Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Council Meeting Wrap-up

The Costa Mesa City Council meeting last night was an anomaly when compared to most recent meetings - it was fairly short and relatively sparsely attended. At the peak there was probably no more than 75 people in the auditorium at any one time. And, we were out of there shortly after 9 p.m. Still, after all was said and done and the council disappeared into seclusion for their closed session, there were a few interesting moments. Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer was absent due to illness of his parents in the Midwest.

For example, during the discussion of the reduction of the rates we presently charge for police and fire service for special events, it was alleged that we're "gouging" folks like t
he Orange County Fair and Event Center and the Orange County Marathon for those services. The council eventually agreed to reduce the charges by around 25% effective yesterday. The original proposal was to make the reduction retroactive to April 1st! That would have taken in the last OC Marathon. As one glib observer noted, the OC Marathon is Orange County Republican Party Chairman Scott Baugh's baby and that it's just a little paradoxical for him to be demanding fiscal reforms in Costa Mesa on one hand and becoming the beneficiary of this rate roll-back on the other. One might find it curious that another OC GOP bigwig, OC Fair Board President Dave Ellis, is in the same situation and will also be the beneficiary of this change.

I thought it particularly interesting that non-elected city councilman Steve Mensinger instructed CEO Tom Hatch to investigate having the Orange County Sheriff's Department perform the security and traffic control duties for those events. As he stated, he knows our police like that overtime, but using the Sheriff's would take some of the stress off of them. His exact words were, "I know they like the overtime, but I don't want to put them in that kind of a stressful position." That was just another backhand to the police by a guy who apparently shares the animosity for them with his buddy, Jim Righeimer. Or, maybe he still has that old Mike Carona phony badge and he thinks he can dress up like a Sheriff and do crowd control at the Fair.


The council agreed to the new Massage Parlor ordinance after only a moderate discussion.
That's a good thing for the community because way, way too many of those establishments have been fronts for elicit activities. I'm sorry, I still chuckle when I think of the staff putting together the definitions in the ordinance. Yikes!

We also received a very professional presentation by auditor Steve Foti, the fellow who conducted the audit of city finances at the request of the Orange County Employee's Association recently. Unlike the previous meeting where Righeimer was aggressive with the union official who stood-in for Foti, the council was respectful of Foti and his explanations of his audit. It was agreed to permit the staff to continue with its analysis of the report so they can respond point-by-point at a future meeting. They are apparently also doing a similar analysis of the presentation made by a much less credible source - Colin McCarthy's Costa Mesa Taxpayer's Association, a group of right wing ideologues with a very specific agenda guided by and supported by the OC GOP.

Almost no
mention was given to the bombshell that exploded shortly before the meeting - the ruling by Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann placing a Preliminary Injunction on the City in its outsourcing and layoff scheme. As mentioned in my previous post, there's a difference of opinion about what that actually meant.

This morning I spoke with Harold Potter of Jones & Mayer, the lawyer representing the City in the case. He told me that the City is free to continue with its "research and development" - the preparation and distribution of the Requests for Proposals for the several units/functions within the city government. The judge will present a written ruling early next week, following review of Potter's objections to the current ruling and the OCEA's review of his objections. Seems like it takes FOREVER for something to snake its way through the legal process. I was unable to reach Richard Levine, lawyer for the OCEA, for his take on this issue. More on that when there's more to tell.

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Anonymous Eleanor said...

"I still chuckle when I think of the staff putting together the definitions in the ordinance." When Anaheim was considering a similarly explicit ordinance several years ago, they chose not to introduce the ordinance by title only; they made the City Attorney read the whole thing aloud before the audience and into the record. A little amusement for the Council at the C.A.'s expense!

7/06/2011 02:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

So Governor Moonbeam is poised to sign another union bill ripoff for the residents of CA, AB 455 which will give unions more clout and power, even though he said we need pension reform. Why not just turn the keys of the State over to these bums. They're ruining CA every minute of the day.

Those of you on here who constantly complain about OCGOP and its grip on this City are missing the bigger picture. Big labor is taking over this State and gee, what a surprise, the State is in the dumps. Coincidence?? Think about that next time OC union comes riding in on their white horse claiming to be working for the middle class, wake up and pay attention. There will never be any reform in Sacramento. We have to hold out hope that our cities can fend for themselves and pass reasonable budgets with reasonable pay and benefits for our employees.

7/06/2011 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Costa Bell said...

The bigger picture with the GOP and the Costa Mesa City Council is corruption and back-door deals. No credibility will be given to these men who have failed in the private sector but yet think they can run a Not for profit government entity. Guess, they need a civics lesson. Costa Mesa is a "General Law City".. the City Council can't make and break rules like they the council did in Bell. It doesn't fly in a "General Law City"- there are laws protecting employees from crooks like the City Council Members. Obviously, the court action yesterday and the Fair ruling today gives EVERYONE an indication that Barry and his bunch of GOP's are not wanted in Costa Mesa. Take another town and turn it into your weird Science experiment. LEAVE!

7/06/2011 04:52:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

leffler likes police and leffler likes staff. but staff and police recommend bringing our fees in line and making reductions. leffler cannot stand to call them out on it so instead she calls out Scott Baugh (did you notice her wry smile when she said Scott Baugh? Look at tape for a classic geniur "gotcha" pose from leffler. "pandoras box" )and links in the OCGOP somehow. LOL..she does not like anything. apparently she and genius get the agenda Friday and then just have a girls night making up arguments against whatever is on it and get all prettied up for their Tuesday night camera time. (only to go down in flames_)Thanks OCGOP for your wonderful platform and apparently you have some movers and shakers among your ranks that bring in a lot of dollars to our city. Keep it up and we will continue to elect those you endorse as we have year after year. OCGOP and Costa Mesa, bringing good things to life. USA, USA, USA...

7/06/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Union take-over said...


7/06/2011 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Ha! said...

Mensy doesn't have a clue.

Does anyone thing the Sheriff will give a rats patoot about Fair traffic? Ha!

Reducing the fees for the Marathon and Baugh is so hypocritical....Ha!

Thanks for the chuckle, City Hall!

7/06/2011 08:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Costa Bell said...

When is someone out there going to present a coherent argument justifying the council's illegal actions. General Law cities are limited in what they may outsource. Additionally, Costa Mesa concluded contracts with all of its employees just prior to the coming of Righeimer. So, valid contracts which took city council approval are in place. The current council is only comprised of 2 new members. As was just demonstrated by the current fiscal year budget, there is no fiscal crisis. We are waiting for the #'s to come out on the previous year's fiscal budget, but a few months ago the City Manager predicted it was going to be balanced. The city's bad years were 2 & 3 years ago. So, where is this supposed union hijacking? City workers have been getting axed the last 3 years in order to conform to fiscal constraints. Is anyone out there actually able to make any specific arguments related to Costa Mesa?? The only crooks and THUGS are the City Council. They created this "so called mess" so create themselves a GOP hotspot. Well, guess what? It backfired and will continue to do so.

7/07/2011 04:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Remember the day when local politics was non-partisan? Ah yes, the good old days...

7/07/2011 05:46:00 AM  

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