Friday, February 18, 2011

Orange County Fire Authority Proposal

This afternoon the City of Costa Mesa sent out a press release announcing that the proposal from the Orange County Fire Authority to provide fire and related services to the city is now available for viewing on the city web site. I could not find it, but have since seen a copy and will give you a quick summary here. The proposal should be available to you soon.


First, let me say that I'm not a fire safety expert by any stretch of the imagination. And, despite some interesting numbers on the proposal, there are still some expensive issues to be negotiated between the OCFA and The City - like the required improvements to the fire stations, for example.


The OCFA proposal presents three options. They also presented the current costs of our fire operations for comparison. That number is $20,255,086 with a staff deployment of 29 personnel.

The three options and their costs are:

Option #1 - $18,157,231 - 25 personnel

Option #2 - $17,186,860 - 24 personnel - close Station #6

Option #3 - $16,483, 219 - 23 personnel - close Station #2

The proposal will include one-time start-up costs of either $729,444 or $816,106, depending on the option chosen.


Regardless which option considered the proposal transfers 81 sworn and 2 non-sworn personnel.

Annual savings are projected as:

Option #1 - $2,097,855

Option#2 - $3,068,116

Option #3 - $3,771,867

Projected savings over the first 5 years of the 20 year agreement are $26,279,844

Increases are capped at 4.5% annually.

Facilities will be leased to the CFO for $1.00 per year.

That's the quick version of the 52 page report. I suggest you check the city web site for the actual report and do your own analysis. In my view, much still needs to be done before anyone can make the best decision for our city in this matter. As the old saying goes, "The devil is in the details". It's going to take some serious analysis beyond simply the numbers to determine if this a good deal for our city. Most cities in Orange County receive their fire protection from the Orange County Fire Authority.



Anonymous Max said...

If they close down any stations at all, it would only be fair to close the one closest to Righeimer's house.

2/18/2011 11:12:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

CM could have had the same grant funded "newer technology" they turned it down....besides the incident captain can easily handle a six station move up...

2/18/2011 11:53:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


2/18/2011 11:56:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

cm optd out of the 'newer technology' check with the fire chief that is south of you

2/18/2011 11:57:00 PM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

Two firefighters/paramedics with the OCFA saved my son's life almost 9 years ago. Brian collapsed and "died" (sudden cardiac death) on a basketball court near UCI. Jimmy Owen and Rich Khoshaba (Station 4) struggled to revive him and finally did by using the portable defibrillator.


2/19/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Sitting insde looking around. said...

Does anyone know of any company that either Righeimer or Mensinger have run successfully and has not gone into bankruptcy?

Or a company that has fired them?

All I ever hear from these guys is how bad things are in Costa Mesa and all of the people making this city a bad place are the outsiders.

I have never seen any qualifications that would give residents some hope that they know what they are doing. They just spew out fear! Then between the cops campaign against Riggy, giving us a little bit of insight and the council approving 200,000.00 dollars for consultants to tell them what to do, I don't see any reason to think they have what it takes to make any type of improvements?

Also, what does someone like the Mr. Segerstrom think about this hostile take over? Im sure turning Costa Mesa into a dump doesn't sit well with him and his families long history in improving Costa Mesa. Also, does he live in the City? If he doesn't is Riggy and his partners going after him?

2/19/2011 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Sitting inside looking around, why is it not covered the revenues are up something like 9% over projections and the deficit has shrunk to $1.4 mil? With the loss of ABLE, that deficit will be even lower. Why the hatchet to the city? Must be a bigger GOP plan going on here.

2/19/2011 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Ricky said...

OK, let me see if I have this right...we cut the total number of firemen, close a couple of stations and the reponse times will be better?!? Yeah, I believe that!

These guys are all a bunch of hand wringing, back slapping, morons. The problem is they think we are dumb so they can "decide what's best for us". And the GOP accuses the Democrats for pushing a "nanny state" and doing our thinking for us. All of these politicians think they know what's best for us. The problem is we continue to elect them. These knobs are taking away our self determination, our identity and all that has made this city great.

I guarantee you they are cutting back room deals for prime development and infrastructure contracts with their former business cronies. They will do it all right under our noses, with our blessing, under the guise of econominc and infrastructure development. You know, because they know what's best for us.

Sitting inside nailed it. Has Righeimer or Mensinger ever run a business that was succesful? Where are they working now? Or are they? I mean other than for themselves under their own BS corporations that pay them to sit around the house in their underwear.

Righeimer and Mensinger are a plague on our council, and they will get Bever and half pint to right along with them, as they drag this once fine city into oblivion, as they have done with businesses before.

@Flo Martin, I am glad the firemen were there for your son. Quick response with well trained personnel is a must. Glad the right elements were in the right places for your family.

2/19/2011 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Cal said...

I'm torn about this. On the one hand, as long as a big red truck with some guys in yellow suits shows up when I need one, cool.

On the other hand, There's something to be sid about maintaining our city's indentity. It seems to me that the resources we have, from our fire to our police (yeah, even that helicopter) are a matter of civic pride. They are also a matter of our city being able to provide first class service and self sufficiency in crisis.

It's starting to seem that these fools will stop at nothing to impose their will upon us. They think they have a "mandate". What they have is the support of the least apathetic.

It doesn't surprise me that the two most outspoken jesters in the court are SC guys. Having been in the corporate world for some time, I have seen their type time and again. They think they are a "cut above" the rest of us. We are all just background players in their world, and we should just be happy to be here.

Mensy and Riggy may have done a lot for football etc, but it's all a means to an end for them. Granted the kids are the winners, but these guys get the adoration and kudos and get to feel good about themselves. It's likely psychological compensation for the bad they do behind closed doors.

2/19/2011 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Sitting outside said...

We need to keep CMFD and CMFD, and we need to get our labor costs under control. CM has miles of torn up roads and other needs that cost millions. There are many needs for the budget, and PD and FD should be huge portions of it, but labor costs are just too high, and that is the case all over the country. Reform pensions and OT, and everyone keeps their jobs and we maintain civic pride and our great PD and FD.

Enough with the sky is falling BS and name calling - this is about the high cost of labor and that is it.

2/19/2011 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Didn't The Beatles have a song called Little Riggies?

"In their sties with all their backing,
They don't care what goes on around.
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking."

Riggie and Sheriff Mensinger do seem to be fairly narcissistic and in outer space with what the average Costa Mesan wants. Most of us are Conservative or Republican which makes it even easier to see right through their dirty scheme.

Both of these turkeys would rather have Sonic Burger as opposed to more of our great mom and pop restaurants. They tried to kill the SoBeCa redevelopment vision. The worst of it is they want to turn us into a generic homogenized south county city with a fully outsourced city hall. Anything that can be done in India will be done in India. The private contractors they hire will be able to hire workers illegally to save even more money.

In the end, taxpayers will pay the same amount, Riggies friends will make a lot of money, Costa Mesa will have less character and pride, there will be fewer livable wage jobs in the city for us Americans, and everyone will wonder how it happened?

2/19/2011 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Van Loon said...

Hey outside, where do you think the service in the FD and PD come from? Pixies? It comes from the personnel that staff them. Hence your personnel costs will be the highest costs. they don't buy equipment annually genius.

No "name calling BS" that I have seen. Your boys are bringing their "A-game" to stick it in the employee's eye, so they better be prepared for the animosity against them that it will create.

I haven't seen "miles of torn up roads" in my travels about town. Stop drinking their kool aid.

The reality is that our FD and PD have always performed at a high level and continue to do so. No one turned the public against them but these guys. They did it by using financial angst and fear of the future.

They started class warfare amongst the middle class. It's not like our public safety folks are out living large like they want you to believe. That image suits their needs and they will propogate it as long as they can. Once the economy continues to recover, it will all fall by the wayside. they have a finite window to demonize these men and women and they will continue to pull the stops to do it. I'm surprised it's been as tame as it has been. If i were one of the employees in this town, I would have been a lot more outspoken then they have been.

2/19/2011 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Ghost of Mailers Past said...

This is really intersting. If I might offer a comparison: Costa Mesa has about 113k residents and about 81 full time fire fighters.

The police department has about 140 full time officers.

It seems that this council's agenda is outsourcing and to use a Righeimer term I have heard him use; "rightsizing".

In contrast, the city of Lincolnwood Illinois has a population of 12k residents (Costa Mesa is about 9.5 times the size in population).

Lincolnwood Fire has 28 full time firefighters (CMFD is less than 3 time larger for a population almost 10 times larger).

Lincolnwood Police Department has 31 full time police officers (CMPD is about 4.5 times larger for a population almost 10 times larger).

So, assuming that Costa Mesa's 1.2 officers per 1k residents is too many (remember, we need to "rightsize"), then the Village of Lincolnwood's 2.5 officers per 1k residents must be way out of line. the same would follow with the fire department of course.

Now, I had some difficulty in finding call statistics for Lincolnwood fire. But I remember from attending the Fire Citizen's Academy, that CMFD handles over 9k calls annually. I cant imagine Lincolnwood is even close to that.

Now, police statistics are easy to find. I went to the FBI web site and it was all right there. Reportable "serious crimes" (burglary, rape, murder, grand theft etc)are listed as "part I" crimes. CMPD investigated 4,404 Part I crimes in 2009 (the last year I could find). Lincolnwood investigated 500 that same year.

So CMPD investigated 9 times the Part I crimes with a ratio of officers to citizens almost half.

So here's why I chose Lincolnwood as my comparison. Back when Righeimer was running for office, he said he came from a "law enforcement family" and he had an endorsement on one of his mailers form a uniformed officer named "Brian Righeimer". That's his brother, who works for Lincolnwood PD.

So Jim, my challenge is this: As you gut our city and it's departments out of your ideology and principle, I expect that you share your philosophy with the council of Lincolnwood, so that they might appropriately "rightsize" too. Please make sure that your brother understands that it's not personal. As I understand, the Il. safety pension is very similar to Ca's. Make sure they are battling to reform that as well. As I recall, your mailer had some quote from your brother about what is "sustainable". again, assure him it's not personal, it's just what's right.

The alternative is: If you are that homesick, go back to Illinois and leave us alone. Trust me, you wouldn't be missed.

2/20/2011 01:24:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...


When all of the possible departments are handed over to the County, whos name will show up next election under the "OC Board of Supervisors"; "Check Two Boxes!"

2/20/2011 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Last week "Feral390" gave info about a recall.

I posted the same idea and set an email page to get impute; no body sent me email... CM hasn't yet grasped the totality of the situation.

FYI, you can't start a recall of a member that was appointed (not elected) before 90 (ninety) days of his appointment. Then the cost to do so is not cheap. Then if the recall passes, the cost is absence.

I Gov. MoonBeam has a special election in June, we could have a small window to get something on the ballet a bit cheaper; CM would have to have get a lot of signatures in a short period of time to accomplish a recall.

2/20/2011 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Memory Serves Me Well said...

The public has absolutely no desire for a recall. The only people who want a recall are the public employees. Maybe we should recall the public employees instead.

Taxpayers are famous for having long memories and holding grudges. Our public employees are not as perfect as they make themselves out to be.

I can still remember when a MDM resident was cruelly slaughtered in his own living room by Costa Mesa's "finest". I can also remember when another MDM resident
was in the throes of a major heart attack and the paramedics drove him over to the back door of College Hospital, slid him inside, and took off. Needless to say, he died.

Trust me, our PD and FD employees are way overpaid.

2/20/2011 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Johnny Rotten said...

Ok, I am tire of Mensinger and Righeimer supporters invoking the memory of Ronald Reagan to justify what these nitwits are doing.

Let's take a stroll through history and reality, shall we? Reagan was about smaller federal government with more local control and more local self sufficiency. In other words, be prepared to hold your own and not rely on the Feds.

Reagan was about streamlining the federal government and cutting excess or waste in non-essential areas. A valid and good plan.

On the other hand, we were in the middle of a cold war. So, Reagan was about up sizing our military, bolstering the DOD and making sure our fighting men had the newest and best equipment. He thought outside of the box, and pushed forward with "Star Wars" at great expense and at the sneers of democrats and even some Republicans.

So, let's continue the Regan analogy to our local clowns. The Fire and Police are our "DOD" (remember something Reagan held up as paramount). These guys are cutting our "DOD", and removing some of it's best and most effective resources. Something Reagan would never have done. They aren't about streamlining, they are about slash and burn.

To invoke the memory of Reagan with these idiots does a great man a disservice. They are more akin to best. And frankly, I think that is an insult to Clinton and I don't even like him.

2/20/2011 02:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Memory serves me well, how about some dates, times and places to substantiate your accusations against the PD/FD? If your are so for the people, then give us the info, let us research it and decide for ourselves. Your type of comment is no better than me simply saying the cops and firefighters are the best in the land. Did the people know this is what they were in for? Probably not. We will never know if they are in the mood for a recall unless the petition or ballot is placed in front of them.

2/20/2011 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Arnold said...

"Memory", I have seen stuff on here before about CM cops shooting someone in Presidio Square or some other obscure reference. Was that you? If so, provide details.

If my memory serves me correct, that was about 25 years ago. How about yo pick something more current to talk about.

I mean College hospital hasn't even had an emergency room or been a "regular hospital" since I can remember. You provide no details, therefore, no credibility.

2/20/2011 05:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe said...


Whaddya think those Lincolnwood cops are paid? Think they have 3@50?

Keep blowing smoke. The whole outsource idea is because the city is broke and the unions won't make real concessions. Instead, they make threats, spew hostility and name-call. You got the TOT, business license fees won't bridge the gap, so what next? Fees to call 911? Lets jack up all the fees for everything - anything to feed the pension beast.

This isn't public safety or even the unions fault. Weak, stupid, pandering politicians got us here, now realistic politicians are trying to fix the problem.

Keep up the scare tactics and ancient history lessons, public facing no retirements savings, foreclosure, and part-time work are not fools, and the pensions = safe city, no pensions = criminals running wild BS isn't flying.

2/20/2011 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Kent Morrow said...

Is the OCFA scabs or what?

2/20/2011 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger ERIC said...

Hey, MEMOREY SERVES YOU POORLY, good job. In one false statement you showed how uninformed you are and proved the point that Costa Mesa needs its Paramedics/Firefighters.

Now for some facts- College hospital has not been a "receiving" hospital for over 20 yrs, thus NO fire department or Fire Paramedic could possibly "drop a patient off" , and if you are talking about the incident I think you are.... IT WAS A PRIVATE AMBULANCE THAT 8 YRS AGO, DUMPED A PATIENT THERE. "Private" , probably a young/ dumb crew working for an ambulance company demanding they get available for their next payday.
YUP, you guessed it... that is exactly what Righeimer and Mensinger think the citizens of Costa Mesa deserve. As long as they PUNISH THOSE PENSIONS AND FOLLOW THE GOP PLAYBOOK, the citizens will suffer.

2/20/2011 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Ghosts of Mailers Past said...


From what I saw on a 2007 recruitment flyer, Lincolnwood cops were paid $71,185 per year back then. I'm sure it has gone up some in the last four years.

And yes, they have a 3@50 (or 2.5@50 if they are contributing to Social Security). However, instead of maxing at 90% like Ca. they max at 80%.

Oh, by the way, the per capita income in Lincolnwood is a little over 44k.

Costa Mesa is not broke, and I have not seen anyone asking for fee raises, other than the TOT, which was too little too late and long overdue.

Bottom line, is that Righeimer and Mensinger want to tell everyone they are the saviors of Costa Mesa. As of the past month, the budget short fall went from 6 mil to 1.4 mil (1.6 with the 200k allotted for the analyst). I venture to guess when the 4th quarter numbers come in it will be nil, zip, zilch. And that was before any cuts began. But these tools will claim the credit.

2/21/2011 12:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Arnold said...

Admittedly, I have not read the whole report. What I question is, once we turn our city's equipment over to the county (you know all the trucks, engines etc), what happens? From what I have seen around town, it looks like we have really nice equipment. Does the county get to reallocate it? For instance, they are in need of a newer truck in Lake Forest. Can they take one of our newer trucks (since it is now a county asset) and send it to Lake Forest, while we get some other tired replacement from another area?

It seems to me, if I understood him correctly, ol' Jimbo had the same question the other night at the council meeting.

Scenarios like that need to be thought out. We could totally get the shaft on this deal.

2/21/2011 12:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Actually, CM FD wants the move to OCFA.

2/21/2011 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Joe, let's talk about concessions. In 2009, the city asked the cops to give back $1 mil in compensation. The cops voluntarily reopened their contract and did exactly what was asked of them, they gave back $1 mil. In fact, the cops were the first to step up to the plate to help the city when times began to turn sour. On June 1st, 2010 they gave the city a proposal in anticipation of the current contract expiring August 31st, 2010. The proposal contained concessions saving the city millions of dollars per year. The city ignored the proposal until late September. By that time, with the expiration of the current contract in August, it was costing the city an extra $100,000 per month that they ignored the proposal. The city finally made a counter proposal that had substantially less concessions that what the cops originally offered. The cops voted overwhelmingly to accept it. It will save over $4 mil for the city over the life of the contract.

Is it the cops fault the city countered with a proposal that saved less money for the city? Absolutely not. There is no one reading or commenting on this string that would not have voted for the proposal made by the city. Anyone who says they would not is a liar. Your city leaders have ignored numerous pleas over the years as to city finances, savings and revenue generating sources. Your city leaders have failed you and me. We citizens in the end will pay for it with reduced services. Is any other city dealing with this right now? Answer: no. They are much better managed and lead by their councils.

2/21/2011 07:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Wyatt, shouldn't we be looking forward? If so, then it is a math problem, where revenues do not match expenses.

I was dissaponted to see Chamness play the emotional card, and have 4 youngsters stand up.

I wanted to rush over to City Hall, say "Stand Up again", Council is no the only one to blame for the actions they must take ... math problem. Please look to your Police leadership, they also have responsibility for this.

The 55 year old cop does not want his retirement touched in any way shape or form. I am not saying that is a bad thing, or, unreasnable ... i am saying that they could take less, cut retirement, pay more of the employee cost of retirement & healthcare, happening in private sector, and those 4 could be saved.

Also, not once, ever, have i seen the Union boys admit the possibility exists that there is waste or inefficiencies in a Dept ... and there are.

I don't think outsourcing PD is a viable solution.

2/21/2011 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Arnold, the answer to your question is yes, all equipment becomes assets of the county. The fire authority would distribute them as to how best to serve the county and contracts cities as a whole, with no one particular city receiving any more than anyone else. That would mean, for example, the county would decide what to do with the heavy rescue truck CMFD now has. If Lake Forest was the best place to locate the heavy rescue truck to serve both Costa Mesa and Lake Forest, then that is where it would go. The decisions would no longer be based on what Costa Mesa alone needs, but on what the county and contract cities combined need (anyone want to make bets on how politics may play into those decisions? ie Irvine has lots of money to shower on the county and Fire Authority, any guess on who may get priority? Exactly).

2/21/2011 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Truth be Told said...

The comments about Reagan are right on. The bottom line is--How safe do we want to be? Police and fire service to residents is the most basic of services in a community. We get what we pay for. Contracts were negotiated fairly by MANY PREVIOUS councils. Priority for spending was public SAFETY.
We are a diverse city with many challenges--not like Irvine and NB--our officers and firefighters LIKE the challenges. But we don't pay them top notch. We are in the middle. Those of us who have lived here a long time (not just a few years) appreciate the public "servants" who help us 24-7if NEEDED.
Do we really want to lower our standards and see the service diminished? I don't! Who is to say we won't have a major crisis at South Coast Plaza? Will we be ready?
I am tired of the demonization of our police officers and firefighters and other employees. They are heroes! It is not their fault the economy tanked. Why should they be blamed for coming to work and doing their jobs and keeping us safe? You should see the empty offices we have at city hall. We are already bare bones. I am tired of the finger pointing especially at Allan Roeder. Putting our residents at risk of a lesser quality of police and fire service should not be an option. This whole "outsourcing" exercise is unnecessary. Creating a fabricated crisis makes good headlines but it is not good for our city because it is forcing "change" when the outcomes and consequences are not being carefully examined AND understood.
We have to decide the "level of service" we want as residents. Something to think about.

2/21/2011 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe said...

Ghost, Imagine the savings to Calpers if the max out was 80% instead of 90%.

CMPD and CMFD should be paid median or better in salary. The pension deal will be changing everywhere in CA, even big-union LAPD is talking major, total overhaul fixes. NB already offered up concessions.

We like our cops and firefighters and don't want sheriff's or OCFA. Get ahead of the pension reform that is already here amd keep CMPD/CMFD hometown agencies, and keep ABLE up.

2/21/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Truth being told said...

Truth be Told. Saying we want pension reform does not mean that we really want to lower our standards and see service diminished. That is what you and others are threatening if you don't get your way. It wasn't my fault the economy tanked, or any of the people who lost their jobs and homes. Deal with reality, you are not immune because you are a public employee.

2/21/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous GoMP said...


Agreed there would be savings if the max was 80% not 90%. In fact, as I recall the max in Ca used to be 75% and it progressively went up.

LAPD is not in PERS, they have their own city retirement that has been in place since the 1800's.

But since you mentioned LAPD, perhaps we should include them in comparison, since they are the closest "big city" to Costa Mesa. Their pay scale is $45,226-$84,668 for officers. They actually have a separate pay scale for detectives. That is $80,075-$99,556. I only include that, because from what I recall, there is no pay bump for for CMPD detectives. The pay scale is the pay scale. If there is someone more educated on this, correct me please.

The per capita income in Los Angeles is $26,096.

All of the numbers I have looked at are SALARY ONLY. They do not include benefits. So, I think it tends to show the numbers that our city council wants to use to somehow shame our employees are misleading.

I have seen a number of posts that people keep saying how wrong it is that our city employees (seems like they take the biggest shots at firemen and officers) make so much more than the median or per capita income of the city. It would appear that officers just about everywhere make more than the median or per capita than their city.

I guess people want to pay our employees no more than what the average income in the city is, because that is "fair"? We can't let "those people" have more than "these people". Sounds like communism to me.

And Joe, as I recall, our firemen and officers offered up concessions a couple years in a row. It seems a little unfair that you would mention Newport is doing so.

2/21/2011 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous bob from Costa Mesa said...

Is it really about saving money or busting the public employee unions?

Seems to me we could save just as much if costa mesa dropped the same number of people as in the proposal and closed one of the stations. If OCFA is able to do it and have the same response times, why can't Costa Mesa?

2/21/2011 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Chet said...

@Pot Belly

Pay more for healthcare? What do you suppose city employees pay for healthcare. I seem to recall reading they don't get half of what the part time council members get. It doesn't seem that they get a very big benefit in that regard. I could be wrong.

2/21/2011 02:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

bob from Costa Mesa has asked THE question.

It's clear from the early actions by Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger along with Eric Bever and sometimes Gary Monahan that the goal is to reduce Costa Mesa's public compensation (including retirement benefits) costs. Unloading the folks entitled to those negotiated benefits is FAR easier than to attempt to entice them to the bargaining table again and attempt to negotiate concessions AGAIN.

Righeimer stated point blank at a recent council meeting that he wants to look at EVERY job that could be done by someone other than Costa Mesa employees. That's pretty plain, so these actions should not surprise anyone who's paying the slightest bit of attention.

2/21/2011 02:03:00 PM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

A few days ago someone suggested that, we who visit this blog, should not only comment here but attend Council and Commission meetings and express these same opinions during "Public Comments".

All-be-it we only get 3 minutes to express our concerns (or accolades), if half of those who show up on this blog and comment, maybe this GREAT information would reach more Costa Mesians.

2/21/2011 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

Well maybe the City of Costa Mesa can be well served by 3 Councilpersons instead of 5. It's time to downsize, including the civic leaders.

2/21/2011 04:47:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

Geoff correct me if I am wrong, but didnt Monahan, everyones favorite dwarf, say that in his past council service that he voted to put CM in this position. With that, then Riggy should have said you put us here, now you get us out on mayor appointment night.
With the talk of recall, 3 should be on that list. OClonghair, put up that email again, I'm in.
Also, without reading the whole OCFA proposal, will the CM fireman be absorbed into the OCFA or do we get a bunch of new hires?

2/21/2011 08:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Rich, yep, Monahan took responsibility for it. The OCFA agreement says 81 sworn and 2 civilian employees will be absorbed. That leaves 4 unaccounted for. You should read the proposal... some interesting stuff in there.

2/21/2011 08:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

I am not sure if any Council Members are using the Health Benefit. It is a decent one.
My thought on this is that we need even better compensation to attract talent, and health benies is one of them. Otherwise, you don’t attract the variety of folks. You get people on Pensions & medical benefits. Nothing crazy, just reasonable.
To classify Council as a $180 an hour job is a bit myopic, meaning the context is all wrong. To take a jab, it sounds like Union thinking where every minute has to be tied to resting on a shovel.
We do not want our elected folk only showing up for meetings. We want them talking to the community, the applicants, Residents, business, spending time. Time is money, so the $180 is an emotional point, not reality.
In fact, here’s a foreign concept to any Union thinking … opportunity costs. Although I am appreciative that Mayor Monhan, Riggy & Messager & Beaver are willing to do this, they could be making so much more money elsewhere … opportunity … and without all this brain damage.
So, yes, all have the right to go to Council for 3 minutes. But this is not a popularity contest where you simply count 8 against and 3 for, therefore Council has to be against. I think this may have worked before, but not now. I think this tactic only ends the meeting 3 minutes later per speaker.
A recall … wow, some really do believe their own press. Riggy campaigned hard on the belief that Public Service & Public Safety workers are paid too much. And, the voters agreed making him the #1 vote getter. By a vote of the people, their will is being implemented. Yes, I voted for him. When I talk to my neighbors, and they are excited to see these changes, excited to see their street fixed.
A recall is a joke. I double dare you to remove yourself from the anonymous posting and show yourself. You are a vocal minority. Your ranks are diminishing by the Council meeting, and will go further down over time. Go, make a push for a Recall, I think it is the best thing. It will take up all your time and go absolutely no where … so do it!
The funny thing is that none of you have done the other math … that there is no way this thinking picks up more than one seat in the next election, no way. And you would still be in a minority. The Commissions are now seated with like thinking supporters, a bench if you will. It is like 10 years, at a minimum before the reality of change could occur.
Best thing I can figure is to offer you cheese to go with your whines …

2/22/2011 07:41:00 AM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

Pot Belly..... Ten years is about right for the "reality of change" to set in.
After Costa Mesa has become a bargan basement public safety city, without the community police services that focus on gangs and drugs and homeless and graffiti and all those other little quality of life things, the reality of the change WILL set in. And... nobody will remember when it all started to happen. It will just be a sign of the times.
Well, this is when it all started to happen.
We have seen the OCFA proposal and the 'do the same thing for less' OCSD proposal will be comming along shortly.
It's not the safety employees that will suffer. The Firefighters will be absorbed into OCFA and make the same as they do now. The cops who do not want to work for the Sheriffs Dept will hire on with other agencies like Irvine and Newport who will enjoy having Costa Mesa's well trained and experienced officers available to fill their openings instead of the usual struggle to find qualified people.
It's a win/win for everybody.... except the the people who give a damn about what Costa Mesa is going to look like down the road.

2/22/2011 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Mr Pot Belly, I beg to differ.
Riggy and Mensinger (his ego would clash) could never survive in a cooperate world... JUST LOOK AT THEIR RECORDS. Righeimer has 6 lawsuits against him and over 20 liens....

as for Mensinger, his ego and personal life shows his real character. He is a bully. His relationship with Carona and flashing a badge, impersonating an officer past show that. Its still shows today... just watch the Council Meetings... what an attitude.

The problem is clear..... the large employee groups have come up with MILLIONS of city savings, ideas for revenues, and are willing to talk about more BUT CERTAIN PEOPLE ON COUNCIL DON'T CARE. Riggy, Mensinger and the GOP have ONE GOAL.... "Crush the Unions and Pension" at any cost.... All GOP droids are following that desire.
Did you watch the interview with the Wisconsin Gov Walker.... he was caught answering a question with his real desire. They asked, if the Unions came to the table, took cuts a balanced the budget, BUT KEPT THEIR BARGINING ABILITY would you except the compromise... he said NO ?!!
Its not about balancing a budget, its about destroying any union or pension member.

Sad, if they fought half this much against the Banks and their criminal actions , maybe the economy wouldnt be in this shape and the Bank Executives wouldn't be getting their RECORD BONUSES FOR THE SECOND YEAR IN A ROW.

2/22/2011 02:54:00 PM  
Anonymous History said...

A little history on public employee unions:

2/22/2011 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ha Pot Belly you make me laugh. To say that a public employee doesn't understand opportunity costs is laughable. In fact, it is Righeimer-like arrogance. Are you Riggy or one of his minnows? The only opportunity lost by Righeimer is watching Jeopardy on Tuesdays, but that isn't much of a loss because we all know he doesn't watch since Jeopardy doesn't allow him to prove he is smarter than everyone... it is hard when the only categories you can score points in are Reagan, Fox News, and liens, and even those are iffy. What is Corruption Alex?
I highly doubt Righeimer or Messinger would be willing to pick up second jobs during those hours (you know opportunity costs and all) because they are better than having to work two jobs, plus this city council gig gets pretty bitchin medical bennies for their families. Monahan is only losing his ability to drink hard liquor on Tuesdays and that is arguable. Beever, well I think he is still attempting to figure out what the words with more than two syllables from the last meeting mean.
You see the problem with you, Pot Belly, is you for some reason have it in your head that public employees are not smart, don't understand economics, finance, or business, and don't know more about Costa Mesa than yould take a do. Well, Pot Belly, I would take the lowest Costa Mesa employee's knowledge of Costa Mesa vs. yours and it will be a blow out not in your favor.

2/22/2011 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Dear Beth,
Yes, I am aware of these disparaging comments, they were quite helpful in getting support for Riggy, and achieving the #1 Vote getting place. Riggy supporters understand why those are there, and that they were all properly discharged, some later than all involved would have liked, I suppose. On one hand, keep up the message, it only helps demonstrate the unreasonableness of the positions and thinking. You & others lost the election based on this stuff, I think, so by keeping it going, it only deflates your arguments.
On the other hand, a dialogue of solutions is more appropriate.
Beth, the arguments about Banks, or Wall St, or GOP crap, or what is happening in Egypt, I struggle to understand how that solves the unfunded pension liability?
You could argue, if you believed, that the numbers are wrong, you could offer an alternative solution to fixing the issue, or, you could come here to the online Jerry Springer Show and provide entertaining comments like, “Let’s recall the bums”.
I know that will never happen. One, because the community backs Council, and that there is no way, all these anonymous posters would have to reveal themselves, and I don’t think many or any will. Triple dare you and others … come out come out, wherever you are …
I think the next Council meeting, we either see the folks that are so upset, or we don’t, and we see the same folks that come, and say the same things, and everyone goes home 3 minutes later.
The reality is, I think, that the same people come to Council meetings and say the same things. Some come here and I don’t think they live in the City, and make all sorts of wild accusations, and few offer solutions, only opposing comments. My reality, as I live it, in speaking with my neighbors, is that the community still supports the direction of council. Many want their tax dollars to fix bad roads, as an example.
It is a different marketplace, and change is required. Me, I think this issue gets solved in the next couple years, it must, then I think Social Security & Medicare are the next required debate. Then, all those in office will get accused of not supporting the elderly, and whatever character assassinations are in vogue at the time.
Beth, can we bring the conversation current? Any alternative solutions? Or, trust me, I am in the mood to start doing some of my own offense in the commentary, and just assume this is a place for all the Jerry Springer groupies … and I will start with the ring leader …

2/22/2011 05:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Sissy Casper's Mom said...

The employees are upset;however, we are not ALLOWED to say a word. I tried and was squashed like a pickled pepper.

2/22/2011 07:58:00 PM  
Anonymous MikeK said...

Off topic here for just a minute Pot Stirrer, is this some sort of record for most comments on a single post?

Just wondering.

2/22/2011 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Mike K, actually, the 83 comments on my piece about "Eagle Shot Down" on the 16th is the record, by far. It's been an interesting week here at A Bubbling Cauldron...

2/23/2011 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous business person and supporter of employees said...

Just how "so called rich" do you think the police and fire are. I read these blogs and can't believe how wrong the Righeimer and Mensinger backers are with their information.
Its my understanding that the Firefighters make about $25-$30/ hr. I almost pay my employees more then that and I certainly don't want them saving a life. My neighbor is a city firefighter and he worries about making a living like everyone else. I am actually shocked that the city barely pays for their insurance. I pay for my employees but they have to pay over $800/ month for a family coverage. That is $9600+ a year, for people helping citizens in health care.
As for a pension/retirement. Any educated person that works for a decent company has to have some type of package for their people. All I heard from Mensinger at the last council meeting was Costa Mesa was like a company, thus the city manager is now called the CEO. ( total idiocy and a waste of time by the way). So if the "business" of Costa Mesa wants good employees, shouldn't you have to compensate them? Imagine what type of people will come to Costa Mesa if your job flyer states- Come work for little money and get nothing after working 3 decades.
That is pretty much what Righeimer expects. What limit they should receive after a 30 yr career is up for debate. But I don't its too far off of what they have now.
From a recent article on Firefighter life expectancy:
CalPERS also tests the myth to determine whether most public safety employees are receiving 90% of their final salary upon retirement. Given the 3% at 50 formula that would require them to work for 30 years. To get 30 years and retirement at age 50, one would need to start at age 20. Cal PERS found that the average age of entry for people was 28. Overall just 34% of public safety officials accrued 30 years or more of service and less then 1% of safety employees retire at age 50 with a benefit of 90% of final compensation.

The bottom line here is that the life expectancy of someone retiring closer to 55 would be 7-10years, with the stress of the job. If anything, you would think that someone in a more active job would live longer than someone at a more sedentary desk job. That appears untrue as well.

I don't think that is a whole lot of time. They sacrifice a lot more then people think. I applaud the job they do.

Its too bad the new leaders of the city refuse to sit down with its employees and work out a "real" solution. Because "fire everyone" is no solution.

2/23/2011 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Dude, you must be selling pot in your business, and sampling the goods. What self respecting business person does not constantly seek efficiencies … this fire everyone is an emotional approach. Outsourcing certain departments is not firing everyone.
I just wanted to make sure you were aware that the Costa Mesa Fire Association was the entity that requested the study, perhaps they felt there was a greater level of protection & security … time will tell. So, if I follow your pretzel logic, Fire requested a study so they could fire themselves … really?
With supporters like you, who needs an enemy?
Let’s continue the Jerry Springer dialogue … Riggy published compensation figures, and, he has not been sued. Safe to say they are accurate. That action is arguably what won him the election, and achieved the #1 vote getter.
Pass the killer kush around to your fellow Jerry Springer participants, maybe they understand. And, this will all be over soon, you can go back to watching Oprah …

2/23/2011 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Penn said...

Pot Belly, let's look at pretzel logic. The fact that Riggy published misleading compensation figures and it didn't get him sued means exactly what? Not that the numbers were correct, or even close to correct.

What would suing him do? What would be the legal or civil remedy? That he has to publish the real figures? From what I have seen, several people, including actual employees have published actual figures. No one cares..

The reality is that those in the Riggy camp believe what Riggy Almighty tells them to believe, and it wouldn't matter if the truth bit his disciples on the butt. They wouldn't recognize it for what it is...the truth.

That's what happens when you have two groups who seem so opposed and no one is trying to find a middle ground solution.

2/23/2011 10:11:00 PM  
Anonymous hoping for recall said...

Pot belly, go sell crazy somewhere else... we are all full here.

Riggy won because he has the full backing of the GOP and had more money thrown at his campaign than all other candidate. Maybe in the history of Costa Mesa elections. Go check the campaign records.

Remember how many times he lost in Fountain Valley..... only when he drank ALL THE KOOLAID OF GOP did he get enough backing to win.

The people of Costa Mesa are only now seeing the real Righeimer and if the election was today, no way he wins. That is why he is in a hurry to destroy Costa Mesa. He only has one term to do it. Or 6 months if the recall happen. Cross your fingers.

2/23/2011 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

As I said, a recall would require you to come out from behind the curtain, and the handful of people that complain will not do that. After next Council meeting, the lack of voice will demonstrate that.

The compensation figures are correct, they are from the City.

The CM Fire Association requested the proposal, funny how all ignore that fact and choose to blame Riggy.

I suspect many of the posters are not residents. For those that do live in the City, have you considered moving?

This heartache & headache you lament cannot represent quality of life. Your comments indicate this is no longer the place you wish to live.

I suspect that decisions will be made, many made quickly. Then people will adjust, and a bunch will appreciate the new streets, sky will not fall.

A recall may be nice to fantasize about, but will never, ever happen. 4-1 Leece will not be recalled, neither will anyone else. Although, like this Jerry Springer blog, watching weathervane Wendy will provide equal entertainment as she thinks out loud … And … And … And … and what Wendy? Watching her try to justify her vote, and that the CMFD requested the proposal, if approached from the absurd, will be wildly entertaining. Wendy, so you know more about Fire Safety than the Fire guys? Really? Stay tuned, somehow the Jerry Springer audience will be sure to support the whacko commentary.

Perhaps this is therapy, to come here, better words than sticks.

I will be watching the next meeting, counting on my fingers, one hand, the opposition, from the same droning voices, that are dwindling by the meeting. This energy will soon fade ...

2/24/2011 06:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Reality check said...

The State Legislative Analyst's Office State Finance Director Jason Sisney states the following:

"Clearly, there are problems, Sisney says:

State and local benefits are very generous, compared to both other states and the private sector.

Governments and taxpayers bear almost all the financial risk, rather than employees.

Pension benefits are inflexible.

“A key question that we think needs to be asked is this: Can the substantial disparity between public and private sector retirement benefits be sustained much longer?” asks Sisney. “We think that it probably cannot."

This is what Righeimer has been saying all along.

2/24/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Cal said...

Pot Belly- "The compensation figures are correct they're from the city".

Sooooo...the city is screwed up, as long as them being screwed up suits your argument? You are taking the financial word of the very people you say screwed up the city finances? How convenient for you. I bet you take your medical advice from Dr. Kevorkian too.

2/25/2011 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Americanfire said...

It's indeed a good news that we can access fire and related services from Orange County Fire Authority on the website. Out of OCFA's three options, the second option looks quite good.

Further it will be more helpful for Fire sprinkler contractor Orange County, I guess. Thanks for sharing the proposals of the cost options available in the OCFA.

5/25/2011 12:53:00 AM  

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