On the Agenda for December 5 City Council Meeting


Item  #5: UNION PACIFIC TRAIL PHASE TWO RECONSIDERATION (part of the national Rail to Trail project)

City Council considered Union Pacific Park trail options on August 15, 2023, and voted 3 -2 to direct staff to reapproach the California Natural Resources Agency to consider reallocating the Phase Two project grant funding to another project. Council Member Dr. Ahmad Zahra requested, supported by Council Member Dr. Shana Charles, to bring this item back for City Council consideration.


  1. Reaffirm City Council direction from August 15, 2023, and direct the City Manager Eric Levitt to reapproach the State of California Natural Resources Agency and continue to explore an alternate project for the grant. –OR–
  2. Direct the City Manager to move forward with the Union Pacific Trail Phase Two project, as recommended by the Parks and Recreation Commission, and appropriate $330,000 from the Park Dwelling (Fund 39) fund balance to Project 54260 Union Pacific Trail Phase Two Project in Capital Projects Fund (Fund 74).

OBSERVER NOTES: Tuesday’s agenda is a reconsideration of action (or lack thereof) on the UP Trail. On other recent bicycle-related items, the Council justified their actions based on what the “community” wanted. On Associated Road, the 30 or 40 people that showed up (and perhaps more wrote letters) mostly did not want lane reduction, partly because the staff proposal linked this with additional parking. A petition in support of the lane reduction signed by over 350 Fullerton residents presented by Dr. Tapadia has had no impact. And on Hart, the request by 9 or 10 cul-de-sac residents resulted in the removal of an existing (probably since the sixties) wall opening, which gutted a long-planned link between the depot and the University (there is one possible alternative). That route is on the City Bicycle Plan developed 10 years ago with extensive community input.  And now the equally long-planned UP trail, with substantial demonstrated support from residents who live south of the tracks, is in danger of not being built.

What is the rationale for ignoring the “community” in this case?


The City Council / Successor Agency / Housing Authority / Financing Authority appoints a new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem annually.


  1. The City Attorney conducts nominations for Mayor / Chair appointment.
  2. The mayor conducts nominations for Mayor Pro Tem / Vice Chair appointments.

OBSERVER NOTES: Fullerton has a fair rotation policy for selecting the Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem (No. 226 in the Policy and Procedures Manual). The policy states, “The Mayor Pro Tem shall automatically become the Mayor after serving one year at Mayor Pro Tem…” (Note that this also means the Mayor will serve only one one-year term). The other significant element in this policy is that selection is based on seniority according to the number of years a member has served consecutively on the city council without serving as Mayor. By that standard, at the upcoming December 5 meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker should become Mayor, and Councilmember Dr. Ahmad Zahra should be selected as Pro Tem. In fairness, Zahra should have been Pro Tem and Mayor by now. But, as it turns out, this policy is advisory, and Jung, Whitaker, and Dunlap do not take advice unless it is from their bosom buddies.

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2023-12-04 06:32:34 , Fullerton Observer

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