Monday, August 29, 2011

Tad Friend's Great Costa Mesa Adventure**

"Costa Mesa has no apparent center: if there's a there here, it's unclear where." And so begins staff writer Tad Friend's article, Contract City, in The New Yorker magazine in its September 5, 2011 issue, on the news stands today. (AUDIO LINK BELOW)

Let me say right at the top that I think Friend did
an excellent job on his article. He spent a week out here from his home in Brooklyn researching this story. He provided a real flavor for what the city Costa Mesa has become and provides historical perspective of Orange County's roots and more recent history. He compares Costa Mesa to other contiguous cities - Irvine and Newport Beach and quotes Mayor Gary Monahan as saying, "When I first moved here, in 1987, I was always lost. You'd miss your turn and never get back."

went on to say, " Still, residents proudly define themselves in opposition to Orange County stereotypes, whether it's the tidy exurban monotony of Irvine, to the east, or the reality-show-ready opulence of Newport Beach, to the southwest. Pointing to their biker gangs and their barrio, Costa Mesans describe the city as diverse, tolerant, and - though it is heavily Republican - democratic."

In describing the current atmosphere in Costa Mesa, Friend said, "But City Hall is now under fire from the budget-slashing wing of the Republican establishment, in a war of words and pink slips reminiscent of an earlier anti-union era, when the Pinkertons battered the Wobblies with fists and clubs. One local Republican official invoked a grade-school indignity to explain the uprising, telling me, "The labor unions have done a masterful job of pantsing the taxpayer."

"In Costa Mesa, the budget battle was gladly taken up by a new city council, driven by Jim Righeimer, a backslapping real-estate developer whose burly physique and eagerness to scrap call to mind Friar Tuck." I'm sorry, but when I read that comment I got a HUGE smile on my face.

Quoting Monahan, "The fact that the unions went after Jim so hard, an
d the campaign was as dirty as it was, made it clear that we don't only have a budget problem; we have an attitude problem." Gee, Gary - no kidding! Although I suspect Monahan meant an "attitude problem" among the employees. I see it the other way - the attitude problem is among the majority on the city council.

Quoting non-elected councilman Steve Mensinger, Friend said, "Referring to the unions and workers associations that the city negotiates with, Mensinger told me, "I don't think the prisoners should be running the prison". Later, when describing the "chest-bumping" event at Estancia High School, Friend said, "Mensinger told me he'd expected resistance - "Bring it on!" - but predicted that it would dissipate if his team held the line in the red zone: "Politics is very similar to Pop Warner. People think they can bully you into making their son the quarterback, but once they realize their son's a lineman they stop bothering you." It is ironic, don't you think, that Mensinger's son is a quarterback? What's that message?

During a discussion of the number of u
nits proposed to be considered for outsourcing, Friend quote Righeimer as saying the following: "The more the merrier, Righeimer believed. He said, "We had one manager we had to write a three-hundred-thousand-dollar check for because he grabbed some employee's ass. We outsource that, someone else is writing that check." Friend went on to say, " If you made government go away, you'd get rid of the problems it created, and the problems it was supposed to solve would take care of themselves."

Addressing some of the
concerns employees are expressing to him, he quotes long time employee and activist Billy Folsom: Billy Folsom, a Vandyke-bearded, steel-earring-wearing N.R.A. member who's been a mechanic for the city for thirty years, said that he and his friends were outraged by what they saw as the council's stealth attack on diversity, both social and economic. "What is our role here in a race to the bottom?" he wondered. "How much more do we let the middle class get slaughtered?" The fear, among unionists and many citizens, was that Righeimer's council would destroy the city in order to save it.

He leads off his discussion of Huy Pham w
ith the following: Then, on March 17th, one of the employees who had recently received a layoff notice - a twenty-nine-year-old maintenance worker named Huy Pham - jumped off the City Hall roof.

In a description of Huy Pham that may bring tears to the eyes of his family and associates, Friend went on to describe Pham's background, what an excellent worker he was, quoting other employees, like his supervisor, Doug Lovell. "Lovell, who was very fond of Pham, said, "He could build a house from the ground up, and he always had his eyes open for things that needed fixing." Friend described Pham's struggles - including quoting from a disciplinary hearing he had last year because he was found asleep on the job, which was apparently due to him trying to juggle more elements in his life than he could manage. "A model employee, he was stretched thin by the demands of work, his family business, and getting his contractor's license."

Friend also discussed Righeimer's reaction to Pham's death, questioning whether it was actually a suicide - suspecting it was an accident and, later, the act of a drug-addled worker. He quotes Righeimer as saying, "How do I know it was a suicide? Because there's no parapet on our roof, and he hit head first. Does that sound like a guy jumping? That sounds like a guy tripping."

Near the end of the article Friend talks about Righeimer calling him, urging him to put in a request for the coroner's report on Pham's death, stating "you need to see the toxicology." That report, the existence of which was reported by local newspapers, indicated that Pham had residue of a common metabolite of cocaine, which metabolizes quickly, so it was assumed that he took it more than two hours before his death. Friend concluded, "So when he stood atop the city's most public building he appears to have been under the influence only of his private concerns." Yep, that's what the final word on Pham's death said - he leaped.

Orange County Employees Association (OCEA) General Manager Nick Berardino is quoted extensively in the article. He was aghast when he heard of Pham's death. Friend quotes him as saying, "I'd never had a more sinking feeling," he said. "I was a machine gunner in the Marines during the Vietnam War, but this went beyond that. It brought home to me what's happening all over America - the vicious effect of the actions of a group of politicians who've demonized working people."

He later describes Berardino's visit to Monahan's bar, where the mayor was busily celebrating St. Patrick's Day - which Monahan described on camera as "The biggest day of my life"- and of Berardino sharing the photos he took of Monahan with the assembled media at City Hall. "Berardino showed the photographs to news crews at City Hall, and Monahan became the instant symbol of civic callousness, a conclusion that was helped along when Berardino funded Internet ads showing Monahan in his kilt. The council's attempt to shape an alternative message - no one had been laid off yet, and there was no way of knowing Pham's motivations - was crippled by its hapless press conference the following day. After Tom Hatch declared that Costa Mesa was going to be the nation's most transparent government, he and the council members declined to answer questions. TV reporters savaged an ashen Monahan - "Is there no one that will speak to the people of Costa Mesa?" "you should be ashamed of yourself, sir!" - as he and the others walked out."

Friend quotes former Interim Police Chief Steve Staveley - who's first day on the job the second time around was that fateful St. Patrick's Day - as he responded to Righeimer's version of the Pham death as follows: "Responding to Righeimer's imputations, the interim police chief, Steve Staveley, said, "I've been a policeman since these guys were playing in their sandbox at their mommy's house, and, with all respect to his elected position, he should educate himself before he starts shooting his mouth off. It's morally and ethically wrong."

Later, near the end of the article, Friend again quotes Staveley: "Just before the budget passed, Steve Staveley, the interim police chief, had abruptly turned in a resignation letter that riled everyone up again. The council, he wrote, has "in essence lied as they created the appearance of crisis in order to appear as the white knight to a narrow band of political followers." The members acted "as if they are owners of the business that is the municipal government of the City of Costa mesa, but they are not, they are merely trustees of these public assets, both human and physical, and they fail in that role completely. They are, in my opinion, incompetent, unskilled and unethical." Staveley was right on the money, both times.

Helping us understand the genesis of this ill-fated scheme, Friend addressed the issue of the influence Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh had on events in Costa Mesa. He said, "For Scott Baugh, chairman of Orange County's Republican Party, the outsourcing plan put forward by Jim Righeimer - with whom Baugh shares an office suite - was a long overdue attempt at fiscal sanity. In a speech last year, Baugh declared, "We're the most irresponsible generation this country has ever known... selfish, narcissistic, and dependent." and announced that he would no longer endorse any Republican who took campaign contributions from a union or voted for "outrageous" pension benefits."

Friend also included Costa Mesa resident and Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach in his piece and addressed his ill-fated, and very costly, attempt to rollback pension increases for deputy sheriffs. He went on to say, "But Moorlach remains willing to try almost anything to rein pension costs in. "The other radical idea is you just fire everybody and then rehire them as new employees at new tiers," he said, referring to contracts , now in place in Costa Mesa and many other cities, that provide lower benefits to new employees. he grinned and shrugged. "You're going to be in court on that one, too." he said."

Friend ended his piece by, again, referring to Righeimer. Here's his closing paragraph: "Righeimer noted that the Orange County Register carried a column that day about how Pham lived on as a martyr. The story concluded, "Some of his co-workers believe that Pham committed suicide to make a statement, and that he did it in a ceremonial fashion in keeping with his culture, taking off his shoes and neatly placing them to one side before jumping." There were no shoes on the roof, in fact, but regardless of that detail Righeimer dismissed the possibility that there was any foreign dynamic at work in his home town. "Oh, please," he said. "That's just bizarre. This is not some kid off the boat - he's an American."

I did not try to cover the entire article, but had to provide you with some pithy quotes to whet your appetite. I've tried to give you a little bit of the flavor of Tad Friend's article in The New Yorker. He also quotes councilwoman Wendy Leece, Finance Director Bobby Young, activist Greg Ridge and employee association President Helen Nenadal. I strongly suggest that you go find it on a news rack somewhere and spend a couple bucks to read in context. It's well worth the time and money. Or, you can do as I did - go online and subscribe to the magazine and have it available to you in ten minutes.

** Try this! HERE'S A LINK that should take you to a page where you can get 4 weeks FREE online access to The New Yorker. That should give you access to Tad Friend's article.

Tip of the hat to reader and commenter Gericault for a link, HERE, to a recent radio interview with Tad Friend on his article. This 17 minute snippet gives you a flavor for the content of the article and should make you want to find it and read every word.

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Anonymous We deserve better! said...

Wow...what pure evil we have sitting on the dais. I knew things were bad at costa mesa, but not this bad! The comment from Mensinger about not allowing prisoners running the prison? I'm glad to see that he's finally admitting that employees working at city hall are working under concentration camp conditions. No one ever knows who's next.

Im absolutely disgusted at Righeimer's comment about the "kid not being fresh off the boat". Really? He's complaining about the city paying out $300,000 for a grab ass incident and he makes a comment like that?!!!

Residents need to get involved and not only attend council meetings, but also speak up, organize and bring the fight to these guys! Our city is under attack and its time to start fighting back before these guys bankrupt the city with the outrageously high legal bills and other bills they keep incurring trying to defend what is clearly an illegal outsourcing scam!

8/29/2011 03:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Change is Here! said...

I think I did just read the article through your detailed summary. Nothing new, Berardino waiving his Vietnam vet sword as he always does, the usual cohort of haters casting dispersions over the change that's needed in our City and whining about services that should have been outsourced ten years ago. Thank goodness for this change, can't wait to see the outsourcing happen, the fringer haters in this community leave and the City start to prioritize the residents, not the overpaid employees. Glad the community is behind this move! We are fighting back; fighting for our City!!

8/29/2011 04:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Pete Hunt, Eastside Resident said...

"We deserve better" has been fortelling the destruction of our City since Righeimer got elected. Where is it? Guess I missed the rapture that you've all be warning about. I love seeing the new helicopter in Costa Mesa, makes me feel safer. For that, these guys have my vote and votes for years to come! When is the fear factor going to get old?

8/29/2011 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Kudos to Tad Friend said...

Steve Mensinger, Jim Righeimer, Non-Existent Bever and Mayor Monahan are a disgrace to politics. I was a Republican; however, since this debacle, I will never vote Republican again. They bully, demonize and outright lie to achieve their own GOP selfish agenda. Guess what boys?? We're onto you!! The "real news sources"(not the inane OC Register or laughable Lobdell articles) are revealing the truth in every article published. The article summarizes the truth- these bullies want to eradicate the middle class employee by employee.

8/29/2011 05:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Get lost out of town online OCGOP supporters! said...

Hey Petey,

Fear IS here. From 165 police officers to 125 officers since Righeimer took office. Why you ask? A payback to the policeman's smear campaign against him. I've heard this term being tossed around...collateral damage. That's EXACTLY what residents are to the needless cuts.

Fear IS here when you have a woman sitting home at 2 in the afternoon and have armed intruders enter her home and rob her in braod daylight.

This is what happens folks when you don't pay attention to city politics. Evil like Righeimer and Mensinger get into a position of power to fulfill their self serving agendas for higher office.

You feel safer with the new helicopter? That's a joke. We went from having a full time air service to now an hour a day. Sell your lies on the Daily Pilot, people on here can smell out of town online OCGOP supporters from a mile away.

The lies that come out Righeimer's mouth IS getting old and its getting old NOW.

8/29/2011 06:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Not Lost! said...

Hey Get Lost, that exact same crime occurred in Irvine the next day. Looks like Riggie really gets around! Huh?

8/29/2011 07:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Wait for the Print Edition said...

No one ever talks about the disgrace the boys in blue brought to the uniform with their behavior in the last several elections. Anyone that might have concerns about their contract, they vigilantly oppose. Anyone they think will roll over (aka Weathervane Wendy and Captain Caveman McEvoy), they spend money on and support.

I support Council. And what I reject is any argument that supports CMPD, about how awesome some are which I do not dispute without talking about the issues within the Dept. And without saying that CMPD’s political efforts are inconsistent with the interests of Residents.

If someone in a position of authority would say that then I would support them within CMPD and the dialogue with Council. What that would signal is recognition of reality and a willingness to figure this out. Until that happens, for both CMPD & CMFD, don’t hire anyone and make them work overtime.

I look forward to reading the whole article. I am sure Geoff West just took the excerpts that support his angry view of our City. Very sad.

8/29/2011 07:37:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Wait for the Print Edition,
When you stop pontificating you may notice I gave you a way to read the entire article - FREE. I look forward to your report once you've had a chance to do so.

As I've said MANY times, If you don't like what you read here simply don't visit the site.

8/29/2011 07:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Geoff...I thought it was a great article. It basically left the reader to establish their own conclusions about what is going on. It also shows how heavily influenced the Council Majority is by Scott Baugh. I think it is funny how What for the Print Edition made assumptions without even reading the whole article. Once again those who disagree with what you believe, continue to read your blog. Do they think their comments are going to change your way of thinking?

8/29/2011 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Daisy Mae,
Glad you read it all. Yes, it's an excellent article.

I guess those negative folks expect me go change... not happening. Heck, even JimmyFitzy stopped praying for me! :-)

Thanks for reading...

8/29/2011 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Danny Boy said...

Isn't it heart warming that the whole nation now knows what idiots we have running our once fine city. I for one find it disgusting. Costa Mesa will from the last council election be known nationwide as the Sphincter of the Nation".Tomorrow's headlines:
Performing tonight live at the Costa Mesa Council Chambers: "Hatchy and the The Four Turds".
Opening act is Marty and his puppet show.

8/29/2011 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Reilly said...

Wait for the Print Edition: In the election last year, Righeimer said he wanted to decimate the cops' pensions. What did you expect them to do, send him a bouquet and a Whitman Sampler? All they did was oppose him in the election and put up some signs. Righeimer may whimper pathetically about this all he pleases. But politics, as Mr. Dooley said, "ain't beanbag."

8/29/2011 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Wait for the Print Edition said...

"No one ever talks about the disgrace the boys in blue brought to the uniform with their behavior in the last several elections."

Last several elections? What's to "talk about?" I have lived around these parts a long time. Don't remember hearing a thing out of them prior to ol' Jim running. At first I disagreed with them. Now I realize they were trying to warn us. Nice try to spin it though.

"I look forward to reading the whole article. I am sure Geoff West just took the excerpts that support his angry view of our City. Very sad."

I read the whole thing. Geoff was fair to the tone of the piece.Nothing out of contect or attempt to spin the vibe of the article in any direction. In my opinion, Righeimer did a fine enough job of painting himself as a douchebag all on his own. He didn't need any help.

8/30/2011 04:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I still haven't figured out how all of this mismanaged crap and destruction of city services is supposed to appeal to young families wanting to move to our once great city.

Can anyone explain the reasoning behind this?

8/30/2011 06:49:00 AM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

Righeimer isn't whimpering O'Reilly, where do you get that? He defeated the police union in the election thankfully or we would be BK in a few years. Daisy, Baugh may just think like the council rather than run them, is that a possibility? Baugh doesn't give me kool aid or tell me how to think but rather I love the OCGOP because they think like me. Danny Boy is sick in the head to make comments like he does. Go ahead, follow him and his thinking and foul mouth folks. I'll take Baugh, Righeimer, and the OCGOP.

8/30/2011 07:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry P. said...

I got a copy from a friend that subscribes. Very interesting, although clear that Mr. Friend is biased towards the employees. Love the pity story from Berardino-aka "Jabba the Thug" We'll see the final score when positions are outsourced. If we save money and bring back some of the City services we cut, it's a huge win for the Council.

8/30/2011 07:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Not Surprised said...

Ah Checkyoursix, had to come over to Geoff's blog didn't you. What you got tired posting on the Daily Pilot?

8/30/2011 09:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike, Mike & more Mike said...

CMPD Union spent around $300k against Mansoor. You must not be around anything long to not understand how Unions operate in the election cycle. They spend against candidates that will not vote yes on their issues. And they fund for candidates who will roll with their yes votes.

I can understand if people have differing opinions. But to not recognize that as fact is to be ignorant. Perhaps blissfully so.

There are lots of people who have stopped praying for the angry blogger.

Question for any of the Mike’s. What do you think about the unfunded pension liabilities?

8/30/2011 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Ashamed to be a cm resident said...

Funny to see all the haters from the pilot post on here! Bottom line, it was a great article and it paints a very good picture of what's going on in our once great little town.

It really shows how a few slimy politicians can tear our city apart. Ive personally spoken to righeimer and mensinger's neighbors and although they're strong republicans, they don't support them. People are realizing that the political war in costa mesa is not a party issue. Its a "our names are jim righeimer and steve mensinger and we're going to tear this city apart just to get ahead in politics issue".

I was angry with wendy leece at first for going againt our party, but as a resident that truly cares about this city, I am now siding with her. I see more and more of that going on as we residents continue to see the amount of money wasted on top legal firms like Jones Day defending an illegal outsourcing scam.

Mensinger's comment about not letting prisoners take charge of the prison really disgusted me. What's even more disgusting is how he made a racist remark on people being "fresh off the boat". Lastly, Righeimer & Mensinger are in such denial over the death of Mr. Pham and that's very apparent. They're lying to themselves if they don't think that there's blood on their hands.

This story really helped educate the nation about how horrible things are in costa mesa and how evil councilmen Righeimer & Mensinger are. I am ashamed to be a costa mesa resident. How can I not be? Those clowns who post on here supporting the council are nothing but out of town online ocgop supporters. Real residents are sick and tired of costa mesa's councilmen who have destroyed our city to the point of being the nation's joke.

8/30/2011 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger feral390 said...

So if non elected Mensinger says "I don't feel the prisoners should be running the prison" why don't they change Tom Hatchs title from CEO to Warden?
I hate that these idiots are constantly embarrassing my city, making us look like some half baked one horse town.

8/30/2011 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous wrong wrong wrong said...

Hmm... yes the police union was wrong on monsoor when they campaigned against him because it isn't like he didn't cost the city money with his whole illegals scheme... just like they were wrong on righeimer when they said it will effect public safety. Here is a clue morons, 165 to 125 has effected public safety, losing a full time helicopter to an outsourced one hour a day that doesn't even know the street or have time to learn them has effected public safety, and the council's attitude has effected public safety. I hate it when that police union is wrong. (sarcasm for the simpletons who need things spelled out clearly for them)

8/30/2011 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Mitch said...

Those clowns who post on here supporting the council are nothing but IN town online IMPROVERS.

Real residents are sick and tired of costa mesa's councilmen who have destroyed our city to the point of being the nation's joke.

8/30/2011 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous My Sincere Suggestion said...

I have a very subtle message for all of you whiners who hate the way Costa Mesa is shaping up.


8/30/2011 01:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Righeimer was right said...

Righeimer never said that he wanted to decimate anybody's pension. He said, again and again, that they are unsustainable.

Turns out, Righeimer was right all along:

The unions are trying hard to make this a moral or ethical issue, but the facts remain the same - the unions and associations refused to make real changes to their pensions, so the only alternatives are layoffs or outsourcing.

Keep blaming Righeimer, when Berardino, Rieckhoff, Nenadal, etc. got us here. They were warned by Roeder yet they gambled with the careers of those they represent - and lost.

8/30/2011 01:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Righeimer was right said...

Of course, I don't expect any sort of rational response to my post here, and I suspect that most won't even open the links. This is union talking point central after all. So I'll provide some key excerpts.

"California governments at the state, county and city levels are facing the reality that the pension promises they made to their employees are unaffordable. Increasingly, governments are asking public employees to pay for a greater share of the cost of those promises. But those added payments are not enough, and so governments are tapping their general funds to make up the difference, at the expense of senior centers, pool hours, libraries, and police and fire services. Many also are laying off public employees as well.

The problem is not going away. Pension fund assets are rebounding from the 2008-09 market crash, but not fast enough to make up for lost growth and to close the gap of what is needed to fulfill retirement promises to public employees. CalPERS and other pension systems expect state and local government agencies to continue making increasingly higher and mandatory payroll contributions into pension plans, likely for decades."

This is reality, and the people of Costa Mesa know it. Keep up the smokescreen, and the 20 or 30 people posting here and on the Pilot can keep deluding themselves, but change is coming.

8/30/2011 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Level the playing field said...

To Righeimer was right said...
Find it interesting that you want others to read your research but you won't take the time to research what the employees gave up in their last negotiations:
Furlough days - unpaid
General employees pay their own PERS out of pocket
Two tier system retirement plan already in place
5% pay cut (took effect the same day Mr. Pham took his own life)

That totals about a 20% reduction in wages and benefits in one year; think any of your "consultants" did that.
The employees offered (more than once) in a public forum to renegotiate but the council thumbed their nose at the offers and chose to go full steam ahead with their illegal outsourcing tactics (illegal is not my opinion, that thought has been seconded by the court system twice).

So who wins?
Not the citizens, they are paying the legal fees.
Not the employees, they are losing wages and benefits while the threat of a layoff hangs over their heads.

8/30/2011 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike 1 said...

Something that kind of jumped out at me is nobody is quoted supporting the City Council, other than the City Council or Moorlach or Baugh. Where are all their purported/supposed supporters, who NEVER seem to comment under their own names?

Merely an observation, but were they that hard to find?

8/30/2011 03:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Righeimer was right said...

Consultants? No, a Little Hoover Commission Democrat.

Everyone acknowledges the concessions made, but everyone also knows they don't even scrape the surface of the real elephant in the room - public safety pensions. Furlough days are days off. The general employees have gotten hammered in comparison to public safety, who are only now paying part of their share of the pension contribution.

8/30/2011 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Level is right!!! said...

Level the playing field,

VERY well said! We can talk until we're blue in the face about the facts and how bad the council is, but riggy's side will just do a $3,000 a week lodbell style spin!

Thanks for posting!!! Keep up the good fight!!!

8/30/2011 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Good Neighbor said...

Mensinger: This is real life, not a Pop Warner Football game. Your competetive spirit is hurting the City. Take the time to listen to facts and stop drinking the Cool Ade. Stick to supporting youth sports where you DO make a positive difference and leave City government to those that know more about government processes than they do about private industry. With all due respect, you are not doing anyone any good by siding with Jim Righeimer (even though I certainly can appreciate his family's great loss and you helping them through it). As your neighbor and friend, I am one of those with my husband, who voted for Jim. We will NEVER do so again. HELP!

8/30/2011 03:52:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

One dead, many wounded so Riggy can get himself a seat in Congress.

The problem is that his little plan for Costa Mesa is unlawful, hence the injunction in OC Superior Court.

The second problem is that now thousands of people in Costa Mesa see right through Riggy as he rants from the dais in his Richard Simmons voice. The propaganda and manipulations about the city's finances are coming to light.

People realize that Mensinger is smirking at them for a reason.

Outsiders like the writers from the L.A. Times and The New Yorker see what these buffoons are up to almost immediately.

Our local journalists like Bill Lobdell are here to expose the deception..

Oh, never mind.

8/30/2011 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Lets get real said...

Sincere suggestion,

You suggest we move? HAHAHAHA

We'll fight and stick it out for a year or so until Righeimer leaves. Do you really think residents are stupid enough to believe he carres about the city? Now THAT'S a joke!!!!

Just like Mansoor cared so much about costa mesa and the problem with illegals. Illegals are still here while mansoor is in sacramento earning a fat check with a much pension than city workers. Like Mansoor, Righeimer will be gone too, itchin for a job in congress with the fat perks and generous pension plan!

They're not fooling anyone!

8/30/2011 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous We DO desrve better! said...

Who was it who first called Jim righeimer a Carpetbagger? I didn't get it. Now I do.

He's plundering our City to satisfy his hunger for attention. His (now proven untrue) national rants about what a financial mess Costa Mesa was in got Standard and Poor’s attention, who then lowered our bond rating. The byword in other Cities is "We're not going to do it like Costa Mesa". "Costa Mesa" is the punch line to jokes being told nationwide. He sure got his name out there, but we’re the ones left holding the stinking bag.

8/30/2011 05:17:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Is this the spot where I hold my hand up?

8/30/2011 05:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike O'Reilly said...

To checkyoursix and Righeimer was right:

OK, OK. In fairness, here's a compliment for your guy Righeimer. In the photo of Righemier Geoff West just published, he looks good . . . open-casket good. Fair and balanced, that's me.

8/30/2011 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous My Opinon said...

Yes. Hold up your hand, reach back & wipe your arse.

I wish the writers would talk to others. All I hear is the same old thing from same people.

I have an opinion, but I would like to hear what others think.

What do families really think. Not old farts. Not politically motivated. Certainly not Geoff.

8/30/2011 06:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

My Opinion....."opinions are like arseholes.......everyone has one,......."

8/30/2011 07:32:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Gericault, at least YOU spelled his name properly... :-) And you're correct.

8/30/2011 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous My Opinon said...

Well if it isn't the 2 resident arseholes, with many more arseholes than good opinions

8/30/2011 08:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

And yet, here were are, tolerating your boorishness and stupidity... Please feel free to visit any time, but you're pushing the envelope. I hope you find that missing "O", and a little more interesting stuff to post here.

8/30/2011 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Geoff...Another halarious comment from "My Opinon" (What is a Opinon?)complaining about how he does not want to hear your opinions, yet comes on your blog to read your opinions and then complains about it. You would think these people who do not agree with you would stop reading your blog. I guess they really care what you think because if the didn't they would not bother to read what you have to say.

8/30/2011 10:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot stirrer is too tolerant! said...

Hey Geoff,

Just delete "opinion's" comments like The Daily Pilot does! I'm glad you're tolerant but those posts about Aholes have no value whatsoever!

Keep up the good work!

8/30/2011 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Mike, Mike....

Show me one source or cite one source wherein any CM union spent anywhere near 300k against Mansoor. That is an outright lie. Did you attend the Righeimer School of Numerology?

8/30/2011 11:36:00 PM  
Anonymous g goldman mesa verde said...

I also find it quite humorous that piggy supporters refuse to post with their real names. I have not seen any of them on millards hater list. They claim gericault hides behind a screen name yet ridge is far from hiding.

Watch aka checkyoursix claimed to be an improver on this very blog. Is he a hater and a bigot? Will we see him on the hater bigot list? Will we see millard ramble about a member of his gang hiding behind a screen name?

Every single member of the improver gang is nothing more than a spineless coward who thrives on hate and ignorance.

8/31/2011 07:01:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

People keep complaining about the pro-Council people commenting on this blog, suggesting that those who disagree with The Pot Stirrer's (and many others') point of view refrain from commenting. I disagree. I think it's good to hear diverging views. Otherwise, it would be just a thread of comments "preaching to the choir."

It's good - albeit irritating - to know what others are thinking. It's interesting, and sometimes entertaining, to read their often ridiculous arguments. And, every once in a while someone makes a good point. Rare, but it happens.

8/31/2011 09:31:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Here's an interview from someone on the outside looking in......

8/31/2011 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Thanks for the link.. it's a fascinating discussion and worth the investment of 17 minutes.

8/31/2011 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Doomsday said...

I get the feeling that "My Opinon" is the person who post on the Daily Pilot as CM Optimist. Have you read his posts? His grammer and spelling are so atrocious, one has to wonder if he went to school at all. I guess he finally found his way to your blog Geoff.

8/31/2011 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Thanks for the link.. it's a fascinating discussion and worth the investment of 17 minutes."


Agree! Thanks for that G.R..
The "Rigged" game is obvious to outsiders.

When the article author spoke of certain events "stirring the pot," was he talking about Geoff? Heh!

As police and other safety personnel are cut, how many more people have to die or be injured so the little general can go to Congress?

Maybe Mayor Kilt can keep a toteboard in his bar.

Maybe Bever can offer discount art pieces to celebrate.

And Menssy will continue to smirk..

8/31/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

If anyone wants a hard copy of the article, I still have a few left at the bookstore in NB, Lido Village Books. It has been great meeting some of you who have the guts to stand up and fight for what you believe in.

I've been reading the Daily Pilot for years expecting them to keep me filled in on what was going on in CM. Boy, was I mistaken.

8/31/2011 01:03:00 PM  
Anonymous In utter CostaMazement said...

Seriously, Riggy did not just say "...just off the boat" WTF? You know Lobdell will spin that racist crap into "Mr. Righeimer meant to say "...first generation immigrant" while the City cuts another "$300k check" to the Phamily.

Rigsheister you are such a POMPOUS A$$!

Hey Dana, isn't there ANYONE else you can groom? ANYONE?!!! Otherwise, please don't retire until you find a much more attractive, and more humble candidate!

8/31/2011 01:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Will the Real Mike Gilbert please stand up! said...

CMOptimist, husker2112, 2112husker, 21husker12, khakaliki

8/31/2011 06:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Kim from Costa Mesa said...

I grew up in this City, my children attend a Costa Mesa school. I've never commented on this site. I read it and have remained silent for way too long. Someone asked a real Costa Mesa family to stand up. Well here I am. This City Council makes me sick! Everyone who I talk to, my Republican neighbors who voted for Righeimer, my fellow school parents, and those who we meet at our local Starbucks; do not support what these guys are doing and regret voting for him. This is our daily conversation and I get so heated up to see MY city turn into an experiment. These are the city employees, I've grown up around. Some of them, I attended school with. I know when I need help from animal control, it will be the same friendly, familiar face I see around town. This is our community, these are real people and these are our neighbors. Righeimer is not welcome in my City! I am angry. I look forward to the next election and see my fellow residents prove to these guys that WE are not happy with their decisions.

9/02/2011 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve in Costa Mesa said...

The council only recently discovered they can't just summarily dismiss employees and contract out services without going through a legally prescribed procedure. Like the true ideologues they are, they tried to hastily push their agenda through without even bothering to fully understand the fundamental workings of city government. Their ignorance and stupidity is only exceeded by the smugness and arrogance with which they have dealt with any public opposition to their preconceived agenda. Is there no way we can have these incompetent boobs impeached?

9/03/2011 07:39:00 PM  

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