Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fairgrounds On The Block & Thugs Among Us

I had intended to give you my take on the joint City Council/Planning Commission Study Session yesterday, but first the BIG STORY is the potential sale of the Orange County Fair and Event Center.

The Fair Board, apparently feeling significa
nt pressure from a pending budget scheme in Sacramento, met in an emergency session today at the Costa Mesa City Hall and voted to support the sale of the Fairgrounds - with the proviso that it be sold to a non-profit that would retain the property as a Fairgrounds in perpetuity. You can read Alan Blank's articles in the Daily Pilot HERE and HERE, and Jeff Overley and Ellyn Pak's article in the Orange County Register HERE.

This is a big deal.... and is a patheti
c example of how hapless our state government has been in attempting to balance the budget year after year. The voters of this state need to understand that the problem isn't the budget - it's the boneheads they elected to lead this state. That's where the changes need to take place.


Back to the Study Session, which ran 25% longer than anticipated.


I came away from viewing the taped replay of that meeting today with the STRONG feeling that our city is very, very close to becoming an authoritarian enclave. For example, during the discussion of Code Enforcement priorities, it was suggested by Planning Com
mission Chairman Jim Righeimer that the city should consider "sweeps" - massed enforcement efforts in certain parts of our city - to solve his perception of difficulties. Of course, this comment is aimed squarely at the minority-occupied Westside.

Another "Riggy gem" was his suggestion that an immediate $75.00 fine for any trash can left out beyond the permitted time. No warning - just slap a $75.00 administrative citation on the perpetrator. Both of these suggestions reek of heavy-handedness, which was reinforced by comments by Riggy's buddy, Steve Mensinger. When Councilwoman Katrina Foley expressed no interest in either suggestion Righeimer flippantly quipped back to her that she needed a vote - pointing our her minority position
on the council.

It was clear to me that Righeimer and Mensinger would prefer to remake Costa Mesa in the mode of Irvine or Newport Beach. A couple times Mensinger compared Costa Mesa to Stanton - a city he described as "stopped in time".


The upshot of the meeting was that a discussion of liquor stores, code enforcement and the overlay zone issues will be going back to the commission and/or the council based on the discussions tonight. The overlay discussion will be more tightly focused on the SoBECA zone and the Westside will be ignored for the time being. Code enforcement guidelines will be re-prioritized and new rules for liquor stores will be crafted.

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Anonymous can't give my name this time said...

Riggy's agenda is frightening. Even more frightening is that he seems to have two partners on the planning commission to bully things through. At the council level he has Mansoor, Bever, and Monahan in his pocket. When I hear Riggy, month after month, come up with more heavy handed ideas I get reminded of Neil Young's song lyric: "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own..."(four dead in Ohio).

7/16/2009 09:14:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

If the board is really endorsing the sale of the fairgrounds to protect it from the state selling it to developers, they have my support.

My concern is that the compromises necessary to raise the money it would take to buy the fairgrounds might be just as bad.

7/16/2009 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...


I agree, a private entity - even a non-profit, would need to change things dramatically to afford the purchase and continued operation. For instance, what would the property implications be?

7/16/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

can't give...

Contemplating those in power in our city doesn't bring a song into my heart!

Bruce, yes, indeedy, this is going to be a very interesting scenario to watch play out. It's going to be a tough time to find an non-profit entity with enough cash or credit to swing the deal at this time.

7/16/2009 05:31:00 PM  

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