Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Righeimer To Propose Charter City Tuesday

In a Daily Pilot commentary online HERE, Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer tells us that he's going to propose to the City Council that they immediately begin the process of converting Costa Mesa from a General Law city to a Charter City. We reported on his plan to do this HERE and in a commentary in the Daily Pilot HERE.

This move comes as no surprise, but, like most everything else Righeimer and his cohorts have proposed since taking office this year, is being done with undue haste. It's almost as though he's in a feeding frenzy, trying to quick pitch major government changes before the residents of this city figure out what he's up to - the ill-conceived "outsourcing" scheme is a perfect example.

In his commentary Righeimer asks himself, "How does it work?", then tells himself, "It is very simple". If only that was true. There are two methods for a city to convert from a General Law city to a Charter city. The first, and most appropriate considering the complexity and impact of the change, is for the City Council to propose to the voters that a change be made to become a Charter city and place that issue on the ballot. AT THAT TIME candidates for a "charter commission" would put themselves forward on the ballot - fifteen people would be elected to the commission IF the voters choose to move forward with the proposal. Once elected that charter commission would proceed with the creation of a city charter, which would subsequently eventually be placed on another ballot for the voters to consider. This is the preferred process.

The alternate process is to do what Righeimer will propose. He will propose that the City Council create the charter - in his piece he says, "We will have more than three months of public meetings and community gatherings to tailor the charter to Costa Mesa needs and to put proper checks and balances into the system to insure we have the best and most transparent local government possible." Well, that's all well and good, but the final decision on what is in this charter under this method is COMPLETELY UP TO THE CITY COUNCIL - the four-member majority of which has already shown an impatience with rules and controls in place to protect the residents of this city. Quite honestly, I just don't trust these guys to do what is right for our city in this matter.


When this issue first came up
I began contacting folks who had intimate knowledge of the process of creating a city charter. Some had been elected leaders during the process, others had been part of the process of creating and/or modifying a charter. WITHOUT EXCEPTION they shared the opinion that the creation of a charter commission is, by far, the preferred method of proceeding. This would be the second most important event in the history of Costa Mesa - the first being the original decision to incorporate. This kind of a decision DEMANDS calm deliberation by a charter commission selected by the voters who represent a broad cross-section of constituencies in the city and who will place the future of the city - not personal political gain - first.

Although I knew this from the beginning, as you read through Righeimer's commentary his motivation is crystal clear. He uses terms like, " has become clear to me that in order for our town to thrive in the 21st century, we free ourselves from the way union-backed politicians..." and "...unsustainable pension costs and byzantine work rules..." and "When a general law city puts a charter up to a vote — the only way the change in governance can occur — the unions rush in with huge amounts of money and misinformation campaigns to defeat the measure." to misdirect the readers.

Righeimer is intent on busting the Costa Mesa employee associations and apparently views the creation of a Charter city as the method du jour to do it. He complains about "dubious lawsuits", ignoring completely the fact that it was the illegally-implemented outsourcing scheme that caused the lawsuit filed on behalf of the Costa Mesa City Employees Association. Righeimer and his cohorts on the council - by not following their own policies - caused the lawsuit. I mentioned earlier that he doesn't like to follow the rules - this is an example.


In his commentary Righeimer suggests readers visit the California League of Cities website for information, but doesn't give a link to do so. Well, you can find that information HERE - I suggest you read it for yourself before jumping aboard this runaway train. Take some time to navigate through the various pages, paying particular attention to the chart that compares General Law cities to Charter cities. Also take a few minutes to read the California Constitution section dealing with Charter cities, HERE.

I am NOT saying that Costa Mesa shouldn't consider becoming a Charter city. It is very possible that the advantages of such a form of government would, indeed, benefit the city. However, every resident should be asking themselves this question: What's the rush? If converting Costa Mesa to a Charter city is such an important issue, why should this process be rushed through? If it's so important why is Righeimer treating it like he's a sixteen-year-old boy trying to get to third base with a girl in the back seat of his father's Buick? Could it be that the voters of this city may actually be waking up to what this council majority is doing to their city and are ready to make a change next November? Three seats are available next year - enough to bring reason back to the deliberations being conducted on the dais. Three seats are enough to, once again, make the future of Costa Mesa - not the political future of one hack, carpetbagging politician - the primary concern of the City Council.

I suspect there will be more than one or two speakers addressing this issue before the City Council Tuesday - the last meeting of the year. If history is any guide, the council will show impatience with opposing views, shrug them off and do as they please. They will vote to move forward with this plan, create opportunities for residents to address this issue in workshops and public hearings - then ignore the cautions proposed and do as they darn well please. They will put THEIR version of a Charter on the June ballot, rolling the dice that low voter turnout will carry the day for them.

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Anonymous Barry said...

We've been waiting for this for years. Glad it's here. Costa Mesa should have been a charter city years ago. This is nothing new for us. Newport, Huntington, etc. are charters and have been able to do a lot on cost savings through charter. It has no draw backs. It should pass easily.

Bubbling Cauldron, if you hate it so much tell us why. Is this just another issue that the fringe of our City will beat against because Righeimer wants it?

11/30/2011 12:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

BC, do you really not get what the rush is? The organizations that will oppose this aren't our City unions (they have no dog in the fight and should actually support this). The opposition comes from the larger trade/labor organizations and they will be fighting in November already for Nobama. It makes sense from a strategic standpoint to do this in June.

Until I hear some drawbacks, it sounds like a great option for Costa Mesa. I hope to hear more about the specifics on Tuesday.

11/30/2011 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Colin said...

I dunno, to a low information voter, all the problems with the union layoffs, suicide, the tenseness of the council for months, wouldn't most be like "More change ?? Can't we just have things go back to the way they were ?". I think at some point, these boys will overreach with those casually paying attention, and once people get fed up, they are fed up, until the person causing the problems goes away. This might be Riggie's swan song.

11/30/2011 01:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Not Surprised said...

I agree Geoff. A charter commission is certainly the right way to proceed. It bothers me that all cities do not have to follow this preferred procedure. We all know why Righeimer wants this on the June ballot and it is not for the benefit of the residents of Costa Mesa. It still baffles me that there are people in our fine city that support this man. What is kind of ironic is that the most corrupt cities in California are charter cities. Vernon, Bell, Vallejo, Oakland, Inglewood, Santa Ana,Los Angeles, etc are all charter cities. Another interesting note is that the State Supreme Court is currently deliberating on whether all cities (charter and general law) will be required to pay prevailing wages on all public works jobs over a certain dollar amount. Prevailing wages still have to be paid on all projects that utilize Federal, State and Measure M Funds. This means that the street project in Mesa Verde had to pay prevailing wages regardless of whether Costa Mesa was a charter city or not. Righeimer likes to leave out these facts in his little commentaries so that voters think everything he proposes is just wonderful. He is a smart, but deceitful man. His herd of sheep will be here shortly to praise their messiah and refute everything you have just said.

11/30/2011 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Do you actually read what I write, or do you just throw a comment on these pieces for your own entertainment? I said, "I am NOT saying that Costa Mesa shouldn't consider becoming a Charter city. It is very possible that the advantages of such a form of government would, indeed, benefit the city."

Pay attention, for goodness sake.

11/30/2011 01:38:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

If Riggy's for it, I'm against it.
I've already told you a hundred times.

11/30/2011 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous No reason to delay said...

Why should we wait a year or more to become a charter city? The voters will get to weigh in with either method, the charter commission method will just take much longer and cost much more in the end.

Just who did you talk to, by the way?

11/30/2011 01:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Daisy Mae said...

Barry...When did Geoff say that he hated the idea of Costa Mesa becoming a Charter City? A Charter may be a great thing for Costa Mesa. It is all how it is written. How do you know that a charter has no draw backs? Have you ever read one? Geoff believes. as do I, that a Charter Commission made up of residents who are elected to that role, draft the charter, not Righeimer and company. Don't you think it is a good idea to have a Charter Commission? What are your arguments against it? Try to do some research and don't just blindly follow the words of one man.

11/30/2011 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

There is just so much that is wrong with Riggys charter city scheme, I don't even know where to begin. Yet again he shows his true colors as the power hungry money grubbing wanna be politician he strives to become.

11/30/2011 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

I think the clear point being made, which seems to be ignored here, is that it's a bad idea for Riggy and Co. to come up with the charter, not to become a charter city. If they don't listen to the citizenry at council meetings, they certainly aren't going to listen for input to the charter, and they SHOULD NOT be in charge of writing it. They will write what they want, then put it in front of an uninformed electorate. If it does go down that way, the key here is to make sure the people are smarter than that - easier said than done.

11/30/2011 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

Most charter cities work just fine, the big exception will always be the City of Bell. They had a corrupt council and city manager to orchestrate the scheme.
Just like we have.

11/30/2011 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

"The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was passed by Germany's Reichstag and signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on 23 March 1933. It was the second major step, after the Reichstag Fire Decree, through which Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and established his dictatorship. It received its name from its legal status as an enabling act granting the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag. The act stated that it was to last for four years unless renewed by the Reichstag, which occurred twice.

The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich (English: "Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich")."

11/30/2011 03:27:00 PM  
Anonymous legal nightmare said...

With the legal bills in CM going thru the roof. What is the history of charter cities and their legal bills.
It seems not only Cities like bell. But, I'm sure their are many more cities in court to modify their charters to protect and serve the citizens not just the councils

11/30/2011 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

I don't trust this city council to do what is best for the city. Just watch the legal bills, the PR bills, the chasing for national news coverage, the way Mr. Righiemer handled the 'sale of the O.C. fairgrounds', the way they city workers were treated. Where is the evidence that Jim cares more about anyone but Jim?

11/30/2011 03:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Irony said...

Pathetic - so everyone opposed to the charter city assumes an "uninformed electorate" will allow Riggy to run roughshod over the city?

Guess what, YOU are the uninformed. I know it feels good to assume that you're all smarter than everyone else in Costa Mesa, or the only ones qualified to vote, but you're dead wrong.

Joe, your schtick is getting old. Pretty ironic that you compare Riggy to Hitler and the residents of Costa Mesa to 1930s Germans when the unions through Repair Costa Mesa have been ruinning a propaganda machine to rival Goebbels - full of easily proven lies, mischaracterizations and pure fantasy.

It makes sense, especially when it is clear that you think Costa Mesa's citizens are easily duped idiots.

11/30/2011 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

"Nearly twenty percent of California's cities have voted to become charter cities.

The decision to become a charter city is a double-edged sword. Charter cities afford city officials, who know their cities best, the power to enact and tailor laws and policies to best serve a community's needs. Unfortunately, with greater discretion comes greater opportunity for abuse. In charter cities officials are free to set their own salaries, and that is exactly what officials did in Bell and Vernon, to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Instead of serving their constituents interest, these unscrupulous officials opted to use this control and discretion to serve themselves by lining their own pockets.

The real tragedy of Bell and Vernon is that it leads to the erosion of the public's confidence in their elected officials. Approval ratings for public officials are at all time lows, and when officials start behaving badly, it hardly helps matters." - Quoting from Jessica Levinson

11/30/2011 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Horrible idea. Maybe with a different council I'd trust them to do it. However, this is a dirty council. Even then, it's really just to get out of a lawsuit caused by Righeimer and crew. We wouldn't be in the mess we are in if it wasn't for Righeimer and his reckless behavior.

11/30/2011 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Troll 'Irony' addressing me:

"Pretty ironic that you compare Riggy to Hitler and the residents of Costa Mesa to 1930s Germans"


I merely posted an excerpt from Wikipedia. The conclusion is yours!

And Hitler, monster and criminal that he was, was MUCH smarter than Das Riggmarshal.

Schoenen Tag noch.

11/30/2011 04:40:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

@ Mike M 11/30/2011 03:12:00 PM Perfectly said.
Irony... As an informed citizen and business owner I do not trust the motives of Riggy. I will be first to tell you that I do not know 100% of what a common law city is, but I am sure the majority of the citizens do not have a clue. However, I will educate myself so that I can make the best decision possible. Although my hypothesis is that Riggy will somehow get the charter city commission weighted to do what he says with the likes of Fistzy, Colon and his other not so loud friends.
I see this as a way for him to say "I chartered a city". But, what would you Riggy lovers say if Wendy brought this up several months ago.

11/30/2011 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Troll said...


You like to call others trolls, which is a hoot. An anonymous Blogger account is the same as an anonymous moniker, which makes you a troll by your own standards.

Please - your whole Das Riggmarshal schtick is a clear reference to the Third Reich.

Protest all you want, you're not fooling anyone.

11/30/2011 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Moon, that's a very good point. City management, like a Tom Hatch, that want less transparency to commit unethical acts are probably much better off working for a charter city like Bell. Even if this particular council was ethical and competent (which they aren't), future councils could turn Costa Mesa into a Bell that much easier. Costa Mesa should have known from Righeimer's Sell The Fair campaign what kind of dirty tricks we could expect.

11/30/2011 05:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Feed Riggy Starve Costa Mesa said...

Proposed Charter City Provision Number 723:

"The term "Mayor Pro Tem" shall be changed to "Catering Czar."

11/30/2011 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Thanks, Irony. I'll wear your comment like a badge of honor. If I didn't think Righeimer and the rest of them had only their best interests at heart, rather than the people the represent but for the most part choose to ignore, I might feel differently. If people think things are bad now, wait until these guys get the keys to the candy store and start making the rules. Then we're all screwed.

11/30/2011 06:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Not Surprised said...

Irony...No one is opposed to a charter city. What people do not want is Righeimer and his cronies writing the charter to their benefit and that is truly what this is all about. Do you really believe he has the city's best interest at heart? I think a charter city, written by a elected charter commission so that jerks like Righeimer have limited power, would be the best course of action for Costa Mesa.

11/30/2011 06:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Enlightened Costamazing Voter said...

Charter cities have voting districts. Menses needs to get ELECTED. So he NEEDS to represent the "Mensa Verde" aka EHS booster crowd's fan-base-district.

But if the city maintains it's "general law city" status there's no way the "newly enlightened" CM voters will ever vote for him, or Der Rigsheister again. And they sure as hell know it!

So Riggy cleverly offers his duped constituents Operation Plan B: a new and improved charter city designed by U$ for U$.

Btw, how did Newps and HB set up their charter cities? The detailed process took longer than three months. And by ELECTED commissioners... not by self-appointing: "Me, Myself and I".

What a pompous JACKA$$!!!

11/30/2011 07:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Anyone witness the way they tried to stack the citizens committee to oversee the privatization and commercializing of our public TeWinkle sports complex?
That was absolutely bizarre the way they rigged that game....
Every step this council has taken, from the outset, has been badly planned , poorly handled, terribly expensive, and without any real benefit for the residents of this city.
Why in the HELL, ....would we trust them to re-create the cities basic foundation? They haven't displayed one iota of real experience, or the ability to properly govern.
Rushing this Charter through, with only this groups objectives on the front burner, would be disastrous for this city .
Elect a the charter, if it's the right thing to do, do it right.
If they screw this up like they have everything else...we'll be screwed for decades....,and no amount of paid PR guys will be able to make you feel good about it.

11/30/2011 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Self-identified 'Troll' addressing me:

"Please - your whole Das Riggmarshal schtick is a clear reference to the Third Reich."

Since you brought it up, let me tell you that it's actually based on a person from World War ONE, German Field Marshal Remus von Woyrsch.

Here, see for yourself:

Now, don't you think von Woyrsch looks just like our Riggy? And the first name- "REMus?" Get it? Like how old Jimbo treats the people of CM..

But you do bring up, and expound upon, some excellent ideas. Maybe the Riggmarshal's actions are more WW2 than WW1. I'll consider and get back to you soon. You could be REICH!

11/30/2011 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Stewey said...


Irony/Troll/Probable Council Member:

Ping Pong Ball

11/30/2011 09:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Sounds fishy to me - Can't wait to vote "no" said...

I believe that our neighboring cities are "charter" cities because they are almost twice the age of Costa Mesa. Someone I spoke to was surprise that Irvine was a "charter" city because it is so new, but Irvine is also a "planned" community and everyone's home is beige and that is how it was designed.
Ever notice how you do not see any gas stations at their off-ramps, they do not want people stopping in their community who do not belong. The only one you see is on the 5 off of Jeffery, I believe.
On a side-note many of the state rules, regulations and laws do apply "charter" cities all they need to do is include language, in small print that states something to the likes "this includes charter cities".
Charter cities have not been able to do squat about the pot dispensaries. . . .and they have tried unsuccessfully, do not think being a charter city "gives us the power".
I am for looking for it, but the reasoning at this time, w/ this crew scares me.
BTW... JR mentions the "California League of Cities" several times in the DP article. . .why are we no longer members? We broke away to join Association of California Cities – Orange County. . .why did we do that?

11/30/2011 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Go Teamster on em! said...

I wonder if the employees will finally wake up and help Helen in her quest to save their jobs. I sure hope they don't sit idly by and let this charter city scam go through.

I volunteered with repair costa mesa knocking on doors and didn't see many employees there besides Helen and a few nice young men from the city.

If my job were on the line, you bet I'd be knocking on doors letting people know what this morally bankrupt and downright corrupt council is doing to our city.

If they can push this charter city scheme through, it's game over for EVERY city employee. Are you reading this employees? GAME OVER. Wake up and GET INVOLVED!!! To all those who sold their souls to these guys on the 5th floor, shame on all of you.

12/01/2011 01:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Perspective said...

Troll Joe,

Riggy does bear a slight resemblance to von Woyrsch, clever.

Your other posts, especially on this very blog entry, reference the Third Reich.

Could those be inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussions?

I think so, Herr Troll.

12/01/2011 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Not Surprised said...

Hey Stewey you are so right.


Irony/Troll/Probable Council Member:

Ping Pong Ball

You can add Perspective to Council Member.

Joe can sure rattle their cages can't he?

12/01/2011 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous X said...

"joe" doesn't rattle anyone's cages. His posts are absurd and a waste of time. I skip them now but I would bet they are still about trolls and germans. I guess if this is your fetish you may get off on it but most people probably think it is a fifteen year old kid in over his head playing with german army soldier in his basement, like the guy who used to blog with the watchtower or something like that. It disappeared when he was thrown in juvie i guess.

12/01/2011 04:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Public Enigma said...

Mmm... Charter Cities like Huntington Beach. Was it not just a few years ago Huntington Beach's City Council Mayor and others teamed with local developer and went to prison for condo conversion fraud? Seems Power will corrupt some, but not to worry, Rizzheimer would never, mmm.....

12/01/2011 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Troll X:

"joe" doesn't rattle anyone's cages. His posts are absurd and a waste of time."


You read each and every word while doing weird things.

Now isn't this the point where you harass an airline employee?

12/01/2011 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Not Surprised said...

Oh X, you are so silly. You say you skip Joe's comments, but yet you comment on them. See he does get to you, but you won't admit it. Talk about a fetish. It looks like you have one real bad.

12/01/2011 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

How many times did we hear this ad on our computers?

"When the city of Costa Mesa voted to layoff nearly half their workers..."

Repair Costa Mesa Statement: Costa Mesa City Council has laid off half its workers,
including firefighters and paramedics.

Fact Check: No workers have been laid off, including firefighters and paramedics. Two
hundred thirteen employees (about 42% of the workforce, not half) were given six-month notices that their jobs would be outsourced

Thats what a $3000 dollar a week spinmeister gives you.......SPIN...........somebody who disagrees with the statement that the city laid off half it's workforce, when the actual number is 42% , and that doesn't include the un-filled positions, and the previous cuts to staff that occurred under Allan Roederer, or the mass exodus of valued managerial employees who fled from this bunch, actually, this has raised that number well ABOVE 50%.....more into the 60 percent range, or higher.

12/02/2011 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

but hell, whats a few badges, or a remodeled 5th floor, or a trumped up $25 million dollar budget crisis, no bid contracted consultants, three different law firms, private security investigators, or a couple hundred + thousand$$$ a year Spin doctors.....we're having lots more fun now.......

We can unlock the Masterplan on Fairview Park and really start having some fun with bulldozers at the ready, and privatize our multi-million dollar public sports parks for pennies on the dollar, we can dig up the 19th bridge cadaver and wave it around, then pretend we're heroes when we bury it again and just allow a road with 35k cars a day, and lower the traffic ratings to a "D",...........and we can run an expensive referendum on a Charter , where we write our OWN rules....but we have to do that one quick, before the residents rise up and throw us out.

Nooooo, this isn't about badges, or car allowances or even pensions.....this is how a lot of connected insiders feed at the public trough. Pensions and benefits, and insider deals are just fine when you are the ones writing the rules and rewarding friends. Just so that you can stack the deck to keep the machine running.....on and on and on.

Costa Mesa is one of the wealthiest cities in OC.....we have the highest number of business entities, the number one grossing retail center in the country, and a higher sales tax base than me, there is a lot to feed on. We could have anything we want in this city......but us residents are constantly told , " we can't have NICE things".

So , call me all the names you want, attack me for being an informed resident speaking my mind and exercising my first amendment rights....because thats all I am. All those hundreds of other people that are also showing up and forming groups against what this council is doing, they are doing just the same....and they're going to be doing it whether Greg Ridge shows up or not. You definitely give me way too much credit.

12/02/2011 09:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Tewinkle Mom said...

Gericault: I'm glad we have residents like you who care about the City. Your support is very welcomed! Thank you for your support.

12/02/2011 10:33:00 PM  

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