Thursday, December 09, 2010

Contemplating The New Leadership

It's been 24 hours since the new leadership of our city was decided and the telephone calls and emails have been melting the wires. The comment thread on my last post kind of set the tone for the day. One commenter, Keith T., said "at least Righeimer has a plan.". Well, a bad plan is worse than no plan and, at a time when we're running 17 police officers light, his plan adds new staff and additional bureaucracy. You'd think Righeimer was a Democrat, for goodness sake!

Daily Pilot columnist Joseph N. Bell - one of my favorite writers - signed in on the election in his column that will appear in print Thursday. You can read it HERE now.

Last night was full of disappointment for me. In the couple hours it took to get Gary Monahan and Jim Righeimer elected it became crystal clear that Righeimer's election was far from a mandate of the people. I don't ever recall the election of a Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem being greeted with boos and jeers before. I was disappointed that this campaign has led to that kind of incivility in our city.


As I said in my last post, I don't really have a problem with Gary
Monahan being elected Mayor. He's been there before - many times - and understands how to navigate through an agenda. I am concerned, one that was shared by at least one speaker last night, that he may not have the time to actually do those things normally associated with being mayor of our city. His gin mill is still struggling to recover from the economic downturn and there are rumors that he may be trying to launch another place in south county, which will certainly drain his time.

For me, the worst part of last night was the realization that in January, when Katrina Foley's replacement is sworn in, it is very likely that the result will be at least four people on the dais with the same agenda. 4/5ths is a "super-majority", with which they can do just about anything they want.

The streaming video of the meeting - all 5 hours + of it - is up and avai
lable for viewing. You can view it HERE. Some folks questioned whether Righeimer's nomination of Monahan actually was seconded. No one near me in the auditorium heard a second from where we were sitting. I watched my tape of that segment of the meeting over and over today. Finally a friend who also shared my concern, told me that Eric Bever did, in fact, second Righeimer's nomination. He did so at the precise moment Julie Folcik was asking if there was a second. Watching the tape closely it is possible to see his little turn toward Righeimer when he actually said "second". Folcik confirmed that observation today.

Perhaps the best moments of the evening for me was the frustrated presentation made by Mesa del Mar resident - and former City Council candidate - Lisa Reedy when she practically sprinted to the speaker's podium while comments were being taken on the Mayor Pro Tem nominations. Her comments, which start about 1:58:00 into the streaming video, said with great articulation what many of us were thinking at that time - and continue to think today. I'll let her speak for herself and close this entry with that little video clip for your viewing pleasure.


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Anonymous Kent Morrow said...

You started out with your commentaries at about the same time these improvenuts were getting Chris Steel elected. Just think how much worse it would be if not for you and Joe and Byron and all the other kindred spirits weren't there to point out all their mistakes. Honestly, I don't know what is wrong with the voters in this city. They are as dumb as rocks.

12/09/2010 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Kent Morrow,
You HAVE been paying attention! :-) I've asked my self the same question from time to time. I don't think the voters are necessarily "dumb as rocks" (I love that term, though). I think they are very much like I was before I started paying attention a decade ago. They are too busy with their lives - making a living, raising families - to actually pay attention to what their elected leaders are doing.

I also think most of those self-named "improvers" were folks with good intentions, frustrated by what they perceived to be the decline of their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, they were persuaded that the root of all their problems were the Latinos living on the Westside. In my opinion, that perception gave us the hapless Chris Steel and smiling, but brainless, Allan Mansoor. It also provided the crack in the door for the OC GOP to begin inserting itself in our local politics.

Their campaign modus operandi is to find someone to hate - an "evil doer" that folks who don't pay much attention can be made, through rhetoric, to believe is THE problem in their lives. Mansoor's was the illegal aliens among us. Righeimer's was those "darn greedy public employees".

Keith T. lauded Righeimer for having a plan. History shows us his "plans" usually involve trampling somebody's rights. He's in the big chair now, with broader reach and a likely super-majority on the council that can be easily swayed to vote with him. In a few months many of us will be looking over our shoulders to see if his big foot is coming to stomp on OUR rights.

12/09/2010 08:45:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Yes Geoff, again your hammer has struck directly on the head of the point.

If memory serves me correct, while Ms. Reedy was expressing what everyone (99.9%) in the audience was feeling, I was watching the panel; Hewey, Dewey, and Lewey were looking around the room, down at there papers and showed no class to even fake they were giving Lisa the courtesy of paying attention. These boys need to be aware of their body language while up on Mt. Olympus.

It's too bad that CMTV doesn't have a split screen view of the dais and the speaker... now THAT would be entertaining.

Dittos Kent, but please don't insult rocks like that...

12/09/2010 08:49:00 AM  
Anonymous New voices said...

One of the best voter turnouts in a long time resulted in Righeimer winning easily, and McEvoy almost unseating Leece. Yet Kent, OCLonghair, Joe and of course Geoff, all bemoan the stupidity of the electorate. What we really need are new voices to replace the same old tired diatribes so often seen here.

12/09/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger Rich said...

Well, the good news for Riggy is he can now whip out his Mayor Pro Tem badge at the next DUI checkpoint. I bet my rock will garner more respect than that badge!

12/09/2010 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous said...

Let's set the record straight on the OCGOP's involvement in our city. I am a Republican who believes in the platform of the OCGOP. I attend their central committee meetings monthly. So did Leece, so does Righeimer. Other Republicans are not as committed and do not attend. This election cycle those that did not attend missed hearing about the endorsement process and missed getting a chance at an endorsement because the OCGOP did not reach out to the candidates. It required the candidates to come to them and there were a few unhappy Republican candidates who missed the deadline to apply to be interviewed be the committee. Leece, Righeimer, Mansoor, Dewane, Franco, and myself, as regular attendees, got our questionnaires and other paperwork in on time. All but Leece was recommended by the first screening committe due to her vote a year earlier on the 3@50 retirement here in Costa Mesa. She appealed, said she now "got it" as far as pension reform and promised to be a reliable vote on council for reform. She pleaded for the endorsement, made promises, and finally received it. To go back on her word is one thing. To run to the Pilot three days before the city vote and blast the OCGOP for pressuring her is inexcusable. Go ahead and backstab them, but don't go out of your way to tarnish them is how I feel about it. Now you have a bunch of people, most of whom probably don't mind the safety associations actively supporting other candidates, blasting the OCGOP for meddling here. They are missing the point that the elected candidates the OCGOP supported (all local endorsements won) reached out to THEM, the OCGOP did not go after the candidates. Yes, you now have election winners associated with the OCGOP, so what? Let's move on with the business at hand.

12/09/2010 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Director Jim, welcome back. Thanks for giving us the party line. Few of your friends would take the time, so I do appreciate it.

Your friend at the CM Press today described what is happening to Wendy as "encapsulation"... sounds about right. Some of us who watch these things fully expect her to be shoved aside, both figuratively and literally, and her vote to become irrelevant. That will be a shame, but it is a political reality these days since the OC GOP has inserted itself so fully into Costa Mesa's government.

12/09/2010 08:23:00 PM  

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