Thursday, April 07, 2011

The News - Righeimer, Bad - The City, Good

DOUBLE WHAMMY FOR RIGHEIMER TODAY
It's been an interesting day in the news for Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and his minions. Our friends at the Daily Pilot had a couple articles that will obviously rankle Righeimer and his pals.




PRIVATIZING EMS

In no pa
rticular order, first we address the article by Joseph Serna titled, "Costa Mesa ambulance plan flatlines", HERE. In this article Serna explains that the scheme proposed by Righeimer and the other three members of the city council to change the way paramedics operate in our city is all but a dead issue now. He quotes Righeimer as saying, "We don't need one more request for proposals right now. It's not a pressing issue."

OOPS - RIGHEIMER GUESSED WRONG
It appeared to some obs
ervers when this item was proposed that perhaps our current ambulance provider, CARE Ambulance, might have an inside track to take over the paramedic function - a perception only enhanced by the presentation of the CARE representative that evening. Later, though, the president of CARE, Rick Richardson, rejected the idea and confirmed in a letter to the city that the explanation by Costa Mesa Fire EMS Coordinator Larry Grihalva that night was exactly right - that we had the best possible system now and shouldn't change it.

CONFUSE ME WITH FACTS AND I'LL REPLACE YOU!
Righeimer, in the last sentence in Serna's story, tells
us all we need to know about him and his plans. He is quoted as saying, "It just tells me we need to get a new ambulance company that's willing to give the services we need." That's it, folks - yet another example of the facts interfering with his plans! I sure hope the public wakes up to what he and his cronies are trying to do to this city pretty darn soon!

***

AS EXPECTED - COPS DID NO WRONG IN "STINKEYE"
Then, in a separate article by Serna titled, "No wrongdoing found in 'stinkeye' case" HERE, we are told that the independent outside investigators, Norman A Traub Associates, looking into the bogus accusations of improper actions by members of the Costa Mesa Police Department last fall when they cruised past a location on the Westside of town where occasional councilman Eric Bever and his pal, Christian Eric, were posting Righeimer signs on a chain link fence, have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

PURE POLITIC
AL POSTURING
Most of us paying at
tention to that situation at the time realized that this was just another fabricated "encounter" with the Costa Mesa Police Department by the Righeimer campaign to whip up animosity among the potential voters of this city. At a press conference at the site shortly after the event Righeimer and most of his posse, including his pit bull lawyer/brother-in-law, Mark Bucher, Supervisor John Moorlach, Mensinger hanger-on Jim Fitzpatrick and Colin McCarthy (pretending he was a concerned citizen as he postured for the press), showed up to offer support for the poor, abused Bever and Eric. It was laughable at the time and is pathetic now. This is yet another example of how Righeimer and his cronies attempt to manipulate a gullible public.

***

MORE TRANSPARENCY...
Today the City of Costa Mesa fired off a couple press releases, apparently in the interest of more transparency.




CHAT WITH THE CHIEF

The first advises us the interim Police Chief Steve Staveley, shown in this photo with former Acting Chief Captain Les Gogerty on March 17, 2001, is going to initiate "Chief's Office Hours" each week. Yep, from 4-6 p.m. every Tuesday residents can come to the Police D
epartment and spend some quality time with our chief. According to the press release, Staveley - performing his second tour as interim Police Chief in Costa Mesa - is quoted as stating, "This effort should give us a chance to provide even better service to the community by getting to an understanding of their issue more quickly. We will, of course, forward issues we uncover to the appropriate agency or department when they arrive at our doorstep."

GREAT IDEA
Personally, h
aving had some interaction with Chief Staveley, I think this is a terrific idea. I suspect residents will find him an approachable guy, eager to hear from them and get things done. This is a glaring contrast to former Chief Chris Shawkey's days in Costa Mesa, when he could seldom be found available, even during normal working hours. Congrats to the Chief for this approach. Residents are advised to call 714-754-5280 to be sure the Chief will be available and not on assignment in the field.

***
VACANCIES
ON CITY COMMITTEES
Second, I received a press release late this afternoon announcing the need for volunteers to serve on city committees, with a deadline of Monday. Applicants for any of the following committees have until 5:00 p.m. Monday to apply.

Access, Building, Fire & Housing Board of Appeal
- 5 regular member and 2 alternate member vacancies. Must live or work in Costa Mesa and have experience and/or training in building construction. Two members shall be physically handicapped persons; two shall be experienced in construction and one member from the general public. The Board meets as needed and the term of service is four years. Call Khanh Nguyen at 714-754-5322.

Cultural Arts Committee - 4 regular member vacancies. Works to promote the City slogan "Costa Mesa City of the Arts." Call Lisa McPherson at 714-754-5322

Historical Preservation Committee - 4 regular member and 1 alternate member vacancies. Serves to maintain, preserve, educate and promote the City's historical resources. Call Lisa McPherson at 714-754-5322.

Redevelopment and Residential Rehabilitation (3R) Committee - 3 alternate member vacancies. Promotes understanding of, and involvement in, the redevelopment of both housing throughout the City and commercial properties within the redevelopment area. Call Alma Penalosa at 714-754-5692

Application Process - Individuals interested in serving on any of the above committees are encouraged to request and complete a “Committee Interest Form” from the CEO’s Office or from the City’s website at http://www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us/docs/commform.pdf. The completed form may be mailed to: Costa Mesa City Council, Post Office Box 1200, Costa Mesa, California, 92628-1200; faxed to (714) 754-5330; or hand-delivered to the CEO’s Office at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. The deadline for submission is 5:00 p.m., Monday, April 11, 2011. The City Council will make selections from applications filed in a timely manner.

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25 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

Geoff,
I doubt that the Pilot articles will "rankle" Riggy and his crew at all. They believe they're on a "mission from God" and show time and time again that they will follow "The Plan" regardless, not caring what anyone says or does.

To be be rankled by the truth assumes one has a conscience.

4/08/2011 07:13:00 AM  
Anonymous ttularc said...

They care about what at least 50% of Costa Mesans care about.

4/08/2011 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

50% ttularc??? Boy you like to mess with numbers as much as council does.
I finally watched the council meeting online and heard all the comments. Based on what I heard you "50%" is rather a stretch.

4/08/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Joe, I agree with you. Serna needs to keep digging. This is really only the tip of the iceberg. There is more out there but it will take someone from the media to uncover it and expose it. A great example is the council's use of 8 officers on overtime to provide security for the recent CC meeting. This is preceeded, of course, by the force overtime of the Special Enforcement Detail to provide personal security at Rig's and Men's homes on St. Patty's Day. Why not lead the way and outsource the security to Westec or some other security company? Why indeed? Maybe because when it comes to their personal security they will spare no expense. They are complete hypocrites for using the cops they so love to demonize for their own purposes when it suites them. This is the perfect type of story for the media, but again it would just be the tip of the iceberg.

4/08/2011 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

ttularc.......do you have anything to back that up?

Because I have this.......Survey finds that 59% of registered voters oppose city's layoff plan.

We know that facst aren't your arguments strongest suit.
Here's another fun fact that isn't even being discussed.....
The ten least expensive California cities for business in 2010 (in alphabetical order) are: Apple Valley, Costa Mesa, Dos Palos, Hesperia, Moorpark, Roseville, Sutter Creek, Unincorporated El Dorado County, Unincorporated Lake County, and Unincorporated Merced County.

This is not just Orange County, this is the ENTIRE state of California........boy, we're in with some crappy company.

I wonder if this means that Costa Mesa can be considered a Corporate Tax haven?

http://www.claremontmckenna.edu/news/pressreleases/article.asp?article_id=1641

Also there is a lot of noise from Fitzy and Skosh about the city of Stanton being held up as a model of government we should emulate for outsourcing.
Seriously, Stanton. Stanton has the highest unemployment rates in the county @ 14.3 %. The contract that they use to outsource police w/ the OC sheriffs was just increased $1.7 million a year. At least they have a "take it or leave it " option. Unfortunately, the only option they have is to "take it" right in the rear.

4/08/2011 09:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Roscoe said...

Wow! Check out the City of Newport Beach. Laying off 25 to focus on pension containment and infrastructure improvement. Guess it's not just Riggy and his right-wing Costa Mesa buddies. This movement is spreading as people are waking up to the reality of our financial situation. This terrifies the unions!

http://www.ocregister.com/news/city-295491-around-pilot.html

4/08/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous facts said...

Geoff, why don't you do a post on TODAY's articles?

Costa Mesa as an example of pensions gone wild:

http://www.dailypilot.com/news/education/la-me-boosted-pensions-20110408,0,4515226.story

Here are some great excerpts:

"Costa Mesa boosted the retirement benefits of 84 firefighters, at a cost of $694,000 per year. At the time, officials thought the deal made financial sense because the firefighters union agreed to forgo more raises in exchange for new pensions rules that would allow them to retire at age 50 with 85% of their salary if they'd been on the job 28 years.

Now, Costa Mesa says it's facing a $1.4-million deficit and has sent layoff notices to half its employees. Officials plan to eliminate the Fire Department, contracting with the Orange County Fire Authority in a move they say will save money.

"At that time, the unsustainability of pensions was not a front-burner item," said City Councilwoman Wendy Leece. "We were looking at the bigger issue of reducing the budget. The firefighters came with this plan, and it saved us money, rather than give them a raise, which would have cost money. It is what it is. We don't live in a perfect world."


"Other cities were doing it, and we decided it would be better to pay more than lose our employees to other places and have to retrain new ones," said Rikke Van Johnson, a San Bernardino city councilman. "To hold on to our talent and compete, we needed to do that."

Now, he said, the city is trying to figure out how to undo it.

Soaring pension costs have forced San Bernardino to cut the number of police officers on the streets, reduce park upkeep and fill potholes less frequently, among other things. The cuts came after elected leaders balked at a proposal by city staff to raise taxes."

Try spinning this article. As we all know the LA Times is a OCGOP mouthpiece...

4/08/2011 10:02:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Righeimer's comment at the end of the EMS article is outrageous. He's basically saying, "I, as a real estate developer and property manager, with 4 months experience on City Council, know more about providing Paramedic services than the Fire Department's Paramedic Coordinator (with 25 years' experience in the Fire Department) and the president of the contract ambulance company." Setting aside a slew of adjectives that describe that kind of attitude, it just seems to fly in the face of common sense and responsible leadership.

Maybe that's what the whole contracting out thing is all about: so he and the others can run the city the way they (in their inexperience) want, and not have to suffer the contradictory advice of educated, trained professionals who have devoted their careers to the various aspects of city management and administration.

For those who support this approach, just imagine how you would feel if someone with no experience in your line of work tried to tell you how to run your business. I don't think it would be well received. I know I wouldn't want to eat at a restaurant where all the management, menu, and cooking decisions were being made by a construction worker. Nor, would I want to live in a house built by a cook.

It will be interesting to see whether the Council listens to the consultants they've hired to advise them on Police, HR, PR, and other matters. Maybe the difference will be who hired them.

4/08/2011 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous ttularc said...

A survey that includes 400 participants that is paid for by Unions/Employee Associations is hard to take as fact. Also, the ratio of for and against speakers at the meeting isn't relevant, it's common knowledge that people more often complain about things they don't like than heap praise upon things they do. At this point I am not sure I care what the numbers are, I like the idea of saving money and eliminating governement waste, of which there is plenty.

4/08/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

ttularc......If the Employee Associations want to pay for the City audit .....are you going to ignore the results then too?

For all the city council backers that are foisting the new article today......you DO Realize we have had a Republican dominated council for over a decade.....don't you?
Bever was there eight years, Mansoor was there eight years, Monahan was there eight, took a two year break and is now back for another four. Wendy is on her second term.
The same people blaming the city councils decisions are the same people who are now blaming the associations for contracts that they approved.
Wake up ......
Also ,,,,,remember when NB Chris Cox was watching the Wall Street meltdown during his watch as SEC chairman? Or did the Financial meltdown have nothing to do with the current financial meltdowns occuring all across this country.
Costa mesa survived the worst of it by having a reserve fund. Thats what that reserve fund was for......Now it's expected to slash all the services right when the economy is improving?
We have a REVENUE problem...but thats NOT EVEN being discussed.
It was the Republican dominated council that raised pensions right before the economy crashed. It was the employee associations that came and offered $3.6 million back to the city in contributions and Bever voted against it.
They break our government and then say" we are the only ones that can fix it"
By privatizing services for profit, that the taxpayers will save money by doing ourselves.
Do studies, open the subcommitees, and follow the Brown act. Quit lying about the issue through sexed up pension projections based on flying butt monkeys.
This is government at it's worst.
It's destroying the city.

4/08/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous ttularc said...

Gericault,
What part of the city is being destroyed? The alley behind my apartment has been destroyed for a few years, I could bury a small dog in a pothole on my street. Stop being hypersensitive because of your loyalty to government worker's rights. Nobody deserves to be financially set up for life because they chose a career path in the public sector. Like I said, I live here too and have kids to raise here. I'm not sure why your opinion is so much more important than mine.

4/08/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous InCM said...

Greg Ridge err.. Gericault,

You should hold more press conferences. I got a good laugh out of the last one. My neighbors and I still talk about how nutty it was. Keep it up! LOL

4/08/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous facts said...

gericault, the reserve fund is not for paying salaries or CalPERS alone, it is for running the whole city and ensuring that funds are available for major issues when needed. Roeder repeatedly stated it was not supposed to be used to balance the budget.

Stop lumping Bever in with Leece and Monahan. He has not voted for these increases. You of all people should stick to the truth in this debate - your outrageous videos are doing nothing to help anyone, only play into Helen's plans to destroy jobs for union solidarity - anyone who refuses to sit down to negotiate unless layoff notices required by their own contract are rescinded obviously could care less about the employees they allegedly represent. That you don't hold her at least partially responsible... Which is it - people or politics?

References to Wall Street, slick videos, and failure to hold unions accountable all say politics and ideology count most to you.

4/08/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

You kool aid swillers realize that even if they lay off EVERYONE today.....we will still be paying our Pension obligations for the next twenty years.
So why the rush to lay off half the workers before any studies? It STUPID business, noone would ever do this in a professional comapny studying outsourcing. Why alienate and lose your entire city staff unless this is just about politics?
Don't even get me started on pension negotiations....and yes Bever did vote yes, you just have to try and stretch that forgetful memory of yours back to 2008.Look at the 2008 budget. The previous council members , especially Gary, are not blameless.
The first order of business should be hiring a Finance Director that isn't just for a 90 contract. A contracted person is just going to be parrotinhg what they want to hear, so he can extend his contract. A REAL finance director needs to be independant. Someone who will independantly express the best financial practices without fear of being fired. Not too mention the hired "finance" contractor is on vacation for three weeks of the 90 day contract. Is this the best the city can do?
I don't think so.
Yes , the city is being destroyed......go talk to a cop.

4/08/2011 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

My prediction on this blog from a couple of weeks ago is coming true: Lobdell's title has now changed to "Acting City Spokesperson." I predicted that the 90-day Lobdell deal was a sham that had to be constructed to avoid the outrage of hiring a $156,000 PR guy while staff is being cut. At the end of the 90-days, they'll claim Lobdell a success, indispensable, etc., and keep him on. I promised $50 to the Boys and Girls Club if I am wrong. So far, the con is unfolding according to plan.

4/08/2011 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous just the facts said...

facts, you are wrong... bever voted for these increases except for the last round where he had his big boy temper tantrum.
If you were to go back to the meeting and get rid of all the people who are friends with Righeimer or Messinger who spoke in their favor, there were basically no supporters of the council. Also, to be fair we can remove all the people who spoke who were current employees or friends of employees. Subtract 5 maybe 6 people. The results are that there was a near concensus of citizens stating they are unhappy with the way council act.
How about them facts Riggy trolls? Go back to you hate page over at CMPRESS and leave those of us who are not brainwashed republican trolls to continue getting the message out to the all-of-a-sudden not apathetic/ignorant public that has caught on to the council shenanegans.

4/08/2011 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous whats my name said...

I HAVE FINALLY COME UP WITH THE PERFECT TERM TO DESCRIBE THE STATE OF COSTA MESA THESE DAYS:

"GOPOCALYPSE"

YOU'RE WELCOME PEOPLE, YOU ARE WELCOME

4/08/2011 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

whats my name,

TOO FUNNY! Painful, but funny.

4/08/2011 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous facts said...

gericault, you can go back to any point in history you choose - I'm talking about the current situation. Keep spinning, keep calling names, keep dodging the question, keep up the smoke screen. Meanwhile, jobs are on the line and Helen refuses to sit down with management and try to save them. Your cute videos do nothing to actually help a single employee.

4/08/2011 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Judy Lindsay said...

Finally read the morning Daily Pilot and had a smile on my face the rest of the day. Go Pilot!!!

I have a few questions for earlier bloggers. Facts Said - How can Bever vote when he is so often absent??? I resent you attacking Helen a compassinonate, dedicated, loyal, knowledgeable expert nocotiator for our city staff. If you get your facts straight she said she would be happy to be open to talk, as soon as the council recinds their layoffs.

I am very curious to know what "facts" Riggy is trolling???

Sure wish all this energy was being used to repair our city.

4/08/2011 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous MikeK said...

The 'stinkeye' case - It was laughable at the time and is pathetic now.

I'd like to second that motion Pot Stirrer.

Grown men whining, geez.

4/08/2011 11:32:00 PM  
Anonymous facts said...

Judy, if Helen cared about saving jobs she would waive the six-month notice requirement and the City would rescind the notices, or she would sit down and negotiate with management now. She isn't doing either.

4/09/2011 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous ocgop said...

be kind, rewind

better name than repair cm since council is actually tryin to do actual repairs and repair cm pholks just don't want to deal with any of the $$ problems, they want cherry cokes and Mayberry and retired pholks (at 50 yrs old!) phishin' with a cane pole

4/09/2011 08:01:00 PM  
Anonymous GOPs going to hell said...

typical ocgop nonsense... uses soundbites he doesn't understand or have any context to. He is one of the many GOPers that live in their own selfish fantasyland where they can own a machine gun, pay illegals to mown their lawn but resent them at the same time, and think that it is okay to treat people poorly- like they won't have to answer for it to GOD when they die. Arrogance, hatred, and lack of empathy do not pave the way to heaven... slimeball.

4/10/2011 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

Did anyone see the poll that DP had going asking who the public had more faith in Riggy and crew or Leece and the employees? I know those particular polls aren't to be taken too seriously but 2229 said Leece while 679 said Riggy.
Just so we are clear...I voted for Leece. =)

4/11/2011 09:13:00 AM  

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