Friday, May 06, 2011

"Waste", "Badges", Politics & Mom

OCEA "WASTE WATCHERS"
Today I, along with "real" media outlets, received a little love note from Jennifer Muir - former Orange County Register ace reporter turned union spokesperson - announcing the creation of what the Orange County Employee Association (her employer) calls "Waste Watchers". She describes this effort as "our way of offering the City Council, especially Jim Righeimer, Gary Monahan, Eric Bever and Steve Mensinger, even more ways to save."

ATTACKING LOBDELL
Among the subjects of this, the first of what
is probably going to be a series of similar efforts, she asks why it should cost more for a spokesman for the city of Costa Mesa (Bill Lobdell) than it costs for the Governor's spokesman, mentioning that the Governor's person makes $2,844.23 a week and Lobdell makes $3,000.00.

"BADGES"
She also mentioned the fact that, on the day of the St. Patrick's catastrophe at City Hall, an invoice was issued by vendor Entenmann-Rovin Company for two "badges" costing nearly $450.
00, including carrying cases. These badges were apparently ordered in February for new council members Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger - all council members have them. The Daily Pilot, HERE, and the Orange County Register, HERE, immediately picked up on this "story" and published about it.

"MAYOR PRO TEAM" - AND I LAUGHED...
When I read Jennifer's submission I contacted her and she forwarded
copies of the invoice. I noted at the time that the face of the badge for Righeimer was to read "Mayor Pro Team", and chuckled about what I thought was a typo on the invoice. Then I read Jon Cassidy's coverage in the Register and found that, indeed, the badge does read that way. I couldn't help but smile and chuckle a little harder.

NO BIG DEAL
Personally,
I think this "badge" thing is much ado about nothing. I have no problem with our City Council members receiving these badges - as long as they don't attempt to abuse the fact that they're carrying them. Yes, that's directed at Mensinger, who has shown us in the past that he's capable of doing just that.

"OUTSIDERS" MAKE ME ANGRY
I understand what the OCEA is trying to do here, and it makes me just as angry
that they've inserted themselves in our local politics as does the involvement of the Orange County Republican Party. In my opinion, both should butt the heck out and let the city, its residents and employees sort things out for themselves. Of course, I realize that's not going to happen. There's too much at stake for both sides.

IF IT DOESN'T WORK, OH, WELL...
It's bad enou
gh that Scott Baugh is writing the script for Righeimer - with, we understand, some recent help from Republican Party strategist Karl Rove - in an attempt to make Costa Mesa the tip of the lance in state-wide (and maybe national) pension reform. They're willing and eager to let the battle be fought here and not worry too much about the collateral damage that's being done to the fabric of our city. It's very much like Righeimer's attitude about the fireworks issue - we'll give it a try and if it doesn't work out we'll revisit it later. Except in the case of our city, they may not be much left to "revisit" when the battle over pensions, etc., finally finishes.

OCEA PAWNS

Add to this the insertion of the OCEA, with their pricey television ads and obnoxiou
s internet ads and the whole issue gets messier by a factor of ten - at least. I've met a few of the people appearing in the ads and like them very much. They are sincere in their concern for the future of our city and are trying to help. However, they've become pawns in this battle - the carriers of the pikes that get mowed down in the beginning of the battle. They are the ones who will step to the speaker's podium and tell the council members how they feel about things, sometimes being summarily dismissed as "an outsider" or "union thug". They are neither. However, even though I'm sympathetic with their side of the issue, I find myself getting irritated at them whenever one of their faces pops up on my computer screen lately.

HEAVY "RECON" GOING ON
As an aside, I didn't realize the full scale of the involvement of the union until I went to their page to "borrow" the photo of Muir, above. As I scrolled down the page I saw many familiar faces, including their General Manager, Nick Berardino, who has been their front man in this battle since the St. Patrick's Day catastrophe. But, I also saw faces of people I didn't know were union folks. For example, their General Counsel, Donald Drozd, who has been sitting in front of me at many recent council meetings, taking notes and scampering in and out of the chambers to make telephone calls, I guess. He is always accompanied by an entourage of, I think, other union staffers. It is, after all, a battle and every little bit of reconnaissance counts.

MESSY DISASSEMBLING CONTINUES
I fear it's going to be a long, messy next several weeks as the budget is hammered-out
and both sides jockey for position in an attempt to win over the residents of our city. The sad fact is that most residents are just too darn busy trying to make a living in these very challenging times to pay attention to what's going on. As a result, our city is being disassembled, one important piece at a time and we will not be the better for it when the dust finally settles.

STUDY SESSION ON TUESDAY
Next Tuesda
y the City Council will hold another Study Session in City Council Chambers in anticipation of a large turnout. The agenda for that meeting has been posted on the city web site. Now, before you dash off to read the staff reports, there is only one available - for item #2 (below) and I've provided a link to it HERE. The rest will apparently be presentations by individuals who provided no advance information. Here's the agenda as listed:

1. Budget Update
2. Retiree Medical Benefit Program Presentation
3. Marketing and communication Initiatives Update
4. Consultants Update

FOLLOWED BY VERY BRIEF RDA/COUNCIL MEETING
The session begins at 4:30, Tuesday, May 10th and will be followed at 6:30 (or whenever the session ends) by a joint meeting of the Costa Mesa Redevelopm
ent Agency/City Council. Based on the staff report, it should be a VERY short meeting.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO YOU ALL

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37 Comments:

Anonymous MSC Esq. said...

Actually, I have a problem with the badges. Why do they need them? a badge is a symbol of one's office, as with a peace officer. These folks do not carry any authority, hence do not need the symbol to convey it.

What practical purpose do the badges serve? How will they be used? It is typical of cop "wannabes". Look, let's be honest, none of those guys would pass a background check to be a cop. That's probably why they have such disdain for public safety folks and public employees in general. It's the one position they couldn't use money or influence to buy or get into.

So, to feel self-important, they get to buy a badge. Actually the taxpayer got to buy them a BS badge. Brilliant.

This admittedly small thing should speak volumes about the nature and arrogance of these men.

5/07/2011 01:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Pentagon Hexagram said...

Geoff,

I hope you'll stay away from the dangerous simplified false equivalence that the press typically uses to frame their narrative, looking at "two sides" to a story.

Riggy and his sidekicks want to frame this as a debate between them and the unions, but it's really much more than that.

They are attacking the basic good government principles that were developed to combat patronage and corruption - open meetings, civil service, the city manager system of government, competitive bidding, et cetera. Just like the Fair Board did.

The unions are over-the-top and heavy-handed, and some of their tactics are plain dumb.

But there's one third side here that needs to be heard, and that's the voice of good government supporters like you.

Oh and the Council should take a page from Jerry Brown, who eliminated all SWAG spending for state government. The badges are known as "vanity badges" to differentiate them from real badges.

5/07/2011 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

Chicks dig 'em, too...

5/07/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Time out! said...

Mr. West, I like your blog but please don't get too full of yourself. Just because people don't write comments here, or on the Daily Pilot website or attend meetings or do any of the things you think they should do, doesn't mean they aren't paying attention.

5/07/2011 10:51:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Time out!,
I'm not "full of myself"... What I'm concerned about is that "regular citizens" - folks working hard every day, trying to make a living - just don't have the time to pay attention. I know from personal experience on this - I was one of them for the first 28 years of my life in Costa Mesa. I just went about making a life and assuming (nasty word) that I was in good hands with the elected officials that ran the city. Most of the time that was a true assumption.

Ten years ago, though, we began electing folks like the perpetually inept Chris Steel and others. Steel was the first council member in my brief memory of municipal issues that began making things partisan. Now we've gone way, way to far - in my opinion - and the Orange County GOP has a foothold in our municipal government and seems determined to make our city a playground for social experimentation - a "petri dish", to us a phrase coined by Sandy Genis.

If folks don't write comments here or elsewhere or attend meetings and speak out they are doing what I did for so many years - nothing! If you disagree with the direction your leaders are taking how will they know that unless you tell them somehow. "Paying attention" alone doesn't get it... it's like watching your captain steer your boat over the falls without saying a word.

5/07/2011 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger clprevatt said...

Geoff,

My question, silly as it may be, is why would two guys so focused on saving the city money not suggest that maybe this would be a good time to stop issuing such badges? Or at least pay for them out of their own pockets. And why put a ceremonial title on the badge. That just means the city will have to by a new one for Riggie when his title changes.

Shouldn't their Drivers Liscenses and business cards be sufficient to identify who they are. Maybe we can issue them green cards so they don't get deported. Their ideas of city governance are certainly illegal and alien to anyone with an ounce of common sense.

As far as OCEA being outsiders, as the union that provides representation for the members of the Costa Mesa Employees Association, they are hardly outsiders.

And full disclosure, I am a board member and steward with OCEA.

5/07/2011 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Time out! said...

Sorry, Mr. West, but you are wrong. You are judging attention based on a narrow scale, one that has been historically an extremely poor indicator of attention or participation. The overwhelming majority of citizens in the U.S. and on a pro rata basis, in Costa Mesa, do not write letters, make phone calls, attend meetings or contribute to blogs, yet, they are well informed on the most important issues facing themselves and their families and have formed specific opinions based on their individual news sources. This is a particular area of expertise of mine and you are just wrong.

5/07/2011 05:42:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Time out!,
You stated that I'm "just wrong". You forgot to include, "In my opinion", because that's all it is - your opinion - one for which we have only your statement that you have a "particular area of expertise", but go no further in qualifying your opinion. You write anonymously, which is fine with me. My opinions are mine alone, but they are clearly identified as such - I NEVER post anonymously. I use my moniker, The Potstirrer, on a few blogs, but the trail to my identity is like a wide-open freeway...

I don't disagree with you that the vast majority of folks do not actively engage in public discourse on issues, but I'd like to know how one measures their level of awareness on them. Is it a "gut feel", or do you have credible statistics you'd care to share with us? And, if you are correct - I'm not yet agreeing that you are - then what does one do with those opinions?

If you have studied a particular issue - homelessness, for example - by reading the local media coverage and you're not satisfied with the direction your elected officials are taking on that issue, what do you do? If you don't write letters, make telephone calls, attend meetings and speak and, yes, comment on blogs, how does your opinion get folded into the mix to influence the decisions your elected (and appointed) leaders will make?

If decisions made by your leaders will adversely affect your day-to-day safety and those of your family and friends, what do you do? If those decisions adversely affect your property values, what do you do? Do you simply sit there, having armed yourself with knowledge, and do nothing? It's one thing to be ignorant and do nothing, but it's entirely another issue if you have an informed opinion and remain mute.

I'm not quite sure why we're having this little exchange. It's your opinion vs. mine, and until you further qualify yours, mine carries more weight here on MY blog. I'm happy to hear from you and, if you choose to identify yourself confidentially and further qualify your views you can always send me a note at the email address on the Profile page of this blog. Thanks for sharing...

5/07/2011 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Bob said...

Just a reminder that Lobdell is not the spokesperson for the city, he is the "interim" spokesperson or communications person or whatever they are calling him these days. And just a reminder that I have 50 bucks riding on my claim that he will be announced as a permanent employee once his probation is up and that this temporary/interim thing is just a ruse to diffuse the furor over adding him at $150K/year while we cut cops and others.I'm staying with this claim because I want to show city hall that we're not as stupid as they think we are.

5/07/2011 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous stop in the name of the MAYOR PRO TEAM said...

These badges are a symbol of what these councilmen are all about. Spending cuts apply to everyone but them, since they say this is peanuts compared to the budget. Pay cuts apply to everyone but them, since they say their salaries and benefits are peanuts compared to the budget. Regulations/laws/and ethics apply to everyone but them because the republican party and their views are king. And now they have the badge to prove it. These badges represent everything that is wrong with these two grown men wannabe cop power mongerors.

5/08/2011 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

This just in:

The U.S. Goverment released video of Riggy and Menssy watching themselves on CM TV..

5/08/2011 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

On first glance this does not appear to be a big deal. The problems are $450 here, $3,000 a week there and $200,000 for consultants begins to add up before you know it. The symbolism alone should have been enough for these guys to realize this was not a good idea. Further, the city pays for the essential equipment for the cops, guns, ammo, batons, etc., but does not pay for a flat badge similar to these. Why is it ok for the city to pay for a non-essential piece of equipment for the council, but not ok to pay for what is arguably an essential piece of equipment for the cops?

5/08/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Peanuts for the people said...

The "Staff" / Consultant Report re: Retiree Health Benefit Program was reviewed. An Executive Summary of the report is that it is as clear as mud. The end of the official executive summary ends somewhere between page 1 and page 20. The best that can be made of the recommended new formula for retiree benefits is as follows: Inputs of AB decrements by City, plus XY decrements by Employees, equals OO excrements for Retirees". That's Transparency?". Hope the "Pro-Team" paid "peanuts" for the Report.

5/08/2011 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Wrong said...

Joe:

That's not Riggy and Menssy watching themselves on TV. It's those idiot public commenters that suck up everybody's time on city council nights.

5/08/2011 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

These badges come in handy at DUI checkpoints or at the airport when your bags are lost, when you want to play the 'do you know who I am card' ... badges are a big deal to fools like this. We're just lucky they found the money in the budget so WE could pay for them.

5/08/2011 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

Leece has a badge. Leece cashes in medical $$. Leece does not pay for her pension despite what she said at Feet to Fire. Leece's only cuts suggested were to cut pay of Planning Commission(below that of Parks Commission). Of course Righeimer and Mensinger were on Planning when she made the suggestion. She was after them then and always will be as will dear little daughter who , when speaking to council, turns her body to the audience when speaking, waiting for applause when she says mom should be mayor because now we have a Bell scandal on our hands.

5/08/2011 06:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

At the July 13th 2009 Planning Commission meeting. Steve Mensinger responded to Colin McCarthy's suggestion that they forgo thier meeting stipend to save money for other city programs. Mensinger scoffed at the idea, and instead proposed that they deserved MORE pay, because it would draw a better caliber talent pool to the commission. The fact is , they keep saying that the 1.6 million deficit is real and the sky has fallen. Yet their actions show that we have money and they obviously have no comcerns about spending it. It's all smoke and mirrors , while they destroy the services and gut the staff.
Watch the video......it's at the end...time:1:48.07
http://costamesa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4

5/09/2011 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Real Issues said...

When are we going to discuss real issues in this City, like the Recall that the Union is planning? Let's talk about that. Who the candidates could be. Is this right for our City?

Let's get to real issues.

5/09/2011 09:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

For Greg Ridge, it must feel like everything that comes out of his mouth, I want to challenge. Mostly because everything he shares, I think should be challenged.

I too share this philosophy, that $400 is way to low to attack and retain good candidates. The concern is that without some basic level, some fair compensation to cover the time and effort, you will get a polarized candidate. Retired, living on a pension, independently wealthy as examples, and what you miss is a hard working mother or father that need to put food on the table for a family, in my opinion, a life blood of the community.

So, you can put me on the list of folks that support that philosophy, and I have given some of the reasons why.

I also believe that there is a budget deficit currently. But, for the sake of the argument, let’s say there is not. I still think we need structural changes in the way that this budget is allocated. I think we need to prioritize infrastructure investments yet recognize the need for a strong public safety. So, outside of any budget deficit, which is real, we need to discuss and focus on outcomes that structurally change the way we allocate the budget.
I think it is a joke, and a waste of time to attack Riggy & Mensinger for a badge that has been historically offered. I think it is atrocious that the Union folks, Repair Costa Mesa, continue to challenge spending that is actually either not occurring, Tom Hatch does not get a $10k car allowance, yet when confronted with the fact, Repair Costa Mesa chose to still include this statement in a “Push Poll”, shame, or, when the Union decides to include statements like spending on carpets for City Hall, which was an historical plan, that has never been funded. That is the reality, but the Union likes to take fiction, and perpetuate it as fact.

Historically, people have fallen for the emotion driven logic of the Unions, but, in my opinion, when presented with facts, or when the Union emotional fact is clarified, Costa Mesa will make the structural changes necessary to fix the budget and prioritize investment in infrastructure … soon.

The ideas that Greg Ridge shares do nothing to solve real issues. So, I ask again, who is with me on a campaign to “Repair Greg Ridge” From there, I think we can all do some good.

5/09/2011 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Judging by the content, grammar, and structure of the comment above, is the writer "Jimmy Fitzy" a middle school student?

Or is it simply another pathetic effort by the shill Fitzpatrick to "back up" his masters and defame Mr. Ridge?

5/09/2011 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Officials vote unanimously to include up to $180,000 to be used for wireless connection, software and website work in preliminary budget.

http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-0505-council-20110504,0,2600567.story

Fitzy is like a large fart.......stinking hot air.

I've said nothing about the stupid badges. I posted a link to video of Mensingers own words to refute the previous claim that this was all Wendy's idea. Watch the video , and you can clearly see, Colin bringing it up. You were there Fitz.

The City Manager line item on the city budget for car allowance is $10,800. Granted that goes to two people. His actual car allowance is closer to $6000. The total top 6 city officials actually recieve closer to $30,000 in car allowances. Thats just to clarify a few things for our cheerleader friend here.

This is really all just chump change when you get into the real financial problems these political ideologues are creating.

Thats when you get into the $300 million the city will be on the hook for with the unfunded pension liabilities and penalties, when they outsource everybody and opt out of CalPers.
It will be due and payable within ten years. About $31 million a year, breaks down to $2.5 million a month or about a little under $100,000 a day. The city will have to pay, while also outsourcing and paying private companies to provide matching services.

This ain't about $400 badges......

Tell me FitzWiztard, how do you plan on litigating yourself out of that pension obligation, when your buddy Moorlach just wasted over $5 million losing the exact same suit for the county. Three different courts told them they had to pay the negotiated pension contracts.

We'll wait while you scramble to your Masters for an answer.

Your little personal attacks against me just go to show what a class act you are.Nice form coming from an elected official....way to go.

5/09/2011 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger Chris McEvoy said...

"I too share this philosophy, that $400 is way too low to attack and retain good candidates"

fitzie did you mean attract? I’ll assume you did.

Where did I hear this argument before, gosh it sounds so familiar… I swear it has to do with all our economic problems from the evil doers

What is also funny is you assume we have had good planning commissioners…

Much like I told riggy and mensinger I will tell you, you have no character, it is different when it is out of your pocket. Wonder if NB planning commissioners are substandard at $65 a month?

Oh by the way how long have you lived in Costa Mesa?

5/09/2011 05:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Just Another Opinion said...

Greg Ridge (aka Gericault) should not only be repaired, he should either be jailed or castrated. He's the biggest nut job in all of Costa Mesa. If his mouth is open, he's either lying or defaming someone. That guy is definitely dangerous.

You got one thing right Gericault, Jim Fitzpatrick is a class act! Joe, you and Gericault obviously have neither education or class, and it really shows.

5/09/2011 06:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Latin word for Pompous is Righeimer said...

ATTENTION ALL PEOPLE... Time to make a point. If Mensinger and Righeimer really want more fireworks then lets give it to them.

Everyone should, for this Fourth of July, buy a dozen or more Piccolo Petes ( FROM A BOOTH NOT SUPPORTING MENSINGER OR RIGHEIMERS GROUP). Then spend a few hours ( LEGAL TIMES TO FIRE OFF FIREWORKS) on Friday, Saturday , Sunday and Monday over on Capri and Country Club.
If everyone chips in , we should easily have hundreds or thousands of LOUD, OBNOXIOUS FIREWORKS to fire off infront of our LOUD AND OBNOXIOUS COUNCIL MEMBERS (Riggy and Mensinger) HOMES.

Let them deal with the noise, the mess, and upset neighbors.

Make sure you buy legal fireworks, use during legal times and park legally. Keep everything on the up and up. Enjoy yourself for 4 days.

Bring a cooler and a chair and we can all talk about Righeimers UPCOMING RECALL.

"WHAT COULD BE WRONG WITH JUST TRYING IT?....

5/09/2011 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Latin for Pompous is Righeimer said...

And let me add... HOW IN THE WORLD
can Righeimer, with a bankrupt company and 20+ liens and a wage of $400 / month last year ( on the Planning commission) ..... HOW CAN HE AFFORD TO LIVE IN A $1.5 MILLION DOLLAR HOUSE IN MESA VERDE?


Maybe lots of full white envelopes???? for a "favor"??

5/09/2011 07:35:00 PM  
Anonymous we need a miracle said...

I find it funny that the planning commissioners and city council members would make the argument that additional pay will attract better candidates while they continue to contend that pay has nothing to do with hiring quality police officers and firefighters. If it were up to them they would cut those salaries in half. But based on their 'salary matters' philosophy this would cause only the worst of the worst candidates to apply to work for Costa Mesa since their salary and benefits package would be the lowest in all of Orange/ Los Angeles County. The same goes for all the city workers the council also hates.
Here is a news flash... Costa Mesa in the next five to ten years will have to pay THE HIGHEST wages out of all the surrounding cities because nobody qualified will want to work for a city where workers are treated like they are here now. Now, if Costa Mesa had a beautiful beach, top notch leadership, or some other feature that made it a better place to work this may not happen. But we all know that except by an act of God, Costa Mesa will never be a beach front city and the elected "leaders" will never be considered top notch or really leaders at all. Instead we have inept ideologues without the brain power to understand how management really works or how they work contrary to basic American principles.

5/09/2011 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous MSC Esq. said...

In trying to look at all of this objectively (and that isn't easy), it seems to me that the apologists for the council have an excuse for everything. When people speak out against their plan, they get minimized. They are non-resident employees ("noise"), or "outside influence" etc.

When the council or city gets called on any shenanigans, they do what criminals do to separate themselves from crimes they have committed. They lie (about what happened), deny (their involvement)and minimize (the circumstances and/or involvement).

I believe Jim Righeimer to have a narcissistic personality disorder (preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity).

Many other OC cities have budget shortfalls or projected budget shortfalls. How many of them are resorting to these draconian measures? I recall reading that Irvin will have a projected 18M deficit, yet they are not laying off their employees, and in fact I believe they are hiring some of our city's cops. That just seems odd to me.

Whatever happened to our last major city crisis, namely the "illegal alien problem"? What is the former mayor's legacy with that regard? He seems to have all but forgotten about that issue now that he has "moved on up". Why is that?

Is this what we can expect from Costa Mesa's elected officials? Stir up a tempest in a tea pot, then move on, because American's have short memories?

Where were the voices of current council members who had seats on the council when this "crisis" was in the making? Why were they not more vocal and vehemently opposed to our employee's previous contracts. It truly seems that our local GOP officials are taking a play right out of Rham Emmanuel's playbook: "Never let a good crisis go to waste". Of course the other half of that is: If there isn't a crisis, create one.

5/10/2011 02:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Just another Fart in the Wind said......absolutly nothing constructive.......

Are threats of incarceration and mutilating torture really helpful?

Or, are they just little dark mental Abu Ghraib fantasies that felt you wanted to share with the rest of us?

I can see how you consider "Greg Ridge", such a dangerous threat. Having a citizen armed with facts and willing to share them with the others must really terrify you guys right about now.

5/10/2011 05:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

Ok, here goes Gericault … no matter what or how I say it is not personal, it is about your ideas, you are still personally sensitive to the criticism of your ideas.

Greg, as you support the “Repair Costa Mesa”, I am surprised to see outrage or at least concern on their lack of correct facts and lack of transparency. No, they are badges, not encrusted name plates, no they do not cost what “Repair” says, no they were not ordered on the day “Repair” says. No, it is not factually correct o continue to perpetuate the lie that the City Manager gets a $10,000 car allowance, but that does not stop the Union backed efforts. For all your concern about outside influences of the OCGOP, you loose all credibility by not challenging Nick Bernadina on his involvement with the Democratic party, his presence at the Convention, and the message he carried.

When I watched you at the Fair, and now supporting budget issues, I would describe the approach as “Chicken Little”, yet the sky is not falling.

I perceive, as do the local leaders I respect, that we have a mandate to be asking questions on how we spend the money. Not the nickel and dime stuff. So, I think it is appropriate and necessary for Council to be asking these questions, as are many many others. We are at the Sanitary District, Costa Mesa Water is. City is. Separately and even together.

I continue to try and understand the unfunded pension liability, I am glad to see you at least are willing to recognize that we do have an issue. But I feel as thought you are Chicken Little’ing blame, instead of looking at the issue. Re4cognizign the Costa Mesa Fore asked for the study to be considered to go to OCFA. I was at the meeting, and did not come up with your numbers, but I will go back, and yes, I do talk to many to form my opinions. In the past, I have talked with you to help form what I think are good opinions.

What concerns me is that you did not consider the Unfunded Pension obligations we currently face. I think that needs to be part of the picture.

Moorlach’s challenge was not on the same thing, although vitally necessary, and I wish him luck. That money is a drop in the bucket on what will ultimately be saved. Did you see what recently happened in San Diego on health care? I just think these benefits, that yes, have been contractually agreed to, are unsustainable, and will need to change. My opinion.

5/10/2011 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy said...

Chris, first off, I respect that you come here and post under your name. I think it is cowardly when others do not … Yes, attract.

I will answer you, hope you will answer me … coming up on 9 years as a home owner, moved to Newport Beach in 1995. I hear this argument from Wendy Leece all the time, although I can’t reproduce the sound, the words go something like “ I have lived here for 40 years”. I get that, but I don’t get that it is the only criteria. I think reviewing involvement and accomplishments are also part of it.

And, I think tax contribution plays a very big part in this what have I done, or what have you done that lends credibility or priority to any comments, observations and requests. Here is my theory, with your math skills, perhaps you could help me validate the assumptions, or prove my theory incorrect.

Person A lives here for 20 years. Person B lives here for 10 years. Person B bought a million dollar home. With Prop 13, it might have even be a similar home to person A. However, my theory is that Person B has actually paid more in taxes that Person A. So, I don’t put exclusive weight on the how long have you lived here argument, for many reasons.

CHRIS McEVOY … how much have you personally paid in Property Tax?

Newport Beach. I know several people, that would make great Planning Commissioners in Newport Beach, but will not go near it, largely because of the pay. Therefore the makeup of the Commission reflects the concerns expressed. I do think that there will be a generational breakthrough in Newport Beach, and in many municipalities. I think I am in a position to benefit Costa Mesa from those relationships.

Chris, my offer still stands with you. I have long admired the energy you have put in, but questioned the activity over accomplishment. I have not seen you accomplish anything since I have known you. I think when you come to Council, or to a Commission, we all go home 3 minutes later on whatever topic you choose to speak on. There is no effort to build relationships, agreement, etc. There is no trying to develop supporters, no history of successfully working with Staff. Aside from my belief that a Home Owner, Married, with kids is the best criteria, I do make exceptions for individuals that can demonstrate an ability to get things done.

5/10/2011 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

In another blog post "Karen" said to stop all the public comments at the CC meetings. I cant make it to the CC meetings, so I post here. I do not go to the minor league meetings either.
As I have been a follower of this blog for almost 2 years I am thankful for Geoff's writing and opinions. When I read the comments I always look forward to "Gericault", "Bigdawg", "Rob Dibble", and a few others like Chris Mcevoy and "Feral390". Then I see folks like Fitzy. If I were to go to the poles tomorrow, based on this blog I would not vote for Fitzy. I am not excited with how much he wants to impress Riggy et al. while in the rookie league. I do not care about his degrees or other status. I want someone who is going to represent me.
As Karen said the public comments do not matter, but to me the poles do.
So in '12 I think that Bever and Monohan and Menses (for Foley) are up for re-election. We all know that Fitzy is chewing at the bit. So when we all meet up at Capri and Mesa Verde we can discuss who will best represent the citizens. Or someone like me who owns a business and resides in this city.
Lets vote for long time residents, business owners and family men/woman. People who value the citizens and will actually listen and respect our opinions at the public comment portion of the CC.

5/10/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Wow!

So much for civil discourse everyone!

Way to represent our city.

I would definitely want to move here if I was looking for a community to move into and raise my kids, volunteer and be active in the community.

Oh, I know, each of you has some justification for your vitriol.

My counsel is to rise above the mud slinging.

5/10/2011 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Latin... I'm on board!

But why stop at Reeeeemer's street? We should spread the JOY... Mesiahinger and Monohand should enjoy the totality of the event as well.

I had planned on boycotting the Booster's booths this year (which I have made ALL of my purchases for the past 33 years) and support one of the other organizations.

Anyone who sees this as something they would be a part of should review ALL City regulations (available at the City web site) and also, not to impose to heavly on other fellow Costa Mesians, contact their neighbors, in close proximaly, and give them a heads up and be forwarned.

5/10/2011 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

WOW FITZY!!! Your elitist response to McEvoy is embarrassing. I posted my last comment minutes after you posted your thesis, and as you know Geoff does not pin them up immediately.

I get what you are saying about community activism, getting out there and such. But I disagree with your wallet/bank account ego. I own a modest home and own commercial property and am married 12 1/2 years with four kids. So with your logic I should be on CC, because I pay A LOT of property taxes, way more than you! Yeah me!!!
Get off your high horse now, stop fluffing Riggy and please (x3) do not run for CC. Besides, there may be someone else out there that has lived here for a couple years and pays more in prop taxes that will trump both of us.

5/10/2011 02:23:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

Fitzy...I find it interesting you challenge Chris McEvoy on a lack of accomplishments while praising your council. Please tell us exactly what has this council accomplished?
Disband ABLE,throw money at consultants, hire a PR "spin doctor", drive away 20,30,40 or more Police Officers, send several department heads off to other cities, turn down over a million dollars of rda money,crash the morale in City Hall,and created a huge divide in the community. And for what?
Have they saved any money? Have they done anything constructive? Don't try and sell any b.s about them creating pension reform. They haven't, Are you even aware that we already have pension reform? Are you aware that the CMCEA has a two tier system for new hires? Take a look at what was negotiated last Oct. I think that's why Riggy is so hell bent on destruction. Because he wasn't involved (or even elected yet) so he can't take any credit. Maybe he just wants to "blow up the whole deal!" Does that sound familiar?
As far as pay for the commissions, are you a planning commissioner because you need the extra cash? or do you do it because you want a voice and an active role in what type of developments and projects are allowed and what impact they should have on the area? or is it because it's been a stepping stone to a council run?
The fact you want more money for the position speaks volumes for your motives. The whole planning commision is a mystery to me, it seems you all have city staff do hours worth of research and then you guys have a vote based on their efforts. And you get paid for that?
And Bruce Krochman...there is nothing "civil" about any of this. I think civil went on vacation when the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association declared war on the city employees. And to be honest I think this whole thing has been too passive. I'm ready to turn things up a bit, how about some "civil" disobedience, noisy but lawful demonstrations in front of City Hall or a certain pub (without bricks though) I love the idead of an all day 4th of July party in front of the Righeimer and/or Mensinger estates. All this blog posting, name calling and voicing of opinions to a deaf council is going nowhere. Remember all those demonstrations during Mansoors anti-mexican campaign?
Viva la Revolucion!

5/10/2011 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Ruling Class said...

JimmyFizzy, please tell me you didn't just say that anyone who pays more in taxes is more important than someone who pays less. Wow, talk about class elitism. That's what all this is really about isn't it? Destruction of the middle class, so you and your boys can look down upon your noses at the serfs.

Looks like Thomas Jefferson's inclusion of "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal" in our Constitution is completely lost on you. You seem to believe in the modern day equivalent of the Divine Right of Kings.

I would love nothing more than to kick you and people like you in the "JimmyFitzy"

5/11/2011 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for telling the community the real reason the meet and greet at Target was cancelled. Until now, the impression was that Fire and Police decided on the last minute cancellation of a great event. The transparency at City Hall seems more like a lead lined wall. You'll excuse me if I remain anonymous, but I am a 20+ year city employee and fear the "Hatch"et.

5/13/2011 04:36:00 PM  

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