Friday, August 17, 2012

City Responds To Appeals Court Decision

As discussed in the previous entry, the Fourth District Court of Appeals today affirmed the preliminary injunction imposed by Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann.  At the time of that post I had not heard from the City on this issue.  

Shortly after 2:00 p.m. today Communication Director Bill Lobdell issued the following statement:

A statement by Richard Grabowski, special counsel for the City of Costa Mesa, on the Court of Appeals ruling today that upheld a preliminary injunction preventing the City from outsourcing services to private companies until a lawsuit filed by the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn. is heard in court.

"We are looking forward to proceeding to trial. There is nothing in the court's opinion today that precludes the city from ultimately outsourcing once the trial court has had an opportunity to review all of the facts."

Then, about 90 minutes later he followed up with this statement:

After reviewing the Court of Appeals ruling today, Richard Grabowski, special counsel for the City of Costa Mesa, had this statement:

"The Court of Appeal's decision today recognizes that Costa Mesa has the authority to contract out jails, payroll and special services, and has remanded the case to the trial court for a trial on the merits. As the contracting out of these services is the fiscally prudent thing to do, the City looks forward to having its day in court on those issues."

Subsequently I spent a good amount of time reading through the actual opinion by the Court, trying to find the basis for Grabowski's final statement - and failed.  Nowhere in the document produced by the Appeals Court do I find authorization to contract out jails, payroll and special services with the injunction in place.

So far, in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 with additional charges still pending, Mr. Grabowski's firm - Jones Day - has billed the city for over $999,000 dollars.

The actual document from the Fourth District Court of Appeals begins with the following statement:

"Plaintiff Costa Mesa City Employees' Association (CMCEA) represents workers who are employed by the City of Costa Mesa (the City). In response to the City's plan to contract out for a variety of city services, CMCEA filed suit against the City and its Chief Executive Officer Thomas Hatch (collectively defendants) for injunctive and declaratory relief. CMCEA contends the City's proposed outsourcing plan violates state law as well as the parties' collective bargaining agreement. Trial on the matter has not been heard, but on July 15, 2011, the trial court granted a preliminary injunction enjoining defendants from contracting with a private entity for any of the services that are performed by CMCEA members or laying off CMCEA members as a result of such contracting. In this appeal, the sole issue is the propriety of the preliminary injunction. Defendants contend it was improvidently granted, but we disagree and affirm the trial court's ruling."

In between there are 20 pages of information, case citations expansions of their views which, over and over again, support the need for the preliminary injunction.  At the end the judges conclude with this segment.

"At this point in the controversy, however, we are convinced CMCEA's members would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction, there is “some possibility” they will prevail on both their contract and statutory claims (which are independent grounds for relief), and the relative harm to the parties favors preliminary relief. Therefore, we will not disturb the trial court's decision to grant a preliminary injunction in CMCEA's favor."

Read the full Appeals Court Opinion HERE, thanks to the Daily Pilot.

So, now we wait until this case actually goes to trial.  And, as I read the court's document today, the City MAY NOT proceed with any outsourcing that is not with another government agency.  That means the Jail, for sure.  We may hear more from contract City Attorney Tom Duarte at the council meeting scheduled for next Tuesday, August 21st.

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Blogger just wondering... said...

That last paragraph is the key. Not so sure it hasn't already been decided. Sounds like absent any new evidence, the city doesn't look so good.

These guys can't do anything right.

8/17/2012 08:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Pull the curtain back. said...

I never thought Mensinger was an idiot but his quoted comments in the Daily Pilot make me think he could be an idiot.

The lawsuit nor the injuction rulings are about pension reforms. They are about outsourcing. This is the guy running for our city council and who is on the council currently? There is more. I encourage everyone to read his comments in the Pilot.

If any of this was really about pension reforms they would have accepted the Fire Dept. proposal that has been on the table since March. The offer includes a very reasonable 2nd tier 2 @50 and based on a 3 year average. Those are excellent concessions.

Why don't they accept it? Because it's not about pension reform it's about eliminating association dues from the political process.

People need to understand what is really driving this.

8/17/2012 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Cite said...

From the decision"

"We do not question the citizenry‟s interest in cost-effective government. However, contrary to defendants‟ claim, the trial court‟s preliminary injunction does not prevent the City from moving forward with its outsourcing plan. It can still issue RFP‟s, receive bids, and assess whether outsourcing is a prudent course of action for the particular services at issue. This would lay the groundwork for the City‟s outsourcing plan, even though the trial court‟s injunction presently prohibits the City from actually consummating any outsourcing contracts with a nonlocal agency. Balancing the respective interim harm suffered by both parties, we conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in determining the equities favored the implementation of a preliminary injunction. Keeping in mind the injunction is only a temporary measure, we see no reason to disturb the court‟s finding in this regard."

8/18/2012 12:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

The article in todays pilot highlights (once again) what a baffoon mensinger is!! Oh, brother ! Why anyone would want him to represent them as their cc member is an indication of their complete ignorance or corruption!

8/18/2012 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Farmer Ted said...

The phone-dropping chest bumper is so lost as a appointed council member, he has no idea what the employee lawsuit is all about. He is just repeating the lines that Riggy had prepared for him, and coming off a bit bad if you ask me.

Steve you're running for election to this City, you should know the facts about this lawsuit. Wise up big boy and do your homework.

8/18/2012 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Mensinger is the 4 cc members' version of Biden or Quail. Big foot in even bigger mouth! And they've got the added bonus that he's a chest bumper too!! And these are the individuals that some people in cm want as their representatives...not an intellegent one in the bunch!! Just a bunch of schemers, thinking because they sit on the dias, they can do what ever they want...not very smart at all!! Who, in good conscience, could possibly cast votes for them? Make no mistake - the ONLY people who will vote for them fall in to 2 categories: those who have directly benefitted from having these particular people on the cc- developers, Region 97 AYSO directors who are also developers/contractors, and of course ocgop blind party line followers; and those who might happen to vote for them because they are completely clueless as to what goes on in cm. Oh, and in the first group, that includes all in their households who will be forced to vote the same way! That certainly does not say much about the 3ms. Well, actually, it speaks volumes!!! They have nothing, by their own choice, to offer to the residents of Costa Mesa.

8/18/2012 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Yeah, really highly intelligent to piss off the judges deciding your case. Very good Mensinger. I suppose Riggy told you to say that, since you apparently cannot speak without his permission.

8/18/2012 12:50:00 PM  
Anonymous informed said...

why don't you all just take a moment ang google the CA State Republican Party Platform! Read it. That is what the OCGOP is all about. Love it, hate it, like some parts, not others, etc. but read it to get information and stay informed. It is short, about nine pages.

8/18/2012 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

OK, I did. It's here:

Is is curious that Righeimer's Charter began life as a 9-page document, too? Do we in the Republican Party have a rule about that?

I found this section, which bridges pages 4 and 5, to be especially informative. Perhaps some of our local elected Republicans should review it in detail:

We believe that public service is a trust -- one of the highest callings to which any man or woman may aspire.

Ethics in service to one’s fellow citizens goes beyond the letter of the law. Republican elected and appointed officials are called by the California Republican Party to use their offices always to serve others, always to act with the highest standards of morality and honesty, and never to use their offices for personal gain. Republican officeholders are called to inspire others to serve and to give their utmost to our American society.

8/18/2012 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To those who commented on Mensinger’s insult of the three Appeal Court judges:

I haven’t seen the following take on it in the Bubbling Cauldron, so I’ll copy it here (it was published first in comments to Serna’s article in the Pilot “Court upholds Costa Mesa injunction”).

There’s another way of looking at Mensinger’s remark. It may have been an intentional and scripted attack on the judicial branch. If it was, it was consistent with longstanding Republican attacks up and down the ladder on government of any stripe.

For decades – at least from Reagan’s time (recall his infamous comment “Government is not the solution, government is the problem”) – the GOP has consistently badmouthed the three branches of government.

It is fond of attacking “liberal, activist judges.” From an ABC news story from Dec. 18, 2011: “Presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested today that he would have the Capitol Police or U.S. Marshals arrest activist judges …”

And Grover Norquist, whose ring every GOP politican must kiss (that is, sign his pledge to never raise taxes, no matter what) if he/she wants to climb the ladder, infamously says “I'm not in favor of abolishing the government. I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

Finally, we have a Costa Mesa Councilman (Righeimer) declaring that “the city should be run like a business.” This, of course, disrespects the centuries of blood and sweat that have gone into the development of city government.

Mensinger just might be in the mainstream of the GOP.

We report, you decide.

8/18/2012 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous 131=5 131-5=126 126=9 said...

Geoff, everything comes down to the number 9. Google it and find out. college courses have been taught on the number 9. even the beatles knew it.
Thanks for actually reading the platform. I personally agree with all of it. Thus I am a Republican. I live in OC so guess what? An OCGOP member. Oh oh? the horrors!

8/18/2012 10:49:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

It may be the OCGOP way to attack government, but when you have a lawsuit pending before them, its just plain stupid. Funny though, when they have issues, they run right to the lawyers to file suit, i.e. the suit that failed to put the charter on the ballot, and again to defend themselves when the employees suit them. For people who hate government, they sure spend a lot of time in court.

But, from the sound of the comments from the last judge, they're wise to these fools.

8/19/2012 08:05:00 PM  

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