Thursday, October 08, 2015

Lies, Politics And Vindictiveness

So, boys and girls, shall we talk about lies, politics and vindictiveness today?  Yeah, I think that's a good subject.

Tuesday evening, during Public Comments at the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, former councilwoman Wendy Leece stepped to the podium to address her concerns about the lack of progress in the Fire Department reorganization, and asked for a progress report.  Then, before her time ran out, she observed that certain elected officials may be getting preferential treatment in the rebuilding of their home and suggested that ANY work requiring a permit by an elected official should be reviewed IN PUBLIC by the Planning Commission.  Few in the auditorium knew what she was talking about, but that quickly changed.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer immediately replied to her with this exchange, transcribed verbatim:
Mr. Mayor, I would like a point of personal privilege.
What Ms. Leece is talking about is the fact that next I will be next summer, ah, building, ah, rebuilding our house over on Capri in Mesa Verde.  What I find bizarre about this that I'm a resident of this city like everybody else is, and so I put a plan in for my house through my architect without my name on it, and nobody knew it was my house.  And we didn't ask for one variance, we didn't ask for any setback issues, any FAR, nothing.  What we simply asked for was a fact that the garage, and you men will understand this, is going to be over 700 square feet.  And if you do a garage over 700 square feet it has to go in front of the Zoning Administrator for what is called a minor conditional use permit.  It's basically saying, they want to be sure you don't stick the garage on the front end of the house and it makes, ah, you know, it looks bad in the neighborhood.  Clearly my house has a garage on the side, it was no big deal, um, my wife and our family are very proud of our house, very proud of what we're gonna do.  What I find bizarre is the politics that continues to permeate from somebody coming up running for City Council constantly attack me and my family because I'm doing the same thing that anybody else in this city wants to do to improve their life or improve their house.  And nobody on this City Council when it comes to that should be treated any differently.

Ms. Leece comes up here every week with statements from the police department association and the fire department association, the POA and the Fire.  She's been doing that when she was on the council.  They basically say they want to get some talking points out, they send her up here, they give her a list and she does that.  And then she goes ahead and she attacks people in the community because they just want to do their house. 
(Interrupted by Genis)  Excuse me


Mr. Mayor, I appreciate the mayor pro tem's, I agree with him defending his rights, but to get into a personal attack, I would request that... 


It's been noted.

(Righeimer again)
But, the point of it is, the point, the point of it is, you know, the point of it is that people in this city who go up here to put their neck out and be put in the public spot light should not be treated any differently than anybody else in this city when it comes to doing their house. Thank you so much, Mr. Mayor.


If you wish to watch the actual exchange click HERE.  That will take you to Leece's comments and lead directly into Righeimer's rant, plus the remainder of the 6 hour plus meeting.  Ugh! 


OK , let's take this from the top.  First of all, the mayor lied, right up front.  He said that his name was not on the paperwork, but that's not true.  Here's a copy of part of one of the pages of his submission to the city and you - and anyone else on the city staff handling this issue - can clearly see that the home in question is owned by "James Righeimer". (click on the image to enlarge)
More important, though, than his eager willingness to outright lie to the public live and in living color for all to see and hear, is his on-going bullying tactics against speakers before the council - his trademark for his entire tenure on the council.  His tenure on the City Council has been marked by bullying, intimidation, interruption and systematic stifling of viewpoints by speakers before the council.

He falsely accuses Leece of being a shill for the public safety organizations and lies about how she presents herself before them at public meetings.  He falsely accuses her of attacking him and his family "just because they want to do their house", which is untrue.  Leece did no such thing.

Nobody should be critical of Righeimer if he wants to follow the lead of Mayor Steve Mensinger and rebuild his home across the golf course from his pal.  I've seen the plans - it's going to be a great home, with more than 4,600 square feet of living space, a subterranean garage more than double the normally approved space (700 feet is normal, his will be over 1,400 feet).  If you want to see them, go HERE and scroll down to page 39.  Actually, that subterranean garage is fascinating, because not only does it have enough space for four (4) cars, but it has an area that looks to be about 20X60 feet extra, PLUS an "Bonus Room" and a full bathroom.  That bonus room could easily become a bedroom, which would give him six bedrooms in the house.  I find myself wondering what the code requirement is for fire sprinklers - is a sixth bedroom the trigger?  Just wondering...

Righeimer states that he and his wife are proud of this new home, and they should be.  He'll be able to look across the golf course at the mayor's new place and thumb his nose at him.  But, he needs to have a thicker hide.  Leece likely would not have suggested that elected officials should have these kind of plans reviewed by the Planning Commission in a public forum if folks actually trusted him.

We wish our obfuscating mayor pro tem well with his construction project and find ourselves wondering if he will move out of town while it's underway.  It will likely take a year or more, with all the grading and soils sampling that will be necessary, so if he moves his residence out of town, does that disqualify him from holding his office?  Just asking...

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Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Hmmmm....could it be that the RIGmeister, when his can finally gets kicked out of OUR city, is planning on selling or leasing his 6+ bedroom house to a SL outfit as a final screw you to OUR city and its residents (and Stevie's plans as well)?

10/08/2015 07:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Must be pulling in big $ from all those developers or their doing the work as a 'favor'? Ask steve how that works.

10/08/2015 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Costa Mesa was a much better place before the little carpetbagger came here and started ruining things.

10/08/2015 08:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Righeimer is a LIAR! A professional grade LIAR. He will lie when the truth suits him better. And he does it with such ease and a straight face.

Ms. Leece was not commenting regarding unions or associations or CMFD or CMPD or anyone except a group of residents that are very concerned about safety. Our CMFD is in worse shape than the CMPD but it is not being made public. This 17 point plan was supposed to have been completed a very long time ago. It has been ignored by Rig because of his own personal agenda. This was brought up to her by a group of residents who put public safety high on their agenda.

As for commenting on his house plans, TOUGH. Why did Rig not want his name on the plans? What is he trying to hide? Even though he has the permit from the zoning administrator, its good to check to see if that indeed was issued appropriately. People that work for the city have a way of disappearing when they don't do his bidding. My only question is how can a guy that was allegedly broke 10 years ago, build this house now? He has no job other than the deals he brokers with other developers so I find that interesting. Steve is getting a very sweet deal from the developer on his project. You grant contracts, you get deals.

10/08/2015 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous muffin top bob said...

Riggy has so many lies going through his head at any one time that he can't keep track of them. His head must always be hurting from the constant pressure of trying to keep the lies straight.
Here's what will happen, he'll soon come out and start blaming someone else for putting his name on the house remodel paperwork. It must have been whoever drafted up the request didn't understand that he wanted his name omitted or even better yet, someone at City Hall added his name to the paperwork after the fact to create this great conspiracy.

10/08/2015 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Jim will claim that his past bankruptcies were settled. But did he pay off his debts in full or settle them for pennies on the dollar? This is a common practice among developers who will create a new corporation for each project so they can keep the profits from the good projects while writing off the debts from the bad projects. Each project is compartmentalized so the profit from one project will not go to pay off the debt of another project. It minimizes risk.

10/08/2015 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

if moving out of town disqualifies you from holding office, then what about our Mayor who moved out awhile ago? Are all his votes since his move disqualified?

10/09/2015 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Wendy Leece said...

What voices is the mpt listening to? Who tells him what he spouts out as his truth? He makes stuff up to discredit me and others because he hopes his tirades will silence us. No way! I speak on behalf of serious concerns from myself and residents that the council approved 17 point fire dept restructuring plan is not being rolled out in a timely manner and our safety and response times to get to us in emergencies is at risk. But we know the mpt doesn't care. He cares about his anti public employee agenda to shrink our staffs and outsource everything so those vendors can support his and his cronies' political campaigns. Voted on by council May 7, 2013 it was an action plan. I wanted to go on the record that staff had to develop and release 2 RFPs and "pros and cons" of city personnel providing ambulance services including a "comprehensive financial study". If we don't remind them and hold them accountable the Chief's report may not include these items. The report should have been delivered to the council and the public months ago. Closing station 6 is still on the list. Greenbrook, Wimbledon and SCP metro area residents should be aware. No one tells me what to say and when to say it. And I'm not running for anything. I will address the man cave later.

10/09/2015 09:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Wendy, thank you. You have lots of support. We are all more than a little upset about the destruction of our CMPD and CMFD. We don't want CARE Ambulance, when we have our own state of the art transporters that we have paid for and cost us nothing now to use. They will pay for themselves if we use them rather than paying CARE Ambulance. You are right about response times increasing and becoming dangerous. Minutes matter. But Rig, nor Steve care if it isn't their family.

10/09/2015 03:49:00 PM  

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