Tuesday, March 13, 2012

And Your New Mayor Is.... Eric Bever?

I arrived at City Hall shortly before the witching hour of 4:30, followed some folks into the council chambers where another half dozen people, including media reps, patiently waited for the meeting to begin. Then, just a minute or two before start time City Attorney Tom Duarte entered the chambers and told us the meeting would be held in Conference Room 1A. We stragglers scurried quickly to the room and found it near capacity. Eventually it was overfilled, with a dozen people standing in the hallway outside. I frequently found myself thinking about the empty council chambers just a few feet away, with comfortable seats, a good sound system and live television... That's how our afternoon began.

After hearing two speakers suggest Wendy Leece for the job, Mayor Gary Monahan, as his last official act as mayor this time around, announced that he would accept nominations for Mayor, then nominated part time, part time councilman and one time - briefly - mayor, Eric Bever for the job. There were no other nominations and Bever was elected unanimously.

This is the second time around for Bever as mayor. He stepped down the first time to let his buddy, Allan Mansoor, move into the big chair so he could run for re-election as Mayor. Each of the other council members congratulated Bever and a couple suggested that they knew he'd run a fine meeting. Apparently they'd not been paying attention during his first tour as mayor. He would frequently get lost in the agenda and reacted quite badly to criticism. If anything, I expect him to be worse this time around - when he shows up.

I must tell you that his final nine months are guaranteed to be eve
ntful. Over the past couple years he has demonstrated increasing impatience with the process - when he bothered to show up. Nobody talks about why he missed so many meetings last year and the first part of this one - I actually hope it was due to illness. If not, then he was just being lazy and irresponsible and unworthy of the job he was elected to do - twice. I tend to believe the latter, primarily because of a couple quotes that will haunt him. You'll recall that, in a fit of pique, he said, "I didn't sign up for this!" during one meeting. Another time, responding to criticism leveled at members of the council, he fired back at a speaker, "If you don't like it, tough luck!" That's your new leader through the end of this year. If you don't like it, tough luck!

The fir
st segment of the subsequent Study Session was the Redevelopment and Residential Rehabilitation (3R) subcommittee report and recommendations for the distribution of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. There is 14.5% less money available this year, so the committee can distribute only $157,502. This is the first presentation of the subcommittee's report. They will now present it to the full 3R committee, who will then make a final presentation to the City Council May 15th.


One telling comment about the attitude of this particular City Council came at the end of the meeting when non-elected councilman Steve Mensinger expressed an interest in distributing NONE of the funds to organizations within the community. He wants it to go toward infrastructure improvement. He expressed disappointment that the staff didn't follow through on that suggestion from last year. What else would you expect from a developer? Geez!

And, not to be left out, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer - also a developer - decided that the cars parked legally along Baker between Harbor and Fairview are a hazard so he wants to "buy a couple of those houses along there and turn them into a parking lot." That's right! In a city that he says is in dire financial straits he wants to pluck a few million dollars out of the air and build a parking lot in a residential area!


The second item on the agenda was a presentation by Economic Development Director Peter Naghavi on his vision for improvements of Harbor Boulevard, which he referred to
as the spine of our city. He, of course, is right. Harbor has been looking pretty darn shabby lately, with the turnover of car dealers and general disrepair. It gets around 60,000 cars per day, down from 70,000. If we expect to revitalize our city, Harbor Boulevard certainly could use some freshening.

Part of Naghavi's presentation included a collaborative effort with Dean Abernathy's Orange Coast College Architecture class. They produced a nice video that blended actual video clips with computer animation to show some, as Naghavi called it, "out of the box" ideas.

So, the "new Eric Bever" era has been launched. Everybody take a deep breath and cross your fingers tightly. We can only hope this nine-month gestation period produces a brand new council in November.

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Anonymous JWalker said...

i lived at those apts on Baker, at 1323 to be exact. Righeimer has a good plan. The street parking on Baker is dangerous. There is not enough so people park across Baker in the single family homes (Warren, Royce, Killeybrooke streets)which those homeowners hate and then the poor tenants dodge traffic trying to get back to their apts. Many temporality double park on Baker to drop off or pick up groceries or people. The street is nicer on Monday when no parking is allowed. I often thought how nice it would be without those cars, if people used their garages instead of the street. I was hoping for a ban on parking there except that it would impact the tenants,mostly hard working minorities. This may be a great solution! My old apartment would be a perfect teardown and new parking lot.

3/14/2012 07:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Check out Fitzy's letter in the Pilot. Laughable and pathetic, all rolled into one... just like Bever's appointment.

3/14/2012 07:28:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

GW: "And, not to be left out, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer - also a developer - decided that the cars parked legally along Baker between Harbor and Fairview are a hazard so he wants to "buy a couple of those houses along there and turn them into a parking lot."


This is a riff on his "pocket parks" rap re the motels on Newport Boulevard.


"I have a pathological need to develop develop develop. Gimme YOUR money and I will develop the world. My friends will make money when I develop."

Proper solution:

Riggy moves to Hemet or Palm Desert and develops to his heart's content, leaving Costa Mesa alone, forever.

3/14/2012 07:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Go Fitzy! Don't Stop said...

Mike M. What? You think not putting the Trash out to competitive bid since World War II is acceptable?

You call Fitzy standing up to the good ole boys laughable and pathetic ?

At least we can understand your point of view, kind of like Joe's

3/14/2012 09:52:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Joe- you have the right idea!

3/14/2012 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Develop this said...

Joni Mitchel, Big yellow taxi,

Seems the Harbor soaring Society and the baker apts.

Pave paaridise and put up a parking lot,
big league diamond, an in and out and a leprecaun bar hot spot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

3/14/2012 11:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Go Fitzy - his letter was juvenile and whiny, and completely self-serving. I'm not opposed to what he suggests, but I do think there's a conflict of interest there. Oh, if you really must know, and I plain dislike him and what he represents, along with all the other Rigclones.

3/14/2012 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

@ Mike M:

And Fitzpatrick din't tell us who would be paying the most excellent attorney he retained..

See a pattern here?

They litigate, we pay.

3/14/2012 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Anger Options said...

Joe, you should be directing your anger at the good ole boys on the Board. They are spending tax payer money against him.

I know you have all this anger inside. Just wanted to give you options

3/14/2012 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Go Vasin! said...


3/14/2012 12:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Mulva said...

Other than Ooten and Fitzpatrick, the rest of the Sanitation Board has to go this November when the three undesirables are up for election. Art Perry stating he will spend whatever it takes of ratepayer monies to oust Fitzy should have the electorate boiling mad. I can see the mailers now, no new track suit can cover that up. The defeated candidate, Arlene, should use her own money to get an AG opinion, that is how it is done. Then she can use her money to sue in court. That is how it is done. But the good ol boys want to remove Fitz and appoint Arlene and are willing to spend taxpayers money to do it! Then no bids need go out for anything. Come on coucil haters, right here in front of you is a Sanitary Board using your money for frivoulous legal fees, trying to appoint a crony, and continue no bid contracts. If you hate it at council you should hate it here. And of course we have the goings on in school district, vote accordingly. All we need is something out of water to complete the fun. Joe, no develpment or improvement ever good, eh?

3/14/2012 01:22:00 PM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

I think that a new city slogan for the doors of city vehicles (police cars, fire engines, etc)should be... If you don't like it Tough luck!

If the sign dept could circle that around the city seal and make a sticker, that would look good on the two fire engines left in the city after Riggys cutbacks.

3/14/2012 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Get real Mulva. A lot of people fully support ousting Fitzy and anyone associated with the council boys. You are going to lecture us about use of ratepayer monies to do it. Seriously? Have you looked at the bills your idols have run up? Not because their idea was bad, but because they were so anxious to do it, they failed to do it right! Had they gone about it in a well thought out manner, no lawsuit, no backlash, simply success.

Instead, they were more anxiousus than a hormonal boy in the back seat on a prom date and went off early. It appears to be a theme with them now. They wring their hands like the wicked witch while say "I'll get you my pretties" and then screw it up. One would think they would be on top of the charter deadline with all the ramp up they did and they screwed that up. Now they have to go to a judge hat in hand . Perhaps you and all the worshipers should wake up and realize you are backing some of the most inept politicians this city has ever seen. They want it all so badly, yet they don't know how to get it.

Remember the old story with the dad bull and the juvenile bull? "hey dad, let's run down to the valley and &@$% one of those cows" said the son. The dad says "let's walk down and @&$€ them all". To get what you want sometimes takes wisdom and patience. The men on this council come up short on both accounts. If they weren't bent in instant gratification, they would have achieved much of their agenda by now. They need to go.

3/14/2012 05:33:00 PM  
Anonymous mulva said...

mike: i gave you the facts, kept it real. don't know why u brought up all the council stuff, i didn't mention it. so i am a council worshipper because of bad deeds by San District guys? wht quote genis and her "pretties" speech. oust fitz at the polls, not with taxpayer minies

3/14/2012 06:47:00 PM  
Anonymous blight said...

Developing is not putting in parking lots... In the academic and real world parking lots are generally considered blight areas... come up with a better idea.

3/14/2012 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From November 2010 Bubbling Post:

There are more than a few people in this city very nervous about what they think they see coming with a Righeimer-dominated city council. They've already seen draconian rules imposed on cars being parked legally on driveways and are now worried that Righeimer and his minions will begin a concerted effort to turn Costa Mesa into a de facto Irvine, using Google Earth "flyovers" to discover illegal structures and force remediation by the owners.

3/14/2012 09:13:00 PM  
Anonymous You're the Blight said...

blight said...
"Developing is not putting in parking lots... In the academic and real world parking lots are generally considered blight areas... come up with a better idea."

Today's parking lot is tomorrow's development. Newhope and Euclid, eh Jimbo?

3/15/2012 07:37:00 AM  

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