Wednesday, April 06, 2011

"The People" Spoke - Did The Council Listen?

PLAYING TO AN OVERFLOW HOUSE
As anticipated, the City Council chambers were packed last night well in advance of the beginning of the first meeting since the debacle of March 17th and 18th. In addition to the "usual suspects" - those dedicated activists who attend most meetings - there were a lot of new faces, too. I'm sure many of those new folks attended as a result of the publicity provided here and elsewhere.

"ELSEWHERE"
By "elsewhere" I mean the email sent by non-elected councilman Steve Mensinger yesterday afternoon beseeching folks on his list to turn out
to, "boost the spirits of those of us that want more dollars spent on infrastructure, Parks and family attractants." And, it also includes the flier sent out by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Ethan Temianka, Righeimer lap dog and "Marketing Director" of the Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association, announcing a "Call to Action" and requesting recipients attend the council meeting to "speak to your elected Councilmembers and tell them to prioritize Costa Mesa Residents first in their budget discussions". That's code for "tell those greedy out-of-town employees to shove it".

PORCH PEOPLE AND THE COPS
By the time the meeting began very shortly after 6 p.m. every single seat in the chambers was filled and there were more than 50 people standing on the porch, viewing the television screen placed there by the city staff. As events moved along some of those porch folks made it into the chambers as people left. Order was maintained by the eight (8) Costa Mesa police officers in the auditorium - the largest such security presence long-time observers can recall.

MEDIA COVERED IT LIKE A BLANKET
I'm not going to try to quo
te all of the more than 50 speakers last night. The predominant thread through the comments by those opposing outsourcing was, "Rescind the pink slips". Joe Serna in the Daily Pilot, HERE, Jon Cassidy in the Orange County Register, HERE and Norberto Santana, Jr., in the Voice of OC, HERE, captured the tone of the evening with their reports. There were at least 4 television crews parked outside, so this latest low point in Costa Mesa's history will be played over and over again across the country for our friends and relatives to see.

GARY TRIES TO FALL ON HIS SWORD - AND MISSES
Mayor Gary Monaha
n kicked things off with a mea culpa in which he apologized for his "shortcomings" (I'd have found another word) as mayor recently and promised to do better. Although he alluded to it, he never did mention the suicide of Huy Pham specifically - he waltzed around it, but never mentioned his name. I found myself shaking my head and thinking that he's just never going to get this right.

HATCH PRIORITIZES
Then CEO Tom Hatch launched off on a report discussing what is going on in the city and the status of certain overtures recentl
y announced. I'm not going to try to quote his entire presentation. It will soon be available on streaming video. He did mention the press release issued Tuesday responding to some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). He then discussed four key focuses on the City agenda:

1 - Increasing communication with employees and the community.

2 - Reviewing the proposal from the Orange County Fire Authority. He told us it will be reviewed, analyzed and brought to the council at a Study Session on May 10th.

3 - Prepare 17 other Requests for Proposals for possible outsourcing.

4 - Command staff and consultant (Management Partners) review of police operations.


BUDGET

He also mentioned the budget, indicating that the council wants a balanced budget with no further use of reserves. I had to chuckle when he said that would be a real challenge... no kidding! Especially when you consider that, early in this budget process cycle and based on submissions by department heads, the city is looking at a $5 million budget deficit! And, as Hatch said, that does not include things the council and community want included - like 80 alleys being reconstructed and over $3 million in Information Technology enhancements - and more. Hatch mentioned that we've blown through $35 million in reserves over the past three years.

COMMITMENTS
In terms of commitments to
the council and community he mentioned, specifically, that the RFP process for any outsourcing will be professionally managed and data will be made available to the public. He also discussed "projections", speaking specifically about financial projections and used PERS rates as an example.

VIDEO FOR THE PUBLIC

He mentioned video taping managers for public viewing to explain things like budgeting and the need for enhancing the IT function to provide more transparency to the community. He mentioned the use of an expert to come in and explain underfunded liabilities. He also committed to having more communication and transparency.


HELEN LEADS O
FF
At that point Monahan launched Public Comments and off we went, with more than 50 - my count was 52 - speakers lining up to let the council know how they felt. Clearly, the most vocal support came for those who opposed the outsourcing. I counted 38 of the 52 speakers in opposition to outsourcing. Costa Mesa Employees Association Presid
ent Helen Nenadal led it off with an passionate "thank you" to the community for its support of the employees over the past three difficult weeks. She received rousing applause when she finished.

"SANCHO" GETS HIS NOSE SOILED
She was followed immediately by unemployed Planning Commissioner and Mensinger boot-licker, Jim Fitzpatrick, who offered up such an affectionate, slobbery proclamation of support for the council that I half-expected him to leap the barrier and give Monahan a big, wet kiss when he praised him for his apology. I thought I saw him wipe something brown off his nose as he headed back to his seat with faint applause. Things went up hill from there - how could it not?

"FIRE YOURSELF, GARY"

Susan Meyer, a College Park resident for 18 years, shredded Monahan, told him he was an embarrassment and, since he has so much experience firing people, asked him to fire himself.

FEISTY FLORES SPEAKS OUT
Joel Flores stood, turned to the audienc
e and said, " This is what happens when we elect certain people to City Council who care more about climbing the political ladder than they do about our city." Later he said, "These attacks on city workers are political, self-serving examples of shameless opportunism." A little later he said, motioning to the City Council, "This is irresponsible leadership that lacks creativity whatsoever to solve the problems. You have cooked the books, cried poor and then pretended that this is something you have to do. We demand that you rescind the layoffs. We demand that you restore Costa Mesa." As he walked up the aisle and pushed open the door to leave the auditorium you could hear the cheers from the throng assembled on the porch outside.

PERRY'S PERFECT PROSE
Perry Valantine, a 3
9 year resident and retired 32 year employee, stepped up once again and presented his calm, reasoned view of the issue. He presented the council with irrefutable facts, pointing out misstatements by members of the council in the media. He ended his presentation with a question: "Based on the evidence, is balancing the budget the real objective, or is there a political motivation that takes precedence over best interests of the City of Costa Mesa?" Seemed like a very good question to me.

OUTSOURCING EXPERT

Several speakers refuted the claim that outsourcing is more cost effective, including 12-year resident Michele Martell, who t
old us she does outsourcing for a living. Based on her experience, she just didn't believe the numbers she'd been hearing about the projected savings by outsourcing. She ended by saying, "It just concerns me that this city council is selling us a bill of goods and expecting us to be uneducated and uninformed or so complacent that we will believe this bill of goods you're trying to sell us. But when you leave for bigger GOP jobs we're stuck with the decisions you've made for us, because none of us want to move."

RIDGE - "YOU'VE RUINED THE BRAND"

Resident and activist Greg R
idge started by bemoaning the "leadership vacuum and lack of leadership that has brought us here." He said, "We're told that the brand of Costa Mesa is all-important. And yet, I've seen the brand of Costa Mesa broke and splashed across 500 national news outlets." He later told the council that, "You do not produce a product, you provide a service and these services are more important to the shareholders than anything." He ended by telling the council that they've ruined the brand of Costa Mesa.

AYER ON TRUE PENSION NUMBERS
Former Fountain Valley councilm
an Gus Ayer presented facts to the council that refuted the claims that our pension numbers are going up, and gave chapter and verse to support his view. Of course, rising pension costs are the cornerstone of their whole scheme.

It went on and on
, with speaker after speaker rising to express their views. Almost all of them were polite, considerate, articulate spokespersons for their opinion - on both sides of the issue.

RIGHEIMER'S STYLE
When it came time for counc
il members comments Righeimer led off and tried to explain why outsourcing was in play - not very effectively, by the way. He frequently has problems getting his thoughts out coherently - last night was one of those times. At one point, as he began to explain "contracts", he said, "If you look at basic contracts, I'll tell ya, you look at the contracts and you've got some great negotiators on your side, I've gotta tell ya, you've got the best. And you did a great job. The problem is, we're just having a hard time paying them." When I heard those words I couldn't help think of his own, personal financial difficulties in the past. He's told us repeatedly that he never filed for bankruptcy - that it took him nine years but he paid off all his debts. I can hear those very words coming out of his mouth back then - "...the problem is, we're just having a hard time paying them." He just walked away from those contractual obligations back then and excused it by taking nearly a decade to pay off the debt. I still wonder what happened to those "little guys" that he stiffed all those years ago.

MUDDLING THROUGH WITHOUT MANDOKI

As he attempted to show the audi
ence how greedy the employees are, he went on to muddle his explanation of sick days and vacation, eventually combining them and calling them "vacation". I'm not sure he really understands this stuff. And, oh by the way, one of the guys who could help him understand this stuff, Director of Administrative Services Steve Mandoki, resigned yesterday. We don't know why, but can certainly assume having been given a pink slip three weeks ago might have had something to do with it. That, and the hostile workplace that's been created at City Hall by this current council.

BEVER'S BACK - WOE I
S US
The "best" was yet to come when the microphone was passed to Eric Bever - who must have been sick recently because he looked like he's lost 20 pounds. He stated off by telling us how depressed he was last October during the negotiations that he just walked away from the table. Yeah, Eric - we remember. You abandoned your responsibilities to the residents of the city because you were peeved. Bever, ever the class act, was bemoaning our fiscal condition, said that he wanted to keep everyone employed and that he said that as "far back as 2008 - November, when we realized that the shit was hitting the fan." I apologize for that word, but that's what he said from the dais. Ever the class act...

RETURN OF THE PETULANT...

Later he pointedly aimed a negative comment directly at Wendy Leece's daughter, Amy, who he referred to as "Wendy Leece Junior". When members of the audience chided him he went off on a little pity trip, saying among other things, "I didn't sign on for this." He said, "I wish that the community members, instead of being snide and vindictive and hateful, would actually try to pitch in and help out." Oh, woe is me! Here's the deal, Eric. You did, in fact, "sign on for this"... it's part of the job. Either stop whining and cursing from the dais and do the job you were elected to do - and are being paid to do - or step down. It's a simple choice, even for you. Many of us out here are getting VERY tired of your petulance. Grow up, for goodness sake!

NOTHING WILL CHANGE
People asked me last night if I thought the large, vocal turnout would change anything. Sadly, I said NO.... this council has demonstrated ever since it was seated in January that it has no plan to listen to public input on any issue. No, I think they will just proceed as they are doing now, bending or breaking the rules when it's not convenient to follow them and ignoring the voice of the people and what is best for the city. I expect that the political dogma preached by the Orange County Republican Party will continue to drive the agenda in Costa Mesa, to the detriment of us all.

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41 Comments:

Anonymous checkyoursix said...

observations: Amy Leece is a tool for her mother and now is playing the sexist card; Gus Ayer ALSO mentioned a huge unfunded pension liability didn't he?; Genis was way off her game, resorting to some uncomprehensible quote just to fill up camera time, she should have left the podium if she had nothing to say; Righeimer explained it correctly, we got outnegotiated and it is too expensive to go on with this compensation level; the unions offered to pay for an audit-AWESOME, this will expose the real numbers; the crowd was rude and made no friends by their behavior; good to see Bever back, he spoke the truth; no one on union side quite seems to get it that the pink slips needed to be issued because of a long six month notice period being required and that they can be rescinded; good luck to employees looking elsewhere for jobs, not many cities are hiring; Leece continues to not want to face issues, says reform needed just not now or this way; Leffler speaks from the heart; recall Genis and Brenneman and Leece while you're at it; can't wait for the truth to come out about the $$; political opportunism on BOTH sides; if union loses this it will spread to other cities; if union wins other cities' council members will wilt in fear of their big buck campaigns; can't we all just get along?

4/06/2011 06:23:00 AM  
Anonymous OC Progressive said...

Once again, your informed coverage beats the professional journalists hands-down.

4/06/2011 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Looks like the new move for more transperancy has led to the meetings archived videos being scrubbed off the cities webpage.......Or are they just hidden to a new place?

Well there is always twitter......we can read the revolution in 140 characters or less.

4/06/2011 07:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry P. said...

I watched all of the public comments on tv last night and it was refreshing to hear from the residents who support our Council. Your coverage of that is largely lacking BC. Lots of folks (who actually live here) supporting the Council. There's more than you think. The movement has started against this backlash of union nonsense. I've already gotten calls and fliers. Costa Mesa residents will prevail in this struggle against out of town interests!

4/06/2011 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

I'm confused, because Righeimer maintains they will continue moving forward on outsourcing and layoffs because "it's something the public wants us to do." Which public is that, because it wasn't the one that showed up at the meeting last night.

4/06/2011 08:35:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Geoff,
Nice to meet you finally and shake your hand for creating and maintaining this fine blog.

What a spectacle. You're right of course- this crew is not and won't be listening any time soon. Riggy is firmly in command with Menssy as back-up. Riggy doesn't care what anyone thinks, he'll follow his agenda regardless. Menssy is nothing less than a smirking fool, sitting there practically laughing at everyone. I'll take what you said about The Bever a step further- he's a whiny punk. That cheap shot at Amy Leece confirmed it. And Mayor Kilt's "apology" was lame and insincere.

4/06/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Me Again said...

Wendy Leece and four Horsemen. Thank you Perry Valantine for always being civil, focused and cogent. Don't you miss Peter, Joe, Mary, Jay, Sandy and even the ridiculed but honest Chris Steele now? (To name but just a few). Is this Council composed of the best that 110,000 resident Costa Mesa can muster? One responsible member ... Wendy.

4/06/2011 08:40:00 AM  
Anonymous The Real People said...

The people spoke? Maybe a few rabble rousers that attend city council meetings.

But the people spoke last November. Thank you Costa Mesa for starting to reform city hall.

4/06/2011 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

Real People, again I say the 12997 out of over 33,000 voters doesn't mean that the whole community spoke on voting day in favor of Righeimer.

I am will to bet, Barry P that there are more who do not support the council than who do AND no only that but if a lot of those who do know knew the sneaky junk those guys where doing they would change their mind about them.

Checkyoursix, you are nothing but a rambler.

4/06/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

This Council certainly puts the last 58 years worth of Councils in perspective. Even the bad ones look good, now.

I hope the Council follows through on its promise from last night to work with the employees to explore alternative solutions. And, I hope an interest in truth and the City of Costa Mesa will override the political agenda.

The challenge now will be to keep residents' attention between now and the time the outsourcing proposals come in. It will undoubtedly be several months before there's anything to review. In the meantime, the political machine will continue to operate and escalate. We need to continue to let the Council know that we're watching. Write, e-mail, and speak at Council meetings to reaffirm the message that we do - and they should - care more about our city than their political futures.

4/06/2011 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous LongTime Maggie said...

I am not a rabble rouser, a union member, or a City employee. I am, however, a senior citizen who has lived in Costa Mesa for 41 years and has been highly satisfied with our services and the response of both the Fire and Police Departments, in particular.

I think being concerned about the possibility of services being marginalized by this rapid rush to slash expenses is legitimate. I want quality services available to me. Because I question the approach of these Council members does not mean I am some some kind of crackpot.

It is sickening that this rancor has developed in our City; it was unnecessary if the approach to these issues had been more judicious and responsive to all the members of community.

4/06/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Buried in the Cauldron report (but at least in there)

"Hatch mentioned that we've blown through $35 million in reserves over the past three years."

Yes, $35 million!!!!

That is a wake-up call to my friends and neighbors. Stop blowing all of our money on salaries and benefits for overpaid staff! Start prioritizing Costa Mesa residents! Outsourcing couldn't come soon enough!!

4/06/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Just a CM Gal said...

I thought it was pretty funny to see Fitz sitting in The Pot Stirrer’s seat last night. Change is hard. I agree with Fitz, West does seem more and more angry lately. Score one for “Sancho”, West was visually bitter.

Fitz is one of the hardest working people we have in this City. He is doing great things on Planning Commission. Great things over at the Sanitary District. Always inviting the community to participate. Involved and making things happen. I don’t always agree, but he listens to me, and I have changed his opinion on several occasions.

To call him Unemployed is not true. And, such blatant misrepresentations of the facts causes me to wonder what other facts you choose to ignore or fudge. You seem very one sided. Whoever supports Riggy is bad. Perhaps that is why the City only allows “credentialed” press, and you seem to be falling out of favor with the Daily Pilot.

Let’s say he was unemployed, and this is your opinion. Shouldn’t you be going to the City Council meetings, or suggesting in your blog that the City Employees “go get a job”? Or do you just selectively make that comment based on if a Riggy supporter? Does not seem like you have consistency in your beliefs. What if this was a family choice? Wife works while husband plays Mr Mom. You would be very ignorant to comment to the contrary. Or, what if in a tough economy, the guy was trying to find employment, but can’t. Is this the true you, and you just fake empathy for some?

In the past, I came here to get quick facts and updates. Now I question the motive, the accuracy, and the City is now pumping out timely facts and information. Why do I need this anymore?

Just seems to be one sided. Then I see supporters jump in, then the other side. Both often disparaging. I don’t see the value anymore?

4/06/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Get your mind right said...

Once again, Mr. West, your words do not match your actions. Your recent call to tone down the rhetoric was, as I suspected, just a call for the other side to tone down theirs. Here, you refer to Mensinger as "unelected" (so was the great Teddy Roosevelt in his first term), Ethan Temianka as a "Righeimer lap dog," Jim Fitzpatrick as a "boot licker" and more. I don't care what you call anyone, just don't try to fool us with your phony attempts at peacemaking. Just stick to the vitriol because that has become YOUR brand.

4/06/2011 10:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Me Again said...

Someone back awhile said that this was boiling down to a nearly violent tar pit of gunk. One side argues fruitlessly for reason, common sense and facts while the other side stonewalls them with the chicken little syndrome. They sit there with a stone face or smirk because, as someone previously said "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Geoff keep on writing since the regular media has gotten lazy and is rarely independently investigative anymore. Wish you had an email link that would allow sending your blog to others.

4/06/2011 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Just a CM Gal,
I always appreciate lovely little notes like yours. It could have been written by JimmyFitzy's mommy. Heck, maybe it was! Yeah, we know just how well he's doing on the Planning Commission and the Sanitary District, where he's almost always on the short end of 4-1 votes. You say he's not "unemployed"... I guess you're correct if you count the elected and appointed gigs. He can make $2,200 per month with the Sanitary District by just showing up at meetings. I was amused, not bitter, when I found him perched in the seat I sometimes occupy. I understand the childishness that it took to get to the meeting an hour early just to grab that seat.... I expect no more than that from him... just like when he was skulking around behind a tree at a candidate forum last year, trying to hear conversations among members of the Costa Mesa public safety staff. He acts like a 6-year old. Sorry to see you go... adios.

Get your mind right,
OK, which of those descriptions were inaccurate? And, thanks for giving me my first chuckle of the morning by comparing Mensinger to TR. Mensinger has such a short attention span that he doesn't even bother to pay attention to the speakers addressing the council - he's too busy texting away up there. And, I've never tried to "brand myself" as a peacemaker, thank you very much. If you don't like what you read here just stop reading, for goodness sake!

4/06/2011 11:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Pat said...

They just laid a guy in my office off 10 minutes ago. Work is slow and that is life. Where's the union running tv commercials for him, protesting, or calling our boss a murderer? Where are the hate-filled emails, or the marches? I'm waiting to see them. Oh right, they won't come because this is the PRIVATE SECTOR. Folks in the public sector I guess are guaranteed jobs for life. Must be nice to be that self-centered and greedy.

4/06/2011 11:42:00 AM  
Anonymous OC Progressive said...

As far as pensions go, it's complicated but it's not rocket science.

Costa Mesa's costs for pensions go down in 2011-12 because the employees are picking up 3.6 million a year. In the following two years, the employer share of the pension rises modestly because CalPERS had 13.3% investment return in 2009-10, and is on track to earn 15% this year. So we have no pension "crisis" as far as anyone can reasonably project. Righeimer's claims that "CalPERS has projected that pension costs will rise from 15 million to 25 million in five years" is a LIE.

Now here's a second point. The unfunded liability, which includes investment losses from the Great Recession, is amortized over future years. If Costa Mesa lays off large numbers of employees, the loss will be spread over fewer workers, so outsourcing will have additional costs that are not included in Riggy's simplistic explanations.

Public records requests to both Costa Mesa and to CalPERS have confirmed that nobody even asked what the effect would be on CalPERS rates with layoffs.

4/06/2011 11:50:00 AM  
Anonymous reason said...

To each and every person who stood before the council and demanded that the layoff notices be rescinded:

You are addressing the wrong group. Find the leaders of the CMCEA and other associations - it is their contracts that require those notices.

4/06/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous StandUp2Bully said...

Interesting. For a guy who suggests that others are a bully, this guy sure does act like one. Perhaps that is why he is so angry. He grows more irrelevant each day. The Unions have moved to the Daily Pilot to try and sway opinion. Use him like a pawn. He is not allowed into a Press Conference. He writes the same thing over and over. Appeals only to the few disgruntled, dwindling each day. City is pushing out info at a fast rate, so his value drops each day. If I had no life, no friends and I saw this coming, I would be angry also.

4/06/2011 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

You know what all these comments sound like to me? They sound like people who are little bit worried that there were so many more people at the meeting yesterday (residents none the less) who are completely against what the council is doing and they know that council is doing a lot of lying. Council is lying about numbers like OC Progressive says and they are doing a lot of sneaky things like bringing in people they have connections to so that they can control the "transparency". Do a little research as to who some of these current consultants and such are and you will see the connections.

To the public, keep your ears and eyes open. Keep speaking up. They can't shut us out too much longer.

4/06/2011 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous A Good Laugh said...

Another great example of how bias this guy is. Every perceived misstep by any other Council Member, he tries to make it into something big.

Last night, Weathervane Wendy ends her comments by absolutely butchering a famous poem. I almost spit all over the gal in front of me.

Mesinger, ever the diplomat says “Thank you for that poem Wendy”

Now that was funny, but the babbling sycophant missed it, as usual.

4/06/2011 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Correction: The Sanitary District gets $221 per meeting per month up to 6 meetings.. thought it was 10.... my error... perfection is an elusive goal

4/06/2011 12:57:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

A Good Laugh,
Thanks for providing one. Is it too much to expect that you'd actually know how to spell Steve Mensinger's name? Don't think so. And, oh yes, Wendy's botching of the poem is a REALLY big deal, isn't it? Geez!

It's always nice to have members of the lunatic fringe participate here. Stop in any time and don't forget to tip your server.

4/06/2011 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Gee, Looks like all the hired hacks were ordered by Field Marshal Riggy to attack G. West today. Too late: No matter what the bad guys spend on PR and Propaganda, their lies are starting to crumble. The real numbers are coming in. The Truth Will Out.

Also, calling Fitzpatrick a boot-licker is KIND. Someone like the foul-mouthed Eric Bever might put it a different way.

4/06/2011 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Mensinger:

Anyone know if all his texting during council meetings are part of the public record, i.e. discoverable?

Also, a city worker at last night's meeting told me Menssy had a bodyguard at Huy Pham's memorial a couple weeks ago. Anyone know if that's true?

4/06/2011 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

All the public outcry and outrage in the world will not stop this OCGOP fueled plan. The 4 coun-sell men do not care what you think, what I think, or about anything other than their own political agenda.
Only a recall (not likely) or the OCEA lawsuits will end this chaos.
I wonder if city attorney Duarte gets a cash bonus from the huge legal bills Jones-Mayer will be collecting from the city. They made over $500,000 when Mansoor had the immigrant activist dragged from the chambers. I bet this costs the city at least a million.

4/06/2011 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Judy Lindsay said...

I agree with Joe!!! The other bloggers must take non-listening lessons from the men on council. Eric Beaver last night asked that folks not be snide, vindictive and hateful and to help out. Do you suppose Eric he wants "us" to have bake sales, sell fireworks, maybe door to door magazines, and other fund raisers to help bail out the city coffers?? I have written many times to the council, something makes me feel these emails are never read. Wasn't able to join my fellow Costa Mesans last night to express my concerns in person regarding our cities future in the hands of these men set on their own personal gains.

Kudos to Wendy and Amy,your fortitude and loyalty to our city.

Geoff, keep up the good work, some folks can't handle the truth!!

4/06/2011 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous unions out said...

Venezia's column confirms that the CMCEA is playing politics with the layoff notices!!

"I asked Helen Nenadal, president of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, if attack ads aren't counter-productive to getting everyone back at the table talking. She didn't think so saying, "We want them to rescind the layoffs and then we'll talk," Helen said."

Wake up, employees - the unions are perfectly happy to sacrifice your jobs for their cause.

4/06/2011 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

I’m a resident of CM and I support the decision of layoffs. It’s sad but necessary. If you don't have the $$ to pay for the positions you either expect city staff to keep working for free or have to give them the bad news.

Pot stirrer, if you’re opposed to these layoffs how about you layout a working strategy to save these jobs. Would you layoff any employees at all? Where would the funds come from? How would you restructure city services, or would you?

Please save your usual song and dance, if you were on the city council what would you propose?

4/06/2011 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous GIGGLE GIGGLE in COSTA MESA said...

To ALL THE HATERS- Laughing my head off... what goes around comes around. Read below I got it pasted all over and we are laughing at all of you!!
The California Republican Party struggles to reverse its declining fortunes – but the going just got tougher as the state party’s leading fundraiser threw in the towel.
Jeff Miller, who’s raised $60 million for state Republicans, stepped down as finance chair just days after warning attendees at the GOP state convention that the party is only speaking to “30 percent of the state” and donors are tired of infighting and losing. Losing- just like you will in COSTA MESA! HATERS GET THE HELL OUT OF ORANGE COUNTY!!

4/06/2011 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Resolute American said...

It is the duty of the members of the City Council to "come up with solutions" to balance the budget and mitigate the firing of employees and disrupting and deteriorating services to the residents of Costa Mesa. That is called "Responsible Governance". Ideologues like the four horsemen just apply the method that gives them the best chance of being nominated by their party for a higher political office. They or at least their leaders do not care what happens to "stepping stone" Costa Mesa after they leave. You see, it's all about them not the people. They use adversity as an opportunity for personal gain. Give them control and this is what you get like it or not. They attack anyone who dares to disagree with them like Geoff West. They vilify, demonize and use fear and hate tactics in order to try to intimidate and silence any opposition. They are bullies.

4/06/2011 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Citizen R said...

In answer to "Joe" earlier, the guy with Mensinger at Huy's memorial and also at Council last night was coach Perry from Estancia High School. I'm guessing he was there as a friend, but would probably be flattered that people thought he was a bodyguard. Chuck coached my kids who are now in their mid 30's. Although he and I are on opposite sides of the current issue, we had a good time reminiscing about Estancia Football. Just proves people can be civil even when adversaries.

That was one of the most interesting meetings I've ever seen, and just proves how many wonderful people care about
Costa Mesa. Geoff, you called for folks to stand up and get involved. See what happened? Thanks! And don't stop.

4/06/2011 10:22:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Citizen R,
Thanks for your comments. Don't worry, I'll continue to call for folks to step up and speak up. Tuesday's meeting was a perfect example of the value of motivated residents - even though the majority on the council ignored them.

4/06/2011 11:22:00 PM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

hey giggle giggle: OCGOP is alive and well in CM. ALL it's locally endorsed candidate won election. Wassup widdat giggle?

4/07/2011 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous CKUR6 said...

resolute: you live in an alternate universe apparently. The OCGOP group is not the side calling names or trying to intimidate - it is the union side. wake up and watch who villifies and demonizes: the union side ! The OCGOP is for the PEOPLE, the union is for the MEMBERSHIP

4/07/2011 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous WhereAreYou? said...

With the exception of Sandy and Jay where are any of the past Council members/Mayor's? No longer interested in what happens to their city? Hiding behind the old saw "Not to comment on the actions of future Councils". That is a cop out and they know it. Have our former "leaders" lost their passion for Costa Mesa? No longer (politically) necessary to appear interested in what happens to the City? I, for one, know that many, many of them are better people than that. Shame.

4/07/2011 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Resolute American said...

Checkout6. There you go again! Attack Attack Attack. Only YOUR ideas and opinions are "in this universe". All others don't represent (your) people. Freedom of expression really gets in the way and I guess you find it annoying. Bathe in the warm tar of non-reality that only your views, and your side represent the (important) people. I have never been a union member, nor am I a city employee or related to one. I am a citizen with an opposing view to yours. Your attitude reflects the same shameful chain saw Al mentality of your stone-age friends on the Council. Having made up your mind in advance make governing soooo much easier than having to gather the facts and make rational, deliberated, transparent decisions. It also avoids the fear of finding out the facts do not support your agenda.

4/07/2011 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous ByWayOfReminder said...

Resolute I agree with you. While I felt that the DUI check point Righeimer was upset about was an ill-chosen location. I also thought that for a member of the city governance Righeimer used poor, flawed judgement by interfering with police officers in the course and scope of their duties. He should have know better and called the Watch Commander or Chief of Police. He is not the CZAR of Costa Mesa. I also believe that the Police Officers Association used poor, flawed judgement in the manner in which they attacked Righeimer. It is Righeimer's arrogance, and dismissive "mind made up" attitude made worse by his draconian actions and disinterest in hearing contrary views or information that bother a lot of people. That is not what representative government is all about. Unions are unions and do what they do. It's up to their members to judge their conduct which is paid for by their dues. It's the RIGHT and DUTY of all the public to express their views to elected representatives. Remember, The Constitution of the United States.

4/07/2011 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Concerned said...

Resolute American,

I’m glad you didn’t resort to hypocritical attacking of commenters for supposedly attacking other commenters. Or did you?

If you reread the previous posts you’ll notice checkyoursix was responding to the statements of the ever obnoxious “cmtruth” aka “GIGGLE GIGGLE” aka “joker” etc.

"To ALL THE HATERS- Laughing my head off... what goes around comes around. Read below I got it pasted all over and we are laughing at all of you!!"

"Losing- just like you will in COSTA MESA! HATERS GET THE HELL OUT OF ORANGE COUNTY!!"

This is not how mature individuals act.

"Your attitude reflects the same shameful chain saw Al mentality of your stone-age friends on the Council."

Is this cmtruth under another alias? That seems to be his M.O.

4/07/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Resolute American said...

My remarks applied to CKUR6. Is that title just a wanna be Checkyoursix? Or is it a short hand version of the real one. If not the real one, I apologize for the misdirection.

4/07/2011 12:06:00 PM  

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