Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Studying Combined Services Not A Done Deal - Yet

It seems the City of Costa Mesa may have jumped the gun just a little bit when it announced, through a press release by Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell last week, HERE, that plans were in the works to pay for a consultant to study the possible amalgamation of certain city services with Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.


According to a report by former Fountain Valley Mayor Gus Ayer in the Surf City Voice today, HERE, the Huntington Beach City Council has yet to officially bless this plan and the expenditure of the doll
ars involved. According to the Huntington Beach City Clerk's office, it is expected to consider it at its next meeting on Monday, August 1st. If Huntington Beach approves it, there is a likelihood that the studies will begin immediately and might be finished in four to five months.

I've contacted the City of Newport Beach to find out if these studies have already been approved in their city. So far, no reply to my inquiries has been received.

According to Lobdell today, t
he Costa Mesa City Council is aware of Hatch's plan for this study and is "OK with it", even though it has not been discussed in an open forum of which we are aware. Apparently the decision to proceed with such a study falls within the purview of Hatch's job and he has the discretionary authority to disperse the funds necessary. Lobdell tells me these funds will come from budgeted salary accounts in which positions have not yet been filled. We've got a lot of those these days, which is how we're paying for so many consultants at City Hall.

Personally, I don't have a problem with this study - it makes some sense to evaluate ou
r options. What does bother me, though, is the fact that the same consultant - Management Partners - spent several months evaluating the Costa Mesa Police Department and presented a report to the council outlining their recommendations for a bare-bones re-structuring. That report was promptly and resoundingly ignored and the council approved an even more stark staffing level. Not only did the council ignore Management Partners, but it also ignored an earlier report by then-Interim Police Chief Steve Staveley - a legend in state-wide law enforcement circles. Following the council's decision to ignore Management Partners Staveley resigned and left in his wake a scathing indictment of this council that still resonates throughout City Hall and the community today.

In his ess
ay Ayers asks the question, "Why would any city want to partner with Costa Mesa on a study right now?" As you will see when you read it, he goes on to outline several reasons why ANY city might pause before engaging in such a partnership with Costa Mesa right now. Such is our reputation within the community of cities that form Orange County these days.

If these studies do proceed I hope the scope of work for them - not avai
lable for public review at this time - will provide direction to "drill deep enough" this time. The police restructuring study was a "high level" study that apparently didn't provide enough detail for some council members. That, of course, was not Management Partners' fault - it was ours for not describing the scope of work adequately. With this council, that's the way they operate - they take an opinion and try to create facts to support it.

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Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Very interesting article. Why would another city want to combined services with Costa Mesa? Combining services needs to be mutually beneficial to all cities, not to promote some political ideology. I am all for saving money, but common sense, which seems to be lacking in Costa Mesa, needs to prevail.

7/26/2011 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Other cities know Costa Mesa will pull out of a JPA at the drop of a hat. I can't imagine why any other city would want to partner up with us knowing our history.

7/26/2011 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous car culture said...

Did anyone else see that Costa Mesa is the most walkable city in Orange County? I think we should stop that immediately probably through code enforcement. People shouldn't be allowed to walk when they can drive because it brings down property values- especially in the scary west end.

7/26/2011 07:22:00 PM  
Anonymous vantsum said...

Ah yes, Gus Ayer, the _former_ Fountain Valley councilman who placed fourth out of four when as an incumbent he get beat like a rented mule in 2008 and was unelected:

LARRY CRANDALL 11,240 29.1%
STEVE A. NAGEL 9,874 25.6%
MARK MCCURDY 9,350 24.2%
GUS AYER 8,143 21.1%

Ayer had no accomplishments to show for the few years he was on the Council -- in fact, he was known as the embarrassing neophyte liberal who promoted goofy 'podcar' transportation systems and couldn't hold his meager constituency, and his job. He couldn't manage Fountain Valley, but he obviously know how things ought to work in Costa Mesa.

As to a real job, no one knows what ol' Gus does for a living, although it may not matter as he's obviously not missing many meals.

7/26/2011 09:31:00 PM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

chief Stavely, what a joke . a legend, perhaps, but mostly for his meltdown when he left here.

7/26/2011 10:50:00 PM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Car... the article about CM being the most "Walkable City" left out one minor detail; as most print media seems to do lately... Everyone is walking straight towards the CM City limits and they just keep going!

vaya con Dios;
aller avec Dieu;
ללכת עם אלוהים;
gå med gud;
Jdi s Bohem;
dul le Dia;
идти с богом;

...it's like a ride at the "House of Mouse".

7/27/2011 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Billy Bob said...


So what is your point? Riggy could not even get himself ELECTED to F.V. city council in the first place. Sounds like Ayer is a perfect fit for Costa Mesa based on your logic.

Unanimous, Stavely has forgotten more about leadership than anyone on our council has ever known. Telling it like it is, is not having a meltdown. It is called "intestinal fortitude" and "integrity" when you stand up to liars, cheats and bullies no matter what the consequences, and tell the truth.

7/27/2011 03:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Pentagon Hexagram said...

Don’t you love the way that some people love to revert to personal attacks when they have no rebuttals to substantive arguments.

Ayer was subjected to an expensive, vicious smear campaign in the 2008 election campaign, after he committed the unpardonable sin of Orange County politics. Disgusted by the Bush administration, he changed his party registration, first from Republican to Decline to State, then to the Democratic party.

As to his record, while Ayer was on the City Council, term limits were enacted, budgets were balanced, reserves protected, while the City finally completed a senior center, veterans memorial, and a substantial expansion of the City's recreational facilities at Mile Square Park. Land that had been purchased for the Newhope extension project was sold back to the private sector.

7/27/2011 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous kagatha said...

Don't like whats happening in Costa Mesa? Vote with your feet. It's not much further of a commute from Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, or Santa Ana. Move and enjoy what those cities have to offer.

It's hilarious when PotSoftner mentions Gus Ayer as a voice of reason. As a former FV resident I can tell you he wasn't that great.

7/27/2011 07:31:00 AM  
Anonymous T. Lord said...

I lived in Fountain Valley with "Quimby" aka Gus Ayer for several years. He was AWFUL. No leadership at all. That's why he was thrown out of office. I guess now he's got free time on his hands to try and poison the well against any cost savings for the 3 cities. This guy just wants to destroy things, no ideas on soliving the financial problems.

7/27/2011 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Wednesday said...

OC Longhair: Do you have any hard facts to support your claim that people are leaving the city? If so, it would be helpful to let everyone know what they are.

7/27/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Wednesday's Child:

Sorry, they're not walking they're driving; moving vans. :O

2000 / CM 108,700
2010 / CM 109,900
approx 110 added per year

ya, they're coming here in droves; .02%

Now look at listed homes at present, half being sold short sale; 125 approx each this year.

7/27/2011 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous not my cup of politics said...

I agree. Many need to exercise their right to vote with their feet & leave.

It is probable that we lost s good cop I transition. I know we also had a cop leave that needed to. Good & bad of change.

Not trying to smear. But Gus & Joe Shaw are not my cup of politics. I get very nervous when anyone uses anything they are saying or doing as any piece of justification.

7/27/2011 11:59:00 AM  
Anonymous sestypo said...

Btw, has EX-FV Councilman Ayer (aka blogger Mayor Quimby) every resolved this (from a 2009 Red County post):

It has been a little over a month since I wrote about how former Fountain Valley City Council member Gus Ayer spends his time blogging while blatantly refusing to follow election reporting laws.

Apparently, blogging still remains at the top of his priorities. Since my last post, Ayer has posted numerous times on his OC Progressive blog. His blogging has kept him so busy that he has had no time turn in the required financial disclosure reports.

Ayer’s total disrespect for the city of Fountain Valley and the people he once represented is disgraceful. Hopefully, the FPPC will make Gus aware of his responsibility by levying a sizable fine.

In the meantime, Fountain Valley voters should be glad that they made the right choice by making sure Ayer did not win a seat back on the City Council.

7/27/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous mstimc said...

To get back on subject...I'm quite familiar with the merger of the fire command staff in Fullerton nd Brea. They did it the right way--too their time, talked to (and listened to) affected employees, ran it through different scenarios and gave both Councils accurate objective information. As one Brea Council member said, "this is a no-brainer" and will save thousands for both cities. Service sharing can be done and done well if its done right and for the right reasons.

7/27/2011 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous kagathidiot said...

Vote with your feet= more simpleton thinking by a Righeimer cult member who can't understand real issues or the idea of complexity

7/27/2011 09:07:00 PM  

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