Election Numbers, City Financial Woes and a New Blog In Town
Checking the most recent Costa Mesa election results, as of 5:00 pm this evening shows no change in positioning by the nine candidates. All of the positions since the polls closed last Tuesday evening remain the same. Three-term councilman Gary Monahan retains a nearly 1500 vote lead over Katrina Foley. She, in turn, holds a lead of almost 800 votes over Eric Bever. Bever still leads Jim Righeimer by slightly more than 1500 votes for the final seat.
REEDY AND MC EVOY SURPRISE...
One of the really fascinating aspects of this election is the number of votes captured by Lisa Reedy and Chris McEvoy. Both ran bare bones campaigns and yet Reedy received 6,457 votes and McEvoy received 5,973.
SO DO SNEEN AND BUNYAN...
Also surprising is the expectedly poor showings by Bill Sneen and Chris Bunyan...
MORE VOTES REMAIN TO BE COUNTED
According to the Orange County Registrar of Voters site, county-wide there remains over 116,000 votes still to be counted. I guess they will be chipping away at that total the rest of this week.
FACING THE HARSH FINANCIAL TRUTH
The Costa Mesa City Council, at their Study Session on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, will hear recommendations from the city staff on ways to save $8,396,233 in this year's budget through extensive spending reductions. The following is one paragraph from the staff report on this subject currently posted on the city web site. The emphasis is mine.
"The City has undertaken a series of cost-cutting measures to reduce spending in light of the significant reduction in revenues in the current operating and capital improvement budget and growing budget imbalance. This imbalance in the budget has increased the City's budget deficit to approximately $10.5 million or 8.67% of the City General Fund operating budget. As has been highlighted in prior budget deliberations, this budget imbalance has been growing over the past four years but is exacerbated in the current year due to a decline in General Fund revenues attributable to the economic conditions and rising costs."
PROBLEMS NO SURPRISE
Certainly, the fact that our city is facing problems with it's budget will come as no surprise. It was acknowledged earlier this summer that the current economics - the decline in sales tax revenues and possible loss of property tax revenues - would almost certainly require some adjustments.
COUNCIL IGNORES STAFF - AGAIN
As stated in the report, the budget deficit is nothing new - it's been growing for four years. However, those few of us who actually pay attention to these things recall that the staff has recommended additional funding sources - including an increase in the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) - which were brushed aside by the current council. The staff has their finger on the pulse on our city finances and provided their best professional guidance to the council, which chose to ignore it.
This has become a very bad habit by this council. Maybe it's the "improver" arrogance at work, but they seem to feel that simply being elected automatically makes them experts on every subject that faces our city. Well, it didn't, which they demonstrate time after time after time. All the members of the current and future council are culpable - Gary Monahan was part of the council for half of those four years.
NEW BLOG IN TOWN!
In case you're interested, there's a new blog in town. Community activist and frequent participant on this blog and others, including the Daily Pilot blog, Bruce Krochman, has decided to dip his toe into the icy waters of Costa Mesa blogdom. His new blog, Civil Thinking, is in it's infancy, but I expect good things from it.
BRUCE ON THE CASE
Krochman has demonstrated that he gives important issues focused attention and makes excellent points. I'm sure his blog will become yet another important voice in our community. I've provided a link to his blog on the right side of this page. Welcome aboard, Bruce.