Friday, December 16, 2011

Snoopy Euphoria Over - Enter "The Grinch"

Well, nobody is going to mistake Orange County Employee Association (OCEA) General Manager Nick Berardino for "Old Saint Nick"! Less than 48 hours after the euphoric launch of the Snoopy House display, which brought together hundreds of Costa Mesans on the City Hall lawn to sing Christmas carols and praise The City for salvaging that important piece of Costa Mesa's history and tradition, Berardino's comments as reported in the Daily Pilot by Joe Serna, HERE, were like being doused with a bucket of ice water (and not in a celebratory way) - a reminder of the on-going rancor between the OCEA and The City.

During a segment of the Fair Board meeting yesterday in which they were discu
ssing extending the relationship with classic car auctioneer Barrett-Jackson, Berardino reportedly balked at The City of Costa Mesa having any involvement in the negotiations. Serna quotes him as saying, "I'm not comfortable doing business with the city under any circumstances, and anyone who is has their eyes closed."

City CEO Tom Hatch apparently spoke Thursday, indicating that The City could partner with the Board and Barrett-Jackson to facilitate a smooth community outreach. You may recall that Hatch was The City point man during the original negotiations that first brought the auctioneer to Costa Mesa in the first place. Based, at least in part, on Berardino's opposition, Serna reports that the Board voted unanimously to stiff arm The City from a seat at the negotiating table while agreeing to "keep it in the loop".

While I'm not happy that the Fair Board has taken this direction to block Costa Mesa's involve
ment in this negotiation - and the plans to expand the Pacific Amphitheater, as well - I understand his position. After having watched this new City Council in action for the past nine months, I don't trust them, either. The council majority, driven by the actions and agenda of Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, has demonstrated a willingness to play fast and loose with the rules, ignoring the damage such actions are doing to the very fabric of our city.

One amusing curiosity which resulted from Thursday's meeting was that this issue placed Berardino and his nemesis, former Board Chairman Dave Ellis, on the same side of an issue. Considering their strained relationship since Berardino was appointed to the Fair Board by Governor (Again) Jerry Brown, both must find this to be uncharted territory. And, Serna's article closes with a very unfortunate quote from Ellis when referring to the probability of legal action from the expansion plans for the Pacific Amphitheater. Here's the final sentence of that article, "'This is headed for an EIR lawsuit,' Ellis told the Fair Board's attorney, 'so make us as bullet-proof as possible'." Yikes!

Just when you thought the holiday season was bringing with it the spirit of goodwill and a throttling-back of hostilities...

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Anonymous enenebi said...

Sadly, Berardino has proven that his more interested in using his position on the board to further his personal agenda instead of helping facilitate the business of the fairgrounds. Say what you want about Ellis but Berardino seems on a mission to disrupt the day to day operation of the fairgrounds putting his personal vendettas before fair business. The fairgrounds has to deal with the city simple because of geography.

12/16/2011 07:04:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Unlike the city council the Fairboard is Hardly stacked in Berardinos favor, yet suprisingly he received a unanimous vote.

12/16/2011 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Are you saying the city council is stacked in Berardino's favor? Not lately!

12/16/2011 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

No.......of course not. Wrote in haste.

The Fair Board is no longer stacked in "anyones" favor....and with two new seat appointments about to be announced it won't be again any time soon.

Unlike the City Council..... which is stacked, and definitely not in Nick's favor...

As residents we have to start coming to terms with the way outsiders view our city. We have become so obsessed with this issue, we get a myopic view of how others have addressed this same issue without going nuclear, and how this has affected our cities reputation.
No rational person holds Costa Mesa up as a standard or model of how to address this issue of pension obligations or how to "singlehandedly" create our own version of pension reform....because it just won't work.
There are your "usual suspect", 27% of Fox News Fed , Grover Norquist Tea Party Republicans, who get so ginned up by this issue they will flamethrow the city down before they will rationally negotiate a contract with a union. That is the faction leading this charge and making us the laughingstock of the county.

This Fair Board is still trying to negotiate themselves back into respectability, and until they can shake off the "taint" of the Sale they are being very careful. Having the Councils "stink" rub up on them is not something they are comfortable's the new normal for Costa Mesa. Once we were held in esteem , now we are the "foaming at the mouth" rabid dog, that needs to be chained out back. This city has lost all cred......unless you attend a Tea Party...and we all see where that movement is heading.

12/16/2011 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Get rid of Berardino said...

More concrete proof that Berardino is a self-aggrandizing fool who will sacrifice our employees for his own career.

Barrett-Jackson is a totally unrelated issue, yet Berardino is totally incapable of being a leader of any stripe.

I hope that every member of the employee groups represented by this moron get together and remove him from their leadership immediately.

12/16/2011 08:42:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

This isn't really newsworthy... Does ANYONE trust the city council ?

12/16/2011 10:19:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

As a business owner I am appalled with how these guys are make decisions with a clear intent of going to court. There is now, a not for a long time, been any consideration to local businesses that depend on the City and the Fairgrounds being civil.

Piss off Barrett-Jackson, they take their business to another venue. Doesn’t Anaheim have a place to do this? Tustin has two massive hangers that would serve as a great place and only blocks away from Barrett-Jackson NEW home. It’s also my understanding that the GEM show and number of others' attendants has fallen and now look for alterative locations.

What of the Hotels, Restaurants, SOUTH COAST PLAZA? Don’t these idiots see that while they are bickering like 5 year olds over a piece of candy, there are wolves waiting in the shadows ready to trounce (Syn: Thrash, Slaughter, Overwhelm).

Nobody is talking to the business or they just aren’t listening!

Hey,Liar… I haven’t forgotten about you. Have a sh%&^ holiday.

12/16/2011 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Berardino needs to resign. He is OUT OF CONTROL. Everything is political for this guy. No one elected him, he got appointed as payback to big labor for electing Jerry Brown. So sad the residents of Costa Mesa suffer because of his arrogrance and politics. RESIGN NICK, resign. You are a disgrace.

12/16/2011 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous enenebi said...

Gericault, while two current board members are set to have their terms expire, they will remain on the board until the Gov replaces them. Maybe Jerry Brown is on the fast track or maybe not. It took Arnold two years to get rid of Padilla, and Brown didn't get rid of Mary Young or Alex Vallandi for months. Both their terms were up in January and they were replaced in July or August.

So, you know what they say about counting your chickens before they hatch. Plus, as we have seen with Berardino, Democratic appointees are cronies too. Berardino doesn't care a bit about the business of the fair, he just cares about pontificating from another stage.

12/16/2011 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Barry's rant style sounds like that of the CM racist blogger

12/16/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Brad Shefmire said...

Completely agree with Longhair and Gericault.

I do see the Fair Board at least trying to right their ship. However, the City Council has drifted so far down stream without a paddle they appear doomed, unwilling and unable to even consider asking for help.

12/16/2011 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

I love how all the coun-sell drones hate Nick Beradino. That means he's doing his job well. I bet Riggy has a pillow with Nicks face on it and he punches it while throwing one of his many tantrums.

12/16/2011 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Ha! said...

@ Barry. And Riggy's decisions aren't political?

12/16/2011 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

@ Barry.....Yeah, Nick is soooo out of control that the other board members UNANIMOUSLY voted to go along with him.....You are such a tool.

12/16/2011 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Gericault: I'm so glad we have you as a resident. I agree with everything you write. Thank you for advocating for us as residents trying to get our City back. We're tired of being the red-headed step child, when Costa Mesa was once viewed in high regard with great leadership at City Hall before all the newbies, Interim's, consultants & Council scum came along. Thank you!

12/16/2011 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous It was a Unanimous Vote said...

I thought the vote was unanimous to exclude city officials. Why is Bernardino the only one singled out in the article? Is it because he express an opinion and the other members agreed, or is it because he is a thorn in the side of the council majority?

12/16/2011 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Thank you Michelle.....there is another 27% of the city that would most definitely disagree with you...

12/16/2011 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

@ It was Unanimous's the same local paper that had to get "rid" of Righeimer when he was trying to sell the Fairgrounds, WHILE he was CM Planning Commissioner Chairman , AND DP columnist....."no" conflict there....
I like Joe but sometimes it's hard to keep him neutral........INFORM, OUTREACH, and's hard to keep these CM Residents up to date. Renters don't vote like owners.

This has occurred over time, mainly because we have the largest renter to owner ratio in the county..........thanks to Mensingers long term devotion to Argyos.....One of the largest apartment developers in the OC , and especially in CM. They have their own off ramp at Metro. Kudos to Steve.

It is, what it is, and it will take an informed , committed electorate to send this group packing.....or a bunch of renters that keep it the same, to the detriment of the homeowners.....we are at the tipping point.

12/16/2011 07:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Comments here are not adding up to a sensible position for the pro-councilmen shill/shills, (it's hard to tell if it's one person trying to pretend they are a few, or a few who sound an awfully lot alike and slavishly follow the mandated talking points), who is/are attacking Nick Berardino and accusing him of poor leadership. Umm, he just led all factions of the Fair Board to come together in a unanimous vote. People who for months have been in divergent camps came together for the good of the common cause and agreed to leave crazy little Costa Mesa out of it. That on its own, all other issues aside, is an amazing feat of leadership.

Unfortunately, Costa Mesa is not just the laughing stock of Orange County but of the State and across the Country. Many municipalities who face the same issues we do cite us as the prime example of “How not to do things”. I was trying to think of words to express how I feel about this, but another poster put it perfectly: Michelle said “We're tired of being the red-headed step child, when Costa Mesa was once viewed in high regard with great leadership at City Hall before all the newbies, Interim's, consultants & Council scum came along.’ I would amend that just a little and leave out “scum”. I do say they are misguided, reckless, careless with taxpayer money, put their own agenda above the common good again and again, and should not be trusted with leadership of our City.

12/16/2011 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Gericault, Can you clarify exactly how a renter votes differently than an owner? are there any real stats to back this up? I've only lived here for 3 years so maybe I'm missing something...
I don't see the Argyos Arnel mega apartment complexes as the problem. I think it's the smaller complexes and some of the fourplex or duplexes that bring a lot of blight to the city.

12/17/2011 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous 27% said...

Gericault, you never fail to say something really stupid.

Just how do renters vote differently? How do you equate thousands of small rental complexes with Argyros, and just how do you link Steve Mensinger with the rent/own ratio in CM?

Please, inform us, the 27% who are scum-loving, City-hating, reckless, ill-informed idiots who slavishy follow anything Riggy says and who weren't smart enough to slavishly follow everything Nick Berardino says or believe anything Repair Costa Mesa says, or see the obvious truth in the shining, beneficent, virtuous, selfless and Holy messages of our employee associations, who care only about their fellow employees and the good 73% of residents of Costa Mesa and the fiscal health of our good City.

I may be too stupid or too much of an ideologue to undertsand what you say, but I'm willing to try.

12/17/2011 09:59:00 AM  
Blogger Original Max said...

I have zero trust in the council. I don't know many people that do. However, that doesn't make me like Berardino. Costa Mesa residents need representation on the fair board one way or another. I hope telling the Costa Mesa city council to take a hike does not mean residents won't have any representation. The fair board should ensure Costa Mesa residents have more input because our city is most affected by traffic and noise from the fairgrounds.

12/17/2011 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Renters tend to be a more transitory segment of the electorate. They tend to move more, they don't update their voting registration and well what more do you want? They don't vote as consistently as homeowners vested in the community, and many times have lower interests in the issues regarding the community. Having a larger rental population trends towards a lower vote turnout. Lower vote turnout, low information voters....we end up with the Government we deserve.

12/17/2011 02:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Reality Bites said...

We really need to set the record straight here.

Gericault (aka Greg Ridge) doesn't own a single piece of property in Orange County. He doesn't even qualify as a "renter" because he pays no rent.

In other words, Greg has been getting a free ride for years. He pays NO property taxes, but shoots his mouth off at every opportunity.

Greg Ridge is nothing more than a
user, living off other people's hard work and earnings.

This man is a complete fraud and has no right to criticize anything that goes on in the city of Costa Mesa.

In other words, Greg doesn't have a dog in the fight. His opinion means nothing.

12/17/2011 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous the stompers said...

this person gericault has some very faulty logic posted herein. he/she comes across as some type of teacher, is he/she? i hope not, he/she is not aware that most likely only 27% would be fringe like him/her yet claims the opposite. either denial, huge ego, or mother did a job on early in life. seems to run "hot". i would advise not to enable further, let help be given now

12/17/2011 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Been Wondering said...

Reality Bites,
You might be just the man to provide a valuable service to the city.

Mr. Ridge needs no defense from me, so I apologize to him for piggybacking off your information about him. Mr. Ridge is a private citizen who lives in Costa Mesa and has his own business. He is candid about posting as Gericault, so this is no revelation, and it indicates that he is more forthright than you or I. Furthermore, as I watch the council meetings, I find that he presents not only useful facts, but also important analysis, so I greatly appreciate his contributions.

But here is where you, with your knowledge of public records, can be useful: While Mr. Ridge’s personal life is not important to the city, many details of the councilmen’s lives are.

It’s well known that Mr. Righeimer ran unsuccessfully for public office in another city and entered Costa Mesa politics in unseemly haste after moving here. He in fact fits the dictionary definition of “carpetbagger,” “any wandering or irresponsible politician, promoter, etc.” (Webster’s)
Here’s a list of questions. With your access to public records, could you please answer them for us?
1. It’s been rumored that Mr. Righeimer does not own his Costa Mesa house. Does he? If not, who does?
3. Exactly what is his business?
4. What are his ties with any development companies?
5. Who financed his trip to China, and why?
6. During his first run for council, mailers for him were bombarding my neighborhood at an average of one a day at peak season. (The second campaign was more restrained.) There were days when we got two. Who financed that very expensive campaign?

By the way, I do agree with you that it’s a mistake to make broad statements about renters or any other group of people; individual renters can be more informed and involved than the many clueless homeowners we have, and I can see a long-term renter as a valuable council member.

It’s when someone like Mr. Righeimer moves into a city, especially someone with developer ties and obvious political ambition and immediately sets out to make the city over—whether he buys a home or not--that even the most clueless can smell a rat.

12/17/2011 11:52:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

It's funny this turned into the gericault blog. I've seen him speak out against the corrupt councils actions and it's obvious he knows whats going on and is willing to fight to stop it. If your posts attack him it's only because you fear him.
Not sure if I agree with the owner vs renter logic though.

12/18/2011 12:02:00 AM  
Anonymous You went too far. said...

'Reality bites'/'stomper', etc. you just exposed yourself as a liar and discredited everything you’ve ever said on here. I’m jumping in because you outright lied. If Gericault is Greg Ridge is immaterial. You made false statements about Greg Ridge and I know the Ridges. They own a beautifully maintained piece of property. They took a blighted house and turned it into the nicest on the block. I’ve employed Greg Ridge and never met a harder worker; he’s the type who goes over and above the requirements of every assignment.

You just blew it. If I ever was inclined to consider your opinions, the reliability of all your commentary has been impeached. What a foolish thing to do.

P.S. After two years of reading and observing this blog I am a Gericault fan, if its Greg or someone else he does incredible research and argues intelligently, factually and logically, and is funny as hell sometimes. Same for some of the others. Issues aside, this blog has great entertainment value.

12/18/2011 12:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Jefferson said...

Reality Bites, where do you get your lies from?

12/18/2011 02:15:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

I believe that Ridge, unlike the current city council except Leece, works and advocates for the best interests of Costa Mesa.

12/18/2011 09:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Just Checkin' said...

For those of you who are wondering about Gericault, as I was, I just took it upon myself to access the county assessor's property records.

Greg Ridge does not own a home in Costa Mesa. If he continues to claim otherwise, I suggest you simply ask him for proof of property title on the residence in which he abides.

Obviously, things are not always what they appear to be.

12/18/2011 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous enenebi said...

It might be correct to say that he works and advocates for his own best interests.

But, back to Berardino: what a blowhard. You cannot criticize Ellis without criticizing Berardino. They are the same time of political animal. Berardino will gladly sink the fairgrounds if it serves his agenda and ego.

That being said, Greg Ridge's online handle (Gericault) is the height of pretension.

12/18/2011 01:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Just Checkin' said...

My wife just reminded me to look up Jim Righeimer's property ownership as well. He, on the other hand, does own a piece of property located in Mesa Verde.

I hope this puts an end to any future arguments over who owns property, and where. These are hard facts that can easily be accessed by the public. That's what public records are for.

Ridge owns no property in Costa Mesa, but Righeimer does. Sorry about that, but the public records do not lie.

12/18/2011 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Ridge has every right said...

Greg Ridge has every right to express his opinion here, at Council, through Repair Costa Mesa, with his checkbook, or however he wants. Renter or homeowner, if he is a resident of Costa Mesa he has a stake in the future of our City. I could care less who he supports or what his motives are, they are his business alone.

The issue with Ridge is he is sloppy and/or loose with the truth. His statements here are often wrong or half right, and his well-financed propaganda machine (Repair Costa Mesa, courtesy of Big Labor) has been proven wrong on several of its ads. He and Repair Costa Mesa are either deliberately lying or just sloppy and careless.

When the Repair Costa Mesa ads were everywhere, including national websites, as opposed to a private citizen expressing his/her opinions at Council or on blogs, it matters. Hundreds of Costa Mesa employees deserve better. We all deserve better. Ridge has yet to apologize or recant - and that speaks volumes.

12/18/2011 02:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Jefferson said...

Just Checkin, you still didn't address the lies and false rumors. We know you are a council thug. We get that. However, you also probably have a severe narcissistic disorder if you think everyone has to be just like you to have an opinion about city politics. Your un-American posts are not welcome. We have rights in America. It's unfortunate you don't respect other people's rights. I hope you aren't on council or have any position of authority in life. I would feel sorry for anyone that has to be around such disturbed views.

12/18/2011 04:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Our say so said...

I think the fair board should give the residents as much say as the council does. That seems only fair. By the way, that input is zero. Cheers to that.

12/18/2011 05:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Cowardly Reality Bites said...

Perhaps I missed something. Does one have to OWN property here to have a "dog in the fight?"

How about business owners? Employees? Visitors who vacation here? Vendors who sell here? Does a property manager have a vested interest?

The COWARD who posts as "Reality Bites" is just that, a coward.

Kudos to you Greg Ridge!

12/18/2011 05:59:00 PM  
Anonymous false said...

Funny, I looked up Righeimer's property records but failed to find home ownership in Costa Mesa.

12/18/2011 06:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Reality bites does not live in reality said...

When I reviewed property tax records it does show that Greg Ridge and his wife own property on the west side. So we now have cleared up that Jim Righeimer and Greg Ridge both own property in Costa Mesa. Can we move on from this topic now?

12/18/2011 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Harold said...

Harold said .......

I must assume that Greg Ridge lies for a living since I've never known him to do any real work.

Greg obviously feels free to say whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases, without fear of any kind of financial retribution. Not owning property makes him pretty much suit proof as I see it. He's nothing more than a sadistic loose cannon in search of some hard working taxpayer to torment and defame.

I hope this exposure gives "Gericault" some pause for thought. It looks to me like someone has turned the tables on Greg Ridge. It's about time somebody spoke up because our society cannot continue to look the other way when bullies like Ridge and Berardino start flapping their lips. Both of them bear investigating.

Speaking of Nick Berardino, someone told me he doesn't own any property in Orange County either.

12/18/2011 09:54:00 PM  
Anonymous CM taxpayer said...

Yeah, Records show Righeimers home is held by a Title company on an installment contract. Technically he does not own property in Costa Mesa. The buyer cannot take title until all payments have been made. However this may be a form of land contract or land trust. Both are useful vehicles for someone with bad credit or who wants to dodge liens. Since we know a bit about Righeimers financial history because it was made public last election, this makes sense if he found someone willing to sell him a house. He may be using one of these vehicles to dodge creditors from attaching property, or it may be to protect a seller who because of the buyers shaky financial history wants to insure their interest until the contract is paid.

It amazes me that enough voters elected someone with his financial history to manage Costa Mesa's financial affairs.

Some interesting information from Wikipedia on Land Trusts, Land contracts:

Protect Your Credit Report

Public recordings related to your property will show up on your personal credit report, thereby lowering your credit score and access to credit. If you hold title to property in a land trust, any liens relating to your property will not report to your personal credit report. This allows you time to work out the problem more favorably since it does not appear on your reports.

Insulate Your Property From Liens & Judgments

Liens, judgments, lis pendens and claims by city and county government usually attach to property held by a person in his or her name, or as a co-owner with others. This can make the property more difficult to sell or refinance. Where the same property is held in a land trust, legal matters affecting the beneficiaries do not pass through to the subject property.

12/18/2011 11:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Jefferson said...

Harold, who is the source of this information you have? You and your source sound like liars and defamers.

12/19/2011 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Just Checkin' said...

CM Taxpayer:

Jim Righeimer holds a Full Grant Deed to his Costa Mesa property. All you have to do is contact the county assessor tomorrow to verify this.

I suggest you stop referring to the "Greg Ridge Liar's Manual". You are only making a fool of yourself.

There was nothing untoward or out of the ordinary with regard to Jim's property purchase.

And Harold, you are correct. Nick Berardino owns no property in Orange County either.

Residents of this city are being lied to by people who don't even pay property taxes, or rent, in our city or our county.

12/19/2011 12:39:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

One can legally and legitimately hold property in many ways that does not show up in the public records under their given (John Doe)name: Trust, Corporation, LLC, to name a few.

Also, even if a piece of property is in the records under a certain name, you don't know if there's an unrecorded contract, deed, or other instrument which affects title.

I'd be careful about proclaiming.

12/19/2011 06:43:00 AM  
Anonymous enenebi said...

All any of this property discussion proves is that you can be a fringe whack job whether you own property or not. Ridge and Berardino are dangerous simply because of their strident refusal to participate in civil debate.

12/19/2011 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Thinking out loud said...

Can you imagine what life would be like in our City of only a handful of people did not live here?
Let Greg Ridge go bother Santa Ana ... Actually, Ridge would have enjoyed their City Council. Santa Ana followed the Union recommendations, now on the verge of bankruptcy.

Sandy Genis could go to Irvine, and complain about Great Park. Irvine has resources to help hoarders ... She needs help.

Geoff West to Newport. Newport will show this guy no quarters, clearly being the enemy of a community.

Put a couple more on the list and we are left with a peaceful city, united on change.

12/19/2011 08:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Riggy'sPigpen said...

Why is "Colon" writing these bizarre posts?

12/19/2011 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Riggy'sPigpen said...

Funny how the trolls are out in force here the last couple of days.

MM and the council creeps see the writing on the wall.

Attacking real Costa Mesans like Genis and Ridge won't change the future.

12/19/2011 09:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

So know I guess we know that Greg Ridge and Jim Righeimer do or do not own property. This means what exactly. Oh, that's right - nothing!

12/19/2011 03:45:00 PM  

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