Monday, March 26, 2012

Judge's Tentative Ruling Posted

This afternoon Judge Franz Miller posted his tentative ruling on the case of Folcik vs. OC Registrar of Voters. You can read his tentative ruling HERE. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this page to item #17.


The way I interpret this ruling is that, for the reasons described below, Jim Righeimer's
Charter will NOT be on the June ballot.

According to the reasoning presented, there are several issues at play:
  1. The petitioner, City Clerk Julie Folcik, lacks standing and does not allege personal individual harm.
  2. The court is inclined to treat Folcik as The City of Costa Mesa.
  3. As Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley has the ministerial act/duty in this issue.
  4. The petitioner (Folcik) has not demonstrated that Kelley had a mandatory duty (to file the untimely charter resolution) he did not perform, or that Kelley had ANY discretion to abuse when rejecting the tardy filing, as the statute is mandatory.
  5. Costa Mesa has not shown any irreparable harm if the election is delayed until November.
So, now all parties will assemble in Judge Miller's courtroom at 1:30 Tuesday to argue the case. That should be a VERY interesting show. And, since it begins after lunch, it will be interesting to see if they finish in time for the parties to make it to the early Special Council meeting tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Especially since the first item - and the only item in open session - is for the council to consider and approve the agreement with Jones Day to be the litigators on this case.

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Anonymous Barry said...

Pot Stirrer is correct. This ruling will become the final order. Bye, bye Julie Folcik. It hs been nice seeing you on tv now and then. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

What a major blunder. How do you do that. She has such an easy job! What's her salary--$120k??

3/26/2012 04:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Find me 120k now! said...

That's 120k more to throw at the lawyers Barry, I like it

3/26/2012 04:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Bell ringer said...

The Blunder is electing a City Council who can't manage a city hall. WHEN all the top management were shoved out of city hall....what are you left with? A mayor with a bar as a job and a city manager who gets all his advice from a secretary....and you wonder why city hall is a mess?

3/26/2012 04:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

Hey Geoff, Have you seen this? It is a perfect analogy of what had occurred in Costa Mesa under Righeimer's regime.

3/26/2012 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Pretty irresponsible to blame this all on the city clerk. After all she does have plenty of supervision. With the CEO and all the assistant CEO's, the city attorneys and a meddlesome council. Where are they? I'd love to see one of them stand up and accept some responsibility here but we all know that will never happen.
Just an excuse to fire the city clerk and appoint yet another Riggy bootlicker yes man (or woman) to another management position.

3/26/2012 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I agree with those who believe Barry/Phil is the local blogger with the odd racial views. If so, why is he defaming Folcik?

Das Riggmarshal can't be happy. What a failure! Even with big bucks and power behind him he can't seem to gain traction here..

The rants are scary though. Do we need police and fire to put in even more OT keeping an eye on Jim? Do I want my kids nearby if he blows a fuse?

Paraguay is very nice this time of year. Maybe it's time for the mayor pro tem to take a little vaca. I'm sure he can find a few old friends down there..

3/26/2012 06:41:00 PM  
Anonymous longtimeleader said...

Folick is good people. She is able and smart. If you have NEVER made a mistake you get to take your shots. Otherwise Shut the F up. Let he without sin gets to throw the first stone.

3/26/2012 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous rufusTfirefly, esq. said...

We paid the unions so much we could not afford new calenders and we were looking at last year's. The deadline fell on a Monday according to it. Or, I ate too many Twinkies. Either argument should win it for City.

3/26/2012 07:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Many are to blame for this mistake - - said...

and it starts from the TOP DOWN as in 5th Floor.

Julie Folcik is a wonderful detailed oriented lady who has been put under much stress this past year keeping up w/ extra meetings - last minute changes in the Agendas - constantly having to change the format of the council meeting minutes to appease the CC - CC meetings that are 4-6 hours long - posting all the RFPs for the Departments where over 200+ pink-slips were issued - public record requests - swear-in all the new 5th floor employees - then the rushed Riggy charter and I am sure I do not know of all the other things she has to do - This small list just gave me a headache and I am sure she probably has a headache every other Tuesday as she sits within 10' from the FAB-4.

Love it how the Judge caught on that the actual plantiff is the City of Costa Mesa, not Ms. Folcik.

If Ms. Folcik is punished - so should Duarte, as he is the one always saying "Yes" and think how much money we have thrown his direction.

3/26/2012 09:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Chessman said...

How did someone like Righeimer who's only lived here for what, 5 or 6 years(?) get to be in charge of the whole shebang? We need locals who have lived here a while and actually care about our city on the council.

3/26/2012 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

You’re a hard taskmaster. I have no way of knowing whether Ms. Folcik made a “major blunder,” or whether she is taking the fall for someone else's miscalculation.

It's pretty easy to figure out, though, though that she does not have an easy job. All you have to do is look at the overtime records in the recent budget report: As of December 31, 2011, the CEO’s office had overspent its overtime budget by 147%, the city clerk by 42%!

No other departments exhibited a deficiency. While the councilmen complain long, loud, and bitterly about fire and police overtime--which they could remedy by staffing the departments appropriately, they pile on overtime hours for city staff, over which they have complete control, and which they could eliminate by providing a more measured workload.

Demands for additional research, RFPs, the charter proposal, capricious last-minute agenda items, and post-publication changes flood from the councilmen. Agendas, which used to be available on Thursday, are often not available until late on Friday, requiring Friday-evening overtime for city staff.
Anyone on excessive overload can make a mistake.

Interestingly, this mistake, in particular, should have cost the city nothing, and could have saved the city money because putting the charter proposal on the November ballot is cheaper than putting it forward in June. The councilmen—not Julie Folcik--are once again wasting money and staff time by arguing the case in court.

Barry, if you are truly so intolerant of mistakes, you should be demanding the recall of the councilmen, who, by ignoring the advice of the previous city attorney, ignoring written city policy, and plunging ahead with ill-conceived layoffs, have cost the residents of Costa Mesa millions in staff and legal fees.

3/26/2012 11:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Bell Ringer said...

City Council you get what you deserve! NOTHING!!!

3/27/2012 04:50:00 AM  
Anonymous level the playing field said...

Tamar: As I understand it you were at one time an educator. The school system lost a major contributor when you left. Your posting here, your posting at other blogs and the pointed comments you make at the council meetings are articulate, truthful and accurate. You have been publicly criticized by the Fab Four for speaking the truth yet you continue to defend a cause that you believe in.
Thank you for defending Julie, thank you for speaking out so honestly on behalf of yourself, the employees and most importantly the citizens of Costa Mesa. I hope all of your efforts are rewarded by the rejection of the charter and the replacement of the Unfab four. Costa Mesa deserves to be freed from their control and returned to its citizens.

3/27/2012 06:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

This is just how Righeimer does business. Badly. Then sue somebody, or get sued.
It’s his entire career, starting from Pepperdine suing him to have his tuition paid.

Then he sued when he lost against Sen. Tom Harman.

He threatened to sue anyone in Costa Mesa during the election if you mentioned all his lawsuits..

He even got three of the Jones Day attorneys to donate to his campaign fund

Then he didn’t want to pay his attorney

Righeimer is an attorney firms best friend.......

If he has caused this much litigation, imagine what might happen if he had a Charter without properly "vetted" language. Already Escondido, Vista, and San Diego are all facing litigation on a similar charter, the same one he got and then said that the language was well established.
Costa Mesans need to take back this city.

3/27/2012 07:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

"How did someone like Righeimer who's only lived here for what, 5 or 6 years(?) get to be in charge of the whole shebang? We need locals who have lived here a while and actually care about our city on the council."

Because he is a blowhard that took advantage of a situation and he had the propaganda machine of the OCGOP to assist him. He did not just move to Costa Mesa because it was such a wonderful community. He shopped around for a city that was ripe for the pickings after failing in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach. Some people, who actually took the time to vote, believed what he had to say and voted him in. He won with less than 13,000 votes out of a city of over 100,000 people. He conducted a very dirty campaign against his opponents Chris McEvoy and Wendy Leece. Unfortunately Chris was the fall guy. Then Katrina left the council for the school district and with pressure on Monahan and Bever to support him, everything fell into place. What is sad is that people did not bother to research Righeimer's tainted past, before voting for him. Hopefully voters will be better educated next November. Any candidate who is not in lock step with Righeimer should expect another dirty campaign with lies and half truths. He will stop at nothing to get his way. He has a reputation of using other people's money for his own gain and not paying his bills. He is not a fiscal conservative. He is a con artist and a true "right wing extremist." This is why bigots and those who play the blame game support him.

If you don't believe what I have written, do your own research. Google his name and see what you find. It does make for fascinating reading.

3/27/2012 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Council Stinks! said...

Sam Grady-

That is the best comment I have seriously read on this blog about Righeimer.

I personally feel that even people who voted for Righeimer would not do so again. Sure, there would be a bunch who still believe in his, "I'm going to right this city" but the majority have been duped and would not make the same mistake twice.

If you follow this blog closely and I do as well as a lot of people, you will see that when West posts something negative about council it gets flooded with anti employee rants and council supporters b.s.

Then you challenge those people with asking the tough questions regarding consultants, lawyers fees lawsuits and new hires RECEIVING the dreaded PENSIONS. Those people quickly disappear and the comments fade.

I want to believe people in this town were sold a bill of goods and now see the light.

Fool me once, shame on you...Fool me twice, shame on me.

Bye Bye Riggy! You had your fun but I can't believe the people of this town are as dumb as HE thinks!

Oh and when you leave, we won't mind if you take your band of merry men too!

3/27/2012 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous T said...

I’m not ready to celebrate yet. What we have right now is a tentative judgment, and we saw yesterday morning that such a judgment can be changed. Yesterday, the change was in our favor, thanks to the hard work and clear reasoning of three attorneys. However, we can be sure that the councilmen’s $495-per-hour big-firm lawyers have been working long and charging hard, thanks to the deep pockets of…us, the taxpayers.

It is, though, an appropriate time to thank several people who have contributed their work and talents to the good of Costa Mesa. First, thank you to John Stephens and Katrina Foley, two able attorneys who dropped everything they were doing and put in many long hours to research and prepare briefs and arguments in the extremely short timespan engineered by the city.

Thanks also to Mary Spadoni, who took the initiative to engage another attorney to argue for the right to present a position regarding the city’s effort to file papers past the deadline. It was uplifting to watch these three attorneys ably fielding question after question from the judge in order to make a case for justice for the residents of Costa Mesa.

For the record, Mr. Stephens and Ms. Foley represented themselves. They are fine examples of the many talented city residents who are devoting themselves and their special skills to the good of the community.

I wish all of them, who are working for all of us, success.

3/27/2012 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...

“Level the playing field,” thank you for your kind words. I am still a teacher, and for years I have used Animal Farm by George Orwell in one of my classes, (My conservative neighbors need not worry; the book is sharply anti-Communist.) Students from Russia always “get” the book immediately, but many trusting students need to learn to read between the lines in order to understand Orwell.

Russia is not the only country that has used and is using again the tactics described in Animal Farm; in the news, we can see them replicated worldwide. Sadly, I have begun recognizing in the text more and more parallels to our Costa Mesa government. The analogy is not complete, of course. We live in a free country protected by our constitution, the courts, and the laws of the state of California. Council will never have and doesn’t want to have the kind of power that Napoleon gained.

Nevertheless, certain parallels are obvious. We have Squealer the pig, who “can change black to white” and who is always called on to explain the pigs’undemocratic actions to the other animals. Check out Napoleon. For the warning delivered every time the animals murmur against Napoleon’s edicts, “Jones would come back!” substitute Mr. Righeimer’s bogeyman word, “Unions!”

Note how the principles of Animalism were slyly changed over the course of the book. Just this past week, I noticed a new parallel. Since the inception of Animal Farm, there had been meetings where the animals ratified the pigs’ decisions. Suddenly, Napoleon canceled the meetings entirely. In Costa Mesa, first, comments were excluded from the minutes, to be replaced by a five-word summary. At the last meeting, by fiat, speakers became nameless as well.

Poke around. Have fun if you can. No matter how many times I have read Animal Farm, though, I cry at the end.

3/27/2012 12:07:00 PM  
Anonymous George of Mesa Verde said...

Seriously people, we need to take our City back! How much more can this Coun-sell devastate our City? Every week, every month is some fiasco with them.


The damage they have done to our reputation as a good community will take years to reverse. We are the laughing stock of OC.

3/27/2012 01:40:00 PM  

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