The role of the city council:
- to be a liaison between the city government and the residents and work together for the common good of the entire city based on the will of the residents
- keep an eye on the management of the city & seek proper backup to verify operations are in order
- to make decisions within city resources to solve issues for the common good that individual residents cannot accomplish independently.
As soon as Fred Jung and Nick Dunlap were sworn in, they, along with Bruce Whitaker, they decided to forego the Fair Rotation Policy. They set a precedent for what the public could expect: a disregard for rules, the needs of their constituents and staff, and a penchant for ignorance, disrespect, and power trips on record. (“They” refers to the council majority for the remainder of this article).
The council majority has voted against community voices in a number of recent decisions, outlined below, and calls the community members who unite in a cause “Special Interest Groups.”
Sunrise Village Development
The council majority voted against the District 1 community members who wanted to keep their shopping center zoning at Sunrise Village. Instead, they voted on the side of Shopoff Realty Investments. In a recent article by Voice of OC detailing the corruption concerning Shopoff and the City Council in Anaheim, “a Fullerton redevelopment project by Shopoff Realty – a developer detailed in Anaheim’s corruption scandal – is making some in the city question the relationship between developers and elected officials.”
In a Fullerton Observer Community Voices article, Who Makes Decisions for the City? Developers, Special Interest Groups, or the Voters of Fullerton? “Shopoff has used every tactic available to get what they want.
- Shopoff has given numerous and undisclosed amounts of money to organizations and city events throughout Fullerton. We question when a gift or donation becomes a bribe.
- Shopoff representatives damaged the reputation of a Korean American business owner by publicly stating confidential information about them.
- Shopoff misrepresented to the city council the extent of their public outreach. Most of the neighbors found out about the proposed development from other neighbors and business owners, not developer outreach.
- Shopoff has publicly challenged the validity of our over 2,600 legal and legitimate signatures on our Save Sunrise Village petitions.
- Korean American immigrant small business owners felt pressured and even intimidated to close or leave their businesses by Shopoff’s tactics. These business owners may not have understood their protections under our legal system.
New standardized conditional use permit
The City requested all businesses to come under the new standardized conditional use permit (CUP) to make enforcing codes easier for the police and city code enforcement dept. When 120 Club on Wilshire complied and exceeded all the requirements to come under the new CUP, which would allow them to open for lunch, Tony Bushala appealed because, according to him, the club exceeded the sound ordinance, which, according to staff, the club did not.
Even though the sound ordinance was entirely different, they denied the CUP, meaning the old CUP allowed them to stay open only as a nightclub was still in place. This act gave the green light to all businesses that they could keep their current CUP.
Associated Road Project
They voted against wider sidewalks, safer biking lanes, and fewer lanes on Associated Rd despite 163 community members signing a petition in favor of the project.
Union Pacific Trail Project
They voted to ask if the $1.78M grant could be used for “something else” instead of its intended purpose, phase II of the Union Pacific Trail, demonstrating sheer ignorance of how much work goes into grant writing. Council disregarded the Parks & Rec Commission’s unanimous vote favoring the Trail Only option. The council has ignored the efforts of an underserved portion of our city.
Tony Bushala, the local real estate developer, called it the path to nowhere, and all three council majority reiterated those exact words before voting against it. But the plan for the trail will connect North Fullerton with the Hunt Library in the South. When completed, it will be a safe bike path that will link up with other cities doing the same rails-to-trails conversion.
Gas Station in Provecho Market Complex
They voted against the community in favor of an ill-placed gas station that the neighbors did not want. Ralph Kim opened the high-end Provecho Market grocery across from the Stater Bros on Euclid. His grocery store is failing, and he says that he has to put in a gas station to survive.
Conservatively speaking, the total time it takes to construct a gas station from the ground up ranges from six months to one year. Opening a gas station is a capital-intensive project, and on average, in the United States, it will cost you a minimum of $250,000 to open a small gas station. Maybe he should have invested in advertising and PR, as most new businesses do.