Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Lead poisoning is a significant public health issue as it may cause lifelong health effects, including learning and behavioral problems, for children. There is no safe level for lead, and many children do not look or act sick when poisoned by lead. A simple blood test is critical to early intervention. Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Week is an opportunity to remind families in our communities to focus on prevention year-round by avoiding exposure from sources such as chips and peeling paint in older homes, imported toys, jewelry, pottery, candies, and traditional folk remedies. This year will also bring awareness to neighborhood sources of potential lead air pollution, including construction, desks from older housing, and industrial sites such as battery recycling, welding, solar manufacturing, pigment, glass making, shooting ranges, and most ammunition. Family members working in these sites should shower and change clothes before going home to protect their household from lead dust. For more information, go to: https://ochealthinfo.com/lead
The month of October is proclaimed as National Violence Awareness Month
A Radiant Futures representative accepted the proclamation. Radiant Futures has served the community for over 47 years with legal, housing, counseling, and education services for survivors of domestic violence and their families. It is a collaborative effort to address this pressing public health issue.
For more information on Radiant Futures go to: https://radiantfutures.org or if you need help now call 877-531-5522
City Council Notes: October 17 Meeting
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty residents spoke, asking the council to bring back Union Pacific Trail.
Resident Karen Loreda asked for greater transparency in the city minutes.
Yolanda and Todd Harrison brought up the dangers of Lemon and Valencia. Another accident occurred.
Another resident named ZJ seconded their statements and brought up the lack of sidewalk on Page Ave near Orangethorpe Elementary School.
Resident Maureen Milton asked city staff to put the print date on papers being given out from the city. This way, residents can know if they are up to date. Milton also asked for the chamber doors to be brought to ADA compliance.
Mike Laquino, a retired Anaheim Police Officer and resident of Fullerton spoke out about issues in the past Planning Commission meeting and asked for an appeal. Residents were told they could appeal at the end of the meeting but now are unable to.
A former planning commissioner and another resident echoed Laquino’s statements. (See the Planning Commission Meeting transcription here or watch video here) (You can see the interactive map of Short-term Rentals in Fullerton here)
City Council Comments
Councilmember Dr. Shana Charles thanked her colleagues for attending various city events, like the World Korean Business Convention and local business openings. Charles reminded residents of her office hours on Thursdays from 12pm – 2pm and invited people to talk virtually if they cannot attend in person. Charles also read a statement she and Councilmember Zahra had signed about the recent events in Israel and Palestine. The statement said they are against the violence against civilians in Israel and Palestinians in Gaza, as well as the rise in Antisemitism and Islamophobia.
Councilmember Nicholas Dunlap replied to a public comment that the council does not listen to public comment by showing his notes. He also responded to a comment about how council members should visit the site for the Union Pacific Trail. He said he had visited the site and was familiar with the area. Dunlap explained that he was also shocked by the previous Planning Commission meeting regarding short-term rentals and would like to see the ordinance brought to the council. He ended with excitement for post-season baseball.
Councilmember Dr. Ahmad Zahra thanked Charles for reading their joint statement. He shared that the Public Works Department has good ideas to better Lemon and Valencia and asked them to bring their ideas to the council. Zahra also asked Public Works to come back with their pilot program for fixing the lack of lighting in areas like Woodcrest. He also asked to look at the ordinances for smoke shops and liquor stores to ensure sufficient distance between them.
Zahra responded to a public comment about the negatives of districts by explaining his opinion that he saw positives in districts because, as a councilmember he could see issues in all areas that might have been overlooked previously. He added that it allowed the public to engage better when there was an assigned representative. Zahra thanked the Fullerton Fire Department for their work and for allowing him to participate in the Fill-The-Boot fundraiser. He also thanked Sunrise Rotary for cleaning Truslow Park and other organizations’ work helping to maintain parks.
Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker spoke on his experience at the Water Summit held by the Orange County Water District and the Metropolitan Water District of Orange County. Whitaker praised the well-attended, useful event. He also explained that he feels he cannot respond to all of the public comments because it is not agendized in meetings. Whitaker explained that this is why he enjoys being invited to speak on certain things.
Review of Allocation of Park Dwelling Fees
Several people favored option one, which uses the Parks Dwelling Fee money for the area near building projects but leaves half of the money for all other parks.
Resident Jane Reifer asked for clarification that trails count as parks.
Mayor Pro Tem Whitaker later confirmed that they do.
Councilmember Dunlap brought up recreational sports fields and how they have to be maintained by private funds.
Councilmember Zahra explained that he believes there is an issue of over-relying on grant funding for parks. Whitaker said that no one is intentionally depriving areas of park space but that it is only how the city has developed.
Councilmember Charles stressed the issue of making sure parks accessible to families are the ones focused on. Charles added that she thinks staff should try putting together some criteria and numbers for what parks are important to focus on. Whitaker highlighted the importance of maintaining the parks that we currently have and agreed with Councilmember Zahra that Mayor Jung should be present for the item.
Mayor Jung was not present during this time. Zahra emphasized the poor condition of Independence Park and how much help it needs. Whitaker explained that he is against adding more requirements to allocating Park Dwelling fees since it might hold up the money. Zahra responded that it is not limiting because they have grants but do not want to rely on them entirely.
A motion was unanimously passed to continue the item at the next meeting.
Falc Ambulance Extension
Mayor Fred Jung recused himself from this item.
The council voted on a 60-day extension for the Falc Ambulance contract while the RFP is being renewed.
A public commenter expressed confusion about why we must work with Falc Ambulance.
Councilmember Charles asked for the City Manager, Eric Levitt, to clarify for the public.
Levitt explained that Fullerton should maintain their right to control their ambulance services and that it is essential to ensure transport and care to the hospital.
The item passed unanimously.