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It’s straightforward to see why Fullerton residents love their metropolis. This excellent place is the place I’ve devoted my life as a public servant working for the Metropolis as a upkeep employee within the Water Division. I’ve labored for the Metropolis for 20 years and have seen a lot change and progress.
Vital progress has been made for the reason that city was based in 1887 from land secured on behalf of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway. In these days, agriculture was king and by the Twenties, acres of Valencia oranges fed the bounce to meals processing, oil extraction, and manufacturing. From the mid-Nineteen Forties via the late Nineties, Fullerton was residence to a big industrial base made up of aerospace contractors, canneries, paper merchandise producers, and is claimed to be the birthplace of the electrical guitar because of Leo Fender.
At present, Fullerton has a inhabitants of greater than 141,000 residents and 6,500 companies. As a transportation hub, Fullerton has 1000’s of every day commuters and the Metropolis’s municipal airport has 67,000 flights yearly. Ahead-thinking Metropolis Councils permitted the development of faculties, universities, and hospitals.
Fullerton’s elected leaders tended to embrace the conservatism of the Nineteen Eighties. However with that got here the false notion that authorities – even municipal authorities closest to the individuals – ought to be considered with suspicion, even hostility. Metropolis companies have been persistently defunded. Calls to run native authorities “like a enterprise” stay a rallying cry, even when it comes to companies like parks, libraries, and infrastructure. Proponents of the enterprise mannequin unnoticed sound enterprise practices, like making certain there’s sufficient income to supply the companies our residents want.
The place has the political ideology of “authorities is the issue” led the Metropolis? You’ve got solely to drive on Fullerton’s crumbling streets to search out the reply to that query. The Metropolis has a demoralized workforce affected by burnout as a consequence of a lack of sources. Important belongings, like public security, water mains, storm drains, sewers, and sidewalks that profit each Fullerton resident are being uncared for on purely misguided political grounds.
Lately, these in Fullerton who have demonized native authorities have tried to persuade everybody of the continued must “lower.” This perception is rooted in a political ideology that harms our residents and companies. Throughout this vital time in Fullerton’s historical past, we have to rise above divisive politics and deal with the advanced wants of residents with satisfactory sources based mostly on sound metrics and succesful public administration.
When the answer to the Metropolis’s challenges are “cuts,” do not forget that means chopping help employees within the Police Division. Meaning chopping upkeep in our 52 parks and the group packages that serve our youngsters, teenagers, and seniors. That means chopping library companies and museum entry. That means chopping our high quality of life.
We’d like our Metropolis Council to steer. We’d like our Metropolis leaders and directors to deliver our workforce, infrastructure, and companies as much as par and to develop a plan to get vital sources on-line. We additionally want our leaders to think about the residents as a result of all we wish is what’s greatest for our households and for Fullerton. If we proceed the fictional narratives that “authorities is the issue” and that “deficit-driven cuts are unavoidable,” all we may have are overgrown parks, shuttered libraries, and extra potholes.
Ed Bargas is a 20-year Metropolis of Fullerton employee and president of the Fullerton Municipal Staff Federation. The membership is comprised of a variety of staff who restore water mains, roads, employees libraries, work in finance, and course of proof for the police division. The FMEF is an affiliate of the Orange County Staff Affiliation.
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