Monday, September 03, 2012

Labor Day And The Replay Schedule

As we mark the 130th anniversary of the creation of Labor Day in this country I think it's important to remember what this was supposed to be all about.  You can read an official history of Labor Day, HERE.  The first paragraph sets the tone:

"Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

Like many Americans I celebrated this day, at least in part, by escaping from the chaos of the City to a more peaceful place, to celebrate the last holiday of the summer and to remember what it's all about.

My little escape was to a small town a few hundred miles away where Labor Day is a BIG DEAL.  It's a three-day celebration that involves a parade through town with the kind of things you'd expect in small town Americana.
The football team on a flat-bed truck 
High school marching bands 
Local patriot bikers 
Service club members strutting their stuff
 "Scouts" on parade
Shriners in mini-cars
The local bicycle club
Local children celebrating their rich culture
Clowns scaring the kids
An honest-to-goodness Marine marching band 
Classic cars hauling dignitaries
And, A Presbyterian preacher on a pinto pony
You know, all the usual stuff...

Later that Marine Band gave an inspiring concert after most of us indulged ourselves with roasted chicken or beef and watched the kids on the rides.  It was not unlike what Costa Mesa's Fish Fry celebration once was.
The next day over 100 hot rods were on display for us to salivate over and recall the days when we owned cars like those.  It sure did evoke lots of memories.

As hard as I tried I couldn't help observe the great irony that this holiday marks.  This weekend the entire nation marks a day honoring "labor" - as described in that paragraph above - and yet in Costa Mesa we have elected leaders who seem determined to expunge our city of the workers who represent that labor!  Over the past eighteen months we've seen what amounts to a methodical plan to eject workers from our city and to make the lives of those remaining miserable.  I found myself wondering how those local politicians marked this weekend.  Did they celebrate with their fingers crossed behind their backs?  Quite honestly, just the thought of some of them glad-handing at celebrations while scheming to decimate the ranks of municipal workers makes me want to puke.

To all of us who have earned the right to celebrate this holiday through the sweat of our brow and service to the community - thank you for all you have done.

We have a short, yet very busy, week ahead of us.  I'll report more on that in another post.  However, I do want to remind you that the video of the excellent Mesa Verde Community, Inc., Candidate Forum from last week is still available for viewing on Costa Mesa Television - Channel 24 on Time Warner Cable and Channel 99 on ATT UVerse.  Here's the play list as it is currently being displayed on the City website.  I don't know if they will continue this forum in the rotation as other forums are held.  For example, on the 5th there is the first of two Feet To The Fire Forums, so the Mesa Verde event may drop off the schedule.

 9/3/12 at 6:00PM

  9/3/12 at 8:00 PM

  9/4/12 at 2:00 PM

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Blogger kwahlf said...

Thank you, Geoff for honoring our working men and women. You remind us what this holiday is all about.
Our Costa Mesa City employees have been working under four councilmen who have been trying to get rid of them since December 2010. I can't imagine what that is like AND receiving up to six layoff notices in that time.
Thank you to all of them who have hung in there.
This resident appreciates all of you.

Have a great Labor Day, everyone!

9/03/2012 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous private worker/taxpayer said...

yeah, the layoff notices are strssful. why did the union demand them?
the councilmen are simply wanting to bid out services. if our employees make economic sense to be in house then they will stay in house.
the city should not be first and foremost a jobs factory but an efficient deliverer of services for the taxpayer.
some may not like that approach, certainly not the employees. but ours are the bestest and will easily find other jobs being the bestest and all. hopefully we find out the price we pay is right on and all stay but most likely there are a couple areas where it makes no sense to keep in house. perhaps sharing services with other cities can help save the jobs. we all know the private sector workers suck at doing jobs and are no competition for our bestest.

9/03/2012 05:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Costa Mesa lowers the bar. said...

private worker/taxpayer, I am pretty sure if your employer wanted to he could find someone willing and qualified to do your job cheaper too! There is always someone out there willing to do it cheaper.

So why shouldn't you be replaced by someone willing to do it cheaper? In fact maybe we should reexamine all private workers too and offer their jobs to bidders who would be willing to do it cheaper. If we lower the cost of what we pay private sector workers maybe as a consumer we could lower the costs of goods we all pay for everyday. This would be good for all of us too!

I support pension reforms and know they are needed just as the excellent candidates Stephens, Genis and Weitzberg understand this. They will do it the right way of course without lawsuits needed. The way the current council does things I fear lawsuits in the future based on unfair business practices, cronyism and so much more. The Fairgrounds debacle should be a perfect example of conflicts the current council will cause.

It's sad because I always thought the republicans were for improving the quality of life and not lowering the standard or the bar as is often claimed.

9/03/2012 10:56:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

private worker: No, they are not! They want to bust the unions. They did not follow procedure and tackled it as one reporter said, "A bull in a china closet", which now has cost the City of Costa Mesa 2 million dollars. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. These councilmembers can't seem to do anything right.

9/03/2012 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Faye said...

I would recognize Cambria pics anywhere. The place is magical! I hope you are enjoying your weekend!

9/03/2012 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Love it EVERY time we visit! ;-)

9/03/2012 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Hopefully a new day in CM. said...

On this Labor Day, Costa Mesa residents should be hopeful. I was able to catch the recent candidate forum and in my opinion most of the candidates did a pretty good job. The CMRG candidates were AWESOME!

I was extremely impressed with the entire CM4RG backed candidates. They were totally prepared, researched a great deal, Stephens read most of the other cities charters, they refuted many of the claims made by the otherside and even Sandy Genis corrected some procedural misstatements in one of the questions. They also support pension reform but they support doing it the right way.

The incumbents and McCarthy did well to. But they were pretty scripted and seemed almost roboto. Gary's has lost my support because of his recent actions and his callous comments made to the press when a city worker for whatever reason committed suicide. His stepping down as mayor inspite of the stories he will make up as to why, his business, his kids etc. I will not buy into because he has had the business a longtime now and the same with his kids. The real reason Monahan I believe Monahan wants to stay on is the health benefits. Gee imagine that he attacks pensions and benefits and the number one reason he seems to hang on is because of some $1500 a month in health benefits to cover his large family. That's Nearly $20,000 a year in health benefits. Where are these outcries from Barry and Phil and Tom Pollit on this?

Men singer will cause the city huge problems not only as being the bully he has shown, but also the deals and favoritism that he will engage in. It's too bad because he does pretty good things in the community. But that's where he should be and not in government. We don't need quid pro quo etc.

9/03/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Hopefully a new day in CM. said...

I forgot to add something. There may be a lot of disgust with the pension problem but there is a lot of disgust and anger also built up against this council.

They have alienated and driven away many who normally would support them.

So I am hopeful because 2 years ago a relatively unknown named Chris Mcevoy stepped up and with virtually no money he received over 10,000 votes finishing a very strong 3rd for 2 seats.

This year we have, no slight to Chris, 3 outstanding, extremely qualified, also well involved in the community candidates. Where now more people than ever are disenfranchised by the current leadership Mensinger and Monahan who basically follow Righeimer and whatever he says. Everyone knows McCarthy is the same.

So yeah I am excited this year because there is really a good chance to unseat 2 of the cadre and put in 3 people who put Costa Mesa first over some false politically ideaology. These 3 candidates, Stephens, Weitzberg and Genis will get the pension reforms the other candidates are just crowing about.

I also believe they will within reason and fiscal sanity improve on infrastructure but also bring back some of the programs that make a city great.

It's not going to be easy but I believe the CMRG 3 can do this!

9/03/2012 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I have some education, but Genis continues to amaze me with her knowledge of government. Weitzberg and Stephens are full of good sense, business knowledge and acumen. The big thing about these three though is that they can all be TRUSTED.

Each of the other three have good traits, but sorry, McCarthy and Mensinger are smirking at the world, and Monahan comes off like the neighborhood creep.

The choice in November is easy.

9/03/2012 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

A well-deserved break, Geoff. The last couple years in CM have been like nothing I've ever seen here, but you've reported on and discussed all these events in a thorough, ethical manner.

I know that your honesty and integrity has put you at odds with longtime friends and allies, yet you've never wavered.

The council males can learn much from you, as do I.


9/03/2012 05:36:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Hopefully a new day AND Costa Mesa lowers the bar: Thank you for your well reasoned and thought out comments.

We are all hoping for a new day very soon. Looking forward to November 6.

9/03/2012 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous privateworker/taxpayer said...

yeah, the layoff notices are stressful, why did the unions demand them?

9/03/2012 08:05:00 PM  
Anonymous CMTaxpayer said...

Republicans are for raising the standard of living. You contol your desitny, you start a business, grow a business, reap the rewards. I hear whiny old Republican guys at council meetings who think cause they got fired or the economy tanked or they blew thier wad on risky investments they're still entitled to everything, so they blame the unions cause they can't blame themselves. I know them and they know me, if they can figure it out.

These so called conservative boys practice their own brand of power politics. Appears they seem to have cornered the market in Orange county, they aren’t practicing core Republican values like what us old timers hold to. Nationwide there is concern that these rogues are ruining the Republican brand. I’m old school enough to belive you can’t just talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk.

I’m looking at the gang on costaMesa council, their buddies formerly on the fair board, Jim R’s officemate Scott Baugh and henchmen, Fitzy making such noise at Sanitation just in time to cater to Athens lust for Costa Mesa’s trash contract. Money and buddies. Ya gotta be connected, ya know what I mean? It’s been a closed circle for awhile and getting tighter. I still have faith in the Party but not in these guys. I’ve been adding it up for months. Fairgrounds shenanigans + hiring buddies at $132k yr with first tier benefits + selected outsourcing vendors + Big League Dreams + cell towers, + Banning ranch sweetheart deal + etc. = good old fashioned values. Crony Capitalism values, that is.

9/04/2012 12:20:00 AM  
Anonymous CMTaxpayer said...

I used to post in the papers as CMtaxpayer, which I certainly am. Bur I don’t Facebook, so can’t comment now. How’s that supposd to be a public discussion. They should find a way to include everyone agin or just shut it off. You are the last outpost of free speech, Pot Stirrer.

9/04/2012 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike O'Reilly said...

Nice piece, Geoff, but no mention of the people most responsible for Labor Day, and responsible for nearly all of what few benefits workers today still enjoy, benefits fought for, bled for, and died for: American trade and industrial unions. And who, after all, were the first to respond -- effectively -- to the council's naked power grab? The municipal unions in Costa Mesa. In court. I'm afraid without their voice Costa Mesa today would resemble a banana republic; government by plutocratic windbags and machers. Unions: the people who gave us weekends.

9/04/2012 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

private worker: ?? no one demanded pink slips...who would? No one wants them! Not quite sure what you are trying to ask.

9/05/2012 08:54:00 AM  

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