Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hallelujah! An Early Council Meeting!

HOW TO SPEND THOSE EXTRA HOURS?
Holy Cow! Last night's Costa Mesa City Council meeting was one of the earliest in my feeble memory! It started almost on time and finished shortly after 8 p.m.!




FEE
LIN' PRETTY DARN SAFE
As mentioned in my earlier post, the highlight for me was the
presentation of long-service awards to several members of the City staff. Several of the awards were presented to members of the Costa Mesa Police Department, which explained the fact that more than a dozen proud members of the CMPD were in the auditorium. I've never felt safer!

CONGRATS AND KUDOS

As you can see, 30 Year recipient Billy Folsom captured the spirit of the moment by wearing an
appropriate T-shirt for the occasion. Congratulations and thanks to all who have given more than a quarter-century of their lives in service to our city. They've all seen some good times and, over the past couple years, seen some pretty bleak times, too. Congratulations and kudos to them all.

30 YEARS
Willa Bowens-Killeen, Principal Planner
Michael Delgadillo, Senior Police Officer

Billy Folsom, Equipment Mechanic III
Antonio Macias, Maintenance Worker
Helen Nenadal, Facilities Maintenance Technician

25 YEARS
Tom Banks, Senior Engineer
Chris Brimhall, Fire Captai
n
Paul Dondero, Police Lieutenant
Jane Duenweg, Graphics Designer
Allen Huggins, Police Capta
in
Rich Merritt, Fire Fighter
Mahar Nawar, Assistant Engineer
Jeff Peters, Fire Captain

Cherie Pittington, Senior Communication Supervisor
Lou Steiner, Fire Fighter

MORE CHARTER CRITICISM
Public Com
ments included presentations by many of the same concerned residents who have, for months, stood before the City Council and suggested alternatives to Jim Righeimer's Charter. As usual, most of those comments were only given lip service by Righeimer and others on the dais. You can read the final draft of the Charter on the City web site HERE. It will receive a final massage - nothing else can be added now, only removed or polished for language and context - on March 6th and then the council will vote on whether to place it on the June ballot or not. Nobody is betting against it being placed on the ballot, but whether it passes or not is an entirely different issue.

RIGHEIMER SPITS BACK

Righeimer did take the opportunity, several times, to chide critics as being unwilling to see the city move forward, suggesting that they just didn't
get it. Well, we suggest it is Righeimer who doesn't "get it". He seemed flummoxed by the fact that folks didn't want his charter after saying they were not against a charter per se. He just doesn't get the fact that those folks who make those statements just don't trust him. After all, they've had more than a year of observing him on the dais on which to base that kind of an assessment. I certainly understand - I don't trust him, either. As I've said MANY times before, I think he's just a carpetbagger - a manipulative political opportunist, trying to show his pals in the OC GOP hierarchy that he's got what it takes for higher office. Well, if it takes conniving, manipulation, fabrication of crises and creation of "facts" to suit his agenda, then, yes, Jim Righeimer is their guy.

HEY, JIM...
Since I know he reads this blog, let's see if I can help him understand. Jimbo, WE DON'T TRUST YOU! Got it? You've demonstrated that you will do or say anything to get what you want, so WE DON'T TRUST YOU!


VALANTINE HITS IT OUT OF THE PARK - AGAIN
Once again resident and retired City employee Perry Valantine gave the council something to think about. During his three minutes at the speaker's podium he patiently pounded home that, despite the fact that Righeimer con
tinues to portray his Charter as the solution to all the City's problems. As Valantine said last night, speaking of the Charter:

"...It seem
s to be framed in the minds and words of some council people and some other people in the community as a way to solve all the city's problems. We have exorbitant public salaries, exorbitant public employee pensions, unfunded pension liabilities and we need this charter. The disconnect is, the charter won't do anything to fix any of those things. It won't, and can't and doesn't propose to do anything with unfunded liabilities, to make any changes in the pension program. And, in fact, you can do that now, and did two weeks ago or three weeks ago, however long it was, to adopt that second tier. Obviously, it can be done without a charter. Salaries can be done and negotiations can be handled without a charter. So, it just seems a little disingenuous to me the way it's being presented in terms of a solution to all the city's problems when, in fact, it doesn't, can't and doesn't propose to address most of those issues..."

As usual, Valantine is right on the money with his observations. And, also as usual, Righeimer and the council chose to igno
re them.

NOW WE WAIT
So, now we mark time for another couple weeks, taking the time to offer suggestions for deletions from this bogus document knowing full well that the pet points that Righeimer is trying to jam down the residents throats will remain no matter the outcry. We'll cover some of those as we head toward the election in June.

BEVER SPITS BACK, TOO...

As a sidebar, at 5:00, when the agenda for the Closed Session was read into the record by City Cl
erk Julie Folcik, Mayor Gary Monahan asked for public comment. Resident Robin Leffler - a frequent speaker before the council for years - stepped up and asked them to seriously consider changing their tactics with the employee organizations - to offer to sit down with them and see what can be worked out without the animosity that currently exists. Since this segment was not taped there is no visual record of it, unfortunately. After she finished her three minute passionate request the council adjourned to the closed session. As they left Eric Bever - who actually has made it to several meetings in a row now - spoke out to Ms. Leffler, suggesting to her that in her role as "labor negotiator" she should go to her constituents - the bargaining units - and tell them to open their contracts because that's the only way it's going to happen. It's amazing that these guys just can't take comments from their constituents without feeling the need to counter-punch. Bever, Righeimer and Steve Mensinger - the biggest offender - just have to have the final word. It's like watching a bunch of petulant 3rd-graders on a playground. It's very sad.


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17 Comments:

Anonymous robotbreach said...

No wonder the City is polarized. You think Valantine hit it out of the park? Ok. Guess what, we on the other side were amazed at his comments, wondering if he lost his mind. Just like E. Egan's Pilot letter, Valantine wasted 3 minutes saying what the Charter won't fix as if someone ever claimed it would. Are they so desparate for talking points that they have to make up things? (yes) And this post again claims Riggy and Eric strike back at constituents. I call it answering their comments. If they did not answer you would say they weren't listening. Oh wait, you say that anyway. Their is no way to get a fair shake from the whiners. If council listens and replies = striking back. If no reply= not listening. If reply but didn't take Genis' advice-not listening. Unbelievable. In addition, last night Robin and Jay decided it was important to go back in history and declare who was on council when the street repair funds were garnered. What a waste of time, what is the point that is so important? Do we care that Monahan, Bever, and Mansoor got those funds and that Riggy and Mensinger didn't? No, we care about going forward. The usual suspects were really off their game last night. Idiots and pathetic except for the hilarious "ready fire aim" . The "B" longs for days of old and getting along. She can start the process by being civil and accepting not everyone agrees with her. Great explanation by Riggy of the true facts of what is going on and why. BTW, crows are starting to show up and make a racket and the charter will not take of this irritant. Perhaps Valantine can comment on this shortfall next meeting.

2/22/2012 06:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Memory said...

We'll remember Bever and Monahan's betrayal long after they're out of office.

2/22/2012 06:57:00 AM  
Anonymous more scared,more rant said...

@robotbreach:

You sound worried and scared. You should be. Did you forget how many different law enforcement agencies there are?

They couldn't save Carona. What will happen to you?

2/22/2012 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

robotbreach once again misses the "forest for the trees"

Righiemer stated, during his obligatory diatribe, that becoming a charter city allows Costa Mesa to choose the contractors it wants to perform services unbeholden to the way Sacramento wants us to run our city.
True, dat. Unfortunately, it's a grain of truth wrapped into a huge ball of BS.
General Law cities can outsource. Fountain Valley outsourced their Street Sweeping without any of the expensive and fruitless actions taken by this inept bunch. Whats also true is that surrounding Charter cities such as NB, HB, Irvine all pay municipal employees to perform a multitude of services. They do that because it is the cheapest and best way to provide those services.
What hasn't been shown by Righiemer or this council is where are the huge savings in contracted out services ? All those RFP's, hundreds of thousands in consultants, countless hours of city staff time, and we've seen nothing. Except a new Charter proposal.
They blame this all on the employees for filing a lawsuit against the contractual violations this council has committed. Naturally, Duarte claims that they have followed all the obligations of the MOU, but it was also his opinion that led us down this expensive rabbit hole.
Charter city status allow cities to easily contract out without having to show that the services being provided are the best use of taxpayers funds. It allows abuses with no-bid contracts. Thats why we have seen no RFP's. That's why this charter has to be rushed. The citizens are being sold down the river and the council can't do it under the current rules of governing established under the auspices of General Law.
If you trust the "fiscal responsibility" this council has displayed so far, then vote for the charter. I, on the other hand, will not. They haven't shown they can properly run a city, yet alone re-write the rules so they can break it up even further.

2/22/2012 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Robotbreach - you never say why Perry is wrong, you just shoot the messenger, calling people idiots. So unless you can bring up details of disagreement, your "arguement" is just standard low level political rhetoric. And it's not the fact of answering back, it's what is said and the tone. Again, a false argument on your part.

2/22/2012 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

An interesting highlight: have you noticed that the current buzzword-phrase has become "move forward"? Hatch ends many of his run-on sentences with it; it's become almost a vocalized pause. Try counting the appearance of it, or variants, in his speech. It also makes less frequent appearances in the flowery words of other council members...

It might also be interesting to transcribe, and diagram, some of Hatch's sentences -- I've noticed I have some tendency to zone out during them, and believe it's because I have to spend such a large portion of my life waiting for the final period. He would probably benefit from reading some of Hemingway's prose, with particular attention to terseness.

2/22/2012 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous robotbreach said...

Colin, Valantine is not wrong but he framed his remarks as if someone ever said a Charter would take care of those things. Since no one did claim that why go up and talk about a non issue? Why did E Egan write a piece in the Pilot with the same type of theme? It is just weird. Again, charter will not get rid of crows either or lower the price of gas. Should those be talking points? Terry, didn't realize "moving forward" has become a new buzzword(s) (like "slow down", "don't stop") but it is a good one. Past ones: at prior councils were "amenable" and now "vetted" by the usual suspects. All good words so should be used! As to "more scared", I don't know what in the heck you are referring to. I would be amenable to moving forward with an answer once your question is properly vetted. Leece also has her obligatory diatribe every meeting Gericault as do the six or seven usual suspects, just part of life here on the bluffs.Question: would you rather council NOT respond? If they don't would you say they are not listening?

2/22/2012 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

robot - your kinda all over the place, cause those two words didn't show up in my statement. I'm willing to bet money (very serious) that Jim R did say the charter will fix the pension problems, my guess is if you look at the notes of previous meetings and other talks he has given, it's in there. They are conflating the charter as a way to solve the pension crisis, when in reality it will do no such thing. Also, why did this charter come up like the day after the judge smacked down the layoffs ? That's extermely odd timing.

2/22/2012 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous your mama said...

Robot the council responding the way they do is not listening. They basically say, "Ya, well your mom is fat" after every comment they don't like.

2/22/2012 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

@robotbreach -- I wrote the Daily Pilot letter because several people said they favored the charter simply because it would relieve the city of its unfunded liabilities. In that letter I wondered where they got that idea.

The evening before the letter appeared in the print edition, the CM Taxpayers group held a town hall at the NCC. I was told that one of the speakers, I don't know who, promoted the charter by saying it was needed to solve the unfunded liability problem.

So you see, neither Perry nor I are making this up. The public is being misled, and we are doing what we can to get the truth out.

2/22/2012 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous robotleech said...

I don't care about truth, only following orders.

2/22/2012 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Just the facts said...

Gericault,

I seriously do not understand why someone with so much passion and committment to Costa Mesa must continuously misstate facts to attack this council majority. Is it personal? Political? Makes no difference either way, I'm just curious.

In all seriousness, your cavalier attitude towards facts does more harm than good to your cause.

Regarding your post here. You wrote "...it's a grain of truth wrapped into a huge ball of BS. General Law cities can outsource."

Since you are one of the founders of Repair Costa Mesa, I can only assume that you read the OCEA complaint against the City regarding the outsourcing. So you know what they are claiming - that the city CANNOT outsource whatever it wants, only select, specific functions. Whether or not that is legally correct is beside the point - for you to blithely state otherwise in order to attack the council is amazing.

You continue on this amusing track by claiming that the lawsuit is due to "...contractual violations this council has committed." Actually, what they did was invoke the MOU provisions re outsourcing, as you correctly note Duarte stated.

The "expensive rabbit hole" is solely because of the lawsuit brought by OCEA, which claims that the city actually can't outsource, which you claim that, as a General Law city, it actually CAN.

Do you even read what you post?

Next, you state "What hasn't been shown by Righiemer or this council is where are the huge savings in contracted out services."

Well, DUH - OCEA, RCM, et al have done everything possible to stymie the process, including dragging the Citizens of Costa Mesa into a deep litigation hole. Again, for you to blithely state otherwise in order to attack the council is really quite astonishing.

The Council is not trying to sell the citizens down the river - they are trying to cut costs so that Costa Mesa can continue to provide excellent services to the residents and businesses. The reality is, as Righeimner stated early in his campaign and consistely through now, the current way services are provided, including pension costs, is unsustainable here and across the nation. This isn't some OCGOP conspiracy Gericault, this is reality - even Gov. Brown is on board. Santa Ana just outsourced its Fire Dept.

Argue the issues with facts and truth. Your passion for Costa Mesa and the Westside is admirable and what Costa Mesa needs more of, but enough with the innuendo, consiracy theories and misstatements.

2/22/2012 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

"Just the Facts" wrapped up in a ball of.....
Remember "Ground Zero" was a smoking pile of blackened radioactive rubble. So when Scott Baugh and the OCGOP brought there newest crusade to our fair city, understand that they really do not care what the end result will be.
All the council had to do was rescind the layoffs, start the studies, show the cost savings and then re-submit the appropriate layoffs to only those employees affected. Righeimer has refused to go there, and Duarte is pulling in record fees for his firm , so why would he change course now?
Pride and hubris has stymied this council from the "get go". Stubbornness and the need to grandly politicize our local city politics are the driving forces now.
That was on display with the Developer lobbyists flown in for the last Charter meeting.
Show the cost savings........you say those costs are stymied by OCEA and Repair, I say , thats a lie.
Why do other Charter cities follow an almost identical municipal model as Costa Mesa? If they can save so much why haven't they? The cost savings aren't there. Righiemer hasn't been able to get the city staff to prove that through the RFP's. No amount of high paid consultants, many "retired pensioned public employees", making $300 an hour at our expense, can't just "make up" non-existent entities with no track record or performance standards, to compete for the jobs our current city employees perform.
You can't find a specialist euro-bike mechanic, that also performs county tank inspections, and a lot more duties, at Jiffy Lube. Thats whats driving you guys crazy.
So make up a charter......let the no bid contracts , without any performance metrics begin, and be happy.
To say that I'm attacking the council because of criticsms regarding the obvious lawsuit that resulted from their unstudied actions towards the layoffs is just bassackwards.
I don't want to get into a pissing match about who did what first.........but if we do ,....you will lose.
Had the Council listened to me, and hundreds of other Costa Mesans with just as much passion and commitment to our city, we never would have ended up in this mess.

2/22/2012 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous robotbreach said...

E. Egan: so you heard one anecdotal story that ONE person MAY have said something and you run off and write an op ed and then the usual suspects need to go running to council to talk about it? Wow. Grasping for straws. Now if Riggy or other council members stated it from the dais that is another issue but the only time I have heard of this claim is from the anti charter folks, never from council. Although, if you extrapolate a little and connect some dots there probably IS a good chance the charter will HELP our finances and that help COULD be used to pay down pension obligations. Or perhaps the easier route to outsourcing COULD result in better contracts next round that MAY help with pension mess. The point I see driven home in support of a charter is that "one size fits all" mandates from a group of Sacramento politicians, all but a maybe a couple from even around our area, is not in the best interest of CM. Local control is best. You can more easily remove local politicians if you don't like policies. I support that. Local control, government closest to the people is superior and held more accountable. I know that land use issues are very hard to decide way up in Sacramento as an example of one very obvious benefit to local control. As a resident who watches every council meeting for years I appreciate all who speak. I find some just unbelievable however, it is a group of the same people over and over is who I am talking about. Their most damning talking points are easily refuted and proven false by Righeimer's logical eloquence. Just like there are NIMBYS, there are those who resist all change and who will say anything to stop it. These are my personal beliefs, not marching orders from the OCGOP (a fantastic organization btw).

2/23/2012 07:23:00 AM  
Anonymous robotleech said...

Don't waste energy replying to me or trying to debate me- I'm a Riggclone ordered to write the same jumbled garbage over and over no matter what you say.

Ignore me. Focus on defeating my master's charter.

2/23/2012 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous I Love Shrimp Scampi said...

Thanks for your many years of service great employees of Costa Mesa...oh, please collect your pink slips on the way out of the auditorium...HAHAHAHA!!!

It's disgusting to see what this City has come to. A bunch of YesMen coward spineless pieces of horse dung serving as silly titles like CEO...

Crooked fat faced failed business owners, chest bumpin morons and midget brick throwers...

Classic shirt Billy!!!

2/23/2012 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Your own facts said...

Just your facts, are you sure about your facts. I thought the city could outsource to another public entity many of the duties.

Entire Fire Dept. Is one example.

I am sure OCEA and the city employees would welcome no out sourcing at all but I think if you check your facts you will see outsourcing is OK to public entity for many of the duties just not to private entities.

Maybe before You go off on others about facts you should get your own facts in order.

2/24/2012 10:03:00 PM  

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