Massaging The Budget, Massage Parlors and Caspa on Mansoor (so to speak)
It's the beginning of another new week and, with another Costs Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, it promises to be memorable.
COLLECTING FOR CIVIL CITATIONS
Right from the start tomorrow's meeting should be fun. The only public hearing schedule attempts to deal with deadbeats who have, for one reason or another, refused to pay fines for civil citations for municipal code violations. While $60,000 is involved, most if it deals with two properties in town. One in particular, 2256-2258 Orange Avenue, accounts for over $43,000 of the delinquent fines. The other, 1045 El Camino Drive, is for $7,175.00.
GRAPPLING WITH THE BUDGET CONTINUES
Item 2 under Old Business is titled, "Budget Management Strategy Implementation/Employee Salaries & Benefits". This attempts to implement concessions with certain employee bargaining units dealing with pay reductions and furloughs to help balance the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 budget.
Perhaps the most interesting of these is item 2 (e) - the modified Memorandum of Understanding with the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association (CMFA). In a nutshell, the city presents to us to review a negotiation document which demonstrates how the association plans to help with the budget. I'm going to be very interested to see how our city council grapples with this information in an open public forum. The proposed MOU extends the length of time of the existing contract in exchange for some very serious concessions on the part of the city, including an increase in pay rate and a new arrangement on their retirement eligibility - 3% at 50, as opposed to the current 3% at 55.
CHANGING MASSAGE PARLOR MORATORIUM
Under New Business #1 the council will, once again, address their current urgency ordinance regarding a moratorium on massage parlors and new licensees. It seems, in our haste to slam the door on these activities at a recent meeting, we may have been in violations of Senate Bill 731, which prohibits putting restrictions on massage parlors that are more restrictive than other professional and personal service businesses.
EXCEPTIONS TO THE MORATORIUM
The staff recommends exempting two establishments from the moratorium and says it will return at the meeting on August 18th to discuss the extension of the moratorium.
WENDY WANTS TO CHOP PLANNING COMMISSION STIPEND
Perhaps the most fun will come at the end of the meeting when, under New Business #3, Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece proposes giving the Planning Commissioners a pay cut - from $400 per month regardless of how many meetings they attend - to $75.00 per meeting.
CASPA, ORANGE JUICE & MANSOOR
Our old amigo, Dr. Humberto Caspa - former columnist for the Daily Pilot - has begun contributing blog entries on the Orange Juice Blog, a link for which is over there on the right of this page. In a recent entry last week, HERE, Caspa addresses our young jailer (is he still a jailer?)/mayor Allan Mansoor and his candidacy for the State Assembly seat currently held by Van Tran. In his piece Caspa makes some curious comments about Mansoor's sexual orientation - something I feel is completely irrelevant to his candidacy, with the possible exception that he has posted some very explicit negative comments regarding the gay lifestyle on a now-defunct Costa Mesa web site a few years ago. I have no idea if The Mayor has decided to "bat from the other side of the plate", so to speak, and really don't care. Contemplating that speculation does make me smile just a little bit, though.