Saturday, March 05, 2011

Leece Asks Council To Review Private EMS and Outsourcing

In a move guaranteed to give an emotional wedgie to her peers on the dais, Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Wendy Leece has formally requested a "Review" of two controversial items that were approved by the council at it's March 1st meeting.

She asked for the "Outsourcing Of City Services" to be reviewed for possible re-hearing be

1) Insufficient notice was given to the public;

2) The report was not sufficient to include financial data to identify cost savings;

3) Many residents have complained that they could not understand the complexities and outcomes due to insufficient information;

4) That the decision to move forward may be in violation of employee contracts and

5) Because the legal opin
ion was given to the council only one hour before the meeting there was insufficient time to review and consult with the City Attorney.

The second item is the decision to explore the possible Privatizing of Emergency Medical Services - Paramedic in our city. She cites as the reasons for her request to Review this item as:

1) Insufficient public notice - the report did not come out until Friday afternoon before the Tuesday council meeting;

2) Many residents have complained to her that they had insufficient time to review the report and to arrange to attend the meeting;

3) She had insuffic
ient time to review and discuss the legal opinion with the City Attorney since it was received only a few minutes before the meeting;

4) Taking the approved action may be in violation of anti-trust statutes and employment contracts and may increase the City's

Both of these items will appear under New Business at the City Council meeting that begins at 6:00 p.m. on March 15, 2011. The council will hear Leece's reasoning behind requesting a re-hearing and there will be an opportunity for the public comment on the request for re-hearings only, not the substan
ce of the issues, before they vote to either conduct a re-hearing or not.


At its S
tudy Session at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, 2011, the City Council will hear the presentation by members of the Orange County Fire Authority of their proposal to take over providing Fire and Paramedic services for Costa Mesa. As we've discussed before, while there appears to be some savings involved by contracting with the OCFA, the proposal has HUGE holes in it that could make the financial considerations much less desirable for the city.

We don't know what kind of a turnout to expect, but it sure wouldn't
surprise me to have this session shifted to the council chambers - as was the case of the last one - to accommodate all the interested residents and employees eager to hear first hand just what this plan will mean to them. If the study session is held in Conference Room 1A as planned there will be NO live television coverage - only a taped delay later in the week. In Study Sessions public comments are very limited - only a few minutes TOTAL are set aside - so this will be more of a "sit and listen" event. I also don't know if members of the Costa Mesa Fire Department will participate, even though many of them have much to lose if this plan is implemented as proposed.


Another unknown is the impact on this proposal of the recent disclosure that pension contributions for the OCFA have been dramatically under-funded, and that the organization will be required to pony up tens of millions of dollars to make the deficit whole.


The council will also hear about the "Pavement Management Overview", but we have absolutely no clue what that's all about because no staff report is available for revie
w at this time.

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Anonymous CARE is NOT free! said...

It's time for the city to admit that CARE Ambulance is not free for local residents. I think this is something else that needs to be addressed.

3/05/2011 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous So what said...

Ambulance service rarely is, event cities that do it themselves. In those cases you pay the city instead.

And ambulance service shouldn't be free.

3/05/2011 10:28:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ouch outmaneuvered by Wendy Leece. Guess that wasn't in your playbook huh Riggy?
Maybe Riggy can call Charlie Sheen and order up some tiger blood so he can be prepared for round two.
Ready Go.

3/06/2011 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

c'mon... the vote to re-hear this has just been cast 4-1 nay. Thank you Wendy for doing as the public wants, but this will just irritate the beast and make them want their way even more. They care less what the voters want. Cant wait to see the stink eyes.
I think asking for a re-hearing is the right thing to do and that the council should follow through with it.
Just as the county has come to the table regarding ABLE, where several CC members didnt show to that scheduled meeting. When they (CC) finally did they found out how angry the rest of the county cities were with them that CM was basically trying to get free air patrol from the county/sheriff. So when they (CC) went back to learn the actual impact of shutting down ABLE, the CC basically said they would go back and look at it.

3/06/2011 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger mesa verde madman said...

They were all there, minus The Beav, at opening day of Little League yesterday. Didn't think it was the appropriate forum to boo, but I still giggle when they call Monahan 'Mr. Mayor.'

3/06/2011 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Rich, can you provide further detail with regard to the CC wanting free air patrol from OCSD? I am intrigued by this and hope it is factual. I have not heard this before. Please provide dates, times, etc.
Thank you.

3/06/2011 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Wickedfire said...

Go Wendy!

3/06/2011 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous HadEnuf said...

Welcome to Jonestown-Bell-Mesa! Before you offer up an opinion, please be sure to stop by the Kool-Aid booth!

Thank you Wendy for your attempts at making this a rational process, but alas this will be another 4-1 vote. The boys club only hears their own voice and the beat of the OCGOP drum...

On outsourcing - why are they looking at items just recently looked at at determined were better/cheaper done by city services? Ie: graffiti removal, street sweeping, etc. Tremendous waste of time and resources.

Also, privatizing the city jail? Bad is a type 1 facility which there are relatively few of in the county- most are temporary holding facilities, and those are the ones who have been privatized. CM can house inmates for several days when necessary. I dont want Johnny private security firm who's employees could not get hired by Police depts or cities due to major character flaws, running our jail. We have no quality control over those hired- what kind of background checks, pysche evals and training do these companies do??? If there is a problem how do we hold them accountable to our policies or does the "private" company just rotate problem employee out and someone else in?

CM Jail staff routinely comes across narcotics, deals with people's personal effects, often including large amounts of money, and often has to utilize force on unruly arrestees. Most nights there are drunk,combative arrestees that end up in the rubber room for their own safety. It is an unsung, thankless job, but certainly one i would not want Johnny "I couldnt get hired by anyone else because I used Meth 6 months ago" doing. Huge liability people, HUGE. Any potential savings will be lost during the first lawsuit on an incustody death. Who do you think holds the purse strings? CM will bear the brunt because it is ultimately their responsibility regardless of who runs the jail...Deep pockets people.

Why not turn the Jail into a moneymaker? ICE and Parole are always looking to rent bedspace and that is already done by other agencies as well...BTW, Jail privatization has also already been looked at and has been shot down before...again more rhetoric and a ready-shoot-aim mentality by this council majority..

Also, outsourcing Police Special Events? This is also a moneymaker for the city, run by one Sgt and one Ofcr. They do the contract events, such as OC Fair, OC marathon, etc. They obtain hundreds of thousands in grant money for the city. They run the DUI checkpoints...wait therein lies the problem doesnt it- the mayor owns a hypothetically speaking, if he were to call to complain about a DUI checkpoint impacting his business, regardless that the checkpoint is run at one of the busiest intersections in Orange County - "hypothetically" say near 19th and Newport Blvd. for example, is he complaining as a citizen and business owner or as a city council member? Maybe he should declare a conflict and recuse himself from voting on accepting/denying the grant money and on the outsourcing of this item?? Wait that might be above board...

3/06/2011 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous HadEnuf said...

(cont.) Finally, people need to know that the PD is down from 164 sworn positions budgeted two years ago to 147 today and there is rumor of going SIGNIFICANTLY lower. In light of this MANY officers are testing elsewhere and will likely get hired because they are experienced and well trained. Among the reasons CM has seen a continual crime rate decrease has been adequate staffing, motivated employees, and resources such as ABLE. We are not Irvine, cutting our numbers even lower will have major impact. I cant find a gas station or drive thru restaurant in Irvine, much less a huge transient population, unmonitored sex registrants, and upwards of 75-100 known halfway/ rehab houses filled with addicts, registrants, parolees and probationers intermingled amongst the neighborhoods.

Wake up people, public safety IS being gutted. This has nothing to do with budget and is a strike while the iron is hot tactic. Pension rates are high today because PERS calculations are based on stock market numbers from 3 years in the rears. Wendy caught it in the last CC meeting- PERS does not project five years ahead- that projection is the city's based upon today's numbers. In a few years the numbers will change again, stabilize and likely go down. These projections (which cost many people their livelihoods) are also done by the same people that had to make an adjustment to the budget this year of over 6 million because of their doom and gloom projections.

Pension reform is happening, but what will be left of our city pride, identity, public safety departments and quality of life when the men's club is done?

BTW- I havent even touched on the Fire Dept. but let me say this- last night they saved another life on an overdose they brought back. Now maybe he was a terd, but that was someone's terd- someone's son, someone's brother. Couldve been yours, mine...A closed fire station only creates longer response times...minutes matter...

3/06/2011 08:25:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

didnt say the city wanted free air, that is what they would have gotten because they did not do their due diligence. This would have gotten the city in a whole big mess. The exact point I was making that has been said here before ready, shoot, aim. I believe Geoff may be following up on this as well as some other "nuggets".

3/07/2011 04:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Waytt Earp said...

Rich, it says free air patrol in your third paragraph. If this is a typo or mistake, what did you mean or what do you know?

3/07/2011 09:13:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

OK Wyatt, I said "that CM was basically trying to get free air patrol". To that you responded "the CC wanting free air patrol". The CC was not thinking of the repercussions of shutting down ABLE (fire then aim), in turn the county would have to respond to CM needs (for free). This is a contracted service which the CC did not realize/understand from the way I understand (could be wrong). CM needs to sit down with the county to discuss heli patrol from the county prior to dissolving ABLE, otherwise their will be problems.
I also mentioned that Geoff has some info on this that I am sure he is archiving for the proper time, so I will defer this topic to him.

3/08/2011 04:32:00 PM  

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