League Of Women Voters "Charter" Luncheon
"CHARTER" DISCUSSION IN NEWPORT LAST WEEK
Last Friday, May 18, 2012, Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and former Mayor Sandra Genis responded to an invitation by the League of Women Voters to make a presentation on the proposed Charter for Costa Mesa that will appear on the November 6, 2012 ballot. This event took place at the about-to-be-defunct Coco's restaurant at Fashion Island in Newport Beach - it shuts down on May 29th.
A REAL "SENIOR MOMENT"
More than 50 people gathered in the small room to enjoy a lunch and hear from Righeimer and Genis. I may have been one of the youngest persons in the room. I suspect the average was around 75. That's not bad. The members of the League, while a very senior group, are quite active and engaged in political activities. They were respectful, attentive and asked good questions.
NOT REALLY A "DEBATE"
This was not a "debate" per se. Righeimer spoke first for about 10 minutes, then responded to questions from the audience for another fifteen. Then Genis spoke and answered questions - many of them the same ones that Righeimer answered.
NO NEW NEWS
Because it was not a "debate", I don't think anyone "won". Based on the responses from attendees, I think both parties provided valuable information to this group - most of whom knew nothing about Charter cities beforehand. Those of us who have followed this subject from the beginning didn't learn anything new. We heard Righeimer spout the same old mantra - local control, managing contracts without prevailing wage, etc. And, we heard Genis set him straight on some of those misrepresentations - again.
ENTOURAGES ALL AROUND
I thought it was interesting that Righeimer brought an entourage with him. Steve Mensinger and Bill Lobdell also attended. And, several concerned Costa Mesa residents - Robin Leffler, Eleanor Egan, Jay Humphrey, Perry and Pam Valantine and Katie Arthur - also showed up and provided questions. All in all, it was a very civilized meeting.
FIRST PUBLIC HEARING JUNE 5TH
However, the proverbial "rubber meets the road" on June 5th - election day - when the first Public Hearing on this Charter will be held as part of the regularly-scheduled City Council meeting beginning at 6:00 in Council Chambers. I'll write about that again as we get closer. We'll find out then if anyone has tried to slip any changes into the document or if it is still the onerous, hastily-contrived, self-serving piece of garbage that Righeimer tried to foist off on the voters this spring.