Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vallejo's Quagmire Redux?

We're just a week away from the date the Costa Mesa City Council will seat a replacement for Katrina Foley. It is fully expected that next Tuesday, January 4th, Jim Righeimer's pal, Steve Mensinger, will fill that slot, despite the fact that there are several apparently highly qualified candidates who have thrown their names in the hopper for consideration.

One of the things Righeimer campaigned on - the only thing, actually - was his opinion of the condition of our municipal employee salaries and pension benefits, which he felt placed the city in dire financial straits. Those of us who followed his campaign closely saw him, time after time, look the representatives of employee unions in the audience right in the eye and let them know that he was coming after them. It was that belligerent stance that launched the most rancorous local campaign in memory.


Some of us have opined that, because the employee contracts were solid for another four years, the only way to affect actual wage and benefit reform in Costa Mesa would be to follow the lead of northern California community Vallejo and declare bankruptcy. In recent months I observed several times that Vallejo's plan is far, far from resolution after more than two years since the bankruptcy filing.


Over the Christmas weekend there was an interesting entry posted by a writer w
ho uses the pen name "Over But Not Out" on the Orange Juice blog, HERE, that affirms what I've been saying and provides some enlightenment for both sides of this issue to consider carefully before getting into a war.

Let's hope that our most recent crop of elected officials will try to find a better way to address these issues than to force our city into an unworkable bankruptcy. In short order we will find out whether we have five men and women leading this city who are consensus-builders, who actually listen to their constituents rather than pre-judge the issues. This is where we find out whether we elected statesmen and women or self-serving, ego maniacal politicians - fat cats out for themselves and their political futures. Time will tell...

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Blogger Gericault said...

If the GOP wants it , the GOP will get it. We do not have an autonomous council anymore. we literally have an extension of the OCGOP.


12/28/2010 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Inaccurate article. In Vallejo, the Bankruptcy Court was prepared to undo the union contracts with Police and Fire which forced the safety unions to the table to negotiate--a good thing. The unions could not let precedent get set by a Bankruptcy judge throwing out their contracts. They got scared so they came to the table, as they should. Now, union-bought Sacramento legislators have been pushing a law that would require a government entity to sign-off before a City can declare bankruptcy. The unions pushed this measure to ensure no Bankruptcy Court would ever interfere with their "cadillac benefits" that we're all paying dearly for. However, legal scholars have all noted the law would be unconstitutional as it would infringe on the Supremacy clause and a City's right to utilize the Bankruptcy process. Hopefully, the unions got the message and learned we all have to work together.

12/28/2010 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous flyonthewalll said...

I love the OCGOP and find myself aligned with its platform of good governance.
One question: has Foley officially resigned?

12/28/2010 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Which article? Mine? The one to which I linked? The one Gericault linked to? Need more information before I respond.

Nobody home at City Hall this week to get that answer so I wrote to Foley... no word back yet. Fun if she didn't (doesn't), huh?

12/28/2010 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Dumb Biker said...

The problem is not with pensions, the problem is the money changers have sucked just about all private money out of the system, check your credit card rates. There are few large pools of money left to raid and they are SS and the pension systems. The GOP is a bought and paid for player in the game but most don't realize it and the ones that do want part of the pot. New laws that allow state bankruptcy will be proposed in Congress to get at those moneys. If the economy was healthy we wouldn't have these problems but all this is a self fulfilling prophecy. You will end up with far fewer services with very little tax relief and some one else will end up with the money. Have fun.

12/28/2010 08:47:00 AM  

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