Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Demise Of Another Charter City

A PROVOCATIVE PIECE
Tuesday, July 30th, a commentary appeared in the Wall Street Journal - the best thing I read every day - by a gentleman named Bill Nojay, identified as a member of the New York State Assembly, representing the 133 District in upstate New York.  The commentary was titled, "Lessons From a Front-Row Seat for Detroit's Dysfunction" and, if you're a subscriber to the WSJ, you can read it HERE.  Assuming some of you are NOT subscribers, I'll give you my take on this very interesting and timely piece.

A VIEW FROM THE INSIDE OF A ROTTING CARCASS
Mr. Nojay, then a contractor, served for eight months as the Chief Operating Officer of the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT).  He launches his message with the following paragraph:
"Since Detroit declared bankruptcy on July 18, the city's crippling problems with corruption, unfunded benefits and pension liabilities have gotten the bulk of airtime. But equally at fault for its fiscal demise are the city's management structure and union and civil-service rules that hamstring efforts to make municipal services more efficient. I would know: I had a front-row seat for this dysfunction."

SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION
He goes on and on, describing the frustration of being confronted with a new problem each day, finding a solution, but being prohibited from implementing the solution due to the complete dysfunction of the government in that city.

SERVICES HALT WHILE REPAIRS ARE STALLED
Nojay discusses the inability to get critical repairs done because vendors often refused to do the work because they had not been paid for previous efforts.  Because of the widespread corruption in the city, the Detroit City Council approved payment of virtually all the bills - a fact that he describes as "obstructionism".  He tells us, for example, " While I was at the DDOT, roughly 10% of bus-fare collection boxes were broken. In another city, getting a contract to buy spare parts to repair these boxes would be routine. The City Council publicly expressed outrage that we didn't fix the fare boxes, since the city was losing an estimated $5 million a year in uncollected fares."  He explained that the contract to fix those fare boxes sat, untouched, for nine months in the City Council offices!

MICRO-MANAGING
He expressed frustration at sitting for five hours waiting to discuss a minor traffic matter while the City Council members debated whether to authorize the demolition of individual vacant and vandalized house, one by one.  He tells us there are over 40,000 vacant houses in Detroit.

CHARTER BLOCKED PROGRESS
He described the frustration of being stifled when attempting to hire outside lawyers to fight injury claims filed against his department incidents that allegedly occurred on his buses.  The claims, whether fraudulent or not, were routinely paid without investigation.  He says, "But we were blocked by city charter provisions prohibiting any city department from hiring outside counsel without the approval of the Detroit City Council."

SOLUTION - START OVER
After regaling us with more stories of the dysfunction and administrative gridlock that faced him and other department managers in Detroit he closes with this statement: "The last thing Detroit needs is a bailout. What it needs is to sweep away a city charter that protects only bureaucrats, civil-service rules that straightjacket municipal departments, and obsolete union contracts. A bailout would just keep the dysfunction in place. Time to start over."

A CHARTER WON'T NECESSARILY SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS

I write this today as a reminder that a charter form of municipal government isn't necessarily the solution to all perceived or actual problems a city might have.  While a carefully-crafted, locally-specific charter CAN be a tool of good governance, it can also be a conduit for governmental mischief.

NO, WE'RE NOT "BELL", BUT...
We have only to recall the recent calamity in the City of Bell, where an unscrupulous City Manager, Robert Rizzo,  took advantage of an unsophisticated, uneducated, easily-swayed city council and an inattentive electorate to run roughshod over the city.  Only 450 voters cast ballots in the municipal election that created the City of Bell Charter.

TROUBLED CITIES ARE CHARTER CITIES
But, as you look around our state, you'll see other cities in deep financial difficulties who are seeking protection from bankruptcy courts to solve their problems.  Vallejo tried that and, several years out, not much has changed in that city.  Stockton and San Bernardino are also on the cusp of "bankruptcy salvation", but few informed observers think that's going to fix their problems.  One common thread among those cities, and many others teetering on the brink, is that they are charter cities, where the protections provided to Costa Mesa as a General Law City were no longer available to them.

IGNORING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE
The lesson to be learned here is that, before we rush headlong into yet another charter fiasco, the residents of this city should carefully consider what's at stake, now and further downstream.  The electorate resoundingly rejected Jim Righeimer's Charter less than a year ago and yet he ignored the will of the people and almost immediately brought that concept back.

WHY HURRY?
He forced the creation of a charter committee, which is theoretically going to create a charter without the baggage his had.  He promised from the dais that he would have NO involvement with the process of creating a new charter, yet appointed a majority to the committee that echoes his views on a charter to the extent that several have recently expressed concern about the slow pace of the process and suggested that the committee simply take his proposal from a year ago - the one that was thrashed at the polls - and do some subtle tinkering to it.  What's the rush?

STILL NO REASON WHY...
The City Council could have chosen to have a Charter Commission - 15 members of the community elected by the voters to put together a proper charter - one that would NOT be subject to City Council approval. To date, no member of the committee has yet defined the problems that the city faces that a charter form of government would fix.  That's what makes this process so laughable.

NO GUARANTEES THEY'LL EVEN READ IT!
Even more frustrating is the fact that, regardless what kind of charter this committee eventually cobbles together and submits to the City Council for approval and placement on the ballot for the voters of this city to consider, the council is NOT BOUND by any rule anywhere to actually accept what the committee proposes.  They are free to toss out their work product and present to the voters whatever THEY want - including a clone of Jim Righeimer's Charter from a year ago.

RIGHEIMER COULD SHOW GOOD FAITH...
There is a push by some, including some impatient members of the Charter Committee, to move the process along more quickly - I presume to try to get a charter on the June Primary Ballot, when many fewer voters take the time to cast ballots.  There is a law pending in Sacramento, however, that would forbid any charter actions to appear before the voters except on the General Election ballots.  Righeimer and his pals want to force this new charter onto the primary ballot if at all possible.  In my opinion, NO charter effort should appear anywhere except on the General Election ballots, period!  Righeimer could show good faith if he came out publicly and said he'd prefer it if a charter effort were to appear on the November ballot next year.  That would permit his spokespersons on the committee to throttle back their "hurry-up" effort and do a proper job with a charter.

SHOW UP AND SPEAK UP
So, those of you with even the slightest interest in this process should try to attend the Charter Committee meetings to see for yourselves just how this process is moving along.  You'll have a chance to address the committee in Public Comments at the start of each meeting, so you can tell your neighbors who are part of that group just how you feel, and why.  There's not much at stake here - only the future of our city, for goodness sake!



"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
                                                                                -Edmund Burke

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38 Comments:

Anonymous Hyperbole said...

Evil? Really?

7/31/2013 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Works for me...

7/31/2013 05:19:00 PM  
Anonymous PS now officially a sad joke said...

Geoff,

This post - among the many others that have documented your descent from decent defender of the average Costa Mesan into scurrilous attack-dog for a select few - is written proof that you really have lost it.

Comparing DETROIT to Costa Mesa, or a charter city under MI law to a charter city under CA law, or using the word "evil" along with all your references to corruption and Bell - give me a break.

You KNOW you are full of crap.

Saying Costa Mesa is not Bell, but putting Rizzo's picture up and talking about an "unsophisticated, uneducated, easily-swayed city council and an inattentive electorate to run roughshod over the city...only 450 voters cast ballots in the municipal election that created the City of Bell Charter" has NOTHING whatsoever to do with Costa Mesa.

In Costa Mesa - where over 34,000 people voted on our 2012 proposed charter, including 20,529 against and 13,806 for, and where we have a charter committee comprised of very active and involved residents, led by two of the most respected men in our community.

Out of one side of your mouth you say a charter can be beneficial, but out of the other side go on and on and on about all the potential negatives and the perceived rush.

Total BS, and you know it.

7/31/2013 06:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Hyperbole said...

Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were evil, as were bin Laden, Hussein, Manson, Dahmer, Ramirez and Gacy. You toss out the Burke quote at the end of your post to suggest - in my opinion - that the current leadership of the city is evil. Evil. Either you don't have a clear understanding of what the word means, or you're gratuitously pimping the English language for effect. The former suggests ignorance, the latter demonstrates malice.

7/31/2013 07:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

San Diego last night voted to pay prevailing wages on city funded projects.

7/31/2013 08:54:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

PS..
I wonder where else you'd be given the opportunity to call the publisher of any publication a "scurrilous attack-dog".. You, and your pal "Hyperbole" - cowards who hide behind the veil of anonymity like the punks you are - shouting epithets from behind a tree like a couple pre-pubescent teenagers, don't deserve the privilege of offering opinions here. But, here you are.

I invite you to either read what I wrote carefully and not infer things that are not there or simply stop visiting the site.

The bankruptcy of Detroit has EVERYTHING to do with Costa Mesa, since your pals are priming the pump to prepare for municipal bankruptcy. Your mayor has already said he's not going to even try to find a way to pay down the unfunded pension liability. The only other alternatives left are serious, sincere negotiation with employee groups or bankruptcy. Considering that the City has failed to negotiate with the General Employees since their contract expired in March, we can assume any such negotiations - if they ever start - will be a sham and will immediately be declared at impasse. We'll see pretty soon.

As to your opinion of my opinions - I don't give a rat's patoot. Might I suggest a change of venue for you? I know of a place that's said to be nice and warm and visitors there are attended by a friendly guy with horns and a pitchfork. Have a nice trip.

7/31/2013 11:20:00 PM  
Anonymous my brother's a cop said...

What does Riggy's brother being a cop in some Podunk town have to do with him and Costa Mesa PD? Everything and nothing.

8/01/2013 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Charter Wackiness said...

Gericault:

"San Diego last night voted to pay prevailing wages on city funded projects."

Ironically, its wonderful charter, unlike state law, has no provision to properly deal with its wackjob mayor Filner. It becomes clearer every day why certain wackjobs in CM want a charter instead of general law.

8/01/2013 06:40:00 AM  
Blogger James Rivera said...

It's interesting to see where you choose your emphasis to argue against the charter/charter process going on now. Bill Nojay is VERY CLEAR on the crux of the failure of Detroit, yet you choose to emphasize, and in my mind misplace, his argument. You generalize his argument, but his argument was specific in the article to call out the unions and their charter city.

Might I suggest that the city council in Detroit was not elected so much by the people but the unions and a mindset of socialism and reverse racism, coupled with micromanagement by those who wanted to keep the "union way". These restrictions, Geoff, and you barely mentioned that part in your soliloquy, was exactly because of the unions, as the author of this article very clearly states.

So, just don't involve the unions, just the citizens in the creation of the charter, and we naturally stay away from that power struggle. Unless the unions have their own plants in the charter committee. I don't know. No that I don't like unions in principle, but their practice sucks, just like the practice of crony capitalism can suck too. I mean, I see your argument, but the emphasis leans too far left by not more clearly illustrating Bill's points in your largely conclusive analysis here.

8/01/2013 07:08:00 AM  
Anonymous monkey see, monkey doo said...

Jeff, actually it sounds like Detroits charter was written by democrats and unions and actually hamstrung the city. ours is most likely going to be the opposite and free us from the Detroit like rules put on us by Sacramento and voted to be put on us by some assemblyman from Modesto or Napa. local is best. ask Newport, Irvine, or Huntington, or closes neighbors. there was a car accident yesterday, don't buy a car is your type of logic

8/01/2013 07:26:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

James, I understand your view. I could not reproduce the entire piece due to copyright issues. Yes, Nojay did emphasize the influence and subsequent impact of the powerful unions in Detroit in his piece. They are NOT the only reason that city is in deep trouble, but certainly have contributed to it.

The issue, as I read the entire article, was more an ineffective, hamstrung council attempting to micromanage most aspects of city government.

In Costa Mesa we DO NOT HAVE UNIONS! We have employee associations, which do not have "job action"power - strikes, work shut downs, etc. In fact, even during the past couple years of this current council regime, the relationship between the associations and The City has been not so much as adversaries but as partners, working toward the common good. When the economy went south the agreed to furlough days and gave up pay increases to help the city over that hard spot, for example.

Your phrase, "plants in the charter committee" is laughable. The power on the council - those three votes that chose most of the members of the committee - certainly has little or no sympathy with the employee associations. There may be a couple members who view the associations with a less-caloused eye, but they are there due to the luck of the draw, not some plot to "plant" them on the committee. Please don't overlay your pals'motives and actions on other groups.

While I, personally, don't think the City needs to become a Charter City, I appreciate the effort ALL the volunteers on the Charter Committee are making. Do I think some of them approached this task with a strong bias? Yep - on both sides of the issue. Having watched them in action, I think there are a few that would vote today to just take Jim Righeimer's Charter and slap something together using it as the foundation. And, there are a couple others who agree with my view - that the voters spoke with a loud, clear voice just 9 months ago AGAINST a charter, so this enforced discussion is premature at the very least and demonstrates an arrogant disregard for the will of the people, placing personal political gain ahead of what is right for the City.

Some of your pals will now rant about the contract extension approved by the then-council and the 3-at-50 agreement, and blame Wendy Leece for it. They conveniently omit the fact that Gary Monahan voted for that agreement, too. NEVER do you hear his name mentioned when that vote is discussed. Wonder why that is?

8/01/2013 07:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Obscured said...

Detroit Charter was written by Dems and Unions. they used that power to levy a tax that caused anyone with money and smarts to vacate the city.

Why can't charter Haters like West find anything wrong with Newport Beach, or Huntington beach or Irvine? A little closer to home and more realistic? Because they can't.

Gary has admitted his mistake, that is why he gets a pass. Gary is working hard to make corrections and prevent such a vote from ever happening again.

Wendy reads Union scripts and has Union reps explain her position. when not reading poems or fanning unnecessary flames with "We want to be safe".

See the difference? Of course West does not. He filters life between if he likes you or does not. West is stuck in High School mentality. The nerd in High School now has the internet to seek revenge on the popular kids. Sad one car funeral man.

I am with the 40% who voted for a Charter and want a new Charter to go before the people.

It will be entertaining to watch West's head explode from the knowledge that the next Charter will pass.

8/01/2013 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Tokyo Robin said...

Do not worry my fellow Costa Mesan's. Greg Ridge is now part of the Costa Mesa Democrats.

The Unions will now have a place to launder their union boss money to fight the Charter with fear, doubt and misinformation.

If our plants cannot scuttle the Charter in Committee, then we will try to load up the Charter with enough bad items so that at least 51% of voting Costa Mesa will have at least one thing to say no to and once again reject this scheme saving local cities millions.

And if that does not work, remember we have Greg Ridge, Union Boss pawn.

8/01/2013 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Round Two Failure said...

@ Obscured--you say you want a new Charter, but all you'll get is the same one that was forced upon the people previously, and once again the people will see right through it as Riggys only plan for ultimate City power.

8/01/2013 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Pessimist said...

Charter supporters: Why should I vote affirmatively for the next iteration of Riggy's charter? A charter would grant this council more power. With all of the lies that Riggy has told, how can I trust that he won't abuse any of the benefits of becoming a charter city?

2+ years ago, Riggy stated a balanced budget without immediate outsourcing could not be achieved.

18 city departments were put out to bid because outsourcing would clearly save money. Only 3 bids received from the private sector were shown to save money.

Riggy stated a general law city could outsource the targeted 18 departments. And yet, the city has lost every court proceeding so far.

This is but a small sampling of lies told by a most untrustworthy politician. Recent history has already proven him to be a liar! Riggy does not need the ability to make up his own rules. He needs to learn how to follow the rules already in place. I remain closeminded on this topic until such a time that someone can convince this voter otherwise.

8/01/2013 10:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Goals said...

Righeimer needs a charter and a municipal bankruptcy in order to get re-elected and/or move on to higher office.

The clock is ticking for our developer friend. His string of failures has alienated many of the ocgop money people.

8/01/2013 10:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous like our friends in blue! said...

Geoff,

I find it hilariously ironic that you deride anonymous critics of your garbage propoganda, while never saying a word about the always anonymous, always vicious attacks on the current council and their, to use your least offensive characterization, sycophants.

Enough with the BS platitudes, no one is buying it. You mock the charter committee process and the good people sacrificing time away from their friends and family while then throwing a little bone.

You don't know Righeimer or Mensinger - you never bothered. You assume, guess, malign and throw darts. you assign motives to everyone, while never revealing yours. Your advocacy is so lopsided that it looks like it is commissioned by the OCEA and the public safety associations.

You repeat the literal truth that we don't have unions while ignoring that, except for strikes, they act as, and have the same powers as, UNIONS. They are associations in name only.

So why don't you try playing it staright for once? Just once.

8/01/2013 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Greg R.

I wonder why San Diego is pro union? Maybe there is a clue here somewhere.

City of San Diego:
Reps = 181,207
Dems = 269,270

City of Costa Mesa:
Reps = 19,321
Dems = 15,127

8/01/2013 07:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Marilyn said...

He couldn't get elected as dog catcher anywhere else. Money people or not, all you have to do is talk to the guy to want to run and take a long shower.

8/01/2013 08:22:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

MOMOPs( Man of multiple online personalities)
You would never for one second see any of your comments attacking the publisher of a blog on his own blog in print.Geoff allows it.
Does that sound like someone with a "HS mentality"?
Your attacks, especially personal attacks are so insanely childish, incorrect and really reflect on YOU.
Your mentality here fluctuates between Kindergarten and 5th grade.
"Unions, union, unions" More McCarthism and you guys NEVER attempt to hide it! You're proud to be wannabe Joe McCarthys aren't you?
We all know what happened to old Joe McCarthy. Why did that happen?
Damn proud of our new Democratic Club in CM!
You OC GOPs have your clubs so what's the big deal?
So, MOMOPs, have to trash that too? How mature of you.
You are like a Jr. High. boy hiding behind trees and calling out names.
You certainly are cowardly and pathetic, hiding behind all your idiotic usernames.

8/01/2013 09:23:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Come to think of it, the majority of the Baugh-bots are working their anti-union, anti-Democrat, anti-CM4RG propaganda on a second grade level with fear, lies and more fear. Throw in the boogieman- UNIONS!!! and their picture is complete.
You're a Democrat- "union thug!!"
You're in CM4RG- " union thug!!"
You question the councildudes/Baugh " union thug!!"

That's how they ran all their campaigns last year.

8/01/2013 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Pigs Lipstick said...

Or Bruce maybe they saw the disaster Oceanside created when they hired a non local firm, not paying prevailing wage and how horrible that turned out for their Harbor Aquatics Center.

I haven't decided if prevailing wage is good or bad. But in that case not hiring locals and not using prevailing wage workers was certainly costly to that project.

And Jerome Kern can lipstick anyway he wants it was a disaster.

8/01/2013 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

@Bruce.....that wasn't my point but I'll address yours. True , Republicans are the largest block of registered voters.
Followed by the 15,000 Democrats, and the 12,000 NPPs, then there are thousands of other Libertarians, Peace Party, Greenies, etc...roughly 50,000 registered Costa Mesans. Of which , the 19,000 Republicans hardly make a majority .
This is why we have elections. In fact saw something today by Our Mayor Pro Tempore, "What's good for Costa Mesans should be defined by Costa Mesans directly - by the ballot -or by the elected officials. We shouldn't be guided by the agendas of the complainers"
That's why we had an election on the charter which was voted down by 20 point margin. They ignored that vote and went ahead with another Charter. Instead of "electing" a commission, and respecting the will of the voters , they stacked a committee.
Hardly the steps needed to try and sway 20% of the electorate that has already made up their minds....but you're the political expert. That's just my opinion.
My original point was a majority of Charter cities use prevailing wage, including NB, HB, and Irvine....and now we can add another one to that list. In- n out vs. McDonald's , Costco vs. Walmart , which kind of city would you rather be?

8/02/2013 08:26:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Greg, Any provision in a charter that ties the hands of the people in the city providing services to the citizens needs to be carefully considered. Why would you, on the face of it, require the city to spend more tax dollars on something unless there was a cosponsoring increase in value to the citizens? You can't just say ALL prevailing wage contracts are superior to ANY non-prevailing wage contracts. They should be considered on a case by case basis.

So just a blanket statement that we will always pay more without regard to value is nonsensical.

Why NB and HB have those provisions I don't know. Maybe they were negotiated by the Associations or Unions or whatever their employee bargaining units look like and the city received something of comparable value in return.

To you assertion that pursuing a charter after the last one being voted down is going against the will of the voters; I recall that there was an overwhelming sentiment proffered by the charter opposition that a charter may be a good idea, but not this one.

I think the council majority heard that loud and clear and is creating a different charter. I know that charter opponents would prefer that this one gets killed in the crib, but that isn't what the elected majority wants to do. That is their prerogative as long as they have the majority.

8/02/2013 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce,
As always, your contributions here are much appreciated. I can always depend on you for a clearly-crafted explanation/argument on issues.

I think you may have nailed the core of the concern many of us have about this charter. You said, "I know that charter opponents would prefer that this one gets killed in the crib, but that isn't what the elected majority wants to do. That is their prerogative as long as they have the majority."

That last sentence, true as it may be, makes us nervous. The council can choose to accept all or part of whatever the final work product of the charter commission is. They can also disembowel it and add segments they specifically want - like Righeimer's pet project, Paycheck Protection. I believe, having watched these guys for several years now, that we should be worried about the process at the end stages.

I've attended their meetings. I've watched the "sides" begin to line up with their strong, pre-determined views of what should be in a charter. I've seen the impatience of several members, who have flat-out stated that they just want to take Jim Righeimer's Charter and "fix" it.

This all boils down to a matter of trust and the council majority has done nothing to earn that trust - quite the contrary.

8/02/2013 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Common sense said...

Paycheck protection simply means that the unions cannot take money directly from the city, the members have to pay the union directly.

How is that bad?

Prevailing wage clauses that protect or provides advantage union contractors are discriminatory and cost taxpayers money. Less than 20% of all US construction workers are union - you want public contracting to favor the 20% minority of workers?

Explain your populist, progressive defense of those two clauses, Greg.

8/02/2013 02:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Paycheck protection is where Government dictates who can or cannot be paid directly from your paycheck. Does government do that towards any other business entity? Or just Unions?i it's discriminatory and has been voted down state wide numerous times. You guys love Government just big enough to crawl into a vagina, snoop into a bedroom, and tell someone how they can or can't spend their money.

Prevailing wage weeds out the chaff. Only the top 20 % of professional qualified contractors bid on public works projects. Now I love my neighbor. He's a great guy. Does a lot of local home improvement projects at a very competitive rate....but I wouldn't want him building my kids school, or library. He probably would have one of the lowest bids though. Prevailing wage firms have standards that others don't match. If we pool all of our money together to pay for infrastructure, it needs to be done by the most qualified firms.....or you end up having to do it all over again. The Oceanside Aqautics building being the primary example.

8/02/2013 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

For the sake of comparison, what are the charter cities in the OC that do not have prevailing wage requirements? I know HB, NB, Irvine, Anaheim and Santa Ana do. Too busy at this time to look up the rest. Anyone else want to take a stab at it?

8/02/2013 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Irvine has a partial exemption...which , I didn't know that. Placentia, and Whittier have full prevailing wage exemptions. That's it for Orange County cities. the rest all pay prevailing wages.

8/02/2013 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous CMTaxpayer said...

I was the first one to use this handle here. Beware of imitations!

Us who are still GOP, don't think we have ‘already made up our minds”. 19,000 +/- Costa Mesa voters were Republican last election. We lost a few because of the local control-freaks. It is disgusting what sheep so many Republicans have become. I didin’t join the Grand Old Party to wander around mindlessly following the sheep’s butt in front of me. We are not all baugh baugh sheep. Ha!

Steve thinks we elected him dictator. I wised up by the time he ran. Fool me once, shame on you fool me twice ain’t going to happen. Jimbo was a disappointment to put it mildly. Once he sounded smart, now he puts on that patronizing Good Shepard act. “We know what you think, because you elected us to think for you. Trust me.” I won’t vote for that supercilious fool, no matter what he runs for. He didn’t reveal his agenda till after his campaign: remember “The sky is falling! Costa Mesa has a 15 million dollar deficit!” Didn’t materialize. Sure scared the sheep though.

These so called party bosses, look at what they do, not what they say. Going on 3 years now, and still a big disconnect with a good chunk of the voters.

8/02/2013 09:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

Greg, thanks for you research. Whittier is actually in LA County, so only little Placentia has the prevailing wage exception. Interesting.

8/03/2013 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Level the playing field said...

Common Sense Said (and other Union Haters): Please do a little research -- prevailing wages aren't union wages. The prevailing wage is a rate established by the State of California DLR (Department of Labor Relations). The wage is dependant upon where the work is being performed, what trade is doing the work, and what level of experience is being brought to the jobsite (journeyman, apprentice, foreman etc). Only agencies that are signatory to the PLA (Project Labor Agreement) or PSA (Project Stabilization Agreement) are required to utilize only Union labor. Prevailing wages offer protection to the workers such as either medical insurance or $ on their check so they can pay for their own health insurance, guarantee that the worker is being paid (contractors don't get paid from the agency until they submit certified payroll which is in turn verified by a 3rd party), training programs (so we don't run out of skilled workers), verification of legal work status, etc.
Now if you can tell me which of those benefits are bad for the building trade I would be happy to listen as long as you offer some facts and not just opinion.
If you doubt that what I have said is true please read the bid documents for any prevailing wage project that is not signatory to either a PLA or PSA agreement.
Oh, and in case you are wondering I am not nor in my 30 + years of construction been protected by a union. I have worked private industry and have worked Public Works and know the difference between the quality of workers on a prevailing wage project and a tailgate slammer project (tailgate slammer refers to someone whose entire business is run out of the back of their truck).
Oh yeah, forgot to add prevailing wage contracts require verified payment of disability insurance, workers compensation premiums, liability insurance premiums,federal taxes, state taxes, and SSI contributions. If those protections aren't in place and let's say a worker get hurt, guess who pays?
I await your response.

8/03/2013 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous No Prevailing Wage in NB said...

Dear Greg Ridge,

We are tired of your lack of command of the facts. Now that you are a leader of the Democratic Party, you need a higher standard, not the standard of union pawn.

Newport Beach voted to be exempt from Prevailing Wage. See here http://ecms.newportbeachca.gov/Web/0/doc/136478/Page1.aspx

There have been many NB votes to exempt prevailing wage from landscaping projects and contracts as an example.

While some in Costa Mesa bought all Greg Ridge's union boss buddies funding of emotional messages and freaked out at the pink slips, the good people of Newport Beach have laid of 75 while Costa Mesa has not.

It is sad to watch a handful of people get all emotional and obstruct instead of try to do something positive. Ever notice the opposition does not do anything, all they do is try to stop something?

8/04/2013 08:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Correct...NB does have a partial exemption on locally funded projects. I missed that vote from a few months ago. I'll have to update the list I'm using. Which by the way is from the Associated Builders and Contractors Association. I know that's what I get for reaching over the fence for my facts....oh we'll. San Diego goes into the No column, NB goes into the partial column.

8/05/2013 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous the UNIONS are comming said...

“Greg Ridge forced to admit he got facts wrong” should be the lead of the story, but not on this anti everything blog.

The reason he got it wrong is that the union bosses gave him the emotional talking points that will distract from real issues.

From now on, every time the anti folks cry Bell think Newport Beach!

Does anyone have an issue with the way Newport’s parks and medians look? Of course not. Does anyone think that outsourcing 75 people in Newport while Costa Mesa outsourced none has had an impact on the middle class? How silly. But, does anyone think Newport is getting great service, great work at a lower price? You bet we do.

Once Costa Mesa has a Charter we can save money with actions just like Newport Beach. Newport did it without any Union Boss protests. Without any long lines at podiums for city council meetings. The place looks great, people have jobs and the city balanced budgets, while they increased the amount of reserves and they do not have a Greg Ridge to stir up local anti’s with the Union Boss’s message.

Stay tuned. The Unions are coming the Unions are coming.

When you see Gericult or Greg Ridge think Union Boss money and message.

8/05/2013 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Bekins on the way said...

The Unions are Coming:

1. There have been lay offs at City Hall, don't lie about it.

2. Have you ever tried or known anyone to ever try to tell Greg what to talk about? *HA*

3. Maybe YOU should move to Newport since you like it so much. Need help packing?

8/06/2013 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I mentioned why I missed that...the vote happened a short time ago , and the Developer Lobby that I was using for my list was never updated.

I am a long time resident who cares about this city and has never been afraid to speak up to you bullies.

I repeat...I was never in or associated with any Union, employee association, or Labor group.

I have never laundered money, crafted any messaging, or workied for any Union Boss.

The reason the City had to cancel the layoffs wasn't because of me, or any type of emotional campaign. it was because the city violated the contracts and were in the wrong. That was settled by a judge. I will admit we wasted countless hours and many public comments trying to speak reason to the city council that this was a bad idea. They refused to listen. Our diminished work force,...we've lost more than 75 employees, and some of our most prized now work in Newport Beach, and reduced service levels are the results. Couple that with the enormous legal costs and worthless ignored consultant reports..No the jury is back on that issue.

Now we know how you like to create a " big lie" and keep repeating it until you think it's true. Time and time again we have seen this .
These continuous "lie" campaigns are why this city doesn't trust this council majority. "Scratch a lie, find a thief".
Sometimes you make it so easy to define the differences between us.

8/06/2013 06:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Follow the Union Money said...

Silly us. We thought Greg Ridge was "associated" with Repair Costa Mesa?

This is like Wendy saying I never took union money after my vote to give away the store. And then we see our great city littered with Leece for Council signs paid for with Union money.

8/06/2013 11:04:00 AM  

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