Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Long Night With Few Surprises

OK, folks, this will be a short report even though the council meeting last night went until 11:55 p.m.! Yeah, we got out of there by midnight, but just barely. Actually, we'd have made it with plenty of time to spare if Jim Righeimer didn't love to hear himself talk so much. More on that later.

First, just to let you kno
w how influential Colin McCarthy is within his Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association, last night only three people that might have been members - one very nice gentleman did identify himself - stepped up to speak in favor of the council. Another man, who didn't identify himself and since Mayor Eric Bever no longer requires folks to speak their names nor does he require speaker cards, I have no clue who he was, was clearly uncomfortable speaking before the crowd. His comments were barely understandable, but he did say he supported the council.

The third was chief butt-kisser Jim Fitzpatrick. He never ceases to amaze me! This time he griped about unkind things said about him on a "local blog" - that would be me - and suggested to the council that the City Staff should be prohibited from speaking with me in the future. There were lots of chuckles around the auditorium with that one. That's right - little Jimmy Fitzy apparently thinks I need a time out and is trying to put me in the corner for awhile. Good luck with that, Jimbo.

Now to the agenda...

We breezed through the Co
nsent Calendar. The two items dealing with the contracts with the Fair Board for traffic management services for the Fair and other special events were approved but with some conversation about being sure that the council knows how to segregate those reimbursed costs when evaluating the Employee Compensation Report.


No big to-do was made about the contract with law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore. The council agreed to pay more money to outside legal firms, so that old meter just keeps on spinning.

One grumpy old fella who apparently considers himself a source of all
racial information you'll ever need since that's what his pathetic blog has become - racism-central for his few readers - rose to complain about improvements on Baker Street near his home. He wants speed bumps installed to slow traffic down on that major thoroughfare. Yep, reality is beginning to leave the poor fella.


Nobody mentioned the $120,000 we paid Jones and Mayer on the Warrants this time around. I guess bills exceeding the budget by double are no big deal any longer.

The most lengthy item on the agenda was Public Hearing #1, the appeal of t
he Planning Commission's recent decision to permit Target to remain open until 11 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. as required by their conditional use permit. Nearly three dozen red-clad Target employees sat patiently - and not-so-patiently - as the presentations were made. Several stood to speak in support of the new hours. Several residents, including major protagonist Al Morelli, stood to complain about the new hours - a couple of whom told the council that a "deal is a deal" - this is what Target signed up for.

It all fell on deaf
ears. In fact, Jim Righeimer couldn't get rid of this item fast enough. He told the crowd that he never wants to hear about this again. Think about that when you vote on his Charter in November and basically anoint him as emperor of Costa Mesa. Surprisingly, the vote to uphold the Planning Commission decision only passed on a 3-2 vote, with Wendy Leece and Steve Mensinger voting NO. Ah, maybe that tells us that Mensinger is beginning to count votes for his run for City Council in the fall.

Mayor Eric Bever called a break and when they returned he shifted the agenda and move
d New Business Number 1, the Sex Offender Ordinance, to the head of the line. It seems that we had an honored guest - Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas - waiting to speak to this issue. He'd been hovering outside on the porch for more than an hour while the Target issue was debated, so they gave him a professional (political) courtesy. This actually is an excellent ordinance, which mirrors the county ordinance, with plenty of teeth in it to dissuade sex offenders from entering our parks and athletic facilities. It, of course, passed.

Then we heard Public Hearing #2, the latest plan for what used to be called 1901 Newport Plaza - a condo development on the corner of Harbor Blvd. and Bernard Street. After much hassle this project was finally approved many years ago but the developer crashed with the economy with only a third of it finished. The new owner plans to complete the build-out, but is building condo-spec apartments, and fewer than were originally anticipated. After all was said and done, this looks like a good end to a very bad deal. There was some major concern by residents about parking, but that was brushed away by the council when they approved it.

The council then approved Mensinger's scheme for a "performance audit" program. So, we'll be looking for even MORE consultants to come into City Hall and scrutinize every aspect of some of the jobs performed therein. According to Mensinger, Righeimer and presenter Rick Francis, we should really improve efficiency - that usually means fewer people doing the same jobs. Oops, more jobs in jeopardy... what a surprise that is.


Finally, around 11p.m., we got to the rescission of all Fire Department layoff notices. This could have been a nice, short and sweet presentation and action by the council. However, Righeimer just loves to pontificate, so he went on and on with his slide show - "I did this myself" - that attempted to show savings from reorganization of the department. One got the impression that this may have been the source of Frank Mickadeit's information for his column yesterday in the Orange County Register. Frank wasn't in the auditorium last night. On and on Righeimer went. Finally, a few speakers addressed the issue. Perry Valantine was in unusually good form when he suggested that the council just let Interim Fire Chief Tom Arnold make his presentation at a study session in the near future - it's going to be May 8th - and quit trying to steal his thunder with numbers of questionable value. I smiled at that one.

So, that was that. According to CEO Tom Hatch, we're in the middle of "budget season" and he outlined dates for several budget-related meetings in the near future. There are four (4) budget meetings scheduled for May so far, with more in June. I'll cover that later.

Speaking of "later", I've been snagged for Jury Duty beginning in a couple hours so any comments you have will be delayed by my required presence in Santa Ana. I'll do my very best to post them as quickly as possible, but there's no predicting how possible that might be. Thanks for your patience.

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Blogger Joe said...

Hahahah! Shrek Fitzpatrick publicly whining about Geoff and the blog! Could it be because some of the cartoons and descriptions portray him accurately?

The bad guys and their boot-lickers are running scared.

Nice job by Tamar standing up to puppet Bever when he tried to deny her the right to speak.

Where was McCarthy's army of supporters? This reminds me of when my brother was 3 years old and had an imaginary friend named "Buddy."

And did we really need to hear yet another rant by Das Riggmarshal in that Richard Simmons voice? His nose almost hit the camera lens as it got longer and longer..

I'm worried about our Riggy. His string of big spending and failed projects is as long as his nose and he's clearly under stress. When he finally flips his lid and dials 911, I just hope there's someone left to take the call.

4/18/2012 06:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

The Target deal is close to me for several reasons, including geography. While it doesn't really impact me, though, I find it revealing that they could violate the conditions willfully (bad faith), then wind up getting the better deal anyway, screw the neighbors. Sounds like a certain BBQ joint I know. So much for people that were there before Target enjoying the peace and quiet of their homes.

4/18/2012 07:21:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Mike M- it was obvious that Riggy and Monahan were more concerned with Target making money than they were about the neighboring residents. Bever as usual rubber stamped their decision with a slight modification to appease Target's neighbors.
Mensinger's sudden turn towards a 180 may his realization that his rudeness and indifference towards our residents will never get him elected in November.

4/18/2012 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

I watched the Fitzy Fit! I like how he wants the CC to strip a certain blogger of his first amendment rights. And to use staff time to look into it. Go back to first grade!
So I am going to turn the tide. Good evening CC members. I am disturbed that a certain planning commish, who was appointed by Mr. Riggy, spreads malicious lies in public newspapers about all things Costa Mesa, I request that you have staff look into it. Lame!

Fitzy went to University, Im sure in his frat boy days he saw a lot worse than a monkey potentially kissing another monkeys fitzy.
And to think I had some compassion for the guy. Shame on you once...

4/18/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy Fitzy is a whiny boy said...

“Waa, waa, please stop being mean to me, it makes me so sad. I don’t understand, it feels like a personal attack. I’m just trying to solve the world’s problems on behalf of the 11,783 losers who voted for me. After all, the trash contract has not gone out for bid for over 1,000 years, I should be entitled to some money to fund my case for compatibility too, you must vote for me because I am the only one who can lower your rates and the pièce de résistance…my constituents are extremely upset expressing to me that the CMSD Directors don’t wear proper business attire to meetings! Don’t worry fellow riders on the special bus, I am happy to waste valuable time and request ‘dress code’ be placed on next month’s agenda.”

Yes, you heard it right. Don’t miss the San District’s May meeting. The new dress code is bound to be a stimulating discussion item. Let’s just see if Fitzy has the balls to keep his lame request on the agenda now. Perhaps he thinks it’s time for the CMSD Board of Directors to fashion tuxedos or better yet, they can all match by wearing ugly sport coats like he does. (Please don’t)

Jim Fitzpatrick, if you are reading this, and I know you are, YOU ARE A PATHETIC TOOL! Can you say double standard? What’s the matter whiny boy, you can dish it out but you can’t take it? Awe, you poor innocent thing, go back home and cry in your momma’s apron. Obviously, she’s the one who created this lovely behavior in you. Maybe you should just go to your room, calm down and think about what you’ve done. Then, when you are ready, you can come back out and play in the sand box with the big boys after you grow up a little bit. Sound like a plan? You know what they say…if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the darn kitchen!

4/18/2012 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous columbo said...

so Genis states the mailer was not all for leece? that it included another council candidate and candidates for water and sanitation board. that is not how she filled out her form 486, it says only to support leece. either she lied last night or did not disclose the other candidates on the form.

4/18/2012 12:28:00 PM  
Anonymous lumpster said...

Fitzy up to his usual tactics, whinning is what he does best.

4/18/2012 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

i need to correct/clarify your bernard street report. there was NO reduction in the number of units to be built. the "final" agreement from 2004 called for 145 units. 33 (or 22 percent) of them were built. 113 were left to be built and that is want the new developer requested and got, although the configuration is different. what he also asked for and got is a DECREASE in the number of parking spaces by about 40, which, while above code, are now determined not needed due to no enclosed garages to be built. street side parking is ususlly taken us most of the time where the original units were built. once the new units are built the toyota dealer employees may have to find another street to park on. on the plus side, i may be able to pick up a few extra bucks by using my driveway for valet parking ;^)

4/18/2012 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Columbo, dear, there is no such thing as a 486. Please, do find out what form she filed, and please, do read it before you comment. So far you're way off, 2 for 3, and I think lying deliberately and getting very close to slander.

4/19/2012 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Go Fitzy! said...

Go Fitzy! … Don’t Stop!

I would bet that whinny boy is actually a Costa Mesa Sanitation Board member. Seems like he is about to blow a gasket. I bet he hates to be asked questions, let alone told what to wear. That is funny.

Even though Geoff West is protecting the good Ole Boys, the City knows what is going on and supports you.

Don’t stop until the trash contract is out to bid and 2 new Board members are elected. I hope Fitzy does read this.

4/19/2012 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Shill #4 said...

Yeah, Go Fitzy! Go and get a JOB!

4/19/2012 11:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Go Fitzy! x2 said...

Go Fitzy. Get a job, that is funny. Clearly you are getting to your other Board members, and they are angry. Dress code, yes Fitzy has the cajones. Do you really doubt the guy who is sticking up for all taxpayers?

Why does Geoff protect the Sanitation Board? Perhaps he is one of the Good Ole Boys! That Board is behaving much worse than City Council, yet Geoff gives them a free pass? I bet Geoff is friends with the Board. I bet he even goes to lunch with them. This speaks to who Geoff West is and the selective critic observations he makes.

4/20/2012 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Yep, yuo're right. I do have friends on the board and do have lunch with them from time to time. And, yes, I think I understand the trash contract issue and agree with the majority on the board. Next question.

4/20/2012 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Grrrrr...Darn touch pad keyboard!

4/20/2012 09:05:00 AM  
Anonymous This is cracking me up! said...

Angry with Fitzy? Nah. Without him, there wouldn’t be anyone to ridicule! He wants a dress code for adults huh? I’m not sure if that proves he is totally hilarious or completely retarded. Evidently, Jim and his cojones will provide that answer at the next meeting.

4/20/2012 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Twinkie Defense said...

I just got done watching the City Council meeting from the other night again and got another laugh from Fitzy for getting up there and crying like a baby about a local blogger and stuff he writes about, but another more important thing I noticed was, is just me or Fitzy doubling in size? He looks like he been taking down a box of twinkies a day for some time now. I wonder if all the stress over at the Sanitary District is pushing him to the sweet,delicious, sugary, cream-filled devil that is a Hostess Twinkie.

4/20/2012 01:24:00 PM  
Anonymous You are an Idiot said...

"That Board is behaving much worse than City Council"

Much worse? That line alone tells me you have no idea what is going on at the Sanitary, not Sanitation, District. This CC has pretty much destroyed our once great city, but yet the DBoard is much worse? Idiot.

4/20/2012 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Re: Nobody cares (about the Jones and Mayer bills).

I don’t like to use the excuse I don’t have time because nobody does and everyone has to set priorities. With some embarrassment, I classify myself in the group, “ I-wish-I-could-make-time-and-when-I-can’t-I-wish-someone-else-would-provide-important-data-for-me.”
I confess that I don’t search through the warrants, but I do call public attention to whatever schemes and waste I find out about—usually right here, on Bubbling Cauldron.

I did ask Mr. Lobdell for current information, and to his credit he provided me with a useful link to legal expenditures, although a couple months out of date and several other figures I asked for.

When I asked for all consultants and their compensation so far, though, here was his answer: “Which consultants? The city has dozens of them. Again, a California Public Records Act request, a narrowly defined as would suit your purpose, would help expedite getting you the information.” I understand his position. Unfortunately,getting that information will depend on people who aren’t in my “wish” group.

4/21/2012 09:59:00 PM  

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