Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Charter By The Numbers... (Amended)**

The Costa Mesa City Council will hold the final public hearing on Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme tomorrow, Monday, February 13, 2012 before they vote to place it on the June ballot. Here are some relevant numbers to consider:

That's the number of so-called "informational meetings" the City of Costa Mesa has had for our residents on the subject of Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme. I say, "so-called" because not much information was provided to those residents who actually heard about it and attended.

Counting the meeting Monday, that's the number of official public hearings the City of Costa Mesa has had on Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme. It's also the number of despicable council members who accused retired City Manager Allan Roeder - who served Costa Mesa with distinction for more than three dozen years - of feathering his own nest intentionally so he could fluff-up his retirement, which was to follow three years hence.

At least four - that's the number of times Righeimer has told folks in public meetings that if we had a Charter all our nasty legal entanglements would disappear instantly. And, of course, he's never told us how that works. As I read the rules, existing contracts and obligations remain. If that's not the case, contract City Attorney Tom Duarte needs to tell us exactly how the city is absolved of following through with current legal problems. We can't make an informed choice in the voting booth without that information.


That's the number of weeks late the informational Charter Mailer sent out by The City last week was tardy when it finally arrived in resident's mailboxes. As of Sunday night many correspondents are reporting still not having received it.

That's what time the meeting begins tomorrow. 7:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.


That's the number of days we will have following Monday's hearing before the City Council votes, on March 6th, to place the Charter on the June ballot.

That's the decrease in Police Department staffing imposed by this City Council, arrived at by simply pulling a number out of the air and ignoring their own consultants and interim police chief's recommendations. Those are the kinds of decisions this council makes WITH state rules in place. Think what will happen if Jim Righeimer's Charter is passed and state regulations in place to protect residents from capriciousness and corruption of council members can be ignored and they can just make up the rules as they go along.

That's the boiling point of human blood at sea level, or how some of us sometimes feel as we watch members of the City Council misrepresent the facts of Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme.

That's the increase in senior managers in the Chief Executive Officer's office compared to the number in Roeder's City Manager's office a year ago. And that's not even counting all the consultants!


That's the monthly rate for Costa Mesa City Council members. You'll remember that number because Righeimer used it in this twenty second video clip last week, although he really wasn't that precise. As usual, close counts for him when it comes to numbers.

That's the number that Righeimer and his sycophants like Colin McCarthy keep throwing around as the unfunded pension liability that the city is on the hook for because of our "greedy union workers". They neglect to mention that we don't have to come up with that number tomorrow - that's the ultimate payout spread out over decades, unless the City withdraws from CalPERS, in which case the number is nearly doubled.

That's the number of senior city staff managers in their jobs today that held the same position a year ago.


The loss of institutional knowledge and experience created when this City Council, by establishing a hostile workplace, chased out senior managers and staffers who were unwilling to sit by and watch this city government be dismantled by thoughtless, inconsiderate, self-centered political opportunists. What will they do when they can make the rules?

Our friends over at the Costa Mesans For Responsible Government, HERE, have provided a counterpoint to the position taken in the City mailer - that you MIGHT finally receive in the mail on Monday. This group has been paying attention and provides some interesting information HERE.

Monday is the time to step up and speak up if you want to have a voice in Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme. It will be your last shot before this council installs this flawed document that will be intended to guide this city into the future. You've seen the damage they have done over the past twelve months. Are you ready to give them even more weapons with which to destroy this once-proud city? If not, speak up!

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Anonymous OCLonghair said...

Well again you've hit the nail the head.

Now we wait for all of the critics (sycophants)to personally slam you and Ignor all the facts.

2/13/2012 07:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Themosticles said...

Well said, sir.

2/13/2012 07:23:00 AM  
Anonymous RickandJenn said...

Ha? That quarter billion dollar unfunded pension obligation is not a problem because we don't have to pay it off now? Cauldron, you've been smoking from the Wendy Leece peace-pipe! Of course it's a problem, the experts have been telling us that for years. No one has the huevos to do anything about it. The fact is it keeps growing. It should bother you; it bothers me.

Spin the numbers any way you want. I hope the City keeps these things at the forefront of the residents minds as they fix them. These guys have our full support if they continue to address this stuff. Sorry you just don't get it.

2/13/2012 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Colin said...

Is it me, or is this Charter scheme like a mob shake down.

"Jeez, look at all these problems that are happening to you, all these lawsuits, protests, firings . . you know we can make this all go away if you signed this Charter, it will protect you from all this."

Straight out protect racket; cause the violence, then "offer" your services to protect against it.

2/13/2012 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Well done, Pot Stirrer! Here are a few more figures for your Charter by the Numbers summary:

55 (approx.) - Number of speakers OPPOSED to the charter, the rush, or the process being used, at the January 10 Council hearing.

3 - Number of charter supporters at said meeting.

25 - Number of commenters on City's web page asking to SLOW DOWN the process.

15 - Number of commenters on City's web page saying they DON'T WANT A CHARTER.

9 - Number of commenters on City's web page asking for an elected commission to write the charter.

4 - Number of commenters on City's web page who want the charter on the June ballot. (They didn't say if they want to vote for or against it.)

1 - Number of commenters on City's web page saying "yes" to the charter.

Ignoring some possible overlap, that's

104 - Comments opposed to the Council's direction on the charter


8 - Comments in support of Council's direction on the charter.

The Council says their supporters won't speak at Council meetings because they are "intimidated." That might explain the 55-to-3 count against the charter on January 10, but it doesn't explain the 49-to-5 tally against it on the web site, where they can comment anonymously and from the safety of their own homes.

Not the 1st - time the Council is steamrolling ahead with their personal agenda, in spite of overwhelming opposition from the public - the voters.

2/13/2012 09:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Phil said...

By the Numbers:

$13 billion- California's budget deficit.

$0- Costa Mesa's budget deficit.

We want to be a General Law City, why? We want to be more like the State, why?

When people see the choice of governing ourselves as a Charter City or remaining tethered to Sacramento as a General Law City, the Charter will pass.

It's not very difficult. Not a personal issue, just simple math.

2/13/2012 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Whine-Press said...

Why is "RickandJenn"/"Phil" flooding this blog instead of his own with his Charter views?

A back-handed way to do what OCL predicted at 7:04 AM?

2/13/2012 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Geoff, thank you for good, concise report on what is taking place with the Rushed Righeimer Charter.

Phil, if you really think this charter is all about " local control" you've missed the big picture. This is Righeimer's charter so HE and the three councilmen can have control over our city. It's not about us, the residents and it is certainly not in the best interest of our city.

2/13/2012 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Council Stinks!!! said...

More Numbers @ RickJenn and Phil

62- The amount of hot dogs Joey Chestnut ate in 10 minutes at Coney Island, NY to win the Nathans Hot Dog eating Contest...07-04-11

How many can your idiot Fab Four eat???

Boo Yah! Discount Double Check!


Sorry Geoff, had to say something. Chestnut just isn't getting the credit he deserves by these council supporters!

2/13/2012 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Council Stinks!!! said...

Oh more numbers for you RickJenn (other CM blogger who we won't name ;) ) and Phil

$195,000- The amount of money your master (Righeimer) owes in attorney's fees according to recent news articles.

You seriously want this guy to run our cities finances when he can't even pay his own bills.

Some other idiot supporters of this council have stated Righeimer is "wealthy" and West is jealous. Hell, we would all be wealthy if we have a long history of not paying bills. You save a lot of money that way.

Other idiot bloggers have said, he paid all those people back that he owed money too, which was pointed out in the 2010 election.

Answer: Yeah, he had to pay them back because he was sued and was ordered to (eg. Judgements, Liens ring a bell? ). Yeah, you Righeimer supporters should be real proud of this guy running our city!

Bring on the hate remarks! I laugh @ you!

But don't dare to disrespect Chestnut and his hot dog eating accomplishment!

2/13/2012 10:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Durty Nelly said...

Looks like the merry band of idiots may once again be in violation of the brown act.

2/13/2012 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous You can do better said...

Oh man, well - I guess if you have decided to abandon any hint of objectivity, you might as well double down!

Way to commit, Geoff.

CM4RG's counter-mailer, whichs calls the City's "spin" is full of "spin."

Don't you read this stuff before linking it?

Almost everyhting they ominously claim three council members can change is exactly the same NOW - you know this, but in your quest to obscure the truth, you give them a pass.

C'mon, Geoff - you can and SHOULD do better.

2/13/2012 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Did you actually read what I wrote? I don't think so. I did not advocate FOR their piece, I said it was interesting and a good counterpoint for the City mailer.

I guess, in your view, I should always agree with whatever the City puts out on every subject, right? Puhleeze!

2/13/2012 01:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

What a sparkling treat it was this morning, to read Mr. Cauldron’s very accessible presentation of facts and figures, followed by the trenchant comments by all (except the guy who ghostwrites for Rick/Jenn/Phil, the guy I can count on to sidestep every legitimate argument and stick to his propaganda routine: Repetition, Certainty, Simplicity, and Grain of Truth).

That there are so many sharply perceptive, vigorously effective, and articulate observations (thanks, Merriam-Webster) tells me that the weaknesses of the Righeimer-enabled-by-Bever-and-Monahan Charter are well understood.

(BTW, you do understand that none of these anti-Costa Mesa shenanigans would have occurred without Bever and Monahan voting Stepford-Wifelike for everything Righeimer and his handlers have proposed?)

By well-understood I mean citizens are now readily able to prove that the rationales for both the existence of the RBM Charter and many of its provisions are fatally flawed.

Ironically, R/J/P even helps prove this by his inability to mount any serious rebuttals to criticisms of the RBM Charter.

So, thanks to all for getting my day off to a great start! (At least as of 11 a.m.)

2/13/2012 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Apparently, "You can do better" can't. He, or she, claims three members of the City Council can already: change election rules, change qualifications for Council candidates, change state-mandated zoning and planning requirements, approve contracts and make purchases without the protection of state-mandated bidding procedures, etc. So far, you're 0 for 4. Can't you do better? T

And, these are only some of the things this charter will allow the Council to do that it can't do now. I don't know about you, but I think we can do better than to let this Council give away our protections.

2/13/2012 02:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

We still haven't received the City mailer, although our next-door neighbors did. Why the postman skipped us is a mystery. Fortunately, we have Internet access.

2/13/2012 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ocgopfan said...

I am for the charter. (no personal attacks, no false info, no hysterics so i don't know if my comment qualifies here)

2/13/2012 03:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Your comment is welcome here. I am not necessarily AGAINST A CHARTER... I'm against THIS charter.

2/13/2012 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


That's truly sad... wonder what happened to your copy?

2/13/2012 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Themosticles said...

What's really pathetic is that this charter will not actually help with any of the real problems, including pensions or finding ways to deliver services more efficiently.

There were substantial long-term savings and improvements in service that could have been achieved by joining the Orange County Fire Authority and offers on the table.

But these clowns couldn't make a deal, once they realized that the existing pension obligations didn't disappear if they went with another agency.

2/13/2012 04:07:00 PM  
Anonymous nevernervous said...

another number: 15

That is the percentage of registered voters in CM who could force an election calling for the question of a charter commission to be established. Since the anti Riggy charter commentators feel they have such a huge following (based on council public comments apparently)why don't they circulate a petition calling for a charter commission?

2/13/2012 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous asseenontv said...

It is the Constitution of California that allows for cities to become charter cities. Who wrote it? Righeimer?

2/13/2012 04:18:00 PM  
Anonymous magnacharter said...

Charter="home rule" over municipal affairs,
What Activities Have the Courts Classified As Municipal Affairs?
There are some areas that the courts have consistently classified as municipal affairs. Examples include the following:

• Municipal Election Matters. See Mackey v. Thiel, 262 Cal. App. 2d 362 (1968).

• Procedures for Initiative, Referendum and Recall. See Lawing v. Faul, 227 Cal. App. 2d 23, 29 (1964).

• Procedures for Adopting Ordinances. See Brougher v. Board of Public Works, 205 Cal. 426 (1928).

• Compensation of City Officers and Employees. Cal. Const. art. XI, § 5(b); See Sonoma County Organization of Public Employees v. County of Sonoma, 23 Cal. 3d 296 (1979); but see San Leandro Police Officers Association v. City of San Leandro, 55 Cal. App. 3d 553 (1976) (labor relations is not a municipal affair; Charter cities are subject to the Meyers-Milias Brown Act. Cal. Gov’t Code § 3500.

• Processes Associated with City Contracts. See First Street Plaza Partners v. City of Los Angeles, 65 Cal. App. 4th 650 (1998); but see Domar Electric, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 41 Cal. App. 4th 810 (1995) (state law establishing employment policy may preempt local regulation of bidding criteria).

• Financing Public Improvements. See City of Santa Monica v. Grubb, 245 Cal. App. 2d 718 (1996).

• Making Charitable Gifts of Public Funds for Public Purposes. See Cal. Const. art. XVI, § 6; Tevis v. City and County of San Francisco, 43 Cal. 2d 190 (1954).

• Term Limits for Council Members. See Cawdrey v. City of Redondo Beach, 15 Cal. App. 4th 1212 (1993); but see Cal. Gov't Code § 36502(b) (regulating term limits).

• Land Use and Zoning Decisions (with a few exceptions). See Brougher v. Bd. of Pub. Works, 205 Cal. 426 (1928).

2/13/2012 04:21:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...


Thanks for today's post and overall excellent reporting, especially on this latest Rigg-scam.

I hope we find out someday what Benedict Arnold Monahan and Tokyo Rose Bever were promised to sell out our city.

2/13/2012 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Sir. Daunte said...

The city council is messing with my TV signal. I cant watch wheel of fortune any more. Someone needs to stop these guys.

2/13/2012 05:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

I walked out with a whole bunch of union guys at the point where Mensy diddled Leece's ex-parte motion and Riggy pronounced it dead for want of a second.

It seems to me that Leece has the supreme example of ex-parte communications that should be reported: remember that night when she voted her conscience against all the pressure and intimidation of the ocgop shill who was sitting in the front row, looking daggers at her? If there'd been an ex-parte requirement in place then, we'd have gotten the whole story then...

Riggy, Mensy, and the Beve seem terribly paranoid about ex-parte communications. The coastal commission handles them routinely, as a matter of course, on every issue they consider; what are the Soviet Four trying to hide? -- "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." -- John 3:20; I quoted it before, I'm quoting it now, and I'll probably quote it again real soon.

Lemme know if you want the lyrics to tonight's ditty, Geoff.

2/14/2012 12:26:00 AM  
Anonymous clownactviolation said...

you can cut and paste Leece's ex parte as follows: Genis, Leffler, the Egans, the evil grandmother, Cindy "B" (you fill in the rest of the letters), and Muffs.

2/14/2012 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Durty Nelly said...

At least they don't hide.

clownactviolation said...

you can cut and paste Leece's ex parte as follows: Genis, Leffler, the Egans, the evil grandmother, Cindy "B" (you fill in the rest of the letters), and Muffs.

2/16/2012 10:42:00 PM  

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