Monday, March 19, 2012

City Council Meeting Agenda, 3/20/12

There are some interesting, and potentially time-consuming, items on the Costa Mesa City Council agenda tomorrow. The meeting, which begins at 6:00 in City Council chambers, will be Eric Bever's first official meeting of his most recent abbreviated reign. And, if the events since he was elected last Tuesday are any indication, it's going to be worth the price of admission, for sure.


As you know from my previous post, Bever is recommending a very significant change in the order of business on future agendas. That change, as I said before, seems to discourage public comments and makes it more uncomfortable for residents to hear what CEO Tom Hatch has to say in his report, since both those items have been shoved to the rear of the agenda. Only City Attorney Tom Duarte is scheduled later, the caboose, as it were.

And, a
s is his prerogative, he's already juggled the seating chart, placing Wendy Leece way, way over next to Duarte on the far left as you face the dais and former mayor Gary Monahan way, way over on the right side next to Hatch. That leaves the real power on the dais, Bever flanked by puppeteers Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger, in the center.

If business goes as scheduled - and there's no guarantee that will actually happen - Public Comments will be held at near the beginning, following Presentations and immediately before Hatch's report. You can read the agenda HERE.

Then we launch into the Consent Calendar which, as you may know, could be handled all at once with a single vote unless a member of the council or the public pulls an item for separate discussion and vote. I think it's likely that at least a couple items will be pulled. The two Warrants, HERE and HERE, contain some legal fees that might generate some observations by the public. For example, Jones Day was paid just over $87,000 and Jones and Mayer were paid $119,000 and change. That amount is consistent with most months this fiscal year and continues the trend to exceeding the budget for legal expenses by almost double. At a recent study session Bobby Young, Finance and Information Technology Director, told the council an adjustment in the Self Insurance Fund will be necessary because of the legal fees being racked up by Jones Day.


Also on the Consent Calendar is the 2011 Annual Review of the Costa Mesa 2000 General Plan, HERE. Caution: Don't click on that link unless you are serious about looking it over. This report is 70 pages long and may give you a brain cramp.

The final item on the Co
nsent Calendar is Bever's scheme to reduce transparency by shuffling the agenda. I previously wrote it HERE. You can read that staff report HERE.


There are no Public Hearings scheduled so we don't have to worry
about jerking to a stop at 7:00 to proceed with them. There is also no Old Business scheduled.

However, there are six (6) items on the New Business agenda, some of which ma
y generate significant discussion.

Item 1 is a screening request for five (5) residences on Meyer Place, HERE.

Item 2 is a presentation of the design and location of the 19th West Urban Plan monument sign that one angry old coot in town had been badgering the city staff about for months, HERE. Personally, I think either sign looks pretty nice and the location seems about right. However, the old coot is still peeved about it and will likely vent his spleen on the issue Tuesday.


Item 3 is the Homeless Task Force recommendations, HERE. The staff report and the three attachments. Each title is a "hot link", so just click on it to read the attachment.
These present a comprehensive set of recommendations and costs to, hopefully, mitigate some of the very significant negative impacts of the homeless folks in our city. I'm going to be VERY interested to see just how this council reacts to the numbers.

Item 4 deals with Wendy Leeces idea of the creation of a Military Affairs Team, HERE. I understand the goal with this one, but it's not clear to me how a "te
am" fits in the world of commissions, committees, etc. The staff report says it won't have to abide by the Brown Act, so I'm curious about just what kind of an organization this is supposed to be. Don't get me wrong... I thing the goal is admirable, it's just the organization structure that has me flummoxed.


Item 5 is a proposal by the American Civil War Society to use part of Fairview Park for a Civil War enactment and fee waiver. You can read it HERE.


Item 6, the final item on the agenda, is the Fiscal Year 2011-2012 mid-year budget report, HERE. If the agenda holds as-is, this item will be late in the evening and we all know how
wonderfully some members of our council does with numbers late at night. However, to help them out Bobby Young, Director of Finance and Information Technology has provided several exhibits -eight (8), to be precise - to help them out a little. Here's a list of them. Each is a "hot link", so just "click" on the title to see the report:

I draw your attention to #8, in particular. It shows a request for additional dollars totaling nearly $700,000. The need for more dollars is due, primarily, to the way this council is spending legal dollars. An additional $900,000 is requested for the Self Insurance Fund - where outfits like Jones Day (at $495 per hour per lawyer) is paid from.

And, do you remember me complaining about that 5-year forecast spreadsheet that Righeimer and his playmates had so much fun with a few weeks ago? You recall - he, primarily, just pulled numbers out of the air and plugged them into this spreadsheet without any discussion on how he arrived at the numbers or what they were supposed to represent. I cautioned then and since that this document would become part of the budget process and that we would find that the ONLY place to cover these huge, unsubstantiated numbers, was from staff costs. Well, Attachment 7 is that spreadsheet.

The numbers plugged in from the up-coming 2012-2013 fiscal year through the 2016-2017 fiscal year show some enormous "deficits" that will have to be made up somehow. We all know what's coming next. They will take this fabricated document and use it as a red herring to force employee capitulation.

So, Tuesday's meeting could be an interesting one. It's impossible to guess how long this one will go on, especially with our new/old part-time, part-time mayor at the helm now. It's almost too soon for him to steer us over the falls, but you just never know. Stay tuned...

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Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

Re: the 5-year financial plan (Attachment 7 to the last item under New Business), look and see that the Council intends to spend more than 10 times as much on streets, alleys and Harbor Boulevard improvements than on reducing the dread "unfunded liabilities" that were such a big deal a year ago. Does it make sense to go on a building binge when we are supposedly in deep, deep financial trouble? Or was that just a scare tactic to try to justify the outsourcing of everything?

3/19/2012 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

Don't think unfunded pension liabilities are a problem here and all around the country? If not, you are spending too much time on the little stuff.
Speaking of little stuff: seating. Man, let it go Geoff. Totally normal for Mayor to be in middle seat and pro tem next to him. The others all have to go somewhere. Is the big deal the fact that Wendy is not next to middle or on other side of Dais? How big is this in the realm of things. It gets a lot of mention here but seems very trivial. Of course many trivial items are beaten to death by the usual speakers. Please diagram the best seating chart for us and tell us why. Fascinating.

3/20/2012 07:26:00 AM  
Anonymous cal said...

BEVER has zero common sense. I wonder how much time and effort he is going to take to attend meetings?

3/20/2012 08:11:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

To: All Trolls
From: Your Charter Riggmarshal
Re: Talking Points for Week of 3/19/12

1. Charter good, will pass;

2. West angry;

3. Regular speakers in Costa Mesa: Bad. Only speakers approved by Das Riggmarshal (like lobbyist Dayton) are good, not stupid;

4. Dais seating is not important. As long as multitude hears our leader loudly, everything is fine;

5. Ignore Great Leader's odd voice- think Steven Seagal, not Richard Simmons;

6. Firefighters and police are nice people, but know nothing about their jobs and compensation. Only Great Leader is qualified to talk aboutthese issues;

7. Every liability is unfunded. Keep saying:

union thug, unfunded. union thug, unfunded.

Every person in Costa Mesa who doesn't follow Great Leader is a union thug. Children in all CM elemenary schools are union thugs until they join Pop Warner, and follow Great Leader's Assistant.

8. Big Bever Eric is not a regular tool- he is a POWER TOOL with a direct cord to Great Leader's brain. Those are not "strings" going from Great Leader to Bever- they are part of the Power Grid.

9. Napoleon was a hero, not a failure. Great Leader is smarter and will conquer, not end up in exile.

3/20/2012 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Checkyourcharacter said...

checkyoursix, you are a deceitful person. First of all it should not be a big deal except Eric and council make it a big deal and you know it.

Everyone knows Wendy had been cheated out of being Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem. OK so we aleady know this council is childish. This just further exhibits the childishness of this council and especially Eric Bever. Wendy as the second senior member should be seated next to the mayor on the other side of Mayor Pro Tem. But the extremely childish Bever would never let that happen. I would say this is something like a fifth grader would do but that would be an insult to the fifth grader. His seating arrangement is once again just another slap at Wendy and you show exactly the type of human being you are to try and say otherwise. But I think people thankfully know about your character or lack of it.

2nd: I do wonder in 8 months when Mayor Bever is no longer on the council will Jim Righemimer nominate again the senior member of council for the top spot? Of course you and I know the answer. We all also know when Wendy is once again passed up you will make some deceitful comment in support of whatever action is taken.

3rd: I just hope people wake up to the lack of character and honesty that you exhibit. Your friends have the power today and they can be childish all they want but if they keep doing these things over and over eventually the good people on their side will tire of it. I hope at least people expect more from their leaders.

3/20/2012 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous checkyoursix said...

You have a messed up mind. You are paranoid. How can I be deceitful by talkinb about where people sit? Leece is unfit for Mayor or council so she was not cheated out of it, she did not deserve it. Foley, on the other hand, was cheated out of it. She was very fit to lead our City. I am thankful she did not get Mayor but must admit she was up to it. Leece is not. She is a simpleton, no vision, and a puppet of the Genis crowd who give her all her talking points. When Genis is absent, Leece falters in trying to get a point across. She was a barnacle that got elected by attaching herself to Mansoor. She now pays him back by endorsing Daigle. Nice. Did the same thing to OCGOP. It's in her nature to use people for advancement and then turn on them. I know, hard to believe by looking at her, but, oh, so true!

3/21/2012 07:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Dude where's my seat said...

checkyoursix: It seems you have the messed up mind. Deceit isn't about the subject matter it's how you present that matter. Yes you can be deceitful over something like seating arrangements just like you did in your previous comment.

Leece was a previous Mayor Pro Tem and is the next senior member even if you do not feel she has the qualifications to be mayor. She had more support than any other member of the speaking residents this time and last. I can accept this council would never give her any recognition as mayor or mayor pro tem. But you trying make this look innocent shows your deceit. It's a pure childish game the seating maneuver and you know it. As I said it shows your knack for lack of honesty.

At the very least Wendy Leece should have been in the other center seat. It has no power nor does she have to have any qualifications of mayorship but there is an implied seniority. All you have to do is look at the seating arrangements of all the other current and past commissions. Overwhelmingly senior members until this council had the least experince members on the outside seats.

Again checkyoursix even the way people handle minor issues can show their true character. In fact it often shows a great deal about their character if they can't even put aside their childishness on minor issues.

3/21/2012 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous mulva? said...

getting hung up on where one sits is rigdiculous. But another shiny object for the infantile.

3/24/2012 08:40:00 AM  

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