COSTA MESA CITY COUNCIL SETS RECORD
right. The Costa Mesa City Council set a new modern era record for the
length of a council meeting by stretching their meeting that began
Tuesday at 6:00 until 3:00 a.m. Wednesday! And, by doing so, they also
re-affirmed my adage that nothing good ever happens past midnight in
PUBLIC COMMENTS TOOK 100 MINUTES!
knew this was going to be a long meeting when, in anticipation of the
Public Comments segment, more than 20 people lined up against the walls
on both sides of the auditorium to speak. When it was over 30 people
spoke and it took 100 minutes to get it done.
NO "BABY ELEPHANT" STAMPEDE AFTER ALL
"much anticipated" invasion of the Orange County Young Republicans
turned out to be more like a drive-by wave. Led by Righeimer-sycophant
, ten black-shirt clad young people gathered near the
front of the chambers. A couple of them spoke with glowing praise for
the council's actions (now, there's a surprise!) then scurried out
during Council Comments. They either had very short attention spans or
were late for their shifts at McDonald's. I was underwhelmed by their presence.
STARBUCKS DRIVE-THRU PASSES
public hearing on Starbucks took three and a half hours and resulted in
the project being approved with a few modifications, much to the
chagrin of the crowd that had gathered to speak on the subject.
Twenty-one people spoke on it - 14 against and 7 for it. Those seven
were all part of a very tight cluster of people who surrounded Brian
, the spokesman for the developer. They all said more or less the
same thing - praising the developers for OTHER
jobs they'd done in
Costa Mesa... somebody gave them a song book to use. Those who spoke
against it were plain old members of the public - neighbors who were
concerned about noise, traffic, air pollution and public safety. Those
concerns were brushed aside by the council, who voted 3-1 to approve
it. Wendy Leece voted No and Jim Righiemer had abstained.
MIDNIGHT, AND ONLY HALF WAY HOME!
Right then I knew we were in trouble because Mayor Eric Bever
called for another 10 minute break AT MIDNIGHT
When we re-convened a computer glitch kept the proceedings from
beginning until 12:25, and there were still nearly 30 people remaining
in the audience. Of course they were - we still had half the agenda to
VACATION OF RIGHT-OF-WAY
The vacation of right-of-way next to Pinkley Park should have
been an easy one, but it took a half hour, but finally passed, 4-1, with
Leece again voting No.
MOVING FASTER NOW
The council promptly passed Old Business #1, the second reading
of an ordinance regarding a reduction of parking requirements for food
and beverage establishments, then voted to move New Business #3,
committee appointments, to the June 5th meeting.
AND EVEN FASTER...
At 1:00 a.m. the council rapidly - in five minutes - agreed to
renew the Business Improvement Area (BIA) and to permit the Costa Mesa
Foundation (formerly the Costa Mesa Community Foundation) to sell beer
and wine at the Concerts In The Park again this year.
OUTSOURCING TALKS BEGAN AT 105 A.M.!
Finally, at 1:05 a.m. (!!!) we began the discussion of the five
Outsourcing Requests For Proposals. First up was Jail Operations.
That discussion, led by CEO Tom Hatch
, took 40 minutes and was
passed on a 4-1 vote - Leece voted No. So, once the injunction is
lifted the CEO is authorized to move forward with the contract with G4S
Secure Solutions to run our jails. Hatch described a transition plan
for existing employees and Righeimer demanded that we guarantee every
one of them a job elsewhere in the city. We'll see how that goes. The
terms of the contract remain the same for six months, pending the
lifting of the injunction. In theory, the City will save just over
$600,000 by privatizing the Jail operations.
STREET SWEEPING HAD LESS SAVINGS
Next came the Street Sweeping RFP. After fifty minutes of
discussion and argument the council voted, 4-1, to move forward once the
injunction is lifted. No employees will be displaced - the two full
time employees will return to their old jobs and the two retired,
part-time drivers may work for the contractor, Athens Services. The
savings for privatizing this operation would result in a modest $87,000
and change. Hardly seems worth it.
SEVERAL LAYOFF NOTICES RESCINDED
We were now at 2:40 a.m. and the council moved forward rapidly to
approve the "hybrid" operation for the Building Inspection function and
rejected all bids for Animal Control and Video Production and rescinded
all layoff notices associated with those functions.
And then we were adjourned to the next meeting - at THREE O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING!
I'm going to bed now!
Labels: Jim Righeimer, outsourcing, Starbucks, Tom Hatch