Friday, May 13, 2011

Public Safety Event Canceled

NOTE: Did you miss me? This entry was all ready to go early Thursday afternoon but my host, Blogger, was offline to fix a problem they created a couple days ago while performing "maintenance". By the time you read this it might be just a little stale, but still edible.

How bad are things getting in Costa Mesa these days? Well, friends, let me give you the latest in a long series of events and
issues that are turning our once-great city into a pretty darn miserable place in which to live.

Earlier this week the Costa Mesa Public Safety organizations, partnering with Target on Harbor Blvd., announced a terrific community outreach event - it was described in the Public Service Announcement as a "public safety and community meet and greet." It was "designed to provide community members with an opportunity to speak with members of the police and fire departments." Visitors could ask questions, have photos taken with public safety staffers and check out emergency vehicles. Sounds like a great family-friendly event, especially in light of all the negative stuff going on in our city for the past few months. The event was to be held in the Target parking lot from 11-2 on this Sunday, May 15th.


Costa Mesa's version of the Energizer Bunny, former councilwoman and curren
t School Board member Katrina Foley, saw the flier, had her staff fancy-it-up with some nifty public safety images - including some from her personal archive showing herself, family and friends at similar events - and did an email blast to several hundred people around this region to publicize the event. I "borrowed" some of those photos for this entry. She does this kind of thing all the time, promoting events throughout the city. I get several of these kinds of notifications a week from her.

Well, it seems o
ne of the recipients - a well-connected political operative who sometimes works in Costa Mesa but doesn't live here - took umbrage with Foley's effort to publicize this event, passed his concerns on to "certain people" in high places within city government, who then told City CEO Tom Hatch of their concern about possible politically-charged demonstrations, so Hatch canceled the event. I'm guessing that you wouldn't do that if you didn't work for those "certain people".

Irrepressible Orange County Register columnist Barbara Venezia heard of this situation and reported on it Thursday morning. You can read her news piece HERE. I've spoken with her about this situation and she a
ffirmed, as she said in her piece, that city officials - she mentioned Bill Lobdell and Tom Hatch by name - were concerned that Colin McCarthy's Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association and the Tea Party might disrupt the event by handing out their own fliers with public safety salaries. I found myself getting angrier by the minute.

I subsequently spoke with Lobdell and Hatch, who confirmed Barbara's story. Hatch told me that "some folks" were concerned that it would become a "political rally". I think I can safely guess the identities of "some folks" in this case. They are folks closely connected to the Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association and could have asked them to NOT disrupt the event if they really wanted to do so - but they didn't. Instead, they chose to have this lovely, positive, family event canceled.

NOTE: Since the publication of this entry has been delayed by technical problems with my host, Blogger, some new information has become available. Based on comments on her Facebook page entry, Barbara Venezia has confirmed that McCarthy's organization had NOT planned to demonstrate at this eve
nt - which makes the cancellation even more suspicious. Were those "some folks" Hatch identifies above just making up reasons for him to cancel this event? If so, why? Might it have been because it might portray the public safety folks in a good light - something that works against their scheme to get rid of all pension-eligible employees by hook or crook?


I later spoke with a representative of Target management. He told me they were very excited about hosting this great, family event and were VERY disappointed when it was canceled. He did tell me that it will be re-scheduled for June. When I asked Hatch earlier about re-scheduling he gave me a vague answer about holding the event "when the time was
right". I told him if he was going to wait for the political tensions in this city to subside he was in for a long, long wait.

Quite frankly, this whole thing stinks! If we have now reached the point - I think we have - where one or two people can arbitrarily command our CEO to cancel a positive and politically benign event because it MIGHT make them a little politically uncomfortable, then we've gone over the crest and are starting down a slippery slope that leads to dictatorship. Perhaps the most interesting part of this whole screwed-up mess is that "some folks" were concerned that their own associates would be the perpetrators of unrest at this event.

I am of the opinion tonight as I type this that Tom Hatch needs to push back
on these kind of things. Our city NEEDS more positive events like this one and he shouldn't let himself be pushed around by political operatives concerned only about their pathetic political futures. I know his job could be in jeopardy, which would make anyone reluctant to tell your boss that he's wrong - particularly when that person isn't used to having anyone say NO to him. However, part of Hatch's job is to do what is right for the residents of our city. Canceling this event was the wrong thing to do.

Labels: , , , ,


Anonymous mike m said...

wow - just leaves me speechless for once.

and what happened to your other posts that were up and aren't any more, i.e. 'The Letter'? was it a Blogger/site issue?

5/13/2011 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

mike m,
theoretically, the missing posts and comments will be restored... hope so. The Blogger system was down 21 hours fixing a problem they created earlier in the week. Bummer...

5/13/2011 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

I agree. This would have made for a great afternoon for the kids. Do you think that the council just didn't want the citizens, some of whom might not know what's going on, to hear any side but the council's side ? Colin's group has the right to pass out flyers, and if it is done in a respectful way, I really don't see the problem with it. It's free speech. This is just odd. Like the old busy body biddies that call in to complain about lewdness on the tv or radio. Now everyone has to suffer, cause some sticks in the mud were offended.

5/13/2011 10:54:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

So I read Venezia's column and the comments from Temianaka about them not being the ones protesting (he's quite vehement that it wasn't their group)... so in this new era of transparency, will Hatch reveal who did complain? Did it rhyme with Jigheimer and Pensinger? I guess the logic is, let's not go and politicize this event by politicizing this event.

5/13/2011 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Just Askin' said...

Sounds to me like Nick didn't want any questions asked about the suicide.

Whatever happened to the police investigation? Did the police even investigate? Why are they being so secretive?

5/13/2011 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

I read Bab's article and went straight to the Cauldron to get your and your loyal minionson's take on this... OMG! your site was down!!!

I found myself surfing the Net in search of more truth, more comments; the Voice, the Pilot, Times, even CM Press... none would do, I NEED MY FIX!

I'm better now, thanks for caring.

5/13/2011 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

You are absolutely right about Hatch needing to step up and stand up. I think he is in a no-win situation working for/with this corrupt city council. I'm sure if he tries to disagree with them he is quickly put back in his place with a "we made you, we can break you" type comment. But really, how does he live with himself?

5/13/2011 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Hope Events Happens said...

I think it would have been great to see all those Police & Fireman donate their time on a day off to reach out to the community. Perhaps when they reschedule the event, they can do it at City Hall, and have a broader group of employees that can interact with the public.

I would not support such an event, if employees are getting paid, and would protest if receiving overtime to do such an event. In my opinion, things like that have to change.

In the future, I hope such an event moves forward.

5/13/2011 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

This is outrageous. Pure B.S!

My office hosts an event every year around the Fourth of July in appreciation of our clients. We always invite the CMFD and CMPD to let the kids crawl around. I wonder what is going to happen this year. The CMFD/CMPD are always great at our event (open to the public BTW). We feed them and all is good.
Wendy Leece always stops by and we appreciate it. Other CC members have been invited in the past, but never showed.

But this whole thing is getting rigdiculous! My blood boileth over!

5/13/2011 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Go Nick! Go Nick! Go Nick! said...

Nick, we are behind you. Look at this picture and story. Our leader is out on the political trail, actively gaining support for the fight in Costa Mesa. We need all the help we can get. Get the Democrats, play the emotional card to make the world think Costa Mesa is Wisconsin.

Looks like other people are gaining strength. Our efforts to distract with false facts about jewel encrusted things is not working. Our efforts to disparage anyone who is against us are backfiring.

Nick, I wanted to let you know that those of us who wish to protect your job, and ours, so you can live in a gated community, and put on an addition in this tough economy, we support you. We don’t want our river toys taken away either.

Therefore, I pledge my support on the recent effort to bring out the kids to support our cause. We can’t win this without them. Do you think they will come to a Council meeting, and share an emotional story for us? Do you think they can go on the Daily pilot and leave less than relevant comments for our cause?

Way to go Nick, those of us that have certain beliefs really appreciate all your efforts, and encourage you to keep it up. We appreciate you learning from mistakes and lessons learned in the last campaign, and trying something new. Keep it up.

Just wanted to share a link to this motivational story, and say, what a picture of you Nick … you go Nick!

5/13/2011 01:04:00 PM  
Anonymous DevilsAdvocate said...

Why did "they" hire Lobdell, C.E.O. Hatch and City Attorney Duarte? To do their bidding and say "yes sir boss". Those guys likely do it for the money and undeserving titles. Maybe as a plus the former editor and devilish Lobdell was believed to have an influence on the Daily Pilot and how the news would get reported. Hope not. Honest journalism isn't totally dead yet .. is it?

5/13/2011 03:22:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Am I the only one who thinks it's ironic that Mensinger, whose outbursts at JWA and against teacher Flores, strongly advocates fireworks sales when he himself is a temper time bomb?

5/13/2011 04:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

The Costa Mesa Taxpayer Association sounds like a bunch of anarchists. Can they get any more anti police or fire department?

5/13/2011 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous fireworks or duds said...

This is another shot at lowering quality of life. The trip to the fire station or meeting a firemen when kids are 4 or 5 is important. It seems a contrdiction that kids and fireworks and family time are so important that we have 4 days for people to party. If it were for football, Hatch,Riggy and the menacinger would be all over the quality time BS. Hope these guys are gone when the economy picks up. Wonder what the development plans look like for the fair grounds property. Alameda all over again.

5/13/2011 09:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Car Ramrod said...

"Go Nick"...Not really sure what that rant was about. You do realize that OCEA does not represent the firefighter and cops, and that this event has nothing to do with OCEA, right? You do realize that this event was organized by the Community policing Unit and Target, right? That is no different than any other open house, or public event held by the public safety departments for decades, before any of this craziness started, right? Ok, just checking. Carry on with your pathetic life now.

5/13/2011 09:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Mensinger's immense ego said...

I love this question from Mensinger, as written by N. Santana "He also questioned whether police and fire officials should be the only ones to get special introductions to the public".

Steve are you that self absorbed and obtuse? Seriously? Yeah, let's bring out the payoll people, mayber HR, and the City Clerk. because that's what every kid says they want to be when they grow up. In fact, just the other day, my kid said "daddy, when I grow up, I want to be a failed business person, with an immense ego, who gets appointed to a political position". Are you available for mentoring?

You council people are so obsessed with your ill conceived plan, you absolutely have lost grasp of reality. These events are important teaching tools for kids, so that will realize uniformed safety personnel are approachable and will help. If a kid is lost, they need to feel safe and comforable approaching a uniformed officer. Often, unless they meet and greet like this, they feel they will get in trouble for getting lost.

These types of events have been going on long before you and Riggy began turning our employees(safety included) into the devil in carnate. Yo and Jim can throw out "they're great people, they really are, we just can't afford them anymore", before you start into your rhetoric laden diatribes. The animosity against our employees, especially those who have routine face-to-face contact with the public rests solely on your shoulders.

Mensinger, you and the rest of your die hard supporters are truly pathetic. You should be ashamed of yourself.

5/14/2011 01:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Joe Serna at the Daily Pilot is reporting Mensinger approached Hatch with concerns cops and ff's would be paid overtime to attend the meet and greet event. Maybe Serna should ask Mensinger why it was okay for he and Righeimer to force 8 plain clothes officers to work overtime (4 hours each) on St. Patty's day to guard their homes and families in Mesa Verde. Nothing but the best for them and the rest of the city be damned. Hypocrite.

5/14/2011 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Estancia Boosters said...

Wyatt, Wyatt, Wyatt...Mensinger was concerned about whether any OT for the event was BUDGETED. Everyone knows there was already a line item for St. Paddy's day titled:"32 hours of PD OT to protect moronic council members". They have been carrying that on the books for years.

Seriously though, my understanding was that the guys/gals at the meet and greet were to be there on regular on-duty time. It's the Community Policing Unit's responsibility to do these types of events. It would have been another regular day for them.

Nice job council idiots.

5/15/2011 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Mesa Verde said...

Wouldn't it be easier to put all of our combined efforts into dumping these idiots through recall than to just vent our frustrations in a blog?
I actually voted for my neighbor(Jim Righeimer) as I wrongfully believed he was for improving CM. I now know he is only for building his resume at the expense of CM. I am just waiting for the recall papers to be circulated and I knw many more that feel the same way. Recall will win by a landslide!

5/16/2011 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! Where can I sign these recall papers??? How fast can I get there?

5/20/2011 04:10:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home