Monday, August 03, 2009

Massaging The Budget, Massage Parlors and Caspa on Mansoor (so to speak)

It's the beginning of another new week and, with another Costs Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, it promises to be memorable.

Right from the start tomorrow's meeting should be fun. The only public hearing schedule attempts to deal with deadbeats who have, for one reason or anothe
r, refused to pay fines for civil citations for municipal code violations. While $60,000 is involved, most if it deals with two properties in town. One in particular, 2256-2258 Orange Avenue, accounts for over $43,000 of the delinquent fines. The other, 1045 El Camino Drive, is for $7,175.00.


Item 2 under Old Business is titled, "Budget Management Strategy
Implementation/Employee Salaries & Benefits". This attempts to implement concessions with certain employee bargaining units dealing with pay reductions and furloughs to help balance the Fiscal Year 2009/2010 budget.


Perhaps the most interesting of these is item 2 (e) - the modified Memorandum of Understanding with the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association (CMFA). In a nutshell, the city presents to us to review a negotiation document which demonstrates how the association plans to help with the budget. I'm going to be very interested to see how our city council grapples with this information in an open public forum. The proposed MOU extends the length of time of the existing contract in exchange for some very serious concessions on the part of the city, includin
g an increase in pay rate and a new arrangement on their retirement eligibility - 3% at 50, as opposed to the current 3% at 55.


Under New Business #1 the council will, once again, address their current urgency ordina
nce regarding a moratorium on massage parlors and new licensees. It seems, in our haste to slam the door on these activities at a recent meeting, we may have been in violations of Senate Bill 731, which prohibits putting restrictions on massage parlors that are more restrictive than other professional and personal service businesses.


The staff recommends exempting two establishments from the moratorium and says it will return at the meeting on August 18th to discuss the extension of the moratorium.

Perhaps the most fun will come at the end of the meeting when, under New Business #3, Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece p
roposes giving the Planning Commissioners a pay cut - from $400 per month regardless of how many meetings they attend - to $75.00 per meeting.



Our old amigo, Dr. Humberto Caspa - former columnist for the Daily Pilot - has begun contributing blog entries on the Orange Juice Blog, a link for which is over there on the right of this page. In a recent entry last week, HERE, Caspa addresses our young jailer (is he still a jailer?)/mayor Allan Mansoor and his candidacy for the State Assembly seat currently held by Van Tran. In his piece Caspa m
akes some curious comments about Mansoor's sexual orientation - something I feel is completely irrelevant to his candidacy, with the possible exception that he has posted some very explicit negative comments regarding the gay lifestyle on a now-defunct Costa Mesa web site a few years ago. I have no idea if The Mayor has decided to "bat from the other side of the plate", so to speak, and really don't care. Contemplating that speculation does make me smile just a little bit, though.

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Anonymous said...

Caspa loses my interest in his comments when he throws in comments about Mansoor's sexual orientation. I have never seen Caspa with a woman come to think of it, hmmm...
Wendy's proposal about an 80% stipend cut to planning commission is interesting. Is council going to take any cuts? Even a 40% cut by council in pay/benefits would result in some serious savings. It has been said that council cannot cut their own pay, that it will not take effect until the next council is seated. Couldn't they declare a fiscal emergency and have it take place in a month or so. They could take all the savings and give it to our firefighters benefit packages! If planning commissioner stipend goes to 75 bucks/month I wonder if the commissioner who publicly pledged to give 200/mo to mobile rec van will follow through and. if not, publicly rescind his pledge.

8/03/2009 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ah, Vice Chair Jim, some very interesting observations and comments. Will you be in attendance tomorrow to present your views to the council? Yes, Wendy's suggestion was interesting. Just because they can't cut THEIR pay doesn't mean they can't slash yours! Yikes! The discussion of this issue, plus that of the firefighter's proposal will be very interesting and illuminating. I had not thought about that pledge of $200 for the mobile rec. van... perhaps we should ask him next Monday...

Regarding Caspa's comments... I actually have met his wife and one daughter... Of course, I know your comment was tongue in cheek... Thanks for commenting.

8/03/2009 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Humberto said...

I think it's odd when someone cuts his/her own salary. When public officials engage in such a thing, to me it is totally populism. It's highly popular in Latin America with leftist govern'ts like Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and.... If we add all the work hours of Wendy Leece or Katrina Foley or Monaham or even Mansoor (Except Bever, he doesn't know what the hack is going on during council meetings), I bet that each one of them works at least 20 hours per week doing government work. It'll be interesting to find out that info. from Fisler. How many hours per week do you work doing Planning Com. assignments Fisler? Well, I'm not gonna ask that same question to the Mouth. He might have a bed hiding some where in City Hall. My point here is that our public officials deserve to get a fair amount of money for what they do. I don't mind if that person is Mansoor or Monahan (again, except Bever), they spend so many hours getting ready for regular council meetings. I say pay them fairly.

8/03/2009 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Humberto said...

By the way Geoff, Mansoor's fotografia looks unreal. Is that him, or someone pretending to be Mansoor?

8/03/2009 08:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Humberto, yep, that's him. Nice picture, huh? :-)

8/03/2009 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Resident said...

I think it was in exceptional poor taste when Caspa made comments regarding Mansoor's sexuality. Coming out is apersonal decision, other people should not take the liberty "to fuel the fire," or force people to come out. Everyone deserves to come out (if it is the case) on their own. I think it is even more distasteful that he is a university professor and makes such an issue, somewhat mocking his sexuality. I would expect more from someone from the academic community.

8/05/2009 03:51:00 PM  

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