Friday, March 25, 2011

Redevelopment Agency Fails To Act

When is an emergency not an emergency? When the elected leaders of our city choose to ignore the best professional advice of the city staff and elect to leave at least $1.3 million on the table for the state to scoop up if its weekend session results in the passage of Redevelopment Agency legislation.

This afterno
on a dozen residents saw the Costa Mesa City Council - four of them, anyhow, because Eric Bever was absent AGAIN - meet as the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency to discuss whether or not to have the RDA "pay back" monies available as interest on a loan made by the City when the RDA was first formed almost 40 years ago.


This issue seemed like a no-brainer. The staff brought it to the Agency as an emergency item - notice was made barely 24 hours before - because the state legislature is very close to passing bills that would freeze RDA funds and then reach out and snatch them away, to be used for "education". The staff recommended, in the clearest terms possible - so clear that even I understood them - that they were looking for an authorization to transfer funds immediately back to the City before the State could grab it.

The amount in question, $1.3 million, was the minimum amount available
. If the state passes its issues as "urgency" items they go into effect immediately. That requires a 2/3 vote. If they pass with only a majority - a slam dunk - then the bills would go into effect July 1, 2011 and it's possible the City would receive additional Property Tax revenues into the RDA - perhaps another $700,000 - that would be available for repayment of the loan interest. If the RDA didn't vote to capture this money we may, effectively, be leaving the money on the table for the State to snatch away.


However, th
e Agency - led by Jim Righeimer - chose to do NOTHING and thereby left that money in jeopardy. The funds available now could have been applied to our shortfall and aid in balancing the budget this year. That money could save the jobs of a dozen employees.

So, the message they sent is loud and clear. The majority on this city council really DOES NOT care about the financial stability of our city. Nope, they are just playing politics with the lives of employees and safety and security of the residents. Every dollar that brings us closer to a balanced budget erodes their bogus argument that we are in a financial crisis. This afternoon they turned their backs on cash that is available right now.

And, as each meeting comes and goes, it's becoming more clear to me that they don't give a darn about the opinion of the staff. Nope, they've already got their minds made up on these critical issues and are not going to be diverted from their path by facts. If the facts interfere with their dogma, the dogma is going to win every time.


I guess I'm left tonight wondering just when the regular, normal hardworking f
olks in this city are going to wise-up to these clowns? When will they realize that the future of this city is in jeopardy? Will it be when the crime rate climbs because, as Mayor Monahan said recently, "There are no longer any sacred cows"? Will it be when the graffiti remains on buildings and walls for weeks because the outsourced crew couldn't get around to it? Will it be when gangs begin to take over neighborhoods because the staffing of the police department was cut drastically? Will it be when folks requiring emergency medical aid die before the help arrives because we closed fire stations and understaffed those that remain? What's it going to take?

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Blogger valan2 said...

Potstirrer, you are right again. It's not about the budget. That is just a smokescreen to mask the real objective, which is to further the national GOP agenda to cut government and cut public employee pensions (or, if they can't do that, cut public employees) AT ANY COST. They don't really need a PR person to give the City transparency -- we can see right through them already.

3/25/2011 11:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

It will be interesting to see how Lobdell will spin this one and for how much.

Righeimer and Mensinger are incompetent and dishonest. I can only hope they are recalled before they further hurt our city.

3/26/2011 12:22:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

Gee, it's almost as if their minds were already made up in advance...

3/26/2011 06:53:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I agree.
Riggy and Menssy need to be recalled before the remaining city employees are forced to wear brown shirts.

Mayor Kilt has probably neutered himself politically with his disgraceful performance on 3/17/11.

Besides, he seems like a buffer between Riggy and Menssy's takeover strategy.

3/26/2011 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Chinabeach45 said...

But they will tear ABLE apart to get at almost the same amount of money . . . I feel like I have been having a continuous "blond moment" since these gorillas were elected/appointed, I just don't get it!!

3/26/2011 07:59:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

St. Patrick's Day Redux:

Riggy and Menssy were allegedly the first politicos on the scene after Pham's fall.

Reports said they were furiously texting away. I wonder if one or both were ENCOURAGING their boy Monahan to STAY at his bar, knowing full well he'd take a ton of heat, taking attention off them and their little agenda..

3/26/2011 08:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Puzzled said...

Maybe they didn't feel comfortable making a rushed decision. I've heard they like to take their time and research issues so they can make informed decisions.

3/26/2011 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous LongTime Maggie said... appears that you are absolutely right. This regime is not interested in problem solving or maintaining a healthy, responsive city government for residents; instead, they're intent on carrying out a philosophy and political agenda.

After reading about the Tax Association's meeting at Monahans in the Pilot this morning, it is glaringly transparent that this is all about trendy politics and selling the Tea Party notion of smaller government, regardless of whether it is effective and/or whether it's good for residents.

I am most interested to see how Mr. Lobdell spins this because, in my opinion, to do his job properly, with integrity, it's going to be a tough road to hoe.

3/26/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous RECALL THE BOZOS NOW said...

As Valan2 said it is not about the budget. These 4 UnFAB Four have the national GOP agenda in their minds and nothing else. Trash the city with their nonsense, tend bar, hand out pink-slips, and spend money left and right on consultants.. whatever the nation GOP agenda asks these puppets of doom lap it up like a dog..

3/26/2011 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous questions said...

If the mayor says he did not know about the jump then maybe he can explain why cmpd was seen at his bar some time before the photo was taken.

3/26/2011 02:15:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm a little confused here. It's worth noting that this did not pass, due to the vote being 2 to 2 (Bever was absent, as you mentioned), with Mensinger (no) and Righeimer (yes) voting on opposite sides.

Are you implying that Bever's absence and the Mensinger/Righeimer split was by design?

3/26/2011 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Question, that seems like a reasonable assumption. Only a tie, a 2-2 vote, kept anything from happening. If your asking "was it orchestrated?"... that's one for them to answer. Do I suspect that's what happened? Gee, I don't know... :-)

3/26/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous ProudAmerican said...

The C.E. O. would certainly have followed long-standing protocol to instantly notify the Mayor and Council members of any sufficiently important event involving the City. Whining about the 'biggest day of his life' and having to 'succeed his (bar) business' and hiding behind his kilt just doesn't cut it. Furthermore, the afterthought that he wasn't promptly notified and then was worried his presence would inflame the crowd is simply transparent bull pucky. Two the the guys showed up long enough to get photographed and lived to talk about it. If the Mayor disagreed with what the other boys on the Council were doing he could have voted NO like Wendy did. They are all in this plot together. I agree with valan2 and many others that these guys are motivated by personal political greed. Not by the Tea Party GOP however, given that Wendy is a GOP'er and has the character to vote NO. Recall slate for three!, and who knows what for MIA Beaver?

3/26/2011 03:25:00 PM  

Are you implying that Bever's absence and the Mensinger/Righeimer split was by design?

YES!! YES!!! YES!!!!

3/26/2011 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

When I asked my original question, I was unaware that there were 3 possible outcomes for a Yes vote, No vote, and a tie.

3/26/2011 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Watacher said...

Valan2 has it completely correct. This City Council is on the puppet strings of the OC GOP. It's not about the budget, it's the GOP mantra of eliminating the working class and their unions. If the CM voters/residents don't do something now (recall the 4 inept council members) then it will surely be too late to save the sinking ship. Or, the other alternative is that the residents LIKE the OC GOP design. If that's the case, do nothing and see what happens.

3/26/2011 05:32:00 PM  
Anonymous heart4costamesa said...

Mr. West, well put and well explained. Thank you for reporting. In spite of the short notice, there were several concerned residents in the audience, a real rarity for an RDA meeting. This money was low hanging fruit, real easy pickin's. The Council/RDA majority made it obvious their real agenda has nothing to do with fixing the budget.

Geoff said the truth: People, if we don't stand up now, we're going to get run over.

3/26/2011 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous One4All said...

Lobdell at work? Split the vote to appear fair when you know what the ultimate outcome will be what you want it to be anyway. That seems transparent. valan2's heart is in the right place, except for the distraction of hate towards the Tea Party. Hate is bad whether against the Progressive left spenders that got us into this mess or the right wind fringe that seeks overkill remedies. Riggy & Co. panders to what seems popular with voters in order gain higher political goals and power. Right now public employees are in the hated category along with the bankers and financial guys. Focus on Costa Mesa and the harm and injustice to its residents and local city staff who serve them. Stay focused and skip the hate. Otherwise, you lose the message.

3/27/2011 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous LongTime Maggie said...

I'm reading many comments about Recall in reference to this Council, but where are the policies and procedures published for such an action? If they're listed on the City site, they are well embedded and hard to find and/or does anyone know of an actual Recall Initiative?

3/27/2011 09:51:00 AM  
Anonymous ProudAmerican said...

Hey LongTimeMaggie...GOOD QUESTION! Check this out: ......
HOPE YOU CAN RECALL and Out Riggy & Co. at least Kilty, Riggy and Messy. If Beaver provides a doctor's note that he was gravely ill and what is was then OK, otherwise include him too. AND GOOD LUCK.

3/27/2011 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger feral390 said...

OK, I have posted this before...
this is the "how to" book for recalls, start at page 14 because that's what pertains to LOCAL officials.

A recall is s big undertaking and although I know how I would vote I really question if the majority of Costa Mesa residents would actually turn out and vote. Check the results of the past few elections and see what the voter turnout percentage is. Unfortunately a lot of residents don't know or care about what's happening and a lot of residents actually believe the lies they hear from the city coun-sell.
This city needs an enema, the council needs to be recalled (4 of them anyhow) and more importantly we need a council made up of men and women that actually CARE about this community and the people that make up the community (residents, employees, business owners, shoppers, and guests)then we need to take a good look at the commissions and who serves on them. No more special interests or developer shills and no more OCGOP puppets biding their time as planning commissioners waiting to replace the council members who appointed them. It's like some evil bible version...Mansoor begat Riggheimer who begat Mensinger who begat McCarthy who begat Fitzpatrick.
This has to stop

3/27/2011 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous LongTime Maggie said...

I am not motivated by hate, only by dissatisfaction with an apparent political philosophy that seeks to slash our City government to the point where services are greatly comprised.

As a longtime resident and taxpayer, I have a high degree of satisfaction with City services and want the quality of our services to remain intact, that's my concern and my "issue."

In my opinion, in all the discussion about budgets, there has been very little discussion about the importance of maintaining professional, high-quality city services for residents.

3/27/2011 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous One4All said...

feral390. Don't forget to start with: Monahan begat Mansoor. He backed his election and they voted to give back over 1 Million dollars (since it was they that said it was an "extraction" received by the City in exchange for a 20 year development agreement to a really big developer, Home Ranch as I recall. Oh how the City could use that money it justly received now. M & M voted lock-step on most issues. Don't let the truly of skosh character Mayor fool you as he does so many. How do you think he gets so much in his re-election war chest? When it takes $100,000 to run for a Costa Mesa Council seat it tends to benefit those with "friends" with lots and lots of money.

3/27/2011 01:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Longtime Maggie.....there has been NO discussion about maintaining a level of services the taxpayers expect and deserve. They know that once we start having comparisans the citizens will revolt. That is the main reason these IMPORTANT discussions are being decided in two person sub committees beyond the view of the public. The CA Constitution is pretty clear on what two person sub-committees are allowed and outsourcing entire city service departments fall way outside that . Violations are not deterring this Cabal. Bucher is waiting in the wings , to get a nice ,fat ,tax payer subsidy to represent these guys. That's my prediction......

3/27/2011 03:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

LongTime Maggie, I'm the same way. Someone like Righeimer who has only lived here for four years just doesn't understand how great our city is.

Recalling Righeimer and his friend Mensinger (who wasn't even elected in the first place) would at least get us conservatives or moderates that don't turn away 1.3M or try to sell the fairgrounds out from under us or try to turn us into Irvine or subject us to more government in our lives like these turkeys. I would even take a level headed liberal over someone as incompetent as Righeimer. A Costa Mesa councilperson needs to put Costa Mesa first. Righeimer puts us last.

3/27/2011 07:04:00 PM  
Anonymous RECALL THOSE BOZOS NOW said...

What saddens me is that no one tells the press about all the consultants being in kahoots with the City Council Members. For example The Media Consultant is a close ally of Monahan. The interior decorators are Mesinger's wifes company.. I mean the list goes on and on.. Wait till the big one's come across their desk.. when they outsource Building, and Maintenance.. how much money will change hands??

3/27/2011 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous ConcerndforCM said...

Recall...the reason why it isn't being put out there is because people AREN'T putting it out there. For some unknown reason they are holding back. IF you know something let it out. This is a classic David and Goliath scenario and Goliath (the council stooges) will always lose when David (the residents of CM) stand up for what is right.

3/27/2011 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous RECALL THE BOZOS said...

ConcerndforCM said...
Contact the press with your concerns...

Me- I can't. As an employee and given veiled threats to keep quiet.. I have a job to save..

What can be done? Ask for documents- Request- the consultant agreements. This is a public information request. Educate yourself on the Brown Act. Report any violations to
You can report violations without giving your name. Attend Meetings and speak up- they want to hear from citizens. Put up signs in your house, business, talk to your neighbors, teachers, friends. Write the editor of the LA Times, OC Register, Contact Fox News, CNN - put the word out.
(714) 754-5284
(949) 274-9909

(714) 754-5285



3/28/2011 04:51:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

On 3/17/11,
Huy Pham died, Monahan lied.
Righeimer and Mensinger are trying to make Costa Mesa a shining example of the Tea Party/Far Right agenda. Why do you think Rohrabacher came out of the woodwork the other day, showed up at the new city hall (Monahan's bar) and started channeling the nutcase Glenn Beck??
Recall is surely in order.

3/28/2011 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

With all the Bible references, let me suggest one that keeps coming to my mind. Does anyone else think the Council majority is more like the Four Horsemen?

3/28/2011 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

I love the OCGOP and am very happy ALL their endorsed candidates won election here in Costa Mesa. They have a message that resonates with the voting citizens of our great city.

3/28/2011 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

checkyoursix..... Glad you're happy. Your reward will come when you have a 911 emergency, and after 15 minutes when you call back to see where they are, your Indian speaking operator asks for you address again. Send your complaints (if you are able) to the OCGOP. Good luck.

3/28/2011 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

checkyoursix makes a good point. Righeimer cares more about ideology than Costa Mesa.

Costa Mesa should come first or you should not be on the city council.

3/29/2011 11:36:00 PM  

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