Monday, January 30, 2012

Important Study Session Tomorrow

FINANCES ARE THE FOCUS
Tomorrow, Tuesday, January 31st, the Costa Mesa City Council will hold a VERY important study session in the council chambers beginning at 4:30 p.m. Public comments are much more limited in Study Sessions - a maximum of 15 minutes is provided for ALL speakers and no comments will be permitted following the discussion of the issues.

POLICIES AND FORECASTS
Finance and Information Technology Director Bobby Young will guide the discussion
tomorrow. The issues to be discussed are 1) Review of Financial and Budget Policies and 2) 5-Year Financial Forecast and Capital Reinvestment Strategy. I expect the discussion to be lively because City finances have been the cornerstone of much of the unpleasantness created by this City Council over the past nearly a year.

RESERVES

The staff report for the Review of Financial and Budget Policies may be read HERE. This is very important because it presents a way to codify certain mandatory requirements, including a Minimum Fund Balance Reserve; a Minimum Cash Balance and an Emergency Fund Balance Reserve.

REVENUE MANAGEMENT
In addition, the disc
ussion will also cover General Revenue Management, including how to maintain a diversified and stable revenue base; forecasting general revenue; how to manage one-time revenues and annual user fees and charges.

APPROPRIATIONS, CAP
ITAL BUDGETS AND DEBT
They will also cover the adoption of appropriation limits; budgetary contro
l, Capital Budget policies including a minimum percent of the General Fund budget for capital expenditures. And there will be a discussion of Debt Issuance and - the elephant in the room - Unfunded Liability.

FORECASTS AND STRATEGIES
The second segment will cover the Five Year Financial Forecast and Capital Reinvestment Strategy, the staff report for which can be found HERE.

A WINDOW INTO THE CITY COUNCIL MINDS

This is also a VERY important issue and the staff will look
to the City Council to provide suggestions about future priorities. The staff has provided a comprehensive look at the past decade to help the council focus on the future.

MIGHT AS WELL BE GREEK!
I am among those who have no small degree of difficulty understanding the complexity of municipal finance management, regardless how patient the finance staff has been with me over the years. However, these issues are so important - and the responses the council will give to this data are so important to measure their true intentions for our city - that I'm going to pop a few No-Doze, splash some water on my face and try to follow the discussion. And, I'll try to present this information to you later.

WILL BE TELEVISED AND STREAMED LIVE

However, since this meeting will be held in Council Chambers, CMTV will televise it live on Channel 24 (Time Warner Cable) and Channel 99 (ATT U-Verse) and will also be streamed live on the city web site.

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22 Comments:

Anonymous Whee, Look at Me! said...

I fail to understand why public comments aren't required to be in writing. It would save everybody's time. That part of every city council meeting is extremely painful to watch and serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

The only reason public comments are even made is for the purpose of grandstanding. The commenters are always the same people with nothing to say, but none the less, looking for attention. In their simple minds, making a fool of themselves is better than no attention at all.

1/30/2012 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Whee, Look at Me!,
I suspect your issue is one of MANY things you fail to understand. In your world you would forbid residents from addressing grievances before their elected (and appointed) leaders? How about we just cut to the chase and formally install a dictatorship. Oh, wait... that's what the Charter is supposed to do.

1/30/2012 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Proposed Riggcharter Provision #32:

No person shall verbally address any elected or appointed official of the City within the City limits.

Upon coming within five feet of such an official, women will curtsy, men will kowtow.

The penalty for speaking directly to an official or failing to show the proper respect shall be a sharp chest bump.

1/30/2012 11:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Whee...that's what a democracy is all about. Obviously, it doesn't appeal to the Righeimer Dictatorship.

1/31/2012 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Weak Content of Ideas said...

Geoff,

Before many would be insulted by your comments they would first have to value your opinion.

Why is it that whenever someone says they Council Haters are not worth 3 minutes, Geoff West then hides behind comments like dictatorship. Weak, very weak.

1/31/2012 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Felix said...

Whee, I agree! Hey, that rhymes!

Speaking about every piece of minutiae is how you run for office now days. Don't be surprised to see some of those same people on the ballet in Nov.

1/31/2012 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

@ Whee, many times public comments are followed up by written comments submitted to the council. Factual documents to back up the speakers viewpoints and submitted for the record.
I can see you point though......
If I was on your side of this argument, I would be getting a little discouraged also.
It must be hard to witness resident after resident, (and it's definitely NOT the same few people), try and speak reason to this council.
On the other hand supporters for this Council consist of two planning commissioners, and a few very misguided residents that have been seriously mislead, and then stand up and prove it, in front of everyone. I can see why it's so hard for you to get new supporters. That would be in Righeimers term
" intimidating".
Unlike those from our side who keep growing and showing up, week after week, meeting after meeting, walking precincts, knocking on doors, talking to friends and neighbors, writing DP editorials, and commenting on blogs.
Talking to many residents and leaders throughout the community, I'm finding a common thread. Nobody trusts Righeimer and Co. to write a charter. This regime is a tragic black mark in our cities history, one that will be remembered for a long time.

1/31/2012 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous The GOP of Old said...

I guess free speech and the new Republican Party no longer go together. What would Lincoln say?

1/31/2012 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Constitution Fan said...

The GOP of Old said...
I guess free speech and the new Republican Party no longer go together. What would Lincoln say?



"I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle."
--February 21, 1861 Speech to the New Jersey Senate

1/31/2012 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous X said...

If supporters of this council are just a couple planning commissioners and a few misguided folks as Gericault says then his group will dominate the next election cycle. That would be quite a change by the voters and I doubt that will happen. After all, the current council members were all given victory by the voters (although there were only four voters for the vacant seat). They have done nothing that goes against popular opinion of reigning in costs of governance. Righeimer was very clear when he ran what his platform was and he came in first place in the vote. Had we known Wendy was being dishonest with us we would have run a different candidate and that candidate would have defeated her. Whether you like it or not, the OCGOP has quite a following in our City and has only had one losing candidate in the last ten years for the council seat. That was Mr. Righeimer who lost to Mr. Bever, a sitting Mayor, both OCGOP favorites although Mr. Bever has not aligned himself with the OCGOP. We liked his positions and were not displeased with the election results. We will also be walking precincts as before as well as doing our mailers and get out the vote campaign. We believe the residents are with us, latest polling states they want pension reform and fiscal sanity restored. Game on!

1/31/2012 12:24:00 PM  
Anonymous The GOP of Old said...

Many time I don't agree with what the speakers say at some of the Costa Mesa Council Meetings, however I would certainly never deny a person their right to speak openly during public comments. Why is it that some people who comment here want to censor those who have a different opinion? If it is so painful to to watch, then don't go the meetings.

Thank you "Constitution Fan." Mr. Lincoln's words should be required reading for all.

1/31/2012 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Bully Placement Bureau said...

X/Mensy:

"... We believe the residents are with us, latest polling states they want pension reform and fiscal sanity restored. Game on!"

Football season ends shortly. So will your political career. Everyone knows you're an unqualified hothead. They're also wise to your phony push polls.

1/31/2012 01:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Ridge is at it again. Puffing his stuff and living in his fantasy world where the same 5 speakers to complain at City Council meetings reflect the entire City.

The reality is that people are getting fed up with Washington and Sacramento and don't want to see Costa Mesa mimic either one. If the Council can deliver cost savings against the union attacks, they are heroes. If they can't, well then the Gericault's of the world start to make some sense.

Truth is lots of people in Costa Mesa support what the City is doing now and it reflects every election.

1/31/2012 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

X stated,
"Had we known Wendy was being dishonest with us we would have run a different candidate and that candidate would have defeated her."
Let's see- Gary Monahan voted 'Yes' on the pensions
you allude to above, that's how it passed 3-2.
What happened to Gary? Was he vilified, scorned, labeled "dishonest" or worse for voting the SAME WAY Wendy, who was Mayor Pro Tem at the time, voted?
No, he became Mayor instead of Wendy who was next in line for that seat.
It's been downhill ever since.

1/31/2012 02:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan said...

Instead of vilifying the majority council, those four should be decorated with medals and honors for doing whatever they can to uphold the city’s commitments. The short sidedness and blatant ignorance of those accusing them of doing anything beyond trying to fix the mess of past councils is glaring.

1/31/2012 02:36:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Susan said...
"Instead of vilifying the majority council, those four should be decorated with medals and honors"

Me:
They already were:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnZBgiZ3d8s

1/31/2012 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Nobody seems to have noticed the blue-smoke-and-mirrors stuff in the five-year plan. We see several lines about PERS's "rates" for miscellaneous, Fire, and Police; they range from around 29% to around 45%. But there appears no way to connect these "rates" with actual dollars -- What in hell are these numbers percentages of? are they percentages of employee salaries? are they percentages of employee contributions that the city pays? What exactly are we looking at here?

I'm not mathematically challenged by any means. But it's impossible to tell what's being discussed here by reading the plan. Forty-five percent of a buck is forty-five cents (That's nine nickels to you, Mr. Righeimer), but forty-five percent of a wit is less than a halfwit.

1/31/2012 07:18:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Susan, you state the councilmen
"should be decorated with medals and honors for doing whatever they can to uphold the city’s commitments."

Do you really think they are acting in the best interest of Costa Mesa and its residents? Do you know that the current total for legal fees incurred by them is well over $750,000.00? I thought we were broke- right?
Or that they have violated the Brown Act, broken CA State law, the reason for the injunction against the outsourcing ?
THAT is what you call "uphold(ing) the city's commitments"?
Are their "commitments" to help our city or further their own political ambitions?

1/31/2012 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous PERS rates said...

CalPERS lists the employer contribution rates here:

http://www.calpers.ca.gov/index.jsp?bc=/employer/actuarial-gasb/contrib-rates/rates/employer-results.xml&employer_code=1193

Add to that employee contributions as provided for in the various MOUS, and you have the number. MOUs are available at the Transparency tab on the city website:

http://www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us/

1/31/2012 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

@ Susan......It's short "sight"edness.....

now what were you saying about blatant ignorance?

2/02/2012 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Felix said...

@Gericault (Greg Ridge)

That's the best you can do? Correct someone's spelling?

Susan's message was well stated and more intelligent than the nonsense you often post or spew at City Council meetings.

2/02/2012 05:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Jason said...

Such a great article which the staff report for the Review of Financial and Budget Policies may be read.In which this is very important because it presents a way to codify certain mandatory requirements, including a Minimum Fund Balance Reserve; a Minimum Cash Balance and an Emergency Fund Balance Reserve. Thanks for sharing this article.

3/24/2012 01:23:00 AM  

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