Monday, July 02, 2012

It's A New Year! - Fiscal Year, That Is...

A NEW FISCAL YEAR IS UPON US...
It's going to be a strange week... A short council meeting (I hope) Tuesday, City Hall closed Wednesday, then two days trying to figure out what the heck is going on.

STARTS AT THE USUAL TIME
So, about that council meeting.  It begins at City Hall at 6:00 p.m. - unless you want to show up for the reading of the agenda for the Closed Session meeting at 5:00.  You can read the entire agenda HERE.  Following the Council Member Comments - which always keep us at the edge of our collective seats because you just never know what these guys will come up with next - and Tom Hatch's CEO report the council will consider the Consent Calendar.

 
 LEGAL FEES PASS $2 MILLION!
Now, in the good old day - before these guys - most Consent Calendars were voted upon in one motion with few, if any items, pulled for separate discussion.  The whole process took about 1 minute, tops.  Not these days, though.  I suspect someone might pull the second Warrant, #2427, HERE, to chat about the $100,014.06 payment we made to Jones Day for - according to the detail on the Warrant - "CMCEA-4/12" and "CMCEA-3/2012".  You'll recall that our contract with that firm is open-ended - no cap at all.  They might also refer to the latest Legal Expenditures spreadsheet from the City web site, HERE, that shows we've paid Jones Day $787,663 for the CMCEA litigation through April.  That's more than the entire General Fund legal expenditures of $758,122.  And, for accuracy, through April, 2012, the City has incurred $2,104,595 expenses in the General Fund and Self Insurance Fund.  Through April, 2012 - with two more months to go before the 2011/2012 Fiscal Year legal expenditures have been fully tallied - our contract City Attorneys, Jones and Mayer, have been paid $1,172,757 from both funds.  Since we're now in a brand, new fiscal year, it seems like a good subject for discussion.

 
SAFE ROUTE TO SCHOOL
Once we get past that little item we may move right along to Item #6, Hardscape and Landscape Improvements on Broadway - not too far from my house - as part of the Safe Route To School Program.  You can read the staff report HERE.  The city will use grants and a $231,400 budget adjustment to cover the $1,171,000. anticipated cost.

CITY HALL CAR SHOWS
The last item on the Consent Calendar, #9, is an idea that apparently oozed from the cranium of Mayor Eric Bever - obviously in search of a legacy - to hold what is referred to as "First Fridays Road Show - Costa Mesa Car Show", a once-a-month gathering in the evening of up to 100 cars in the front parking lot at City Hall from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Visitor parking would be on the side and rear lots.  You can read the whole scheme HERE.  Now, I'm an old car fan and love seeing collections of vintage machines and hot rods on display.  It's not entirely clear whether this would include hot rods, classic cars, works in progress or whatever.  The staff report does mention the Ellis Brothers 1909 Buick Racer - a car now owned by my friend Dennis Holland and with which he participated in the Great American Race several years (shown here).  I found myself wondering what additional police presence will be necessary for this event each month?  Will this council approve overtime for officers to provide for public safety?


ONE MORE TIME FOR BETHEL TOWERS BONDS
The first Public Hearing of the evening is the replay of the request for bond issuance so the new owners can spiff-up Bethel Towers - to be known henceforth as the Tower on 19th.  This was delayed from a previous meeting because of serious outcry from the Senior Community, many of whom live in Bethel Towers.  They were concerned that insufficient outreach had been performed.  You can read the staff report HERE.


ADIOS TOWER RECORDS, HELLO WALGREENS
The second Public Hearing is the General Plan Amendment for the proposed Walgreens Pharmacy to be built at the site of the old Tower Records building on Superior near 17th Street and Newport Blvd.  The staff report is HERE.


BICYCLE PARKING ORDINANCE
New Business #1 is an ordinance to regulate parking of bicycles throughout the city.  The staff report is HERE.  This apparently is driven by the chronic misuse of bicycles by Costa Mesa's homeless population.  The staff report includes a study of available bike racks in public places throughout the city.  Briefly, we don't have enough racks to accommodate the demand.  No cost is included for additional bike racks, nor is the fee structure for retrieval of bikes that are confiscated.  Perhaps former Planning Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick - who has long advocated greater bike use in our city - will help enlighten us on this subject.


DISPATCH SERVICES RFP
Finally, there will be a discussion of the Dispatch Services RFP.  You can read the staff report HERE.  The staff recommends that the council receive and file the report, reject all bids and direct staff to continue to explore shared service models with nearby communities and authorize the staff to RESCIND LAYOFF NOTICES.  We'll see how this one flies.

 
NEW YEAR SPENDING...
So, we hope this first City Council meeting of the new Fiscal Year will get off on the right foot, although it seems to me that our "conservative council" will continue on their merry spending spree.

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20 Comments:

Blogger Moon said...

Could Costa Mesa ever have a central library? Every time I visit the central park library in Huntington Beach I ask myself: Why doesn't my town have something like this? Newport does, Huntington does. A park, a library, a sports complex - all public. All owned in common.

7/02/2012 10:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Moon....maybe next time ask Newport Beach or Huntington Beach how the libraries were paid for. General fund spending (highly unlikely) or bonds paid for by property taxes.

7/02/2012 01:27:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And don't forget, in the case of Newport Beach, the deep-pockets of benefactors like the Creans who provided the critical seed money for the Mariner's Library, for example.

7/02/2012 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Lead, Follow or ... said...

I find guys like Moonbeam here to be an interesting sort.

As a critic, all they do is moan and complain. Bad Council this. I wish my City had that.

Yet what do they actually do for the community? Nothing but nothing.

7/02/2012 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Lead, Follow, or just BS your way through...

How do you know what everyone does, in and for the city?

There are thousands of people who commit untold service hours everyday in a myriad of charitable ways throughout the city.

I can only name a couple that take personal credit for the hundreds of unsung volunteers and then exploit it for their own personal political gain.

yeah...Mensinger and McCarthy , are them.

7/02/2012 04:37:00 PM  
Anonymous prevailing said...

Gericault, THEY are the LEADERS though, a must have. WTF do u do?lol u hothead.Any CA State Supreme court rulings today to add to ur charter flyer?haha! election just got easier

7/02/2012 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I do a few things......

Hey, re: the ruling.

Thank god.....with two million in legal fees already being spent by an idiotic council that can't study......ANYTHING, it's a small relief that IF, and I re-state "IF", this badly written "charter" were to pass, we wouldn't be completely screwed by already having a big piece completely negated. Thats not going to stop Righeimer from crowing about it.

What's unbelievable to the "thinking majority" is that he will be crowing about it while voting to pay ANOTHER ( get that? another ?) $1 million in legal fees . All for services rendered for their inability to govern within the rules. He's proud and happy he can carry the GOP banner on the cities dime.,all the while ignoring pressing city needs and dismantling our services.
What's sad, is that the city of NB just negotiated a good public safety contract with their police force while we bleed another half million, not to mention valuable staff, because of his refusal to be ....sane.

This isn't municipal governance anymore.....it's civic dismantlement. What's absolutely shocking is that "certain" residents buy this load of manure and consider it "smart". It will cost us so much to try and restore this city to a semblance of it's "once great" standard.

Every other city in the county just sits back in awe and shock, and just shakes their head in sympathy. We have become a laughingstock. The "Fox News" of local Government.

BTW..I don't care what you or others "do", for the city. Service should be done without expectation of award or recognition.....it's kind of a biblical thing for me.

7/02/2012 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Cmtaxpayer said...

2 million? What a bunch of ass$oles...I couldn't Stand arrogant jackass$s like this in high school..really? Burns me up...:just like my tax dollars....boys club....let's elect people who are not looking for an ego boost ...chest bumping jerks do not apply..sick of this...disgusting.

7/02/2012 09:47:00 PM  
Anonymous prevailing said...

i have long realized that you "don't care what you (=me)and others do for the city. it's all about you and how you think you have evrything figured out. well,many residents don't buy your load of crap as you will see in the upcoming election. NB deal w/cops was not that great btw. City may win in the union lawsuit. THEN who would be responsible for bringing on all the legal fees needlessly? yep, not council but the plaintiffs.

7/02/2012 11:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

What do we win?

Even if we achieve the goals set forth in this stupid lawsuit, what have we really won?

The ability to do what we've always been able to, just not the way these Council members wanted to do it.

The most recent staff report includes the staff suggestion that this council "rescind the layoffs", they might have used different words, but "cancel the layoffs" was already taken.

The difference between NB and CM is that they will be maintaining high levels of quality staff and service while reaping millions in savings. We, on the other hand, are cutting experienced staff and necessary levels of service while bleeding millions in possible savings and spending millions more in unnecessary lawsuits. In all this time the savings being crowed about by council, has been paltry and will barely cover the expensive additional consultant fees, let alone all the other massive outlays of legal costs.

Do you really think that no other city in ALL of Orange County hasn't at some point in time studied outsourcing of public employees?
Is Righeimer the only one with a dimly lit GOP bulb over his head saying " lets just fire them all"?
No.
It's been tried and studied, and outsourcing where it has made sense has been done again and again and again, throughout the entire county and state.
The major difference being that other cities actually cared about the end results. Righeimer just doesn't care. If they belong to an employee association and are represented by a union bargaining group, then they need to be fired. It doesn't matter that we are cutting off our "nose to spite our face", it's not about results, it purely about the politics.

and you were wrong about another thing...I do care about what I do for the city. I just don't have to shout it from the rooftops to gain approval or recognition form the likes of you.

7/03/2012 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous My Opinion said...

Is everyone else seeing to momentum of relevant issues occurring?

Mammoth Lakes files for bankruptcy.

Superior Court rules that Charter Cities can eliminate prevailing wage.

We get that change is hard for some, and they share their frustration here.

The reality is that facts and reality are not on their side.

I am thankful our leaders are out in front of these important issues.

7/03/2012 07:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

My Opinion...Be wary of the bankruptcy thing. Vallejo tried it and the only savings were made at the bargaining table with their employees. $10,000,000 in legal fees and they had little to show for it. In fact, they ended up overpaying to PERS to pay down their "debt" (that phantom thing again).

7/03/2012 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Facts Here, Not Opinions said...

Mammoth Lakes bankruptcy has nothing to do with employee salaries or pensions. It has to do with a legal junction against it that is twice the City's annual budget. Charter cities were always able to except prevailing wages from projects what use only local funds. Pensions were not touched in the Vallejo bankruptcy and are not included in the Stockton bankruptcy either.

7/03/2012 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Level the playing field said...

My opinion said:----
Mammoth Lakes filed for bankruptcy primarily because of a failed land deal and they were sued for breach of contract. How does that apply to Costa Mesa? Or are you referring to the fact that the council is attempting to breach the contracts they have entered into with their employees? Or are you looking forward to the hotel/motel redevelopment deals going bad? Explanation would be helpful.

7/03/2012 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Don't trust you said...

Yo Wyatt, you have been silent lately.

How do you explain the actions of former bike cop Riekoff? All that extra "duty".

I thought you said the hiring was rigorous, and CMPD only hires the best? How do you explain the bad apples? This guy, plus the cop convicted of planting evidence, plus another one convicted of using spy gadgets on a girls car?

Are you one of the cops out on "injury" ?

I think the City should hire a PI to follow and bust those not injured. Someone please take a camera to the River for the 4 th and take a pic of those "injured".

Back to work Wyatt

7/03/2012 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Mammoth Lakes was sued by a private DEVELOPER.....for breach of contract. It has NOTHING to do with public employees, or pensions.
Would it kill you to actually read something?
If anything it should give us great pause and concern when you reflect on the backgrounds of Mensinger and Righeimer. and the dirty deeds they played with the Fairgrounds sale fiasco.
You council "shills" are so blinded by partisanship, you can't even read an article or formulate a thought without trying to spin it into some form of vindication for these crazy steps this council has taken and the miserable situation the city is currently in.
Even the Vista Prevailing wage ruling only applied to projects 100% funded by the city. Every project that the city uses public grant money from must still hold to prevailing wage. It's a very narrow and Phyrric victory.
Name one project in this city where we didn't/don't use some grant money.........

7/03/2012 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Doug Bennett said...

Costa Mesa has a great public library - the Orange Coast College Library. Besides being opened to students it is opened to the community. While it doesn't have all of the services of a traditional public library it has a range of materials and services. If you want to check materials our the annual fee for a library card is $20.

7/03/2012 11:33:00 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Onan said...

One thing you can say about OCGOP is that it's consistent. Now its big star Bustamante is accused of doing the same thing to women that our council majority has metaphorically done to our city..

http://www.ocregister.com/news/county-361905-bustamante-sexual.html

7/03/2012 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Don't trust you...Forgive me for taking your issues out of order. I agree with 100% that the city should use a private investigator if they have cause to believe someone is faking or otherwise exaggerating an injury. Officers who do this make it much more difficult for officers that are legitamitely injured on duty. And no, I am not one of those injured officers and I would most certainly tell you if I was.

I was disappointed with the Reickoff situation. All officers get a black eye anytime something like this happens and it makes our jobs more difficult. I've known him since he came onboard and he obviously make a mistake. I only know the facts as they were reported in the media so I will not judge it what happened was appropriate.

Any manager, leader or CEO worth their wait in salt will tell you these things will happen as long as we draw employees from the human race. Cops are as human as anyone else and they will make mistakes.

I would actually argue the rigorous hiring process worked. These incidents you speak of happened when CMPD was at the full complement of officers (164 at that time). That means 3 out of 164 made mistakes, 2 of which cost them their jobs. That equates to 0.018% of CMPD officers. That alone to me is proof the rigorous hiring process works.

No need to get back to work since I have been working my arse off the entire time.

7/03/2012 05:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Mario Puzo said...

Yea Riggy and Charlie, that's it- keep attacking our cops. That's the way to get votes for the three stooges.

Crime is up, your credibility continues to go down. But don't worry- "Fredo" Fitzpatrick will save the family.

7/03/2012 07:30:00 PM  

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