Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yet Another Successful Town Hall

Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Wendy Leece hosted yet another successful Town Hall meeting Monday night.  This is the third fourth in her series and, although it played to a smaller group, it was every bit as successful as the others. (Sorry about that glitch... Leece has held successful Town Halls at the Neighborhood Community Center, Pomona School, College Park and last night at Harbor Trinity Church)

The event was held at the Harbor Trinity Church at Baker and Fairview and was aimed primarily at our good neighbors who live in the north part of town.  Based on a quick headcount conducted early in the meeting, about a third of the approximately 50 attendees were from the Mission/Mendoza section of Mesa del Mar, another third from the Paularino area of Mesa North and the remainder from venues throughout the city.

Leece hosted the event and was supported by Corporal Doug Johnson and Senior Gang Officer David Sevilla of the Costa Mesa Police Department plus Walter Garcia from MIKA community development corporation, who provided the essential translations throughout the evening.  Also present was Diane Hill from United Neighbors, who handed out information on her organization,

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer attended the entire meeting.  City Council candidates Sue Lester, Marshall Krupp and Harold Weitzberg came to hear what troubles our neighbors from the north part of town.  Among the 50 or so attendees was a grumpy old fella from Mesa North, who stayed for a few minutes, then left - apparently not willing to endure the need to translate the discussion.  Too bad, too, because he might have benefited from a question that was asked about white gangs in Costa  Mesa.

Corporal Johnson gave a brief overview of the crime reporting areas in question for the evening - there are 37 distinct reporting areas in Costa Mesa.  For the 12 months ended July 14th, area 21 had approximately 1800 calls for service, of which 284 resulted in reports being filed or arrests being made.  Area 17 had 3200 calls and 452 reports or arrests.  He gave a quick comparison to areas 1 and 2 - in the southwest side of town - which have 8,000 - 10,000 calls for the same time frame.


Most of the issues folks wanted to discuss were gangs, crime prevention, alley safety and maintenance and code enforcement issues - run down properties, trash and debris, etc.  Despite the need to translate both directions in the discussions things went very smoothly.

Both Corporal Johnson and officer Sevilla fielded most of the questions and provided specific statistics about gangs and other crimes.  According to Sevilla, gang activity in the two areas in question is down, but he explained that it kind of ebbs and flows like the tide.  They discussed preventive measures - after school programs, sports, churches and the use of School Resource Officers as effective tools to combat gang proliferation.  Those School Resource Officers are theoretically scheduled to be eliminated this fall unless something dramatic happens.  White gangs tend to be more organized, money oriented and violent.  Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach have large white gang populations.

Although we continue to hear that property crimes are up dramatically in these areas of town, no specific percentages were given.  Both officers acknowledged that crime is up.

A question was asked, in response to a statement made by Johnson about drugs being a major part of the crime problem in our city, if he was talking about marijuana.  Johnson's answer was NO.  Other drugs - cocaine, heroin and meth - were the primary problem drugs, followed by prescription drugs like Vicodin and Oxycodon.  The effects of those drugs can normally lead to criminal behavior.

Nearly two dozen attendees filled out question cards and several others simply just asked their questions - usually as a follow-on to another one.  Several people seemed concerned about the number of officers available to fight crime these days.  When the issue of gang detail staffing came up Johnson and Sevilla told us that the gang unit is staffed with 4 right now and has been staffed as such for a couple years.

I spoke privately with Corporal Johnson who expressed concern for our current staffing levels, especially right now with the safety demands of the Orange County Fair.  Most, if not all, officers are working mandatory overtime to cover shifts PLUS the demands of the Fairgrounds coverage.  The combination of the month-long fair plus the fact that the CMPD is currently operating with at least 10 fewer officers than the authorized strength - 131, which is down from 164 two years ago - is stretching our manpower very, very thin.

I think most folks who attended the Town Hall came away with plenty of information about their communities.  Based on brief conversations with some of them, most felt it was very worthwhile.  Thanks to Leece, the CMPD and MIKA for their efforts.  A little sidebar - MIKA Community Development is an organization that has benefited for many years from contributions of Community Development Block Grand (CDBG) funds that are distributed by the city each year.  This year, however, at the recent meeting where the funds were to be allocated, Bever capriciously and arbitrarily just yanked their funding and gave it to a couple of Gary Monahan's pet organizations, even though the 3R Committee spent hours vetting the organizations, ranking them as to need and contribution to the community and providing their best suggestion to the City Council.

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Anonymous B.Kendall said...

Thank you for attending last night! What was most impressive to me was how many people showed up on such short notice. I think/feel the neighborhoods could use a little cohesion and if we put some pressure on the city AND the property owners of the problem areas these issues can clear up. Code enforcement has been relatively unresponsive to my husband and I; it was very disappointing that they were not present last night since they were invited.

7/17/2012 09:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Fed Up said...

Code enforcement in CM is a complete joke. A bunch of lazy a$$es. I say outsource the sorry bunch for half the cost.

7/17/2012 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Elvis said...

I sadly have to agree with you.

People who claim they do not like Code Enforcement also claim “I don’t want to be like Irvine.”, “My home is my castle”, and “Nobody is going to tell me what to do.” You know the type. They antagonize their neighbors with their selfish lifestyle and rebel against our laws. Take a look at the monthly Code Enforcement updates and you will see people who have been warned 50, 60 or more times and had none or few fines, and still nothing changes. Defiance is their greatest enjoyment. Only through a stronger Code Enforcement department will this ever change. Tell our city officials enough is enough and we want stronger enforcement of the existing laws. Think this is too draconian? Want nice safe neighborhoods? There is a direct correlation between how blighted a home looks and the type of occupant that will live there. Nice, well maintained homes do not attract low lives because they can’t afford it and when you invest your money and time in something, you want it maintained. Do the math and you will see this is very close to the the core of our problems.

7/17/2012 02:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Blame Perry and Ferryman said...

You know who I am most upset with on the topic of Code Enforcement?

The Costa Mesa Sanitation District.

The Good Ole Boys took legal action against Fitzpatrick based on a grudge. Fitzpatrick attempted to resolve the issue by resigning Planning Commission. I have read his legal argument and it is strong and valid. Yet Fitzpatrick did the right thing by resigning from the Planning Commission based on a potential conflict and still the Good Ole Boys refuse to stop the legal action using tax payer money to fund the grudge. Art Perry has publically stated “I don’t care what it costs”.

Because the Good Ole Boys are using tax payer money in this grudge. The City lost our biggest champion on Code Enforcement. Without the tireless energy and crafty acumen of Fitzpatrick, I am concerned that the city will take a giant step back. Fitzpatrick championed $140,000 investment in technology for Code Enforcement that has not been spent. And Fitzpatrick championed an increase in Code Enforcement Staff that just got approved by City Council. We lost a good one.

I bet Fitzpatrick is fighting the good fight on Code Enforcement with the trash company.

Art Perry and Jim Ferryman are to blame. Remember in November!

7/17/2012 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Vote Fitzy said...

Fitzy, here is some news that will make you smile.

You are doing great at exposing the other board members for what they are.

Check out the Facebook of Art Perry. There is a picture of Art Perry and John Stephens. No one is supporting Art Perry or Jim Ferryman. So Art is running to a guy like Stephens? That is all he’s got?

Actually no. Art Perry is a double dipper. He is in the $100,000 Pension club and taking money and benefits from the government. Shame on Art Perry. He is not the guy people think he is. But people now know.

Check out this link that proves Art Perry must go http://www.fixpensionsfirst.com/calstrs-database/?first_name=&last_name=&employer=NEWPORT-MESA+UNIFIED

Fitzy, you probably know, but Bob Ooten is the poster child for Pension double dipping. Ooten takes home a whopping $17,000 a month in retirement. That is correct. $17,000 a month.

Then there is the kin of Shorty Scheafer’s kid. Mike Scheafer. I hear he is buddies with Geoff West. Scheafer was a member of the group “Return to Reason”. They went down in flames. No one wants to return to the days when Scheafer was on City Council. That is why we are in this mess.

Fitzy, we saw a Leslie Daigle sign on Scheafer’s front lawn.

Thanks again for letting everyone know what is going on over there

When do you stand for election again? You have my vote

7/17/2012 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Another post hijacked by Fitzpatrick. It's really kind of sad...

7/17/2012 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Elvis said...

Blame Perry and the Ferry...

You are on point. When Fitzy left the PC, we lost a great ally. Of all the PC members, he was the one making the most happen in this area. The SD only has a part time Code Enforcement officer and he concentrates on dumpster divers. Both agencies need to work together instead of having a separate departments. Fitz understood this.

7/17/2012 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Blame Fitzy this time said...


Fity, nice job writing about how good you are, you can spin any article to your view. blame the good ole boys for everything. i bet had you resigned your pc seat early the good ole boys at the Sanitation District would have not gone all the way, you wasted the tax payers money by thinking you were right all along. If you are still right about both positions, why did you give up your pc seat?
Wait, are you still fishing?

Quit blaming everyone else for your mistake.

7/17/2012 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Troll Tracker said...

Dear Mrs. Fitzpatrick,

Do you have any idea what this dolt does all day while you're probably working 3 jobs?

7/17/2012 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted said...

Fitzy can't stop blaming others; it's what he does best. Follow the path of destruction and it leads straight to Fitzy's mouth! I’m sure his mother, wife and daughters are totally mortified by his behavior. It is reprehensible.

7/17/2012 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Fitz is an idiot said...

Keep making an ass out of yourself Fitzy, you're great at it!! You're also digging your own grave by posting here.

7/17/2012 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous sk said...

The Board members of the CMSD are not part of the the CalPERS pension system and receive no pension benefits so their is no double dipping going on.

7/17/2012 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Fitzy, good golly, get over yourself! Really? We are supposed to believe that other people actually wrote posts about how great you are? LOL!

I heard you were drunk on a dock recently? Do you have a real job besides writing posts gloating about yourself?

It sounds to me like you and the Rigged Crew are jealous of the pension club and want a little piece of the action, hence, the reason for entering politics.

If you all are really about the community, then volunteer your time as council members & commissioners without pay, benefits, reimbursements, etc.

I can't believe the taxpayers aren't outraged that they pay medical coverage for Monasham's family of 8 (2+6 kids) when he is an established restaurant/bar owner. As a business owner who is self-employed, shouldn't he pay for his own family medical? And taxpayers have been paying for that for a decade, if not more. Again, if you are all about the community, do it for free.

Also, union contributions are no different than campaign contributions; just another name, same purpose.

Stevie, yes, laws apply to you too! Regarding your traffic violation for failure to obey traffic signs, June 14th, case # CMZ165920. You've been seen driving with the former Transportation Manager, now Economic Director, near the location, hmm, were you seeking advisement on the validity of the traffic violation?

Love technology, web: Superior Court of California-County of Orange; online case access,
criminal and traffic case access, accept terms, then type Mensinger.

We report, you decide!

7/17/2012 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Thank you to Wendy Leece for facilitating the Town Hall meetings. I attended one a few months ago and as a result implemented a couple theft prevention ideas. With our thinly stretched police force working mandatory overtime and property crimes on the rise, we each have to do our part to prevent thefts and help reduce our police officers' load a little bit.

7/18/2012 01:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Reality Sucks 4 U said...


Dis you get your email from Jim Ferryman? He asked for my support. I ignored him and sent the email to Fitzy so he can refute it and know who Ferryman thinks are his friends.

Say what you want about people who are making a difference in the City.

Art Perry and Jim Ferryman have seen their last days as elected officials. 2 decades of bad behavior will stop.

Steve will beat Sandy. She is another one that will never vote as an elected again.

You and the Pot Stirrer will be making many more Hater comments that only motivate the base.

Sad that all the City lunatic fringe candidates can only be endorsed by each other. No meaningful support from anyone who matters.

Dave, I understand why you are angry.

7/18/2012 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Reality sucks: I don't know how you sensed anger, actually quite the contrary, I'm laughing at costa messed up just like the rest of the county. Be honest, you guys are humerous:)

7/18/2012 11:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Troll Tracker said...

Dear Mrs. Fitz,

Did you have a clue early on that you'd get stuck with someone, um, "underemployed"..

7/18/2012 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous No Joy in CM said...

If they could I'd bet that Riggy and Bever would delete the entire "Public Comments" portion out of all City Council Meetings.
They have no desire to listen to, interest in or patience with opinions other than their own. What Costa Mesa really has is a Government by the elite, for the elite, AGAINST the people. The men on the dias openly insult, berate, marginalize, denigrate, disrespect and bully the public as well as Wendy Leece. There is some serious psychopathology present in the men on this City Council. Dignity, respect, civility, integrity, honesty and transparency are alien to them. When ever a politician says "TRUST ME' this is a RED FLAG that says, if you knew all the detailed facts you would disagree and have NO reason to trust me. Council members lay all your cards on the table, if you dare, and let the residents and voters decide! We, the people, want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

7/20/2012 09:48:00 AM  

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