Monday, October 29, 2012

OC GOP Takeover Of Special Districts?

A week from tomorrow, November 6th, voters will make choices that will impact the future of two special districts that serve Costa Mesa and some adjacent areas - and not necessarily for the better.


In a power grab previously unseen locally, the Orange County Republican Party (OCGOP) has fielded and funded candidates for both the Costa Mesa Sanitary District and the Mesa Consolidated Water District.  If all are elected the result could be, in very short order, those two districts being combined and subsequently folded into the City of Costa Mesa, bringing with them the estimated more than $40 million is cash.

Most of us are familiar with the drama playing out in the Sanitary District, where Director Jim Fitzpatrick is the subject of a legal challenge by the remaining directors, who have two legal opinions that Fitzpatrick is holding his seat illegally.  Some say that, since he stepped down from his seat on the Costa Mesa Planning Commission, the conflict no longer exists.  The response has been that he broke the law and illegally holds the Sanitary District seat  and this needs to be resolved once and for all.  And they are correct.  It is in the hands of the State Attorney General at this point.

This time around recently appointed Planning Commissioner Jeff Mathews - a major contributor to Republican candidates and causes locally and a member of the OC GOP Central Committee who has "contributed his way" to powerful seats on commissions - is running for a seat on the Sanitary District Board.  If successful, he will find himself in the same situation as Fitzpatrick - illegally occupying two "conflicted" seats simultaneously.  This issue needs to be resolved.

In the Sanitary District race Mathews and newcomer Don Harper - who's campaign website outlined the plan to combine the two special districts first showed up - are challenging incumbents Art Perry and Jim Ferryman, using as their primary weapon the fact that the Sanitary District has not placed the trash collection contract out for bidding since the late 1940's.  Well, that's a true statement - as far as it goes.  Unfortunately, it's just part of the manipulation of the truth that's going on in too many campaigns this year.

The Sanitary District was a "self-hauler" for the first forty years.  In the mid 1980s they began using private trash haulers and those players changed as companies acquired others.  They have re-negotiated with those haulers over the years to get the best rates possible and provide superior service to the customers.  The challengers compare Costa Mesa rates to those of Newport Coast, but that's comparing apples and tangerines.  Newport Coast residents must recycle their own trash, which saves work for the hauler and reduces their rate.  Costa Mesa uses the popular one-trash can system - we put all our stuff in the same can.  And, recently the Sanitary District Board approved a more than 5% reduction in rate - which is now reflected on your tax bill that's showing up in your mail.

Recently a survey was done of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District's ratepayers, the vast majority of which feel the District is doing an excellent job under the current leadership.  This year it received the "District of Distinction Award" - another reflection of how well the current leadership is doing.


The Costa Mesa Sanitary District has NO DEBT.  All district facilities are owned by the taxpayers free and clear.  While most special districts rely on property taxes to subsidize their rates, ours does not.  It receives only $215,000 per year from property taxes - 1.7% of the operating budget.  Only 18% of the District's budget is consumed by salaries and retirement costs.  By any measure, the Costa Mesa Sanitary District is well-run and fiscally sound.

Art Perry and Jim Ferryman have served the community for their entire lives and have demonstrated their skill as members of the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board for decades.  The opposition is fabricating crises - that's the tactic of the OC GOP - to frighten voters into making a change.  Don't let fabricated fear and thousands of outside dollars frighten you into voting for Mathews and Harper. 

Vote for Art Perry and Jim Ferryman to retain sound management and fiscal stability at the Costa Mesa Sanitary District.

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Anonymous Uh oh! said...

Is attempting to bribe or threatening District Officials against Federal Laws?

Sounds like Fitzy could be in big trouble.

10/29/2012 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous West loose with Facts said...

Daily Pilot Link,0,4025190,full.story

I reread this story. Looks like Ooten is the only one who talks about merging with the City.

Fitzpatrick says he would not support a merger with the City.

Geoff, where do you get your facts?

I was at a neighborhood coffee and Don Harper has said that the reason he got involved, after trying to get a seat on the water district, was because he read the sanitation district minutes and was amazed at how poorly the incumbents were behaving. Can you connect the dots of your conspiracy theory of the OC GOP? Perry and Ferryman are endorsed by the unions and you are talking about black helicopters?

Then I get a mailer from Perry & Ferryman today saying that Harper & Mathews are benefitting from “outside money”.

Yet I remembered this story in the Daily Pilot that the trash company gave Perry & Ferryman $10,000,0,7128193.story

Who do you trust? Real reporters or this guy Geoff West who makes up crazy things and then reports them as fact. Is he friends with these guys? Or just lost his marbles?

10/29/2012 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous sk said...

I have to add that the campaign statements made by Harper and Matthews are misstatements and half-truths provided by Fitzpatrick.

10/29/2012 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Prevailing Wageless said...

Speaking of power grabs. When you go and ask for the Union endorsement and get it you are handed a piece of paper that says what union shops you should work with during your campaign. Stephens got his union endorsement.

Have you seen the Stephens signs that got hit with sun and water and are now fading? This is the type of leader you will get with Stephens as he is led by his union friends

10/29/2012 03:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Absolutely agree with you Geoff….Keep Art Perry and Jim Ferryman in place!
The reason the trash contract has not gone out for bid is because the terms have successfully been re-negotiated many, many, many, many times. As new trash companies bought out the old ones, they bent over backwards to keep existing customers happy. There is nothing sinister going on here. Jim Fitzpatrick wants you to believe there is so he can keep vomiting out more lies.
It is very expensive to put a trash contract out for bid. Perry and Ferryman have saved Costa Mesa residents over $200,000 a pop by not doing that. It is also a very complicated process, one that the District would have to hire a consulting firm to do. Fitzy just conveniently leaves that part out of every newspaper article and interview he’s done. That guy has no concept of what it means to be fiscally responsible.

10/29/2012 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Facts said...

Geoff, your bias is showing on this one, which is fine. No secret that you are pals with the anti-Fitz faction over at CMSD.

Maybe you should do your own research before reprinting their campaign fables.

Why don't you ask them who gets the value of the recyclables that get picked up? We're not even close to the best rates or service. We're tied for third MOST EXPENSIVE in the county in cost to residents - and that's in dollars, not fruit.

If you want a dumpster for your home projects, better not call CR&R, they're the most expensive in town. Why is that, aren't they "our" trash hauler? Maybe it isn't spelled out in the closed-bid contract...

10/29/2012 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Geoff, I hope you submitted this as a letter to the Register or DP.

10/29/2012 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Loose, it was Harper himself to spilled the beans inadvertintly. Fitzy has lied all along about what is about to happen. I do know that Matthews paid $1,000 to McCarthy, and a week later he was recommended for appointment to the Planning Commission, and Mensinger led the vote. Matthews bought his position free and clear. He will buy others.

And to answer your question: I trust Geoff. And also Ferryman and Perry above that of people who buy their positions and those (you) who lie about it.

10/29/2012 04:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Any post with the word "fact" in it is just Fitzpatrick doing his spinning again. He is masterful at manipulating facts AND figures. What's even worse is how much public money he wastes asking the CMSD employees to do more "fact" finding for him because he is too lazy to do it himself! He is a FRAUD!

10/29/2012 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

An OCGOP surrogate asks:
"Who do you trust? Real reporters or this guy Geoff West"


This real guy Geoff West.

10/29/2012 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

*LOL* And after this election, I'm thinking that Fitzy will never NOT work in this town again *Colin smirk*

10/29/2012 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous LOL said...

Fitzy is particularly good at "not working", just ask his wife!

10/29/2012 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Can't we all just get along? said...

Why can't Costa Mesa be more like our neighbors down the road? I'm ready to move!

Integrity in what we do and how it is done.
- City of Lake Forest Value

The City of Lake Forest strives to promote an ethical environment based upon goals and ideals that we as a community value. Fostering an ethical environment involves promoting appropriate conduct and examination of issues through an ethical as well as a practical perspective. It is difficult to identify and address every possible scenario, but our goal is to inspire and motivate everyone to think and act ethically.

The proper operation of the City's government requires that public officials and employees act as public servants: courteous, impartial, honest, open, and responsible to the City's residents; that they act as fiduciaries entrusted with and responsible for the property and resources of the community; that they make governmental decisions and policies in the proper channels of the government structure, free of coercive or other improper influence; and that they use their office and employment in the
best interests of the City rather than for personal interests, whether their own interests or those of their family, friends, or business and political associates.

It is central to gaining and retaining the public's trust in the City's government that public servants seek to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Fulfilling one's role as public servant sometimes means sacrificing rather than gaining opportunities. Individuals -- especially community leaders -- must commit themselves to thinking and acting ethically.

10/29/2012 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Non-Union resident opposed to V! said...

I do not use Facebook so I hope that you will permit me to comment here on an article in the Pilot that relates to the current topics on BC and in our City.

Regarding the article dated 10/29, “Measure V opponents raise nearly $500K”, poster CMTax (aka: Fitzpatrick) says: “Unions. They sue us, they vandalize our signs, they harass us and spread lies and throw bricks but in the end, they will become a thing of the past. Just a matter of time. Sorry boys but it is time to join the rest of us mortals and get off your thrones.”

My response: No Mr. Fitzpatrick, please… go back to your throne… the porcelain one w/ the yellowish brown seat in Skosh’s back stall. You know.. the one where your best efforts are made! Seriously dude… do you really think that you could get > 20 people in this City to say good things about you?

And, Mr. Mensinger who posts to the same article: “Opponents=Unions.”

My response: No you jack ass… there are thousands of CM residents who happen to be NON UNION and who are adamantly opposed to V. And, you’re about to see that come election day. Furthermore, anyone who is interested can see that your donors overwhelmingly OUTSIDE of CM and overwhelmingly Developers and Contractors! $10K from a Newport Beach Developer!? More projects up your sleeve waiting to hand out as payouts for funding your campaign!? and

10/29/2012 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Wow, the "City of Lake Forest Value" is absolutely spot on as to how a city should be run and describes exactly the right type of people to do that! And this is precisely why the City of Costa Mesa needs Stephens, Genis, and Weitzberg. The types of people Lake Forest doesn't want is also a perfect description of who is running our city now! What we have now, and will continue to get if the ms, bever, matthews and harper are elected and the charter passes, is exactly what Lake Forest seeks to avoid, as ALL cities should, whether it's spelled out as specifically as Lake Forest has done or not! You'd never in a million years see this cut and pasted in Righeimer's "charter".
Yes, we do need to be like our neighbor , Lake Forest!!!
We can do that Nov. 6.
Everyone in CM needs to read this and give it serious thought in relationship to how our city is being run now and how it should really be run. After that, it's a very easy choice to make. YES to Stephens, Genis, and Weitzberg; NO to v!! NO to the ms!!

10/29/2012 11:47:00 PM  
Anonymous let them run said...

well, I got the "secret money" mailer from ferryman and perry and had to laugh. and the quote from arlene schafer is paranoid. secret money? that is the money the trash haulers gave to the incmbents to stop the contract from going out to bid. all you really happening is that the incumbents are being challenged and you call it a "takeover" attempt? Are residents not allowed to run for office. And boy oh boy, if they happen to be Republicans, it is a "Republican" takeover attempt. Perry and Ferryman don't like having opponents. Their flyer doesn't identify any secret money, just plants the seed.
Merging the two special districts into the City is laughable too. No one wants it, it is a made up shiny object to misinform and scare people.
Anyway, residents, even republicans, are allowed to run for office. we hear nothing of the democrat attempt to take over the city council do we?

10/30/2012 07:03:00 AM  
Anonymous ratios said...

how many employees does CM Sanitary District have? around 15? and they need a 5 member board? if their salaries are such a small percentage of budget then they are mainly a contract organization.

10/30/2012 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Ditzy Fitzy said...

The only thing Mr. Fitzpatrick is good at is bowing down to his handler, Riggy. Well actually, he can drive that BS propaganda cart around pretty good too.

10/30/2012 11:19:00 AM  
Anonymous privatize! said...

Lake Forest is Good! It is a contract city, few employees, contracts to private companies who have bestest employees !

10/30/2012 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous This isn't South County said...

@ privitize-ask anybody who has had to deal with Lake Forests fire & police providers(OCFA & OCSD)what their thoughts are of these "bestest employees".You get what you pay for, and when a City decides to go with cheaper service, it shows.

10/30/2012 03:03:00 PM  
Anonymous CMTaxpayer said...

West loose with facts???

Maybe he heard them from Harpers mouth. I A lot of folks did. I don't post much anymore but sometimes you punks get me going. I can't abide how some of my old friends have the wool pulled over your eyes by this crew. I still hang out now and then, so play the guessing game. There, I gave you enough clues to narrow it down to about 40 people. Kick me out if you find me, I don’t give a rat’s ass. I don't hold with people who call themselves republicans throwing other republicans under the bus. I don't hold with this kooky power elite's brand of cronyism either. Sending out lying sack of bull-diarrhea hit pieces on a fine republican gal like Sandra Genis is just [expletive deleted]. She will stop the bull-d coming out of City Hall, she did it once, she will do it again.

Fred Bockmiller?? What the hell are you thinking Eric. You never heard of Reagan’s 11th commandment? At least you haven’t mailed a hit piece on him, because you can’t d find a dam thing to hit. Fred earned his place on the water board and kept the public trust.

Ferryman and Perry earned it too on the Sanitary District. What is wrong with being a good old boy if you really are good enough to earn the State-wide Medal of Distinction for fiscal responsibility? So-called Republican party mail-guides, Who is dumb enough to believe those lies and distortions? Maybe a lot of people, I don’t know. Seems like people used to think, now they are gullible and want to be led around by the nose. What the heck has happened to the Republican party?

What about you and your buddies, Ethan, telling people Trudy Ohlig Hall isn’t really running for Water Board so could you just put your sign in their yard instead? That’s called lying, son. It’s even worse when you get other people to do it for you. You think folks didn’t see the Job-center delivery boys dropping your campaign literature with the “sorry I missed you” note? Dishonesty in a campaign is a pretty good indicator of how a politician will behave in office. Trudy knows the water business. You know dirty tricks. You are awful young, but I bet you can figure out who I think is more qualified for public service.. Emphasis on Public service, not self service.

Donn Hall believed in personal responsiblity and personal freedoms. His widow Trudy does too and has been a budget hawk over there at the Water Board. You don’t get closer to real Republican principles than Donn and Trudy. She watches out for the rate-payers money like a hawk.

Gotta go, time for the blood pressure medicine. You probably won’t hear from me for a while— maybe.

10/31/2012 12:19:00 AM  
Anonymous union vs non-union said...

I am a non-union citizen of Costa Mesa, and I am against the charter. I will vote No on measure V.

10/31/2012 08:17:00 PM  

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