Riggy Rebuts, Kinda
Well, the beat goes on with this Fairgrounds Sale issue. Every day seems to bring a new point of interest.
TIP 'O THE HAT
First, a couple tips of the old hat to fellow bloggers for their on-going participation in the enlightenment of the community. Over at the Pacific Progressive Blog, Reggie has provided the best time line I've seen on this process. You can read it HERE.
And, our old pal, Vern (The Singer) Nelson at the Orange Juice Blog has signed in again with another excellent recent post on this subject. You will recall Vern's rendition of "Tainted Sale" he crooned to the Costa Mesa City Council a few weeks back. You can read his piece HERE.
If you read the comments on my last post you read Jim Righeimer's surrogate, CM Costa Mesa North, as he whined about my abuse of his pal. I won't re-hash those - you can read them if you choose.
HE MADE THE WRONG CHOICE
However, this morning I did get a call from Righeimer, who also complained about my observation of his column in the Daily Pilot last Saturday. He simply is unable to understand that his pursuit of this "story" as a Daily Pilot columnist and his job as a city official - Planning Commission Chairman - are conflicts of interest. He told me that when he received the information he referred to in his column that "someone at DGS" had leaked names of bidders in the Fairgrounds Sale, "he just had to do something with it". I told him that he made the wrong choice - that he should have reported it to the authorities FIRST. After a prolonged conversation in which we each tried to make the other understand our points of view we finally agreed to disagree on this subject.
"MORE TO THE STORY", HE SAYS...
Riggy told me that "there's more to this story" - his allegation of collusion in the Fair Sale bidding - but refused to provide me with information to substantiate his claim. He told that he has now passed the information along to "authorities" for their action. We'll see..
DGS NEEDS CREDIBLE INFO TO PURSUE
Later today I spoke with Jeffrey Young, spokesman for the Department of General Services. He was aware of Righeimer's allegations and the column he wrote. When approached by Riggy last week they told him they need credible information, which they will follow-up. He told me they are ready and willing to get to the bottom of this issue, but must have details to follow - not just innuendo. As of this afternoon they have had no information from Riggy or anyone else down here on the issue.
DOESN'T LIKE "CARPETBAGGER" HANDLE
He also took the opportunity to criticize me for continuing to refer to him as a "carpetbagger" even though he has lived in Costa Mesa for more than 4 years. Well, the fact is that he will not have lived in our city for four years until this summer. Three years ago - almost to the date - he was appointed to the Planning Commission, after having lived in Mesa Verde since July of 2006.
POLITICAL PAYBACK REDUX
You will recall that he was appointed to the Planning Commission by Allan Mansoor who had just won re-election with the help of Riggy's good buddy, Representative Dana Rohrabacher. Riggy was Rohrabacher's campaign manager in HIS recent re-election. Riggy had submitted his application for the Planning Commission after the deadline, yet was appointed ahead of loyal "improver" foot soldier Paul Bunney, who looked stunned at the council meeting where he was in attendance with a new suit and haircut for the occasion. Riggy denies that was political payback - Puhleeze! It couldn't have been more obvious unless Mansoor had announced it from the dais, for goodness sake.
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER...
Riggy continues to proclaim that he has no broader political aspirations, even though he was a candidate, unsuccessfully, for Van Tran's Assembly seat while a Fountain Valley resident. Back when he was appointed to the Planning Commission I predicted, HERE, that he would run for City Council in two years - which he did, unsuccessfully. What's that old saw, "Actions speak louder than words"? Riggy just seems unable to comprehend how his actions are interpreted by some of us who actually pay attention.
GOOD GUY/POLITICAL OPPORTUNIST
Let me be clear, I don't think Jim Righeimer is a bad guy. He's an amiable guy with a lovely family. I do think he's a well-connected political opportunist and insider who will try to leverage his current position for higher office - no matter how loud he denies it. I think his life experience as a developer of retail and residential properties can be valuable to our community in his role on the Planning Commission. However, his heavy-handedness - I've written about it in the past - makes him less effective than he could be.
PERPS PROSECUTED AND SALE CANCELED
So, the drama of the Fairgrounds Sale continues. Riggy's allegations, if true, should be pursued by the legal authorities and perpetrators should be prosecuted. And, the Fairgrounds Sale should be canceled because of the stench surrounding it in so many ways.