Planning Commission Set, Council Disassembling Continues Tonight
MC CARTHY AS PLANNING COMMISSION CHAIR
The election of officers was an interesting sideshow. Clark, as current Vice Chair, conducted the proceedings to elect a chairman. Fitzy nominated McCarthy, then Clark nominated himself and found himself odd-man-out when the vote was taken. McCarthy was elected Chairman, 4-1. Clark voted NO.
CLARK CONTINUES AS VICE CHAIR
Then McCarthy moderated the selection of the Vice Chairman. Dickson nominated Clark and McCarthy nominated Fitzy. When the Clark vote was taken he was elected 3-2, with McCarthy and Fitzy voting NO. This was the beginning of a tough night for Fitzy. Clark is one of the last vestiges of the old "Improvers" left in government and the intention of the NEW Jim Righeimer-led power structure is clear - to shove him aside. Steve Mensinger already let him know where he stands by appointing him to the short term seat last month.
When it came time for the consideration of the first public hearing on the Irvine Company property at the Pacific Arts Plaza (formerly Two Town Center) Dickson had to excuse himself because he had a conflict - his employer has a business relationship with the Irvine Company. As he was about to depart Fitzy stopped him and wanted clarification from Tom Duarte, the Assistant City Attorney. Duarte confirmed Dickson's conflict of interest. Fitzy got a very furrowed brow and, once the item was read into the minutes, asked for 30 seconds to confer with Duarte. McCarthy, instead, called a five minute break. When they returned Fitzy excused himself - seems he also had a conflict. This was very strange, indeed. One had the impression that Fitzy was deep in introspection, contemplating other instances where he may have conflicts in the past. We'll never know.
ABLE, 2 COPS, HATCH AND MENSINGER'S "CEO"
Tonight I expect there will be a packed house at the City Council meeting as we hear, among other things, about the demise of the ABLE helicopter program, the abandonment of two open police officer positions, Tom Hatch's contract, executive severance and Mensinger's hair-brained scheme to begin calling the City Manager the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
And, as this turmoil continues to bubble I hear more rumblings about pending departures of senior staffers, sick of the abuse and the uncertainty of the future for them in our city. This is truly sad and it makes me wonder what it's going to take to wake up the residents of this city...