Riggy's Running Again - No Surprise
As anticipated, Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Jim Righeimer, announced Friday that he will, in fact, soon pull papers to run for Allan Mansoor's soon-to-be-empty seat on the Costa Mesa City Council.
TUESDAY'S THE BIG DAY
Riggy told the Daily Pilot, HERE, that he and an entourage of 30 supporters will invade City Hall next Tuesday morning at which time he will pull papers. I find myself wondering if there will be a brass band and elephants and clowns, er, more clowns, too.
NOT A FAN OF HIS
We've discussed Righeimer here many, many times. You can do a site search to read all that stuff. It would be easy to guess that I'm not a big Riggy fan. I have been critical of him for many reasons over the past few years, beginning with his appointment to the Planning Commission by Mansoor after submitting his application after the deadline and after having lived in Costa Mesa for only a few short months. I've referred to him as a carpetbagger in the past - and probably will continue to do so for awhile.
HIS STYLE OVERSHADOWS HIS STRENGTHS
Righeimer has a real estate development background, which should be a great asset as a planning commissioner. However, he frequently oversteps the bounds of that role, trying to micro-manage projects being heard by the commission in matters beyond the scope of the planning commissions charter. And, sometimes he's been a bully while doing it.
Righeimer has been Dana Rohrabacher's campaign manager - most likely the reason he got the planning commission gig in the first place. He and old Dana were big supporters of Mansoor in his re-election campaign - his appointment was pure political payback to one of the Orange County Republican Party insiders. Riggy used to share a conference room with OC GOP head Scott Baugh, for goodness sake.
WHAT'S HE DOING THESE DAYS?
We don't really know what Riggy is doing for work these days. For awhile both he and his buddy and fellow planning commissioner, Steve Mensinger, ran separate divisions of SunCal Companies, during which time it had all kinds of financial difficulties, including bankruptcy filings. Since neither of them show those jobs on their current information, I guess Riggy is doing "something else". I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
PERSONABLE, BUT PETULANT
I think Jim Righeimer is a very personable guy - a great schmoozer, for sure. I suppose that could be an asset as a councilman - maybe. He has shown us, though, that he doesn't handle rejection very well. For example, as the City was entering into exclusive negotiations with the State for the purchase of the Orange County Fairgrounds a few months ago, he threw a hissy fit and threatened to "blow up the deal" if he wasn't given a seat at the negotiating table. And guess what - he got it!
WHAT WAS HIS ROLE?
Curiously, almost the very next thing that happened was American Fairs and Festivals - the favored exclusive bidder - mysteriously suddenly became a pariah and was replaced by Facilities Management West. We may never know what happened, and what role he played in that huge decision, but it sure does make one curious, doesn't it?
CAN'T RUN AND WIN
Riggy has run for public office before, unsuccessfully. He ran for an Assembly seat but got whipped by now-State Senator Tom Harmon. He ran for Costa Mesa City Council two years ago, finishing fourth in the race for three seats behind Gary Monahan, Katrina Foley and Eric Bever - just over 1800 votes behind Bever. He almost doubled the tally of fifth-place finisher, Lisa Reedy.
BUDDIES APPOINT HIM
He has held several high positions - most appointed by his GOP buddies, including his current assignment on the planning commission. His term ends early next year unless he's re-appointed.
WATCH YOUR STEP TUESDAY...
As we head into this campaign season we will likely have many opportunities to hear Riggy's views about the future of our city. And, I suppose I'll have many opportunities to write about it. So, if you want to see the "big moment", when Riggy "pulls papers" on Tuesday, please go right ahead and visit City Hall... we don't know what time he and his posse will present themselves there, though. They may be having difficulty lining up enough limos. If you do go, step carefully - you sure don't want to get any elephant dung on your shoes.