Bland Council Meeting - Fireworks Later
Funny thing happened last night. I went to the Costa Mesa Council meeting - got there before 5, in fact, so I could see what, if anything, might be said before the council adjourned to a closed session. Not much. Former mayor Sandra Genis reminded them that they could only discuss price and terms of the Fairgrounds Sale in that segment of the closed session - nothing else. Yeah, like that happened! Unlike previous weeks, when the chambers were packed with orderly demonstrators from the public safety organizations, there were only a couple of us in the audience. When the council returned at 6:30 after having discussed the four items on the closed session agenda and began plowing through the rest of the evening's agenda there were only a couple dozen people in the auditorium -mostly the "usual suspects" - and the remainder of the agenda was uninspiring. If you really want to you can watch it HERE.
WATER DISTRICT CELEBRATES 50 YEARS
The Mesa Consolidated Water District, at least 4/5ths of it, was honored for the 50th anniversary of the water district. Congrats to the district, who decided to celebrate with a VIP event - no members of the public were included. Ah, the lives our bureaucratic aristocracy leads...
STATUS OF FAIRGROUNDS SALE BLEAK
During Council Member Comments Katrina Foley asked City Manager Allan Roeder for a brief report on just where we stand on the Fairgrounds deal. Let me summarize his comments - he said things are at a standstill and, "it does not look good", further indicating that he anticipates a legal challenge regardless how the sale turns out. Foley asked the City Attorney for a report on the legal remedies available to the City on the Fairgrounds Sale. That set the tone for much of the rest of the meeting.
GENIS RE-HEARING REQUESTS REJECTED
When it came time for the council to address the two re-hearing requests filed by Genis the council made quick, unenthusiastic work of them by voting each request down. It was clear following those discussions and Roeder's earlier comments that the heart pretty much has gone out of our negotiating team on the Fairgrounds sale and lease. Genis may have gotten off the best line of the night when, discussing the recent closure of bidding on the new RFP, it was learned that Facilities Management West had presented a bid directly to the State, she said, "This all may be moot. From what I read in the newspapers, it looks like our prom date may be going to the dance without us."
TOUGHER GRAFFITI ORDINANCE PASSED
At the tail end of the meeting the council passed the new, tougher Graffiti abatement ordinance - the product of more than a year's work by the staff. Resident John Feeney, normally a sometimes amusing, always grumpy curmudgeon when speaking before the council, lavished well-deserved praise on Officer Jason Chamness for his efforts to craft this new ordinance and for spearheading the visible improvement of graffiti issues around our town.
BEVER ABSENT - AGAIN
By the way, I teased in an earlier post anticipating this meeting that Councilman Eric Bever might pout during the contract negotiations in the closed session. I was wrong. Nope, Bever was a no-show for the entire meeting. I guess when he says he's boycotting, he means he's boycotting his entire job as a councilman. Perhaps someone can go back and check the records to see just how many other meeting's he's missed in the past year or so. It could well be that he's just adjusting his work hours to fit the pay reduction the council agreed to take last year. More likely that Bever is throwing a little fit of petulance because he's been roundly criticized for his pronouncement about boycotting negotiations. We didn't miss him...
WWW.RIGHEIMER.COM WHITE HOT!
The real excitement of the evening occurred AFTER the meeting was over and I returned home and checked my computer. In an online article that will likely appear in print today, HERE, Daily Pilot reporters Joseph Serna and Mona Shadia report that there's a new website up and running, www.righeimer.com, that - according to the article - is the product of members of the Costa Mesa Police Department. Apparently Righeimer once owned this domain but missed a payment so it was snatched up by someone else. To say this site will be inflammatory is the understatement of the year! By the time I saw the site it had gone viral throughout Costa Mesa - many Facebook page entries and white-hot emails flew through the ether. I find myself wondering how the content on this site will square with the letter I received from Righeimer's lawyer last week? I guess we'll find out.
MAY CHANGE THE CANDIDATE FORUM TONIGHT...
I'm thinking the candidate forum scheduled for this evening may take on a very different dynamic because of this new website. We'll see in a few hours. See you there.