Tuesday, March 10, 2009

More Omens...

Monday night's Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting gave us a view of what may lie ahead for folks that present issues before the commission.


New Chairman Jim Righeimer seemed intent upon speeding things along as he juggled the agenda. I don't
recall any chair in recent memory that treated the normal, well-established procedures with such cavalier disregard. Old Riggy's a smart fella and obviously knows how to run a meeting, but his loosey-goosey handling of issues on the dais is very likely to cause him some procedural problems downstream.

For example, the only time he really paid attention to the speaker's timer was when he closed the me
eting with three minutes of silence as a tribute to former Chairman Donn Hall, who had passed away earlier that morning.


And, I thought it was either carelessness on his part or an intentional affront as Righeimer failed to refer to Jim Fisler as Vice Chair. It may have been an innocent oversight, but Riggy's a quick study, so I
suspect the latter.


And, we got a glimpse of just what kind of commissioner Steve Mensinger is going to be. Taking a page right out of Riggy's play book, he chastised the architect representing the developer of two projects before them last night not for his plans, but for Mensinger's perception of his attitude. Well, I watched the proceeding and thought the architect in question handled himself very well, particularly with some hostile questions fired at him. He met every request and the projects were eventually a
pproved over the objections of commissioners Sam Clark and Fisler - the new minority on the dais.


Maybe Mensinger thinks that style works for him in his business, but I don't think our city is well-served when commissioners exercise their power by abusing those who speak before them. We saw enough of that during Riggy's early years on the commission and it looks like Mensinger's going to carry that baton now. I don't know.. maybe that's the style at SunCal Companies, where they both work. Here's a LINK to an article in the Los Angeles Times from a couple of years ago that may give us a clue to his "style". Here's another LINK discussing his background. And, here's another LINK announcing the appointment of both Mensinger and Righeimer as Presidents of two divisions of SunCal Companies.


It looks to me like those standing before THIS Planning Commission better arrive with a thick skin and plenty of answers because some members of THIS group seem willing to rely on their own preconceived opinions rather than doing their homework and investigating the projects before them.

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Blogger mesa verde madman said...

I think anyone associated with Georgie Argyros has a sense of entitlement, a 'do you know who I am' kind of attitude. His son, George Jr., was one of the worst offenders back in the 80s - I saw it first-hand. I do believe he pulled his badge up in Idaho or some other backwater and tried to pass as a sheriff a few years back, and wound up in jail. I believe the current term for such types is 'douchebag' (hope that doesn't get cut out).

Regardless, wasn't Arnel accused a few years ago of jacking up rents on immigrants, etc., or some such unsavory practice? Sounds like a great bunch of people!

3/10/2009 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like this Mensinger fellow is a stern guy. By picking a fight with this character you may have bit off more than you can chew. He won’t be as easy to roll as the mouth from Mesa North.

3/10/2009 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

mesa verde madman, I understand your perception.. lots of bad press does that. About your term... I'll let it ride, since I cannot "edit" the comments, only accept or reject. I'd rather not have this blog be a repository of that kind of language, though. The term you used is a valid descriptor for a certain female appliance, but I'm sure you didn't use it in that context...

Kent Morrow, I'm not picking a fight with Mensinger, only offering observations. Being an appointed commissioner doesn't bestow upon him the right to be a bully. He should have plenty of time on his hands these days since the development business is in the tank. Go online and see how many projects SunCal has in bankruptcy these days...

3/10/2009 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...

yeah, it's a bit talk radio, but you get my point. arrogance for that crowd knows no bounds.

3/10/2009 04:44:00 PM  

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