City Council Notes
by Leah Han
Meetings are on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Upcoming agenda information and streaming video of meetings are available at http://www.cityoffullerton.com. City Hall is located at 303 W. Commonwealth, Fullerton. Contact Council at (714) 738-6311 or email@example.com
New Healthcare Portal for Medical
Doug Chaffee and representatives from CalOptima talked about MediCal with CalOptima Health and the importance of updating your contact information as soon as possible on benefitscal.com
OC Power Authority Presentation
Joe Mosca, the interim CEO of the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA), made a presentation on the state of the OCPA. He explained that their goals were to develop and implement a strategic plan and expand their staff and environmental reach. Mosca also celebrated the OCPA as California’s most extensive and greenest community choice aggregator. Councilmember Nick Dunlap voiced issues about opting out from the OCPA but still being in it. Mosca apologized and explained that they would not default to SCE if people opted out too early when they first launched. Councilmember Dr. Ahmad Zahra thanked the CEO and asked how people can participate in their low-income programs and how the OCPA uses outside funds. Mosca directed people to the website if they were not previously enrolled in a low-income program. He also responded that they are currently working with stakeholders, but the only outside funding would be the EV charging program grant with the Department of Energy. Councilmember Dr. Shana Charles asked to make the presentation available to the public, to which Mosca said that they would. Mosca ended the discussion by saying they were working on a community power plan to understand what programs would be helpful for Fullerton.
Hunger Action Month: This month was also named Hunger Action Month. Megan from Second Harvest OC and the OC Hunger Alliance discussed food insecurity and thanked the city.
World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Mayor Jung invited Kristen Moss of Alzheimer’s OC, but she was absent. “Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder that tragically robs individuals of their memory and leads to mental and physical impairment. An estimated 5.4 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, including 200,000 under 65,” said Jung, “The council resolved that September 19, 2023, is World Alzheimer’s Awareness Month. The City Council recognizes Alzheimer’s OC for its unwavering and steadfast commitment to research advocacy support and education to find the cause as they collectively work towards a cure and a world without Alzheimer’s disease. This is very personal to me as my father has it.”
The week of September 17 is Constitution Week: A representative from the Daughters of the American Revolution, a bipartisan organization for patriotism, thanked the city for the proclamation.
Recognition and Awards
Michael Fiore invited people to the Facing Fentanyl event and said he would love to work with the city of Fullerton.
Fullerton resident Bernard said, “Speaking as someone who can’t even sit on the bike now, we need to invest in bicycle infrastructure. Less than a week ago, on Richmond and Orangethorpe, there was a fatal collision. Here’s a safety question: When was the last time we had a fatality due to a bicycle collision? What are you doing actually to support our schools and students? Support their safety. You three claimed to support something, yet your words do not align with your votes. This is all on public record.
Another resident highlighted the danger of Rosecrans Road near Parks Jr High.
Over 30 residents from all the districts asked for the Union Pacific Trail grant to be used for the trail and not to be diverted or sent back.
City Council Comments
Councilmember Dr. Shana Charles thanked everyone’s help for the excellent Farmer’s Market. She also reported that the new Cal State Fullerton President is open to working with the community. She finishes with excitement for the Tommy Lasorda Day event.
Councilmember Nick Dunlap spoke about his experience at the Fullerton Museum and his eagerness for the Tommy Lasorda Day event.
Councilmember Dr. Ahmad Zahra also had a wonderful time at the Fullerton Museum.
Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker reported on the need for a replacement at the OC Water District and his anticipation for their ground-based cloud seeding beginning in November. He also stressed the overlooked need to fix our residential streets.
Mayor Fred Jung asked the City Manager to fix the danger of the crosswalk at Rosecrans Road near Parks Jr High. The City Manager had already asked Public Works Director Stephen Bise to investigate what could be done to make it safe. City Manager Eric Levitt responded to questions about the Union Pacific trail by summarizing that the council asked staff to come back with other options for the grant at the August 15 meeting.
Creation of a Senior Advisory Committee
The city staff made a presentation with two options for the council.
Option 1: Change one of the two at-large seats to the Parks and Rec Commission. There would be no fiscal impact.
Option 2: Make a new Senior Advisory Commission of 7 members. Five of these would be appointed by the council, one representative from the Fullerton Senior Club, and one at-large member. All members would be 60 or over. The cost would be $3,600 per year in staff time.
Councilmember Dr. Zahra thanked staff for their work and supported option 2. Mayor Jung seconded.
Option 2 passed unanimously.
Fullerton’s Urban Forest Pruning Management Plan
The city Arborist Julio Jacobo presented Fullerton’s Urban Forest Pruning Management Plan. Their goals are to maintain tree health, safety, and aesthetics. They explained that they use natural pruning systems instead of Topiary ones. Many pictures were shared of pruned and unpruned trees in Fullerton.
Resident Jane Reifer asked if they could not staple the signs to the trees but instead fix them with tape or string. This way, residents would not think it is okay to nail things on trees. She also commented that the Jacaranda trees in Fullerton look severely pruned.
Resident ZJ commented that since the Jacaranda trees look severe, the city should explain how they are still healthy when pruned as such. He suggested that the community would participate in maintaining the Union Pacific Trail. He also advocated for the City of Fullerton to invest in an auto mall to generate money for the city.
Maureen Milton asked, what is the cost for use of the EV stations? Who can use them? Do they generate money for the city? She also advocated for the Union Pacific Trail.
Residents Unite to Advocate for the Union Pacific Trail
Over 25 south Fullerton neighbors were joined by a handful of north Fullerton residents in a demonstration designed to urge the Council majority to reconsider their August 15 council decision to send back the $1.78 million grant to the California State Natural Resources Agency rather than use it to construct Phase II of the Union Pacific (UP) Trail.
The walking and biking trail is part of a 2012 plan to reuse the abandoned Union Pacific railway line, which will connect Union Pacific Park on Truslow downtown to Independence Park on W. Valencia and eventually connect to other trails. The grant to build the trail, which includes planting 176 native trees, landscaping, and trail amenities, was accepted by the council in 2020.
However, Mayor Jung, Mayor Protem Whitaker, and Councilmember Dunlap directed staff to return the grant if the granting agency would not allow it to be used to open UP Park instead, according to grant language, that switch is not permitted.
Advocates of UP Trail will be at the City Council meeting on October 3. All districts are encouraged to support the grant from Urban Greening to be used for its intended purpose of creating Phase II of the Union Pacific Trail.
Open space by District Measured in Acres
- District 1___________767.7
- District 2___________1,321.49
- District 3___________169.09
- District 4___________27.52
- District 5___________36.16