Fullerton Mayor Quirk-Silva? Will McKinley and Whitaker keep their words tonight?




Fullerton councilmembers Bruce Whitaker, Sharon Quirk-Silva, and Pat McKinley.

So, next month tonight (Tuesday Dec. 6) it’s time for a new mayor in Fullerton, and according to the town’s tradition of mayoral rotation, it should be the turn of the very popular Sharon Quirk-Silva, one of the only two stand-up councilmembers to respond to the Kelly Thomas murder with action rather than obfuscation, to take that seat.  That is, unless she gets screwed over again like she did last year.

She needs the votes of two of her Republican, male colleagues, and she’s been promised the votes of Bruce Whitaker and Pat McKinley, as she was last year.  But last year McKinley stabbed her in the back, switching his vote to his utterly comical Republican colleague Dick Jones.  It sure would have been nice to have the compassionate and accessible Ms. Quirk-Silva as the face of Fullerton during this tumultuous year, instead of the utterly insensitive and buffoonish “Doc Heehaw.”

This year, Bruce Whitaker (the OTHER stand-up Fullerton councilmember) has once again told Sharon she’ll have his vote.  But this time his promise, as described to me by Sharon over delicious hors d’oeuvres at Loretta Sanchez’ wedding reception last night month, was couched in conditionals:  Basically he doesn’t want to once again be the ONLY Republican defying his Party and backing a Democrat for Mayor.   So it comes down to Pat McKinley.

McKinley, one of the “Three Blind Mice” councilmen currently facing recall, has also told Sharon she has his vote, but … of course that’s what he said last time.  Will the looming recall make him more or less dependable?  Will it make him more susceptible to pressure from OC GOP Central to break his promise and screw over the Democrat woman?  Or will Pat McKinley want to be known and remembered for one action that is not ratlike?


It’s all part of the demise of civil politics these days, at least in the OC’s Republican-controlled towns – the scuttling of decades-long traditions like mayoral rotations for partisan reasons or other political revenge.  Just earlier this year (or was it last?) the world-renowned community activist and La Habra Councilwoman Rose Espinoza was denied her turn at the mayoralty by the GOP majority there.

Same thing happened to Wendy Leece in Costa Mesa last year, and she’s not even a Democrat – but she HAD committed the cardinal sin of saving the cash-strapped town millions of dollars by voting to accept a negotiated giveback of wages and benefits from the town’s cops and firefighters, rather than holding out for a harsher deal as the OC GOP overlords wanted her to do.

Funny, her colleague Gary Monahan voted the exact same way, and gave a similar decent, reasonable and humane explanation… and yet he is giddily happy in the Mayor’s seat right now, presiding over the decimation of the workforce and cutting that unforgettably ridiculous figure on the day of Huy Pham’s suicide.

Maybe it only happens to WOMEN, and is another manifestation of the GOP’s sexism.  Ya think so?  Sharon, Wendy, Rose, Christine Shea, and Pam Keller do.

So we’ll see what happens in Fullerton next month tonight, and hope that Whitaker and McKinley do the right thing.  (And by the way, in case anyone was still unclear – Bruce Whitaker did NOT, repeat NOT, kill and eat Cletus’ dog, or anyone else’s dog for that matter.)






About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official troubador of both Anaheim and Huntington Beach (the two ends of the Santa Ana Aquifer.) Performs regularly both solo, and with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.