Monday, October 31, 2011

Important Transportation Grants

Lost in the shuffle from the last council meeting was the fact that the City of Costa Mesa, through the hard work and grant-writing skill of our folks in the Transportation Services side of City Hall, has received a couple grants totaling more than $1.6 million.

According to Transportation Services Manager Raja Sethuraman, the State of California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) issued a Call for Projects for the SRTS program in the Spring of 2011 which would provide approximately $66 million in federal funding statewide for transportation projects. The City of Costa Mesa competed for a total of three projects under this "Call for Projects" and was successful in securing funding for two projects, described below.

School Zone Tra
ffic Calming City-wide ($796,200) - The project will result in school zone traffic calming, with the installation of 21 radar speed feedback signs, 204 pedestrian countdown timers, 10 school zone warning beacons, and minor signing and striping improvements citywide.

East 19th Street Traffic Calming ($855,850) -
This project provides for implementation of “traffic calming” on East 19th Street between Newport Boulevard and Irvine Avenue. The project includes construction of chokers at intersections and chokers/medians at selected mid-block locations. Landscaping will be incorporated into the traffic calming devices to provide vertical features and provide the visual effect of a narrower street. Entry monument signs are also proposed at Fullerton Avenue and Irvine Avenue to enhance the identification of the “Eastside Costa Mesa” neighborhood.


Kudos to the folks in Transportation Services for, once again, diving into the money pot and coming up with two hands-full of cash with which our streets will become safer. I find myself wondering just who will be doing this kind of great work when everyone at City Hall is outsourced.


On that note, please be careful driving around this evening. There will be lots of little hobgoblins, witches, ghosts and little folks made up like other scary folks wandering the streets, sea
rching for treasure troves of candy. They won't be looking for you, so take it easy, drive with a little more caution and watch out for the kids. Happy Halloween to you all.

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Anonymous Dave said...

I also wonder who will be doing the work once everyone at city hall is outsourced. I personally received my "revised" layoff notice today, that now has a date of January 6, 2012. Signed by Tom Hatch.

I have to chuckle when it refers questions to Human Resources. What do they know; Council is running the show.

It should read: For questions, please call Riggy and/or Mensy, because we (management) don't know.

10/31/2011 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous a new CM resident said...

That won't please the teabagger contingent as it is still an expenditure of taxpayer funds.

10/31/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous So tired of it - - from a Misc. Employee said...

So are the "revised" layoff notices a "trick" or a "treat". I guess it depends on if you are the one receiving it or issuing it.

Seeing that this notice was issued 2 weeks before November 17, I guess we will get the other one on Christmas Eve wrapped in Christmas wrap?

What a joke- I guess everyday is Halloween with the Costa Mesa 5th floor and interim-management. Continually wearing masks, shame on you.

I want to know why this wasn't mentioned in the UPCOMING CITY events on the CEO's E-Brief, it's not like they didn't know it was coming? It could have just been added to Hatch's 7 Goals article as #8- On Halloween the revised layoff notices issued to understaffed city employees who are doing their best to keep customer service levels up to par.

Last but not least, I guess TH nor CC didn't select the article on page 7 of the CEO's e-briefing, because the actions that occurred today as a city employee do not inspire me one bit.

So happy TH title was chaned to CEO, because a City Manager is not what you are.

Sorry Geoff thanks for letting me vent-

10/31/2011 03:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Happy to set you straight said...

'I find myself wondering just who will be doing this kind of great work when everyone at City Hall is outsourced." Stop wondering! It will be done by private contractors at less cost than the city can do the work with no reduction in the quality.

10/31/2011 07:02:00 PM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

the south county cities without the unsustainable pensions who outsource much of their work still keep a core employee base of management. i would suspect CM will also so I doubt everyone will be outsourced, pot stirrer. but there are private people who do a good job of writing grant applications so this will get covered one way or another. if these current people are outsourced perhaps they could be contract hired to write grant applications. the beauty of outsource contracts is that you can expand or contract them depending on the economy and work load thus becoming very efficient in providing services to the taxpayers. the profit motive/margin of private companies may make them unattractive and it may perhaps be more efficient to have actual city employees do the work in some fields. i am glad that council is at least trying to get prices for work. that is how a business is run. every year most business people get bids for current work and make a decision whether to keep their buddy or hire a new company. the buddy relationship counts for something in their decisions, quite validly so, but if the price differential is too great the buddy needs to go or reduce his price. same thing with city employees. and whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, President's Day, Valentines Day, April Fools, Memorial Day, Mothers/Fathers Day, Fourth of July, Festivus, or whatever, the employees will be able to name a cruel coincidence between layoff day and holiday so give that a rest. In private sector you get fifteen minutes notice and usually around Christmas since that is when they are near entering a new fiscal year. Good Luck to our fine employees, it's not personal, it's business and the private sector has been suffering for years. Too bad it has come to you, I am truly sorry.

10/31/2011 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Business and government are two separate things.

"Running government like a business" is often inappropriate.

Or used as a cover/excuse for extreme, illegal, improper acts by government officials, elected and appointed.

10/31/2011 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Celebrate A Good Thing said...

Getting these grants is great news. Any additional funds the city gets for projects is a good thing especially for safety around schools. Can't we just celebrate a good thing here and leave the politics and personal attacks for another topic? City staff have done a great job in securing these grants and they need to be recognized for their efforts.

11/01/2011 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Seekingthetruth said...

Thanks Unanimous for that analogy of what will probably happen in Costa Mesa. While I do not want anyone to lose their job, I think it is going to happen. I could be wrong though. I do believe the council majority did a piss poor job in handling the layoffs. These are not men that I would have on my team. As a business owner I do not make such reckless decisions without the proper research and I certainly would of researched the legalities first. I however do not have unlimited funds to pay for legal fees. I do believe the core of the problem is public safety and their pensions, which has not been adequately addressed. I do not believe laying of maintenance personnel will make a significant dent in the pension problem. Police is the largest cost to the city and yet they are not being reviewed for outsourcing. That is where significant savings would come from. I do believe many of the decisions are political as the council majority has not been very consistent in their claims about city finances. In my business, the employees are my greatest asset and I would do everything in my power to keep them employed.

11/01/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Ya think? said...

@Seeking truth....

Outsource the Police Dept? IF we go "green", the Sheriff Dept currently makes more than CMPD. The only way it would be cheaper is to have even FEWER cops on the streets.

Do you really think they would work the dopers on Newport Bd? Foot patrol Lions Park? Ask the residents of a comparable city. Service sucks!

Don't forget that Mensy wouldn't have easy access to reports, either!

Our silly council wouldn't give up that much control.

Be careful! You might get what you ask for!

11/01/2011 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Seekingthetruth said...

Ya think... From what I can tell, the council majority is not interested in service. If they were, they would be empowering their employees to come up with cost saving measures and ways to improve service. Laying off staff and hiring private companies will not accomplish that goal from my experience. The sheriff may make more than CMPD, however the city would not be on the hook for their pensions, which is the whole crux of the layoff issue. I am trying to look at the whole picture. If we believe Righeimer and company that the city is in dire financial straights then contracting with the sheriff or another public agency for police services must be looked at. If he is just blowing smoke to promote an agenda, which I believe might be the case here, that is another story. The city took a big hit in the recession as did I. Now that things are looking better, the city wants to get rid of its personnel. I managed to keep all my employees and hope to hire more in the future. My concern is the quality of life issues here in Costa Mesa. My neighbors and I are really concerned with the direction the city is going. Some of these major issues should be decided by the voters. Not by the ideology of political hacks on the council.

11/01/2011 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Peele said...


Go ahead and explore outsourcing police. On the surface a great idea. However, look at the cost versus benefit. I'm betting an apples to apples comparison, it won't be cheaper. In other words, full-time narc team here in the city, community oriented policing available here in the city, full-time detectives assigned for follow up investigations, here in the city. Not people assigned to Sheriff's Investigations at OCSD headquarters in Santa Ana who get the cases generated by deputies assigned here in the city.

I am willing to bet there is no cost savings. Not to mention the level of service. If you call for something now, the PD sends an officer. Having lived in south OC I can tell you the level of service form OCSD is pretty lackluster. Not to mention that by the time a deputy even gets to go out and work patrol, they have been working the jail for the first 8 or so years of their career. They are pretty surly and often have poor attitudes as a result.

In my opinion, they are a lousy agency. But hey, if it saves money and lousy is acceptable, have at it. Fact is, from their political connectios with the former sheriff (Carona) and position with the Sheriff's Advisory Council, Mensy and Riggy probably think the Sheriff's Dept. is the Alpha and Omega of law enforcement. Go ask the attendant at Alaska Airlines about "Sheriff Steve."

11/01/2011 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"Fact is, from their political connectios with the former sheriff (Carona) and position with the Sheriff's Advisory Council, Mensy and Riggy probably think the Sheriff's Dept. is the Alpha and Omega of law enforcement. Go ask the attendant at Alaska Airlines about "Sheriff Steve."


Yea, old but gold. Biff and his toy badge got outed. The OCGOP couldn't save Carona, what of these four?

11/01/2011 01:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Seekingthetruth, who do you think pays for the deputy sheriff's pensions? The entire cost of providing law enforcement service to Costa Mesa, or any other city for that matter, is charged to the city. The county and contract cities do not pick up some cost so you can have a deputy here. The county would break down the hourly pay rate, pension cost, benefits, etc. and the city would have to pay for it. Fact is, OCSD deputies make more in pay and benefits than CM cops do. The only way to save money then is to lessen the service level. In that regard, Costa Mesa is much closer to Stanton than it is to any city in South County.

11/01/2011 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Stantons Coming to Costa Mesa said...

It seems to me that the voters want Costa Mesa to be like Staton or they would not have voted for Righeimer. They want to pay so little for city services and think that Costa Mesa will on be on par with its neighbors. Think again. No city other than Santa Ana wants to eliminate its city staff. Yes some cuts were necessary, but Newport, Huntington and Irvine know that privatizing their entire operations will not work. Their residents like and expect the high quality of services. This attracts new residents, businesses and visitors to their cities. Remember you get what you pay for.

11/02/2011 08:41:00 AM  

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