Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Councl Meeting Wrap-up

The Costa Mesa City Council meeting last night went about as expected.

ndy Leece pulled the issue of the loss of two school resource officers from the Consent Calendar for separate discussion. After much discussion and explanation by members of the Police Department, the council voted to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with the School District which eliminates two school resource officers - budget cuts are a pain!

Former mayor Sandra Genis pulled item #7, the results of the June 10, 2010 election as respects Measure C. Her concern was that some elements of the MOU in place Facilities Management West would supersede Measure C and the current zoning plans for the Fairgrounds site. After some discussion City Manager Allan Roeder affirms that the language in question was a safeguard, not a loophole. Katrina Foley requested that language in the land lease be crafted to further protect from those issues about which Genis expressed concern.

After some spirited discussion, applicants Judi Berry, Kathleen Eric and Agnes Dubberly were appointed to the Costa Mesa Senior Corporation Board. Board President Bruce Garlich expressed some concern with the application of Judi Berry - that it seemed quite adversarial. I posted that segment of her application in my last entry, and I agree with Garlich.


Allan Mansoor recommended Berry - no surprise there, since she's his long, long time supporter and campaign Treasurer. (Wonder if she's sent all that money back to the Facilities Management West donors yet?) In my opinion, placing Judi Berry on the Senior Center Corporation Board is like turning a fox loose in the hen house. I suspect her presence will not reduce the animosity between the Board and the City, but will exacerbate it. Foley, from the dais, suggested that Garlich and Berry get together and try to find common ground. We'll see how that goes.

Kathleen Eric may actually be an excellent addition to the board. She has a strong positive senior orientation and has been attending board meetings for some time.

Agnes Dubberly brings a very strong background to the board, including extensive experience with non-profits and management background.

Perhaps the most positive segment of the council meeting was the presentation of the public hearing about the Broadway Safe Route To School Grant. This, as Foley stated during the discussion, was a perfect example of what can happen when community members and the city staff collaborate on an issue. Public Services Director Peter Naghavi made an excellent presentation and many residents and officers of the Eastside Neighbors Group spoke in support of the plan. Broadway is the widest residential street in the city and is an almost uninterrupted straight line from Irvine Avenue to Newport Boulevard. I'd have loved to grow up here - Broadway would have made a great drag race street!

In any event, the council moved to proceed with this project and use nearly $1,000,000 of federal grant funds to make the improvements that will make that important stretch of roadway safer, slower and more beautiful. Congrats to all involved and especially to Naghavi and his staff for the excellent work done on this project.

Perhaps the most uncomfortable segment was the one dealing with the authorization of placing delinquent fines on the tax rolls for collection. Nearly $25,000 in overdue fines which have exhausted all local collection efforts and appeals require city council approval to turn the fines over to the county for placement on the tax bills. Two residents, with delinquent fines totaling $2,000 and $850 respectively, made impassioned pleas for the council to not place the obligations on the tax rolls. The discussion was frustrating. Eventually, a motion by Foley and seconded by Leece to permit those two to pay a small amount now and the balance within a year, was rejected. Both debts, plus the others for whom nobody spoke, will be placed on the tax rolls and will be due with the first installment of the property tax in November.

Scattered throughout the meeting were comments by the Costa Mesa racist laureate, our old buddy, The Mouth From Mesa North. He didn't miss many opportunities to berate the council on any issue, including another dose of "drain the swamp", and "bulldoze the apartments". He keeps yapping about making Costa Mesa a nicer city, but now the hypocrite is really ticked off because The City is going to purchase and rehabilitate a couple homes to be sold to low-income families in his Mesa North neighborhood. It was refreshing to see at least one resident rebut his rants. It's interesting that he no longer makes any attempt to veil his racist views, either in person or on his pathetic blog. It looks like people are finally beginning to figure him out...


At the request of Katrina Foley, the council adjourned the meeting in memory of community activist Anne Hogan Shereshevsky, who passed away recently. Anne was a fixture in the council chambers and elsewhere, speaking out on many issues near and dear to her heart. She was very active in the Costa Mesa senior community and frequently addressed the issues important to that group. She was a strong advocate against so-called safe and sane fireworks, and lobbied each year for a community fireworks show instead. She was direct and articulate, which caused some elected officials some heartburn from time to time. Her contributions to our community will be missed.

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Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Just a reminder, no "Anonymous" comments... pick a name and re-submit.

7/21/2010 09:26:00 PM  
Anonymous MikeK said...

Having previously served on a HOA Board where I was on the receiving end of Ms. Berry’s so-called financial advice, I’m afraid that this decision by the City Council to appoint her to the Senior Center Board of Directors will have no benefit to that body.

The Berry way is typically to stall, misinform, and misdirect everyone while they pound away about some little minutiae until all sound reasoning about an issue is thrown out the window. I always equated it to a small child who throws a tantrum until the adults all give up and give the little tyke whatever they want just to shut them up.

Mr. Garlich and Ms. Goelman voiced their honest opinions about Ms. Berry never being seen at a Board Meeting, I guarantee you that that will not stop her from being an instant expert on every issue before the Board at her very first meeting.

Ms. Foley, I hope your comments directed towards the combatants will bring calm to this appointment, but I sincerely doubt it.

Always look at the bright side of an issue you lost Mr. Garlich, it could’ve been Mr. Berry who applied for this position, and got it. Good luck to you sir.

7/21/2010 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

MikeK, how right you are... things certainly could have been worse! :-)

7/21/2010 11:56:00 PM  

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