Thursday, August 30, 2012

Civility Reigns At Mesa Verde Community, Inc., Forum


SMOOTH AND CIVILIZED
Well, that was disappointing!  No slings... No arrows... No barbs aimed at fellow candidates.. No name-calling.  All in all, the Costa Mesa City Council Candidate Forum produced by our friends from Mesa Verde Community, Inc., was a pretty darn civilized affair.  And it was well-run, to boot!  Heck, even the audience was courteous and respectful!

WYRICK RUNS A TIGHT SHIP
An audience of more than 250 souls who came out to see the first of five forums this season were treated to an informative, crisply-moderated event.  Mesa Verde Community, Inc., President Darnell Wyrick ran a tight ship.  He defined the rules in the beginning and enforced them as the evening moved forward.  In 90 minutes he managed to ask 14 questions of the candidates, each of whom were given one or two minutes to respond, depending on the question.  He avoided questions directed specifically at one person, choosing to select those that could be answered by every candidate.


 Darnell Wyrick

WHAT THE CASUAL OBSERVER MIGHT THINK
Permit me an observation before I get into specifics of the evening.  If a resident walked in off the street with no preconceptions about any of the candidates and only a limited knowledge of the major issues facing Costa Mesa today and into the future, I suspect that person would come away from the evening being impressed with the high quality of candidates from which he will choose in November.  With the exception of Al Melone, who clearly was not up to speed on most issues, all the others would have been assessed as smart, knowledgeable, passionate and articulate.  Even Melone came across as a likable fellow, just not very informed.  I suspect my theoretical visitor might be hard pressed to make a selection based only on his exposure to the candidates last night.

 THE INTRODUCTION
Wyrick gave each candidate a chance to introduce themselves and - setting the tone for the rest of the evening - he permitted the only woman on the panel, Sandra Genis, to go first.  She emphasized her previous tenure on the City Council - from 1988 - 1996 - and refreshed the memory of the audience about the accomplishments from that tour.  She spoke of being raised in Costa Mesa and of her background as a Land Use consultant.


 Sandra Genis

Colin McCarthy emphasized his decision to move to Costa Mesa, his municipal involvements and his family.

Al Melone
spoke of his 8 years as a Costa Mesa resident and his background as a CPA.  His areas of interest included Fireworks, which he strongly opposes.  That means at least half the population will find him unacceptable as a candidate.

Steve Mensinger mentioned he'd lived in Costa Mesa "about 30 years", that he's part of an "energized family", that he enjoys public service and - not surprisingly - was the first person to allude to the whole Righeimer DUI issue.  I had speculated that it might take one or two questions before someone found a way to fold it into a response.  Turns out I was optimistic - Mensinger didn't even let us get to the questions.

Gary Monahan
mentioned his long service on the council and other organizations, his six kids and that he's NOT seeking higher office.  He stressed what a busy life he has, with his restaurant being a 7-day-a-week job.  I found myself wondering how he will find time to govern, especially since he resigned as Mayor earlier this year, citing being too busy.

John Stephens talked of his 28 years as a Costa Mesa resident, his Little League leadership experience, his profession as a lawyer and briefly that he opposes the Charter.

Harold Weitzberg
mentioned being a 29 year resident and stressed his slogan, Unity, Safety, Prosperity.



NOTE:  I'm not going to try to give you a verbatim transcription of the answers the candidates provided.  Costa Mesa Television was taping the proceedings and that tape will be available for viewing soon.  Take the time to view it on Channel 24 or 99 (Att. U-Verse) - it will be 90 minutes well-spent.

THEIR FIRST SIX MONTHS?
Just after 7:30 Wyrick asked his first question.  He asked each of the candidates what they would try to do during their first six months in office.  McCarthy said expand the bike infrastructure.  Melone said he'd push for a Fireworks referendum.  Mensinger said he'd expand our ordinances and transparency.  Genis said she'd try to develop a more collaborative approach to negotiating with the employees and find a place for a new Veterans Hall.  Monahan said he'd push to finish the outsourcing.  Stephens said he'd try to resolve the lawsuit between employees and The City because we're "hemorrhaging money to Jones Day".  Weitzberg said he'd come to terms with the service organizations.

Colin McCarthy

2ND PENSION TIER?
The second question asked for their view on a second pension tier.  Basically, they all are for it.

PRIVATE CONTRACTORS?

The third question asked if we should hire private contractors.  All agreed that we should.  McCarthy would not support outsourcing public safety jobs.  Genis mentioned that the current council didn't follow the rules which caused the lawsuit and millions in legal fees.  Stephens stress doing it in a responsible way.  Weitzberg stressed doing it in an orderly fashion.

 Steve Mensinger

MENSINGER'S "COIN" PROGRAM
The fourth question asked their opinion of the recently proposed COIN program.  Weitzberg said it was a great first start, but they didn't go far enough.  It should be aimed at a broader application, not just labor relations.  Stephens agreed with it, but was worried about how the normal "back and forth" in negotiations might be affected.  He thought it would really slow the process.  Monahan said it is "history cutting", whatever that means.  Genis expressed similar views and was concerned about contract costs.  Mensinger liked it.  He should - it's his idea.  Melone said it's a long time coming.  McCarthy said it is "pretty revolutionary" and that it would get rid of "unfair negotiating".

CHARTER SUMMARY
Wyrick then asked his fifth question - he asked each candidate to provide a summary of their views on the Charter, since many of the questions he had seemed to come from the Charter.  McCarthy said he was disappointed it didn't get on the June ballot because he was sure it would have passed.  He stressed local control.  Melone supported the charter, but didn't articulate his reasons.  Mensinger said he "clearly support the charter."  He stressed local control and money savings by outsourcing.  Genis said she supported a good charter, but this is not a good charter.  She mentioned you can already outsource without a Charter.  She stressed what the Charter doesn't have and pointed to Section 103.  She said it was too open-ended and mentioned it removes all restrictions on the sale of public lands.  Monahan, in the first instance of criticism of fellow panelists, referred to some previous comments as "end of the world scenarios".  He liked the Charter and stressed local control and savings - specifically the prevailing wage clause.  Stephens is against the Charter.  He mentioned that he had, that afternoon, read EVERY charter in Orange County, and referred to section 401 and 103.  He also mentioned that one thing our Charter does not have is something EVERY other charter has - the requirement for an annual financial audit.  Weitzberg is against THIS Charter and encouraged the potential voters to forget about the current council and this panel and think about future councils and how they might abuse such an open-ended document.

 John Stephens

"NO TAX" PLEDGE?
Wyrick then asked if any of the panelists had previously pledged not to raise taxes.  Mensinger, Monahan and McCarthy said "yes".  The others said "no".


NOTICE PROCESS?

He then asked a convoluted question which the panelists chose to interpret as whether they would shorten the notice process for development.  They all said "no".  I'm still not sure what the original question was.

CAMPAIGN DOLLARS?

Wyrick then asked if any had accepted money from political parties or PACs.  All except Monahan said "no".  He said "not yet".

 Gary Monahan

RE-HEARINGS?
Next was a question clearly aimed at Wendy Leece's recent request for a re-hearing of an issue.  Wyrick asked how they will handle it when they are on the short end of votes.  Each generally said, "move on".

PUBLIC SAFETY CONTRACTS?

Wyrick then asked about negotiating with public safety associations when the contracts are not up for two years.  Weitzberg said it doesn't mean we shouldn't be talking with them.  He stressed the need to get away from the "climate of uncertainty."  Stephens said "a contract is a contract".  He then stressed that it's a matter of safety at stake.  Monahan emphasized the need to a 2nd tier.  Genis said we should negotiate without name-calling and insults.  Mensinger evoked chuckles from the audience when he said is "very little politics" involved, then - again - referred to the current lawyer issues.  Melone said we have no legal obligation.  McCarthy wondered why we don't have a 2nd tier already, then referred to the Private Investigator that tailed Righeimer.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA?
Then we came to the issue of Medical Marijuana.  Each of them supported LEGAL Medical Marijuana.


 Harold Weitzberg

RETAINING KIDS IN COSTA MESA SCHOOLS?
The final question asked the panelists what they would do as a council member to encourage parents to enroll their children in Costa Mesa schools instead of transferring to other districts or private schools.  Weitzberg said upgrade academic delivery.  Go with our strengths, citing specialized schools.  Give the kids a reason to want to go to the CM schools.  Stephens, whose children attend catholic schools, said work closely with the new superintendent, Dr. Navarro.  Monahan didn't answer the question, stressing that we have "lots of good things in our schools".  Genis stressed that she is a product of the Costa Mesa schools and suggested an academic decathlon to build pride in academic accomplishment.  Mensinger, stressing that this was near and dear to his heart, said currently about 1,000 children from his Mesa Verde neighborhood attend non-Costa Mesa schools, and mentioned Davis Magnet School as a good example of what can be done.  Melone said the parents should do what's best for their kids.  McCarthy said the city is only as good as its schools, that it's a "top down process" and praised Sonora School.

Al Melone

SUMMATIONS
In their summations the candidates said the following, paraphrased:

Weitzberg - He's there to provide new leadership and return the power to the residents of Costa Mesa

Stephens - He said he's a good listener.  He wants to be the voice for the people.  He stressed "I've got your back".

Monahan - He stressed his track record, specifically mentioning his long service.  He said the City is at a crossroads and mentioned the Charter, Outsourcing, pensions, the associations and "financial availability", whatever that means.

Genis - She said she will put the residents of the City FIRST.  She stressed the need to maintain our neighborhoods to avoid what she called the "circle of blight".

Mensinger - Told us he learned about honesty in politics on the fields.  He said that government has lost its way and that he understands how to do things.  He said we need to re-prioritize.

Melone
- Said he's just not a politician and that he'd be happy to be someone's third choice.

McCarthy - He said he and his family love Costa Mesa for its arts, diversity and uniqueness.  He was sorry more time wasn't spent on Finances and encouraged folks to call him.  He said, "Come talk to me".



RIGHEIMER OBSERVES
And that was that.  I did see a VERY interested observer in the crowd - a man who has had perhaps the most interesting week of his life over the past seven days.  Wyrick wrapped up the meeting and folks milled around for another hour, chatting with candidates and friends.  




 Jim Righeimer

FEET TO THE FIRE NEXT WEEK
Now on to the NEXT forum, on Wednesday, September 5th, when Barbara Venezia and her band of merry Feet To The Fire interrogators will likely not let the candidates off quite as easily.  I'll report on that early next week.




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56 Comments:

Anonymous flattery said...

genis will put residents first she says. odd, mensinger has had t shirts saying "residents first" as his motto for months. genis needs to get a different motto.

8/30/2012 06:35:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Geoff, very good summary. Thank you for doing this. I know it took you some long hours last night.

I also thought MOST of the candidates did come off quite well. Melone can't be a serious contender, but his heart is in the right place. One of them tended to ramble a bit and cause one's eyes to glaze over, but otherwise, they all came off well, I thought.

8/30/2012 07:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Not Stephens said...

I learned this about John Stephens over and over and over again: He's a lawyer. I'm worried he's going to bill the city two hundred bucks an hour to sit on the dais.

8/30/2012 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Actually, Sandy was one of three candidates that had accurate and concise information such as paragraph numbers she was referring to and such. Her experience came through loud and clear. She was extremely knowledgeable last night.

I think the residents know who puts them first. Zebras can't change their stripes.

8/30/2012 08:09:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Flattery, why is it odd that Steve would have shirts saying "residents first?" It shouldn't be hard for you to figure out, thats what he wants everyone to believe. (*LOL* Did it have a picture of a splattered resident on it where he chest bumped them?)

He also stole a line that someone else posted either in here or Facebook, that I caught. Didn't surprise me.

8/30/2012 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Geoff, very good summary. Although I ducked out early, clearly the winners were Genis and McCarthy. Stephens is absolutely horrific. Sounds like a trial lawyer. Weitzberg doesn't know anything. Just to be loud. Mesinger seemed stiff. Monahan cut off his responses before time allotted. Odd.

Overall, a great event. Nice to see just as many supporters as haters there last night. The City is waking up. This race is still the 3M's to lose!

8/30/2012 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Re: N.S.

You didn’t mention any worry that Colin McCarthy, also a lawyer, might “bill the city two hundred bucks an hour to sit on the dais.”

Hmmm. Does this say something about what you think of McCarthy’s worth as a lawyer?

Or, perhaps, his chances of ever sitting on the dais?

8/30/2012 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

John Stephens is a business lawyer. As such, he is accustomed to detail, knows how to assemble contracts, and I doubt anything will get past him.

Harold, also is accustomed to building businesses. He has created a few, none of which went bankrupt. He is a doer. He will be able to bring negotiations to the table that are sorely needed. I think both of these men will make excellent councilmembers.

8/30/2012 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Lollipop Lickers of Costa Mesa said...

Sounds like Gary came up a bit short with his answers, just like in life.

8/30/2012 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous palin fan said...

can't put lipstick on a pig the dems said of palin. why did i just remember that?

8/30/2012 10:51:00 AM  
Anonymous cosmo kramer said...

lollipop lickers is so funny. i told my friends about the post. they don't know who to vote for. i told them this is a cm4rg type of comment and we also have patty c. and the hot babes and to join us for election time fun. i think i lost them with this though. some people just don't have a good enough sense of humor to laugh at someone elses expense. what's up with that?

8/30/2012 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Not Stephens said...

Re: Tom Egan

McCarthy didn't feel compelled every chance he got to remind us he's an attorney. He spoke about his family, why he wants to make Costa Mesa better, and how he'd try to accomplish that. Stephens waved around legal pads and talked about his conference room.

8/30/2012 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Fun Forum said...

Geoff,
Thanks for a great post. Clearly, Genis, Weitzberg, and Stephens are super knowledgeable, most qualified, and ready to lead.

Unlike the 3 stooges, they are not beholden to extremist ideology or a weird, possibly unbalanced leader (Righeimer).

After finally admitting that they signed "no tax increase" pledges, how do the ocgop people intend to fix the revenue problems? How can they raise the business license fee without violating their pledge?

And why are they making pledges to Scott Baugh instead of the citizens of Costa Mesa? What other secret pledges have they made that we don't know about yet?

8/30/2012 11:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Faye said...

I think the oxygen left the room Monahan, Mensigner, Melone and McCarthy all said they signed a no tax pledge. This is really something to look at. What I want to know is why they would be beholden to such a thing versus the residents of Costa Mesa? What if a tax increase is the best thing and needed for the city? For me, it showed a lack of foresight and maturity on part of the candidates who would sign such a ridiculous document.

8/30/2012 12:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Lolllipop Lickers of Costa Mesa said...

Hey Cosmo, wasn't trying to make fun, just saying he came up short with his commitment to this City and it's residents. Gary sold his soul and then just walked away from his Mayor position and thought nobody would care, and then he expects people to vote for him. What a joke, time to vote him out and have some new ideas on the Council.

8/30/2012 02:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

A slight increase to the Business License fee is a common-sense low-impact revenue generator. I suppose it's technically a tax, but businesses have indicated they wouldn't mind a small, fair increase, since the rate hasn’t changed for 51 years. The one proposed at a Council study session would have increased Nordstrom’s share to $800.00 a year! The formula made sure small businesses had small increases.

Overall it would have generated $3.4 million for the City compared to the $800,000 we get now. The boys refused to recommend staff prepare to put it on the ballot so “the voters could decide”. When a member of the public asked if any council members had signed a pledge not to raise taxes they refused to answer, except Wendy. A clue was they rejected the small increase proposed, which made no sense to me. Apparently they interpreted it as a tax, and let an outsider influence their action to withhold this decision from the voters. I guess we know why now. Why would they put a pledge to Grover Norquist, someone who is not remotely connected to Costa Mesa, above a chance to “let the voters decide” if this measure would benefit Costa Mesa?

8/30/2012 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Faye, its easy to see that they will say anything they need to say in order to get a vote.

Clearly, the best 3 are Weitzberg, Stephens and Genis.

8/30/2012 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Thank you for reporting, Geoff. So they signed the Norquist pledge. George Bush Senior (that liberal union loving democrat, not)recently said "Who the hell is Grover Norquist?!"

We are not looking at true fiscal conservatives here on Costa Mesa City Council - and their Planning Commish buddy who's running for an open seat. Remember the days of Crony Capitalism? They're baaaaack!

8/30/2012 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Revealing forum said...

Fun Forum,

Amazing - your only solution is raising taxes and fees, while the 3M's made it clear that the only real, sustainable way to increase revenue is to increase property values, sales tax and employment opportunities in Costa Mesa. That is how Newport has such robust revenues.

Very clear distinction between the Democrat and Republican candidates - and no - Sandy is NOT a Republican, despite her voter registration.

I also thought Stephens comparison of Newport and Costa Mesa police staffing was incredibly naive and very clearly demonsterated his lack of understanding.

The most hilarious part was the whole labor negotiation isue - all three, Stephens, Genis and Weitzberg don't have a clue!

Lets assume taht they are elected, they'll quickly find out that the police and fire associations are only nice when you give them what they want, and that no matter how polite the Lib 3 are, they won't fare any better!

8/30/2012 03:53:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

It was a great forum.
Kudos to all who made it possible.

When the forum adjourned did anyone else get rushed by Mensinger's helpers trying to push his yard signs on you?
The same was true with McCarthy's helpers and yard signs.
It was very odd.

8/30/2012 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Sign of the Times said...

kwahlf:
"When the forum adjourned did anyone else get rushed by Mensinger's helpers trying to push his yard signs on you?"

Yea, but we politely told them they were backing the wrong person. What's with Mensy and the high school girls, anyway? Future plaintiffs?

8/30/2012 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Reveal This said...

If a business license fee increase only brought in a few extra million, at least it'd cover attorney's fees for Righeimer's next F-up.

8/30/2012 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous 1% Costa Mesa said...

The only pledge council members should sign is a pledge to work for the taxpayers of Costa Mesa. Anyone who signs such a document is short sighted. We need long term thinkers who are controlled by ethics and morals as opposed to power and promises.

8/30/2012 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Jack Cuff said...

From Mike Reicher's story in the Daily Pilot:
"The CM4RG candidates appeared more prepared and answered questions more succinctly than the 3Ms, who seemed to speak off the cuff."

Yep. Off the cuff, unprepared. Just like the council clones have been doing these last couple years.

Mr. "OfftheCuff" Mensinger should have spent less time hassling teachers and airline baggage clerks, and more time learning about issues.

Mr. "OfftheCuff" Monahan should spend all his time at his bar and leave governing to people who care.

Mr. "OfftheCuff" McCarthy should spend less time kissing up to Starbucks (re the Eastside drive-thru) and more time protecting citizens' property rights.

Stephens, Genis, and Weitzberg are the best choices.

8/30/2012 07:08:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Revealing forum, apparently the DO have a clue, as they were reported even by the D.P. to have been better preparedand answered questions more specifically than the 3Ms. I don't know what forum you were at, but it wasn't the one we are talking about in here.

This was the one that when asked what Colin's first job would be in the first 6 months of his tenure on council, he indicated that he would build more bike trails!!! Really? Bike trails?

Even Melone sounded more intelligent than that.

8/30/2012 08:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

To Not Stephens: McCarthy gave no information; he just talked about his family and liking to live in Costa Mesa. Well, we all live in Costa Mesa and most of us have families. That doesn't make anyone qualified to serve on the City Council. I wanted to hear how he was going to solve the City's money problems and spend millions of dollars on fixing streets, without breaking his pledge never to raise taxes and still provide high-quality services to residents and businesses. I'm still waiting.

8/30/2012 08:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...


N.S.: We all live in Costa Mesa, and most of us have families. So what? That doesn't make us any more qualified to serve on the City Council than the next person. I wanted to hear how each candidate would approach solving the city's money problems while providing high-quality services to residents and businesses. Those who signed the no-tax pledge have tied their hands behind their backs and can basically do nothing but slash services in both quality and quantity.

8/30/2012 08:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's your skirt? said...

Was that actually Gary Monahan, or one of the homeless from Lions Park?

8/30/2012 09:03:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

It is interesting to me that two groups didn't self identify. Mensinger, McCarthy and Monahan share a 15 foot banner on Gary's pub. The other three are endorsed by a community organization called 'costa mesans for repsonsible government'. (CM4RG.org). Gennis, Stephens, and Weitzberg make up that group. Since the city council is a 5 person affair, the number '3' is important. The voting history of this council has never seen any opposition to a Righiemr proposal. That's likely to continue if Mensinger, Monahan, or McConnel get elected. It'll always be '3' to '2'.

8/30/2012 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

I remember a simpler time (maybe 5 years ago) when all the candidates would be tripping over themselves for the endorsement of Police and Fire. My, how times have changed. I wish I still had those mailers of Mansoor and Monahan and anyone else, paid for by 'the unions.'

Now that I see the M's yard signs up, instead of throwing all mailers in the trash the minute I get them, I think I'll tuck them away somewhere to pull back out a few years down the road for some good reading.

8/30/2012 09:44:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Sign of the Times - good response.

Mike McNiff- I wish I had saved a number of Riggy's mailers from 2008 and his previous campaign.

8/30/2012 11:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Interesting note: Mensinger indicated he'd been on the losing end of a vote. This is contrary to my recollection; he's always been part of the 4-1 votes, and never in the minority... Where, then, did he lose a vote?

On another subject, none of the losers on the council seems to have broached the flasks I gave them. Mensinger indicated he'd been drinking diet coke with Righeimer. Monahan said he'd not had time. Righeimer, of course, drinks diet coke.

Now, that was good beer. I went to considerable trouble to bring it back from Colorado, and unless somebody does, it's just not available outside that state. It's made by non-union people, so that can't be their objection.

WHAT'N HELL KIND OF WIMPS DO WE HAVE ON CITY COUNCIL? IF THEY CAN'T BRING THEMSELVES TO ACCEPT FINE, IMPORTED BEER AS A GIFT, WHAT ARE THEY GONNA DO IN NEGOTIATIONS? TURN DOWN ALL CONCESSIONS FROM THE ASSOCIATIONS BECAUSE THEY CAN'T ACCEPT PEACE OFFERINGS? NO WONDER THEY DON'T HAVE THEIR "SECOND TIER".

If they're not gonna drink it, I want it back. I'll sure as hell drink it.

8/31/2012 01:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Banning Ranch Preview?? said...

Will Riggy, Mensy, Bever, and Monasham be relocating their families to Banning Ranch after it's built out? Nah, that's for the little people..

http://www.ktla.com/news/landing/ktla-oil-field-homes,0,3824243.story

8/31/2012 07:16:00 AM  
Anonymous roboto said...

public safety endorsements have not worked well for many years here in town. their candidates tend to lose. return to reason can attest to that. right now their endorsement is poison and should be avoided. the electorate knows this endorsement is from a union/association that wants to elect people to cc to give in to them for the $$ spent by unions on their behalf. because all sane people know there is a pension crisis and that public safety is the biggest culprit it is wise not to seek their endorsement. no matter how much we love our safety personnel this is not about them as individuals, this is about their union taking more and more. where is Krupp on this?

8/31/2012 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Wondering how many Mesa Verde residents will turn out at the CC meeting to oppose the 7-11 going in on Adams between Royal Palm and Harbor. I called it after the Planning Commission meeting - Southland Corp. will appeal for 24 hours, which is what they are doing. It will get approved despite protests from the neighborhood, because this stuff gets decided well in advance, and the PC meeting was all for show so McCarthy could be the lone dissenting vote and be able to say 'I voted against that.'

The problem is, assuming Riggy and Bever vote for, and Leece against, who between Monahan and Mensinger votes for? My guess is Monahan, since Mensinger can vote against and then say he did so.

Prove me wrong, city council, prove me wrong. Otherwise, it's obvious to me you guys are bought and paid for and don't give two sh*ts about the residents you claim to represent.

8/31/2012 09:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Honeyman said...

roboto...only used the term "union" three times in your paragraph post. You're slipping! Please kick it up to at least 5 per paragraph.

Regards, 3M's

8/31/2012 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Mike Mc,
Interesting fact most people don't know:
7-11 is Japanese-owned..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/7-Eleven

8/31/2012 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous 949 said...

Roboto, to put it succinctly, you're an idiot. Find me one union in the Costa Mesa PD. Everyone seems to want to paint this separation between the "rank and file officers" and the "union" that represents them. News flash: the association representation is made up of the rank and file officers. The guys out driving around in the patrol cars are the "union" guys. There is not some full time paid job called "Police Union Representative". The members of the association board are nominated by their peers and then voted on by their peers. Leadership tends to change every couple of years.

This whole "The Union" generalization and the complete lack of understanding of how it works shows that you and the council either don't want to educate yourselves on facts, or have and just continue to perpetuate the big union lie because it has worked so far.

Finally, as far as "taking more"' please tell me what the police union has asked for in the last year, last 3 years? What increase, enhancement or other perk. If there is one I think we all deserve to know about it. I want to know what "more" exactly they have sought. As far as I have seen, they have given back. If I'm wrong, please correct me.

8/31/2012 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Joe - that is interesting. I guess we'll have to follow the yen on this one. If I see a large delegation of Japanese hanging with Riggy and Mensy at the EHS football game tonight, I'll really know I was right!

8/31/2012 12:19:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Mike McNiff said...
"Joe - that is interesting. I guess we'll have to follow the yen on this one. If I see a large delegation of Japanese hanging with Riggy and Mensy at the EHS football game tonight, I'll really know I was right!"

Righeimer:
"Mike set me up! I was drinking DIET saki!"

8/31/2012 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous S-Kelevra said...

949 has it right. Our CMPD officers have voluntarily taken pay cuts, voluntarily increased the percentage of their wages used to pay their share of their pension costs, not taken any cost of living increases in, what, 6 years(?), paid more and more into their medical insurance (and received wise and worse insurance) and repeatedly offered a second tier benefits package to the city council (which they have refused to act on... It's an election year, remember?). In addition, there are fewer cops in the department and, therefore, on patrol on the street today than at any other time in recent history, regardless of the propaganda put out by the city council. There are now 8 officers assigned to Day Shift patrol, as opposed to 10 just two years ago, and minimum staffing levels has dropped to just 7. So if one person is sick, injured, or on vacation, they cover the entire city (16 square miles, 117,000 residents, tens of thousands of visitors to the city, not including those visiting South Coast Plaza) with just 7 officers. If someone else calls out, they have to draft someone from another shift, and pay them overtime.

The CMPD's association didn't want Righeimer elected, that's for sure. He was, and still is, the wrong choice for Costa Mesa.

8/31/2012 07:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

REPLAY SCHEDULE
9/1/12 at 7:00 PM
9/2/12 at 10:00 AM
9/2/12 at 4:00 PM
9/3/12 at 6:00PM
9/3/12 at 8:00 PM
9/4/12 at 2:00 PM

8/31/2012 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous roboto said...

we have 8 cops on patrol? wow, that is the same number as Huntington Beach which has a much larger service area and population. very good!

9/01/2012 05:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

roboto, Great point! Maybe CMPD should cut it down even further. How does 5 or 6 sound? Or better yet maybe 4, one per square mile.

9/01/2012 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous There's much more! said...

So much BS this week it would be near Impossible to correct all the lies and false comments.

Did Chuck Cassity and Krotchman go to some let's make up our own facts seminar?

Council Candidate Sandy Genis already corrected some of Cassity's BS.

But one thing people seem to not get is this Power Grab idea. The charter supporters keep trying to falsely make it look like nothing changes because it's still 3 votes to approve things.

This is a complete deceptive tactic. I hope most people understand the 3 votes isn't the issue.

The issue is what they can now vote on and not how many votes it takes to pass. That is just a false tactic from charter proponents.

Let's take the example of the no-bid contracts. If Rizzo jr. gets elected to the council in 10 years. He could with a vote of two others pass that no-bid ceiling to say 2 million dollars. So he could then give Cousin Rizzo and Grandson Rizzo any contracts under 2 mil. without it ever going out to bid.

Now you may say, this would never happen...well I bet the City of Bell would have some comments for you.

9/01/2012 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous There's so much more! said...

The comment was made at the Mesa Verde Forum, I forget which MMM made the comment, that the prevailing wage excemption means more locals get to work or something like that. Be careful falling for some of this BS.

If you look at the facts because they suggests otherwise. Let's take City Council's own star pro charter speaker at one forum, Jerome Kern council member from Oceanside.

Ole Jerry trumpeted the savings and local wages to the economy on their first project the Oceanside Harbor Community Center.

Well here are the facts they hide from now...the project contractor went BK. They were hired out of Irvine not Oceanside. Not very local if you ask me. The beautiful project fell well behind schedule, it had to be picked up by their bond insurer and now instead of this Beautiful Community Center it's gong to be finished as only a warehouse and restroom facility. Oceanside residents got totally cheated on this deal.

This Costa Mesa voters was their signature project in Oceanside hyping all these savings and local workers used claims in oreer to get their charter passed.

I am not against charters either. Just made up BS to falsely trick voters.

9/01/2012 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Presidio Neighbor said...

The majority of day watch is covered by 5 officers until 4p.m.




9/01/2012 03:12:00 PM  
Anonymous RU Mensinger roboto? said...

roboto speaks out of every orifice. This guy is all over the road. If union or really association backed candidates haven't done well then why do we keep hearing how all the past councils, even the Mansoor and Monaghan past councils were all bought and paid for by unions?

You just make up things.

9/01/2012 03:21:00 PM  
Anonymous There's even more! said...

Oceanside — One of the largest public building projects in Oceanside Harbor for years is nearly completed, but the scope of the project has been basically cut in half, and work is running behind schedule.

The Harbor Aquatics Center was to provide a community center with rooms overlooking the ocean and the bay that could be used for public meetings or large events such as weddings. It also was going to have an indoor storage facility for outrigger canoes, an additional 33 parking spaces and a storage facility for harbor maintenance equipment.

Because of its timing, the project also has attracted debate over city policies on whether to require contractors to pay construction workers higher union-scale wages.

The community center would have been two stories and about 6,771-square-feet, and would have included a 1,363-square-foot meeting room and special-event space, 1,145-square-feet of office and restroom space and a 1,750-square-foot balcony. The maintenance facility was slated for 5,778 square feet.

9/01/2012 03:29:00 PM  
Anonymous There's always more! said...

Champions of the charter, such as Oceanside Councilman Jerome Kern, hailed the cost differential as proof of the charter’s effectiveness and a compelling reason for cities throughout the state to declare their partial independence with a charter.

Prevailing wage advocates said Oceanside got what it paid for. The initial contractor, SMC Construction Co., went bankrupt, so the bonding company had to bring in a new contractor. Scott Littlehale, a researcher at nonprofit Smart Cities Prevail, said that in avoiding prevailing wage, the city set itself up.

“Taxpayers now are getting less, and they’re getting less late,” Littlehale said of the Harbor Aquatics Center. “I think the city magnified its exposure to risk when it did away with the prevailing wage requirement. ... It opens up the door to any lowball contractor bids.”

Kern said the changes in the scope of the project were a prudent city decision, not based on whether the contractors were paying prevailing wage, and there are risks associated with public works projects, whether or not contractors pay prevailing wage.

“We saved a lot of money going to non-prevailing wage,” Kern said. “Prevailing wage had nothing to do with the timeline or the completion (of the Aquatics Center). ... Whether a union contractor or nonunion contractor you have the same issues.”

9/01/2012 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Harbor disaster! said...

So what happened to the BS about hire locally and local workers and boosting the economy all the campaign BS for the charter in Oceanside? They turn around and hire what they called an LA firm.


Construction of a $2.1 million equipment storage building in Oceanside Harbor has halted because the Los Angeles contractor hired by the city has gone out of business.

"We have a big, half-built project over there," city harbor and beaches director Frank Quan said.

SMC Construction notified the city earlier this month that it was closing its doors and wouldn't be able to finish the 6,000-square-foot building, city project manager Nathan Mertz said.

"What we're seeing is, basically, the contractor is no longer in business; they left the site," Mertz said.

A rear wall of the building has been finished, as has much of the foundation work. But the site was abandoned last week, with plastic sheeting draped over steel beams rising out of the ground to form a skeleton for the rest of the building.

Other construction material was scattered over the site, which is near the harbor boat launch ramps, and a trailer was parked to one side of the site.

Mertz said the contractor posted a $3.5 million bond on the project, which will be used to finish construction.

9/01/2012 03:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Voter said...

What do Mensy and Fitzy do all day while their wives are at work? Do either of them have jobs?

9/01/2012 08:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Dean of Students said...

Does anyone know if Mensy actually got a degree from USC or did he just attend? If not, would that make him the only candidate without a college degree?

9/02/2012 11:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

The difference between Sandy and Steve M is when Sandy says she'll put residents first, she means it.

9/02/2012 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous cuddashuddawanna said...

I am not against A charter, just this one.
I am not against pension reform, just not the way the council wants to do it.
I am not against transparency in labor negotiations, just want to know everyone the council talks to.
I am not able to give you any plans of my own, but I am against the plans of the others.
Whatever the issue, I can do it better because I am responsible and will extend that into government.
There is no I in WE.
I may have no experience in governance and you may have never heard of me until two months ago but trust me and remember in november.
We have the bestest and I will keep it that way. Vote for me because if i don't win you will never hear from me again, i will pull a krupp on you

9/02/2012 08:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Is this monasham or mensham talking? They will disappear hopefully when they lose.

9/03/2012 09:35:00 AM  

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