Friday, July 22, 2011

What Is Talon Up To?

WHAT'S THE STORY ON TALON?I received some disquieting news this morning. It seems that representatives of Talon Executive Services, the high-profile security firm retained by Jones & Mayer a month ago, HERE, to investigate the death of Huy Pham in anticipation of potential litigation, have been nosing around city facilities performing some kind of a security assessment.
I contacted Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell for information about this. He checked with CEO Tom Hatch and was told that during the investigation into Pham's death members of Talon's staff noticed what they described as "security lapses". According to Lobdell, upon hearing those concerns Hatch asked Talon to "provide, for free, an overview on what additional security measures should be added and the estimated cost". Hatch will then "decide how to proceed, if at all, based on factors such as cost, how specialized is the project, how urgently it is needed and which recommended measures he believes are needed".
NO DATES SET YETLobdell summarized this situation as follows: "Talon is giving the City a free proposal on how to enhance security. Hatch will decide the next steps (bid, no-bid, RFP, some combination of the three or leave security as is) after he receives and reviews the recommendations." No date for the completion of this assessment was given, nor was a date given for Hatch's decision regarding this security situation.

This is bo
thersome for a couple reasons. At last Tuesday's council meeting, when they finally got around to the Consent Calendar very, very late in the evening - after 90% of the audience had long since departed - there was heated discussion on a couple items dealing with single-source contracts - Lobdell and GrowthPort Partners. Both had received no citizen awareness nor oversight before they were signed, sealed and delivered and have subsequently evolved into much more lengthy - and costly - assignments. Lobdell has been extended through the end of this year. GrowthPort Partners was extended through June of 2012. In this case, it's not entirely clear whether Hatch will simply choose to retain Talon to perform whatever security enhancements they feel are necessary or whether he will generate an RFP to open the requirement for public bidding.
Also, the expansion of the Talon Executive Services activities in the city, based only on what I know at this time, reeks of Big Brotherism. It has become well known that the current city council majority does not trust the city employees and CEO Hatch. We know this because Hatch told a meeting of members of the Costa Mesa Police Department that very thing in very unambiguous language. He said, "They don't trust us. They don't trust you and they don't trust me."


I want to know the scope of Talon's new assignment. I want to know just how far-reaching
this "security assessment" will be. I want to know whether telephones will be tapped - I've already heard rumors about that - and whether regular monitoring of city email correspondence will be taking place. I want to know if listening devices will be placed in offices. I want to know if there will be security guards at each facility and whether our municipal facilities will become lock-down sites, where security badges must be shown and metal detectors passed through. I want to know if our municipal employees will be working as though they are in prison, where the warden(s) are the City Council. I want to know all of that and more.

TALON AMPLIFY THE HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT?This council has already created a hostile work place by anyone's definition. There was an attempt during the budget process to implement some kind of a computerized time clock situation. That initiative failed to receive budgetary support, but it's an indicator of the mindset of this council. Will the result of Talon's "free" assessment be an even more onerous work environment?

It became very clear last Tuesday that the current city council majority
is tired of criticism and will use every legal means possible - and try to use some illegal means, as well - to stifle dissent from residents and other concerned parties during public meetings. By juggling the agenda Mayor Gary Monahan effectively quashed a large part of the public comments - most folks just couldn't wait until nearly midnight to speak and express their concerns and grievances. The exclamation point on Monahan's feelings was his ham-handed attempt to forbid resident Terry Koken from presenting his most recent observations to the council in the form of a song. He has done that twice before, so there's a precedent for it. Instead, Monahan badgered him and forced him to speak the lyrics to his song instead of singing them. He would not have permitted that if contract City Attorney Tom Duarte had not intervened. Monahan was ready to have Koken dragged from the council chambers - shades of Benito Acosta - and would have almost certainly exposed the city to yet another lawsuit.

TOO MANY CONTRACTORS AT CITY HALLWe have way, way too many consultants prowling City Hall these days. As one speaker observed Tuesday, "Who are these people?" If you look at the current budget, on the page that lists the senior management staff of the city and compare it to the same page in last year's budget you will find only one name on both - Public Services Director Peter Naghavi. All the rest of the "command staff" - those charged with making short and long range decisions to guide our city - are either contractors or other "interim" staffers. Most of these folks, while probably skilled professionals, have no long-term obligation or loyalty to our city and its well-being. They are basically mercenaries - hired guns given a mess to handle, who then ride off into the sunset without looking back over their shoulders.


Early this year I joked that the current city council's idea of a perfect city staff would be Tom Hatch and a half-dozen contract administrators. I thought it was funny at the time. Since that seems to be the way we're headed, it doesn't seem to be all that humorous today.

I understand the p
ressure Hatch is under these days. The council majority, ramrodded by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, is running roughshod over our city and have absolutely no clue about the legal and ethical requirements of running a municipality. Hatch serves at their pleasure and a 9-month severance package is not much solace in today's economy. They demand he find budget dollars where there is none, then add more requirements that take staff to accomplish. They tell him he's doing a great job, then just load more work on his back with no resources to accomplish it.

The outsourcing RFP's may be the best example of that. We are four months into the six-
month notice period required by the bargaining unit contract and most of the RFP's have not even been released yet. There is virtually no way for them to be released, received back and analyzed sufficiently before September 17th - the date most non-public safety employees anticipate losing their jobs.

I'm worried that this r
ecent revelation about the "security lapses" and subsequent retention of Talon Executive Services to provide an assessment may lead to an even more dictatorial approach to governance in our city. I'm worried that those employees who are left will find it harder to do their jobs with outsiders peeking over their shoulders.


Incidentally, Lobdell tells me that the investigation by Talon into Pham's death is complete, but the report has not yet been provided. When asked when that will happen he said, "Soon". That was it.. no further explanation or date. So, we wait.

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Blogger Gericault said...

Barry Minkow, our Ministry of Truth's Minister Lobdell's last business partner just got sentenced to 5 years today.
The City Council feels the need to hire a private security firm...(.this never had anything to do with the Pham investigation), because they can't trust the employees or rely on the police department they have at their disposal.
They can't get any loyalty, or respect the old fashioned way so they do what any other dictator does, it.
They are actually using our taxpayer dollars against the public process of openess and transperancy, all the while giving us doublespeak about how open and transparent they are.
100 people getting 100 names......= RECALL

7/22/2011 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous anitth said...

A security firm trying to make themselves appear valid?

Who would have thunk it?

7/22/2011 10:13:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Mr. Valentine said it a few weeks ago and it is true:


Any questions?

The Dukes of Costa Mesa, led by Boss Righeimer are completely in charge, daring the rest of us to do something about it.

7/22/2011 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

The Guardian from February 22, 2011:

"Has Gaddafi unleashed a mercenary force on Libya?"

Sound familiar??

7/22/2011 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous just sayin' said...

I have never seen such transparency in government as the present city council provides to the citizens. Every dollar spent is revealed. Buckets of money are shown going to pensions as well as in reserves. Should the monies go to pensions or infrastructure, parks,and athletic fields? Should people be able to retire at 50 or 55 with a large portion of their final years pay for life guaranteed or should they work to 62 or older? These are some pertinent issues that will come up in a recall campaign. Right now the union side has been the only one on offense while the city goes about it's business. In a recall you can bet there will be a great campaign run by the OCGOP to get the truth out. They can run an offense as good as anyone especially here in Costa Mesa where the voters routinely elect their endorsed candidates. I think the union has done it's research and knows the recall loses and that is why we have not seen it. Half the "layoffs" are firefighters who want to leave anyway, take a pay cut, pay more into their pensions and take no raises for seven or more years. Odd but true. Many of the other positions probably will not be outsourced, leaving very few people actually affected. Do we really need an in house print shop when you can get it done online and delivered overnight by fedex? Only if it makes financial sense. Is this what has a small group of people so riled up? It appears the mechanics do much much more than change oil so I would suspect they would stay unless the work load decrease dramatically and some cuts in hours may be necessary. Even then, with their outstanding skills they should have no trouble landing a job in the private sector should such a job ever materialize. Both sides, council and union, need to negotiate. Unions first step would be to stop the lies and exagerations and stop applauding the personal attacks on council members. This would help a lot. Then get to the bargaining table ASAP and make your case for your value. Council has stated that there is value in your historic knowledge of the city and it's culture that would translate into paying you better than outsourcing. The problem seems not to be so much your pay as your pensions. Time to get real on that and roll em back. Cops and firefighters at 200K to 300K/yr are outrageous also, especially getting millions more after you retire. It's very plain to see so work it out. That is how you stop the layoffs.

7/22/2011 11:20:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

I wonder what the "security" lapses really are. Is the concern keeping the wrong people out (that's what "security" usually means), or is it more about keeping the employees in? Or keeping an eye/ear on them?

I'll be interested to hear what the recommendations are. If it's to be sure the back doors and stairways are not used by unauthorized personnel, that's great. Should have been done long ago. If it's to satisfy Council paranoia about their own staff, or to catch someone lingering at the water fountain, that shows a different level of concern. Reminds me of Mensinger during the OCFA discussion, where he asked whether "we" (the City/Council?) would lose the ability to fire an employee if there were "a personality conflict." What's the real agenda?

I'm willing to wait to hear the recommendations. I just hope they prove my cynicism wrong.

7/22/2011 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous upped the ante said...

This is very serious stuff. Who is Talon working for? A "Private firm" can employ many means to protect the council if instructucted to do so.

Free my ass umption is it's payed for . BY?
Did sun cal use talon?? Or maybe Argossy?

Watch your back, if you notice a line of black suv's pulling up to city hall . The goverment has over stepped it's bounds

7/22/2011 11:45:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Just sayin'...

7/22/2011 11:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Public Comments Suck said...

I so tired of being forced to listen to all the Costa Mesa nut cases express their sick thoughts for the sole purpose of getting attention.

My nut list includes all of the "regular" public commenters who traipse up to the podium to spew meaningless you know what (and they know who they are). Each one is hoping for their own reality show, and as much attention as they can possibly muster. They have absolutely nothing meaningful to say. Their suggestions never fail to be self serving, at best.

Why can't these creeps submit a letter, or an email, to the city council? That's what I would do if I wanted to communicate with the council. On the other hand, maybe the nuts are as uneducated, or illiterate, as they are verbally ineloquent. Their parade is painful for the viewers to watch, not to mention the council members who are trying to do a job for all of us. I don't know how they tolerate these people. There should be some means of separating the mentally ill from normal residents.

Our city council members are elected to take care of business, NOT to baby sit imbeciles!

7/22/2011 11:55:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air -- however slight -- lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness."
-William O Douglas

7/23/2011 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Grace said...

Lets start with background checks for all consultants. First, Bill Lobdell (Barry Minkow business partner), next the HR Consultants, then the Building Inspector Consultants. Can they pass a fingerprinting and security test? Then, let's move onto the City Council. Should we have drug testing added as well? As it is the 5th floor or as "we" refer to it as the "Nazi Hangout" is being locked up tighter than a rubberband. City Council is directing staff to move anyone with a brain to the 2nd floor so brown-nosers and "Yes sir" employees are left to do their bidding. Which by my count leaves 2 employees, Tom Hatch and the rest paid consultants. The camera's have been set up in Tom's office many months ago (so-called good deed refurb done by Mensinger) - what's next? My suggestion: every person who wants to speak at the City Council meeting- go to the fifth floor of City Hall- ask to the see City Council and don't leave until it happens.

7/23/2011 04:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

just sayin, once again, no cops or firefighters earn 200K or 300K per year. Any recall campaign would once again expose the always misleading and often out right false numbers like this these that you have thrown out on here. A recall would be another opportunity to expose the fudging of the numbers by the unfab four. I challenge you or anyone else to give us a detailed list of infrastructure needs in CM. Normally roads are the only need given here or in any other forum. I always challenge persons to give us a list of at least five roads we can check for ourselves and no list is ever given. So, please provide us a list of these infrastructure needs so we may see for ourselves.

7/23/2011 07:07:00 AM  
Anonymous When and where? said...

Pot Stirer: I know this won't get published, but isn't it obvious that "just sayin" and "public comments suck" are one in the same person? Come on, one of the current council majority are the authors. I guess it could be their paid mouth, he has always been good at editorials. I would accuse Millard, but he IS one of the nuts that speaks at council meetings...probably the biggest nut.
The only way this stuff is going to be resolved is to get the recall moving and be done with these guys. Someone suggested 100 people, 100 signatures each..a good idea. Where do I get the signature sheets? I'll have mine done by tomorrow morning.

7/23/2011 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Lincolnlaw said...

Talon has been used by many organizations including many I know in my industry,. Ron Williams, former Secret Service Agent, is the ramrod and he has good credentials. He has been a Newport resident for many years, a and a Viking. I hear from good sources when I checked yesterday that he is a good and honest guy. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he were to exit the scene like Staveley did once he gets a good whiff of the guys he is working for. I don't believe he would want to ruin his good reputation by submitting a report that wasn't 100% above boardand objective...we'll see. I for one in the industry that uses him most will be following this very closely.
Why the city didn't do an RFP for the services of Talon and others is a mystery. Why they didn't use the services of our own police department is beyond me. Just because the Council majority doesn't have ethical standards, doesn't mean our cops don't.
Can't wait to read all the comments from every nut cake that ever received a ticket in town.

7/23/2011 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Ron Burgundy said...

Talon is suggesting to the Hatchster a "Panic-Room" on the fifth floor, and the basement will transform into a elaborate dungeon for the remaining PERS-covered City employees by Messinger with help of Ty Pennington. Hundreds of cameras will record the house guests every word by a generous donation provided by Skosh Monahan's.

Dane Bora will host this summer's brand new "Big Brother" spin-off series along with the "irrepressable" Barbara Venezia. And DEVO's classic "Gates of Steel" adds a bit of nostaglia to the vintage, but catchy theme song.

And finally, Perez Hilton along with Geoff West have negotiated exclusive interviews with the exiting house guests in September, but Judge Tam-Bam-Thank-You-M'am said they'd have to wait until the impending OCEA trial concludes.

Surprisingly, neither Nick Beradino nor Jennifer Muir had any comments. But Der Rigsheister was quoted as saying, "Vhe have our vays of making you talk... BREENG ON ZHE DOGS!!"

7/23/2011 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous This is nothing said...

Don't get your boxers in a twist over Talon - they're only doing what any smart business does: They come out for one service and get permission to take a look at something else. Car repair shops do it, pest control people do it. It's no big conspiracy. They're going to find some things and they'll try to get some business from the city. Good for them - at least one business is working it these days.

7/23/2011 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous who ya gonna run? said...

So, Recall fans, perhaps you could share what candidates you have that are willing to run for City Council.

I have a few ideas, but I don't think they could beat existing council members.

So, who ya gonna run?

7/23/2011 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

PC Sucks (aka unanimous)...

Geoff welcomes "Nut Cases", such as you, to make foolish, ignorant comments; which are bigoted, unfounded, written with extreme prejudice and ALWAYS in the minority.

Does he censor you? Does he edit your dribble? Is he ever rude or demeaning towards you or others; or guffaw when you demonstrate how truly clueless you are? ...I think not.

All, we citizens’ of Costa Mesa ,are asking of this council; is to be show us the same opportunity (constitutional rights) and courtesies we are given here by an insignificant, moderately humorous and sometimes informative; short, non-athletic, graying, senior citizen… no more, no less.

…did I miss anything Geoff?

Oh, I did, not all of your heroes were elected!!!!

7/23/2011 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Public Comments Suck said...

When and Where, there is no possibility that "just sayin" and "public comments suck" are one and the same person. I don't know about "just sayin" but I am a very senior citizen who has no contact with anybody on the city council. As for recalling the council members, that is a ridiculous idea that will not fly with most of the residents. They are doing what they were asked to do.

On the other hand, I am so thankful for your mention of Millard, because Martin is my one, and only, exception to the regular public commenters being nut cases. However, he is hardly a "regular" because he rarely speaks anymore, which is why he didn't come to mind when I unleashed my diatribe. Martin always has something intelligent to say, and his ideas never fail to be spot on, .... each and every time he's willing to present them.

7/23/2011 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous alsestc said...

but isn't it obvious that "just sayin" and "public comments suck" are one in the same person?

EXACTLY! Maybe not the same person, but most likely from he same group of nuts known as the Improvers.

It's quite sad how many good people are being duped by the Improver crowd!

I'm also willing to bet CMSOCCERMOM & dead baby becca are also from that group of shameless bigots.

7/23/2011 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks, OCLonghair, it's always nice when fans know me so well that they can describe me so precisely. :-)

7/23/2011 12:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

For all of Lobdells claims that he had nothing to do with the Minkow scandal and subsequent's a nice quote from Lobdell that perfectly sums up his involvement....

"Lobdell said he personally shorted the stock of InterOil Corp., a Houston company that iBusinessReporting has examined. InterOil said in a statement that Lobdell's reports, including one about a bankruptcy case involving a company controlled by Inter-Oil's CEO, "was timed to benefit recent short selling activities."

Lobdell said he shorted the stock in part because of the criticism he's received since going to work for Minkow. "I'm getting hammered anyway," Lobdell said. "I don't think it makes any difference  . . . whether it's Barry shorting the stock and paying me or me just doing it myself."

Bob SteeleiBusinessReporting, an expert on media ethics now at DePauw University in Indiana, was stunned that an editor on a reporting Web site would not see the ethical issue.

Lobdell is a "person with a financial stake in the company, so it raises real questions about fairness," Steele said. "I'm astonished that he would not see it as a problem."

7/23/2011 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Public Comments Suck said...

OCLonghair, for your general information, lest you continue to let your mouth overload your brain, I'm not anybody other than "Public Comments Suck". I speak for myself, and myself alone. I am not "unanimous" either. You appear to be an intellectually bankrupt as they come.

What I think you are witnessing here is the willingness of your opposition to invade your comfortable space. I can't be the only person who ever posted here who doesn't think like you. The world is full of different opinions. Get over it!

While I'm here again, let me point something out to the rest of you nut jobs. Taking up hours of wasted city council time with your meaningless blabber is akin to robbing a bank. We have very little time on this earth and you are taking up valuable time from each and every person who wants to watch our city fathers do the job we elected them to do. We want to hear from them, NOT from you.

Pen, paper and computers were invented for the sole purpose of communication. That avenue is always open to anyone who wants to communicate with the city council. The constant rudeness of so many attention seekers is really unnecessary. So are your extremely rude remarks about the council members. I don't recall any of them calling you names.

Have you fools absolutely no shame, or dignity?

7/23/2011 01:35:00 PM  
Anonymous When and Where? said...

Public Comments Suck: Hey, you just proved me right..ok maybe half right. If you aren't one and the same voice, you must be Millard's mom. His mom would use the word "suck" in a name. No one else could possibly believe what he says or writes is intelligent. For that matter, no one but a few of his extreme right wing fringies would ever defend what he does or says. The guys is a total whack in my opinion. He talks about cleaning up the west side. He should start with his own yard.
The messages from all the Improvers is pretty much the same drivel.
You cannot possibly believe that "most residents" elected them to do what they are doing to this city. PLEASE, get agrip on reality. Riggy only won by the barest of margins. I choose to think even those that voted for him are more than disappointed in what he and his henchmen are doing to the city.

7/23/2011 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous tomolows said...

pop quiz: The 1st gang that claimed the fillmore coolidge area was?

part 2: Who's spawn was a documented member of that gang?

7/23/2011 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Suck… it's true I don’t know you from... “unanimous”. As to not make further incorrect assumptions; from your own words, let’s be clear:
> You speak for yourself and yourself alone…. Precisely, you are alone in your thinking.
> you are not unanimous either. Correct,you are the lone dissenter who votes to acquit the guilty, because they claim to be "innocent”.
> The world is full of different opinions. Get over it! Spot-on! "your" world is truly full of it and daily I attempt to “get (step) over” the destruction left behind; left for others to pick up.
> ... can't be the only person who ever posted here who doesn't think like you… very true. Many here have diverse opinions; many of which I do not share. But here, those opinions are welcome; in your world a constitutionally protect, public forum would never be allowed.
> … valuable time from each and every person who wants to watch our city fathers do the job we elected them to do. NOT ALL were elected and our City’s fathers never intended for their efforts to be systematically disassembled by their “well meaning” great-great-grandchildren.
> We want to hear from them, NOT from you… or from the only council member whom follows “Robert’s Rules of Order” and “The Brown Act” and expects no less from the others. She studies the issues (homework), speak with her constituents and votes accordingly.
> … extremely rude remarks…Me, rude? Poignant maybe; precise definitely; Rude… NEVER.

7/23/2011 06:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Shudabeenacop said...

Tomolows: My guess is that it was a white supremesist gang and that his daddy lives on Grant Street...Am I close?

7/23/2011 09:53:00 PM  
Anonymous checks and balance said...

The inter action between the new chief and Talon should be interesting. A first test of the council and talon recomendations and the chief.

7/23/2011 10:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Cindalot said...

The test for the new chief will be his friendship with Riggy, Mensucker and the Lincoln Club. Keep watching.

7/24/2011 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

If looks factor into this situation at all, the new chief looks like the kind of guy that can get along with anybody.

Let's all wish him good luck.

7/24/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Cindalot said...

Yes he does and i certain;y wish him well.

7/24/2011 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Reilly said...

Mr. West: Funny you should mention Big Brother, which reminded me of the Church of Scientology -- easily the most paranoid, security conscious, tightly wrapped, buttoned down religious cult since the ancient Society of Vestal Virgins. Members are monitered and hectored constantly; breaches of cult security result in punishment, fines, harassment, lawsuits, and excommunication. Guess who once handled Scientology’s Big Brother Security: our own Talon Executive Services. An ex-Treasury agent named Ron Williams runs Talon, and his political opinions are heavily reactionary and largely Jimmy Utt Republican. (In 2008, during the election, Williams produced no evidence but nonetheless opined, “Obama is going to be socialist and that's not good for the country.”) Now I don’t know whether an incestuous quid pro quo exists between the OCGOP, Righeimer et al., Talon, Jones & Mayer, Growth Port Partners or any other city vendor. But they all appear to have been selected from the file labeled “Good Ol’ OCGOP Boys.” Big Brother? A better, older word would be more accurate: blatant cronyism. (OK, that’s two words.) Which is what I believe our Gang of Four has intended all along and has earnestly labored toward since November last.

7/24/2011 06:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Ellie May said...


"The test for the new chief will be his friendship with Riggy, Mensucker and the Lincoln Club."

Did you mean to say - the test for the new chief WAS/IS his friendship with Riggy, Mensucker and the Lincoln Club? Just wonderin...

7/24/2011 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Terry Kokken got a raw deal. Clearly Gary attempted to violate our rights:

Rhyming and varying the pitch in your voice is all part of free speech:

7/24/2011 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

They hired Talon , but who is the person doing the actual work? it Barry Mozian?

7/25/2011 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous ca said...

I would like to know what viable candidates there are in the event of a Recall.

What are some of the names & why?

7/25/2011 11:12:00 AM  
Anonymous abcde said...

Geoff west comes mind.

Geoff is tied to no one & seems to genuinely care about the city, It's people & the workers.

7/25/2011 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks, but not a chance...

7/25/2011 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Kirk said...

Hi Public Comments Suck:

I agree with you mostly. I believe many of the regulars are using this platform as a means to show off their in-depth knowledge of everything from best accounting practices to the subtle nuances of the law. I am certain three (3) of them are planning a run for City Council in 2012. Why else would some stay until after midnight to correct the council on some minor procedural mistake. Want to guess who they are? If you recall McEvoy used this tactic last year. He spoke at every opportunity and had almost nothing to say.

7/25/2011 06:23:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Capt. Kirk,
I don't know about you, but I've been watching city council meeting, planning commission and parks & recreation meetings and many other special meetings in Costa Mesa for the best part of the last decade. For the most part, over that period of time there have been a core of activists in the community that have risen to make educated, informed and passionate presentations to which ever body was involved. Those people actually take the time to educate themselves on issues - not just the "big picture", either. They take the time to flesh out the details that many times doom an issue. Because of their activism and concern for the city in which they live the discussion of important issues is enhanced.

And, sometimes, there are others motivated by a passion on a specific issue - the Fairgrounds, the layoffs, you name it - that find themselves moved to step up before the council and 100 of their neighbors to express their views. For many of those folks it's alien territory. They have no ax to grind, just a concern for a specific issue. That's how Gary Monahan got started, and more than a few others, too.

Some of those folks have, in fact, found themselves appointed to committees and commissions where they served the city well. A few others have run for city council - some with success, but most did not get enough votes to win a seat. By and large, though, those folks remained attentive to civic issues and stayed involved.

You chide the few that stepped up to the podium when the clock approached midnight, but in my view, that's a measure of their passion and concern for how things are going these days. They do not hide behind the veil of anonymity and spit epithets - they stand up and say, "Hey, council, I'm (fill in the blank) and I'm concerned about this issue and want to tell you why!" Sometimes I agree with their view, sometimes I don't. However, I always admire them for trying to help make our city a better place.

You call out Chris McEvoy, perhaps the bravest candidate we've seen over the past two election cycles, because, in your view, he "had almost nothing to say". Wrong! As a young high school math teacher who developed a physical affliction that made it very difficult for him to articulate his views just before his first campaign, he overcame adversity that would have benched most of his opposition. He ran two bare-bones campaigns, using hand-made signs and the sweat of a cadre of loyal supporters and he almost pulled it off last time. You may not have liked what he had to say, but he had the courage to step up and try to make a difference in his home town. How about you?

7/25/2011 07:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Boy said...

Chris McEvoy is a hero! To have the courage to overcome adversity and succeed in my book is awesome!

7/25/2011 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous no viable candidates? said...

Question ... What has Chris McEvoy actually accomplished? I know he often spoke. But what did he actually get done?

Please don't tell me he is the only candidate?

When a few call ffor a Recall. Are they only talking about one council member?

Polling must not be going well. Either no council member, or no candidates.

7/26/2011 06:04:00 AM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

the candidate we would like to see run is that guy (mary's brother) from the movie "something about mary" who says "have you seen my baseball?". He has been speaking on almost every issue lately at the council meetings. He is somewhat of a hawaiian shirted blowhard but having a famous actor on council might be good.

7/26/2011 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

It sounds very obvious to me that some if not all of these persons asking, "who are the viable candidates?", are one and the same person really doing intel for the people likely to face recall. That way, they can plan a preemtory attack on potential candidates in preparation for the recall. Maybe TALON will check them out.
There are SO many viable candidates I could name in our fine city and, sadly, most would not run. I will name a few poeple I consider to have demonstrated good service and concern for what is going on in the city anyway. Lets watch the usual blogger (under many names) attack them after it hits thie blog.
Certainly Geoff is one great candidate, but doubt he would ever want to enter the fray. Sandra Genis could take another run. She did well when she was on the council before and has grown tremendously since then. She would be a terrific choice as would many previous council memebers named below. Some who have shown during the recent months that they really do care about our city are Tom Egan, Valerie Starn, Arlene Shafer, Roger Neth, Linda Dixon, Libby Cowan, Allan Roeder, Scott Snowden and Peter Buffa. Some bloggers: Gericault, Joe, Danny Boy and Linclon Law to but a few positive folks, would be great if they come out and say who they really are.
Actually, finding people more qualified than the four in majority now would be easy. Run anyone that REALLY cares about Costa Mesa and we would all be better off.
If I weren't so old, I'd run myself.

7/26/2011 12:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Captain Kirk, I'm glad there are Costa Mesa citizens that are keeping an eye on the city council. Our council has proven they can't be trusted. Even if they could be trusted, it's still important to always keep an eye on how government is run, even if it is just out of curiosity.

7/26/2011 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

Dan Sanderson, I would add Jay Humphries, Sandy Genis, Mike Brumbaugh, Chris McEvoy, Perry Valentine, Terry Shaw, and Billy Folsom as people I'd vote for as well. There are 100's of other members of our community that would do a good job as well.

I mostly just want a regular resident not sold out to interests outside of our city that I can trust.

7/26/2011 01:33:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

Dan Sanderson's list has no one we would want on council but as far as being able to govern, Gericault couldn't but we are sure Genis and Schafer are capable since they have done it before. Genis is kind of strange and goofy in her delivery and very polarizing so we would take Schafer over her. But Libby Cowan would be outstanding, even though we have opposite political leanings in our group. She is not polarizing and has a vision and is a kind person, something Genis seems to lack (she is reactive and negative). Gericault would be the absolute worst since he is a spreader of lies and is very intolerant of other people, constanting putting down people who disagree with him, including physical characteristics. He seems hot headed and not able to govern. Tom Egan makes everyone sleepy in his delivery and really has come up with stupid ideas or paranoid thoughts lately so scratch him. Dixon is harmless though brings nothing to the table. Gericault is the worst. Buffa would be awesome for the humor. Don't know who Snowden is and Valerie Starn, while quite a looker (the guys in our group say that, not me though I will say she is a pretty lady), has little track record. The guy who wants parades and to dig for oil would be our choice besides the guy from something about mary. Gericault is a hot head but a good middle of the road type of guy would be Mike Brumbaugh perhaps. Anyway, the recall won't happen but 2012 elections are in a little over 450 days. lol on Gericault mention, are you serious?

7/26/2011 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous corritin said...

What about Republican city chair shill North Side Phil Morello?

*sarcasm off*

7/26/2011 02:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

Union quilters, et al....I tried to stimulate some conversation. You added some good names. I'm sure there are many, many more. Are you writing as a group? You always say "we". New to the blog a few weeks ago, I don't know who is who yet.
Whomever runs next time, recall or no, should just stop trying to facilitate class warefare in Costa Mesa. Clearly the bozos in office now are trying to make everyone angry because public employees have benefits that some do not have. The reality is that your taxes would not change ONE PENNY by reducing the pensions or benefits of city employees. Not ONE PENNY by out sourcing and tell me when you get your next few tax statements how much any of us saved by eliminating ABLE.
It is all smoke and mirrors. The city will have a larger general fund, but they will find other things to spend it on. Eg: Lobdell and TALON among others.
Union Quilters..I know you like many of us are frustrated with many things. I don't blame you or anyone. Just really focus on why you are frustrated. I know it isn't public employees, they serve us better than most OC cities do for sure. Unemployement, taxes, poor economy and other things get to us all. We should just not blame others for our woes unless they really are to blame. Like it or not, nothing personnal, but this coucil majority are not doing anyone but themselves any good.Blind loyalty is not good for anyone.

7/26/2011 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

Dan, very civil post, not the norm around here. We know our taxes would not go down by oursourcing city services and we have no problem with city employees. In fact we think they are great. However, some of them, mostly cops and firemen ,get total compensation between 200K and 300K year and we think that is too generous and that they retire too early, or at least with too much pay when they do. Wyatt Earp claims the W2's of cops don't reflect 200K but that is not what we said above is it Wyatt? These cops and firemen can get 3 to 5 million dollars in retirement! The bozos on the council are onto something when they speak about unsustainable pensions. Although our taxes would not go down we would like to see less money to cops and firemen pensions, and perhaps pay, and have those monies spent in the city on other things that benefit all the citizens and attract people to our city. Good cops are definitely a must but it has gotten out of hand in the pay/benefits department for them. And if other cities are rich/dumb enough to steal them from us so be it. There have always been new cops throughout history. Many great cops have not been born yet in fact. There is no shortage of them. So we like the bozos' theory and platform. It has not been smooth but they have weathered the hate and lies from the unions and for that they are to be admired. The voters will decide in 2012, should be interesting.

7/26/2011 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous frenn said...

Although our taxes would not go down we would like to see less money to cops and firemen pensions, and perhaps pay, and have those monies spent in the city on other things that benefit all the citizens and attract people to our city

Did your doctor tell you to stop taking your meds?

7/26/2011 11:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

Union quilter: "We don't want cops and firemen to make too much money...". Why? What is wrong with them making as much as they can? The $200k you mention is clearly a misunderstanding of compensation they receive. Most don't retire at 50 anyway unless forced to do so because they were injured in the line of duty protecting the community (and you).
I find it interesting that you and your group support teo councilmen (one not elected)that have bankrupted their own businesses in the past. Let me ask you, would you invest ina business venture with them? I think not, yet you trust their judgement setting policy for our city.
Goverment was created in this country for one reason, to create a standing army to PROTECT citizens. In modern America this means military, police and fire. In other words, this is the reason we hire police and fire, to make our lives safe. It would seem to mee that you would want them to be the highest paid so we attract the best and the brightest and retain them as long as we can.
Statistics show that police officers don't generally live as long after retirement as persons in other occupations do. This is and the fact that the job is very demanding for people over 50 is why the pension system was designed to have them retire at that age, even though few do.
Many employers pay either matching funds on the entire 401k for their employees. Ask someone who works at Nordstrom. They even have profit sharing. Public agencies (cities) don't make a profit to share.
Some communites even do public safety assessments to make sure their public safety people can be paid enough to guarantee their safety.
There is no doubt that much of this noise about public safety pay and benefits stems from jealousy and city council majority induced class warfare. Please do your own research and remember the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"

7/27/2011 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I've been remiss in not mentioning it before, but the young man you chide as "the guy from something about mary" is young Karl Ahlf, who, in fact, DID run for City Council in November of 2004. He was among a dozen candidates for three seats on the Costa Mesa City Council. In that election Katrina Foley, Linda Dixon and Eric Bever won seats - Bever by a slim 44 vote margin over my friend, Bruce Garlich. Karl Ahlf received 3316 votes - nearly 4% of the total cast.

Your smug, arrogant, condescending posts - which you obviously think are very clever - only clearly show readers the type of person that forms the core of support for Righeimer, Mensinger, etal. Just keep them coming.

7/27/2011 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan Snaderson said...

I just read my earlier post and I hope you can figure out what I had to say through all of my typos. I was at coffee on my Blackberry watching some interesting liaisons. Sorry.
I am still a firm believer that Union Quilters and others from the improvers (both of them) are in fact the mouth of the north and his pal from NYC, Phil Morello. Might even include some other trailer trash from town that have been gad flies for years. I think some of them hang out at Skosh's Tavern and even Starbuck's. I have coffee every morning (almost) at Starbuck's over across from Crystal Court. Quite surprising who comes in there. Come on by and you'll get some good insight on how local government and maybe the school Board are run.

7/27/2011 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

pot stirrer: we are not as clever as we thought, your're correct. the "something about mary" guy was not a reference to Mr. Ahlf. We were talking about the guy named Humphries.

7/27/2011 08:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ah, unionquiltersforleece, you were talking about former city councilman Jay Humphreys, who shows excellent taste by also wearing a Reyn-Spooner shirt to most meetings. Jay also uses hearing enhancement earphones - available in the council chambers for the hearing impaired - when he attends the meetings. Sometimes he "overspeaks himself" - can't tell how loud he's speaking while wearing the device.

I'm curious about your criticism of him. What, specifically, bugs you about what he says, or are you just looking for someone to criticize?

7/27/2011 08:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Kirk said...


His name is Jay Humphrey (there is no s) and he was the assistant mayor about 2000. He is a good guy and very smart about many issues. He will be a good contender in 2012 to replace Bever or Monahan.

Regarding Ms. Genis, I agree with unionquiltersforleece, she is a bit odd and very negative in all her presentations. She had her time and I would never support her.

As far as Jay's Hawaiian shirt goes, it is sort of his trademark. I am certain he owns a tie also.

7/27/2011 09:05:00 PM  

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