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.
RIGHEIMER'S ONE-NOTE SAMBA
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.
FOLLOW VALLEJO INTO THE QUICKSAND?
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.
AFFIRMATION OF APPREHENSION
Over the Christmas weekend there was an interesting entry posted by a writer who 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.
POLITICIANS OR STATESMEN?
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...