The Week Ahead (Amended)**
The week beginning Monday, January 9th could not possibly be as hectic as the previous one, which had three meetings of major importance to Costa Mesans on three consecutive nights. This week there are only two biggies - piece of cake for those of us who actually attend them.
PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING MONDAY
Monday the Planning Commission, led by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer sycophant Colin McCarthy, has what may be a short meeting to start their year. However, there are two interesting items listed under Public Hearings.
A PRIVATE ATHLETIC COMPLEX
First is the request, recommended for approval by the staff, to create a PRIVATE youth recreation venue on north Harbor Boulevard. The applicant really wants to build an office tower, but has requested this use for "approximately 7 years" - whatever that actually means. You can read the lengthy staff report, complete with drawings, HERE.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS ORDINANCE
The second is a new ordinance to regulate Wireless Communication infrastructure in our city. You can read that equally lengthy staff report HERE. As I read through the report I kept wondering what Righeimer will think of it when it comes before the council for a vote. After all, he's been fully-immersed in the wireless communication business for years. The image shown here is the wireless tower constructed in my neighborhood that apparently launched all this activity last year. As you can see, it looks like a suppository on a stick.
REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY MEETING TUESDAY**
Tuesday there are two meetings back-to-back and each is VERY important to our city. The first is a meeting of the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency at 6:00 p.m. in council chambers in which the agency members - the City Council in a fancy dress - will likely discuss the recent California Supreme Court ruling that may permit the State of California to close down ALL redevelopment agencies and raid their treasuries for spare cash. That's not as big a deal for Costa Mesa as it is for many cities around the state that have finagled their financing to rely heavily on redevelopment agency monies for normal operations. However, and this IS a biggie, the City loaned the RDA $10 million way, way back when it was formed as seed money to get projects rolling. The future of that loan is still up in the air. We cannot afford to have the pirates from Sacramento pillage our coffers for that money. **NOTE: The staff report for this meeting, apparently called as a Joint Meeting of the RDA and the council, finally showed up this morning on the city web site. You can read it HERE.
FIRST MANDATORY "CHARTER" PUBLIC HEARING
The second meeting is a Special City Council meeting called to be the first mandatory Public Hearing on Righeimer's bogus Charter scheme. That meeting begins at 7:00, also in council chambers. This is a single-item meeting, so folks shouldn't expect to vent their spleens on other items that may be bugging them - this one alone will provide plenty of fodder for those cannons.
SO MUCH INFORMATION, SO LITTLE TIME
The City has provided much information for residents to consider and not very much time in which to do it. Even at the information meeting last Wednesday senior staffers were unwilling to provide an accurate timetable. Until very late last week we were being told that Tuesday's meeting would be the ONLY time suggestions for additions to the Charter draft cobbled together by Righeimer last month would be accepted. After that, we were told, only deletions could be considered. Well, that was WRONG. Suggestions, additions, deletions and comments will be accepted and considered by the council right up to the date of the second mandatory public hearing on February 14th. The final vote on whether to place a Charter on the June ballot, and the verbiage of that Charter, will be decided by the council on March 6th.
PLENTY OF RESOURCES AVAILABLE
The City has provided resources available on the City web site, including Righeimer's Draft, references from the League of California Cities, copies of other city Charters AND all the suggestions accumulated as of last Friday, January 6th. You can read that list HERE and the other information is available by clicking on the "Charter City Information" link on the Home Page of the web site. I STRONGLY recommend that you review the comparison between General Law cities and Charter cities provided by the League of Cities.
OPPOSITION IS GROWING
It shouldn't surprise anyone, least of all Righeimer and his cronies, that there is a growing groundswell of opposition to his Charter scheme. Residents have been plastering every neighborhood in our city with fliers denouncing this scheme and inviting resident action. It won't surprise me if we have a full house at City Hall Tuesday. Of course, the proceedings will be televised live and also be live on streaming video for those who choose to stay at home.
TOO IMPORTANT TO RUSH IT
This issue - to convert Costa Mesa from a General Law City to a Charter City - is the second most important municipal decision in the city's history. The first was the decision to incorporate a half century ago. For this reason, it offends many residents to see Righeimer and his minions attempting to jam Righeimer's Charter down our throats to meet some arbitrary personal political agenda. This decision is too important to our city today and in the future to be rushed, and FAR TOO IMPORTANT to be the sole handiwork of a carpetbagging political opportunist. Former Mayor Sandra Genis, who has remained active in community affairs, penned an excellent commentary in the Daily Pilot last week challenging the pace at which Righeimer and his pals are pushing his scheme. You can read it HERE.
COMPRESSED, BUT BUSY
While the meetings may not go long into the week, because of the content, they are certain to be entertaining - and frustrating. Please join me in following along...