Monday, July 28, 2014

Righeimer Explains COIN, Sort Of...

Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Righeimer, hot on the campaign trail to attempt to retain his city council seat in November, presented his opinions of his buddy, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger's COIN ordinance to the editors of the anti-union publication Union Watch last week.  You can read the entire entry HERE.

While I know you'll read the entire interview of eleven (11) questions for yourselves, I'm going to share some observations of mine with you.  That's why you're here, right?

Right off the bat Righeimer is asked what COIN stands for and his answer is, "Civic Openness in Negotiation.  It is also referred to as 'open public employee negotiations'."  OK, so is it going to be "COIN" or "OPEN"?  I mean, this thing is still unproven and now they want to change the acronym?!  Yikes!

Righeimer gives full credit to the creation of this anchor on negotiations to Mensinger.  He credits him for being the inspiration, and also gives credit to the law firm of "Leesberg Cassidy".  Of course, he meant Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, the highly-compensated law firm who provides us with the negotiating horsepower that, so far, has resulted in NO successful negotiation after more than a year.

When asked about "tangible examples" of the COIN ordinance he admitted that, "The first contract that has been reviewed under the new COIN process hasn't been finalized.  But before it is front of the public, both parties are more reasonable in their offers and counteroffers because they know the public sees it.  In the past, one side might ask for 50 items just to overwhelm the city.  They don't do that any more."  Wow!  Really?  50 items!  How would he know that, since he wasn't privy to any of the prior negotiations?

Question #9 was, "Over time, just how much benefit do you believe can come from tough COIN ordinances?"  His answer just rocked me back.  He said, "Well, a big benefit that could have occurred is that we would not have the pension problem we have today if we had had COIN back when the pension enhancements were being negotiated.  COIN also slows down the ability of unions to come back in the future and repeal agreements they don't like."

OK, his first sentence didn't even come close to answering the question, and the reason is that NOBODY knows yet exactly what the impact of COIN will have downstream - except negotiating and recruitment chaos.  His second sentence implies that the "unions" - we don't have any in Costa Mesa - could repeal a previous agreement.  What?  How?  An agreement is an agreement...

Question 10 asks, "Do you consider a COIN ordinance to be of bipartisan benefit, and if so, who opposes COIN ordinances?"  I love his answer to this one!  He says, "For the honest brokers on both sides, transparency is not bad.  The people who are against it are the people who like the system the way it was - they would just make political endorsements or attacks in order to get a vote where a politician would not have any other input.  The guys who like the backroom deals don't like COIN."

Read that last sentence again...  Now recall that he and his majority adamantly refused to consider a COIN-type ordinance for ALL municipal contract negotiations.  Then consider that Righeimer has been going behind the scenes (backroom deals?) negotiating with business owners and developers all over town.  Where does he get that authority?  This is a perfect example of his willingness to ignore the rules, and another perfect example of why the voters should deny him a return to the council and certainly reject the Charter - a tool for even more abuse of the voters and taxpayers of the city.

At the end he predicts that COIN is "going to be the new standard", and that he expects the "process to become normal procedure, everywhere, within the next ten years."

Well, a more prudent politician might wait until there is a track record of success with the COIN process.  So far - as he readily admits in this interview - we have had NO negotiation come to fruition using the COIN process.  In fact, it certainly seems to outside observers that the process is taking a much longer time than in the past.  No, Righeimer can't just wait for facts - not with his political future on the line.  When he loses his seat in November his buddy, Scott Baugh, is going to have to find another job for him.  He may find another gullible town and have him drag his carpetbagging carcass there to see what damage he can do.

Labels: , , , , ,


Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

If COIN were to work, it would have to be transparent in both directions. Its not. COIN is a joke that hasn't and most likely never will actually come to fruition. Some form of it may transpire, but this joke won't.

I sure would like to know what 50 things have been asked for in the past. Yeah, right. It's called bargaining. COIN isn't going to change that.

I wonder why Steve himself isn't the one being interviewed about COIN? Oh wait....this isn't the comedy hour.

7/28/2014 06:45:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hear Hear! Geoff nails it again. These are the last council days of the little dictator. His voice gets shriller each week. Soon the Pacific Chorale will offer him a falsetto solo.

If Stevie wrote COIN (Conning Our Ignorant Neighbors) on his own, then I must be Franklin Roosevelt..

"Yea, that's the ticket! I wrote it myself! I put the crayon to the paper..."

7/28/2014 07:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

The "Costa Mesa Song Book", donations from the dissemination of which are all going to the support of Costa Mesans for Responsible Government, has at this point generated close on four hundred bucks worth of revenue for that organization. Suggested contribution is ten or twenty bucks (but don't let that stop you from getting it! --More is also acceptable!)

The book has several purposes, among which are (1) defeat of the idiotic new attempt at a charter, (2) prevention of further incumbency of Jim Righeimer, (3) wide dissemination of the facts about JR's substandard intelligence, efficacy, and political acumen, (4) to have a little fun at the expense of a very self-important non-politician, (5) to encourage people to sing along with me (it gets LONESOME up there at the podium, and the tunes are tough to lift, let alone carry by myself) and (5) 50 more things, just like COIN or coin or whatever it's called at this juncture.

There are likely to be some addenda to the book, as there is a little time between now and the election at which a vote for the charter will be a vote of confidence for Hizzonner. Such addenda will be provided free of charge to anyone who has made a contribution to the cause. I encourage readers of your blog to make suggestions for likely subjects for such additions -- Perry Valantine's suggestion about the previous charter attempt had a very beneficial result.

Yeah, this is a plug for the book, I admit it, but I'm not making anything off it -- and if it works out, we should all be a little happier in the future.

7/28/2014 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Great writeup, Geoff- Thank you!

Todd Spitzer has called out COIN
for the farce it is.
With one way "transparency", only applies to
labor negotiations, the absurdities of this
ordinance boggles the mind.
Mr. Backroom deals and secret Task Forces
should not be pointing fingers at anyone.

7/28/2014 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

How do Spitzer's comments on COIN align with with the political aspirations of our 2 youngsters on the city council? Isn't he sort of the gate keeper to higher office around these parts?

7/28/2014 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

Riggy is so full of $#it he can't even spew his own lies without sounding like a total D- Bag. He sure came off sounding like a sound OCGOP union hater with that interview, good job Riggy, make your case for why you should be gone in November.

7/29/2014 07:32:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home