Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Study Session and RDA Meeting Today

In about an hour the Costa Mesa City Council will convene for a study session in which we may get a look at what this band of GOP ideologues hope to do to our city finances in the near future. For those who cannot make the meeting, which begins at 4:30 in City Council Chambers, it will be televised live on CMTV, Channel 24 on Time Warner Cable and Channel 99 on ATT U-Verse. You can also watch it live on streaming video accessed via the city web site.


Today the council will hear from Budget and Research Officer Bobby Young as he introduce
s three new financial items, the lengthy staff reports for each can be accessed by clicking on the titles below:

1) Preliminary 5-year Financial Forecast
2) Monthly Cash Flow Analysis
3) Preliminary Financial and Budget Policies

The 5-year Financial Forecast is a concept forced on the city by non-elected councilman Steve Mensinger, who is trying to overlay his vast business experience - you'll notice I didn't say "successful business experience" - on the management practices of the city. He, of course, has no clue about how municipalities are operated, but his lack of knowledge doesn't seem to make much difference to him. There's a good reason this kind of forecast has not been used in the past. This effort - a very significant use of staff time - is a waste of effort because it requires too many assumptions to be a valid management tool. And yet, here we are...

This new "planning tool" has been generated by the ranting and raving o
f part time, part time councilman Eric Bever. His "the world is coming to the end in November" postulations because his limited financial acumen caused him to panic when he thought we were going to run out of "cash" before the first load of property tax money was distributed to us by the state. These hysterics were demonstrated to be unnecessary by the recent review of the City's finances by the auditing firm hired by the Orange County Employee's Association, which pointed out many pockets of available monies, including some accessible at the low ebb of our cash flow during the year. And yet, here we are...


This report is the
most provocative because it provides, in Attachment A, HERE, a very interesting list of proposals for the codification of practices for future city councils to follow - some of which, at first glance, seem to be extreme. However, we are now living in the land of "extreme" with this city council, so almost nothing they do will surprise me. Frighten me, yes - surprise me, no. The discussion of this particular item is going to be VERY interesting.


Following the study session the council is scheduled to convene a joint meeting with the Costa Mesa Redevelopment Agency (same people, different dress) in a Closed Session to discus
s the future of the Harper's Point Senior Living development on Baker Street. Because this is a closed session item we don't know what's happening, but rumors have it that the developer can't come up with the money to build the project and may be asking for financial relief/assistance from the RDA. I suppose we will eventually find out.

Following the Closed Session (or maybe before, depending on whether the council chooses to "trail" the closed session or not, they will then be briefed on recent events in Sacramento that affect the Redevelopment Agency; will hear about Capital Improvement Projects and discuss the agency investment policy.

For those of you who attend these meetings in person, please keep my s
eat warm. A bum knee will keep me perched on the couch, watching the proceedings on television - not my first choice. If it gets too boring I can switch to re-runs of Two and a Half Men.

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Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Interesting that RDA is meeting on a project with no parking, set smack-dab in the middle of the "Art District" and is not anywhere near the RDA's
"Redevlopment District" (see map); not to mention that a majority of CM didn't want the project anyway.

Heck, why don't we finance this project with money we don't have; with a developer that doesn't have enough credit or backing to do it on his own. Then when it goes bust they can blame Leece for its falure.

I wonder who's connected on this project? A brother-in-law? Maybe an Uncle's,wife's, sister's 3 cousin? Time will soon tell...

7/12/2011 06:32:00 PM  

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