Contemplating The Charter Hearing Again
Last Monday evening 4/5ths of the Costa Mesa City Council - Mayor Gary Monahan apparently made a tactical decision to stay home or at his bar while Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer orchestrated the evening - went through the charade of "hearing" what the public had to say about Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme for the final time.
PASSIONATE AND VOCAL CROWD
More than 40 people stepped up to the speaker's podium to address the issue, most of whom were Costa Mesa residents - or said they were. Most spoke with passion and some actually presented solid facts and suggestions for modifications to Jim Righeimer's Charter. If you're interested in just how the evening went from start to finish, you can watch it HERE, or you can watch it on Channel 24 (Time Warner Cable) or Channel 99 (ATT U-Verse) at the times shown below through the rest of the month.
WATCH PERRY'S COMMENTS
There were MANY excellent speakers - too many to try to provide clips for all here. However, I think resident Perry Valantine may have captured the essence of many speaker's comments with his three minutes before the council. Please take those three minutes and watch this clip.
KEVIN DAYTON - PROFESSIONAL ANTAGONIST
The most controversial segment, as was reported broadly in the "real" media and here, as well, was the extended presentation by Kevin Dayton, who described himself as being from the "Dayton Public Policy Institute" - an organization that is either too new to have ANY presence on the web or else it just exists in his head. According to Righeimer, he "contacted us" earlier and asked to make a presentation on the subject of Prevailing Wage. And with that Righeimer let him launch off into what turned out to be nearly 10 minutes, which culminated in him being jeered from the speaker's podium, shouting "Fascism! Fascism! Fascism!" as he stepped away. Not visible in the video clip below was his antagonistic posturing as he returned to his seat, which I described as a "You want a piece of me?" pose.
WHO IS THAT GUY?
It turns out that Dayton, as has been widely reported elsewhere since the meeting Monday night, is a lobbyist for the Associated Builders and Contractors and is associated with the Pacific Research Institute. Tip of the hat to readers Tamar Goldmann and Eleanor Egan for digging up this information. Egan provides us with a brief biographical summary from the PRI web site that reads as follows:
Kevin Dayton is Vice President of Government Affairs for the Golden Gate Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC).
Since January 1998, Mr. Dayton has developed and implemented strategies for Northern California construction companies to advance free enterprise and open competition. From 1995 through 1997, Mr. Dayton managed the Political Action Committee and grassroots programs at the Associated Builders and Contractors headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Dayton was a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Representative Gary A. Franks (R-CT) from 1992 through 1994. He is a graduate of Yale University.
WATCH THE CLIP
As he spoke Monday night it became clear that he had a "history" with some of the more vocal members of the audience. To get the feel for that part of the evening, which resulted in Righeimer calling a time out - a 10 minute recess - please watch this short, 9 minute clip.
NOW ONLY DELETIONS ARE PERMITTED
As I said in my earlier summary of events from that evening, it was clear that Righeimer was NOT going to let any substantive changes be imposed on HIS Charter. He permitted a modification to the Preamble, which was nice but benign. The rest was just window-dressing. The proof will come on March 6th, when the council votes to place Jim Righeimer's Charter on the June, 2012 ballot. We have now passed the point where any additional safeguards can be added. On March 6th only items can be deleted from the draft charter. That is not going to happen. We should see the latest version online today or tomorrow, according to what city staff tells us.
READ IT AND WEEP...
So, take some time over the weekend or next week and view the tape, read the final version of the Charter and you'll understand why this is such a bad idea.