Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Appointee Bully Vents His Spleen

MENSINGER'S MANIFESTO
Non-elected City Councilman, Steve Mensinger, presented us with his view of our municipal situation in a Community Commentary in the Daily Pilot tonight (in print tomorrow) titled, "When it comes to spending, 'enough is enough'". You can read it HERE.

SO, THAT'S WHY HE'S A BULLY!
Right off the bat, in his very first paragraph, he gives us all a crystal clear view into the genesis of who he is today. In that paragraph he describes an event when he, in his term, "lost my innocence" - he attacked a schoolmate who was taunting a friend. Those of us who have watched him on the City Council, and Planning Commission before that, will only nod in understanding. We've seen that "Steve" before, as he berates and bullies those standing before him trying to do city business. Now we understand where that fellow came from.

BLAMING HIS PEERS
In his third parag
raph, as he lays blame for Costa Mesa's current fiscal situation, he says, "One need not be a detective to identify the fingerprints of the culprit. Our current budget crisis is the responsibility of those we elected." I'm sure that indictment will be welcomed by some of his current council colleagues. Gary Monahan, for example, has been on the dais 14 of the last 16 years, including several tours as Mayor. Eric Bever has six years as a councilman and Wendy Leece is beginning her fifth year. The only people he didn't point a finger at were himself and his runnin' buddy, Jim Righeimer.

POT CALLING A KETTLE...
Later, as he describes Costa Mesa's public employees, he says, "Many were dismayed by out-of-town police officers driving an Escalade with campaign signs in tow. However, this was the fringe in the department and lessons have hopefully been learned." This, of course, implies that some of the members of the Costa Mesa police force are greedy spendthrifts (the Escalade) who don't live in our community. He fails to mention, however, that his buddy, Righeimer, also drives an Escalade. Does that make him greedy, too? And what "lessons" does he assume have been learned? Certainly, the police officers who opposed Righeimer's candidacy learned that orchestrated confrontations with the police can be used to sway public opinion. They also learned that political expediency permitted Righeimer and his crew to paint those men and women sworn to protect and serve us as villains and criminals. Yes, I guess some lessons were learned.

TOSSING GRENADES AT HISTORY
He goes on to describe his view of our problems - that we've elected leaders who don't know how to say "no". Well, it's easy for him to say, since he was comfortably making millions in private industry while those leaders he berates struggled with the realities of the day running this city. They struggled with the loss of police officers who moved on to more lucrative jobs in other cities when our pay scales were woefully inadequate. That problem was fixed by those leaders and the result was a stable police force, renowned for it's effectiveness.

DISRESPECTING LOYAL EMPLOYEES
Recently he smirked down from the dais at retiring City Manager Allan Roeder as he critic
ized the way the city has been managed. Not only was it inappropriate, since Roeder can only advise his council on their actions, but it was a slap in the face given to a man who has served our city for more than 3 dozen years - 25 as City Manager. What's next? Will he spit in Roeder's face as he walks out the door for the last time? Will he kick him down the City Hall steps? That behavior, and his commentary, only demonstrate Mensinger's cluelessness about what municipal governance is all about.

HE DOESN'T LIKE RULES - OR BEING TOLD "NO"

As a semi-successful businessman (he and Righeimer both were presidents of divisions of SunCal Companies that went bankrupt), he's used to running the show - used to having people jump when he tells them to. History shows us that he has very little patience with the rules governments must follow. In fact, he seems to dislike any rules at all. After only a few short weeks on the council he's already clearly demonstrating disdain for the process that permits residents to stand before him and air their complaints. Some wonder if the recent abrupt departure of City Attorney Kimberly Hall Barlow may have been a direct result of her warning this council, Mensinger included, about the dangers of Brown Act violations. He's not a guy who likes to be told "no" about anything. Barlow may have been right on the money, too. Their scheme to divide into two-member "working groups" - sub-committees of the council - on specific projects is showing signs of final decisions being made BEFORE ANY public comment is presented. It won't surprise me if the city finds itself in nasty legal entanglements because of these guys.

MAKING A LESS-SAFE CITY
In his commentary he says, "... our success will be defined by the qual
ity of residents we attract." Well, if he and his pals successfully disassemble our law enforcement organization, including disbanding the ABLE helicopter program and threatening to outsource "every job in the city that can be done by other than city employees", as was Righeimer's avowed goal earlier this year, just what kind of residents will we attract? Will a city that is less-safe attract young families? Will businesses choose to move their operations to a city that is less-safe? What do you think?

PERFECTION - EVERYBODY IS A "CONTRACT EMPLOYEE"
As Mensinger and Righeimer take their machetes to the city staff in an effort to accomplish "meaningful reform", just what kind of service can the residents expect once that massacre is complete? Righeimer campaigned on a platform to reform municipal wages and pensions. Early indications are that he and Mensinger plan to do that, not by negotiating with the bargaining units, but by simply getting rid of those employees who would be entitled to pensions and replace them with contract labor - like the Orange County Fire Authority, for example. It wouldn't surprise me if their idea of the perfect "city government" would be one Chief Executive Officer (used to be City Manager until Mensinger's ego got the better of the council) and a handful of contract contract analysts to manage all those "outsourced" contracts - kind of like when he worked for Arnel Development. In his mind's eye, without all those messy "employee" issues, running a city would be a snap!

MANAGEMENT BY MASSACRE
Mensinger says, "I am optimistic that the majority of the citizens in our community now understand why their leaders must hav
e the courage to do what is right and make tough decisions with respect to how we use your tax dollars." I'm not so sure the voters in this city - who have not been given a chance to voice their opinion on Mensinger at the ballot box, by the way - will cozy up to the idea of "management by massacre". I'm not so sure they will appreciate a "management team" who handles tough issues with a billy club and berates and belittles loyal employees as they retire. I'm not so sure they will appreciate the "off with their heads!" attitude, where they find it more convenient for them to simply toss loyal employees aside in blind allegiance to a political dogma passed down from the Orange County Republican Party.

CM, INC. - A TRULY BAD IDEA

There are those in town who feel this city should be run like a private business, not a public entity. To paraphrase my friend, Gericault, who so succinctly put it in a comment today when he speculated that under a Righeimer/Mensinger regime we would see signs at the gateways to our city saying, "Welcome to Costa Mesa, Inc. We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone." I'd smile about that if it wasn't so darn serious.

YOU'RE NEXT...

So, now that Righeimer has told us that he's coming after EVERY city job and Mensinger has told us "enough is enough", I caution you to not take your eye off these guys - do not blink. The next rights they violate will be yours...

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33 Comments:

Blogger Flo Martin said...

As evident in the onslaught on public employee unions and the massive demonstrations throughout Wisconsin, union busting is not simply a local Orange County agenda, but rather a national one. The dessimation of public unions will negatively affect the ability of the Democratic Party to help finance election campaigns. And, with the Republican party's ability raise huge money, thanks to Citizens United, our political system will become a one-party plutocracy, not a democratic republic.

2/24/2011 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

Sort of ironic that he blames those we've elected in the past...coming from someone who wasn't elected.

2/24/2011 06:21:00 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

One other thought - Mensinger and Riggy get knocked around a lot for their professional(i.e. running companies into the ground, etc.)and person performances (i.e. playing the 'do you know who I am, I'm a Planning Commissioner/Fake Sheriff" card). Let's be honest, though - the economic collapse hit all sectors, private and public alike, and it would probably be reasonable to say that some things were out of their control (playing 'do you know who I am' not being one of them). We know developers like them were hit extremely hard, more than most as building halted. In the same vein, though, wouldn't it be fair to say that those same forces contributed to the problems with the city budget? And yet, they'd probably use the economy as an excuse for their personal business failings, while blaming previously elected leaders for the city's problems.

Regardless, they are tools... and it didn't take long for their true colors to start showing, but those who voted for Riggy were duly warned, and Mensinger's campaigning for Foley for School Board was so blatantly in his own best interests to be ridiculous, since it was preordained that he'd the the Chosen One.

2/24/2011 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/city-289584-private-fire.html
"If there was ever any doubt that the tip of the spear was Costa Mesa, that can be erased with this tidbit Councilman Jim Righeimer gave me on Wednesday: The city will try become the first in O.C. to bring in private paramedics and to reduce the number of medics on each call."

The link to Steve's lunch box.....
http://cgi.ebay.com/Jonny-Quest-Lunchbox-Fossil-Watch-1972-Durabook-/170607518477?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27b900230d#ht_1495wt_1061

2/24/2011 07:33:00 AM  
Anonymous mantan said...

Regarding the sub-committees, the Brown and Bagley-Keene rules allow for 2 person subcommittees in an advisory capacity. These subcommittees then bring recommendations before the full council for a vote. While it might be fine line between recommendations and decisions, unless these subcommittees can actually make decisions without full council vote, there is nothing improper under the rules.

2/24/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

mantan, Yes, I know. However, there is the assumption that the two members of the sub-committee will NOT subsequently discuss the issue with another council member before the subject is presented to the full council for consideration. That "slows down the process" for these impatient guys.

2/24/2011 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous mantan said...

So, without any evidence, it is assumed this council is corrupt? So "innocent until proven guilty" is a luxury we only afford those we agree with?

2/24/2011 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I'm not assuming anything, but I'm also not ignoring their propensity to play fast and loose with the rules. It's a matter of trust, or lack thereof.

2/24/2011 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Reality said...

Mensinger's commentary is great, laying it out as it is. The employees could be a part of the solution, but they are also under orders from state and national unions to not give an inch.
It works both ways, do not be naive.

The millions they keep talking about in the June offer completely avoided making the structural adjustments that must be made and did not address the fundamental reforms that will be happening across the nation.

2/24/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

A five person council makes it extremly difficult to "avoid" Brown Act violations, especially when sub committees get formed. When two members are already meeting , if either one, e-mails, talks, telephones, or even discusses with staff, information that gets shared with another member, a quorum will be established and the Act gets violated. If three members meet, that establishes a quorum. If anyrthing is discussed, it violates the publics need to know. The real issue here, is serial meetings. When one member discusses it with another , and then another, along the chain. That is a violation also.There is very thin ice and not much wiggle room with only five members on council. Granted these violations are only misdemeanors, but these guys aren't used to working within the framework of a public body. Having Steve express a positon in the Daily Pilot, Righeimer state one in the Register,and Wendy posting on her blog,if Gary pipes in an opinion on Facebook, we have a violation. The reason being a majority of the council has reached a consensus without the public ever having an opportunity to weigh in. That's how it works. Things aren't supposed to be pre-determined before a vote.

2/24/2011 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Comment said...

So you're a psychologist now, too? You know the source of Mensinger's "bullying" personality? I don't know whose horse is higher - yours or his. OK, so Mensinger is not very articulate. But he is right about spending. Stick to the issues.

2/24/2011 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Reality check said...

Gericault, Flo Martin, Pot Stirrer, etc. - try spinning this one:

http://taxdollars.ocregister.com/2011/02/24/public-pensions-taxpayers-stuck-with-risk-not-employees/76031/

The State Legislative Analyst's Office State Finance Director Jason Sisney states the following:

"Clearly, there are problems, Sisney says:

State and local benefits are very generous, compared to both other states and the private sector.

Governments and taxpayers bear almost all the financial risk, rather than employees.

Pension benefits are inflexible.

“A key question that we think needs to be asked is this: Can the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits be sustained much longer?” asks Sisney. “We think that it probably cannot."

This is what Righeimer has been saying all along.

2/24/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Reality- Your opinions of the local "unions" are incorrect as all Costa Mesa emplouyee groups have made concessions to assist the city in cost savings; concessions that directly led to pay cuts for them and their families.
Reality check- citing an OC Register article is hardly proof of anything. The register also has a vendetta against public workers and their articles are very, very, slanted whether you want to believe it or not. Find a reputable source before you start spouting off, but just so you know, Fox News, MSNBC, LA Times, OC Register, and Wikipedia are not considered reputable in any civilized circles.

2/24/2011 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary W. Craig, CPA said...

@ reality check
"State and local benefits are very generous, compared to both other states and the private sector."

Yes they are and they should be. The reality is 401K's suck as retirement plans because they are market based, and the funds one can select to invest your money are usually crap. I am 37, and since I have participated in a 401K plan, I have weathered, the .com bust, 911, and the recent MBS securitization debacle.

So you think I have solid retirement and my assets have grown much in the last 15 years? nope.. Don't believe me, ask someone who was going to retire about 2008 how well that 401K worked. I have come to the conclusion (ask my clients) that a 401K is not a reliable retirement plan.


The primary reason public pension plans are having tough times with underfunded liabilities, is that Wall Street and big banks stole your money through the sale of "virtually risk free" mortgage backed securities, and derivative hedging instruments to the pension funds.

Our neighbors, the firefighters & teachers we all love, are not stealing your tax dollars. Wall street already stole your money, and now guilded-age robber barrons are hanging the middle class up by our ankles to see if any change falls out of our pockets.

2/24/2011 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous reality said...

jim,

Those quotes came directly from the State Legislative Analyst's Office State Finance Director, not the OC Register.

you just don't get it,d o you? the money isn't there, the concessions were not even close to enough, and the rushed contract and threats of lawsuits gave away your hand. Your we took a 5% pay cut argument is hollow when talking to residents who lost jobs, homes, retirement.

2/24/2011 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

Reality......

Are you willing to back up the idea that the politicians release their pensions and FULL family health care benefits? As well as all their spending allowances? I am sorry but those of you in favor for this mess are not starting in the right area. If the politicians perks can be cut or gotten rid of first then it might not seem so bad as it trickles down. Right now all I am seeing and hearing is a bunch of bullying. Nothing about any of this is fair or right.

2/24/2011 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Cal said...

Reality, you are incredibly mistaken. The local employee groups are not taking any orders from any state or national union. That is just false and you cite nothing to back it up. I work in city hall, and I have seen nothing or heard nothing of the sort.

If you have proof to the contrary, I would like to see it. You and your type simply come on and stir things up by making spurious comments with nothing back it up. The fact is, ther is so much anti-union hype in this country and grouping our fine employees in suits your agenda.

Gary Craig hit the nail on the head with the 401(k) hoax. It worked well for private companies to get out from under comapny funded pension plans in the 60's and 70's. 401(k) plans are not the cure to all our ills.

2/25/2011 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger jim said...

Ya reality, I read the article, and then I read the report not in the Register's words and guess what? The register took it out of context. Absolutely the defined benefit pensions cannot be maintained (and in context of the report) this is because the middle class is losing income while the rich are getting even richer on the backs of private sector employees. The office is saying that a class war is eminent. So like I said, the Register is not a valid source. Duh. Continue your race to the bottom; why read or form your own opinions when the people like righeimer can tell you what to think. It is sooo much easier that way.

2/25/2011 08:11:00 AM  
Anonymous reality said...

How about this one jim, all by itself, no OC register to throw you off:

http://www.lhc.ca.gov/studies/204/Report204.pdf

Cal, so public employees should get full pensions because the residents don't? Reality is, defined benefit pensions are totrally unsustainable by any industry, so they were eliminated, except for gov't employees. Most are not outrageous, but the public safety ones in CA are. You agree to go with federal LE/Fire pensions, we can talk. The Jones $182,000/yr, Curtis $148,000/yr., Epperson $145,000/yr. type pension is outrageous and abusive to the tax-payer.

There are currently 44 former CM employees drawing pensions over $100,000/yr. The formr chiefs aren't even the top paid!

http://www.californiapensionreform.com/database.asp?vtsearchname=&vtsearchemploy=costa+mesa&vtquery=1&vttable=calpers

2/25/2011 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger antoine said...

Reality,
Sorry I have to agree with Jim here. You just spout off typical catch phrases about pensions when you have no idea what you are even talking about. Do you know what positions those officers whose pay you cite held? What if they were upper management? Upper management in private companies easily make more than that in salary alone.
And you are simply wrong, private workers got greedy and switched to definied comp. plans because at the time they offered better returns. The employers agreed to these plans because they were cheaper for them as well. So basically the private sector screwed itself by being greedy and now they want to bring everyone with them. Typical greed that has brought this country to its knees.

2/25/2011 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Cal said...

Reality, you just showed your cards. This has nothing to do with "reality" for you at all. It's all emotion and envy. You stated that public employees shouldn't have something the residents don't. So this is about "norming" or leveling what you perceive to be an uneven playing field. That sounds like socialism.

Then you state some numbers and names of people and their retirements. So what? as another poster asked do you know what their positions in the organization were? You seem to like to throw out people's compensation as some way of shaming them. What should they be ashamed of? They did a job for 30 years, earned a salary and earned a retirement.

Out of all the BS going on in WI (and no, I DO NOT agree with the unions), I have yet to hear the employees say they will not make concessions. Our local employees have never refused to be flexible. If they have and you are aware of some verifiable information, I would love to see it.

The point is, the GOP is clinging so fervently to their agenda, they are actually the inflexible party. All this finger pointing and rhetoric is keeping keeping people from shutting their mouthsand opening their ears.

2/25/2011 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Boring! said...

You whine a lot. You like to say "I told you so" - a lot. But you rarely offer any viable solutions. That makes you a whiner. You use every opportunity to remind readers that Mensinger was not elected. But one of our greatest presidents, Teddy Roosevelt, was not elected president for his first term and neither was one our most underrated presidents, Harry Truman. So you don't like Mensinger or Righeimer. Fine. We get it. Taking pot shots is easy - try offering your solutions instead of sounding like a frustrated, grumpy old man. Remember that old saying that small minds talk about people. Besides, if they happen to be right and fix the mess we're in, you're going to look foolish.

2/26/2011 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Why, thank you, "Boring!", for your kind words. You brought a smile to my face when you actually compared Mensinger to Teddy Roosevelt and Harry Truman - thanks for that. You, of course, are out of your mind, so we hope you seek professional help for your affliction. Yep, I admit to being a grumpy old man - getting grumpier and older by the day. Regardless, I don't trust Mensinger and his little pal, Righeimer, as far as I could throw either or both of them. They've maneuvered their way into positions of power in this city and are moving at light speed to dismantle our government and pay back those employee unions who opposed Righeimer in the last election. You have the option to NOT READ the posts you find here if they so offend you. However, you can always display your ignorance and bias in the comments section any time you choose. Easy to do anonymously, isn't it? When I read your bilge I wonder if you'd ever have the guts to post them with your own name. Don't think so.

2/26/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Gunny said...

Hey "Boring", don't EVER compare Mensinger with the likes of TR. TR had the gumption to get in the fight and lead a group of men into battle. Whether he was elected to his first term or not, he was a true LEADER.

Truman was also a military man, and his combat experiences in WW I made him the LEADER he was.

The difference between TR, Truman and the likes of Riggy or Mensinger? They knew what honor, camradery and loyalty actually meant. They inspired men to follow them into battle, not because they browbeat them, or berated them. They inspired these men because they were unassuming men willing to lead from the front.

Mensinger doesn't know the meaning of honor except the carricature of "honor" he and his frat buddies loosely threw about as they passed the beer bong. The corporate world knows nothing of loyalty. Who stays with the same company anymore. People move from company to company chasing the next higher paycheck.

These are pathetic blowhards that will never know the experience of being "leaders of men".

2/26/2011 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Reality, since you are devoid of facts, here are some. Chiefs and Captains at PD's end up in a different retirement because of many factors. That is why they do not show up as the highest paid retirees for a city or county. Also, Curtis and Epperson retired as Lieutenant's, positions that earn significantly more in salary than line level staff (they are also served more than 30 years for the city, partly because the last 10+ years of their careers involved management in the station, not service in the field). Line staff, those that show up at your call for service, retire at significantly less income. But why worry about facts when you can just throw out their names and retirement figures to enrage people.

2/27/2011 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

It is always painful to read, and even more painful to listen to the likes of Geri in the Cult, Sandy Genius, The Pot Stirrer himself, or a Wendy Leece. A constant misrepresentation of facts. Half truth to suck in the gullible, then take in a direction that is neither factual nor relevant, but does serve an angry purpose.
Anyone read the OC Register today? Part 1 on Pensions. Until this Jerry Springer crowd can admit there is a problem, why even have a discussion?
I get that this crowd does not like Riggy & Messenger. And that this Jerry Springer environment allows for and encourages disparaging remarks, so here’s one of mine … The Pot Stirrer goes to Council meetings, tucks himself in that back , corner seat, rising only to take a photo. Question … can you imagine how bad that seat must stink after a meeting? Here’s a better one … when he goes home, lonely, without real friends, and stays up till 2 am writing his dribble … what do you think he wears?
Sorry, horrible thoughts …

2/27/2011 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Pot Belly, the word you are looking for is "drivel" not "dribble". That's first off...obviously not a Wordsmith. Second, I assume the"Pot Sirrer" chooses to watch and report and not interject himself into the fray. He does offer his opinion here, and that is his right do do so.

You are either blind, deaf or just plain dense (I'm going with the latter). Many have said there is a problem (and there is), but the choice to throw the baby out with the bath water is short sighted. The quickly derived at "solutions" lend themselves to the thought that this is all a well planned, pre-scripted plan being put into place. There has been no discussion, there will be no discussion. These "men" are not representing the majority, they are representing their party activists and the circle of friends they run in (such as you).

Keep up with the party line. It's what you do. You don't have the ability to foster your own original thoughts, that's clear.

2/27/2011 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Pot Belly, I read the OCR everyday and I see they only print facts they wish to print. They refuse to print, for example, that 80% of PERS payouts come from returns on investments, or they refuse to print that PERS has enough money to pay retirements to every retiree and current employee for 20 years. They cherry pick their facts to create they story they wish to print. God forbid they print ALL the facts and allow us to decide.

2/27/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Anonymous MikeK said...

Dear Mr. Mensinger,

It is my opinion that you were elected by no one, much less the citizens of Costa Mesa, thus do not expect me to think of you as a city leader.

Sincerely,

MikeK is a quality resident of Costa Mesa, attracted here before the current city councilmen were seated.

2/27/2011 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Paul,

OK, you recognize the problem. What do you propose as a solution?

Paul, why do you think City workers who present this stuff have not shared your opinion? I hear them share Union speak, like "think of this as a home mortgage" ...are they in a conspiracy with the OC Reg?

Again with this majority stuff and complaints. I think the structure in place lasts 10 years. Too many election cycles to undo what exists. So, one could recall. But you have to remember that the #1 vote getter is actually doing what he was elected to do. A Recall is long, hard work, and I do not see the few who come here and squawk, putting in that level of effort. Have you ever considered that there are people who are thankful and appreciate the efforts, thinking it is about time these issues have been addressed. And not just pensions, or GOP stuff as you say, but quality of life issues.

Or, for your peace, and mine, if it is as bad as you describe, causes you this much pain .... would you consider moving?
Lastly, I intended “dribble” , that scene horrifies me …

2/28/2011 07:30:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Paul, of course, is correct. "Pot Belly" is very likely a Mensinger/Righeimer sycophant who lacks the ability of form original thoughts. It's as though you can actually see Mensinger's jammed up his rear end, working the mouth on his puppet. (For those of you of a certain age, think "Howdy Doody" or "Beany and Cecil".) If he is, as commentor Sean speculated on another thread, a local public figure with an Irish surname, then his misuse of the language is understandable. It's the result of an inferior education, obtained at a mid-west school of some renown. And yet we permit him to spew his party-line pap here... Perhaps the saddest thing is that the poor guy doesn't even realize he's being used as a tool by his "pals".

2/28/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Paul said...

Pot Belly,

What would it matter to offer solutions? These guys will not listen to anyone but themselves and their inner circle. But, for entertainment purposes, I offer that council could approach the employee groups with a two tiered system, they could "phase in" a plan to have the employees pick the entire employee cost of their pension.

Contracting out of services could be done on a limited basis. Things that are less critical. Such as parks and parkway maintenance.

There are a number of "compromise alternatives", but your pals are not interested in compromise, they want the whole hog and they want it now. There are a number of very well educated people in all the city departments. Rather than use them as subject matter experts in their departments and sit down and "spit ball" ideas, they go with their own ill conceived, ideas and then chooses to hire someone at additional cost. It's incredible. They (and you) are so convinced that they will get nothing but "union speak" as opposed to viable, quality ideas, no one has tried. Very sad state of affairs.

It appears to me, and others, that you and your tight circle of friends feel you know about government and governance, that you will not seek the advice, counsel, or input of those you seek to govern. For to do so, would fulfill the basic principles of democratic republic. What you and your friends are creating is an oligarchy.

To answer your question, yes I have considered moving, and I am in the process of looking at homes in other states.

2/28/2011 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Paul,
I think you made my point … this is for Jerry Springer participants only. I took a couple hours and wrote my best set of recommendations. Do I think they will all be acted on, no? But I put my 2 cents in. I tried to make a fact based, non emotional recommendation.
I think the contracting out driver is the pension. I tried to make cases for where they could achieve this, and where they could keep the service, and address the pension in other ways.
That is why I have no respect for the creator of this trash blog, and the anonymous participants. They simply spew comments that are more personal than materially relevant.
Second hand, I heard about a nice speech that Alan Roeder gave at a Chamber of Commerce event recently, to a full crowd. I wish I could have watched him say it at Council, but it was nice to know that he validated what Council is doing, and likened the Council to prior Councils. Both necessary for the times.
He did unequivocally state that the City is in a Fiscal crisis. Not only does the City Budget need to balance, and stop using reserve, but that it needs to rebuild the funds it took 50 years to build and 3 to spend.
I just find it interesting that when this originator of this blog trash puts up something, like the career of a City Manager, or things not Council related … no comments. Why is that? For people who care so much about the City, why no comments on important events? Maybe many don’t live here? Maybe many are just trying to disparage to save their compensation?
I put my comments in, trust me, not all agreed with what is being discussed, and certainly offers more substance than the whines offered on this Jerry Springer trash blog. If you did not, and I think some of your ideas have merit, then back on the porch, dog, and no barking as the work dogs go marching by.

3/01/2011 07:27:00 AM  

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