In Fullerton, 12 candidates have filed for the three open Council seats. Incumbents Bruce Whitaker and Travis Kiger are expected to retain their seats. Whitaker had been elected to the City Council in 2010, and was not subject to the recent recall of three other Council members in June. Kiger, a former Planning Commissioner, was elected to serve the remaining term of F. Richard ‘Dick” Jones, with 56.2% of the vote, following the Councilman’s recall ouster. Kiger is also a blogger with Friends for Fullerton’s Future, the political website that broke the story of the Kelly Thomas beating tragedy, that ignited Fullerton to remove their longtime leaders, who many claim looked the other way while staff ran amuck.
Bruce Whitaker serves as Policy Advisor for Assemblyman Chris Norby, himself a former Fullerton Councilman. Whitaker’s affable nature combined with his knowledge of political resources that benefit Fullerton make him a hard opponent to beat, and he has been serving as Mayor Pro-Tem since the recall election in June. Whitaker told the LA Times, ”Events of the past year and a half [have] awakened Fullertonians to the constant need for responsive, competent, ethical and accountable leadership in city government.”
Democrat Sharon Quirk-Silva is leaving her Mayor’s seat in an effort to defeat Republican Assemblyman Chris Norby for his leadership in the newly drawn 65th District. If returned to their places following the election, the Mayor’s position, which is not independently elected in Fullerton, is fairly certain to go to senior-statesman Bruce Whitaker.
In the strangest political move of the century, Don Bankhead has filed to attempt regaining the seat he has lost-twice-to recall! Bankhead was removed from office in June, following a citywide crisis, which critics claim was the result of a lack of leadership on the Council, resulting in charges of Police misconduct, and revealing an illegal water tax that had been imposed on Fullerton residents for years, resulting in millions of dollars padding the General Fund.
Don Bankhead had been serving out yet another term of re-election, following his earlier recall from the Council in 1994. He is one of two politicians in history to serve following recalls.
Other candidates include:
Barry Levinson, an auditor and parks commissioner
Vivian “Kitty” Jaramillo, a retired preservation inspector
Matthew Hakim, a musician and artist
Jane Rands, a systems engineer
Jennifer Fitzgerald, a local business owner
Rick Alvarez, a business owner and planning commissioner
Jan Flory, a family law attorney
Roberta Reid, a retiree
Brian Bartholomew, a small-business owner
Candidate statements can be seen by clicking here:
Candidates Fitzgerald and Levinson are both vying for endorsements from the GOP Central Committee, but their applications were pulled for further discussion during this week’s early endorsements meeting , Incumbents Kiger and Whitaker have been officially endorsed by the GOP.
Also on the November ballot are two measures for Fullerton voters to decide, one which is sure to become heated as Election Day approaches.
A referendum on City Ordinance No. 3169 pertaining to the West Coyote Hills Development Agreement. Measure W brings the contentious development of West Coyote Hills to voters, allowing residents to decide whether to uphold the City Council’s vote to allow development of the open hillside space, comprising 510 acres previously used for oil drilling. The battle over this development has been raging for years, and voters will finally put this to rest once and for all. See arguments for and against here:
An initiative measure placed on the ballot by the City Council to amend Fullerton Municipal Code 7.26 to allow the use, sale and possession of safe and sane fireworks in the City. No argument was filed against this measure.