Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Torrance Residents and Representative Address Torrance FPPC/McCormick Controversy

March 22nd, 2016.

Residents of the city of Torrance addressed the Torrance City Council about the ongoing revelations of FPPC violations and the massive fines which followed against Mayor Pat Furey, his consultant and son Patrick Furey, and the PAC run by McCormick Ambulance.

A number of concerned citizens attended
I am glad that a number of residents turned out to speak on the matter.

Most surprising of all, Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Torrance) attended.

And he was the first one to speak during public comment:

Here are some of his comments:

"My views is that the South Bay has been blessed with terrific local government."

Yes, and that praise rests on an aware, active, and engaged local community.

Frankly, I think local government is the best form of government."

I wish that more legislators in Sacramento thought the same way.

Assemblyman David Hadley (R-Torrance)

"The underlying premise of that is that we are engaging in the business of our cities and our school districts with integrity, with full disclosure, and in accordance with state and municipal law."

Yes. Local government and local accountability go hand in hand.

"As is now a matter of public record, we have a vendor to the city of Torrance, McCormick Ambulance, that it stated in stipulation, that it brok the Torrance city code in the course of the most recent election to have taken place in the city of Torrance. And since that election, McCormick has been awarded a contract by the city of Torrance to provide services ...

Then he focused on the issue at hand:

"As a matter of policy and principle, we cannot allow vendors to break the laws of the state, the FPPC,  and the city municipal code."

And finally

"I just want everyone to know here that the residents of the city of Torrance are watching,  and the residents of the South Bay are watching."

Yes, and we are expecting action, results, honesty, and integrity from our city council.

Mark Stephenson then addressed the council on the matter of Patrick Furey Jr., that he should be removed from the Traffic Commission. He chided the council for their silence, which "speaks volumes." He then added that the city residents should not have been reuired to attend and pressure the city council to remove Furey Jr.

I spoke next. Read my comments here.

Clint Paulson also shared his discomfort about addressing this concern. He added that he did not see himself or other members of the community as "political enemies" of the mayor or his son.

Some members of the audience thanked the assemblyman for attending and speaking on behalf of all our concerns.

At the end of the meeting, Councilman Geoff Rizzo sought concurrence on two items.

First, to release an RPF for emergency/ambulance services to replace McCormick when the contract was due for renewal--or rejection--in December.

Unanimous concurrence followed.

For the second item, Rizzo directed staff to bring an item -- to send a letter to Patrick Fury, for his resignation from the Traffic Commission.

Five people concurred:  Rizzo, Heidi Ashcraft, Mike Griffiths, Kurt Weideman, and Gene Barnett.

Councilmember Mike Griffiths then moved for an item to terminate Patrick Fury Jr. if he did not resign.

Three voted to concur: Griffiths, Ashcraft, Barnett

Three voted no, to give Furey Jr. a chance to resign voluntarily: Goodrich, Weideman, and Rizzo.

The mayor abstained. No concurrence emerged.

The people of Torrance have spoken, and the city council listened. Patrick Furey Jr. would be wise to resign and save himself further embarrassment.

Clint Paulson

I agree with the comments from Mark Stephenson and Clint Paulson: the residents of the city should not have had to take time out of their lives to press the council to do this.

The lesson to draw from this local civic victory: if concerned citizens speak out, you can fight and win against city hall!


  1. Link to your comments is broken - 404 Error

    1. All Fixed! Thanks for the heads-up!

      Here's the article if you want to click on it!