in Fullerton has been to eliminate them, and that’s why they’re homeless. We have this state and federal law and the city ordinance. The City must not make its ordinance above what the state and federal law do; if you do, you’re wrong. In this case, you’ve been mistaken for a long time. The RVs pay their DMV fees just like anybody else. Just like everybody else, they have rights to the streets. Everything has specific areas that are ok to park in. Big trucks and cars all have their places. We cannot continue to discriminate against our RVs and cause them homeless. The residents find it very difficult to use RVs and for their visitors to come and use them. We need to make our City comfortable for them, so I hope tonight that we do the right thing because if not, you will have another lawsuit. Let’s do the right something and make this right for mainly our homeless low-income and everybody. They deserve to have the same rights as any other vehicle.
Mayor Jung said, “I would caution you on using the word discriminate. That’s a terrible word because I don’t think the term is significant to what we do. I’ll ask our police department, do we have a bias against our RVs when we do traffic enforcement?”
FPD Captain Radus said, “Sir, no, absolutely not.”
Jung: “Parking enforcement?”
Radus: “Sir, no, absolutely not.”
Jung: “Any kind of enforcement?”
Radus said, “Sir, no, absolutely not.”
Curtis Gamble was not allowed to defend his position at the council as his three minutes were already up. The Fullerton Observer, Voice of OC, LAist, LaTimes, and numerous other media have documented the harassment, abuse, and ban of RVs by the Fullerton Police Department as directed by the city council since 2020.
Please see articles: LAist published July 7, 2023: Fullerton Can’t Enforce RV Parking Ban, OC Judge Rules
Fullerton Observer published November 28, 2020: Fullerton Bans RV Street Parking: Is This Criminalizing Homelessness?
Fullerton Observer published December 18, 2020: Fullerton’s RV Parking Ban May be Unconstitutional

SC Edison Street Light Conversion Pilot Project: Lily Street  

Southern California Edison (SCE) has proposed a pilot project to convert one City-owned high-voltage series circuit to an SCE-owned system at no cost to the City.
The City has about 6000 or so streetlights. Half of them are on an old high-voltage system. While they were great when built, they are hard to maintain now. SC Edison provides the power, but the City owns the lights. The problem is that the transformer that provides the management is very specialized to a specific circuit, so you cannot just interchange them. Now they are no longer being manufactured. For the past few years, the City has been looking at different pilot projects to figure out a convenient or practical way to address this issue. SC Edison has come to the table to suggest they will essentially take on a pilot project to take over a circuit. The circuit they want to take over is the Lily circuit. The City reached out to the community for a meeting on the 25th. Unfortunately, only two people showed up. The pros and cons are, essentially, the City will give over control of the streetlights to Edison. The streetlights will then be fed overhead instead of underground as they are currently. So esthetically not as pleasing; however, the system will function correctly and have new LED lights, ultimately costing the city less power consumption. Edison will pay for the entire project to convert Lilly Street to the new lighting. Lilly has 39 to 40 lights, no major cross streets, is in a low-income neighborhood, and is the best candidate for this pilot project.
We want to start with the pilot program and have this completed by the end of the year. We’ve been in conversations for many years since before I’ve been here, which is over five years. Looking at this issue, we understand that there is a severe financial commitment to being able to update the lights, and this is a way where we feel that we can partner with the City to achieve this goal.
The bottom line is that one company in Utah is still producing these streetlights. The series St. Lights are old. One goes out; the whole string goes out. And without light, it’s a safety issue and liability. We want to do our part in developing solutions to keep our customers light. If the pilot works the way the City and neighborhoods like, then the City of Fullerton will purchase the lights and installation for the rest of the town. Edison will continue to be the electrical provider.
Passed unanimously.

Pulled from the Consent Items; Item #3 City Response to the Grand Jury Report on School Shootings

Councilmember Dr. Zahra:
I don’t have an issue with our response. I want you to know just the public record and anyone still: watching to learn a little more about what our Police Department and our City have been doing in cooperation with the school district.
Fullerton Police Department Captain Radus:
Fullerton is the education community; we have quite a few educational institutions in our City: Fullerton school district and Fullerton Joint Union high school District. We have three SRO assigned to our high school district five days a week. They’re there four days a week, and the community pays for an overtime day for each school on Fridays and alternating Mondays. Supervisors are constantly communicating with the school district regarding any issues on campus.
Our officers also work their football games, dances, and other events. At one of our high school districts, there’s a police officer there to promote safety and create relationships with the kids on campus. Hence, they feel comfortable speaking with our officers. Suppose there is some threat against the campus that has happened many times. All have been either false, or we’ve intervened before anything occurred. We have 20 K through 8 schools roughly within our City that are working through their board to hire a police officer to be there and calling it a school liaison officer for the schools that would be assigned full-time.
Additionally, we have great relationships with Fullerton junior college and its Police Department. We work with them regularly. Whether that’s just on calls for service on their campus or in our community.
We also do joint training with Cal State Fullerton. They have members of their department on our swat team, so we cross-train with them. As well as the drone program at Fullerton College.
Within the last year, we’ve started something called the school’s first safety initiative within our community, where we’ve gotten all of the administrators and some of their staff together in one room to talk about school safety and how one school district can support another school district, including the Archdiocese of Orange County since they have some private schools in our City. We’ve also included Arborland, a large preschool in the northwest part of our City. Captain Ron and I’ve done presentations for them regularly.
Officers are well-trained in active shooter training every two years. We shoot or qualify monthly in our range. The state of California says you have to do it once a year. We do it 12 times a year at least so our officers are proficient.
Many officers trained in tactical casualty care, how to treat wounds immediately on site, and carry tactical casualty kits. Every car we have is equipped with an active shooter kit which is additional body armor, Shields additional rounds for if there is some prolonged event. In our supervisor’s cars, we also have keys to every elementary, middle, and high school within the City. As you can imagine, that’s quite a few keys. We’ve run highlight presentations at most of our schools for staff.
We have a relationship with a company called knowledge saves life, which saves lives, and is hired by the Fullerton school district to provide training throughout the community to their staff; we are typically on site for those types of activities with an officer to help during scenarios. We have done quite a bit within our community to ensure we can respond effectively and efficiently in the unfortunate event something happens.
Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Tuesday, September 5, 2023 • MEETING CANCELLED