Thursday, May 15, 2014

Costa Mesa Announces 2nd Charter Public Hearing

NEXT HEARING ON JUNE 3, 2014
Today the City of Costa Mesa announced the date of the second mandatory Public Hearing on the Charter that was submitted to the City Council for its consideration earlier this year.  That meeting will take place in City Council Council Chambers as part of the regularly-scheduled council meeting on June 3, 2014.  You can read the announcement HERE.

WILL BE HEARD AT 7:00 OR SOON THEREAFTER
Public Hearings on the agenda are scheduled to begin at 7:00, although the meeting itself begins at 6:00.  The council may consider whether or not to place the Charter on the November ballot no sooner than 21 days following this Public Hearing, which could be at its meeting of July 1, 2014.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information on the process that produced this Charter click HERE.  To read the actual Charter document click HERE.

WATCHING SAUSAGE BEING MADE
The Charter - a product of many months of meetings by the committee and thousands of hours of staff time - was submitted to the City Council in March.  The Charter Committee was hand-picked Mayor Jim Righeimer's majority and stacked heavily in favor of a Charter from day one.  I attended most of the meetings, heard the discussions and observed the interactions among the members.  It was a time-consuming, expensive, interesting, yet unnecessary, exercise because the cornerstone reason Righeimer used to command this committee to be formed to resurrect his dead-and-buried Measure V from two years ago - Prevailing Wage - has been rendered virtually inconsequential by subsequent legal opinions.  Most of the rest of the issues addressed in the Charter are already possible under our current form of government.

NO REASON TO CHANGE

Only 25% of California cities operate with a Charter form of government.  The rest - including Costa Mesa for the past 60 years - are General Law cities, which operate just fine utilizing the protections from abuse by unscrupulous local politicians provided by that form of government.  The City of Bell - the most notorious recent example of Charter abuse in the hands of Robert Rizzo - provides us with a contemporary example of just what can go wrong with that form of government.  Not only does this Charter remove many of those protections under the guise of giving the city more "local control", it is akin to placing a loaded gun in the hands of a child.

THEY WILL HEAR, NOT LISTEN
So, if you care about this issue, please read through the Charter document and let your City Council know how you feel by writing to them or by attending the Public Hearing next month and tell them your thoughts.  The council majority - which clearly already has its mind made up or they wouldn't have authorized this process last year after Jim Righeimer's Charter was so soundly thumped at the polls in 2012 - will hear you, but probably won't listen to what you say.  That's certainly something to think about when considering placing even more power in their hands.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mike H. said...

You nailed it, Geoff. I have met some pretty tin-eared politicians in my day. They can't admit that the people aren't with them.

5/15/2014 08:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Oh, I suspect they know they are going to get their asses kicked with this charter crap.

Costa Mesans didn't it the first time, and they certainly don't want to give this dictator (Yes, and I mean it) a second attempt. This charter is an absolute mess.

VOTE NO ON THIS STUPID CHARTER...AGAIN!

5/16/2014 09:28:00 AM  

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