Friday, August 12, 2011

Leece's Public Safety Town Hall on Monday

6:30, NEIGHBORHOOD COMMUNITY CENTERJust a reminder that Councilwoman Wendy Leece - the lone voice of reason on the dais since January - is hosting a Town Hall meeting on Monday, August 15th at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue (between Lions Park, Library and Fire Station. The meeting begins at 6:30 and is scheduled to run until 8:30.

According to a flier I've seen, the emphasis will be on Keeping Costa Mesa Safe and will include the following topics:

* How to Keep Costa Mesa safe
* The importance of Neighborhood Watch
* What individual residents can do to enhance their own and community safety
* Crime prevention advice
* How to organize neighborhood groups
* How to connect with City resources
* How to be prepared for an emergency/disaster
* And More

I suspect that the discussion will quickly turn to the staffing of the Police Department, and the short-sightedness of the majority on the City Council, who ignored the best professional advice available to them in the form of former Interim Police Chief Steve Staveley - a law enforcement legend - and their own hired guns, consultants Management Partners, to arbitrarily decide to cut the Police Department staffing by more than 20%.

I inquired several times last week of Interim Communication Director, Bill Lobdell, to see if CMTV would be covering this event for later broadcast - I know they cannot broadcast live from that venue. The latest word as of 1:40 today is that CMTV WILL NOT be covering this event. Lobdell told me they have limited resources and, besides, this was just going to be about public safety, not a "Feet to the Fire" forum. And, he said, he didn't want to set a precedent in case other council members wanted to conduct their own Town Halls.

OK, I can understand the "limited resources" part of that, but the rest is totally bogus. In a city where the public safety resources are stretched to almost the breaking point, and are without the force multiplier of the now-defunct A.B.L.E helicopter program, it's hard to imagine any single issue more important to the residents of this city than their safety. In my opinion, this is a very short-sighted position to take and certainly does not serve the residents, businesses and visitors to our city well.

When I inquired about what it would cost if I offered to pay for CMTV staff to cover this event and subsequently post it on the City web site and place it into the rotation on CMTV I received a stiff-arm. I guess "transparency" is just a word, not a course of action.

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Anonymous Patrick said...

Is anyone there, including Ms. Leece, going to point out that the Huntington Beach helicopter has been patrolling Costa Mesa much more than ABLE ever did. Will we hear an admission that HB's helicopter is keeping us more safe than ABLE ever did. Are we going to hear that according to flight time comparasions from July 2011 versus July 2010, Costa Mesa had more helicopter service in 2011 than in 2010 at a cheaper price. Bet not. Just more lies and misrepresentations about we are an unsafe City. My wife and I will be in the audience listening, trying to filter lies from truth!

8/12/2011 02:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Clarification said...

Pot Stirrer, a "stiff-arm" can take several forms and mean several things. Can you please be more specific on the response you got to your offer? Thank you.

8/12/2011 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous voreil said...

You can always post it on youtube or any other of the many video hosts.
I also wonder if they will cover the protest that is scheduled to take place at a local dive bar.

8/12/2011 05:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Should the air ducts be searched for Fitzpatrick ahead of time?

8/12/2011 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I made no offer. I inquired about the cost of providing the television coverage, including set-up, taping, tear down and post-production to get the Town Hall into streaming video and into the rotation on CMTV. If cost was an issue I wanted to know the cost so I could find a way to cover it. There was NO willingness to provide that information - a stiff-arm.

8/12/2011 09:14:00 PM  
Anonymous GUFFAW said...

Patrick.... from somebody who actually knows the truth about that... that's one of the most absurd posts I've read. If you want to boost HBs status, it will work alot better if you just try to keep it halfway believable.

8/12/2011 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Re HB Helicopter said...

Patrick is quite correct.

The HB helicopter has been overhead in my neighborhood almost continuously since July 3rd. For the life of me, I can't figure out why.

8/12/2011 10:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Patrick, nice try. I've heard that if you can get something out into the public consciousness a certain amount of people will believe it, no matter how absurd.
But this one isn't going to fly. You may think there are more patrols because the HB birds are waaay noisier. ABLE was very quiet but I often saw their reassuring presence. I miss ABLE. I'm still hoping there is a way to get them back. HB is providing good, professional back-up, but ABLE was exactly what Geoff said it was: a force multiplier, and also a crime inhibiter.

A Town Hall on public safety is timely. There is a lot we can do as individuals that will make our City safer, I appreciate the chance to hear some constructive advice.

8/12/2011 10:10:00 PM  
Anonymous 44 Cop said...

Patrick, your comment is completely uneducated. HB does not patrol more than ABLE did, and as an "end user" of the product/service they provide, I can assure you they pale in comparison. I know you want to believe your statements, because it makes the council seem rght, but it's just not true.

There's a whole lot more to the equation that you clearly do not understand. Enjoy the meeting.

8/12/2011 10:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Max said...

The HB helicopters fly lower and are louder and need to use the equivalent of a Thomas Brother's guide to get around. That's not quite Apples to Apples. Glad we at least have some coverage though.

I haven't seen the HB helicopter in quite a while. I think they flew around a lot at first trying to figure out the layout of our city.

8/12/2011 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Dan Sanderson said...

Patrick is out of his mind. I guess if he says it people will think it is true. What a bunch of total crap. Clearly a dingleberry of Righeimer and Mensniffer (love that name) who want to cover theis butts on the STUPID decision they made on ABLE.

RB Helicopter: Because you live in Huntington Beach!

8/13/2011 08:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Harriet said...

Very interesting Patrick, how can we feel safer???? Big deal if you say HB helicopter here more often, but we have less officers to respond to the ground issues even if they are spotted. I agree we hear more of the HB helicopter cause it goes over so often and for so long all I can think about is egad there is a cha cha ching ching at $700 per hour!!!! There are logs of times, maybe we need an audit???

8/13/2011 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Red Hat Lady West said...

Can you imagine how unglued Geoff West would become if Righeimer had a Town Hall meeting an CM TV covered it? Like a meeting on Pension Reform.

But, with Geoff's twisted and angry logic it is somehow OK for him to request this use of public funds.

I am also concerned if Public Safety People and Staff have or will participate in any shape or form. 4+ hours of Staff time is supposed to be approved by Council.

I can imagine what a freak show this will be as Weathervane Wendy or 4-1 Leece will most surely attract the tin foil hat crowd.

This is a good audience to perpetuate the Union mantra of fear based budgeting.

I look forward to Geoff "Jerry Springer" West to come back here and propose his warped reporting of fact and absurd interpretation of opinion.

By the way. Can anyone tell me just one hard and tangible example of were Geoff West has materially benefited our City?

Not writing a blog that I believe divides our community. I am talking about doing something at a park. For Youth Sports. At the Senior Center. In his neighborhood. Anything we can point to of adding community value?

8/14/2011 09:09:00 AM  
Anonymous prahsh said...

God forbid you should ever come up with documentation or evidence for what you say and write. Been sued yet? Your credibility, as your critics say, is sadly lacking.

8/14/2011 10:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Geoff...My God, don't the haters have something better to do? They constantly criticize you and your blog, but continue to read it. Like I said before, your blog is addicting because even the haters can't stop reading it. It is your blog and you post your opinions. Heck you even post the haters comments even though you don't have to. What amazes me is that the haters believe a man who has only lived in Costa Mesa for four years, rents his home, bankrupt a company, and has failed so far of his attempts to dismantle the city. This against a man who has lived in Costa Mesa for decades, who owns his home,and generally cares about the people of Costa Mesa. I am sure the haters will be back in force to discredit what I have said. Keep up the good work Geoff and keep supporting Wendy.

8/14/2011 12:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Red Hat Lady West, Did you really say that? Did you really say you are concerned about whether Public Safety personnel, ie cops and firefighters, will be involved in a forum on public safety? I can't imagine how they cannot be involved, unless you don't want the truth. Wow. I guess you are also with that crowd that hired a well known and expensive consulting firm to evaluate the police department, then chose to ignore their recommendations and the recommendations of a 24 year police chief. So, do you also leave out your mechanic when he/she recommends how to repair or service your car? Do you also leave out your doctor on personal medical issues? Insane. Sometimes your guys' BS is laughable as much as it is tragic.

8/14/2011 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Red Hat Lady West, cont....The only conceivable reason you guys don't public safety personnel there is, just like with the meet and greet the unfab four forced Hatch to cancel, that you don't want the public to have a positive image of CM cops and firefighters. Absolutely ridiculous.

8/14/2011 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous A Regular Reader of BC said...

My, my, my, Daisy Mae, what a bold faced LIAR you have proved to be!!!

I just checked the county assessor's tax rolls and found that ALL five Costa Mesa city council members own their own homes.

NONE of them are renters. In the future, show your fanny to someone other than the readers of this blog!

8/14/2011 03:49:00 PM  
Anonymous HadEnuf said...

Good grief Geoff, when are these people (Patrick, et al) going to get it? As I had previously stated (in your compensation report blog), comparing ABLE to HB's copter capabilities and service is in no way an apples to apples comparison...

The people have been fooled and duped...the hourly cost is similar to what we were ALREADY paying when we had our own helicopter, the only difference now we are paying less because we are getting less service...Talk to one of the helicopter guys...they billed around $1800 an hour to outside agencies. The ACTUAL COST (including hangar, personnel, maintenance AND yes even pensions)was around $1400/hour. That cost was then evenly split between CM and Newport. Then those costs were offset EVEN MORE by the Santa Ana contribution. So there is no reduction in hourly cost, only a reduction in service.

As one of the guys leading the yard to yard search at 135 am on the Balboa Coast for the 7th armed gangmember gunman of the recent Del Taco gang robbery/carjacking, I can tell you we miss ABLE. Unlike ABLE, there was no HB Helicopter service that night at that hour.

I am really surprised that the people of Newport Coast have been sucked into CM's it any wonder Newport and Huntington will offer to use their employees to service our city and take our money, but are apprehensive of actually "sharing" service? They're realizing, when you lay with dogs you catch fleas...this is only about priorities, and clearly public safety is not one for the CM councilmen.

8/14/2011 04:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt, there's a new Sherriff said...

Dear Wyatt,

Imagine for a second that Righeimer schedules an event on Pension Reform. Has it over at the Neighborhood Center. Has CEO Hatch come and give a prepared speech that advocates significant change in the public Safety contract. Lobdell prepares handouts and Bobby Young prepares data for the event.

They start presenting their facts, start telling all who visit about what they want see in this City.

The crowd here at Bubbling Cauldron would go nuts, pun intended.

Same way that I object to having CMPD & CMFD attend this event. Likely they will be being paid, and some will be on overtime, they will be in uniform, driving City assets. Some will get paid their money for donning and doffing their uniforms, getting paid to put on and take off their uniforms to attend the event.

If and when Wendy starts talking about how she believes that ABLE has impacted safety. Or any time staffing levels are discussed. Then this becomes a political event. And the uniformed CMPD and CMFD have absolutely no place at a political event.

If there is a balanced discussion, like having the Unions explain the details of their pay, or the details of their contract and how the Union intends to make necessary changes, then I might support it.

But we all know that Wendy is just using this forum to perpetuate her Union ideas at a touch feely let me get everyone informed on safety masquerade.

It is like when former Chief Snowden comes here and says how wonderful CMPD is. Yet he fails to mention that we had one of Costa Mesa’s finest plant evidence on a suspect. And another of the men in blue place a tracking device on a woman’s car. And there are other issues in the jackets of CMPD.

If you like the Bubbling Cauldron, then that is OK, and Righeimer is bad. If you are a taxpayer, then you have major concerns over these behaviors.

The one thing I am happiest about, is that there are several new sheriffs in town. Our City is in such need of this change. Many of us believe that includes our New Police Chief, that he has the ability, intent and relationships to change CMPD culture. We shall see.

But for now, I am concerned why overtime paid uniformed public safety personnel will be attending a political event?

8/14/2011 05:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Change is a Change said...


Are you telling me that there are no bad apples over at CMPD? None? How do you explain the Cop planting evidence? How do you explain the Cop planting a tracking device?

Are you saying that none of the jackets of CMPD Cops contain any disciplinary actions?

Are you saying our new Chief should keep business as usual at CMPD?

In order to gain any credibility, please let us know you have balanced observations, the good and the bad.

8/14/2011 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Anybody else notice that echo here?

So, a sitting city council member responds to what she perceives as a concern among the electorate dealing with public safety - a valid concern, since the CMPD is being gutted to 1980s levels and the Fire Department is seriously considering joining the OCFA and probably closing a fire station - so she sponsors a Town Hall to give residents a chance to express their view in an open forum. Sounds like a perfectly good use of her time and that of whatever public safety representatives are invited to provide information.

You call this a "political" event, yet Leece is termed out and is not running for another term. You apparently feel that it's OK for the council majority to stifle public input during Public Comments, as Monahan tried to do recently. You apparently feel that it's OK for Bever to want to change the rules to require 2 council members to place an item on the agenda and thereby quash concerns expressed by folks who voted for Leece - twice. You're talking a dictatorship.

8/14/2011 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Wyatt, there's a new sheriff, please provide us more info on these alleged jackets on CMPD officers. More baseless BS from you losers. Just because someone in the audience asks a political question of Leece or anyone else does not make it a political event. I get asked political questions everyday on the street by concerned citizens and my response is always the same, "I can't discuss political issues while on duty". You should EXPECT public safety personnel at an event such as this. Anything less would be one step short of criminal. But, you guys already quashed the meet and greet on orders of the OCGOP and the unfab four. So go ahead and try to quash this. Show us how much you guys support safety in CM. Show us how much you want the citizens to learn about public safety from those that provide it everyday. Show us how much you do not want citizens to hear the truth about crime in their city. Show us what you are made of.

All of sudden you are now concerned about overtime? You didn't seem to be concerned about OT when your unfab four losers slashed the number of cops to 125. Officers are being forced against their will everyday to work OT because of their pompous, arrogant and stupid decisions. Don't come on here and talk to us about OT when they continue to gut the department.

8/14/2011 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Change is change, you pointed out 2 instances and both officers are no longer with the department. Post it here if you have more intell.

8/14/2011 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous HadEnuf said...

At Wyatt there's a new Sheriff:

I agree, there should not be anyone there on overtime. One of the Area Commanders (Lieutenants)who work on salary and should be able to flex their schedule to attend, as should one of the liasions aka: officers assigned to the Problem Oriented Policing detail. This is part of their duties and would not take away from patrol staffing. I agree it is not the time and place for a debate or political forum. It should be an honest discussion providing feedback and being there as engaged public safety personnel within the community to present latest concerns,problems or crime trends and answer any community questions. We have always done this in the past; e.g. Neighborhood Watch meetings, Community Events. It's about maintaining and fostering trust and partnership with those in the community, with our reduced resources we need more eyes and help than ever.

As far as "donning and doffing", I am going to assume you're mistakenly referring to the 2.5% "Uniform Pay". This is a benefit that was negotiated years ago before my time. My understanding of it is that it was #1: paid only to uniformed personnel who work without regard to schedules (holidays, rotating shifts, etc), akin to a shift differential which most other agencies pay and pay more for. #2: (Side benefit) It would also incentivize patrol and encourage older experienced officers to return to the patrol force with that experience to help the younger officers and create movement.

There is no "donning and doffing" pay, even though some other agencies have taken that argument to the courts; personally I also disagree with that.

At "Change is a Change":

I know little of the cases, and I will not offer excuses for my former co-workers who exercised EXTREMELY POOR JUDGEMENT. Those were isolated incidents and were discovered within the CMPD and were dealt with on many levels, including both officers being Terminated. A terrible thing because of a couple of bad apples. Unfortunately, like any other occupation, we pull our employees from all walks of life and experiences. We hope that the processes in selection weed those character flaws out, but obviously nothing is 100%. One officer's actions can irreparably damage years of a depts great work and trust built up within the community. When one screws up, we all get painted with the same brush. Certainly, officers have been disciplined as in any line of work. They are expected to make split second decisions and mistakes can be made. The difference is, is it a mistake of the mind, or a mistake of the heart? The philosophy that I share is simply this: Always try to do the right thing for the right reasons. I think most of our officers do that.

As far as business as usual, there is nothing usual about our business and certainly not this city as of late. There are a lot of really good things this PD and officers do well and that should not change. There is room for improvement, and the new Chief will undoubtedly look at that and make changes to make it his own. With the leadership failings of the last two long term Chiefs, the new Chief needs to impress. I'm going into it with an open mind, time will tell...

8/14/2011 08:28:00 PM  

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