Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Reason To Give Thanks

GOOD NEWS FOR COSTA MESA EMPLOYEES

In a decision guaranteed to make Thanksgiving just a little nicer for employees of the City of Costa Mesa, today Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann rejected a request from lawyers for the City to dispose of two of the four causes of action in the lawsuit filed on behalf of city employees. You can read the Daily Pilot report on this decision HERE.

OCEA STATEMENT
As might be expected, each side viewed this action a little differently. Orange County Employee Association spokesperson Jennifer Muir, in a press release this afternoon, said the following:

"In another incremental victory for Costa Mesa employees, a Superior Court Judge on Tuesday afternoon rejected the City of Costa Mesa’s motion to dispose of two of the four causes of action in a lawsuit challenging the layoffs of nearly half the City’s workforce.

The employees are grateful that calmer and more reasoned minds continue to prevail over the politically motivated agenda of the City Council majority,” said Helen Nenadal, President of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association.

More than 200 Costa Mesa employees received six-month layoff notices in March after the City Council voted to outsource their jobs. In May, the Costa Mesa City Employees Association filed a lawsuit to block the layoffs and outsourcing. Orange County Superior Court Judge Tam Nomoto Schumann issued a preliminary injunction in July halting the layoffs and prohibiting the City from outsourcing to private contractors.

Judge Schumann’s ruling on Tuesday does not affect a previously ordered preliminary injunction prohibiting the City from outsourcing to private contractors. Trial is scheduled to begin April 9."

LOBDELL'S VIEW
A few minutes later this afternoon Costa Mesa Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell issues his statement, which said in part:

“The judge accepted the union’s ‘interpretation’ of the labor contract between the employees’ association and the City,” said John A. Vogt, special counsel for the City of Costa Mesa. “However, the City maintains the union’s alleged interpretation is not an interpretation at all, but rather a contradiction to the contract, which allows for outsourcing and even provides for a six-month notice for it. Unfortunately, the judge believes that she needed to accept the union’s ‘interpretation’ in ruling on a pleadings motion.

“This ruling doesn’t mean the union’s interpretation will survive summary judgment or trial or otherwise withstand scrutiny on appeal.”

IN THE MEANTIME...
So, unless one side or the other has another card up their sleeves, it looks now like we wait until the trial date, April 9, 2012. In the meantime, based on the injunction in force, no Costa Mesa functions may be outsourced to any private organizations.

MY THANKSGIVING MESSAGE
In case you've
not already seen it, the Daily Pilot published another of my commentaries today, just in time for Thanksgiving. You can read it HERE. And, for your reading pleasure, here's a very similar version of that message for you all here on the blog.

***

GIVING THANKS
There are many things for which I'm thankful as we approach Thanksgiving Day this year.

RIGHT AT THE TOP
As always,
my wonderful and patient wife of more than 44 years is right at the top of my list. She makes my life very special with her love and support in all that we do.

FAMILY, FRIENDS AND READERS
Of course, I'm very thankful for my family and our cadre of dear friends
who stay in touch with us and offer encouragement when we most need it. And, I'm thankful for the opportunity to present my views of the world around us to the readers of my blog. I'm thankful for their support and comments - even those who disagree with me - because they usually enhance the debate of important issues.

A VERY SPECIAL GRO
UP
This year, though, I'm especially thankful for a very special group of people - many of whom have become friends. I'm speaking of the employees of the City of Costa Mesa. For the past couple years they've had to endure the uncertainty of this terrible economy, which included making sacrifices to help the City balance the budget. Some have lost their jobs and all have had their wages frozen. They've watched the staff size shrink to levels not seen for more than two decades.

A TRUE TEST

This year, however, has been a real test of their fortitude and loyal
ty, beginning with more than 200 of their compatriots receiving layoff notices on St. Patrick's Day - which may have been the darkest day in the history of our city. Hundreds gathered that sad night to pay their respects to a fallen fellow employee. A few days later more than one hundred residents circled City Hall on a rainy day to stand in a silent vigil of support for the employees.

OUTSOURCING CHAOS
The employees have endured the chaos that has swirled around the actions of a City Council majority apparently determined, through outsourcing, to reduce the City Staff to a handful of Contract Administrators charged with managing the contract employees who will eventually perform every job in the city - or so it seems.


DISRESPECT AND UNCERTAINTY
The employees of Costa Mesa have seen and heard some of the elected leader
s of our city and their appointees chide, vilify, demonize and belittle many of their friends and co-workers. They've seen their revered long-time leader, City Manager Allan Roeder, retire and be replaced - if that is actually possible - by his loyal assistant, Tom Hatch. They then heard Hatch tell a group of their fellow-employees that "they" - meaning the City Council - "don't trust us" - meaning the employees. It must be difficult to stay focused on your job with that cloud of disrespect and uncertainty hanging over your head.

HE WAS RIGHT
The employees watched as Interim Police Chief Steve Staveley, a man with four decades of law enforcement under his belt and one of the most respected law enforcement leaders in California, abruptly ended his second tour as temporary chief in Costa Mesa in disgust with the elected leaders of our city. As he left he tossed a grenade of criticism of the council over his shoulder, saying, "They are, in my opinion, incompetent, unskilled and unethical."

LEADERS REPLACED BY MERCENARIES
They've seen the management ranks decimated as many senior staffers chose to move on rather than tolerate the lack of respect and the systematic destruction of the city. Many were replaced by con
sultants - mercenaries, whose fees were mind-boggling and their loyalties unclear.

CAREERS THREATENED
They've seen some of their elected leaders attempt to break labor agreements rather than seek concessions from the employee groups - actions which forced some employees to court to protect their rights. They've seen themselves castigated in the public press and from the council dais for that action by the men who caused the situation. They've seen their very livelihoods and careers placed in jeopardy to satisfy personal ambitions of a few hack politicians.


AND YET...
And yet they soldier on, doing their very best to provide the kind of service the residents and visitors to our city have become accustomed to. They patch and sweep our streets, provide public safety and recreation programs and perform all the other tasks that make Costa Mesa a great place in which to live, work and play. You have to admire them because it's hard to keep your nose to the grindstone while looking over your shoulder, waiting for the ax to fall, at the same time - but they do it with pride, poise and competence.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING AND THANK YOU!

So, for all they have done and for all that they continue to do, I am particularly thankful this year for each and every employee of the City of Costa Mesa. Thank you all. We here at A Bubbling Cauldron wish the Costa Mesa Employees and all the rest of you very Happy Thanksgiving.


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48 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

My family and I are most thankful that in a town containing a large number of sell-outs, Geoff is there speaking truth.

Thank God for our excellent police, fire, other safety people, and all the other employees who make Costa Mesa great.

11/23/2011 06:57:00 AM  
Anonymous City Employee said...

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/three-types-of-bosses-that-should-be-fired-20111122.html

As a city employee, I no longer fear this group of clowns. I realize they have no clue what they are doing and clearly can't get the job done.

Riggy and Mensinger are failed businessmen and now failed council members.

11/23/2011 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your words of appreciation to the employees of the City of Costa Mesa. The last couple of years have been the most difficult in our history. Every employee here is the best I have ever known and they are what makes Costa Mesa a good place to live and work. Happy Thanksgiving!

11/23/2011 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Public Enemy said...

Thank you.

11/23/2011 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous HOA Management said...

Thank God for our excellent police, fire, other safety people, and all the other employees who make Costa Mesa great.

11/24/2011 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Semper Fi said...

Just an observation: If you are not now, nor have ever been a Marine, don't put a "Marines" bumper sticker on your car. It's disrespectful to those of us who actually had to sweat and bleed to earn the title.

11/24/2011 07:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Just Wondering said...

Hey Semper....Is it against the "code" to display the sticker if you child in a Marine?

A parent has a "dog" in the fight, eh? Why did you go there on this blog?

11/25/2011 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Keep Going said...

I have worked with many private sector employees and find them wonderful. They have implemented technology to offer empirical data to prove their accountability and efficiency. They do not have to rely on emotional anecdotes, nor hide behind that they do 5 jobs and no one can hold them accountable to one.

The RFP's prepared are great evidence of this.

Folks, you consider the fully loaded burden of pensions and benefits and the math is compelling.

All here seem to speak of how wonderfull things are. Private sector is not all good just as public sector has issues. Where do you think the jokes come from of municipal workers. Although tragic, the March 17 event also brought to light that the worker everyone said was so wonderful had significant work place related issues.

It is reasonable, prudent and necessary to predominate the exercise of looking at controlling costs and restructuring the city budget.

Once the RFP's come back, all the emotional arguments go out the window.

I don't think all should be outsourced. CMFD should implement cost saving ideas of the OCFA and stay in house.

Will be interesting to see what, if any proposals come from the employees.

Only time will tell

11/25/2011 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Keep Going Out the Door said...

Government isn't, and shouldn't be, the private sector.

Outsource Righeimer, Mensinger, the turncoats Bever and Monahan, and see how well everything turns out.

11/25/2011 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Left Behind & Angry said...

Keep going out the door. What you suggest is to go back in time. When Unions selected & paid for candidates. News for you. That is what got us here.

Change is hard for many.

West talks about leaders leaving. I do not share that opinion. In fact this change has provided for many people, long time employees, moving up and into key positions.

The whinners and Council Haters fail to recognize this fact. I watch the Jerry Springer crowd here talk about how wonderful employees are, then ignore many of them getting promoted, creating a whole shift in upward mobility.

Is it safe to sat that the complainers are the dead wood left behind by the opportunities of change?

11/25/2011 02:19:00 PM  
Anonymous huh? said...

left behind:
You are a prime example of a person living in an alternate reality. Congrats.

11/25/2011 06:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt said...

Keep Going....you ask what proposals may come from the employees. Well, let's start with the 26 point proposal the cops made to the city in June, 2010. That proposal would have saved the city more money than what the city countered with and what both sides agreed to. So the city ignores a contract proposal, makes a counter offer that saves less money, but the employees continue to be on the hook? I was told, and maybe someone else here can shed some light on this, that non-public safety city employees gave the city 100 ideas for saving more and again the city ignored the ideas. The FF's recently made 2 proposals that would have saved the city $300,000 to $500,000 and they have practically begged to go the Orange County Fire Authority. How many more proposals must the employees make? When is it ok to throw up your hands because the city has ignored the employees again?

11/25/2011 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous What Skills? said...

huh?

Left Behind seems to have a firm grip on reality, whereas you are living in the world of make believe.

Most of the people who leave comments on this blog appear to be nothing more than whiners and entitlement minded people. No matter how much our city employees make, they still want more.

Since when has whining become a commendable skill?

11/25/2011 10:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

What Skills....name even one instance where anyone, employee or not, has said city employees should make more money. Name one time that has happened (hint, you can't because it has never happened). I will say it again, every city employee ( cops, firefighters and general employees), have met every single concession demand (that is reductions in salaries and benefits) made by the city since at least 2008. Repeat, every city employee has met every single concession demand made by the city since at least 2008. Seems the only whiners are persons like yourself that have to come on here and throw out patently false accusations. The positive side is persons like me can come right back and point out how wrong you are. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

11/26/2011 07:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Feed Riggy Starve Costa Mesa said...

This has never been about Costa Mesa, pensions, or even outsourcing. All of the above are stepping stones for the chubby developer to get into higher office.

We got to see who the traitors are in our midst. We will never forget.

11/26/2011 08:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Times they r a changin said...

Dear Wyatt, we could care less about the historical ideas proposed. By the way, no one can produce the ideas you indicate. Why wouldn't someone republish?

The reality is that cops & firemen are silent right now. Only right now matters. Wyatt, Billy, what say you now? Why not formally respond?

The good news is that the Council will give us an indication of what you do, or do not do.

Times have changed. You & others need to change too.

11/26/2011 08:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Times r a changin...times are changing so much that the city has backed off the FF's request to go to the Orange County Fire Authority? Hummmmm.....I wonder why? Maybe because the FF's want to go there to get away from these morons and the morons realized they would no longer be in control. Rather, they would be one of 26 other contract cities. That is only input, not control. Further, the morons also realized it would require a dramatic drop in coverage (ie, closing one entire fire station) and those things have a way of biting those bucking for higher office. Is going to the OCFA not a "recent" proposal? Or does it not count because the FF's have practically been begging to go? Also, don't take my word for it, call the associations and ask for the information yourself. That way you can't accuse me or anyone else of fudging information. I know you won't because you are not interested in the truth. Keep it up. I can hardly wait for the next one.

11/26/2011 12:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Talking Turkey said...

Wyatt, the City sent Police & Fire a letter asking for solutions and recommendations.

To my knowledge is that PD has refused to respond. CD came back with some weak extension. Council requested FD pay the full amount. FD refused. Now they pay nothing costing our City big.

Many critics challenged staff and council for not leaving the portion in budget calcs. Who's right now?

I for one appreciate that the CEO is providing this level of visibilty to the process.

Wyatt, you seem to have insights. Why do you think public safety is refusing to respond?

We can handle the truth

11/26/2011 05:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

To times they r a changin:

You claimed that "no one can produce the [historical]ideas," and asked, "Why wouldn't someone republish?"

In fact, the list of 100 cost-saving suggestions is available, and Geoff posted an easy link to it in a previous blog thread. I don't know how to set up a link, but I did test copying the below address into my search line. If that doesn't work for you, you can contact Mr. Lobdell or search back in previous "Bubbling Cauldron" posts. Once you reach the site, there are several links required to view the whole list.

http://www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us/council/agenda/2009-04-14/APR14-FY09-10_BUDGET_DEV_STATEGIES.pdf

It's not clear to me which of these suggestions were accepted, but some of them do include furloughs, for example, and I do believe some were implemented.

With persistence, you can probably get from Mr. Lobdell more detailed information on decision-making regarding implementation.

If you want to contribute constructively to the discussion, publishing confirmed information would be a great way to start. Certainly some of those suggestions could be applied today.

11/26/2011 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Inconvenient truth said...

Wyatt Earp,

PD and Fire are not meeting the concession demands with regard to pension contributions.

11/27/2011 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Try on their shoes said...

Why aren't the bargaining units responding to demands from the councilmen? Is that a serious question? They have generously made offers of concessions and give-backs, mid-contract. In return, the councilmen offer them nothing--no concessions, no guarantees, no tiny little benefits, not even any respect.

The firemen offered to pay something extra, and they were told to pay more. They even offered to outsource themselves--at lesser pay for some, if I remember correctly.

In the case of the police department, the councilmen have meddled in its management, so antagonizing the then-interim police chief that he resigned in disgust. (Ironically, he would probably have been on their side in pension discussions; read Staveley's resignation letter for details.)

I'm not a city employee, so I don't have any inside insights, just those that are obvious to an objective human being.

Perhaps a statement from a sports commentator would help "Turkey" understand. Mark Whicker, a Register columnist, made the following statement regarding basketball negotiations (11-15-11): “No group of human beings responds well to bullying.”

Bullying is not just a strategy for the councilmen: it's their mission. It’s clear that saving money is not behind the city’s actions; they have wasted more money than they can save through reasonable apples-to-apples outsourcing.

The councilmen's mission is to damage the unions, and they are willing to waste millions to “save” the cost of pensions.

Any reasonable offer by employees will be refused. My prayer is that the employees will be able to sit down with a new, reasonable city council and will then make the agreements necessary for a manageable city budget.

11/27/2011 01:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Inconvienient truth...both PD and FD have met the pension contributions. PD is paying the 5% requested by the city last year for the life of their contract. FD paid their 5% for the one year agreed to and was more than willing to pay that 5% for another 3 months or through the end of the fiscal year saving $300,000 to $500,000. The city came back with a request for 3 times that amount. Ok, what was the city offering in return? Nothing? Wow, sounds like one heck of a deal for the FF's. I can't imagine why they didn't jump on it. Fire them all and go the OCFA? The FF's have been begging to go the OCFA.
Talking Turkey....Let's see. The cops offer a contract last year the city ignores for 4 months, the city counters with an offer that saves less money for the city and they agree to it. The council villifies employees every chance they get and makes it clear they do not trust the cops and, in Righeimer's words to Hatch, "They will pay their share and them some". During the last year the council has spent at least $600,000 extra on executive level secretaries and staff for themselves. Gosh, I can't imagine why the cops would interested in helping the city any further. Further, is this how things will continue to be? Agree to a contract and them come back again within a year asking for more? All the while bashing employees and saying you don't trust them? Even my third grader can figure this one out.

11/27/2011 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous X said...

i highly doubt the employees are giving the council members the concessions needed. there must be some "strings" attached to every offer that are unacceptable. Anyone else agree or disagree with that hypothesis? According to Amazon, People who buy the union lies from Muir also bought Ripley's Believe it or not and kool aid.

11/27/2011 06:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Kool Aid clouds truth said...

@Inconvenient truth...

You are right....sort of....The Silly Council can make all the DEMANDS they want. There is no reason for the Police and Fire to open their contracts for two+ years.

Cost saving measures to the City WERE OFFERED. At that time, if you remember, Riggy was working hard to UN-balance the budget.

The PD has taken furlough days, and paid more into their pension costs. They WERE paying in to a retirement medical account until the city killed that program. That was a 1% payment by each side.

BTW, Do you know that someone with family coverage with Blue Cross PPO pays $1000 out of pocket a MONTH. The Council gets better coverage for FREE for a part time job.

Thanks for playing.

11/27/2011 07:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Feed Riggy Starve Costa Mesa said...

"According to Amazon, People who buy the union lies from Muir also bought Ripley's Believe it or not and kool aid"

Who you gonna buy "truth" from in Costa Mesa-

Any one of our cops or firemen, or a traitor leprechaun and his puffed-up developer boss?

11/27/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Anonymous X said...

Kool aid clouds has it partly correct. the council gets free medical but the job is hardly "part time". they should get medical but not cash out unused part like Leece does. Riggy does not even take the medical allowance nor cash it in. They don't get extra money for wearing uniforms or washing their motorcycles either.

11/27/2011 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Dear "X" aka councilmember,

Nobody believes the "union bad" rap anymore. Everyone know it's really council extremists vs. citizens of Costa Mesa.

Paving a couple streets in Mesa Verde will never make up for cutting 25% of the police force.

11/27/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

X....."According to Amazon, People who buy the union lies from Muir also bought Ripley's Believe it or not and kool aid."...Gee, not really that hard to figure out why the employees may not want to negotiate with this city when they are treated like this.

11/27/2011 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous History Repeats said...

I hope council reads this thread. It will confirm Council is on the right track.

Let the firemen sit at the firehouse playing cards. No one will be hired until they open their contracts. That will not happen until layoffs start. Then others will bring pressure to force change.

There goes Wyatt again, talking about the past. The jig is up.

I am thankful the CEO is providing visibility to the behaviors of the union.

Change is hard

11/27/2011 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

History Repeats...man this is getting good. You can't beat the message so attempt to beat the messenger. Past? One year ago is so far isn't it? The FF's attempting to help save the city $300,000 to $500,000 is long ago also isn't it? I love it that you guys continue to demonize the employees so that I and others can come back and defend them. Your attitude now is something like..."Well, the employees may have done that stuff in the past to help the city, but what have you done for us lately?" Good stuff.

11/27/2011 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Riggy's Visible From Space said...

"I am thankful the CEO is providing visibility to the behaviors of the union.
Change is hard"

So are federal indictments. Ask Carona, who OCGOP couldn't save.

11/27/2011 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Inconvenient truth said...

kool aid and wyatt, what is the real reason PD doesn't want medical? Could it be that getting cash to buy their own as opposed to participating in a city plan increases their pensions?

You keep referring to the offers PD made, never once detailing just what that offer entailed. Either provide details or do not reference it again.

Many of the ideas employees came up with to save costs involved increased fees and costs to residents and businesses.

Paying half of the employee share of pension contributions after months of negotiations (PD) and temporarily (FD) is a sick joke when services to residents are being cut and employees are being laid off. Stop patting yourselves on the back and pay your share of your own pension.

11/27/2011 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Nice, play the victim said...

Wyatt,al? My biggest concern is that you guys really believe this stuff. I guess if you guys sit around telling yourselves this stuff you are bound to believe it.

A year ago is so last year.

A year ago when Public Safety hustled to get long contracts approved ahead of the election. You mean then? When neither Righeimer nor Mensinger where on council? When the unfunded pension liabilities were not so well known? When public safety did not take up over 70% of the City budget.

Keep playing the victim. Ride that horse through negotiations, through the Charter City ballot, ride it like a rented mule all the way into the elections a year from now.

Peace out

11/27/2011 04:08:00 PM  
Anonymous X said...

the people who are leaking detailed closed session negotiation "facts" in this blog might want to reconsider and mind the Brown Act.

11/27/2011 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous fail said...

I wasn't aware Riggy wore a uniform and he is clearly too large to balance on a motorcycle. Plus, I doubt a helmet exists that can contain all the hot air in his head.

11/27/2011 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Inconvenient truth and Nice, play the victim( Obviously the same person), the city and cops BOTH agreed to not release what that proposal was. Why do you ask? For precisely the reason that your city does not want you to know what ideas it passed on last year. I encourage you to call both sides and ask that that information be released. I think it would be an opener what the city passed on, similar to the offers from the FF's they passed on. Hustled for a contract? Oh, you mean when the cops made the proposal on June 30th, 2010 (as always) in anticipation of the contract expiring August 31st, 2010 (as always)? You mean the cops hustled it along when the city ignored the proposal for almost 4 months costing you and I approximately $500,000 in taxpayer money? If that was the cops hustling, then I would hate to see them drag their feet. Bottom line is any employee group can only make a proposal, the city must act on it. No employee group can force the city to do anything (until a certain point, and even then only a court can force anything).

How do you feel about the hiring of new positions such as Lobdell, and the $600,000 in new executive positions at city hall if you are so concerned about cuts in services? Kinda in a bind there aren't you? Can't exactly support those new positions while at the same time complaining about cuts in services. What is that word? Oh yeah, hypocritical.

Victim? Really? Is that the best you got? No victims here. But, again, keep attempting to shoot the messenger(s) because you got nothing else to shoot at. Go Steelers!

11/27/2011 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Doc Holiday said...

"You keep referring to the offers PD made, never once detailing just what that offer entailed. Either provide details or do not reference it again."

There's a whole lot of misinformation that the council spreads like so much manure out there, yet I don't see you making this same appeal to them. They often use false numbers to suit their agenda, and never back them up, even when asked to do so.

So, now you are the first amendment police, telling people what speech they can enjoin in or not? You a college professor asking that someone cite their references?

The arrogance of the council and their supporters knows know bounds. You and they are so convinced you are right and that your vision of the world as we know it is the only way. Truly sad.

And to clarify, the PD never made any request that rasied any fee for any resident. I do know that they supported a raise in the TOT tax, as did the council as it was put on the ballot and won handily.

The fact is you can't wrap your head around the idea that the employees have made offers that are not self serving. It infuriates you as it does not support your position, so you have to com here and attack the messenger and not the message.

If the PD or any group put an offer (s) out there, yes I would like to see them too. My guess is they would not say they made the offer if it didn't happen. Any timing for the release of such information I am sure will be timed in such a manner that it suits their message, not councils, so stand by.

11/27/2011 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I can’t let the shill of a thousand names (lately “nice, play the victim”) have the last word. Geoff’s post was originally about being thankful in general and to our City employees in particular. The amateur, reckless and self-serving actions of 4 of the Council members do have an upside that I am thankful for. I’m tremendously grateful for the hundreds of community members who I have had the pleasure to meet or speak with that rallied to oppose them (and the thousands that I suspect are out there, more with every crazy action these guys take) the connections and re-connections I’ve made with so many of the fine, fine people who live in and love Costa Mesa, the many City employees who have carried on in a nearly untenable situation and continue to do their job with skill and dignity, my thanks also to those who spoke volumes without a word as they left for jobs in cities that welcomed their experience and ability. And for Chief Stavely who did not leave quietly, but with a glorious burst of truth and passion. For Wendy who is the one sane one in those 4-1 moments.

Thanks to Geoff for this blog, to those who post and make a lively discussion, even the dopes like guy with a dozen aliases, to the people with the boldness to speak up at a City Council or Commission meeting. To name just a few Costa Mesans that I appreciate, admire and want to thank: Brian, Burt, Lynell, Chrissie, Helen, Helen, Sue and Sue, Andrew and Andrew, Camden, David, Tina, Greg, Greg, all 4 Chrises, Lance, Jean, Kevin, both Deans, China, Yolanda, Joel, Jay, Sally, Julio, Katie, Carina and Karina, Karin, Linda, Larry, John, John and John, Tamar, Kim, Kim, Eleanor, Rebecca, Lisa and Lisa, 3 Christines, 2 Marcia’s, 3 Sandys and Sandi, Perry, Arlene, Dorothy, Bill, Billy and Bill, Laura, Jess, Tim, Brent, Lora, Jason, 2 Pams, Terry (special thanks for the unique musical and first amendment moments) and Debbie, Lois, Todd, Charles, Mike and assorted Michaels, Kim, Kim , Cindy, 3 very articulate Toms, Cynthia, Dane, Nina, Sharon, Susan, Joe, Genie, Gant, Carl, Jeanette, Julio, Jeff, Jeff, Dave, Dave and David, Susan, Judy, Debbie, Pamela, Terri, Sarah, Colin, Wayne, Ray, Jim, Katrina, Flo, Dorothy, Nancy, Bobbie, Jill, Ricardo, both Verns, Daniel, Kathy, Doug, Ted, Barbara, Jenny and Jenny….I ran out of time and room or I didn’t put your name up on purpose, but you are people who make a difference and it matters. Also thanks to the thousands of people who put a Cancel the Lay-Offs sign in your yard, and the dozens who’ve written to the papers.

11/28/2011 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

"a glorious burst of truth and passion" from Chief Stavely. That's funnier than ready shoot aim. You whiners may be kooks but you write great comedy. Your list of names sounds like a repeat of the Romper Room show, I see Ginny, and Marsha, and Greg, and Cindy, and Robin, and Jay, and Tom, And Perry.............

11/28/2011 07:18:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

and a BIG Thanks to Robin......

11/28/2011 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Change is hard said...

Unanimous, now that's funny stuff. I think that group sees a lot of things others do not.

Robin and her goofy friends think issues should be one by the number of kooks and whinners lined up at the podium.

That may have been the way things went down historically.

The older you get often the change is harder.

By the way, where have all those signs gone?

11/28/2011 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous X Marks the Spot said...

Dear X who commented “the people who are leaking detailed closed session negotiation "facts" in this blog might want to reconsider and mind the Brown Act.”

You do realize that all these discussion points were shared by CEO Hatch. We are thankful for the transparency efforts of the City Council and Staff.

Otherwise, you would be able to keep all your historical shenanigans behind closed doors. No longer and that is good for our City.

With all the Union fed complaints about hiring Lobdell. They realized that all other Cities of a similar size have a Lobdell. They were just trying to flame emotions. Unions realized that what they fear most is actually happening. FACTS being shared.
Fight On!

11/28/2011 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

A lot of good comments here. One of the best, stating the obvious was "It’s clear that saving money is not behind the city’s actions; they have wasted more money than they can save through reasonable apples-to-apples outsourcing." Exactly what I've seen since last November, these guys are false conservatives, not interested in real fiscal responsiblity.

Why does the whiner-in-cheif call concerned citizens whiners? Is it because we're making too much sense, is the shill getting shriller and sillier? He's glued to his screen and losing his grip. This has been a great thread.

11/28/2011 09:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

For which I give thanks... :-)

11/28/2011 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

X marks the spot...Fight On! I hope you are an SC fan like I. Barkley would be insane to come back, but that is for another discussion. As for Lobdell, I am all for his position. It is a great idea and can do wonders for the city, it's economy, it's employees, etc. The problem is the position was created and he was hired during an alleged "fiscal crisis". I don't care if you are a Democrat, Republican (of which I was a proud 18 year voter), Independent, etc. You don't create positions costing over $800,000 (Lobdell's and the $600,000 in executive staff and secretaries) during an alleged "fiscal crisis". It is hypocritical to suggest CM could not survive without these positions during these times. The city did fine before them and will continue to do fine. The problem exists when the unfab four expect the employees to help foot this bill with concessions. I walk away from their philosophy on this and I call attention to it when they attempt to sit on high horses of alleged fiscal conservatism.

And finally, I don' care what SC is alleged to have done (which isn't much when you consider only Bush's relatives benefitted from anything), it is an absolute joke that UCLA will play in the first PAC 12 title game.

11/28/2011 10:52:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Wyatt, if by "play" you mean the way they "played" against the Trojans, I'm thinking the final score Friday night will be something like Ducks 76, Bruins 14. Think they will petition for a bowl game?

11/28/2011 11:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Here's hoping we can be thankful for some qualified candidates in the next council election. It's driving me nuts trying to figure out who's 'winning' as it approaches, since you can't tell how many real supports the Big 4 truly has. I know a few personally, but most I speak with are pretty sick of them.

11/29/2011 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous I Love Green Salsa said...

I thankful for Ms. Muir's hotness.

I am thankful we have a judge who can see right through the councilscum's totally illegal outsourcing scam.

I am thankful for Geoff's blog.

I am thankful for Helen Nenadal for fighting for those of us who are too scared to speak up against our evil, unethical, morally bankrupt councilmen.

11/29/2011 03:42:00 PM  

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