Monday, August 06, 2012

Request For Re-hearing To Be Continued?

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the Costa Mesa City Council will hold a regularly-scheduled meeting, the agenda for which may be read HERE.  The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

One of the items on the agenda is councilwoman Wendy Leece's request for a re-hearing of the recently- passed agreement between the City and Newport Banning Ranch, LLC, the developer proposing to develop a big chunk of that land.  You will recall that the City and NBR reached an agreement in which the developer will pay the City almost $4.4 million to mitigate traffic impacts on Costa Mesa even though the project is NOT in Costa Mesa.  There are those in the community who feel that money is insufficient to address the traffic impacts and, more important to some, it prohibits Costa Mesa from ANY future involvement in the Banning Ranch development.

Leece's request may be read HERE in the staff report.  However, there is a glitch in that Leece has asked the Fair Political Practices Commission for an opinion on her ability to be heard on this issue because of presumed conflict of interest - the gated community in which she lives is within 500 feet of the Banning Ranch property.  Accordingly, a continuance has been requested until the FPPC analyzes the information and responds.  It is unclear whether the council will grant the continuance or not.

Also of interest on this agenda is Warrant #2430, HERE,  which includes a payment to the law firm Jones Day - the $495 per hour outfit hired to handle the Charter issue.  They received a payment of $111,435.39 for their March billing.  That means we've paid them - through most of the last fiscal year - more than $1.1 million in fees and the clock's still running.  That will push the total legal fees for the year well past $2.5 million, with more to come.

The council will also hear the new Bicycle Ordinance for the final hearing, HERE.  They will vote to approve it and it will become law in our city 30 days later.  It's an amazing bit of legislation because it requires bicycle riders to NOT chain their bikes to anything on public property but a bicycle rack and yet we have few such racks in most city parks.  We have 29 parks and only 38 bike rack spaces!   The Parks and Recreation Commission just addressed that issue at its meeting last month.  Talk about getting the cart before the horse!  Of course, this is one of the many steps the city is taking to discourage homeless folks from gathering in public places - like our libraries, for example.  Bicycles found in violation will be impounded and the owners will be required to pay a few to retrieve them.

Also on the agenda are two items that involve Parks and Recreation Commissioner Jeff Mathews.  The first is the item for the replacement of resigned Planning Commissioner Jim Fitzpatrick, HERE.  The Planning Commission reviewed the applicants and is recommending to the City Council that they appoint Mathews to the unexpired term which ends in January 2015.  Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy stated unequivocally that Mathews was BY FAR the most qualified for this spot, but any person reviewing the applications who knows even a little about this city realize that is NOT true.  At least a couple other candidates have a much stronger, more relevant background to a position on the Planning Commission.  What they don't have, however, is Mathews' political clout.  He's on the OC GOP Central Committee, is Vice President of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association - McCarthy's shill organization for the OC GOP, and has contributed loads of cash to local candidates - including McCarthy!  This is perhaps the most overt act of political patronage we've seen here in years.

An interesting side note on this.  Mathews is apparently running for a seat on the Costa Mesa Sanitary District Board.  If he is appointed to the Planning Commission and is elected to the Sanitary District seat in November we will have exactly the situation that Fitzpatrick faced - incompatibility of office.  He would be forced to resign from the Planning Commission if elected.

And, the final item on the agenda is Mathews' brainstorm for a Military Banner Program.  You can read that staff report HERE.  While this seems like a worthwhile project, it certainly looks like a platform for Mathews to use in his campaign this fall.

If you decide NOT - and who could blame you? to attend the council meeting, please take yourselves over to the Target parking lot on Harbor Blvd. and join the celebration of the 2012 National Night Out festivities.  There will be equipment provided by local public safety organizations and a good time will be had by all.

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Anonymous West is judge and jury? said...

Just who would force Mathews to resign?

When Mathews is elected, the majority will change.

8/06/2012 03:42:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Apparently Wendy Leece is the only one on the council with any regard to the rules and laws. Monahan has no problem issueing towing contracts to his business partners. Fitzpatrick, well, geez, what can you say about that guy? He's just a conflict no matter how you look at it. Tennis shoes with a suit? Really? But McCarthy must really have his head in the wrong place, to even attempt setting up a conflict of interest situation when he's trying (I think) to run for council.

8/06/2012 04:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Wij&j, it's the law. That's what this whole dust-up about Fitzpatrick is all about. Legal opinions were given that holding both positions created an incompatibility. If the Attorney General upholds that view then anyone in that situation would be in violation of the law.

8/06/2012 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Geoff is correct. Thats what forced Fitz out.

Just electing the guy, doesn't make it legal. As you should know if you've watched our council, for oh...10 minutes!

8/06/2012 05:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Teo the troll said...

there is no court ruling if the offices are incompatible. that's why the cm sanitary district says it is spending ratepayer money on a lawsuit to "find out". (even though there is no problem now since Mr. Jim Fitzpatrick resigned his planning seat). there are "legal opinions" (think Foley or Stephens having an opinion) they cite but it is just a lawyer saying something ( an "opinion"). there are other lawyers saying the opposite. Thus there are 2 "legal opinions" that are direct opposites. what they have in common is that they are worthless. only a court ruling counts. as lawyers know, what the court says can be quite a surprise. The sanitary board says:"screw him" ( Mr. Jim Fitzpatrick) as they spend your ratepayer money!! Time to make a change there folks. Where is a group for responsible governance in this city? they should be all over this waste of money. except there are conflicts of cross endorsements that count more than resident money. btw, if Mr. Harlan is superior to Mathews in your opinion I disagree from what I have seen of his boilerplate, cut and paste articles with a little spite thrown in. Krupp? the meetings would never end. Byron or Jeff are the best choices to be made. I would anticipate Byron being appointed next when Jeff resigns pc to take the seat at cm sanitary in December.

8/06/2012 06:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Sad but True said...

Geoff, perhaps you can tell us what law has been broken? The opinions of a legal guy trying to keep his job said the conflict is possible.

I hope that if the AG does not rule as you say you will advocate that your buddies on the Board pay back the rate payers for the grudge use of rate payer money. That is what Ooten says it is.

The good news about Mathews is that he has the money to fight this issue.

Oh, and didn't Pension Perry run for Mesa Water and lose in 2010? Why yes he did.

And isn't Ooten on OCSD Board. Let's see if I get Geoff West logic right. Anything Fitzy does is bad, but he gives w free pass to anyone else. Leece on the 500 foot rule.

And a giant pass to Ooten who serves on a board and can vote to protect his $17,000 a month pension.

Nice thinking Geoff. Pass to people you like and false points about people you don't.

8/06/2012 06:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rich said...

If I donate $1000 to Colons election fund maybe I will get an appointment to something with clout...

8/06/2012 07:34:00 PM  
Blogger zz said...

@Sad but true
Not true. That was Art Perry's brother who ran for the water board but was not elected.

8/06/2012 10:06:00 PM  
Anonymous bro!?? said...

zz: they are both named art perry?

8/07/2012 05:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Excuse me Fitzy; quit crying about the “screw him” comment. Bob Ooten was on your side for a very long time. He defended you, he agreed and voted with you on many issues, he even volunteered to give up his stipend for you! Lord knows he tried to work with you at every turn.

The problem is not Bob Ooten or Art Perry or their pensions that you keep bringing up. The problem here is YOU. You ruined the CMSD relationships just as you have ruined so many others. When are you going to take responsibility for the kind of person you are? You didn’t begin your journey at the San District innocently asking questions, you DEMANDED things be done your way. Not the most effective strategy Einstein. Lucky for you, life gives us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. Hopefully this will teach you some valuable lessons. May I suggest a helpful resource? How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Geoff, why do you continue to allow Fitzy to post about pensions here? They are totally irrelevant to the discussion. As far as I’m concerned, they fall into the zinger category and should nullify his entire post.

8/07/2012 09:39:00 AM  

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