Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Petulance, Fabrications And The Long Road Ahead

What I learned last night at City Council at a meeting that actually finished the same date on which is began. They adjourned at 9:50! Be still, my heart!

Last night I learned th
at we were much better off when our part-time, part-time Mayor Eric Bever decided to stay home from city council meetings. Last night I had a refresher course on just what a petty, petulant person he is. For example, after almost every speaker during public comments finished their presentation he just HAD to spit something back at them. Remember that guy in third grade that just had to get the last word in? That was Eric Bever last night. For a guy who has had nearly seven and a half years on the dais you'd hope he had learned decorum by this time, but, no, he hasn't. His antics had the relatively small audience shaking their collective heads in disbelief and chuckling among themselves as he embarrassed himself time after time.

And, he tried to muzzle councilwoman Wendy Leece again - this time unsuccessfully. She just wasn't going to be prohibited from speaking her piece. Good for her.


We also learned that Jim Righeimer has a very difficult time with the truth, that he is a hypocrite and that he just doesn't understand the word "No".

In the former case, he continues to just make up budget numbers then expects the staff to come up with ways to meet them. Speaker Perry Valantine pointed this out to him during Public Comments on the Mid-year budget review segment.


Regarding the latter... following a comment by former councilman Jay Humphrey - Treasurer of the grass roots organization Costa Mesans For Responsible Government, ( which opposes Righeimer's charter - Righeimer called Humphrey back to the podium and proceeded to harangue him. He implied that the group would accept money from labor unions. Humphrey stated, unequivocally, that they had not. Finally they had this exchange.

RIGHEIMER: "You will take money from labor unions, municipal labor unions, if they offered it to you."
HUMPHREY: "I didn't say that at all, but that's a good way to restate it. That's a real good way to restate it. No!"
RIGHEIMER: "So you won't take money from..."
HUMPHREY: "I answered the question!"
RIGHEIMER: "OK. Well, uh, I don't think I got a clear answer there, but tha
nks very much."

Well, I watched that exchange, as did the other 40 or so people in the audience, and we ALL understood Jay Humphrey's answer - no! - meaning, unequivocally, that Costa Mesan For Responsible Government WILL NOT accept contributions from labor organizations. I guess that wasn't the answer Righeimer wanted to hear. Either that or he's just plain stupid - take your pick.


Later in the meeting, when Finance and Information Technology Director Bobby Young was, once again, presenting the mid-year budget review to the council, we saw Righeimer's hypocrisy at work. You will recall that the only reason we were hearing this presentation again
is because, during the first time around a couple weeks ago when former mayor Gary Monahan was absent, Righeimer threw a hissy fit and voted no on the authorization to shift money from the General Fund to the Self Insurance Fund so litigation bills could be paid.


Then, last night, as they were again about to vote on the transfer of funds, Righeimer responded to Wendy Leece's statement that she wasn't going to support the item because she felt the legal costs were excessive by accusing her of being "juvenile". This from a guy who did precisely the same thing the last time around!

During his segment of council member comments Mayor Bever dropped thi
s little bomb. He said: "Mr. Hatch, I've been made aware that there is, in fact, an opportunity that we do not have, we are not required to consolidate our election with the county and I would like to ask you to investigate the options of the city running that independent of the county and please report back with the necessary action". Yep, Jim Righeimer's Charter has been blocked from appearing on the June 5th ballot so now they apparently want to hold an independent special election for it - one not consolidated with the Primary Election.

AB 1344

Well, in the wake of the City of Bell debacle the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1344 last year, which became effective on January 1, 2012. Here's part of the text of the bill that is relevant to what appears to be Bever's intention - to hold a special election on the Charter: (Emphasis is mine)

This bill would require a city charter or charter amendment,
whether submitted to the voters by a charter commission or the
governing body of the city or city and county, to be submitted at the
next established statewide general, statewide primary, or regularly
scheduled municipal election date, provided there are at least 95
days before the election
. This bill would also require a proposal to
adopt a charter, whether submitted to the voters by a charter
commission or the legislative body of a city or city and county to
include in the ballot description an enumeration of new city powers
as a result of the adoption of the charter, including, but not
limited to, whether the city council will, pursuant to an adopted
charter, have the power to raise its own compensation and the
compensation of other city officials without voter approval.

So, it would appear that if Jim Righeimer's Charter is to be placed before the voters it will happen with the General Election in November - unless we somehow miss that date, too.

Last night was a painful reminder of just what the next several months are going to be like with Bever at the helm. He just can't seem to contain himself and maintain decorum from and on the dais. Worse, he exacerbates the problem with his own pettiness. Yeah, I know - he "didn't sign up for this." - as he reminded us last year. Well, yes, he did "sign up for this" when he accepted the oath of office. To use his own words, "If you don't like it, Tough Luck!" He needs to step up and shut up. His petty sniping at speakers is very unbecoming.


It's going to be a very, very long road to the General Election in November.

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Anonymous Mom said...

Attention Council Members and Teenagers...."No" is a complete sentence!

4/04/2012 05:57:00 AM  
Anonymous yippie! said...

Why did leffler go up to speak about the 46 unanswered questions and then proceed to use the word "we" over and over herself. She is really hung up on this, not a good sign, she could be losing it. Next thing you know she will just bolt up from her seat and go to the mic and start talking in the middle of the meeting, interrupting council action illegally. Oh wait, she did that last night but was not reported here. Left podium as cop came to take her away. "they're coming to take me away hehe, they're coming to take me away, 5150

4/04/2012 06:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike M said...

So when I asked 'Yippie' in yesterday's comments if there was going to be some super-secret election prior to November, I guess I was on to something? The blind leading the dumb, ladies and gentlemen. How any of these clowns ever got elected truly amazes me, but I sleep well at night knowing I never voted for ANY of them - especially Bever. Hard to believe he once called me a juvenile bully when one takes a look at his act. Check yourself before you wreck yourself, Beve.

And now we know that Yippie is some sort of 'insider' who reads your blog - but then again, he'll just change his moniker. Classic

4/04/2012 06:30:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Puppet Bever is the distractor.

Riggy pulls the strings, the fool opens his mouth, says something dumb, and all ears and eyes are on him while Riggy grabs your wallet.

The extremists ae running scared. Justice is coming.

4/04/2012 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

I am amazed at this Council's audacious misuse of funds (in this case it takes the form of wasted staff hours). They statute re elections for charters is clear and public knowledge. Many of us knew this the day the appeal was denied, so how can these men who claim to experts on charters (and what is BEST for Costa Mesa) not know this? And, why haven't the high-priced attorneys told this to their clients? This all reminds me of Jimmy Breslin's book from the 1970's The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. But this time, I'm not laughing.

4/04/2012 08:22:00 AM  
Anonymous When said...

will this long city nightmare end?

4/04/2012 08:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Arrogant said...

let's hold a special election. Your tax dollars at work!

4/04/2012 08:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I wonder if I could read this summary in the required three minutes of public comments......Lord knows they need it.

4/04/2012 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Stealing S.A.F.D. said...

I wonder how the real politicians of Santa Ana feel about the OCFA coming in and stealing their Fire Department from them.Those union thugs at OCFA must have held a gun to their heads and demanded that they turn over the Fire Department. I don't think it happened that way, it was more of a real money issue and not a made up story by City Council to scare people.

4/04/2012 08:43:00 AM  
Anonymous yippie! said...

I'm just a junior bootlicker for my master jimbo. If I'm really really good he lets me wear a collar

4/04/2012 08:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Gericault said...
I wonder if I could read this summary in the required three minutes of public comments......Lord knows they need it.

Why waste your breath?
Righeimer needs to review this instead:

4/04/2012 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Themosticles said...

It really is the gang that can't shoot straight, as they send Hatch on another fool's errand, while the City Attorney continues bumbling along and wasting the taxpayers' dollars with his gross incompetence.

Does Hatch have a spine anywhere under there? Will he ever speak up and just say no?

4/04/2012 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

When will this nightmare end? Perhaps in January when a new council is sworn in. Until then, we are in for a rough 9 months.

Thanks to Yippie! and all the Council insiders for telegraphing that there will be a special election between July 9th (which is 95 days from today) and November 6th. We should all fully expect to have three elections this year - the primary, the special, and the general.

4/04/2012 09:19:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Hey, yippee! You forgot to mention that Robin Lefler's "illegal" attempt to address the Council was to correct a falsehood (lie or misunderstanding?) spewed by Council member Mensinger. Mensinger tried to trivialize the positions of Costa Mesans for Responsible Government (CM4RG) by saying it is the same group that protested IKEA ten years ago, and "IKEA is just fine."

I can understand Mensinger's confusion, as the other group's initials (CMRG) are almost the same. But, G for Growth and G for Government make the groups, and the names, different. I know for a fact that the goals and membership are different, too.

I suppose one could make the same mistake by thinking that members of the GOP (Grand Old Party) are the same as the GOP (Group Of Proctologists). While there may be some membership overlap, they are two quite different organizations.

But, I guess Yippee and the Mayor would rather that false information spouted from the dais remain unchallenged. That way, we can have a really productive discourse - NOT.

4/04/2012 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Voters (6) said...

Hey Costa Mesa...WAKE UP!!! These four idiots are spending YOUR TAX DOLLARS on litigation that will go nowhere for the sole purpose of trying to force an election on the Charter that will draw the minimum number of voters and depend upon voter apathy to carry their item..GET A CLUE.
Watch and see, these guys will now attempt to get it before the California Supreme Court no matter the cost...

4/04/2012 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Hypocrites said...

Hilarious! Perry Valantine admonishing everyone to talk about the real issues and not disparage people for allegedly being affiliated with one side or the other (unions or council), when he himself disparaged several long-time residents who spoke in support of the council, stating that their comments were from a script.

Perry should heed his own advice.

4/04/2012 09:52:00 AM  
Anonymous cmwatcher said...

It's more of the same, or another way to state it, "same as it ever was." Is Hatch at the helm? Not so much! Bobby Young responsible for the budget? Not even possible! Bottom line: CM voters are responsible for the debacle and only the voters can get themselves out of this quagmire that they have created. All the nails are in the coffin, the charter will be the final nail. Voters be aware of what's happening! This is the Republican agenda - if that suits the residents, then they should stop complaining. If they don't like it, vote them out, ditch Hatch and Young and start over with reputable and knowledgeable staff.

4/04/2012 11:17:00 AM  
Anonymous What said...

don't certain council members get about "public comments"? It is not "public lecture" time. They get that opportunity later. It is fine to ask or answer a question or interject something in brevity if it adds to the "conversation", but not to get all professorial on us.

4/04/2012 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

I certainly hope that we get three new and reasonable councilmembers elected in November. Then they can clean house and rebuild everything this current corrupt band of unskilled, unethical and incompetent fools have destroyed.
This city needs an enema

4/04/2012 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Your last sentence is the BEST description of that this city needs - EVER! Thanks for the smile and for the image. :-) ;-)

4/04/2012 01:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Riggy is a sad Piggy said...

Riigy made it pretty clear that he's not interested in hearing offers from the Fire Department and that he would rather wait it out and pay all the OT for the vacant positions and then complain that firefighters make too much in OT.

4/04/2012 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Bell Wannabe Costa Mesa said...

Tom Hatch should do the right thing for once and quit. Show this City you have a little Integrity. Look up the definition Tom, it is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations, and outcomes. In ethics. The employees and the citizens are sick of you and the corrupt council you speak for.

4/04/2012 06:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

As I said, a Hatch is a hole into a hold. ("Batten down the Hatch!)

It's also what an egg does to produce a chick (hopefully I'm not offending too many chicks; "egg" is of course a term of opprobrium, used on occasion by Shakespeare). (The crow will sit on the eggs until they Hatch.)

It's also a collection of crisscrossed lines, used sometimes for shading. Hopefully not often for shading the truth, but unfortunately sometimes so.

Also a term for "mouth", as in Schweppes commercials ("Down the Hatch!").

The plot thickens until it is Hatched. Shall we, then, Leave it to Bever? Perhaps a "Hatch-et" job is in order, figuratively speaking, of course.

4/04/2012 11:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Reb said...

I'm a Costa Mesa resident for 46 years. My heart tightens as I read these negative comments directed towards our citizens of all political affiliations being attacked because they oppose this Charter, this City Council and it's reckless spending. The attacks are vicious. I think the councils fears are based on the fact that Republicans, Democrats and Independents of this city all oppose them. They have major financial backing from the GOP and can't believe some of their own kind would thwart them so they claim the opposition has Union financial backing which it doesn't as Jay stated. Costa Mesans love their city and will fight together in a non partisan manor to keep it safe, healthy, prosperous and functioning for all it's residents.

4/04/2012 11:50:00 PM  

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