Friday, November 30, 2007

Consent Calendar Dollars And Laguna Beach Defense Bucks

The Costa Mesa City Council will wrap up 2007 at their final meeting of the year on Tuesday, December 4th. Except for a study session scheduled for the 11th, they will not meet at an official scheduled meeting again until January 2, 2008. They will go out with a bang.

The agenda for Tuesday's meeting looks fairly routine, but with these folks you just never know. You will recall that our young jailer/mayor chose to spring his infamous plan to cross-designate all Costa Mesa police officers as immigration screeners two years ago at the final meeting of the year and ignited a firestorm that persists to this day.


One thing I noticed on this agenda is the amount of money to be authorized in the Consent C
alendar. The Consent Calendar is where "routine" items are placed and typically voted on in one big hunk, sometimes without any discussion at all. In addition to the usual warrants authorizing payroll and city operating expenses, this time there are eight items - numbers 7 through 14 - involving much needed street rehabilitation projects around our city. If you include item number 5, which will facilitate the completion of access roads and improvements to streets for the Home Ranch Project, and item number 6, a consulting contract to provide conceptual design and public outreach services for the proposed mulitpurpose trail at Paularino and Santa Ana Delhi Flood Control Channels, our city council may authorize the expenditure of nearly $12 million with a motion and vote that might take no more than 15 seconds! The breakdown is listed below:

Item 3 - Warrant Resolution 2189 - Payroll #723 $2,418,455.91
Payroll #722A $1,047.03
Operating Expenses $2,532.134.51

Item 4 - Warrant Resolution 2190 Operating Expenses $396,040.06

Sub-Total - Items 3 & 4....$5,345,583.45

Item 5 - Purchase of two parcels to facilitate completion $213,168.00
of improvements to Harbor Blvd. and 405
access to the Home Ranch project

Item 6 - Prof. Svcs. Contract - Multipurpose trail $92,277.00

Item 7 - Roadway Rehab. - East 19th St. $555,555.00
Santa Ana Ave. to Irvine Ave.

Item 8 - Roadway Rehab. - Baker St. $751,649.00
Fairview to Bear

Item 9 - Roadway Rehab. - Harbor Blvd. $1,430,213.98
Wilson St. to Newport Blvd.

Item 10 - Roadway Rehab. - Sunflower Ave. $1,092,387.38

Harbor Blvd. to Hyland

Item 11 - Roadway Rehab. - Hyland Ave. $859,000.00
So. Coast Dr. to MacArthur Blvd.

Item 12 - Roadway Rehab. - So. Coast Dr. $475,363.10
Harbor Blvd. - Hyland Ave.

Item 13 - Roadway Rehab. - So. Coast Dr. $842,030.00
Carmel Dr. to San Leandro Ln.

Item 14 - Parkway Concrete Repair and $374,800.00
New Sidewalk Project

Sub-Total - Items 5 - 14....$6,686,443.46

Grand Total, all items.....$12,032,

Now, before you get all hot and bothered, all these items seem to be important projects and do need to be authorized, but it makes this taxpayer swallow hard when I realize that, in one quick wave of their magic wand, the City Council will agree to the expenditure of $12 million of our hard earned dollars. This is especially interesting when you consider this same group haggles over pennies during the budget discussions.

The Orange County Register, in it's Immigration Blog, reports this morning that the City of Laguna Beach spent $75,000 defending itself in the lawsuit by Minutechick Eileen Garcia challenging their d
ay laborer center. Combine that with the thousands of dollars being spent by the City of Costa Mesa in the Benito Acosta trials because of our young jailer/mayor's actions almost two years ago and it sure looks like those Minutemobsters really like to spend our hard-earned tax dollars on their flights of fancy. I find that amusingly curious since both Eileen of Laguna and our mayor claim to be conservatives. I guess they are good students of Minuteman Grand Pooba, Jim Gilchrist, who reportedly has had some difficulty managing money himself.

That should give you something to chew on this weekend as you stay all warm and cozy inside trying to figure out what that wet stuff is that's falling from the sky while watching the Trojans and Bruins battle for a potential Rose Bowl bid.

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