Jimmy Fitzy In A Frenzy
Costa Mesa Sanitary District Director Jim Fitzpatrick - who also holds a seat on the Costa Mesa Planning Commission - apparently is in a major panic about the possibility of losing his seat on the Sanitary District Board. Today he fired off an email blast to who-knows-how-many friends and acquaintances, begging for their intervention in this matter. He asked them to attend the meeting to speak in his support and to send notes of support to Sanitary District General Manager Scott Carroll.
MISREPRESENTS THE SITUATION
His correspondence is a disjointed, inaccurate call for action and attempts to deflect the fact that two legal opinions have determined that there is "incompatibility" between the two seats he currently holds by attempting to make it seem that the majority on the Sanitary District Board are trying to dump him because he disagrees with opinions about contracts.
FITZY MISSTATES MONAHAN'S SITUATION
He also misstates the situation that existed with Mayor Gary Monahan. He says in his frenetic rant that Monahan held a position on the City Council AND the Sanitary District Board simultaneously for four (4) years. That's not true. Monahan was termed out of his council seat, so ran for a seat on the Sanitary District Board and won. Two years later, once he was again eligible to run for City Council, he ran and won a seat and then held both seats simultaneously for two (2) years. However, it is completely irrelevant, since the legal opinions the Board has in front of them clearly spell out that different rules apply to council positions than planning commissions.
Fitzpatrick also included an attachment to his email - a confusing array of slides that look like they might have been done in a junior high school class - that perpetuate the falsehoods of his correspondence and his attempts to deflect the issue from him to others. Among those images is a copy of comments made on the recent Daily Pilot article about this issue by fellow planning commissioner, Rob Dickson, who makes his living as a paralegal for a big local law firm. Now, Dickson is a nice guy and pretty smart, but he's NOT a lawyer, so his opinion should be taken in the proper context.
STRUGGLING AND SINKING
Clearly, Fitzpatrick is in a panic and is flailing around like a guy in quicksand. Sadly, the more he flails, the deeper he sinks.
HERE'S MY OPINION
Today, after reading Fitzpatrick's diatribe, I did as he suggested to his friends. I wrote to Scott Carroll, firstname.lastname@example.org, and suggested to him that the Sanitary District Board review all the facts and legal opinions available to them and any precedents that might apply as they deliberate on this issue in their Closed Session tomorrow. I suggested that, if they determine that Fitzpatrick holds two positions that are "incompatible", they should ask him to resign. If he refuses and chooses, instead, to force the Board to take legal action to remove him, then that decision is on HIM, not the Board. Based on the facts of the issue available to me, including a review of the report from the law firm they hired to analyze and report on this situation, it is clear that Fitzpatrick's positions are "incompatible", and he should step down from his Sanitary District Seat.
TOO COZY FOR ME
I don't plan to attend the Sanitary District Board meeting tomorrow. The confines are just too cozy for me and there's no telling how long they will be in Closed Session. However, once they finish that part of their agenda they will report out the result and move on to the remainder of their Open Session agenda, HERE. It might be fun to be a mouse in the corner in the Sanitary District Conference Room tomorrow, don't you think?