Friday, February 10, 2012

Tardy City Charter Mailer Due *(Amended)

The City of Costa Mesa has distributed thousands of informational mailers about Jim Righeimer's Charter to all Costa Mesa residences over the past couple days. I just checked my mail today and it's not there yet. So, I, and many of you, will probably receive it Saturday or Monday. However, the City has also posted it online on the City web site, so you can read the whole thing HERE. You're welcome.

I have strong mixed feelings about this mailer. First, it's way, way, way ove
rdue. This should have been distributed to all residents at least a month ago - probably the first week of the year. Although those of us who actually pay attention to this stuff have known about it, how to find information about it and how to suggest modifications to it, the other 99.9% of the residents of the city have not.

This mailer, with good infor
mation, will arrive in your homes only hours before the City Council holds the second Public Hearing on this issue on Monday, February 13, 2012. That meeting, which begins in City Council chambers at 7:00 p.m., is the LAST time the council will accept ANYTHING that you wish to add to the document. Between that date and March 6, 2012, when the council takes the vote that will either place the document on the June ballot or not, only deletions will be permitted. Those few of us watching this process realize that Jim Righeimer's Charter - flawed as it is - WILL be on the June ballot, regardless the public outcry. That's a shame.


If you had been watching this process you would realize that this bogus
scheme is virtually a one-man show. It's Jim Righeimer's baby. He concocted this scheme as a way to bust union agreements, quash lawsuits, avoid paying prevailing wages and to finally get some electorate to swallow his Paycheck Protection scheme that has gone down in flames before. I guess he figures Costa Mesa's electorate is so ignorant and ill-informed that they can be lured into passing this disastrous ballot measure. He may be right - they elected him, didn't they?

I AM NOT against Costa Mesa becoming a Charter City - I've said that many times. However, I AM AGAINST Jim Righeimer's Charter scheme. The document that Righeimer has cobbled together serves ONLY his personal purposes. It includes insufficient safeguards to prevent abuse and corruption and would open the door to even more divisive, destructive actions like we've seen over the past year from this council. EVERY competent authority interviewed on this issue tells us that the creation of a Charter should be a deliberative process - not one forced through the process at warp speed. The document is too important to the future of the city to be jammed down the voter's throats the way this one has been.

During the first required Public Hearing the council went through the
numerous suggestions crafted by concerned residents and, with only a handful of exceptions, rejected them without comment. You can read most of those suggestions HERE. You can also read the Second Draft - the current version of Jim Righeimer's Charter - HERE. And, you can read the agenda report for the Public Hearing HERE*. You can read the redline version of the amended Charter HERE*.

The City held an "informational meeting" on January 4th that was anything BUT informational. City Chief Executive Officer, Tom Hatch, kicked it off, then refused to answer any questions from the 80 or so interested parties in attendance. Instead, he shrugged them off to a group of "experts" scattered around the room at the Neighborhood Community Center, where questions of import to ALL attendees would only be answered one-at-a-time to individuals. And several of those so-called experts didn't have answers. It was a huge waste of time, but it did fulfill the requirement to have a "community meeting". Just as the distribution of this very tardy mailer will permit the City and the Charters advocates to say, "Look, we had a meeting and we sent everyone information."


In my opinion, the City has fast-tracked this bogus scheme to the detriment of all residents. It's like we're being chased by a hungry pack of wolves straight to the
ballot box in June. To hold the FINAL meeting at which suggestions for additions to Jim Righeimer's Charter can be made, then forbid further contributions from residents who may find out about this only hours before that meeting, is unconscionable. I suggest you read the mailer, visit the City web site and click on the button marked "City Charter Info" and educate yourselves - then show up at 7:00 Monday with your questions, suggestions and complaints. This is no way to run a city and certainly no way to craft a document that will be the cornerstone of all municipal governance in our city in the future. As one regular attendee to these meetings said - "It Stinks!"

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Anonymous So cute! said...

Cute skunk.

2/10/2012 05:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

I got mine! But then again, I live in Mesa Verde... nice propaganda piece. The city (I mean we) paid for that? What a joke...

2/10/2012 05:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Let's vote said...

If the 'public outcry' you describe is real, then what's your worry about the charter going to a vote in June? It should crash and burn, right? Unless you're freaked that Costa Mesa voters might actually approve the thing. In which case you hold the minority view on this...

2/10/2012 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

The mailer is not an informational or educational piece; it is a puff piece, a propaganda mailer that presents only misleading arguments in favor of the Righeimer charter, none against, and tries to answer the objections citizens have made. It is a disgrace that propaganda is sent out under the official City seal and that thousands of dollars of our tax money was used for this purpose.

The mailer discusses the specific provisions of the proposed charter as though it were already in final form, before the second public hearing has been held.

Incidentally, our household has not yet received the mailer, although we have access to it on the City web site. Sending out this mailer the weekend before the final opportunity to request additions is just a little too clever. Or should I say sneaky?

2/10/2012 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous iwasontv said...

Let the voters decide!

2/11/2012 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Sigmond said...

C'mon Geoff,

Why don't you get it over with already and ask Riggy out on a date. I am sure his hot wife won’t mind too much. You obviously have a man-love thing for him because your entire purpose in life is to destroy him. As a husband of a psychologist, my wife agrees. She says that your obsession is really a cover for a deep rooted desire for affection from the man. So having gotten that diagnosis, may I suggest one of our fine new hamburger establishments on Harbor Blvd. as a starting place.

2/11/2012 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

@ Mrs. Egan:
Our council boys sneaky? hehe!

In the Pilot article about Riggy's lawyer bill problem he's quoted as saying "we're in the middle of settlement negotiations now."

From the OC Weekly article:

"The law firm filed the notice of the binding arbitration award after Friedman last month rejected Righeimer's attempts to delay a ruling as well as his stance that he wasn't personally liable for any of the bills."

Binding arbitration awards are rarely appealed and often become judgments. So it'll be interesting to see what type of "settlement" comes about.

Why would our justice-loving Riggmarshal want to delay the ruling? It COULDN'T be related to his push to get his Charter approved, could it??

2/11/2012 07:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Martha said...


I am laughing so hard, it hurts but unfortunately Sigmond may have a good point you should look at.

Perhaps you really are jealous of Righeimer but I don't blame you. Here is a man with a beautiful wife, three gorgeous children, a successful business, lots of money, lives in a beautiful home, lots of political power and still relatively young. Why not be envious of him? I also think you should ask him out on a date but I would go a step further, instead of hamburgers, try a nicer spot like Skosh Monahan's so in case you get stood up, you can flirt with Gary. He also can be very cute when he dresses up.

2/11/2012 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Marching Orders said...

Attack Geoff
Attack Geoff
Attack Geoff

Get attention off Charter hustle, Righeimer's lawyer bill.

2/11/2012 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Let's be fair said...

Sigmond and Martha you are quick to judge Geoff. But let's be fair. Sigmond,I believe you left out the part where your wife examined the personality of our Mayor Pro Tem, categorizing him as fitting most appropriately among other notorious sociopaths.
I appreciate your blog Geoff. It allows for all to express their views even if not accepted by all.

2/11/2012 08:31:00 AM  
Anonymous How to Succeed said...

Talking about Jimbo, Martha sez,

".. a successful business, lots of money, lives in a beautiful home,"

Easier to accomplish if you don't pay all bills.

2/11/2012 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

"He concocted this scheme as a way to bust union agreements, quash lawsuits, avoid paying prevailing wages"

If this is true, it gets my vote.

2/11/2012 09:54:00 AM  
Blogger Femme persistant said...

@ Sigmund (the correct spelling), your wife being a psychologist, unless she sucks at her job and/or takes herself too seriously, would know she can't diagnosis anyone via a blog. Rig, on the other hand has a long history to be studied via his public record and many long, rambling speeches made on camera. You have to look at the whole picture, actions, body language and words. If she, or you, I get the two of you mixed up because I don't know who is speaking for who here, would find a very interesting study in a cluster of personality disorders. The worst part is, Geoff has a blog that you can ignore if you want, Rig has the power and drive to destroy our city.

2/11/2012 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Attack Squad said...

Marching orders from Unions and Costa Mesa's lunatic fringe:

* Attack Righeimer
* Attack Mensinger
* Attack Council
* Attack Supporters

The voters will decide who wins, not the Egan's, Geoff West, Sandra Genis or Greg Ridge. By the way, what positive thing has any of the lunatic fringe accomplished besides attacks?

2/11/2012 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Attack Squad,

Well, let's see. Eleanor Egan served this city with distinction as an attorney for many years and, following her retirement, most recently served on the Planning Commission. Tom was elected as a trustee on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. Both have been community activists on Westside issues for nearly two decades.

Sandra Genis served this city on the City Council and as Mayor.

Greg Ridge, in addition to, along with his wife, Nancy, is raising to high-achieving kids, is an active supporter of Estancia High School youth activities.

Me, I just write - and irritate you. That's enough for me.

2/11/2012 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Gericault-2 Spelling Police said...

@Pop Stirrer raising to high-achieving kids....

Should say: raising TWO high-achieving kids....

I guess your genius is showing today.

2/11/2012 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Of course, you're correct... it should have been "two". I guess both of us lead pathetic lives when we have to do this on a Saturday, huh? Thanks for your guidance.

2/11/2012 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous smoke and mirrors said...

Is the mailer a required notification with time lines and were these requirements met? Charter, attorney fees and consultants. I guess could lead to bankruptcy . Then riggy could default on all that the city owes.
It looked like he wanted bankruptcy at the beginning anyway.

2/11/2012 01:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Confused said...

Quoting Geoff's post, Jimmy said..
"He concocted this scheme as a way to bust union agreements, quash lawsuits, avoid paying prevailing wages"

Y'all talking about Riggy's 200K unpaid lawyer bill or his charter?

2/11/2012 04:03:00 PM  
Anonymous magnacharter said...

great info on the charter from the city. i am leaning towards a yes vote but will wait for the union spin before deciding which way to vote. the more negative campaign loses my vote. i want to see what is the BEST way, charter sounds awesome so far. Unions: tell me why it is not good, don't tell me about Righeimer, tell me about the charter.

2/11/2012 04:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Heart for Costa Mesa said...

I guess we've digressed pretty far from the reason for Geoff's post, but what the heck...@Sigmond, I have to say, if your wife is the husband of a psychologist, as you say, she(?) might have a pretty good understanding of alternative sexual orientations, including non-traditional forms of polygamy.

If one of you is a professional psychologist, isn’t there a code of ethics licensed professionals must follow? You must know it is unethical to diagnose second hand as you have here. But then, based on some of your posts, you may not hang with the folks who are big on ethics.

Now if your purpose was to distract from the important topic at hand, good job. And thanks for providing opportunity for a little fun and humor on this comment thread!

Back to Geoff’s public service of keeping the community informed: Thanks Geoff for posting your piece. Fun visuals, too. Well written as always. It’s great that the city finally made a move to inform the public, it’s reprehensible that they waited so late in the game. I talked with a few people late in the day who still haven’t gotten the flyer. Of those that have, all of them perceive it as a pro-charter puff piece. It obviously is, as Eleanor Egan analyzed earlier on this thread. But I don’t understand why the city would risk it. I thought the city could only put out objective, informational and educational literature with taxpayer money. This isn’t neutral, it reads like a campaign piece. Charter cities may use municipal money for political campaigns, but last I checked we are still a General law city. Looks like they jumped the gun.

2/11/2012 05:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Diane McLucas said...

Geoff West wrote: "Although those of us who actually pay attention to this stuff have known about it, how to find information about it and how to suggest modifications to it, the other 99.9% of the residents of the city have not." Where did that 99.9% figure come from? Was it from a scientific survey? Was it provided by a government or other reliable source? No, it was made up by Geoff West. Further proof that this blog is just graffiti with punctuation and is not to be trusted.

2/11/2012 06:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Diane McLucas,

Actually, my number is pretty darn close. Costa Mesa's population is 109,500 based on the most recent census. According to most political operatives I know, they estimate that only around 100 people actually get involved in municipal affairs, excluding city staff. One tenth of 1% of our population would be 109.5, and I doubt VERY much if more than that number of residents know ANYTHING about Jim Righeimer's Charter - before the tardy mailer, that is. I can't do anything about you trusting what I write. If it causes you grief, just stop reading. Go elsewhere to vent your spleen.

2/11/2012 07:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Diane McGoofus said...

I'm only following orders.

2/11/2012 07:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Easy Math said...

Late mailers = Less time to study issues.

Puff piece mailers = propaganda.

Charter = More power for Righeimer, other extremists.

More Righeimer = More Bad for Costa Mesa.

The End

2/11/2012 07:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Magnacharter....I don't think we will hear much from the unions. The boys on the council are playing this up to be some panacea when it clearly is not. All surrounding cities are charter cities and guess what? All have employee associations that the cities negotiate with. A charter doesn't (and legally can't) change state laws such as meet and confer, negotiate in good faith, etc. My guess is it passes by a bare margin, the council tries stuff with the unions that are in violation of state law and the city gets it collective tail sued off.

2/11/2012 08:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

It's Saturday night, and the mailer has not yet turned up in our mailbox. Tomorrow I'll check with my neighbors and see if they received it.

2/11/2012 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ours arrived in the mail on Saturday afternoon.

2/12/2012 01:30:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

I got my mailer on friday and it went right into the recycle bin.
more wasted money and natural resources by our unethical, unskilled and incompetent city council.

2/12/2012 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Jeanette said...

Still waiting for my "charter mailer". . .It's Sunday, February 12, 7 p.m.

My neighbor has yet to receive theirs either.

Tomorrow is the 13th and I will be attending the meeting, therefore I will not see the mailer until after the meeting.

The only reason I know of the charter is because I try to keep myself informed.

The only reason I know of this "charter mailer" is because I read this blog.

City of Costa Mesa you wasted "more of my taxpayer" money on this "charter mailer", I wonder what the excuse will be.

2/12/2012 07:16:00 PM  

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