Saturday, October 27, 2012

Outsourcing Lawsuit Impact

In case you missed it, Mike Reicher's piece in the Orange County Register yesterday is a MUST READ for anyone even remotely interested in Costa Mesa's outsourcing lawsuit.  Read it HERE, and be sure to follow the link at the end to his companion piece, too.

This will give you a little better understanding of why Costa Mesa - through their $495 per hour law firm, Jones Day - has decided to file for a review of the recent appeal to the California Supreme Court.  From the sound of Reicher's article, MANY cities have a lot to lose by the actions of the current City Council majority that forced the lawsuit.

When the City issued their press release about the plan to request the review they indicated that many other California cities were very interested in this case and would be participating in the request.  However, when we asked WHICH cities were going to participate we got stiff-armed and were referred only to four organizations that represent some of the cities.  It's hard to understand what the big secret is, since this apparently is a VERY big deal for the general law cities throughout the state.

The irony here is that if they had just not gone off half-cocked and violated their own policies in their rush to outsource half the city staff the lawsuit would probably never have happened.  This is what happens when you have people in positions of power who are more interested in following their marching orders issued by political party leaders than doing what is right for our city.  Remember this when you vote...

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Blogger valan2 said...

Maybe this is why someone came up with the advice to "look before you leap". It's that "Fire, Ready, Aim" mentality that needs to be replaced by new Council members who will truly listen to citizen input (and their own attorney!) before taking well-reasoned action.

John Stephens, Harold Weitzberg and Sandy Genis are those candidates. Vote for 1-2-3 on the ballot.

10/27/2012 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Valan, you are correct. We are at 2 million dollars with the lawsuit that stems from the current council's reckless approach to everything. We don't need more lawsuits because they put us on the hook with a ridiculous cut and past joke they call a charter and then find out later that we're in deeper trouble.

10/27/2012 12:55:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Why doesn't the OCGOP fund there own legal fights? They have enough money. Why are the citizens footing the bill for their "Revolution"?

10/27/2012 02:58:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Gericault: good question.

10/27/2012 05:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Yes on V Misleads said...

I sure hope most people want the truth when they make their decisions and not the lies by the Yes on V people. Shannon Gutierez-West wrote as a comment that she researched articles on the # BK cities and they listed the cause as bloated employee pensions, salaries and benefits.

OK so I googled Stockton + Bankruptcy and I clicked on the first article and it's focus was clearly on Housing bust, every bad development decisions by Stockton, Loans for all those developments that went bust etc.

You can read about it at the link below. The question is why do supporters of V such as this Miss Shannon write these lies that can be refuted with documentation.

10/27/2012 07:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Yes on V misleads said...

For those who don't like searching here is the main part of that article. Are pensions a problem? Yes they are. Did they cause bankruptcies for those cities. No. Those cities were poorly run, Bell by criminals, they made huge mistakes and costly decisions. then when all of that tanked their revenues it exposed generous pensions that need to be reformed. But to say the pensions were the cause of the downfall of these cities trying to create hate and anger toward public employees is basically just lies.

here is part of the article...
How Stockton found itself so mired in debt can be seen everywhere in the city's core. There is a sparkling marina, high-rise hotel and promenade financed by credit in the mid-2000s, mere blocks from where mothers won't let their children play in the yard because of violence.

During the economic boom, this working-class city with pockets of entrenched poverty tried to reinvent itself as a draw to Bay Area refugees and a popular site for conventions. It offered generous city employee pension plans and benefits.

Vast housing tracts of two-story homes were built at the city's edges. Private citizens, like the city, bought on credit. Those neighborhoods would soon have among the highest rates of foreclosures in the nation.

Indeed, when the bust came, few places fell as hard as Stockton. The city has the second-highest rate of foreclosures in the country and the second-highest rate of violent crime in the state.

The city made $90 million in drastic cuts from the general fund in the last three years, including reducing the Police Department by 25%, the Fire Department by 30%, and cutting pay and benefits to all employees. There is a state investigation into whether Stockton's financial devastation was entirely due to shortsighted optimism or if there was corruption. The state mediation law requires assigning blame.

10/27/2012 07:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Yes on V Misleads said...

Who lost Stockton?

There will be finger-pointing. But the economic meltdown and plain bad luck are the main culprits.

June 28, 2012

Let's please resist the temptation to feel smug about Stockton. California's great inland river-port city and Central Valley agricultural hub filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection Wednesday after a series of bad bets and a run of bad luck.

No doubt observers in other cities and states, and from various spots in the political spectrum, will be ready with pointing fingers and easy ideologically-based explanations: It was greedy public workers and their unions who brought us to this point. It was greedy Wall Street bankers and their outsize clout over municipal bonds. It was corrupt politicians, over-regulation of business, the Republicans, the Democrats, conservatives, liberals, social spending, capitalism, delusions of grandeur, failures of imagination.

There will be, we hope, answers and lessons, and chastened city halls up and down the state should keep the unfortunate example of Stockton and its precursor, Vallejo, in mind as they make pension decisions and market bonds for economic development projects. But the lessons won't change one underlying fact: Stockton went bankrupt at least in part because a historic nationwide mortgage meltdown and worldwide economic implosion occurred at just the wrong time.

If a city fails to invest sufficiently in public safety, it may find itself struggling with crime, unable to keep home property values up or to attract business, and thus unable to support decent schools — and public safety. They knew that in Stockton, which has suffered more than its share of gang and drug-related crime, and they invested. But the promises made to public retirees — especially to cover skyrocketing medical costs — could no longer be supported by the tax base when the housing market tanked.

Fail to build the economic infrastructure with publicly spurred development projects like hotels and promenades, and visitors will go elsewhere, taking their dollars with them. Isn't that what ideological scolds argue? Cities must act more like private businesses. They must compete for customers. But that involves the very business-like practice of taking risks with other people's money. And, now, the very business-like practice of filing for bankruptcy when things don't work out.

The difference, of course, is that executives of bankrupt municipalities don't get to pick up the pieces and go build some new city somewhere else. They must cut services just when support for laid-off employees is most needed.

The work of running a city is tough even in good times and requires skill, experience and a sense of duty. In times of economic stress, it requires all of that plus a pretty good spate of luck as well.

10/27/2012 07:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Disturbing Allegations said...

This is very disturbing if true!

Robert James Ooten · Iowa state/Kansas University
Jack Wu's comments are always interesting reading. Politcal sign stealing does happen. I expect the City picks up many of the signs. You can get them back from the City for $5.00 apiece at their maintenance yard.

Jack quotes the Costa Mesa Tax ( this if from their web site ) President Jim Fitzpatrick who held a news conference that 8 people and two media outlets attended to decry sign stealing and announce a bounty for identification of the person. He either energized some one in the crowd woh then went to the store and bought eggs and hit my wife's car and several neighbors cars. They missed several other cars in all their excitement. I don't know yet how much the paint repairs will cost, but I suspect over $500, which is about what each side noted they had lost in signs. The zealtots can be quite destructive. I think...Mensinger has also had his car or house egged.

It does seem odd to me that Jim Fitzpatrick gets a front page article with so few attending the news conference. The issue is improtant. Jim is not a credible front man in my eyes as he has tried to bribe me, threatened me, and has harrassed me in public forums. He has also threatened other citizens if they support the Sanitary District incumbents, noting that " they will come after them". He has threatened citizens on state street to go to his friends and get their street flooding projects stopped because they were being vocal about their needs at City Council meetings (as if he could walk into the City engineering, City planning, City planning commission meetings and/or visit with his City Councilmen's offices and get a project stopped that is to relieve historic street flooding in multiple residences that was caused by extremely poor former planning commission judgement ). I am surprised Jack did not mention the other stalwart of the community Jeff Mathews. Jeff threatened an Orange county sanitation district director in an email for voicing support for the Sanitary District incumbents. Jim Fitzpatrict went to the Sanitation District Board meeting and repeated the OC Central Republican Committee threats in a heated exchange after the OCSD Board meeting. The Mathew's email threats apparently were not enough so Jim Fitapatrick was sent to re emphasize the threats that the central republican party means business.

Anyway Wu is always an interesting read. At least a part of his article's most always catch my eye.

10/28/2012 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Punk detector said...

By the way WU is just a smug lame punk. Did you see him disgustingly blow a kiss to the audience at the Feet to the Fire Forum. What a smug little lowlife. It sure explains his writings.

10/28/2012 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Antonio said...

From Wikipedia:
"Fascism was founded during World War I by Italian national syndicalists who combined left-wing and right-wing political views.[13][14] Fascists have commonly opposed having a firm association with any section of the left-right spectrum, considering it inadequate to describe their beliefs,[15][16] though fascism's goal to promote the rule of people deemed innately superior while seeking to purge society of people deemed innately inferior is identified as a prominent far-right theme.[17] Fascism opposes multiple ideologies: conservatism, liberalism, and two major forms of socialism — communism and social democracy.[18]"

Are Righeimer and his buddies fascists?

Is Costa Mesa experiencing a fascist takeover?

10/28/2012 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Just make it up. said...

Peefect example of not only the idiocy but the downright dishonesty of the CMTAX org people.

"Costa Mesa Taxpayers commented on a link.

about an hour ago.

It is simply outrageous that the State dictates to a City how and who can provide a service. A Charter is key is separating powers from the State."

Here's the truth! The state set up 2 ways for cities to incorporate.

1 way as a Charter City, is the city could basically come up with their own constitution. If they wanted to go that route and do that much work to come up with their own rules and ordinances they had that opportunity.

2) or they could become a general law city where the state basically provided most of the work setting up ordinances, rules and safeguards for cities that didn't have the time or resources to do so.

Every City had a choice it could make. You didn't have to be under general law and you can always change.

The comment by the Costa Mesa Taxpayers association is simply another deceitful comment that shows whoever is writing their stuff is a complete lowlife who just makes stuff up.

10/28/2012 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Disturbing Allegations: Save those emails. They may come in handy later.

10/28/2012 08:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Go Bob!!!

Thanks for having the cajones to call out the actions of a-hole Fitzpatrick. Finally, someone credible put it in writing for the gullible residents to read! Let’s hope they see that Fitzy does not have one altruistic bone in his body. He is NOT doing anything for the residents in the City of Costa Mesa in spite of what he says. He is a liar. Everything he does is for his own personal gain. I sincerely believe the guy is having a mental breakdown. All the years of school yard taunts and the lack of any friends have finally caught up with him. The Costa Mesa political scene is just his feeble attempt at feeling like a big shot. After this election though, I’m sure his world will start to disintegrate.

Best of luck to you, Art Perry, Jim Ferryman, and Mike Schaefer. I think you guys are awesome Directors for the CMSD. I know it’s been extremely hard, but I am very proud of how you four have conducted yourselves throughout this nightmare since Jim Fitzpatrick bulldozed his way into your lives and OUR District!


10/29/2012 07:10:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Have you noticed that because the dark side is so busy, that Fitzy hasn't had time to play on the computer, and about 22 alter names aren't posting? Those guys are nervous and panicking, this from one of their own. Stephens, Genis & Weitzberg and No on V have them on the run.

10/29/2012 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Salary comparison flawed said...

Bob Ooten is a smart guy. in response to Fitzlacky and Dickson's attempt to further fuel the Private vs Public hatred he reasonably stated he would like to see comparison of numbers for private safety vs public safety salaries and benefits and when using the claim that the average household salary in Costa Mesa is $65K a year to compare that to the general city employees.

I agree 100%. but would also caution People need to keep in mind there may be many occupations in the Costa Mesa median salary that make even that comparison really not a true indicator.

Example the Costa Mesa median may include low income jobs in their average that bring the average way down. Dishwashers, fast-food counter workers etc. If those types of lower wage jobs are part of the average or median then the comparison to the general city employees average is not a true valuable comparison.
The city has anymore highly trained and higher educated requirement jobs on average which would of course create a higher average wage.

How much higher is reasonable could be discussed. But for Dickson and Fitlzliar to just throw out this $64 K average of Costa Mesa residents compared to an average of city employees that includes Poilice and Fire total comp shows how deceitful they are.

Also is that 65k per year total comp for the private sector or is that the average salary?

Anyways the comparison is so flawed and many factors need to be considered.

10/29/2012 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Salary comp said...

The average base pay for general city employees appears to be $74,000 with their total comp about $103,000.
Keep in mind the huge salaries and compensations of Hatch, Lobdell, Joyce and other top brass skew this number also. The real workers of this city have average salaries and compensation below that. You know the ones bleeding the city dry and the workers who received layoff notices because their salaries and pensions are too high. Yet we hired Joyce and Lobdell just weeks before pension reforms were adopted at 130k per year plus their benefits and pension at 2.5 @ 55. Way above the average city worker!

I wonder if Mr. Dickson would be willing to reveal his total compensation? How about Mr. McCarthy? Be sure to include their employers share of social security payments and 401k contributions match for their total compensation. We know for McCarthy it's another 16.5 % just in his social security and 401k.

10/29/2012 09:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Rational comments said...

Doesn't Ooten make over $200,000 in his pension? His post seems a bit odd. Is he OK? Fitzy has such power that he caused someone to egg Ooten's wife's car? Is he OK?

10/29/2012 12:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Yes Rational, Bob Ooten is totally fine. Fitzy, on the other hand, is not. That guy is losing it!

It is unfortunate that "normal" people like Bob don't keep their video cameras handy. Otherwise, Fitzy might get tripped up. Notice how he waits until the camera is turned off at CMSD Board meetings to blow up. He is self distructing!!!!

10/29/2012 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger CM Resident said...

Given the fact that Fitz doesn't have a real job, and hasn't had one for years, can he fairly comment on salaries/compensation? Maybe he should share what his wife gives him for his allowance on an annual basis and who paid for his new car.

He really needs to "get a life" and find out what it's like to work for a living. It's comical that he screams about getting kicked off the San Brd. If he were working in the private sector he would most assuredly be fired for the same sorts of behaviors he's been exhibiting in the City for the last few years: inability to get along w/ others, creating a caustic and hostile work environment, erratic and emotional outbursts, threatening others, inability to discern fact from fiction, and… really poor writing/spelling/grammar skills. Yikes! Did he actually graduate from high school?

10/29/2012 03:14:00 PM  

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