Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Arrogant Abuse Of Authority

Before I shut down tonight after what has been an exhausting day I wanted to share just a little bit of information for you to consider as we move forward.


Today I attended the Special City Council meeting at City Hall that began at 5:00.
In the audience was myself and about four employees. I anticipated the open session to be a short one - mere minutes - as contract City Attorney Tom Duarte presented to the council his item for the approval of using high-priced law firm, Jones Day, on the Charter issue. This apparently was necessary since the council had only approved them for the OCEA lawsuit.

Apparently CEO Tom Hatch can authorize up to $50,000 for temporary legal fees - which I'm told is what happened in this case. At my request last week Duarte told me he would begin showing a breakdown of just what we're paying Jones Day for on the "legal fees spreadsheet", available for viewing at the City web site.


all five council members were present, Duarte read the item and explained why Jones Day was selected. Wendy Leece asked why she, as an elected official, was not given a chance to express her view via a vote of the council BEFORE the City went to court. Duarte dodged that question, indicating the item was on the closed session and preferred to discuss it then. Gary Monahan - yes, he was back - moved the item and Jim Righeimer seconded it and Mayor Eric Bever - yes, he was there - called for the vote.

Before the vote was taken, though, Leece was given the floor to explain why she was not supporting this issue. She began to tell the council her reasons when Bever abruptly slammed the door on her. He told her that "we're not going to relive the whole history of the Charter discussion", ignored her protestations and called for the vote. I smiled as he pulled the wrong lever and had to call for a re-vote. It passed 4-1 and the council moved into closed session and I left.

But, I left with a very bad feeling for how things are probably going to go in
the future - at least during Bever's final few months on the dais. It's clear that the majority on the council are NOT interested in hearing dissenting opinions on any issue, even from an elected member of the council. Not only was Bever's handling of this incident rude, but it disenfranchised every voter who cast a vote for Leece in two elections. And this was BEFORE they knew the outcome of the court hearing today.

I suspect we're going to see a council with a VERY short tolerance for the views of speakers before them. Quite honestly, I can see more legal action in the future if they continue on this path - and more money in Jones Day's bank account as a result. These are not happy days in our city, for sure...

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Blogger Flo Martin said...

Mister Mayor Bever, fer shure, ain't got no class.

3/27/2012 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ah, Flo, you do tend to go for the understatement, don't you. :-) ;-)

3/27/2012 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous It's all said...

bass ackwards

3/27/2012 11:44:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

Bever has it wrong if he thinks he can squash dissent.

I will gladly be escorted next door (PD) if he tries to take away my three minutes.

Aint gonna happen.....I'll wave paper too.
I've read the case law.......It's allowable.

That Pompadour Pimpass has another thing coming if he thinks he's going to treat us with the same disrespect he has treated Wendy.

It's all fun and games until it's looped indefinitely on YouTube.

3/28/2012 12:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

Bever might be a smaller man than Monahan... what a tool.

3/28/2012 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Indeed, a wedge (the simplest tool known to man).

Leave it to Bever.

3/28/2012 07:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Stink Eye Guy said...

Everybody needs to remember that Bever didn't sign up for this, so cut him some slack.

3/28/2012 08:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

Wendy would probably rather use the money to burn those books in the city library that contain those "dirty" works.

3/28/2012 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Coffee Stains said...

Hey Bever why don't you do the right thing and try to right the ship before your time is up. You and Gary have been in Riggys back pocket for way too long, and it's time to stand on your own merits. Do you really think Riggy and his pals are going to remember you or make time for you after your time on the council is up?

3/28/2012 10:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Joke's on us said...

I am disappointed in many in our city. Katrina Foley is suing Costa Mesa to bolster her private business. Katrina is trying to move from labor to election work.

Katrina Foley pulled kids out of school and paraded them in front of the judge.

After the Katrina Foley's dog & pony show, Costa Mesa residents boo'd. In a court of law, Costa Mesans boo'd. Have they mo shame?

How disappointing to see and hear.

All the Council Haters applaud this behavior. Even sadder.

3/28/2012 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Short on facts, long on spite. What's the matter, Joke? No mention of any other lawyer there yesterday? How about some love for the judge, too? Do you even know why they booed? And didn't our $495 per hour, $2000 a day lawyers from Jones Day get their dog and pony show, too?

3/28/2012 11:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

Joke on Us...What is even sadder that you don't see the hypocrisy in your post. Your right. The joke is on you and the other council supporters. You are on the losing team. What your buds on the council are doing is criminal. Katrina is doing her work in support of the democratic process pro bono, so is John Stephens. Can't say the same about Jones Day, can we? The city missed the deadline that every other city on the June ballot managed to meet. How would it look if Costa Mesa got a pass? Then any other city or organization could ask for the same consideration. The rules are there for a reason, but yet you can't get that.

3/28/2012 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Honestly, who's fault are these legal fees? Are you trying to say that evil Righeimer caused this? Nearly all cities vote on their Charters in June. The clerk's screw-up warrants dismissal, period. I hope they appeal. Foley and her crew (including at least one employee) can't silence the vote of the people forever. We will be heard!

3/28/2012 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Curious said...

Bever's been trying to right the ship for a long time. I want to know what is in it for the residents bent on protecting the status quo. Where were they when hundreds of jobs were lost, services cut and reserves decimated? Don't they get it? This is all about protecting the pay and benefits of unions/associations at the expense of everything else.

The pathetic forum of hate that this blog has become even condoned open threats by anonymous union member posters against their fellow employees who they think are "moles" for council.

Obviously, many posters on here are union/association members or leaders, but for the actual residents of CM, why are you supporting this?

3/28/2012 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Repeat after me (or Chief Stavely)
In god we trust should be removed from council chambers and replaced with those three words

3/28/2012 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Chessman said...

Barry: You again pretend like voting in November rather than June means that you're being 'silenced'. Do you accept that every 1 person still gets 1 vote no matter when the charter gets on the ballot? Please stop being so dramatic regarding this issue. Secondly, when you say most other cities vote on charters in June, what exactly are you talking about? This is news to me. Can you show me some evidence of this? Finally, YES! These legal fees are the council's fault! No one is FORCING them to put the Charter on the June ballot, they could easily just put it on the November ballot and, as you say, let the people's voice be heard. The only reason one would be against a November ballot would be if you admit that it would only pass when there is low voter turnout. To that I say-how is it democracy if your policies rely on no one voting?

3/28/2012 01:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Newman said...

If the Charter is so important, then all the Council lover's will have an extra 6 months to change all our minds and prove to us that it's a good thing for the City.

3/28/2012 03:21:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

I guess Bever didn't take me seriously when I told him from the podium ( in so many words) to stop bashing Wendy!
It looks like he needs a reminder! :-(
Bever has no tact or class whatsoever.

3/28/2012 08:25:00 PM  

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