Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Public Hearing Without Listening

A WASTE OF TIME
Once again the Costa Mesa City Council held a Public Hearing on Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme Monday night and, despite dozens of speakers offering suggestions for changes, the council demonstrated that "hearing" is not "listening".

FOUR HOURS AND A NEAR RIOT
The meeting, which ran more than four hours if you include the break that was taken right around 8:00 when a near-riot broke out, turned out about as I expected it would. The council took comments from 41 people - nearly 80% of which spoke against the Charter - haggled among themselves about which phrases would be added or deleted, stiff-armed Wendy Leece at virtually every turn and adjourned the meeting shortly before 11:15 with Jim Righeimer's Charter virtually intact. All that remains now is for them to vote to place it on the June ballot at their meeting on March 6th.

AT LEAST SLOW DOWN

Last night speaker after speaker rose to either oppose Jim Righeimer's Charter flat out or to request the council to slow the process down and place the Charter on the November ballot instead of jamming it down our throats. At one point, during his response to that suggestion, Righeimer told the audience that if the Charter failed at the June election it would simply be placed on the November ballot. So, not only is he willing to spend between $97,500 and $123,500 to place it on the June ballot, but he's willing to virtually double-down and spend another $78,500 to $97,500 in November. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that he's willing to spend taxpayer's money like that - he and his pals on the council are spending legal dollars like the proverbial drunken sailor. It won't surprise me at all if the total legal fees this fiscal year top $2 million so far. We budgeted $800,000.

NO MAILER YET
Several speakers reported that they had either NOT received the pro-Charter mailer yet, or received it late Saturday, providing precious little time to become familiar with the issue. According to CEO Tom Hatch, that document was produced by city staff and cost $9700, including mailing. It apparently was sent to every household that receives the quarterly Recreation Report. And, we managed to kill a small forest with the 134 pages of staff report and related documents for the 175+ members of the public who attended the meeting.

PRE-ARRANGED EXTENDED SPEEC
H
Perhaps the most interesting part of
the meeting was the presentation by a fellow named Kevin Dayton, who told us he represented the Dayton Public Policy Institute. This outfit, according to Dayton after he was jeered away from the speaker's podium, is brand new - he had no web site nor business cards - and is apparently just him. You can read Joe Serna's account in the Daily Pilot, HERE. Before he began speaking it was clear that he had pre-arranged for an extended stay at the podium, acknowledged by Righeimer, who was running the show because Mayor Gary Monahan was, again absent.

YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME?
As he went on and on, providing "guidance" to the City Council - some of which they eventually folded into their modifications of the current draft of Jim Righeimer's Charter. Eventually, at about the seven minute mark, many members of the audience began to get restless and started to call out "Three Minutes!" and other less flattering comments. Apparently Dayton has a history with some of the union members in the audience. Eventually, at the nine minute mark, things got raucous and Righeimer called for a short break and Dayton exclaimed "Fascism, fascism, fascism" as he left the podium. As he approached his seat - and the police officers converged on his location to maintain order - Dayton spread his arms out wide in a taunting gesture, a "You want a piece of me?" posture, to those several dozen burly, vocal members of the audience who continued to jeer him. I've never seen this kind of activity at council meetings in the past, and, in my opinion, Righeimer precipitated it by allowing Dayton to speak so long, antagonizing an already-hostile audience.

NO SUBSTANTIVE CHANGES
I knew we wouldn't see any substantive changes to Jim Righeimer's Charter last night, but I was surprised that we would get such a clear and obvious example of what life will be like in Costa Mesa if the Charter passes in June. Righeimer ran the meeting with his typical disregard for the rules. His allowance of nearly 10 minutes of speaking time for Dayton was only one example. He tired very quickly of Wendy Leece's attempts to get segments deleted and/or added. He and his cohorts, Eric Bever and Steve Mensinger, just kept on sniping at her and failed to provide a second to her motions. She did succeed in having the Preamble modified, installing segments plucked from Huntington Beach's charter and inserting them in the draft, but only after the intervention of resident Perry Valantine, who had recommended the changes in the first place.

POSTERIOR SMOOCHING BY JIMMY FITZY

A predictable, and pathetic, segment of
the meeting last night was when Planning Commissioner and Righeimer/Mensinger lap dog, Jim Fitzpatrick, stepped up to the speaker's podium early-on and heaped praise on the council for their bravery and foresight. The crowd tittered and then grumbled as his shameless pandering continued. When he finally finished I felt like someone should offer him a tissue to wipe that brown stuff off his nose.

TERRY KOKEN CROONS AGAIN
All was not doom and gloom, though.
Frequent speaker Terry Koken presented his views to the council in the form of another little ditty that he composed. While he will never be mistaken for Tony Bennett, what he lacks in vocalization skills he more than makes up for in moxey


NEXT STOP, THE MARCH 6TH VOTE
So, now we wait three weeks, until the March 6th council meeting, at which time they will almost certainly vote to place Jim Righeimer's Charter on the ballot. Then the battle begins. There is already very significant organized opposition to this scheme. The group Costa Mesans For Responsible Government is already mobilized and promises to produce a cadre of activists to go door-to-door to inform the public about this disaster. It's going to be a very interesting spring.

*****

HAPPY VALEN
TINE'S DAY!
On a happier note, we here at A Bubbling Cauldron want to wish all you lovers out there a very Happy Valentine's Day. Here's a little something from our pal, Rod Stewart, to help get you in the mood:




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48 Comments:

Anonymous Mike M said...

The MCNiff Public Policy Institute, which I started this morning, thinks this Righeimer Charter SUCKS!

2/14/2012 07:06:00 AM  
Anonymous bringiton said...

u are good at chastizing speakers for the charter but don't mention how looney Genis was or how horrible Brenneman has become (the look, the words, the seething anger, her whole appearance has dramatically changed). I myself knew enough not to go and speak for the charter. Why risk it with that crowd? Did you notice the choreographed "coughing" when Fitzy was speaking? You did not mention it. Nice touch union members. That is why we don't like you anymore. There were changes made to charter you, again, did not mention in this article. Perhaps you could amend it and include them. Rock the vote taxpayers !! You saw the militancy and rudeness of the unions. They don't have a good argument so they act up. Good to see the Teamsters are here, the final piece needed for charter victory.

2/14/2012 07:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Who is Kevin Dayton and what is his interest in Costa Mesa? Where is he from? And more important, who invited him and on what basis was it decided that he should be allowed to speak at length? Did he pay his own way to come to Costa Mesa?

Joseph Serna reported, "Dayton said he was from the Dayton Publilc Policy Institute," which has no website; Further, "[h]e had no business card."

There's a picture of a Kevin Dayton on the Pacific Research Institute website--he's an "adjunct fellow." The picture looks like the arrogant man who spoke last night--I'm not the one to give positive identification--but more important, the views expressed on the website seem to match.

http://www.pacificresearch.org/keypeople/default.asp

Do we need any more evidence than this guy's performance that the "out-of-town influences" we need to fear are from big business?

Some of the speakers against the anti-prevailing wage proposal are also not Costa Mesa residents, but most were from this area and they have been speaking in defense of our hard-working resident neighbors.

Who does this guy speak for? More important, what is Jim Righeimer up to?

2/14/2012 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Ah, the union thugs, haters and extremists all come down to City Hall and claim to "represent" the voice of Costa Mesa. If they don't like the Charter, they can vote against it. Many of us do and will vote for it. You can't silence us.

The Charter will get on the ballot, most working Costa Mesans will see it gives us more local control and saves us money and it will pass. You will see a broad and diverse coalition of community leaders sign-on to support it.

Then, we can put this ugly thing behind us.

2/14/2012 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Riggy and Mensy are pretty upfront about what they are-
An extremist and a bully, out to bust unions and mold Costa Meaa into their own warped reality. They will eventually fail.

The worst people though, in this and any conflict, are the traitors.

What were Monahan and Bever promised? Is Fitzpatrick just an underemployed tool, or a sociopathetic sell-out?

2/14/2012 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous bob barker said...

i hope you brought popcorn to this one, sure sounds entertaining to say the least. 3 ring circus. What's the next act?

2/14/2012 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

We are a general law city at present. As I recollect, there is an initiative process under California general law that can be used to put propositions on the ballot... I know little more about it than that; do you have any more info?

Would it be possible to put an alternative city charter on June's ballot? Maybe one that includes a commission of fourteen or fifteen responsible elected citizens, who will give deliberate thought to the matter, unlike the scatterbrained fool who has written the current charter-candidate?

Where do I sign up?

2/14/2012 09:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

@Barry or other council supporters.

I think what people are against is "Righeimer's Charter." Many commenters have even stated on here if we are going to make our city a charter city have a commission. Why does this have to be one man's dream?

A couple of questions for you or anybody else?

How long have you been against association workers?

What steps have you taken to speak out against association workers in past years?

-There are tons of people who have jumped on the "bandwagon" recently and speak like they have always been against the city workers/associations.

You wrote having a Charter will save the city money? Please explain how much money will be saved by going to a charter. Hard numbers only, not made up ones please.

What are your feelings about the council spending money on consultants(not listening to them I might add) and creating executive positions? (Seems like it's happening almost daily)

What are your feelings about these new executive positions ALSO receiving a pension? It seems if Righeimer is so against pensions he should not be hiring anyone that is entitled to one, don't you think?

Have you ever spoken to ANY city worker and actually asked them any questions about their job or what they do?

Seems if you are going to generalize a group of people you can at least speak to them and make up your own mind.

I'll think of more questions for people who speak out against the city workers and post them when I can.

I'm not trying to start an argument but just had these questions for awhile and would like an honest answer.

It seems in my opinion that most of the council supporters just blindly follow Righeimer's rhetoric without actually sitting down and thinking for themselves.

2/14/2012 10:27:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Here's my tally of speakers at last nights meeting:

30 opposed to the charter and/or the rush
4 in favor
3 offered suggestions, but no definite yea or nay

Of the 37 (Geoff got 41 - I may have nodded off), all but 9 (7 opposed, 2 in favor) identified themselves as Costa Mesa residents.

Importantly, of those who wrote in between December 6 and February 13, (and therefore weren't "intimidated" by the "thugs" in the audience), 52 were opposed to the charter and/or the rush, and 5 were in favor.

Use any excuse you want for the meager support, the overwhelming public opinion is that this charter, and the railroad it's being pushed through on, is a bad idea.

2/14/2012 10:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

More questions for Barry and any other council supporter.

Many of you have stated "out of town union thugs" and keeping people out of Costa Mesa municipal affairs.

What are your feelings about Righeimer allowing and "outside influence" to come to our city and speak on behalf of a charter which has nothing to do with him?

2/14/2012 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Barry - Maybe, but I think the Charter will get shot down come voting time. It's purely numbers. The supporters of the Charter talk a good game, but when you have to hire outside guns to talk up your sham, then that means to me that you have a lack of support of the Charter from the citizens. Otherwise where were the supporters Barry ? There are none, that's why. Only a few loud bullying sycophants. Let me guess, it's the "Silent Majority" that's supporting this right ? ;p Goes along with the "Credibility Gap" of the council.

2/14/2012 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Here's what PRI says about Kevin Dayton: 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.

2/14/2012 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Who were those people who tried to start a riot? They weren't the union men from our city; our citizens, union members and not, spoke civilly, within their allotted three minutes, and did not interrupt others.

Who brought those other men to our city?

2/14/2012 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous =) said...

I hope Dayton did not get promised any money for his speech last night from Righeimer because he might have to sue him for payment owed....=)

2/14/2012 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eleanor,
I saw many of the same faces at the first public hearing. Most were union workers, apparently "recruited" to attend the meeting and provide "support"... like the orchestrated coughing when Jimmy Fitzy was speaking. A few said they were Costa Mesa residents, but I suspect most were not.

2/14/2012 11:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Here's a link to Kevin Dayton's posts on the web site of what appears to be a lobbying organization for the construction industry: http://thetruthaboutplas.com/tag/kevin-dayton/

It looks as though Dayton is a shill for the anti-union building contractors. But where did the shouters at the meeting come from, and did Dayton bring them? And who was making a video recording from the back of the chambers?

2/14/2012 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Thoughts said...

So, let me get this straight.

You think it was Righeinmer's fault that a bunch of union thugs shouted down a public speaker?

You fail, in your original post, to mention the loud coughing fit experienced by some audience members when Fitzy was speaking.

Anything goes as long as it is anti-Riggy, right Geoff? Decorum is only to be respected when someone you agree with is speaking, right?

I bet if those union goons had physically harmed Dayton, you'd be fine with that and somehow blame Righeimer.

Further, your commentary is false. Changes were made at the suggestions of speakers, including Perry Valantine.

2/14/2012 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Real bullies said...

Joe,

Enough with the Bully and extremist crap. We all saw who the real bullies are last night, and it was not the council.

Keep bringing the goons and thugs to the meetings, and see how much support you get from the average resident.

2/14/2012 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Intimidation successful said...

ANY count of speakers for or against must be discounted as skewed by the hostile crowd. The bullies, goons and coughers succeeded in intimidating anyone who may have spoken in favor of the charter.

2/14/2012 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Lost on this crowd said...

5 seconds of Google research on Dayton reveals a wealth of great information and explains why the union goons are trying to sht him up.

http://thetruthaboutplas.com/tag/kevin-dayton/

This is damning stuff, and I would appreciate a real answer from Perry, Tamar, Geoff and Mike M. - why are you the foot soldiers for big labor? What is in it for you? Bottom line is these unions will make you pay more in taxes. What is in it for you?

Don't give me the nonsense about protecting the working man, or the condescending BS from attorney Katrina Foley about "protecting the working class." I work for a living, as does every single person I know, and fewer than 10% are union members.

2/14/2012 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous The horror said...

Dayton, quoted in the OC Register, said that he was with the Association of Builders and Contractors, an organization supporting the awarding of construction contracts on merit alone.

Wow, sounds like a terrible group, awarding contracts on merit alone! The horror!

2/14/2012 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger OrangeMath said...

A city charter should serve to unite citizens; not rip apart the civic fabric.

Did the US Constitution cause this level of hatred between people? I haven't read of our level of dissention between the populace and our founders.

A premade charter without input being placed upfront and during isn't how Jefferson, Madison, etc did it. I think our way is unAmerican - unless bullying is the American Way.

In short, this is the WRONG PROCESS to establish a charter city - whether you support the charter or not. A minimal legalistic approach is shameful.

2/14/2012 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

I don't get what the big deal is about prevailing wages. After checking the capital improvement project budget for the City of Costa Mesa, it seems almost every project has some sort funding mechanism that would require the payment of prevailing wages. Any gas tax, measure M or grant money would require prevailing wages. It would be not be the big deal that everyone wants it to be. That is the only prevision of the charter that I support.

Go to the State of California Department of Industrial Relations for the current prevailing wages. https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlsr/PWD/index.htm. for information on the current prevailing wages for various trades.

Managing prevailing wages on the city's side and the contractor's side is a big pain in the butt. Most legitimate contractors who have the skills, licensing and bonding the city will require will use journeyman on the specialty trades such as electrical, plumbing, etc. Where you save money is on the laborer trades.

The are many other aspects of the charter that I do not agree with and I will vote no on the charter if it does get on the June ballot, but having flexibility in the paying of prevailing wages is something I fully support.

2/14/2012 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous shinyobject said...

this charter does not have to rip us apart. unfortunately the unions got involved again and they have 6 or 7 bootlickers speaking on every item. i was sorprised by how few of the anti charter people did not even know the correct answers to their accusations/questions. they apparently did not bother to read it. But thet sure did read the "shiny" paper the city sent out-lol

2/14/2012 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Math no add up? said...

Orange Math,

What is now referred to as the Founding Fathers requested Jefferson to write the Declaration of independence. Jefferson did so in 4 days, and that is the reality of the math.

2/14/2012 03:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

I've never been called a foot soldier for the unions... that's hilarious. I'm just a resident who works in the private sector, even included my last name in the body of my comment (McNiff, if you missed it), but maybe I should update my Facebook profile to reflect my new power. What a joke...

I've never been in a union, and I'm not pro or con as far as they go. What I am is a 45-year citizen of this city that is clearly against a charter written by one man, rather than a commission, and this one man in particular.

Good enough for you, Lost in a Crowd (with anonymity, no less)?

2/14/2012 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous level the playing field said...

I am constantly amazed how the council started out this whole process of outsourcing the employees and now it has evolved into a discussion on prevailing wages. Ladies and gentlemen the two concepts (employee wages/benefits and the payment of prevailing wages to workers) are two completely different concepts. The City of Costa Mesa general employees (a majority of the group scheduled to be outsourced) are not protected by prevailing wage provisions. Other writers have given you a link to see prevailing wages required by the State so I won't repeat it here. Compare those hourly wages and benefits to the the prevailing wage scales and you can confirm that the city employees aren't paid prevailing wages.
What the council is trying to do is fabricate that the concept of a Charter City is instantly going to solve the pension problem (it won't - they are still obligated to pay) and that it will stop the payment of prevailing wages (it won't stop the payment of prevailing wages, it will allow some projects to be built without the payment of prevailing wages but depending on the source of the funding some projects will still be built with prevailing wages in order to receive the funding), and it will solve all of the ills that currently burden the city (homeless, medical marijuana, motels in poor condition, not enough playfields, etc, etc). One document cannot and will not solve everything, especially one written by a man with limited governmental skills.

The Charter, as it is written, boils down to be a power grab by the Council. They have already shown that they have no regard for the law, limited respect for the citizens at large, no desire to follow council policy or rules governing the council meetings. If you want to give them unlimited power to make decisions for you with no safeguards be my guest and then wait for them to decide your fate because you will no longer control it.
I'm not against the concept of a Charter City, I am against a Charter built by one man for his own benefit.
Make an informed decision, not an emotional one.

2/14/2012 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

So far no one is answering any of my questions. I thought they were simple. Again, looking for an honest answer not trying to start an argument.

Thanks

2/14/2012 04:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Shill 'Real bullies' wrote:

"Joe,
Enough with the Bully and extremist crap. We all saw who the real bullies are last night, and it was not the council."

Me:

Oooh looks like we hit a nerve. Ask the city employees, teacher Joel Flores, and that poor airline employee at JWA if Mensy is a bully.

Ask anyone past an 8th grade political science education whether Riggy is an extremist.

I didn't bring anyone to the meeting. I'm not a union member or a union employee. The true thugs in Costa Mesa are Righeimer, Mensinger, and the people they've promised things to in order to further their agenda.

Let us not forget Huy Pham. Your masters' BULLYING AND EXTREMISM were contributing factors to his death on 3/17/11 while Monahan partied.

Tell Huy's family that whatever reward you've received or been promised is much more important than their son's life.

2/14/2012 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Surreal is the word that comes to mind.

Like the frog that slowly boils to death because he doesn’t notice the slow heating of the water, Costa Mesans are barely aware of the depths to which this council has dragged us, because it’s happened slowly.

Occasionally, though, I think back to any other council in the past twenty years and wonder things like, “Would Peter Buffa have led such a council?” Or Sandy Genis? Or Joe Erickson?

Then, like the frog that’s dropped into boiling water but immediately jumps out, reality comes crashing down: This Monahan-led council is a travesty. Its public hearings are no more honest than Soviet show trials.

And projecting into the future after the Righeimer/Bever/Monahan charter is adopted – the stated goal of which is to put even more power into the hands of these flagrantly disrespecting men – brings up a one-word label for my reaction: despondent.

It’s really true with these guys: you can’t fight city hall. The Pot Stirrer aptly headlines his post, “Public Hearing Without Listening.” That’s a concise summary of not only the final day for citizen input to the RBM charter, but the entire Monahan regime.

2/14/2012 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

Math no add up? The Declaration of Independence does not say how to govern the USA. That would be the US Constitution. They are two separate documents. It took approximately 116 days to write the original constitution and it was drafted and voted on by the Constitutional Convention, which was made up of 55 delegates from several states, not by one man.

If you are going to give us a history lesson at least let it be a factual one.

2/14/2012 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

The Declaration of Independence was not a Constitution (which took a long time and a lot of negotiation), and Righeimer is no Thomas Jefferson.

2/14/2012 08:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon's answer said...

Jon- their feelings are- it is okay as long as the outsider agrees with us. DUH!!! This would only be hypocrisy if we were held to the same standard... but we are not. HA!

2/14/2012 08:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Tom Egan, I’m just curious-why no mention of Mensinger in your charter cabal? Why not RMBM? My take is he is more culpable than Bever or Monahan in courting the outsiders and developing this piece of schlock. Monahan and Bever are MIA half the time.

Oh, I might have just got it! Tom, you couldn't have meant it that way, could you? Oh that's baad.

Couldn't they just get an English teacher to go over it with a red pencil? The content is an assault on our rights and intelligence, but the unclear intent, bad grammar and poor sentence structure are deplorable assaults on the English language.

2/14/2012 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous iwasontv said...

the council (and the voters) DO listen, they just do not hear much that is worthy of adopting. In fact, much of what they hear is whining with no proposals, just opposals. Do you really think council should adopt things the public speakers say even if those speakers views are exactly opposite those of council? Should our City policies be what Genis, Leffler, the "B", Humphrey, Ridge, and Valantine want? If so, they need to get elected. Just because 15 years ago some may have been on council should not give more weight than those who ARE on council. I for one do not want my city to be run by public speakers but by elected council. They ran for office, won, and now they need to implement their vision. The voters can then decide how good that vision was. There is a huge silent majority out here who support them and we do not want to go to council meetings to be harrassed by the union folk. Council: Don't Stop.

2/15/2012 06:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

"There is a huge silent majority out here who support them and we do not want to go to council meetings to be harrassed by the union folk."

Let me sum that up in a word: Liar. It is a typical tactic of an Astro Turf movement to appear and continually state that they are many, when in fact they are few. If they are a majority and they are patriots worth their salt, they wold show up, speak up and defend the positions they stand for. To claim they are afraid of "harassment" by union people is a cowardly way out and shows they are a few who lack the moral courage and intestinal fortitude to stand behind their beliefs. Simple as that.

2/15/2012 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To "Heart for Costa Mesa:"

You wonder "... why no mention of Mensinger in your charter cabal? Why not RMBM?"

I give Mensinger a lot of latitude, because he hasn't been in power for very long ... it usually takes a year or two for a newly elected person to really understand the job, to temper preconceptions, and gain the humility that must come from getting knocked about by the realities of working for 117,000 or so bosses.

Bever and Monahan, however, have been involved in CM politics for years, and have been in power for years. I'd be amazed if they didn't know, love, and respect the Costa Mesa that had been developed under the prudent leadership of a half-century of prior citizen councilmembers and decades of nurturing by City Manager Allan Roeder.

At least they appeared to appreciate the Costa Mesa they worked for. They had seemed to be cut from the same traditional cloth. They had their own quirks and passions, of course, but you could tell they were working for Costa Mesa with a reasonable dash of their own agendas.

Then Righeimer came along as a new councilmember, his first time with real power, after having done an excellent appointive job on the Planning Commission.

He changed overnight, and so did B and M. In retrospect it’s obvious that they had handed over the keys to the city to the newly empowered Righeimer. He became the de facto mayor. Over the past year that I’ve been paying close attention, I don’t recall them voting against him. Righeimer was clearly the leader, in fact, the only leader. B and M acted like docile Stepford Wives instead of the civic leaders they had previously been.

The problem I have with Bever and Monahan is that they have been the crucial two votes that Righeimer needed to realize his agenda. If B and M had continued their track record of being the independent leaders of yore, maybe some of Righeimer’s goals would have been supported, but surely not every one down to the last little whim that he came up with on the spur of the moment.

Leece’s voice is routinely ignored now, just like the public’s voice. Mensinger’s voice is not needed, nor his vote; as long as Righeimer has Bever’s and Monahan’s vote, he owns the world.

That’s why I don’t include Mensinger in the “charter cabal.”

We report, you decide.

2/15/2012 11:02:00 AM  
Anonymous majority said...

hey other Mike, we are not cowards it is just we cannot understand why we should go down to city council meetings and be harrassed by union folk, it is that simple. We already make our comments to council during the week, meeting with them, giving them vision. We are true patriots and visionaries leading this city forward with the help of the councilmen we helped elect. Waste of time to rub shoulders with Genis, Leffer, the B, and crowd. We don't like them, they don't like us. We do other things at home while council meeting is on TV. We laugh at them and applaud Riggy's comebacks. It is the best TV going. If we were in Chambers it would be nowhere near as fun. Watching Genis while you are "medicated" is hilarious, she is sort of like a flitting hummingbird with some sort of human like voice. Then the guy who lost his baseball comes up and we groan, then evil grandma comes and we huddle in fake fear. We delight when you fall for another shiny object. So, that's why we don't come down and speak. Council speaks for us.

2/15/2012 03:29:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

"Majority" - I understand the pleasure of being able to sit at home and direct comments at the TV screen. You can say what you want when you want, you can applaud and do all kinds of things you can't do in the Council Chamber.

But, if there are so many of you, why so little representation on the City's website forum for charter comments? Why no written record of input to the Council - even anonymously? I'm guessing it's because the number of supporters is being greatly exaggerated.

2/15/2012 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Majority,
Wow, what a mature grown-up you are. I hate to see what kind of example you are as a parent. I guess in your world it is ok to laugh at people, especially elderly ones. "Lead by example" is definitely not your mantra. You should be so proud of yourself. Let's see how proud you are of your actions and let us all know your real name. Nah, I guess not, it is apparently ok to be an A** when you are hiding behind a pseudonym.

2/15/2012 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Do as We Say, Or Else said...

Let’s take this prevailing wage thing all the way, if it is important enough for the City. Why isn’t it important enough for prevailing wage everywhere.

I saw a whole lot of imported cars in the lot at City Hall. Next meeting, we should have an observer monitor any union folks exiting foreign made cars.

We should require disclosure by any speaker supporting prevailing wage to disclose who they hired for their home remodel and was it prevailing wage. Do they hire prevailing wage to get their lawn mowed or their cars washed?

Let’s invite Billy Folsom to tell us what bike shop he uses to fix his motorcycle to make sure this advocate practices what he preaches.

Let’s pull Permit reviews on the Teamster guy who lives in Costa Mesa to make sure any and ALL work done on his property was done so with prevailing wage.

Reason I suggest this is that the coughing thugs could not withstand the scrutiny they advocate for the government to follow.

2/15/2012 06:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

I guess Righeimer and company have awoken an evil element in the city and it goes by the pseudonym of Majority. Someone who is too afraid to go to a Council Meeting but instead hides in his house, jeers at a telebision and won't use his real name. What a coward.

2/15/2012 07:08:00 PM  
Anonymous majority said...

so now "valan" is guessing? about others, certainly not a new tactic by unions. they have thrown out all sorts of conspiracies they "guess" will happen along with Brown Act violations they "guess" have occurred. And yes, watching council meetings on tv while eating dinner is far superior than getting hissed at , booed at, and coughed at by the intolerant ones. So now we are labeled "cowards" for not wanting abuse. I would say we are pretty intelligent for avoiding it. So "elizabeth" is brave for putting in her name? oh so brave. how many elizabeths are there in this city? Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name, you know the nature of my game.

2/16/2012 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

The so called "silent majority" that supports this corrupt political regime..... you are neither silent nor a majority.
Maybe little Gary will buy you all a drink in June when your charter goes down in flames.

2/16/2012 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Majority said: "So now we are labeled "cowards" for not wanting abuse."

Yes, absolutely. Not having the stones to put up with what you call jeering etc shows a huge lack of commitment to your position. Standing in the face of adversity and the willingness to subject oneself to unpleasantries to support what you believe in is patriotic. Sitting in your living room and yelling at the TV and then coming here to put up the "we are many but unseen" is false bravado.

You may disagree with the folks who get up to the podium to speak out, but we are subjected to the scrutiny of anonymous fools like you, and the men on the dais. They are condescending and often rude, but we are willing to accept that to make sure we have the opportunity to voice our opinion and point of view. That is the beauty of our system. We have the RIGHT to openly redress our grievances. It's patriotic to do so.

You sir are a false patriot and a coward if you and your purported broad band of supporters fail to exercise what is a constitutional right, because you are afraid of the slight possibility of being jeered at. This ain't the playground, it's life, and some times life is unpleasant, but you can choose to hide in your living room and yell at the TV if you wish. The rest of us will continue to exercise our rights while you cower.

2/16/2012 11:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Cowards said...

Other Mike,

Easy to be brave when you have a council chambers full of thugs and goons who are quick to invite opponents out to the parking lot.

You, sir, are a pathetic coward.

2/16/2012 06:04:00 PM  
Anonymous percivall said...

Cowards/Majority sounds just like the type of sissy who didn't have the guts for a second tour in Vietnam because he wanted to be an actor.

2/16/2012 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

I guess Eleanor Egan and Robin Leffler must've invited 'Cowards' out to the parking lot for a good thrashing, and his psyche still hasn't recovered... what a joke...

2/17/2012 06:22:00 AM  

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