Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mini-Marathon Of Mischief

We learned a few things during last night's marathon Costa Mesa City Council meeting. Is it still a "marathon" if it ends short of midnight? Last night they finally wrapped things up at 11:50, so maybe it was only a "mini-marathon" I just know that I was thoroughly wrung out, having arrived at council chambers at 4:45 to be sure I had a place to sit. You can watch the entire meeting on streaming video HERE.

We learne
d, for example, that the lamest of lame duck council members, Eric Bever, apparently plans to continue his record of occasional appearances at the meetings for which he's being paid to serve the residents of our city. He missed last night's meeting, so that he's batting .500 for the month and year. However, he can make it .666 if he makes the next council meeting on the 17th. We know, because he's told it to us from the dais, that he "didn't sign up for this". And, as he told us at the last meeting, if we didn't like it "tough luck!" Actually, he wasn't missed last night.

We also learned that there's a VERY big difference between "hearing" and "listening". provides this definition of the word "hearing": opportunity to be heard. It defines the word "listen" thus: to pay attention; heed; obey. Last night the Costa Mesa City Council "heard" us, but they certainly didn't "listen".

As mentioned i
n my earlier post about the demise of the Redevelopment Agency, a huge crowd tried to attend the first public hearing of Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme last night. In large part because the activist group, Costa Mesans for Responsible Government, had flooded the city with fliers announcing the hearing (with an incorrect start time of 6:00), by the time the meeting began following the RDA meeting, every single seat in the council chambers was filled - it seats nearly 200 souls and is rated for 256 - overflow viewing available in Conference Room 1A was packed with another 25 interested parties and approximately 100 others stood on and around the council chambers porch, watching and listening to the proceedings on the television monitor placed there by the CMTV staff. And the crowd was not a happy group.

Let's look at some of the numbers from last night:
  • Estimated attendees to the meeting, all venues - 325
  • Number of council members present - 4
  • Number of speakers that addressed the council - 55
  • Number of speakers who supported the Charter - 3
  • Number of speakers who requested inclusion of a Prevailing Wage clause - 27
  • Number of speakers who defended the Charter by conjuring up the specter of the Communist Manifesto - 1
  • Number of speakers who threw that right back in his face later - 1
  • Number of suggestions for amendments, additions and/or deletions to the Charter submitted before the meeting - 102
  • Number of those suggestions the council actually adopted to be included in Righeimer's Charter - 8
  • Number of breaks taken during the meeting - 4
  • Number of times Mayor Monahan scolded the audience - 1
  • Number of motions made by Wendy Leece on items to be included that received no "second" - 4 (maybe more, I lost track)
  • Number of attendees waving green fliers in lieu of clapping - 100 (estimate)
  • Number of attendees who departed the auditorium following Public Comments, but before the discussion and vote - 50 (estimate)

City Chief Executive Officer Tom Hatch kicked off the meeting by providing a
little history, sorting out a schedule issue, then turned it over to Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell, who outlined the various resources available to interested parties who might want to know more about the Charter. In my opinion, despite the fact that I think this process stinks, The City has done a remarkable job of providing information on the subject on the web site and also provided an easy-to-use button on the page for folks to include suggestions and ask questions.

Then, the sperm donor of this bogus scheme, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, launched off into his segment of this meeting by saying, "Since I started this...." Boy, is that ever true! It is Righeimer, and Righeimer alone, who launched this ballistic missile into the heart of our city and now we're all going to suffer the fallout.

He introduce
d HIS Charter, which was part of the handouts for the meeting, and - despite saying he wasn't going to read it to us - he proceeded to do just that! Of course, he didn't read EVERY word - he conveniently skipped over some of the more onerous segments. It got to be so frustrating at times that one member of the audience - long-time resident Alan Remington - jumped up and called out to Mayor Gary Monahan to stop Righeimer from reading. He was so vociferous that the Sergeant-at-arms had to escort him from the auditorium. (He later returned, apologized to the audience - but not the council - and took his turn at speaking before the council.)

One inter
esting sidebar during Righeimer's presentation was the question Wendy Leece asked him. After he read the preamble of his Charter, word-for-word, to the audience, Leece asked him where, specifically, the language for the Preamble came from. He mumbled and stumbled and when she persisted his reply was, "I have no idea.", which was pretty curious, since he tells us he spent months as he cobbled this thing together all by himself by copying and pasting from other Charters from several cities.

After an hour of ba
nter, at precisely 8:00 the council began hearing Public Comments. Three hours, several breaks, one ouster, one scolding and 55 speakers later they had finally exhausted the supply of concerned folks wanting to talk and began their negotiations of changes.

Before we get to that, though, there were a few highlights from the speakers that need to be addressed, among them were the large number of union representatives/workers who rose to speak in support of a Prevailing Wage in the Charter. Not quite half the speakers mentioned the Prevailing Wage. From their body language, you could almost see the council majority mentally discounting those comments as rants from outside agitators. Righeimer came close to saying those words at one point.


As always, there was a cadre of regular attendees at these events
who took the time to actually investigate the issue and willingly stepped up to the podium to address the council, knowing full well that they may be chided for their trouble. And, that did happen. I won't try to quote every single speaker, but they all were respectful and straightforward with their comments. And, it was very refreshing to see some new faces - folks who had never spoken before, but took the time to address this important issue with the council last night.

One interesting feature in the audience last night was the prevalence of the bright green fliers. Organizers suggested to members of the audience that, rather than clap and otherwise make noise to support the comments of speakers, they simply wave their green fliers in the air to show support. It seemed to be quite an effective tool. From my vantage point in the back of the room, sometimes it was like sitting in a tree on a windy day - all the "leaves" were aflutter. This, of course, antagonized the council - as resident pouty bully Steve Mensinger told us at the end of the meeting.

I will give you a short 3-minute video clip taken from the City feed of retired Planning Department official and 40-year resident, Perry Valantine. As is always the case, he presents the issue with vision and clarity and presents the council with respectful points to consider. He left us with the best tag line of the evening - "Do it right, don't do it fast."At the very end of the clip you'll hear ONE person in the audience clap (and can see the "fluttering" mentioned above) that caused Monahan to lose his grip. He immediately called another "5-minute break", which turned out to be 15 minutes. He returned to scold the audience for being too boisterous. Ha! He should have been in Huntington Beach last Thursday, but that's another story.

During the first hour of Public Comments Planning Commissioner/Sanitary District Board member, Eastside Costa Mesa resident and #1 council bootlicker Jim Fitzpatrick rose to praise Righeimer for his Charter. During his pandering rant, apparently to deflect criticism of Righeimer's Charter, Jimmy Fitzy mentioned that the Declaration of Independence was 1,458 words (including signatures, the United States Constitution is 4,543 words and the Communist Manifesto (gasp!) is 18,000 words. The implication, of course, is briefer is better. Well, a few minutes later resident Maryann O'Connell stepped up to set him straight. I'll let her speak for herself:

(Incidentally, if you cannot view those two video clips from the city feed you will have
to download Microsoft Silverlight software. You can find the download HERE.)

At 11:00, after the Public Comme
nts had ended, most of the audience bailed out, apparently not caring about whether the council actually listened to them or not. Had they stayed another fifteen minutes they would have seen that, with very few exceptions, they did not. Of the more than 100 comments and suggestions - including the complete presentation of two other city charters for their consideration - and numerous verbal suggestions that evening, the council majority (minus Bever, of course) selected only 8 items for inclusion with Righeimer's Charter. I'm not going to try to give you the full text of each addition here - you can read each of them on the list HERE.

  • Section 201 add #1, dealing with qualifications, including residency requirements.
  • Section 206 add Code of Ethics
  • Section 300, amend per #2 modifying Ordinance implementation date to coincide with current code.
  • Section 302, #6, dealing with Planning and Zoning
  • Section 401, add #7 dealing with construction and maintenance contracts.
  • Section 602.1, add #6, proclaiming that the city is a right to work City. No employee is required to join a union or the OC Employee Association.
  • Add #18, protecting status as "Rule of Law" City and continues to oppose illegal immigration violations and so-called "Safe Harbor" cities.
  • Section 801, add #4, dealing with a Charter Review.
That was it! All other segments of Righeimer's Charter, including his version of his previously-rejected Paycheck Protection Plan, Section 603 in his Charter, remains intact. Also remaining is Section 602, which requires a vote of the people, not a vote of the elected council, to increase employee retirement benefits in the future. And, of course, the section under Fiscal Matters deleting the requirement for the Prevailing Wage remains part of the Draft Charter.

The revised draft will be produced and placed on the City web site - probably this week. The City will continue to receive and consider other amendments and comments until the second Public Hearing, which is now scheduled for Monday, February 13th at 7:00 in City Council Chambers. The only mention of possible other informational meetings was made by contract City Attorney Tom Duarte, who recommended we NOT hold any more between now and February 13th.

Incidentally, the meeting was changed from February 14th apparently because "someone" has a conflict. Gee, I wonder if Valentine's Day is a big dollar day at Skosh Monahan's gin mill? Just asking...


Of course, I can't close without observing the infantile behavior of Steve Mensinger at the end of the meeting. He ranted and raved, chiding residents who dared step up and speak against their plans, waving a copy of the green flier around like he'd found the Holy Grail. One must assume that he is so certain of election in the fall that he really doesn't care how stupid he looks up there on the dais. I guess we'll see how that goes.

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Blogger CMResidents said...

WE THE PEOPLE of the city of Costa Mesa declare our intent to restore to our community the
historic principles of self-governance inherent in the doctrine of home-rule. Sincerely committed
to the belief that local government has the closest affinity to the people governed and firm in the
conviction that the economic and fiscal independence of our local government will better serve
and promote the health, safety and welfare of all of the citizens of this City, we do hereby
exercise the express right granted by the Constitution of the State of California to enact and
adopt this Charter for the city of Costa Mesa.

Same as Escondido....

Same as Oceanside
WE THE PEOPLE of the City of Oceanside declare our intent to restore to our
community the historic principles of self governance inherent in the doctrine of home-
rule. Sincerely committed to the belief that local government has the closest affinity to
the people governed and firm in the conviction that the economic and fiscal independence
of our local government will better serve and promote the health, safety and welfare of all
of the citizens of this City, we do hereby exercise the express right granted by the
Constitution of the State of California to enact and adopt this Charter for the City of

1/11/2012 04:04:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Is anyone actually surprised by the fact that once again the coun-sell didn't listen and doesn't care? This is all getting so old and tired. Simply wait until June and vote NO
Then in October vote for whoever or whatever are on the ballot against mini-mayor, chest bumper, or colon.
Anyone or anything would be better than these low lifes.

1/11/2012 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Gee, why would we want to pay less for services and goods in Costa Mesa than our neighbors. Gee, why would we pay less for a building, or street improvement than HB or NB, or Irvine, etc. Are you kidding me.

People who speak in favor of keeping prevailing wages are idiots. Ask the average Costa Mesan if they will pay $4 for a loaf of bread at Vons or $3 for the same loaf of bread at Stater Brothers. Which will the pick? Obviously Stater Brothers. When people get that, the Charter passes, no matter how many Wendy Leece's say "slow things down" This isn't rocket science people. Right now the same street improvement costs much less in NB than it does in COsta Mesa. Makes no sense.

The stupidy of some people always escapes me. Of course we are going to become a Charter City and of course we are going to determine our own wages, not Sacramento. How we get there, and the process involved is another question that I still have concerns about.

Why would we pay more for something if we don't have to. Jeez people! Come on.

1/11/2012 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Angry White Man:
Anyone or anything would be better than these low lifes.


Hear Hear!

1/11/2012 04:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheech said...

Is a Dollar for a loaf of cheap white bread a better deal than Two Dollars for a premium whole wheat, talk about idiocy, but that is the intellect that supports this council. The other is the leaches that hope for the crumbs when this council has the power to develop as they please, award no bid contracts to their cronies and chase everyone that doesn't agree with their aesthetic tastes out of town with draconian code enforcement. These people are not about good government, they are opportunists that are taking advantage of an uninformed electorate......period.

1/11/2012 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Diogenes said...

Hay barey,
tha bes way to comewnikat with sumboddy iz in hes on dileck. So thats wy Ime riting lik this. Mi coleg in Seatl hadd a sine on hes wal thut sed "Stupidity is Forever; Ignorance can be adjusted." Sow I thot ide mak the point to youe that iff your ignorrent, an you dont adjust it, youe wine up rely stewpid. A dewd youre agj shouwd lern to spel an punktewat beforr riting sumpin rely dumm lik yer las posst. Hay I know lotts of mesicans whoo spel an rite mor coggentley than you. Why dont you lern Inglesh lik the restt of us did in schoel? Thenn you wodint louk so dumm when you writ derty werds on the mens rume wall.

An bye tha wey, yur mesij is rely dum to.

1/11/2012 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Barry says, "The stupidy of some people always escapes me." He suggests the charter is a no-brainer because it will allow us to save money on public works contracts.

Even assuming that were true, is the money worth the trade-off for all the unknowns the charter brings? All the power it gives this and any future Council to enact laws (by a 3-member vote) to change the way we hold elections, to change the qualifications for Council members, to change the rules for initiatives and referenda in the City?

It's not all about the money. How much money would you want to give up your right to fair representation in your city government? As Barry said, "The stupidy of some people always escapes me."

1/11/2012 06:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Stinker Hates, facts wrong said...

Geoff, you like apples? How about these apples ... Check out events of June 12 ...

1776 historic events … in a month

June 7: Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, receives Richard Henry Lee's resolution urging Congress to declare independence.

June 11: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston appointed to a committee to draft a declaration of independence. American army retreats to Lake Champlain from Canada.

June 12-27 :Jefferson, at the request of the committee, drafts a declaration

June 28: A fair copy of the committee draft of the Declaration of Independence is read in Congress.

July 1-4: Congress debates and revises the Declaration of Independence.

July 2: Congress declares independence as the British fleet and army arrive at New York.

July 4: Congress adopts the Declaration of Independence in the morning of a bright, sunny, but cool Philadelphia day.

1/11/2012 07:11:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Oh Barry, you never fail to kneel at your masters commands do you?
From the numbers and anger of the crowd I have a feeling Riggys charter is going down in flames.

1/11/2012 07:12:00 PM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Well Barry, the diversion worked on you…

The formation of a Charter may not be rocket science but MUST be designed carefully as not to blow-up in our [we citizens’] faces.

While everyone was so worried about the prevailing wage section, no one understands that our City’s biggest threat will be the loss of our election laws.

Once a Charter is in place, whatever is NOT in that Charter can be put into action with a 3 person vote and with no public input? Oh yes… this could happen in a Charter that has been thrown together. The sitting Council, with just 3 votes, can do whatever they please if not listed in the Charter prior to its ratification.

Once ANY law/rule is voted into the Charter [again only needing 3 votes] and the majority of CM voters don’t want it; under this Proposed Charter we would be required to gather about 25,000 signatures and pay between $30K to $40K [K=1000] just to get it on the ballet to remove it from the Charter; we would also have to wait until the next general election while the council has carte blanche until the measure is removed.

I agree; the stupidity [proper spelling] of some people...

1/11/2012 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Ruck Figgy said...

Boy oh boy did O'Connell make Jim Fitzpatrick look more like an idiot than he already did himself!

Fitzy...let Lobdell do your writing for you. At least that way you have a fighting chance! Moron!

Charter does NOT equal good.

Was BELL a Charter City?

1/11/2012 07:26:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

The process by which this charter was created is not a good example of democracy in action. It isn't something you'd want to say to your grandkids, "and I was there". Has there been any consideration of questions of land development, contract negotiation, and delivery of services to we the taxpayer. Any concern to finish the unfinished SR55 and build a 'walking downtown' over the cut-and-cover we the residents supported? Not a word. Rule of Costa Mesa by the O.C. Republican party will benefit some - but not likely the people that live in Costa Mesa.

1/11/2012 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Gary Craig said...

No Barry,
You clearly have very limited business experience.

As someone who has contracted, as a DEFINITIVELY and STRONGLY non-union contractor, and has in the past elected to do only prevailing wage work, I will tell you that prevailing wage offers a contractor the opportunity to attract the best talent and staff.

This in turn offers the general contractor and thus the owner quantifiable short and long term benefits that include and extend beyond simple dollars.

For your appreciation, let me put this simplistically.

You get what you pay for.

1/11/2012 08:17:00 PM  
Blogger Femme persistant said...

You're coverage of the meeting was awesome and you always manage to crack me up! Now I have to write mine and try to hold a candle to you? Ugh, I'll try obie wan kenobi!

1/11/2012 09:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

Well, now the Councilmen know that not just a “few” oppose what they are doing, even though they might pretend otherwise. Costa Mesa turned out and Costa Mesa spoke up. Intelligent, articulate Costa Mesans poured their hearts out. Some people who have never spoken to a City Council before stepped up. A small group of recovering Righeimer voters took back pieces of his wee “mandate”. Was the Council listening? Probably only Wendy, but that’s OK . Other Costa Mesans were listening. We’re waking up.

The Righeimer Rush Charter is just one more insult in a 14 month series of insults to the intelligence of the voters of Costa Mesa. Riggy said he believes in the intelligence of the voters of Costa Mesa. It was funny really, because an informed, intelligent, active voter is the enemy of his and his buddies plans for us.

Vote in June and November!

1/11/2012 09:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To “Pot Stinker Hates, facts wrong”

Thanks for the review of the seemingly rapid development of the Declaration of Independence (less than one month from establishing the drafting committee to adoption on the 4th).

I say “seemingly” because I don’t know how long before June 7, 1776 the Congress had been debating the issue of independence from England. I don’t believe it could have sprouted from their heads in a short time like Athena from the forehead of Zeus.

Also, I hadn’t known/remembered the drafting committee: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston.

I presume you are implying that, if these five guys could draft such an important document in less than one month, then three months should be plenty for Costa Mesans to critique and accept a measly little charter for our little town.

Well, I’ll tell you, PSH,fw, I know Jim Righeimer and the other three guys on the council and they’re no Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston.

1/11/2012 10:01:00 PM  
Anonymous davidt said...

The best defense is a good offense. Why can’t we start a recall petition? Either go after Jimmy or Jimmy and Stevie (not elected- so let’s fix that). With just over 50,000 registered voters in Costa Mesa we would need to get 15% of the registered voters to sign the petition for recall. That’s only 7,500 registered voters. We could canvas every high school, OCC, swap meet, etc… According to the state we get 160 days to collect those signatures. But can you imagine how difficult editing the charter will become for Jimmy if we can quickly get 2,000 signatures or more? Imagine posting the number 2,000 then 2,500 then 3,000 on poles and signs around the city as we approach or goal. Maybe he might learn the value of compromise and listening. Probably not, but to me it’s worth a shot.

1/11/2012 10:08:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

The four councilmen aren't running our great city like a business OR a city.
We the citizens, voters and taxpayers of Costa Mesa are the employers then- not the other way around.
What business would tolerate Eric Bever's absenteeism?
Our city is being run by a political coup, to advance the careers of very few.
We are being ignored, insulted and berated by the incompetent councilmen.
It's time for a big change of the guard.
This watch has failed the citizens of Costa Mesa.

1/11/2012 10:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Say, did anyone take note of Monahan's whine about how badly the so-called republicans are scared to speak in front of council? My take on it is that if you haven't the courage of your convictions, you should, like those who can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch.

Those of us who do oppose the council confront the awesome power of government when we get up and speak. When Monahan invoked cloture on me for a song, I had a whopper of an adrenaline rush; to me it was a real possibility that the policeman behind me was gonna get ordered to drag me out of council chambers, and all I'd have been able to do was go limp.

Real republicans probably don't, in general, support this council. The Oc-gops who do, though, seem to be pretty wimpy, if their turnout and Monahan's whine about their poor tender sensibilities are any indication of the state of their courage. Or is it that there are many fewer of them than Monahan wants us to think?

The Oc-gop who tried to intimidate Leece on the crucial contract vote made a miserable failure of his effort. Maybe he oughta stick to intimidating teenage girls. I can't even remember who he was. Has he ever been back to council? Does he have the courage?

Maybe Gary should offer some police-protected safe-conduct to these poor, abused friends of his. That'd perhaps give them enough sand to come in and stand before Costa Mesa and the council.

1/11/2012 10:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Central Valley Farm Animals said...

We want our little steve back up here!

Leave the big city, come back and bully US!

1/11/2012 10:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Gerald said...

Barry, you are clearly a simpleton. Your analogy of saving a buck on a loaf of bread over simplifies the problem, and that's the way these guys want you to think.

Is the dollar more loaf of bread at a store closer to home, or is it across town? What's my time worth? I could continue to throw out a lot of variables.

The bottom line? You are gullible and fail to have any independent thought.

1/11/2012 10:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Another perspective said...

Thanks, Geoff, for providing a breakdown of the commenters.

100,000 plus residents, and 55 spoke, most against PW. Interesting that the majority opposed the PW issue, while others stated that they did not necessarily oppose a charter, just one Riggy wrote, or how fast it is happening.

Problem is, Riggy didnt write it, he used provisions from other charters that have already been legally vetted. If it is going too fast, move it to November, but any elected charter commission in June would be stuffed with pro-labor people, who would have all the statewide labor money behind their efforts to make damn sure no costs are contained and the city remains a union piggy bank.

Handing over power to draft the charter to the likes of Genis, who is very smart but also has a well-defined agenda, would result in a charter that changes nothing, hinders redevelopment and local control over land-use issues and protects terrible employment practices.

The labor side of the issue can be just as corrupting as the alleged GOP side.

One commenter even criticised Baugh's ground zero comment, completly ignoring the fact that Berardino said the same damn thing at the state Democratic convention. Wake up people.

If you don't like the charter provisions, suggest changes or vote against it.

All of these emotional and misguided criticisms are not moving anything forward. I kept hearing about how all the power will reside in the council and that no one is watching out for Costa Mesa's residents. Guess what - that has been the case for a long time. The reality is, right or wrong, public employee groups have been in control of financial matters for quite some time. Their money and campaign activities statewide have bought councils that have adopted disastrous policies and agreements for a long time. It worked because the money was there. The recession has stripped away the padding and revealed how horrible the pension agreements really are. The OC Register recently reported that CM paid 4.1 Million in employee contributions to pensions in 2009 - how many fields or programs could that have benefitted?

Read OCEA's complaint, they cite state laws that protect employee groups and mandate what a city can or cannot contract. Why should Sacramento dictate that?

Sacramento and state law has no place dictating how a city expands or contarcts its workforce. Terrible policies and agreements have saddled the city with massive unjustified enrichment of a select few at the expense of services to residents.

A charter can be a very good thing, start thinking about the benefits of local control and stop focusing on Riggy.

If you really want a good illustration, go read the MOUs, then search the OC Court's website for cases involving Costa mesa. You'll see some interesting lawsuits filed by disciplined employees.

I really can't undertsand why some are so passionately defending the massive overtime, huge pensions and inability to actually manage a workforce.

Getting the state out of the management of CM's employees is just one benefit - start looking for others before tossing the charter idea wholesale.

1/12/2012 01:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Jefferson said...

WOW, really. Comparing the Declaration of Independence with Costa Mesa's Charter Draft. Where were these people educated? Not only is it ridiculous to compare but the info presented is misrepresenting facts. I need to stop laughing before I begin. Read the headline! It's a Declaration of Independence. We made no sequences of laws, ordinances nor anything else governing our colonies. We declared our independence from the Tyrant King George. It's a relatively short document we fit on basically one page with room for signatures too! You can not in good faith compare that to your charter today. And if you think the task was completed shortly and by only a few you are delirious. Many many different groups, organizations, legal teams, congressional reps, delegates and more held talks, discussions and meetings of independence years before. You are all probably too young to remember the Stamp Act and the Townsend Act of the 60's. But the killer was the Tea Tax and the subsequent party in '73 we had in Boston Harbor. Keep in mind we had also been at war more than a year before. You know in April '75 that little conflict called the Revolutionary War with Great Britain. Whoever said this began in June '76 and took just a month please check your facts. There is a great deal more but the comments I am reading and hearing are showing the ignorance and lack of education by some. But there is from what I am hearing here in Virginia some parallels to your troubles in Costa Mesa as we declared our independence because of a Tyrant. Sounds like maybe there are some similarities you all are facing after all.
All my best!

1/12/2012 01:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

"hinders redevelopment and local control over land-use issues and protects terrible employment practices."...this is at the heart of Righeimer's evil scheme.
There is a reason this city has had so many properties scraped clean and wrapped up in green fencing for years. Not all of it has to do with the economy. Especially when you see other developers ramping up building in other parts of the county. No this Charter is tied to development plans Riggy and Steve have been working on since they were on the planning commission. The Westside had better be wary of these developers re-writing the General Land use requirements and regulations we currently have protecting us in this city. Their Wing man McCarthy has already stated zoning codes are really just "guidelines anyway".
Righeimer is damaging our quality of life already, here's a real example. A local couple with two kids were dealing with an aging parent that needed care. They had a rear Garage that was under-utilized, so they planned on converting that to a mother-in law unit and building the garage onto the front of the house.Righeimers draconian change to the rules , that only homes with a 11,000/(12k?) sq. foot lot, (they were on over 7500,) could do that forced this family to tell grandma she couldn't live there.( She ended up living with a relative in San Diego) Now that was a quality of life issue that affected a working family crunched between paying for college and taking care of aging parents while trying to make a living . Who benefits? Apartment owners, and Senior living homes, because now a huge swath of Costa Mesa with large oversized lots can no longer have a little unit in the back. This is not a person that is on the side of the residents.......

1/12/2012 07:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Another perspective, stop trying to scare people. Any elected charter commission would be just that, elected by the citizens of Costa Mesa. The city associations would not have a say in who people vote for. Further, you try to scare folks with "Pro-labor" phrases. Couldn't the unfab four be mocked for being "Anti-labor"? Therefore the current council is stacked against labor? You can't have it both ways.

Also, stop trying to distance your boy Righeimer from the charter he, and only he, proposed. Whether he actually put the time and thought into it, or he cut and pasted like my 5 year old, he wrote it so he owns it. He will have to take responsibility if it turns out to be not such a good thing for the city.

One last thing, it seems most didn't speak against a charter, only the process by which this is being stuffed down their throats. They don't trust Righeimer. A charter may be the best thing in the end. They just don't trust that he did it for anyone but himself.

1/12/2012 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Stepped in it... said...

Some random thoughts: are all the people that spoke in favor of having a prevailing wage law think they are in line to get government contracts?
With all the fuss about renaming the city manager position to CEO, I was surprised to see the charter "reverts" back to referring to "city manager". did I miss something?
Gary may have "scolded" the audience only once by your count, but he "admonished" them several times to lay off the clapping and I think it did help move things along.
There are probably a few things in the charter worth persuing, but I don't know why they can't be done without the charter.
It's no surprise they adopted only 8 suggestions, well, actually I'm surprised they adopted that many.
It was interesting that Steve wanted to include a clause about officially denouncing the 19st bridge. That would have been a vote getter for him, but our attorney nixed it.

1/12/2012 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Go Riggy said...

Mr Evan,

"We" have been talking about a Charter for a while.

Like the Founding Fathers, one person was designated to draft something that could be debated.

There were those who were against independence, just like we have some against the Charter.

There were some who thought their economic interests were better with a loyalty to the Crown, and opposed it. Like the Unions of today.

Not much of a rebuff there for the Pot Belly cross with Captain Kangaroo. :)

1/12/2012 08:00:00 AM  
Anonymous sadie1 said...

Barry, If you decrease the wage and benefits more people will need help from the welfare system. What you don't get is that for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction. We are going to pay either in the higher price of goods or higher taxes. Everything is interwoven.

1/12/2012 08:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Another perspective also tries to make people think CM is some outrageously run city while all other cities are run better. Go look at Newport and Huntington, both charter cities whose MOU's with employee's are strikingly similar to CM's. Take Santa Ana, a charter city where the state just took some $20 million from adding to a defecit there.As I have said before, becoming a charter city is not some panacea that will solve everything. People simply want to see the charter commission to decide on what is in any proposed charter. Righeimer doesn't want that for political reasons. God forbid he would allow the citizens of Costa Mesa to decide.

1/12/2012 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Goslow said...

I just read Martin Millard's blog. Pretty funny take on events.

I know he & Pot Belly get along like Mansoor & Foley ... I like his intellectual humor. And that Millard takes issue with those Pot Belly gives a free pass.

Charter is 7 pages. Slow it down is pure union speak

1/12/2012 09:13:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

When Stevie was BASHING the prior Councils for being SO incompetent... why did Monohand not defend himself?

As many years on the council he has spent making those ‘Hard Decisions’, where lays his culpability?

Hey Eric... did you forget to set your alarm clock... AGAIN?????

1/12/2012 09:47:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Another Perspective... is NOT really Another Perspective, it is the same “Hate the Unions” as the 4Horsemen have been perpetuating for the past 12 months.

I agree that the liberal actions of past councils have created CM’s financial windstorm, but to give 3 members of ANY council SO much power in such a short amount of time is even more irresponsible than anything past councils have done.

A Charter with so many holes WILL allow any 3 members to make bad law; which intern will be nearly impossible to remove once implemented.

The steps it takes to change laws in a Charter are immeasurable… if it is not in place at the time of ratification, good luck getting it change after.

Another Perspective would be to look at it this way… when your mentor Riggy is the only horseman left, once the 3 available seats are occupied by Genisonians; he will be regretting his self-righteous, distain for Wendy and how he has treated her these past 12 months.

I see a whole lot of 3-2 votes in that scenario.

Hey Eric... how much responsibility, for the stupid things you have said and done in your tenure on the council, do you accept? Well, those things you did when you decided to showed up.

1/12/2012 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

As I said in previous comments, Riggy's Hustle Charter reminds me of Hitler's Enabling Act of 1933. Everyone should Google it and see for themselves.

It's hardly the "Declaration of Independence" the extremists and their sychophants want you to associate Riggy's scam with.

Each week more and more Costa Mesans see what Righeimer and his pals are really here for. Let's clean house in November, and send these locusts off to try and strip another city.

1/12/2012 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Regardless of how things turn out, I'll always remember what Monahan did and didn't do on the day Huy Pham died, 3/17/11.

I'll always remember the contempt shown to us by "I didn't sign on for this," "tough luck" Bever.

1/12/2012 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous landuseplanner said...

apparently gericault hasn't been stalking the planning commission lately, probably a little too detailed for him. But boy is he wrong on his neighbor who wanted a grannie unit so disregard his post, he just read a little here and a little there and twisted it to meet made up facts so he could attack again. ANY R1 can have a grannie unit. Most R1 are 6000K square feet so his neighbor's problem wasn't the footage, it was probably lack of parking, improper setbacks, etc. Now if he wanted to divide his lot for two homes, yes he needed the large lot Gericault quoted. He is, to put it mildly, confused.

1/12/2012 10:46:00 AM  
Anonymous OCLonghair said...

GOSLOW or EARP... truth in your names.

You post your same 'HATE' speak under so many names and are fooling nobody... come out of your closet and let the light of truth tan that pasty white, thin skin of yours.

When one can't argue with facts and intellect, he always reverts to attacking his opponent with derogatory, disparaging and belittling remarks towards that opponent’s stature.


Eric... look it up.

1/12/2012 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Gericault lives on Westside? said...


Are you really so completely detached from reality that you think granny units are for grannies? Do you ever leave your house and walk around the Westside neighborhoods and see just how those "granny" units are utilized? They are apartments that are rented out for profit, turning R1 zones into R2, with all of the related impacts.

You talk about protecting residents and the Westside and then provide one of the best examples of how quality of life for Westside residents is being DESTROYED.

1/12/2012 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Pot, meet kettle said...

Wyatt Earp,

Stop trying to scare people. Any charter would be voted on by the citizens of Costa Mesa.

1/12/2012 11:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To "Another perspective"

You write: "I kept hearing about how all the power will reside in the council and that no one is watching out for Costa Mesa's residents. Guess what - that has been the case for a long time. The reality is, right or wrong, public employee groups have been in control of financial matters for quite some time. Their money and campaign activities statewide have bought councils that have adopted disastrous policies and agreements for a long time."

If public employee groups are so all-powerful, how did they end up with a council run by the GOP and Righeimer with enough power to systematically destroy employee associations? Not to mention stripping our city of employees like a vulture capitalist does.

Just think of the fun the four councilmen will have when the charter gives them the keys to the car and the liquor cabinet!

Looks to me like CM "democracy" has been bought and paid for by outside forces of politicians, not employees.

How else to explain why Monahan and Bever suddenly turned their backs on their city and allowed it to be raped and pillaged by the invaders led by the carpetbagger (Righeimer) from out of town?

After all, if Monahan and Bever hadn't lined up behind Righeimer, he would never have had the majority and none of the recent trauma would have happened.

1/12/2012 11:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Now that the Wrecking Crew has decided which of the citizens' ideas to incorporate in the Righeimer charter, we know what they want. They rejected any serious limits on their power so they can perpetuate themselves and their cronies in office; promote kickbacks in letting contracts; let non-employees do the building safety inspections (which has resulted in corruption on a grand scale in other cities); and generally sold out the public interest. If this charter passes, just watch your neighborhood go downhill and your home value plummet. Wake up, people!

1/12/2012 12:12:00 PM  
Anonymous learned men said...

Tom, observable and general opposition to the English government came in 1765 with the passage of the Stamp Act. So by my calculations it took the Founding Fathers over 11 years to write the Declaration of Independence, not 11 hours like this cut-and-paste charter scheme. Oh, and it was written by the most enlightened thinkers of the century. Righeimer is many things, enlightened is not one of them.

1/12/2012 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Stepped in it... said...

Some more randomness: TJ, some of those thoughts occured to me too, the Revolution was a long time in coming.
Preamble: what's up with that anyway?
Prevailing wage: i could have gotten confused in the discussion, but i think it was pointed out that the lack of a prevailing wage clause would only apply if a project was exclusively by city money and did not include outside grants, state/federal money etc. i hate to point this out, but about the only time anything major gets done in this town is when we are using OPM (other peoples money).

1/12/2012 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor says what? said...

You know what I am tired of? The Egan’s. I am tired of their whining. I am tired of their casting aspersions. Like Sandy Genis, Greg Ridge, Robin, etc., I am tired of hearing their mantra.

Eleanor Egan should be ashamed of herself I think. As a lawyer she should know better than to make all the unsubstantiated emotional arguments she perpetuates like “They … promote kickbacks in letting contracts”. That is horrible for Geoff West to allow without accountability to the comment. Hold the Egan’s et al to the same standard you hold all other Hated’s.

Geoff West, you know what might be a better metric of speakers. Factor out the Union “slow down … protect my pay comments”.

What is the average age of speakers against the Charter? I am guessing 70 years old. I think that is more telling than your stats.

1/12/2012 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous CM Whine-Press said...

Too bad "Mensa Martin" can't use his noodle to help the city instead of being another one of Riggy's lapdogs.

1/12/2012 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eleanor says what,
While I still provide a venue for folks who refuse to identify themselves here, The Egans and those others you mentioned who have the guts to post their comments by name are always welcome here. In the case of The Egans, I know their comments will ALWAYS be worth reading - even if I don't agree with them. They have no ax to grind other than to continue more than two decades of trying to make our city a better place.

1/12/2012 01:18:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

What is the average age of speakers against the Charter? I am guessing 70 years old. I think that is more telling than your stats.


Yea- It says that everyone except you gets wiser with age.

1/12/2012 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

A commenter who declines to use his or her name misquotes me by leaving out key words and then says I should be ashamed. Dirty pool, man!

1/12/2012 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Makes Sense said...

Righeimer and Mensinger are Free Masons. So it makes sense now.

1/12/2012 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said... are correct I was wrong......You can only build a granny unit on a R1 8500 sq. ft. lot. Righeimer originally proposed a 10-11k lot but when he found out that only 10% of lots in the city were above 8500, changed the amendment. So 90% of the residents in this city lost that option. I went back to the OCT 4th meeting and double checked. The Westside had a few of these in the past, most have been turned into nice studios and outdoor offices. It was a bit of a problem with illegal rentals about ten years ago, which I oppose, but I believe in Good Government, I don't believe in making government just small enough to tell you what you can or can't do in your own yard. NIYBY, is worse than NIMBY....and don't even get me started about the chickens.

1/12/2012 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Shaw said...

Gericault - i love chickens, i think it would be great if everyone had a pair in their back yard. relax people, i don't have any righ now, but we always had some when i was growing up on the eastside.

1/13/2012 06:58:00 AM  

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