Monday, March 26, 2012

Charter Deadline Snafu Report

Reports from the courthouse a few minutes ago indicate that Katrina Foley and John Stephens will be in the mix tomorrow, along with the lawyers representing Billy Folsom and Mary Spadoni, when Judge Franz Miller hears arguments from The City of Costa Mesa, through their high-priced lawyers from Jones Day, that The City should be allowed to have Jim Righeimer's Charter placed on the June 5th ballot despite the deadline being missed on March 9th.


Foley and Stephens, representing their own law firms, joined together to file a
lawsuit challenging the City's claim that a "clerical error" should not preclude the item being placed on the June ballot. The Orange County Registrar of Voters, Neal Kelley, has his hands tied by the regulations that govern the way he operates. In order for him to accept The City's paperwork a judge must order him to do so. As long as he receives such an order by the drop dead date of April 1st - appropriate, huh? - then his organization can complete the tasks necessary to place the Charter on the ballot. If that deadline is also missed, then Kelley has no choice - Jim Righeimer's Charter will not appear on the June ballot.

Many of us in this city feel that, IF this city is going to consider becoming a Charter City - and that's a BIG IF - then such a document should be prepared much more carefully. It should NOT be the handiwork of one man with his own personal political agenda driving him. At the VERY LEAST it should be reviewed by a blue-ribbon committee to be sure Costa Mesa's special needs are met. AND, it should be placed on the November ballot, where the greatest possible voter turnout can be expected.


You may recall that the City of Bell, led by their unscrupulous City Manager, Robert Rizzo, placed its Charter decision on the ballot in a special election. Only 450 voters turned out for that one and more than half voted by mail. That opened the door for the massive corruption that occurred in that city. Those of us who have studied Jim Righeimer's Charter know that insufficient safeguards for that kind of corruption ARE NOT INCLUDED in t
he document. Many of us have written extensively about those shortcomings.

So, back to court both sides go tomorrow at 1:30, where Judge Miller will hear arguments and make his decision. We'll report more when we know more.

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Blogger Gericault said...

A little "after the fact"...more "fire- ready- aim".

Special Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m. to discuss legal fees generated by missed Charter measure ballot deadline and opposition to City's writ to get it on the ballot.
Tuesday's Special Council meeting agenda

3/26/2012 01:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Barry said...

Bell is actually the reason for the Charter. It is Bell that has gotten us $300,000 a year firemen. The Charter gives the residents the power to fight back against Sacramento and its labor love affair.

It is the folks fighting democracy and the right of the people to vote on this (Foley, Stephens, Folsom, etc.) who should be criticized. Surprised to hear these people silence the people. Let us be heard. Let us decide on the Charter. What makes Katrina Foley God? She continues to make herself and the others look foolish fighting against democracy like this.

3/26/2012 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

Judge Miller initially indicated that he would "conditionally" find for the City Clerk and not allow Foley and Stephens to participate in tomorrow's hearing. Well, guess what? After hearing all attorneys today, he ruled in favor of allowing Katrina, John and the other two attorneys in opposition to placing the charter on the June ballot to challenge the Costa Mesa City Clerk's petition. When I heard him begin to explain his decision, I literally pumped air! Yay, Team!

3/26/2012 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Actually, even the November ballot is too soon. It's not that far away if you consider that the three summer months aren't very productive for civic endeavors.

The more worms I see crawling out of the Righeimer Charter, the more I'm convinced that anything he has created should be dismissed instantly and handed over to adults.

It's even more true now that the majority's initial intuition about this was right: any charter should be drafted by a 15-member commission of citizens elected by popular vote. And it shouldn't be rushed ... it should take at least one year to work out all the kinks.

3/26/2012 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Phil said...

Does anyone know if the City Clerk has been terminated yet. I would assume so but have not seen anything. This kind of major screw-up should cost her job. Didn't she have 3 days to get this stuff in on time but got lazy.

Funny, in the private sector this person would have been fired immediately but I guess it's okay in the public sector, where mistakes are common. If the public sector ruled our world we would be dead last behind every third world country. What a JOKE.

3/26/2012 02:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Troll Patrol said...

Why is MM flooding this blog with drivel, posting as "Phil" and "Barry?"

His own blog will still hold plenty before its next flush.

3/26/2012 03:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Jeopardy said...

In a combat situation, which of the following would you choose to be trapped in a foxhole with-

Colon, Baby Ethan, Shrek Fitzpatrick, Leprechaun Gary, Tough Luck Eric


Any Costa Mesa Firefighter or Police Officer?

3/26/2012 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Barry and Phil have submitted their usual, and expected, comments. So, I'll add my usual, and expected, reply.

First, Barry: Foley, et al aren't "fighting the right of the people to vote." They're representing the people in trying to hold the Council accountable for following the rules. Somehow, when the Council breaks the law, you want to make the whistleblowers the bad guys.

Just imagine if the petition to recall Righeimer were submitted a day late. Would you say, "oh, well, never mind?" I don't think so. A deadline is a deadline, and it applies to everyone. If you miss the June deadline, let us vote in November. Or are you afraid of the results then?

Second, Phil: Don't be so quick to criticize without knowing all the facts. I understand the contract City Attorney was watching things pretty closely on the filing deadline. Why didn't he catch the problem? Didn't he have some responsibility? After all, he works directly for the City Council. According Phil, "This kind of major screw up should cost [his] job." But, I guess that's O.K. for a contract worker?

3/26/2012 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Another day in Costa Mesa, another day in court......

3/26/2012 06:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Sadie1 said...

No fault belongs to City Clerk. The City Clerk was under direction of the lovely new council members. The ones who don't know what they are doing and keep costing CM residents lots of bucks and reduced services.

3/26/2012 07:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Other Mike said...

Phil, there is an area of study known as "Human Factors". It is often used in high risk industries, but has application anywhere. In essence, how can we reduce the human error effect in our operations is the question we ask.

When a mistake is made, it requires analysis. Was the mistake an "honest mistake", the result of lack of training, poor communication or wanton disregard for the rules? If the latter, then punishment is certainly indicated. However, study has shown that to punish for poor training, communication or an "honest mistake" is often counter productive to producing positive future results. Other employees may try to cover up an honest mistake or some minor issue for fear of punishment. That can lead a small problem to be a big problem.

The notion that a mistake wouldn't be tolerated in the private sector without swift justice (or injustice) being meted out is laughable. It simply shows you are either ignorant, out of touch or both.

3/26/2012 08:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Judy Lindsay said...

4 men council has nearly bankrupted our city and has caused extreme stress, hostile work enviornment for our city workers many still in question about their future employment, they have divided our city, embarrassed our city nationally. Some of those voters you speak of also put them in office. Now is time to change directions and get our community back on track. To blame the city clerk is unconscionable, wake up citizens.

3/26/2012 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Chessman said...

@ Barry:
Just because the Charter measure is moved from June to November doesn't mean you will be silenced. A bit melodramatic don't you think?

3/26/2012 11:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Greg Diamond said...

"What makes Katrina Foley God?"

I don't know. Barry -- how about "kicking Righeimer's ass in court?" Even then, "God" is overdoing it. Maybe "a deadly ninja" is better.

You're half right in your conclusion (putting aside the literally insane "fighting against democracy by keeping the election from improperly taking place at the time when fewer people will vote" part):

She is making others (like Righeimer) look foolish, but not herself.

3/27/2012 08:09:00 PM  

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