Monday, August 08, 2011

Special Parks & Rec. Commission Meeting Called

In case you hadn't heard, a special meeting of the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission was called late last week. As you may know, that commission only normally meets every other month, with the next scheduled meeting to occur September 25, 2011. This meeting will be held this week, on Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers at City Hall.

There are two interesting items on the agenda for this
special meeting. The first is the discussion of naming a park for former mayor Jack Hammett, something that was proposed by Mayor Gary Monahan at the last City Council meeting. Among the existing city parks proposed for the re-naming are: 1) Farm Sports Complex, 2) Brentwood Park, 3) Del Mesa Park and 4) Civic Center Park. You can read the staff report with recommendations HERE.

The second item on this agenda may be the reason for the urgency, although no indication is given in the staff report for calling the special meeting. This item is a review of the "Statement of Qualifications (SOQ) for the Upgrade, Operation and Maintenance of the TeWinkle Park Sports Complex", the staff report for which can be read HERE.

Three firms have submitted Statements: Big League Dreams USA, LLC; Major League Softball, Inc., and Sportsplex USA, although those statements are NOT available for review. Only their names are provided, with no background at all for us to consider. We also have available a copy of the SOQ and Interview Questions theoretically asked of each interested party.

If we assume that the Parks and Recreation Commission will also NOT have the responses submitted by the interested organizations, I wonder just why this is on the agenda? How can the commission possibly make any decision about referring this issue to the City Council for action if they don't have the information available? If they DO have it, why don't we have it available for review?

This is the second time in as many weeks that staff reports have been presented
before sufficient information was available for a decision to be made. At last week's council meeting two items were removed from the agenda - I assume it was for that reason because they were incomplete. We pointed that out at the time. I fear this may be a symptom of the "new way of doing business" at City Hall, where haste, not accuracy, is the motivating factor. It may also be due to the departure of so many senior staffers - folks that would have caught those mistakes in the past. If so, it's another sad byproduct of the current regime.

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Anonymous Danny Boy said...

This is symptom of business as usual with the City Council/GOP (I.E. Ethan T. and the other Taxpayers Assoc. Members on the Parks and Rec. Commission) these days. According to laws for a General Law City, the city is mandated to have reports available for each item on the agenda. Due to minimal staffing levels; the City Council does not have the staff to produce detailed reports. Watch carefully as they will be pushing agenda's specifically targeted toward the City spending money ($$$$$) ....

8/09/2011 04:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Confused said...

Another side note which is not technically related to this meeting is that the City of Costa Mesa is recruiting for a Recreation Manager. The position has been vacant since Jana Ransom left for Irvine last July. There is a Supervisor handling the Recreation Division right know. Wouldn't it be cost effective to have an existing manager take on the administrative components of recreation and have the existing supervisor manage the day to day operations? Once again the city is going to hire someone who will get all the benefits and pension that the four men on the Council abhors. I get so confused sometimes to what this Council wants.

8/09/2011 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

confused: let me clear it up for you. the council does not abhor the employees. the council, rightly or wrongly, thinks that pension costs are getting out of control. Many, many cities across the nation believe the same thing, rightly or wrongly. the unfortunate part is that the pension problem, if it exists, is not really being impacted so much by the regular employees as by the cops and firemen who have crazy benefits. this is where the savings are but are hard to extract thus leaving the general employees holding the bag. thus the services they provide are being looked at to see if they can be outsourced. things like having an in house print shop, mechanic, street sweeping, etc. luckily the council was able to save $$ by eliminating ABLE and going into a shared services contract at reduced rates and may save more since our firemen want to go to the Fire Authority. All this may eliminate the reduction of general employees. Good Luck to ALL in these financially demanding times. There is currently enough money to pay our employees but neglect city programs and a balance has to be found.

8/09/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Confused said...

Checkyoursix...I never said that the council abhors the employees. I said they abhor the pensions and benefits. My thinking is that since they already have someone running recreation at a supervisor level for over a year, why would they hire a Recreation Manager? Isn't there already a manager on staff in the City that can manage recreation? If pension cost are getting out of control, why hire another city employee? You are absolutely right about police and fire. 90% of those employees making over $100,000 per year are police and fire who get the 3% at 50.

8/09/2011 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Fan of Jack's said...

Jack Hammett is terrific. Pearl Harbor survivor, former Councilmember and Mayor, all around good guy. He's also a strong fiscal conservative who believes our City's spending is out of control and must re reformed. Don't take my word for it, ask him about it. I did.

8/09/2011 11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Why Does the Mayor Want This Now said...

Can a private group take over the management of the Teawinkle Park Sports Complex if it results in laying off employees? I thought the court injunction prevented the city from doing that. I know the city can explore outsourcing, but I think it is premature at this point. Would any of these proposals be valid after the supposed two year wait for the court to decide the fate of privatizing city services? I just do not want the city of waste anymore time and money on proposals that may not be valid.

8/09/2011 04:57:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Staff Infection said...


Jana R.O.C.K.S.!!!! .... Get it???

Man, I miss her infectious enthusiasm! The City of Borvine really stole a phenomenal City Employee....

This Rec Mgr. recruitment is absolutely necessary because the new person will be responsible for attracting & retaining "young" families to CM by creating "community: through people, parks, & programs", which includes acknowledging "diverse populations" throughout our city.

The "homeless population" at the Lion's Park, DRC & NCC are literally "driving" Costa Mesa families to the City's of NB & HB's plentiful enrichment & youth- sports recreation programs, as well as their numerous "distinguished" schools.

Don't believe me? Just take a look at any similar city's "Recreation Brochure". For example, the City of Borvine's is known as "the Bible". It's thick with a vast assortment of recreational oppurtunities. And then look at our city's "anorexic" (ain't-our-rec-sick?) brochure. You could barely wipe your a$$ with it in an total emergency.

Plus, the City really needs to invest in it's Community Centers, especially Balearic. Have you seen the "pothole-lot" lately? Man, it's so dangerous walking out of your car through all those ankle-twisting-land-mines!

Also, Mr. Righeimer has said that he's "all for parents paying their fair share", (i.e. R.O.C.K.S.) and he would "like to utilize the NMUSD schools more". So, I think the City should hire a Recreation Manager to help better facilitate this crucial partnership between the City & NMUSD.

The new Rec Mgr. could develop a consortia of the City, NMUSD, and CM businesses (i.e. hotels, surf & skate industry, car dealerships, AAA, IKEA, etc.) to collaborate on securing Federal Grants for which the City alone doesn't qualify. This kind of partnership defines "community", and creates many worthy (i.e. role-model) jobs for our CM youth.

8/09/2011 06:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Big Idea ... Thug Park said...

In order to bypass any litigation, I suggest we name a park after Union boy wonder, Nick.

We can call it Thug Park.

Jennifer can mow the grass and Helen can trim the trees

8/09/2011 08:41:00 PM  

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