Sunday, January 29, 2012

Commentaries Worth Your Attention

TWO NOTEWORTHY COMMENTARIES
This weekend, the tail-end of a relatively slow news week in Costa Mesa when compared to the past several months, two commentaries appeared in our local newspaper of record, The Daily Pilot, written by two Costa Mesa residents that, individually and together, require your attention.

FIRST, CRISSY...
Last Thursday afternoon, January 26th, a commentary by Crissy Brooks - co-founder and executive director of Mika Community Development Corp., a faith-based nonprofit in Costa Mesa, where she lives - titled "How do we avoid doing nothing?" was published in the Daily Pilot online and appeared Friday morning in print You can read the complete commentary HERE.

A WISE YOUNG WOMAN
I read it the first time online. In fact, I read it a couple times, because I found myself wondering how such a young woman has managed to acquire such wisdom.

ADDRESSING THE CONUNDRUM
As you will see when you read it through, she addresses the conundrum faced by many people in our city and elsewhere - how do you affect change if you "do nothing"? There were many very interesting observations made by Brooks, whose father, Dave, is currently president of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, and I want to highlight just a couple of them for you.


QUOTES
The first phrase that caught my eye was:
"The problem is that while we are doing nothing, something is happening. City charters are being drafted, neighbors are being laid off."

Later she said:
"Decisions are being made to shape the way we are governed every day and most of us are quiet, doing nothing. Doing nothing in 2012 will not be neutral. Nothing results in something, and in the case of the city charter, it will have long-term effects on the shape and future of Costa Mesa."

And further on she said:
"Whatever we do, we have to do something. To do nothing is not nothing. To do nothing is to add to the confusion and brokenness from which we seek to be free."

NOW WHAT?
I suspect many of you will agree with her observations, but will you "do something"?




ROBERT THE ELDER

Then, Saturday evening, January 28th, a Community Commentary by Costa Mesa resident Robert Murtha, titled, " We can all unite around a good cause" appeared online and also in print in the Sunday edition of the Daily Pilot. You can read it HERE. You will likely remember that name, but you're probably thinking of his son, also Robert Murtha, the star running back for the past couple years on the Estancia High School football team.

YOUTH SPORTS ACTIVIST AND MENSINGER PAL
Robert, the elder, is very active in youth sports and, through those activities, he's become very close to non-elected councilman Steve Mensinger. In fact, a year ago, when Mensinger was appointed, he stood before the city council to praise him. To say they are tight would be a major understatement. It is that closeness that makes his commentary so extraordinary.

SURPRISED BY HIS TREATMENT
Murtha recounts for us his experiences at the recent Mesa Verde Golf Classic, which was hosted by Costa Mesa United. He tells us of the trepidation he had when rolling up on members of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association, who were staffing on of the many booths around the course. Apparently expecting to be shunned by the group, instead he gives us this quote: "I was waiting for the whispers to each other, cold shoulder, even maybe some eye rolling with a few OMGs. But instead, I was offered a hot dog, a drink, thank yous and a hug or two."

AND MORE...

He recounted another incident that day that also pleasantly surprised him. I'll let you read about it in the article.

AN EXCELLENT OBSERVATION...
Near the end of his commentary he gives us this observation: "For the sake of our future, I hope we can all get past our differences, move forward and show the friendship and respect I received that day."


WHY WRITE ABOUT THIS?

So, why do I write about this tonight? Well, for a year members of our City Council have attempted to paint members of the various employee organizations as greedy, self-serving union thugs, unwilling to work with the City to try to resolve our perceived fiscal distress. They went so far as to launch a mass-layoff scheme, which they botched and it resulted in a lawsuit against the City.

TRYING TO DO THE JOB DES
PITE MAJOR CUTS
This new council has kept up a pace that has made it very difficult for employees to do their jobs while trying to formulate the Outsourcing Requests for Proposal that would be the cornerstone of the scheme for them to lose their jobs. The headcount has dropped by more than 25% and the Police Department is being forced to try to do the job of keeping us all safe with staffing levels rejected by both the City's paid expert consultants and former interim Police Chief Steve Staveley. Staveley was so distressed by the council's stubbornness that he quit and left behind him a scathing letter denouncing some of the council members.

MANIPULATED NUMBERS
The council has manipulated numbers to fabricate a "fiscal crisis", which pivoted on their proclamation of an "unsustainable unfunded pension liability", as though the City would be expected to fork over all those dollars next Friday. Those inaccurate buzz words served only to inflame the casual observer.

ANTICIPATING EVIL
What amused me was the obvious surprise expressed by Murtha in his commentary when he was not, in fact, shunned by those city employees. He is so tight with Mensinger and his pals that he certainly expected them to react like he carried the plague - but they didn't. They embraced him and reacted the way they've reacted to every obstacle placed before them over the past dozen months - they've just put their shoulders to the wheel and continued to do their jobs the best they could.

PROUD OF BROOKS AND MURTHA

I'm proud of both Crissy Brooks and Robert Murtha for expressing their frank views in these two commentaries and hope we all learn from each of them. Certainly, as Brooks suggests, more residents need to get involved - at least pay attention to what's going on in our city. And Murtha makes it clear that folks on the opposite side of an issue are not necessarily evil. Good lessons for us all.

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32 Comments:

Anonymous Other Mike said...

One has to wonder if Mr. Murtha's admittedly misplaced expectations are a result of conditioning. What his pals have said about the employees in public, I'm sure pales in comparison to the things they say behind closed doors in friendly company. Having heard all of that for so long, only to NOT see what he has been told would certainly be shocking to the senses, no?

He didn't get the cold shoulder, he didn't get the whispers, he didn't get the rolled eyes. All describe the things his pal does from the dais to folks he doesn't agree with. So, should the rest of us be moved that he had his eyes opened to the true nature of the employees? No. He described what he felt would have been onerous behavior on the part of the employees, and has turned a blind eye to that behavior because it was the friends he so closely supports who displayed it.

1/30/2012 02:12:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I enjoyed the piece by Murtha. Interesting how he specifically named only Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan as those he supports on city council; I expected the usual Leece exclusion, but has lame duck Bever now become a non-person? Or even MORE of a non-person I should say..

Now that Murtha sees that the employees are just like him,(they like hot dogs and fair treatment) will he continue to enable bad ideas and/or bad people?

Does his idea of "working together" mean our employees should just take their cuts with a cooperative smile, or does it mean Murtha might be thinking he's more like them than some of his council friends?

1/30/2012 06:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

I think it is funny that Mr. Murtha was worried that City employees would act like immature adolescent boys instead of the professionals they are. I doubt Mensinger would of ever wrote such a letter, because that would of taken a level of maturity that he does not possess. Thank you Mr. Murtha for having the courage to write such a letter and for seeing the city employees for what they truly are. It is greatly appreciated.

1/30/2012 09:07:00 AM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

there IS an unfunded pension crisis at all levels of government, even Gov. Brown agrees. Brooks is right when she says things are happening as people do not act. This council is so far ahead of the usual whiners and unsult throwers who continually are distracted by shiny objects, spend their time complaining about things that happened a year ago, and miss out on proposing solutions to things happening right now and in the future. As for Stavely, it is one of those "you can't fire me, i Quit" things. He suffered an epic meltdown in his resignation letter that will haunt him in the future. The fact that he was replaced in a couple of hours hints that he was allowed to quit before being axed later that day. On a brighter note, that CM United event sounds like it went fantastically well. Apparently Genis, Leffler, and Ridge did not go.

1/30/2012 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Harry Bozak said...

The only thing haunting Stavely is the fact that he took the job in the first place.

1/30/2012 11:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Love how unanimous puts down 'insult throwers' and then concludes with a very personal one. You stay classy - way to add to the dialogue with your higher understanding of all things! I'm going back to the shiny objects, not the unsults (sic).

1/30/2012 11:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Pension truth said...

Keep pretending the pension issue is non-existent, Geoff. What Righeimer said a year and half ago is finally being acknowledged by everyone from Gov. Brown to even uber-liberal George Skelton of the LA Times.

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap-pensions-20120123,0,2066074.column

1/30/2012 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

The objectives of Mr. Righiemer have not changed. His actions to destroy any and all public employee associations. He sees no reason to permit employees to organize or to negotiate wages or benefits. In fact, the lower the wage an employer must pay the better. His own words are "more cluck for the buck". Jim, people aren't chickens. They deserve the right to organIze. The one major country that does not allow labor organizations is Communist China, a country run by a dictatorial political organization.

1/30/2012 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

"City charters are being drafted, neighbors are being laid off."

Question: Has anyone been laid off?

Is Crissy Brooks related to Wendy Brooks Leece?

1/30/2012 02:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Bad-mouth the messenger said...

Like our councilmen, when “Unanimous” doesn’t like the message, he bad-mouths the messenger.

One doesn’t “suffer an epic meltdown” in a very clearly written three-page letter; Chief Staveley’s wide experience and excellent reputation are evidence of his professionalism and his ability to analyze and respond to difficult situations; I have no doubt that every sentence was carefully chosen. He even included some kind words for Mr. Hatch, who subsequently chose/was forced to(?)badmouth Staveley publicly.

If, indeed, Staveley’s letter “will haunt him in the future,” that attests even more to his integrity and political courage. Compare his forthrightness to the anonymous posts of “Unanimous.”

One of the ironies in the refusal of the councilmen to work appropriately with employees and especially with Mr.Staveley is that it looks like he would have been an ally to them in pension negotiations. Don’t take the anonymous Unanimous’s word for it and don’t take mine. I recommend that everyone read Chief Staveley’s resignation letter found at http://files.onset.freedom.com/ocregister/news/2011/06/stavelyresignation.pdf

People for pension reform and people opposed to this council’s actions (often one and the same) will all find areas of agreement and, probably, disagreement with Staveley; if you find parts of his letter difficult to take, reflect on his experience and consider what he has to say.

I don’t know Mr. Staveley personally and I don't have a personal relationship with any of our much-abused employees. Nor am I posting anonymously; I just chose a different title. Tamar

1/30/2012 03:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Sad but true said...

Staveley is collecting $138,640.20 annually in retirement funds from his retirement at the Department of Justice. He had nothing to lose and made a calculated political statement in support of the unions that he has been so actively involved with for years.

It is unfortunate that so many in Costa Mesa don't understand the real forces at play here.

Staveley undoubtedly had a distinguished career, but his letter was shockingly unprofessional and just plain wrong in many respects.

Sad, but money does that to people. Strip away everything and this is about money, not matter how much the unions and associations try to dress it up otherwise.

http://www.californiapensionreform.com/database.asp?vtsearchname=staveley&vtsearchemploy=NONE&vtquery=1&vttable=calpers

1/30/2012 04:14:00 PM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

Tamar wasn't at the CM United event either so it was a nice time for all. If Stavely ever looks for a job and his "letter" is discovered he is OUT of the running immediately no matter what your politics are. It was an epic meltdown. Those that cling to it, well, they must like mic check, accidents on the side of the road, ufo's, and other shiny objects.

1/30/2012 04:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sad but true,
So what if Staveley is collecting that much? After more than 40 years in law enforcement - and as one of THE MOST RESPECTED leaders in that industry - he deserves it! I smell sour grapes in your comments. Perhaps you feel entitled to more yourself - is that the case?

unanimous, IF Staveley chose to seek another assignment he would have no trouble. His was not a "melt down", but a reasoned presentation of what he saw and felt about our situation. Of course, you don't care about that - you're one of the yapping dogs who support anything this disastrous council does and says. How very, very sad for you.

1/30/2012 04:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Truth be Told said...

Mensinger invited OCEA to the event. That was a great gesture.


West will never give him credit.

1/30/2012 04:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Thom J. said...

Ahh, unanimous again proves just how wrong they are about many things.

1/30/2012 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Truth be told,
Sure I will... I agree, it was a nice gesture, and from Murtha's commentary, it turned out just dandy. Did he also invite the medical marijuana dispensary operators? Just asking...

1/30/2012 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous I am not in the AARP said...

Pot Stinker ...

Perhaps you could do a little investigation for us.

Did the Costa Mesa Police Union cash the medical MJ check?

No, Mensinger did not invite medical MJ. Costa Mesa United voted to accept the donation.

Whatever you do, don't let facts get in the way of your hate.

1/30/2012 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous short memory said...

Jimmy- "has anyone been laid off?"

My question- "have you been living under a rock?"

Yes layoffs have already occurred in Costa Mesa... costing many people their careers. Then, the council hired a some of them back, but not nearly enough.

1/30/2012 06:31:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I am not in the AARP,
Funny how a simple little question can evoke such venom. You need some professional help...

1/30/2012 06:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Sad but True, please go line by line in Staveley's letter and tell us what he got wrong. Otherwise you are full of BS.

Truth be Told... please provide proof Mensinger "invited" the OCEA. Great if he did, BS on you if he didn't.

I am no in the AARP...what are you referring to "did the police cash the Mj check"?

1/30/2012 08:36:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

FYI,
According to sources within the CMCEA, SUE LESTER invited that organization to participate in the golf tournament. However, I have no doubt at all that Mensinger was a party to that decision.

1/30/2012 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To "Sad but true:"

You state "Strip away everything and this is about money, not matter how much the unions and associations try to dress it up otherwise."

For the sake of argument, let's agree that what you assert is true.

Then let's look at the other side of the great divide: what motivates the Wrecking Crew, the four guys on the council. I assert with confidence that their motivations have to do with power and promotion.

Power to show the world how they can take a happy little city and, like a vulture capitalist, rape and pillage it and nobody can stop them. Power to entrench themselves in power, like in the cities of Bell and Vernon, and like in Russia with Putin and Medvedev trading the President and Prime Minister jobs back and forth between them to avoid term limits.

With the Righeimer charter, they'll need only a majority of three votes to change the qualifications for council candidacy to anything that would allow them to stay in power. Can't you just imagine Gary and Jim trading their jobs back and forth until they get tapped by the Koch brothers to run for higher office?

Promotion to higher political office because they are doing the bidding of, you name it: the OCGOP, including John Moorlach; the big-bucks donors to the GOP super PACs, such as the Koch brothers; and the big-bucks think tanks that design oh-so-clever ways of hoisting the GOP into permanent control of America.

You doubt? There's the audio tape of the Wisconsin blogger conning the Governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, into thinking that he (the blogger) was one of the Koch brothers calling to congratulate Walker and talk strategy. (You will find the audio tape and the transcript of this telling conversation at http://buffalobeast.com/?p=5045 )

You remember Walker, the guy who led the GOP charge to knee-cap the public employee unions? The recording made it obvious what the power play was in Wisconsin and who was supporting it.

And there’s the tape of OCGOP’s own Scott Baugh, bragging to a Tea Party meeting about Righeimer and Mensinger, and how they were making Costa Mesa “ground zero.” If you watch it, starting at 5:33 of the video at http://vimeo.com/21546191, you’ll see and hear Scott Baugh declaiming “Ground zero is right here in Costa Mesa for this revolution.” And you know what’s there after an area has served as Ground Zero, right? Desolate, radioactive and uninhabitable.

So, “Sad but true,” you put down employees for selfishly valuing only money. If you actually are a resident of Costa Mesa, I’d think the greater sin for you to condemn would be the selfish lust for power and promotion evidenced by the four councilmen.

We report; you decide.

1/30/2012 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Larry Rogers said...

Who invited Sue Lester to participate?

1/31/2012 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Sue Lester said...

As stated in another recent blog here, I asked 3 medical marijuana facilities to sponsor the golf tournament. I also asked the CMCEA as well as numerous other organizations and businessess.

The CMCEA wanted to bring their hot dog cart and be present on the course. In order to do that, they needed clearance by the event chairman. The co-chairmen for the tournament were Steve Mensinger and Art Perry, so the approval for CMCEA to bring the hot dog cart came from them as it did for every group on the course that day.

I was a volunteer at the event in 2011. I just showed up unannounced and they put me to work. This year, Steve Mensinger asked me if I would be part of the committee for the event which I agreed to do because I support what Costa Mesa United does. It's that simple!

As for ALL the other groups, associations, and charities that operate in Costa Mesa and Orange County that ever received a donation from a medical marijuana establishment, I can say that YES they cashed the checks. Just keep in mind that NOT ALL medical marijuana facilities give back to the community but several do/did. They quietly contribute and the donations are accepted graciously.

IF in the event that a medical marijuana facility is formally charged with breaking the law or the money donated is proven to be from ill gotten gain, I am sure any recipient of those donations would return them!

Contrary to what some will continue to imply, it's about giving to something you want to support because it's a good cause. That's it. No medical marijuana facility that I know of has gotten anything in return for a donation other than the satisfaction of knowing they helped someone.

I imagine that will be hard for some people to believe but you have to consider the source. People who ONLY give in hopes of, or the expectation of getting "something" in return think they way. That is just who they are! Sad but true!!!!

1/31/2012 10:58:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sue,
Thanks for setting the record straight...

1/31/2012 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Egan should be ashamed said...

Tom Egan,

You should be ashamed of yourself. Your outrageous, unhinged and abhorrent comments are a prime example of just how sick some in this community are, and the forces that are trying to tear it apart.

You actually compare efforts to reduce costs and balance our municipal budget to terrorist attacks?

You call the current council majority a "wrecking crew" with no sense of irony, completely ignoring the fact that the actions of employee association leadership and the OCEA directly caused layoffs and the elimination of dozens of positions. One member of that "wrecking crew" begged, from the dais, the associations to reopen negotiations while another accurately predicted layoffs if the associations did not make further concessions.

You describe the "rape and pillage" of a "happy little city hall" again without a hint of irony, completely ignoring the fact that the rhetoric and vitriol came entirely from the employee associations and OCEA. The leader in that "happy little city hall," Allan Roeder, also stated from the dais that massive layoffs would be required if more savings were not found.

But the associations demanded "security" for their members - regardless of cost to their fellow Costa Mesa "family members" or the loss of services to residents.

You allude to nefarious plots and schemes spawned by the "Righeimer" charter while ignoring the fact that the existing general law form of government landed us in this spot precisely because a council majority had the power to mortgage our future for campaign donations.

You also hilariously state that "the big-bucks think tanks ... design oh-so-clever ways of hoisting the GOP into permanent control of America" without a hint of irony while ignoring the fact that public employee unions long ago orchestrated a complete takeover of the state of California.

You throw out the Baugh "ground zero" comment and expect us to forget that Nick Berardino was a month ahead of Baugh with that charaterization when he said the following at the CA Democratic Convention last May:

"Orange County Employees Assn. General Manager Nick Berardino described Costa Mesa as "ground zero for working men and women in California" and said the actions there "represent a direct threat to the Democratic Party and democracy itself.""

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/01/local/la-me-0501-democrats-unions-20110501

This was the same time Berardino admitted to "intercepting" private e-mail messages which, if true and not just an exaggeration (lie?), is both a state and federal felony criminal act.

Far from being "desolate, radioactive and uninhabitable" - Costa Mesa under the reforms being promoted by the council majority will thrive, with money for parks, streets, programs and rainy days. Just think of what we could have done with the $13 million extra we had to pay towards pension costs last year, compared to 2000!

Saving money, reducing costs. That is what Mr. Righeimer stated as his goal during his campaign, and what the council is trying to do now - far from destroying the city.

$13 million, Mr. Egan. We paid $5 million to pensions in 2000, and $18 million last year - with fewer employees. We're on a path to much higher expenditures for pensions, and every single dollar diverted from services to pay for CalPERS investment losses means one less dollar for parks, streets, programs, etc. You want to make Costa Mesa unihabitable? Keep stripping away city functions to pay for public safety pensions.

And no - I don't put down any Costa Mesa employees for selfishly valuing only money. I put down those who continue to blame everyone but themselves and who continue to try and tear Costa Mesa apart with vile rhetoric and hideous accusations - like YOU made in your commentary above.

You should be ashamed of yourself.

1/31/2012 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

"Yes layoffs have already occurred in Costa Mesa... costing many people their careers. Then, the council hired a some of them back, but not nearly enough."

I was under the impression that the proposed lay-offs by this Council have been blocked. Notices have gone out by nothing has taken place.

No?

1/31/2012 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Sad but true said...

Pot Stirrer,

You stated the follwoing:

"Sad but true,
So what if Staveley is collecting that much? After more than 40 years in law enforcement - and as one of THE MOST RESPECTED leaders in that industry - he deserves it! I smell sour grapes in your comments. Perhaps you feel entitled to more yourself - is that the case?"

No sour grapes - curious that is your response. I was stating the obvious - Staveley had a secure retirement income and had nothing to lose with his unprofessional and emotional flaming of the City Council.

You stated that he retired after a 40 year career - which underscores the flaws in CalPERS and the wildly irresponsible practices spawned by SB400. Staveley is probably collecting a 3%@50 pension, which he would have received retroactively, as it was passed in 2000. The agencies he worked for contributed under the old formulas, yet he received approx. 30 years of retroactive, unfunded benefits - as did many Costa Mesa retirees.

A totally unsustainable system.

1/31/2012 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Hello World said...

Thanks Sue. Appreciate the update and your efforts.

Sad But True ... I saw Steavly's comments as wildly emotional, and concerning from a top cop.

Looks like someone is off his Msoalesa. I will leave the reader to guess who ...

1/31/2012 08:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To: “Egan s.b.a.”

You sure went to a lot of trouble to not respond to my points.

Tell you what: since it doesn’t make sense to try to discuss anything with a person who misrepresents what I say, misquotes me, and doesn’t respond to my arguments, how about we just get back together on this five years from now, after events prove either you or me right?

You will be right
• if the city sparkles with new streets, parks, and vibrant new residents and businesses,
• if private contractors are providing great service to residents, at lower cost than employees,
• if crime is as low as it is in Irvine, and
• if the current four councilmen have turned their council badges into plowshares and, like Cincinnatus, gone back to their peacetime farms.

I will be right
• if the city has become a dull, fearful place,
• with a council that can meet in a phone booth or a bar because citizens don’t bother to attend meetings at which their concerns are ignored,
• with elections that draw only 5 voters and their mothers because only council-chosen people can run, and because
• council voted to set election day for the Friday after Thanksgiving because the Righeimer charter gave them that power, and
• if Righeimer and Mensinger have gotten their rewards of safe seats in Washington D.C., like Dana Rohrabacher’s and John Campbell’s.

1/31/2012 09:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Thanks for the laugh said...

Mr Egan,

Thank you for the chicken little forecast. But the sky is not falling.

Your range are sounding like former Chief Steavly's emotional swan song.

That is funny though, Mensinger in Congress.

2/01/2012 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Sad but true said...

Wyatt Earp,

Stavely said:

"It’s very clear to me that there is no fiscal crisis in the City of Costa Mesa. The majority of the council has created budget gaps in order to affect or create the appearance of a fiscal crisis. They have pushed finance and the budget process around to get the kind of numbers that benefit their position. They have in essence lied as they create the appearance of crisis in order to appear as the white knight to a narrow band of political followers."

This is his opinion, and is totally unsupported by the City's adopted budgets for the last few years, or by the extensive public efforts to control costs through salary reductions, furloughs, etc - long before Righeimer was elected.

Stavely said:

"This is completely unethical and immoral behavior..."

Totally unsupported personal opinion.

Stavely said:

"They lack skill, training, education, knowledge, they fail to study (or at least learn). The majority either lies or are so lacking in the necessary skills that they actually believe the junk they say." "They are in my opinion incompetent, unskilled and unethical."

First, he doesn't have a clue what skill, training, education or knowledge the councilmembers have. He offered an opinion based on their disagreeement with his recommendations. This is again totally unsupported personal opinion.

Staveley was correct in his assessment of the 3%@50 retirement system, YET NOT ONE OF HIS SUPPORTERS HAVE POINTED THAT OUT.

On that point, he said:

"I must have said before some 1,500 to 2,000 police officers in the past 10 years – all of them leaders and managers that 3% at 50 was a great boon to me personally but the worst thing we have done to policing. Why, because it drives people out of service before their replacements are ready. It causes the same mistakes to be made, organizational generation after organizational generation. Now it also happens that it is too expensive. The legislators and council persons who approved of those changes in retirement were wrong it turns out – the worst recession in the modern age has demonstrated that the 3% at 50 did cost more money, but only after more than 10 years of no increased costs. Retirement systems are an investment in the human infrastructure that makes a city a great place to live or not – nothing more, nothing less. If the investment needs to be changed, the decision makers should have the courage to change it and not continue to play some political game. Of course that would require they sit down with the employee associations and they seem not to want to do that."

The part he is wrong on is his assertion that the council made no effort to sit down with the employee associations. That is just wrong. Obviously, Staveley was not there in October 2010, when the POA president, Allen Rieckhof, flatly told the council that they were done negotiating. The City attorney then told the council that the association had threatened to sue the city if they did not vote to approve the contracts.

The video of that meeting is available here:

http://costamesa.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=4

Go to 2010 City Council meetings and select the 10/26/10 meeting video.

2/01/2012 02:39:00 PM  

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