Saturday, March 18, 2017

A Small Crowd Remembers Huy Pham's Death

Friday night, on the 6th anniversary of Huy Pham's tragic death at City Hall, a small group of friends, co-workers and activists met on the east side of of the building near the employee entrance where Pham died to spend a couple hours remembering that young man whose life was cut short.
Fire Chief Dan Stefano and Public Services Director Raja Sethuraman were among the city management team in attendance.

Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Genis attended and mingled with the small crowd, sharing stories of the event and other events since that day.
Former Public Services Director and Deputy Chief Executive Officer Peter Naghavi also remembered this day and attended, bringing flowers and lighting a candle in Pham's memory.

Others included former Planning Commissioner and member of the city legal team, Eleanor Egan, and her husband, Tom - a former member of the Newport Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees.  Robin Leffler, President of Costa Mesan's For Responsible Government, the group that helped sponsor this event, also attended.
Former Maintenance Supervisor Helen Nenadal, who spent the past few years as an employee as the President of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association (CMCEA) before retiring the end of 2013, attended and shared wonderful memories of her time working with the City and of Huy Pham.  You can read what I wrote about her retirement HERE.  She's shown here with Naghavi and others.
At one point several of the attendees walked around to the west side of the building to visit the tree that was planted in the lawn there in Pham's memory a year after his death.  Some wondered why no plaque has been placed to memorialize his passing.  Seems like a very good question.

By the time I left just before 6:00 p.m. the crowd had thinned.  It was interesting to note that, with the exception of those mentioned and shown in the photos, few staffers nor managers even slowed as they passed the makeshift memorial site.  Of course, so few of the existing staff were onboard at that time that I suppose this lack of interest is understandable.  It was sad that not a single member of the City Manager's staff made an appearance by the time I left.
It's a shame that more folks didn't make it to this small remembrance.  Huy Pham's tragic leap to his death on that date was, in my opinion, a watershed moment in Costa Mesa's history.  It marked the downhill slide orchestrated by Jim Righeimer, Steve Mensinger and with a willing accomplice in Gary Monahan - who likely spent last night the same way he spent St. Patrick's Day six years ago - pouring beer for celebrants in his gin mill.
Because of the importance of this sad event, there will be more than a few of us who will NOT let the City forget it.  We'll be back...

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Indeed. We will NOT forget his life. We will NOT forget how it came about. We will NOT forget the men behind his tragic death.

3/18/2017 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Yes, Mr. West, James Righeimer will have Huy Pham's blood on his soul forever.
His wacky alt-right ideas applied to Costa Mesa have accomplished nothing; but they did create huge legal fees for his contributors and helped trigger the death of this young man.

We will never forget what Monahan, Mensinger, and Righeimer did.

3/18/2017 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Geoff, You picked such a poignant image for your lead photo - One picture is worth a thousand words, and that one says it perfectly. No we will not forget. How can we? The shock of the stupid, poorly planned and brutally executed layoffs, followed so quickly by this tragic event. There is no forgetting.

3/18/2017 09:43:00 PM  

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