Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pomona Elementary Town Hall A Success

The Town Hall meeting hosted by councilwoman Wendy Leece Wednesday night at Pomona Elementary School in Costa Mesa was a success. It was a standing-room-only crowd, with more than 150 people in attendance and at least half of those were Latinos, including many families.

Officials in attendance included councilwoman
Leece as the moderator, plus Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer (who stayed only about 20 minutes, skulking out the side door after snagging a free bottle of water) and councilman Steve Mensinger (and one young son) who stuck around until the end. Planning Commissioners Jim Fitzpatrick (Also bugged out early, staying long enough to get paid by the Sanitary District for attending. He probably had to run home to wax his new moustache) and Rob Dickson also attended (Dickson stayed until the end). Mesa Consolidated Water District President Fred Bockmiller was there for the whole program, as were Newport-Mesa Unified School Board members Dana Black and Judy Franco.

There were also several long-time Westside activists in attendance - folks who, for decades, have been attempting to "improve" their part of town. I was happy to see them at this meeting.

The thrus
t of the meeting was public safety and all the presentations, including the Q & A at the end, were translated into Spanish. Those folks who appeared to have limited English fluency were attentive throughout the evening, including most of the children. I expected that element of this program to be more cumbersome than it actually turned out.

Lt. Robert Sharpnack and Officer Julian Trevino (above) from the Costa Mesa Police Department took the lead, making excellent presentations that provided crime statistics and, in a nutshell, encouraged the members of the audience to call the police when they have problems and to work together as a community to help the police help them. Members of the CMPD Gang Detail, led by officer David Sevilla, were also present. Sevilla gave an excellent presentation, also emphasizing the need for community cooperation.

A lengthy presentation was also made by Di
ane Hill of United Neighbors, in which she encouraged the members of the audience to treat public safety as a "family" activity and encouraged them to consider using the model she's developed for the north part of town.

There was also a brief, but effective, presentation by the CERT team, encouraging folks to get involved in that program
beginning with their next class in January.

I was left very encouraged by this meeting. The members of the CMPD spoke with authority and friendliness. From what I could tell by observing the audience, I think most of the folks "got it". I was impressed by the number of families in attendance, especially on a school night. I hope Leece uses this one as a model for others as she moves forward addressing neighborhood problems in the heart of the neighborhoods.

Although I avoid talking these days about a guy I've described as Co
sta Mesa's racist laureate - a fellow I call The Mouth From Mesa North. He attended this meeting tonight, after posting an entry on his blog with a link to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement website, just in case any attendees saw anything suspicious and wanted to report it to ICE. For those who know this guy's habits, yes, he was dressed in black and, yes, he sat in the far right rear of the rows of seats. He was there early and, as luck would have it, the seats around him filled up with members of the Latino population - except for one or two empty ones near him. Then, a few minutes into the meeting, three very handsome black people came in and, as luck would have it, sat right next to The Mouth.

Now, to fully understand the
irony of this situation, one had to have followed his exploits for awhile. One really needed to know that he's an internationally notorious racist, who claimed a measure of that notoriety when, in one of his many essays decrying the homogenization of the American populace though interracial marriage, he described our populace as becoming a "slimy brown mass of glop". So offensive is his body of work that he uses the admiration of it by former KKK leader, David Duke, as a marketing tool to sell his books! This link to an essay from the Southern Poverty Law Center may give you some perspective. So, viewing him sitting in this elementary school auditorium completely surrounded by blacks and Latinos in this public setting made me smile. That's enough about him - I now have to go wash my hands.

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Anonymous occupy1 said...

Fitzy gets paid four this? are YOU sure?? oar just making it up? Eye no four sure Wendy gets paid fore this, weather she does it oar knot. she cashes in part of her medical benefit stipend as well. (this just in: Fitzy does KNOT get paid four this, he is just an engaged citizen)

11/10/2011 07:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

i too thought it was a very effective forum and hope it will lead to positive results.
on thing i would like to mention is that the able translator was Walter Garcia who works for Mika( and did an excellent job. thank you Walter.
on a (somewhat) humerous note, you will note his arm sling. he told me he it is the result of an occasional wrestling match with one of his sons, who are on the verge of out weighing him, and he got body slammed and weren't using mats this time. ouch! fortunately nothing broken or dislocated.

11/10/2011 07:48:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

In a time of turmoil for our city, it's great to see these efforts by Wendy Leece, on this occasion and the town hall a couple months ago.

11/10/2011 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous e said...

The advertising was misleading. My wife and I would have attended but she noticed it said it was for the Hispanic Community.

11/10/2011 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Did You Get It? said...

For your information Geoff:

All the illegals housed on the Westside are the difference between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

They are also the dramatic difference between property values in Costa Mesa and Newport Beach.

Those illegals are the sole cause of such poor performance at Pomona Elementary.

I don't know if the attendees of Wendy's meeting "got it" Geoff. Did you?

11/10/2011 11:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Wow, I see the resident racist and his few followers are out in force today. The hispanic community on the westside is not going anywhere, so whining about their presence is just ignorant and childish. They took time out to come to this meeting because they care about their community. The majority of residents in California are hispanic too. Get used to it. Either work with the community or move somewhere else.

11/10/2011 11:46:00 AM  
Anonymous got it said...

The man in black speaks...

11/10/2011 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Racist Wendy Rides Again said...

e said, as you could see, Wendy's advertising was blatantly racist. She likes to talk the talk - but not walk the walk.

11/10/2011 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

City Council Members get paid the same whether they go to any community events or not. Our Mayor gets paid his extra little Mayor’s bonus for ignoring all community events. Part of the Mayor’s job is to represent the city at various functions, and ours is MIA. Wendy does this on her own time and her own dime. The last Town Hall before this, a friend and I bought water and cookies, and no, we aren't with the union. I'm a Republican, like Wendy and many others who think she is the lone voice of sanity on the Council. Sanitary district members get paid a stipend to attend extra events. You’d have to look at their budget and see which events Fitzy submitted for payment, but he sure could have got paid for his drop-in visit.

What's ironic here is Council Member Leece is doing something very positive for the community with these Town Halls, and her friends are cheering her on. The people who post on this blog and call those of us who protest the Council Majority’s reckless actions haters, who say “why don’t you people do and say something positive?” have nothing but criticism for the 2 great outreaches Wendy has done. So West estimates about 75 people who had a Caucasian appearance attended. The only ones who would stay away because the flyer mentioned the dreaded word “Hispanic” are the bigots anyway.

FYI for the readers of this blog: Wendy invited the other Council Members to be part of this positive event, to help promote what the community can do to increase Public Safety, and they all declined.

11/10/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Heart for Costa Mesa,
While none of the other council members chose to participate in the promotion or the program, Righeimer and Mensinger showed up and Mensinger, to his credit, stayed through the entire event. I have no idea what he "got out of it", but I hope it was some perspective of a segment of the community he doesn't usually have much contact with. Righeimer showed just for appearances..

11/10/2011 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous West lacks perspective said...

This is a great example of Geoff West's angry and narrow view.

Um, perhaps Righeimer had to go home and do his kid's homework and put them to bed as a father. Maybe he is out every other night, and that is all the precious time that he could attend.

Or, maybe he had another meeting or commitment to go to and showed up late just to make sure he at least attended a little.

These are some of the many concerns the community has with Geoff West.

He lacks the perspective of what it takes to be a father, with young kids.

Geoff is old and retired. I bet his wife is excited when he has to leave the house to perform his council critic endeavors.

Geoff West has no idea what it is like to be busy, juggle commitments, nor to be doing so away from your kids.

This angry perspective is of no value to the community. Unless one is like minded, or enjoys watching a Jerry Springer like experience.

11/10/2011 03:03:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Hmmm. Maybe. Or maybe Righeimer had to run over to Skosh's to work on plans for the takeover of yet another part of city government. We can speculate all we want here - and I've provided you the space to do it. I just know what I saw - him putting in an appearance, then sneaking out a side door. Interpret that as you might.

11/10/2011 03:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Feed Riggy, Starve the City said...

Riggy left the town hall meeting because he heard some charity group was giving out free food in Lions Park..

11/10/2011 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Attention Cravers said...

The only reason Wendy hosts the Town Halls is because she craves attention. The same is true for all those lip flapping idiots that stand in line to get TV time during the city council comments. They have absolutely NOTHING to say and only make fools of themselves.

11/10/2011 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Attention Cravers,
That, of course, would be unlike folks who post here with nothing to say except to vilify others, right? I'm happy to provide a forum for you to demonstrate, albeit anonymously, the degree of your stupidity. You're welcome.

11/10/2011 05:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Perspective said...

"The only ones who would stay away because the flyer mentioned the dreaded word “Hispanic” are the bigots anyway."

Excuse me, but it is wrong, offensive and stupid to advertise a Westide Community Meeting that only identifies the Hispanic community as the target audience, which this flyer clearly did, especially when this is a City-promoted event.

The Westside is a community, regardless of race, and only highlighting one IS bigoted. Stop patting yourself on the back and deal with reality. promoting one race over another is racist when whites do it, but not if Hisopanics do it? Sounds like a racist, bigoted perspective to me.

11/10/2011 09:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Martin Is A Bigot said...

West lacks perspective said...

Um, perhaps Righeimer had to go home and do his kid's homework

I have a feeling Piggys kids can do their OWN homework.I would not doubt his kids are smarter than he is.

11/10/2011 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous automatic A said...

Actually Riggy probably changed the school rules especially for his children so they don't have to do any homework. Homework like rules and regulations, after all, are only meant for other people. Because of this, he only had to go home quickly to await the phone call of his master.

11/11/2011 03:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Love Living in CM said...

@West Lacks Perspective, Did you get it, etc.

Highlighting one ethnic group for a community group meeting is not racist if the majority of the group live in that area and make up the target audience. If you had a meeting at the senior center regarding health care would it be racist to highlight seniors at the exclusion of everyone else? What about a meeting for parents and children to talk about bullying at a local school? These false accusations about racism just mask a narrow minded ideology held by the more irrational and vocal members of the community to try to divert attention from the real problems in this City such as gang violence, illiteracy, fear of police, etc. Like it or not, this is the community you live in. Hispanics make up a substantial portion of the westside residents, there are overcrowded apartments throughout the neighborhoods , failing schools, and people living in garages and in parks! The cops need the cooperation of the residents in order to do their job and arrest perpetrators and we as residents need to help both them and our elected officials educate these folks about our laws, the importance of education, gangs, etc. I'm sorry if you find that disturbing but that is the community in which you have chosen to live! If you don't like it, move to Irvine or Newport Beach where the ethnic/demographic mix might suit you better. The trade off is eclectic neighborhoods, great bars, shopping, involved citizens, etc. And don't give me that tired rhetoric regarding "if only the ilegals( aka alligators) would leave, life would be wonderful". I would agree that many of our ills such as poor school performance, deteriorated infrastructure and many other problems are due to this unsustainable influx of people. However we, as residents, can't control who moves here even if we personally (as I do) oppose illegal immigration. We simply want to live in a quality environment where we can safely raise our children. This is an issue which plagues all older cities and at least our cops and politicians are trying to make the community better. Until the Feds decide to address this problem, cities will have to tackle these issues on their own.

Oh, and by the way, about Wendy being an "attention craver" - Two points: How is holding a community meeting with a portion of the community which she represents seeking attention? Isn't that what politicians are supposed to do? Or is that privilege only reserved for the other four council members?

Secondly, there is continual name calling on this blog by all sides -Geoff's weight, his age, Wendy's brain, union thugs, all fair game and regarded as acceptable behavior. Yet when a council person puts herself out to arrange a community meeting she is continually maligned.

What this tells me is the only acceptable behavior is the behavior of those who agree with you. For those who don't agree, let the vitriol begin. Bottom line, there is no meeting in the middle at the sacrifice of community harmony and coming up with mutually agreed upon solutions.

11/11/2011 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Ponder this said...

Geoff, it seems that your level of snide remarks and false claims have increased in the past few weeks. Here, you say that Jim F. was being paid for his time when he was not. Then you make a rude remark about his 'stache. Then you make another rude remark about Riggy coming only for the free water. It's getting bad. Maybe it's time to take a break.

11/11/2011 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Perspective said...

Love Living in Costa Mesa...

You're wrong. Good intentions are no excuse. The senior analogy is both offensive and irrelevant, that is an age-specific group, regardless of ethnicity or race. The flyer targeted ethnicity/race, and that is completely wrong. If this was any other demographic, there would be howls of protest. I get that you are trying to defend the indefensible, but that does not make it right.

The flyer was a mistake, admit it and don't do it again. If you want unity, unify, don't exclude people by targeting one ethnic/racial group over another.

11/11/2011 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ponder This,
Nah, I don't think it's time to take a break. We're just getting warmed up. If you don't like what you read here just stop coming to the site.

11/11/2011 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Troll to GW re this blog:

"..It's getting bad. Maybe it's time to take a break."


Sounds like "Uncle" to me..

Maybe it's time for your masters to resign from the city council, take a break from politics, and try to make it in the private sector instead of tearing apart Costa Mesa.

11/11/2011 01:01:00 PM  
Anonymous In case you missed it said...

Wanted to make sure everyone saw Rob Dimel's comments. Cop math is alive and well.

Good thing he is the one representing the Police Union with the City. That should go well?

11/11/2011 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

I ran into Jim F. last night and for info on the stash go here:

11/11/2011 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous What do you think? said...

Keep up the good work Geoff. The Racist-Bigot-Haters can't stay away.

Maybe they are infatuated with you.

Perhaps the King-Bigot-Swamp-Drainer has a bit of a man-crush....Sure spends a LOT of time here....???

11/12/2011 08:52:00 AM  
Anonymous unanimous said...

Geoff , sorry to hear you re just getting "warmed up" in your false facts and speculations. Things have really changed on this site in the last year. I know, I can go elsewhere and not click on this site. I am not quite to that point yet but getting close. (and I won't let the door hit me on the way out so u don't need to tell me that). Just need a troll memo from the hilarious Joe. You really have gone downhill though, too bad. It's mostly the negative speculation you put on everything, then it turns out false, and you move on to more negspec. Getting old, there's plenty of real news to deal with.

11/14/2011 07:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Hey, “Anonymous,” don’t go yet. You seem to be one of the few from the “other side” who might be interested in participating in a fact- and logical analysis-based discussion instead of name-calling.

Regarding Geoff West’s “negative speculation”:

1) Given the speed with which the councilmen carry their whims and their pre-baked and/or half-baked plans from acknowledgement to fruition, I much prefer a couple false alarms to no alarm.

Some examples that demonstrate the need for vigilance:

The most infamous of the warp speed changes: layoff notices based on a two-man meeting and added to the agenda at the last minute without appropriate research or procedures.

Creation of a task force to commercialize Tewinkle Park ballfields following an “emergency” meeting of Parks and Recreation and over the strong opposition of Costa Mesa residents, particularly Mesa del Mar neighbors. (We’ll see what happens with this.) This project is so ill-advised that two professional developers, after investing time, effort, and money in their presentations withdrew their companies from consideration right at the council meeting.

Similarly, several months ago, Mr. Righeimer tried to jam through a plan leading to the privatization of paramedic services. The anointed company itself turned down the invitation in a long, thoughtful letter.

A restructuring of city services all bundled together with five new, expensive positions and squeezed into the end of a long meeting.

Changing the formula for evaluating outsourcing proposals to 50% cost—never mind quality—after the closing of public comment.

Showing great disrespect for community volunteers by changing the rules and eliminating any chance for them to be on committees—save one—after they had taken the time and trouble to submit their applications, which had been widely solicited by the city, again after the closing of public comment.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some, but you get the idea.

2) Geoff does check his information, and if he occasionally makes a mistake, he issues a correction and invites others to correct him, unlike some councilmen and commenters.

By the way, I'm not as careful as Geoff, so feel free to provide specific corrections if I've made a factual error.

As for "real news," I've discovered that "Bubbling Cauldron" is the best place to find it, and probably the only place to find a lot of it.

The Register is my second-best source for news, but the paper has its own focus and doesn't report many items of vital interest to residents. Unfortunately, the Daily Pilot does little to no actual reporting; we often see what looks like press releases. Also, look at the October 20 issue for a prime example of headlines with a clear political slant. The Los Angeles Times, having handed off responsibility to the understaffed Pilot ignores us completely.

I agree that things have changed on this site, even in the few months that I've been reading it. So Geoff's getting angry? A lot of us are, including long-time residents like me who had been happily complacent, often go years without showing up at a council meeting, and would be happy to return to our homes and our demanding jobs. I've been surprised from time to time when a neighbor or acquaintance suddenly launches into a tirade against the current city council. Geoff is not alone.

11/15/2011 12:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

Oops, "Unanimous," I may have called you "Anonymous" instead. If so, my apologies. Freudian slip: it seems to fit better because there certainly is no unanimity in Costa Mesa. Would you like to reveal yourself?

11/15/2011 12:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Correction, Tamar said...

Tamar, back away from that Kool-Aid! You wrote, "2) Geoff does check his information, and if he occasionally makes a mistake, he issues a correction and invites others to correct him, unlike some councilmen and commenters."

Incorrect. Geoff makes more than the occasional mistake, he does not always issue a correct and absolutely does NOT apologize to people he has smeared, most recently Jim Fitzpatrick, whom he accused of attending the Pomona meeting because he was getting paid. I have not seen a correction or an apology.

I like this blog, but have learned to use it for information only and ignore Geoff's predictions and accusations.

11/15/2011 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous West misses, again said...

Geoff West is a hater. Lots of examples.

Geoff seeks every opportunity to inform the lunatic fringe, yet misses key insights like a closed session item of litigation against one of the Costa Mesa boys in blue, for planting drugs.

Where is this story? Our fine neighbors to the south, Newport Beach, are about to discuss contracts with Police and Fire. These Union thugs behave just like they do in Costa Mesa, yet Geoff West is silent.

Come on people, hate the Council all you want. Just make sure you are vigilant in other areas, please.

12/05/2011 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

"hater", huh? And yet, here your are, spewing your venom... Closed session items are just that - closed session and not to be divulged - even if I knew about them.

If you feel there's not enough information being provided, how about you identify yourself and start your OWN blog, schmuck!

12/05/2011 09:25:00 AM  

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