Wednesday, January 18, 2012

OMG! Home Before Midnight Again!

Well, the Costa Mesa City Council is on a roll! For the second meeting in as many weeks they managed to complete their business without turning over the calendar first! They wrapped things up at 10:55 Tuesday - nearly an hour earlier than their meeting on the 10th.

In an evening which saw the preliminary Closed Session start 35 minutes late because Mayor Gary Monahan and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer were tardy, I had apprehensions that this was going to be another Tuesday/Wednesday meeting, especially when that delayed start was carried forward to the Council Meeting, which began at 6:45.

One thing happened that I've never seen before. At the very beginning of the meeting City Clerk Julie Folcik announced that "At this time I'd like to make an announcement. We are convening a meeting of the City Council. There will also be a meeting of the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency and the council members will be getting paid an additional compensation because of the RDA meeting." Now, I've been attending and watching these meetings for several years and I've never seen that announcement made before. In fact, I was under the impression that the City Council received NO additional compensation when they convened as the Redevelopment Agency. This begs the question about what additional compensation they might be making as the Costa Mesa Housing Authority. More on that later.

Before we get too far afield I'd like to report to you that part-time, part-time councilman Eric Bever was present tonight, and, unlike Monahan, he stayed to the bitter end of the meeting. Good for Bever! He's now batting .666, having managed to make it to two of the three meetings so far this month. He's got a couple weeks to rest up before the Study Session scheduled for January 31st.

Public Comments "only" lasted 40 minutes, with several speakers addressing the Charter, the 19th Street Bridge and courtesy from the dais. On that latter matter, resident Tamar Goldmann earlier had passed out a sheet to the audience outlining her mistreatment at the hands of our house bully, Steve Mensinger, at the previous meeting. Her subsequent comments, and those of others, apparently fell on deaf ears - or else Mensinger was involved in texting or emailing when they were being made - because he also used his position of power to chide Mrs. Goldmann again. Funny, you'd think a man who just turned 50 would have learned common courtesy by now... guess not.

CEO Tom Hatch provided reports to the council on a large group of issues. One speaker complained about a gap in the video of the prev
ious meeting - supposedly the official record of proceedings. Hatch said that must have been a technical malfunction and would investigate. He told the audience that the 19th Street Bridge issue is scheduled for discussion at the February 7th council meeting. In response to a speaker inquiry, he indicated staff would be investigating how to budget for the City's 60th Anniversary next year. Following several complaints by speakers about changes to the Draft Charter approved last week not being included in the current version, he asked contract City Attorney Tom Duarte, who told us that a couple of the issues, including the Code of Conduct and Ethics, were being investigated and he'll report later.

Hatch also reported that Newport Beach's Planning Commission is holding a series of meetings on the Banning Ranch project. He rapidly gave the schedule - too fast for me to copy - but told us it would be on the city web site. The first meeting is this Thursday, January 19th.


He also announced that new Assistant CEO Rick Francis will be on board as of January 23, 2012 and that a "meet and greet" opportunity will be held that afternoon from 3 - 5 p.m. in Conference Room 1A for those in the community to meet Francis.


Hatch gave us a summary of the current status of the outsourcing plans and told us the schedule on the city web site is current as of Tuesday. He also used the Jail RFP as an example of how much money might be saved by telling us that the one bidder who responded showed numbers that might save $400,000 - $600,000 annually. What he DID NOT tell us was the status of the lawsuit and the injunction imposed on The City that forbids contracting with ANY private company to provided outsourcing services for any function or unit until after the trial, which begins early in April. Hatch wrapped up his report at 8:00.


After a discussion of items on the Consent Calendar, where legal fees (Over $368,000 this month), the Harbor Soaring Society agreement renewal and the Payroll Audit were pulled for discussion, the council began it's "hat juggling" act.

Guided by Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency counsel Celeste Brady, the council navigated through a complicated series of "meetings" apparently designed to salvage as many of the assets of the Redevelopment Agency as possible before it disappears on February 1st. This involved convening a joint meeting of the City Council and Redevelopment Agency and discussion the financial condition in light of potential legislative action that's working it's way through the State Senate now.

One distressing part of that conversation was the uncertainty of the paper trail of the original seed money loaned to the RDA by The City back in the early 1970s. Apparently the staff, so far, has been unable to complete the trail that authenticates the City's claim on more than $19 million!

In any event, the joint session produced a vote to accept the amended list of Enforceable Obligations and the amended Initial Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule, then another vote for The City to accept the assets as listed on the attachments. That meeting was adjourned. both votes were 5-0.

Then, changing hats, a joint meeting of the City Council and Costa Mesa Housing Authority was convened and the first order of business was to actually vote to create the Housing Authority, which was a 4-1 vote with Bever, inexplicably, voting NO. It was another of those "what was he thinking? moments we've seen far too often from him. Then a vote was taken on a resolution of the Housing Authority adopting Personnel Rules and Regulations and a Conflict of Interest Code and providing for the time and place of holding regular meetings of the Housing Authority. It passed 5-0. They also voted on a resolution adopting Bylaws for the Housing Authority, 5-0. I looked over the documents and didn't see anything about compensation for the Housing Authority members....

Then they voted as the City Council to decline assuming the assets of the RDA and confirming the Housing Authority as the successor agency to the RDA, 5-0. Then, as the Housing Authority, they voted to accept the assets and functions of the RDA, 4-1, with Bever again choosing to vote NO. He's one strange dude! Whew! Did you get all that? It was as confusing as it seems here, believe me!


Public Hearing #1, a discussion of the holiday hours for the Target Store, had been withdrawn.

Public Hearing #2, the hearing of the issue involving improvements to an existing Mesa Verde apartment complex - an issue that really didn't have to be before the council - received a "Receive and File" vote, 5-0, but not before several speakers stepped up to either compliment the staff and property owner for helping resolve the problem or complain that not enough was done. And, Mensinger took the opportunity to try to micro manage yet another project. I guess he just can't help himself. Somebody should find him a job...


We got around to resident Al
Morelli's request for a refund of his appeal fees for the Target Store hours issue at 10:00 p.m. After a short discussion it was passed, 5-0.

That took us to the discussion of the proposed "Mayor's Charity
Dinner" - a feel-good event being proposed by the Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce among others. The discussion by speakers and proponents was very enlightening. Most speakers had no problem with this concept - except that it didn't seem to be benefiting any charities. At one point someone suggested changing the name to the Mayor's Ball. I heard several stifled chuckles around the auditorium... Eventually, at Bever's suggestion, a vote was taken to simply toss the ball into the laps of the organizations who brought it up and encourage them to move forward with it on their own, 5-0. Personally, I have no problem with this concept, which would honor past mayors and civic leaders. I do agree that this event should NOT be held during the campaign season - it would be to politicized. And, I'm sorry, but I just couldn't help visualizing Mayor Monahan in his wee kilt during this discussion.


Following that vote Monahan bailed out - he didn't look to good, so maybe h
e was ill. Anyhow, after comments and the usual sniping back and forth between Wendy Leece and Mensinger, the meeting was finally adjourned at 10:55!

Next up, what may be the final meeting of the Costa Mesa Homeless Task Force Wednesday (today!) at 5:30 in the Police Department Emergency Operations Center.

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Anonymous 2sidestoeverything said...

Why is Bever a "strange" dude if he votes no and it is 4-1? Wendy is often the 1 in a 4-1 vote and you have never called her that. And she is just as good at sniping as is Mensinger. She started it way back when she was not made Mayor and has not let up. Let's hope Bever is in good health now, it is pitiful to pick on someone who most likely has health issues as his reason for being absent. Just kick him while he is down. Foley uses to skip every January to ski, no big deal though. Yes, they have always been paid a small stipend for RDA, they just haven't announced it. Sort of how Leece doesn't announce she cashes in her medical stipend but agendizes a cut in pay for council (forthcoming elected council members that is, not her)but could immediately save monies by not cashing in medical (or not taking it at all like Righeimer).

1/18/2012 05:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Stepped in it... said...

The additional compensation for the RDA meeting is new to me. I assume it's something that has always gone on, we just never knew.
Ignorance was bliss, now we have transparency. That is a good thing.

1/18/2012 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous RickandJenn said...

I've seen Tamar Goldman speak at Council before. She is an absolute quack. The City should get some type of restraining order against that crazy woman. She is a danger to herself and the communitiy.

We have always a few loons in the City but she is setting a pretty high standard here. Surprised the nuts get so much airtime on this blog.

1/18/2012 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous PT Vaughn said...

Jeff Byrne the simple farmer was raided by the feds yesterday.

1/18/2012 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Central Valley Farm Animals said...


I've seen Tamar Goldman speak at Council before. She is an absolute quack. The City should get some type of restraining order against that crazy woman. She is a danger to herself and the communitiy.
We have always a few loons in the City but she is setting a pretty high standard here. Surprised the nuts get so much airtime on this blog.


Wrong. She's the norm. You're not only a troll but a shill as well. Tell your masters the First Amendment is alive and well in Costa Mesa despite their efforts.

And tell Mensy to stop bullying.

1/18/2012 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

I am not surprised that Mr Bever was there last night - there were two paychecks to get!

As for Ms Goldman, those criticisms are nasty. She has strong opinions that RickandJenn seem to disagree with, but she presents them clearly and calmly. Those comments are simply cruel and bullying.

1/18/2012 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

The First Amendment is alive and well for the same 10 people who complain that no one is listening to them. Maybe it's that no one is listening to their distorted view of how to continue to run our City out of money, just like our country.

The average Costa Mesans who work and participate in this community will support our Council if they maintain our quality of life and reign in our spending (which they are doing). The unions hate it, residents love it. Call RickandJenn a "shill" all you want, they are not alone in their beliefs. More people are starting to understand this.

1/18/2012 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous RickandJenn said...

Central Valley Farm, you're the shill for the corrupt unions that are bankrupting our State and country. Free speech doesn't exist in your world. You live in a bubble where you think one crazy woman's rantings reflect the consensus of the community. You are so scared you don't ever use your real name. Here's a tip, get out of your tent and talk to the folks in this community who live and work here, like my wife and I. We represent this place, not you and your extremist friends. I will continue to speak out against the hate you spew and fight for our City. I'm even thinking of applying to be on a City committee. What do you do here for our City besides hide behind fake names. Bet you don't even live here. Coward!

1/18/2012 11:08:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

I’m surprised Geoff, with all that free time to write this post, you didn’t cover the HHS request for only one year extension at Fairview Park.

I have looked into the Mayor’s (crystal) Ball and I see that once the soon to be named, “The Rigged Charter of 2012” is in place, there will be a council vote to pave the entire thing over for a new (privately ran) Sports Park with “plenty of parking for the entire population of Costa Mesa… Google Earth will need to order up a new satellite view of Fairview Park after these changes are completed.

It’s funny how some don’t think these guys are transparent… if you just listen to what these 4 say; watch what they do; then think like a sycophant, it is very clear

Eric, lest your head is occupying a posterior orifice: Sycophant :A servile self-seeker who attempts to win favor by flattering influential people.

1/18/2012 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sorry, you can rant all you wish here but don't you see the hypocrisy of your criticism of someone for using a pen name when that's exactly what you're doing? REALLY? That's the best you can come up with?

1/18/2012 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

RickandJenn, Tamar Goldman is a very intelligent lady who speaks very well and in a direct manner while maintaining good manners and civility.
I cannot say the same for you. Also, you are perpetuating the Big Lie out there, peddled by the councilmen, the OC GOP and CMTA, that opposition to this charter and the councilmen is coming from the unions alone.
I am a resident of CM, as are the members of the residents group opposed to the Righeimer Charter.
We are not "organized labor" , as your boy Colin McCarthy is still stating in his Big Lie. You are also spreading this lie, so your credibility is zero.

1/18/2012 12:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Central Valley Farm Animals said...

Dear Barry aka RickandJenn aka MM:

We do plenty for Costa Mesa, and have for many years. We're not fascist or racist; because of that you can't be our friend.

Now run along. Maybe Riggy or the bully will let you wash their cars.

1/18/2012 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Ditto, Karl.

Tamar Goldmann is a highly intelligent, nice person. Anyone who calls her a crackpot is either unbalanced themself or just lying to further an agenda.

Mensinger has now personally attacked her from the dais two meetings in a row.

He is not fit to be on the city council and should resign immediately.

1/18/2012 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

I've known/worked side by side with both Dan and Tamar Goldmann since the late 70s. We were scout adult leaders with the local troupe. We worked HARD with our College Park neighbors to represent our needs when the city council was considering the Home Depot center. Tamar is indeed very intelligent, very organized, very thoughtful, very civilized, very articulate. She's a college instructor; she's quality people! Some local carwash owners I know can't hold a candle to Tamar!

1/18/2012 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Country Club Dr Resident said...

What hypocrisy!! Barry says the Council is reigning in the spending, but yet spend hundreds of thousands on legal fees, as a result of violating their own council policy. What a crock of crap!

1/18/2012 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Buffalo Soldier said...

The Feds busted some medical marijuana collectives yesterday in CM.

Gary Monahan recently hosted an medical marijuana event at his dive bar-
Did Monahan turn on his pot buddies by inviting the Feds in?

If so, is anyone surprised?

1/18/2012 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Barry, did you read about all that money the Council is throwing towards attorney fees? Reigning in our spending? Really? I mean, REALLY?

1/18/2012 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Pick on Gericault......but I would leave Tamar Goldman alone. She's a class act, and one of the politest, nicest souls I know.
Out of your guys league.

1/18/2012 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous save$$,no tamar! said...

cancel the lawsuits!

1/18/2012 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous real people said...

I have also worked for the Goldmans. They treat everyone they know with respect- in fact they treat them like family. They were invited to my wedding and I consider them to be part of my family now. They are pillars of the community. Anyone who has anything to say otherwise please feel free to leave your contact information here and I will be happy to personally (respectfully and intelligently) inform you of just how wrong you are. I am proud to know them. RICKANDJENN you are beyond hope. I will not waste my time on you.


1/18/2012 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

First, thank you to all the kind people, some of whom I don’t know personally, who wrote in my defense.

Rick and Jen, I’m sorry that you were so disturbed by something I said. I wonder if you misunderstood something. Three minutes isn’t enough time to present all the nuances and support that any issue deserves. If you identify which one(s) troubled you, I’ll be happy to explain further.

Here are the main points I made last night.
1. Many people were disturbed by the lack of time and attention given to suggestions they had researched and developed. The councilmen should have given the suggestions the consideration they deserved.

2. Planning commissioners should be elected. Commission and committee appointments should be made in a more impartial and transparent manner.

3. The councilmen are wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees while complaining about unfunded pension liability, which they haven’t touched yet.

4. The city should give more attention to “the right to quiet enjoyment of one’s home,” do a better job of notifying residents about projects that will affect their homes, and make the cost of appeals reasonable. These steps can be taken with or without a charter.

5. The “Mayor’s Charity Dinner,” however well-intentioned, could be misconstrued, and should not be initiated at this time. My points were echoed by many other speakers, and even the councilmen agreed on a better way to handle the event.

1/18/2012 08:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

When people start making too much sense it upsets the would-be rulers of our little city. Anyone who gets too close to the truth, which intelligently undermines or contradicts the party line, must be discredited or intimidated!

When RickandJenn, or Barry, (one and the same?) or Rig or Steve attacks a community member or Wendy Leece, it's a sign the comments hit home. They have identified a threat to their power, and that threat must be immediately "addressed". So stop making sense, Tamar. And stop being courteous and reasonable, stop caring passionately about what happens to the city you love, and for goodness sake develop some compassion. You are driving these guys nuts. Have mercy, woman!

1/19/2012 12:41:00 AM  
Anonymous 50+ years = 1 said...

HSS, one year extension, staffs comment was maybe to give the city flexibility?
After 50+ years of association with the city. They will have to go through the meetings again. The council(except for Leece) just accepted that answer. Or is there more to the story? I will have to look back at the parks dept video and see who ran that meeting?

1/19/2012 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous jefftheref said...

Well, there are some supporters of Tamar here who say to let her alone. I will honor that and refrain from what I was going to say about her and her attitude and spin and rudeness. All I ask is that you stop the attacks on Righeimer who is also a great person, a great husband and father, and one who cares about Costa Mesa. Yes, you don't agree with him so you come down hard on him here. Tamara is fair game from our side almost as much as Genis, Ridge, and Leffler. Respect our side, play your best game and win or lose with the voters. Personal attacks on our players will result in same on yours.

1/19/2012 04:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

Isn't funny how Barry and RickandJenn sound just like MM on his blog. Hmmmm. I guess MM won't use his real name, because Geoff will not post his rantings so he comes up with fake pseudonyms. If I am wrong then use your real names, first and last, unless you are a coward.

1/19/2012 05:27:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Personal attacks on our players will result in same on yours.


If you criticize elected officials in Costa Mesa, we will attack citizens.


you stop the attacks on Righeimer


Stop talking about Das Riggmarshal's true agenda or we will attack you personally.


(Righeimer)one who cares about Costa Mesa


Liar. He only cares about his quest for power and higher office.
What were you, monahan, and Bever promised to sell-out Costa Mesa?

Here in the USA, criticism of elected officials is the norm. Go live in North Korea if you don't like our freedoms.

1/20/2012 09:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Jefftheref, nice way to stick up for your boy. The problem is that he is an elected official. As such he invited the criticism the minute he decided to run. I don't care if he's a good dad, a wonderful husband. He's a lousy leader.

Tamar and the others you stated are taking part in a process that is the foundation of our freedoms. The ability to voice one's opinion in opposition to the government without fear of government reprisal. It is a truly patriotic thing. That's what gives e pause when Riggy says things like: "I get a lot of calls and emails in support....they are just not willing to come down here and speak because it's intimidating".

So apparently he has all these supporters who are so firm and steadfast in their beliefs that they are too afraid to say so in public? That is a classic tell of an AstroTurf movement. Give the air of a groundswell of support, while it is really few. Apparently what they say is true; Tea Parties are for little girls (or Riggys) with imaginary friends.

1/20/2012 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous What personal attacks? said...

Whoever said Righeimer wasn't a good father or husband? People are commenting on his motives for what he is doing to Costa Mesa. I'll disagree with you that he cares about Costa Mesa. Any attack on Righeimer is about what he is doing to Costa Mesa for his own political gain.

Also, if you want to get into politics then expect people to attack your credibility, finances, etc. He knew the game when he got involved. If he or any other politician (Republican, Democrat, Independent) wants to cry because people are calling them out on their bs, then pick a new career choice.

Sorry, but no sympathy from me!

1/20/2012 11:57:00 AM  

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