Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Well, last night the Costa Mesa City Council, during it's discussion of Wendy Leece's proposals for changes in the enforcement of our fireworks laws, affirmed that the elected leadership of this city really isn't interested in shutting down illegal fireworks. They passed both items on a vote of 3-1, with Eric Bever voting "no" and Katrina Foley absent on spring break.

The fireworks issue - the last item on the agenda - had few speakers either for or against. No self-described "marketing guru". No pistol-packing planning commissioner. Those who did speak did so with controlled passion and respect. And, the upshot of all this hub bub was less than nothing.

Oh, yes, they voted to approve Leece's proposals to make the violations of our fireworks laws an administrative fine, thereby avoiding costly court proceedings. Any people apprehended discharging illegal fireworks or misusing legal ones will be cited and required to appear before a contract hearing officer. Any fines collected will go directly to the city. The maximum administrative fine will remain at $500.00

And, it was agreed that the use of 911 Reverse Technology - calling folks in so-called hot spots prior to the Independence Day holiday to provide information about safety and the fines - would be implemented. The cost is amazingly reasonable - less than $250.00 total, based on the staff report.

Perhaps the biggest thing to come out of this was Gary Monahan's manipulation of the process to get the cap on the number of fireworks stands eliminated! Presently, if fewer permits than the authorized number are requested, the next year that number becomes the new cap. Monahan, horse trading in exchange for his vote, required his peers on the dais to authorize 40 fireworks stands, with no cap.

Since only one citation was issued last year, nothing substantive came out of this process. Nope, the only thing that happened was that lots of folks vented their collective spleens on the Daily Pilot blog and Monahan succeeded in allowing even more fireworks to be sold in our city.

I give up... I'm done trying to get folks in this city to give up fireworks. It's going to take a calamity to convince folks of the danger - something I sure don't want to see. So, have a great time on the 4th, neighbors, and please be careful.

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Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Yes, it was a long wait really for nothing. Monahan's lifting of the built in demise of fireworks booths was interesting. I don't believe that it will have any short term affect as we don't use all of the available booths now.

I am still confused about the proposal to have the booths hand out flyers. We have been doing that at the city's insistence for years.

The change in the fines and process is silly. I predict it will just create more work at the city level and the funds collected will not offset that overhead. I guess we will see.

Now if we can just keep local bloggers/columnists from burning down their own houses I think everyone will be OK!

Speaking of things that fizzled out, what about the new parking regulations? First, I don’t know what planning commissioner has a bug up their butt about parking in Costa Mesa, but I am guessing his initials are Jim Righeimer.

So now he wants everyone to park their cars in their garage and not in their ‘too short for even compact car’ driveways. This guy treats Costa Mesa like his own little fiefdom! I sure hope that the council gets tired of this over regulation from an obviously BIG GOVERNMENT political hack.

4/08/2009 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...

Bruce's comment regarding Righeimer and parking is perfect - particularly when you consider Mensinger parks both his cars either on the street or in his too-short driveway on Country Club Dr., so when I'm pushing a double stroller with two kids in it past his house, I have to veer into the street to get by. But I'm going to guess the rules don't apply to them since they're planning commissioners. And Fisler can't even shut his garage door, it's so full of junk. I'm plugged in here over in Mesa Verde, I tell you.

And I stood right next to Riggy at the recent Country Fair at Prince of Peace school and it reminded me of a line from the epic Patrick
Swayze movie 'Roadhouse' - I thought he'd be bigger.

4/08/2009 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger CMTRUTH said...

"BIG GOVERNMENT political hack."

That sums it up perfectly.

4/09/2009 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Bruce, don't count on the council getting tired of Riggy's actions... they appointed him! He's their guy! He and Mensinger are typical of some guys who run organizations - the rules are for others, not them.

mesa verde madman, I guess Riggy "plays bigger", huh? :-) He is a very smart guy with a big agenda... Look for him to go after Mansoor's seat in 2010...

4/09/2009 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...


4/09/2009 06:41:00 PM  

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