Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is Hatch Pushing Back?

Has Costa Mesa Chief Executive Officer Tom Hatch drawn a line in the sand with the City Council? I think it's possible to interpret the staff report for his budget presentation at Tuesday's City Council meeting, HERE, that way.

At the Study Session last Tuesday Hatch gave the council a
balanced budget, which was promptly destroyed by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer's addition of nearly $3 million in costs. Many of us in attendance at that meeting were pretty darn upset at that move because the items Righeimer wanted to add seemed capricious and unnecessary. I don't know how Hatch felt about it... but I can speculate.

At the sparsely-attended Community Budget Workshop on Thursday evening this issue was brought up by one of the attendees. Hatch held up a draft of what apparently turned out to be his staff report and told us he was working on a response to Righeimer's demands. And that he did!


In the staff report Hatch recommends the council adopt the SAME balanced budget he presented at the June 14th Study Sessio
n. He then addresses the impact of Righeimer's demands and provides a methodology by which they could be included in the budget. That methodology includes slashing funding of a couple of the council's pet issues - a Business License Tax consultant from $40,000 to $20,000 and an Economic Development consultant from $100,000 to $50,000. He also proposed reducing the legal services budget from $1,003,000 to $803,000; (This will be interesting because one of the Warrants they will approve Tuesday includes over $120,000 for Jones & Mayer - an annualized rate of $1.4 million!) requested authorization to budget for (1) anticipated salary savings on vacant positions - which might yield over $1,050,000 - and (2) eliminating vacant positions, restructuring the organization as new vacancies occur or savings generated from outsourcing - or any combination thereof, which he projects a budget savings of $1,500,000. It's going to be very interesting to see the City Council's reaction to Hatch's proposal. I suspect they, too, will push back and load even more stuff into the budget and expect him to magically find a way to balance it. This is going to boil down to how many people will Righeimer and his mob force Hatch and his team to layoff, period.

During recent meetings n
on-elected councilman Steve (Biff) Mensinger frequently mentions that "this is Tom's first budget", and bemoans the fact that Hatch had been cut out of the process by former City Manager Allan Roeder while his assistant. I'm getting pretty tired of that mantra because it's just not true. Hatch has done PLENTY of budgets in the past in his professional life before Costa Mesa. As I've said before, this is not his first rodeo. However, this IS THE FIRST municipal budget for Mensinger and Righeimer - and it shows. They lack the essential grasp of municipal finances and money management - and the rules cities are required by law to follow. Unlike in the private sector - where they both came from - you can't just shoot from the hip and expect to get away with it. Council members are accountable to the voters and must follow the rules. That seems to be the sticking point - they don't like the rules.


Don't forget that the official presentation of the Costa Mesa Police Department restructuring is also on the agenda Tuesday. And, Hatch's proposal for THAT change forms the cornerstone of the new budget proposal, too. And, the council didn't like what it heard when this proposal was introduced last Tuesday... more intrigue.

Retired Costa Mesa Police Lieutenant Clay Epperson wrote an excellent commentary in the Daily Pilot this weekend. In case you missed it, you can find his thoughts HERE. This is a must-read essay for every resident to consider.


So, dear friends and neighbors, the City Council meeting Tuesday shou
ld be another interesting event. I suspect that it will play to a packed house again and I suspect more than a few folks will stand to let the council know their feelings about their budget and the outsourcing issue. The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. and will be televised live on award-winning CMTV, Channel 24 on Time-Warner Cable and 99 on ATT U-Verse. You can also watch the live streaming video from the city web site, if you wish.

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Anonymous Working city employee for now... said...

Thank you for the update on the picnic ....I was not able to attend due to working. Thank you to all the residences who made it possible! Your kindness and support is appreciated!

6/19/2011 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

I too am keeping my fingers and toes crossed, that the council has a epiphany and relizes that Hatch presented the budget they asked for.

6/19/2011 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Epperson is the biggest crook in Costa Mesa. His retirement package is criminal. These guys just want to keep the gravy-train running to line their pockets and bleed our City dry. It really saddens me that our finances are in such a mess and so much of that can be traced directly to the awful MOU's the Police and Fire pushed down our throats which make employees literally millionares, and residents broke! Looking for some strong change from our Council tomorrow night--the residents are behind them!!

6/20/2011 08:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Jennifer, please provide a list of the millionaire cops and firefighters. I know, you can't do it because there are no millionaire cops or firefighters. They are figments of your imagination and Righeimer's bogus numbers. But keep it coming, I look forward to refuting your next lie.

6/20/2011 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

All of you are crooked. I know. I can look out the window of my trailer and never even see a cop. I don't get a pension and I worked for over 30 years at various jobs. I only get Social Security and it barely pays my rent. You all think you are special because you have a pension and get rich for doing nothing. This Council will fix it.
Wyatt Earp is probably on a pension too.

6/20/2011 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Michelle said...

Jennifer, your last post pretty much explains it all.

6/20/2011 01:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Original Max said...

Jennifer, It sounds like you are bitter from poor decisions throughout your life. Hopefully it will be your house that gets burglarized or your car that gets stolen if we lose anymore police officers since that's what you want.

I want a city as safe or safer than what it was before Righeimer started destroying our city. Not just to protect myself, but all residents of our great city.

6/20/2011 01:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Sick of it All said...

Wow, bitter... no pension here, still in the private sector work force, have never earned a pension other than 2 years at GE. I agree reform is needed, but that won't change those that have already retired. To call a man who served this city with honor for 30+ year, PROTECTING and SERVING, is just sad and pathetic. Crawl back under your rock.

6/20/2011 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous ConcernedforCM said...

We are all crooked???????? I have worked in nothing but the private industry. I still think this nonsense this council has pulled is wrong. You are just sound like a whinny kid. You are too old for that.

6/20/2011 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous here come the aliens said...

Jennifer you live in a trailer. Enough said. Everybody stop arguing with her, she obviously has foil on her tv and windows

6/20/2011 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Jennifer, what exactly is your level education, training and experience? You seem like one of those that believe they should have everything everyone else has without having to put any effort into it.

6/20/2011 02:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Are you stalking me? How did you know I have foil on my antena if you aren't? I have GED and proud of it. When I used to drive around town I saw cops. They seemed like they were always looking for me. They gave me tickets so they could make more money on their pensions. I never did anything wrong.Eperson gave me a ticket too. Figures.

6/20/2011 02:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Sick of it All said...

Crazytown on line 1...

6/20/2011 03:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Jen's last 911 call said...

Hi 911 I'd like to report a UFO. Where is it you say? It is right above my trailer. Can anyone else see it? Of course not, only I can... No, I can't see who is driving it, its shield is up. I'm scared... Oh, okay yes I have foil.

6/20/2011 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

I told the police years ago that I was abducted by aliens in a UFO. It was over where El Ranchito is now. They let me off over near Paularino school. I knew someone would mention it and I thought it was confidential. I should have know better.

6/20/2011 04:25:00 PM  
Anonymous washyour6 said...

Ahh, the improvers are at it again.

6/20/2011 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Sick of it All said...

After yesterday's events, Geoff, methinks Hatch was not in fact pushing back on the council.

6/21/2011 07:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Based upon yesterday's events, Hatch is being pushed, not pushing back. Too bad, I was hoping a little bit of ethics and integrity would shine though. I guess I was wrong. Well Costa Mesa, you were warned about Righeimer, but voted him in anyway. Good luck for the future of your city.

6/21/2011 09:30:00 AM  

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