Yes, Costa Mesa, The Sky Is Falling...
Tonight I had intended to write a nice entry talking about the Fair Boards "Hire Local" program, HERE, which was kicked off at their meeting on Thursday by announcing the names of eight Costa Mesa students who have signed up for summer jobs at the Fairgrounds this year.
And I was going to tell you about the Orange County Marathon which runs Sunday. Rather than go into detail about that you can read about the Marathon course, HERE, the half-marathon course, HERE, the street closures HERE and more information for businesses and residents HERE. Suffice it to say, a big part of both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach is going to be hamstrung by this event on Sunday.
BRANDT BAILS - WHO CAN BLAME HER?
But my plans changed late this afternoon when I received word that after 23 years working for the City of Costa Mesa, Development Services Director Kimberly Brandt is departing for greener pastures. Her last day on the job in Costa Mesa will be, appropriately, Friday, May 13th. She is moving all the way across the fence to Newport Beach, where she will become their director of their newly created Community Development Department. Kim Brandt is a true professional and Costa Mesa's loss will certainly be Newport Beach's gain. We here at A Bubbling Cauldron do wish her well.
ONLY HATCH AND NAGHAVI LEFT
I'm very disappointed that we will be losing yet another excellent senior staffer, following in the wake of recently-departed Director of Administrative Services, Steve Mandoki, Recreation Director Jana Ransom and the retirement of icon City Manager Allan Roeder. In fact, following Brandt's departure the roster of department head positions remaining not occupied by contract personnel is down to two - City Chief Executive Officer Tom Hatch and Public Services Director Peter Naghavi.
20 COPS LEAVING, TOO!
Her departure was announced in the Daily Pilot in an article that featured the fact that more than 20 members of the Costa Mesa Police Department seem poised to depart, too. The article by Joseph Serna and Lauren Williams, HERE, includes a quotation from Mayor Gary Monahan that is so apathetic that I just can't bring myself to type it. Go the article and read it for yourself.
Costa Mesa Police Association president Jason Chamness is quoted as saying, "It is my understanding that approximately 20 officers have applied to other departments and several have received conditional offers of employment from other agencies. In speaking with some of these officers, a significant motivating factor is a fear of layoffs." He added, "The training, experience and noble qualities of our officers make them highly desirable employees." After reading that last sentence I found myself adding, "in cities where those characteristics are appreciated."
MAY BE WORSE, TOO
In fact, this situation may actually be worse - I've heard a very recent rumor that the number is closer to 30 officers seriously looking for new jobs. It's like watching a bunch of parachutists bailing out of an airplane, for goodness sake. And who can blame them? Since last year, when Jim Righeimer made it clear that he was going after every single employee pension and took on the police association nose-to-nose in his campaign for City Council it was clear to every observer that this kind of exodus was possible.
I find myself wondering tonight, just four months into this new regime, just what it is going to take for the residents of Costa Mesa to get involved? What else must happen for them to realize that the direction this new City Council is taking our city is WRONG! How long is it going to take for them to realize that the hostile working environment created by the council majority - and led by Righeimer and Steve Mensinger - will chase out whatever number of employees that are left after their bogus outsourcing scheme is consummated? How long will it take for them to realize that Righeimer is just using this city, and its gullible voters, as a stepping stone to higher office? How long until they realize that he doesn't care what kind of a mess he leaves in his wake?
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
How long will it take for that council majority to realize that they cannot operate a city like some frat boys running a booster organization? How many lawsuits will it take? How many rules will they break before the residents of this town finally tell them to STOP!? What kind of a disaster is it going to take?