Monday, May 21, 2012

A "Light" Schedule This Week

There are only two scheduled official Costa Mesa meetings scheduled this week so it seems almost like a vacation. 


On Wednesday, May 23, 2012 the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission will hold its bi-monthly meeting in City Council chambers beginning at 6:00 p.m..  This is the first meeting under the guidance of new Chairman Kim Pederson and normally would deal with mostly fairly mundane issues - requests for tree removals and raised sidewalks.  This meeting has plenty of that, but also has some potentially provocative subjects on the agenda, too.  You can read the entire agenda HERE.

For example, on the Consent Calendar there is a request by the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) for the City to accept the donation of a memorial plaque in the memory of Huy Pham, the young man who leaped to his death from the roof of City Hall on March 17th, 2011 - the day he and more than 200 of his fellow-workers were to receive layoff notices.  You can read the staff report HERE.  It includes links to an image of the proposed plaque and the location proposed - adjacent to the tree placed in Pham's memory on the lawn at City Hall earlier this year.  Since the plaque does not conform to the standard established by city policy AND because the commission previously approved last year another tree and plaque in Pham's honor at the Estancia Adobe, the approval of this request is no slam-dunk.  There are those in City Hall who would prefer NOT to be reminded of Pham's death. We'll see how this goes.

There are no Public Hearings, but there is one interesting Old Business item - the proposal of the creation of a "Landscape/streetscape Beautification Award Program".  You can read that staff report, and the attachments, HERE.

Under New Business there are several tree removal requests to consider, plus two items that may draw a crowd to the meeting.  Item "e' is a report requesting "Replacing the Recreation on Campus for Kids (R.O.C.K.S.) Weekly Fee with a Monthly Fee".  According to the staff report, HERE, only 5% of the users pay weekly, so this change would replace the weekly pay option with a monthly pay plan.

Item "f" is a "Review of Proposed Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 Through 2018-2019."  This issue is a little out of sync because the current City Council seems intent on micro-managing every element of the budget, but Capital Improvements in particular.  The staff report can be read HERE.  Part of that report is a schedule for more than $20 million in projects  directly from the ORIGINAL Preliminary Budget - the one Jim Righeimer tossed back in Finance and Information Technology Director Bobby Young's face two weeks ago.  Since then the council - led by Righeimer - has since ADDED items to the CIP budget and those ARE NOT reflected in this exhibit, the staff is going to have to present this issue as a moving target - one that is changing all the time.  In fact, the next day - on Thursday - the council will meet in another Special Study Session to discuss the CIP budget in more detail.  And, once again, it will be without the input from either the Planning or the Parks and Recreation Commission.  It's a pretty curious way to run a city.  But, maybe not so curious when you consider that this council majority gives no indication of caring what ANYONE else things on ANY subject.  They're going to do what THEY want to do, PERIOD!

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, as mentioned above, the City Council will again meet in a Special Study Session to discuss the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year Budget and a few other items, too.  For example, the Drainage Plan - originally scheduled for discussion last Thursday - was shoved off to this meeting after three hours discussing other subjects.  No official agenda is yet available, but I won't be surprised that a meeting that begins in Council Chambers at 4:30 runs until 10:00 that night.

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Anonymous CMFamily10 said...

So, once again this council is doing what they want and NOT giving Costa Mesa residents an opportunity to add our input. Cannot say that it surprises me. I cannot wait until November to vote them OUT!!!

5/21/2012 05:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

How did we get to this point? Our founding fathers got together, debated, compromised and wrote a Constitution that built a nation.

But today, no one wants to work together. No one is willing to use common sense. No one is willing to see the right things and work towards the needs of the majority. Our country is run by politicians that are driven by lobbiest , corporate greed, and the desire to get re-elected. The system is fouled up. ( I know a better "F" word- but I will keep it clean)

18 Republicans and 15 Democrates have been elected to the Presidency, BUT did you know that 10 where not one or the other. 10 were of "different" parties, including GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AND JAMES MADISON. The last "different" party as President was 1853.

So its been 159 years since anyone was President that wasn't a 100% Republican or 100% Democrate.(Does anyone else see a problem with that?) Some of the best Presidents and founding fathers of the country where "different". Things weren't black or white. It was the needs of a county that outwayed the needs of lobbiest and re-elections. But today, one party says round, the other says square. One says give the other says take. One says red the other says rojo, AND SO ON.

Today, the nation is hurting. The middle class is gone. The top 1% of the most wealthy people had one of the largest increases in personal wealth is HISTORY...... during one of the largest recessions ( near depression ) in history. The banks have more power, Washington DC is deadlocked, its tit-for-tat, the rich control everything but its always someone elses fault. Hell, many are blaming Teachers, Police, Fireman and anyone that even stands near a union, for the nations problems. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Greed is out of control. Teachers, Police and Fireman didn't take $780 million in bailouts. They weren't given almost $7 trillion, interest free, only to loan it back to the government for hundreds of billions in profit. There was no CEO of the Fire Department that paid $100 million in BONUSES, months before the company went bankrupt. That was Lehman Bros. No one says I want to have a mansion, a beach house, and a yacht.... lets be a policeman. And to be fair, it isn't unions that give billions away for failed programs. Ones that make "not working" more profitable then "working". And what is the payment for these handouts?.... VOTES
The sadiest part is everyone knows how corrupt politicans are. When I was a boy, I saw an old James Stewart movie," Mr. Smith goes to Washington", that talked about the backdoor deals and greed.... AND THAT MOVIE WAS MADE IN 1939.

What is worse, I don't think the system can be fixed. Its too far gone. If a good leader did emerge. One that wanted to make true change, he would never get the money from political backers. Never get nominated and never have a chance in hell make a difference. The system doesn't even allow for an indepentent to win.

5/21/2012 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Part 2

So what brings me to this rant. Well, its the City of Costa Mesa. Its a small blip on the map but its a perfect example the overall problems we face. Its a city that could be a jewel of Orange County. It has location, industry, tax base and people that enjoy living there. And like many cities it went though tough times over the last couple years and some sacrifies had to be made. But what is happening in its political world is just appauling. A perfect storm formed in the political world and spawned a breeding ground for a couple of ego/ political driven people that have NO desire to help anyone but themselves and their followers.
For the record, I still feel BOTH political parties are corrupt, but in this instance its the Republican party that is running this zoo.
Some how, after failing to get elected and corrupt the city of Fountain Valley (TWICE), Mr. Jim Righeimer brought his asylum to the Costa Mesa city council. He weaseled a majority and has brought the city to its knees, all for political gain. Creating chaos where there is none and stopping a cities healing by tearing away compromise. 30% of the entire cities staff is gone, while the other 70% are threatened ( best word I can think of ) with huge paycuts, layoffs, stolen benefits etc. The city or the citizen's needs are NEVER considered. Its the GOP party that is running its playbook. Police, Firefighter, Teachers and Unions are causing "your misery". If it were a comic, you would see growth and prospericy in a locked room, with Righeimer and Mensinger holding the door shut. If the council would just use half the effort to work together, the city would thrive. But too much effort is used to make statements, have talking points, and line up the next GOP candidates. Over spending on lawyers & lawsuits to lay people off, or increasing spending 400% on gutters and street slurry just to CREATE deficits, is not productive.
Its the people that have to fix these problems. Stand up for what is right. To quote a movie, "I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore". A complete cleaning of the political house is what is needed but it seems impossible. So use a voice, use a vote, use influence, but do something. It may be a last ditch effort but its all we have.

"CHANGE" won Obama his election, lets hope "A CHANGE" is enough to save the City of Costa Mesa and this nation.

5/21/2012 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous CMfamily10 said...

Well said Eric. I agree. To be truly rid of these people, send a message with your votes. Do not vote for anybody who has supported these people in the past and are now running for the council or any other city position.

5/22/2012 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

It's great to say "lets vote these guys out", but do you see who is running so far? Steve Mensinger, Gary Monahan and Colin McCarthy. Sorry I have to discount Sue Lester as a fringe candidate with no chance to win. So .... it get's kinda hard to vote them out of office if there is no alternative candidates to vote for. I've heard John Stephens may run which would be great, but that is only one candidate against three for three open seats. I don't know if anyone from CM4RG is planning on running, but things certainly don't look good right now.

5/22/2012 08:51:00 AM  
Anonymous sadie1 said...

Thank you Eric!

5/22/2012 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Turnaround said...

Scott Baugh is running scared, so much that he got Pauley ousted at OCGOP. Baugh sees that extremists like Pauley, Riggy, and Mensy are ruining the Republican brand and are actually increasing Democratic Party support.

5/22/2012 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Hey Scott......

Are you plugged in yet?......we need walkers.

Tell em' Gericault sent ya!!!

5/22/2012 07:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Jokeman said...

Q. How is Riggy like Edgar Bergen?

A. He also has a puppet named McCarthy!

5/22/2012 07:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Right, and I'm pretty sure he also has Mortimer Snerd... But who can you hang that moniker on? Bever? Monahan? Prob'ly not Mensinger, he occasionally does intelligent things... Maybe Pits Fatrick?

5/22/2012 09:08:00 PM  

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