So, what the heck is it with Eric Bever? At last night's City Council meeting he seemed to either be too stupid to understand the intricacies of the budget issues placed before the council or he just has some kind of a bug up his rear that won't let him vote affirmatively on anything having to do with the budget. Heck, maybe it's both...
LEFT SIDE/RIGHT SIDE?
It could be that, as an alleged artist, he's working with the wrong side of his brain so those numbers just seem like Russian to him. Sometimes, though, it seems as though he's not using either side.
He consistently voted against each budget-related issue last night, but was in the minority each time with the exception of Wendy Leece's ill-fated attempt to bring our Planning Commission compensation in line with most other cities in Orange County. More on that later. Last night Bever seemed just like a little kid who learned his first word - NO! He just kept voting NO!, NO!, NO! all night long. I kind of half-expected him to jump down off the dais and throw what my grandmother used to call a hissy-fit right there before the council.
THREE DOWN, ONE TO GO
Despite Bever's obstinance progress was made on the budget when the negotiated proposals by the three bargaining units excluding the firefighters were passed.
The proposal presented by the firefighters was hashed over by the council, staff and representatives of the bargaining unit. In the end the staff was directed to present the polished product based on those conversations in the very near future - the clock is ticking on the opportunity to affect a real cost savings this year. It is possible that the council may have to call a special meeting to finally resolve this issue.
GOOD JOB TO ALL
As I watched the proceedings last night it became very clear that, despite some public utterances by members of the community, all the bargaining units have been working diligently with the city staff to attempt to reach a workable agreement to resolve our budget dilemma. Much of that work was done in closed session meetings, some of which may have looked like part of the meeting last night.
I join the council members who expressed their gratitude to all the employees of this city and their bargaining unit leaders for their persistence and dedication to helping resolve this budget crisis.
WENDY'S PLAN FOR FISCAL SANITY FAILS
Wendy Leece proposed changing the way the Planning Commission is compensated. Presently they are paid $400 per month, regardless the number of meetings they attend. She presented a chart showing that, with the exception of Irvine, which pays it's Planning Commissioners $300 per month, almost all the other cities in Orange County pay theirs much less than $100 per meeting. Many are in the $50 per meeting range. Leece's logic was sound - our Planning Commissioners just don't have much to do these days. She pointed to the agenda for next Monday's meeting at which they will consider only one item. They'll be out of there before their chairs get warm!
"THE MOUTH" AGREES WITH ME!
There was virtually no discussion of the issue - except for The Mouth From Mesa North, who agreed with Leece and went one step further to echo what I said HERE in a recent Daily Pilot commentary - that the Parks and Recreation Commission be abolished and the Planning Commission assigned it's responsibilities. Imagine The Mouth and your humble correspondent having the same idea... it must be snowing in hades right about now!
DOWN IN FLAMES
Led by Mayor Mansoor, Leece's proposal went down in flames when, on a 4-1 vote, the council agreed to "receive and file" the report. So, we'll just keep on paying each of those five commissioners $400 a month for meeting once a month for just a few minutes. Seems like a pretty interesting decision, considering the fiscal realities we're dealing with these days. When you watch the meeting on Monday and see the commission wrap it up in a half-hour, just remember that you're paying them $800/hour for their time...
ON A MUCH, MUCH HAPPIER NOTE...Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the day my sweet Susan walked down the aisle at the little old St. James Church at the entrance to Lido Isle and agreed to become my wife. What a lucky man I am to have been blessed with such a patient and loving wife for all these years. Happy Anniversary, Honey...
Labels: Anniversary, Budget Woes, Eric Bever