Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kinda Short And Not So Sweet

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at City Hall last night for the council meeting an hour early only to find ex-Planning Commissioner and soon-to-be ex-Sanitary District Board member and new President of the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association - the OC GOP shill organization in town - Jim Fitzpatrick, waist deep in political signs piled all over the porch beside the entrance to the auditorium.  Of course, those signs were for his pals, the 3Ms and others.  He got there early so he could purloin the site normally occupied by the folks from Costa Mesans For Responsible Government, CM4RG.  He pulled the same kind of juvenile stunt many months ago when he arrived very, very early to a council meeting so he could occupy the seat I usually use.  Some people just never outgrow puberty.

The meeting, which I thought might wrap up by 6:30 or 7:00 p.m, tops, dragged on until just before 8:00.  Part of the reason it took so long - with only one item on the agenda - was that our part-time, part-time mayor, Eric Bever finally decided to show up.  He didn't make for the roll call at the Closed Session, though. The best he can do now is to make it five for five as his tenure on the council - thank goodness - comes to an end.  There are four more meetings left this year - two in October and one each in November and December.  No matter what happens in the November election, our council dais will be Beverless beginning in January.

Anyhow, Bever stretched the meeting out by continually interrupting speakers during Public Comments to add his two cents worth.  Not only is it inappropriate to interrupt a speaker int the middle of his or her presentation, but it's just plain rude.  I guess he just never learned courtesy when he was growing up.

During the Public Comments resident John Feeney included in his little presentation a criticism of council candidate Harold Weitzberg for his acknowledgment of "shouting down" a speaker before the council this spring.  Weitzberg then rose to defend himself, citing the person in question - imported charter shill Kevin Dayton - who had been given more than 10 minutes to speak while all other speakers were held to 3 minutes.

As Weitzberg's time expired he returned to his seat but Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer - who had been in charge of that particular meeting and who allowed Dayton to exceed his time - just had to chime in with an explanation.  Weitzberg returned to rebut his comment and the next speaker waiting his turn - a grumpy old fella who lives in Mesa North - yelled across the room from the other speaker's podium at Weitzberg to "shut up and sit down!"  Things almost got REALLY nasty until councilwoman Wendy Leece demanded that the mayor take charge of the meeting.

A curious anomaly occurred last night.  Several council members praised Bever for his role in rallying officials from adjoining cities to fight off the onerous toll road scheme planned for the I-405 expansion.  Monday a major committee of the Orange County Transportation Commission Board voted unanimously to recommend Alternate #1 to the full board, which adds only one lane each way on the expansion project.

However, during the Council Member Comments segment Bever said, basically, thanks, but no thanks.  He thanked his colleagues for their praise but said Alternate #1 was NOT what our city and the others voted to support - Alternate #2.  So, he said he will be "going for it all" when the full board meets to consider this issue on September 24th.  Uh-oh...

Righeimer, for his part, gave us another of his long-winded rants during the comments segment, and demonstrated again that he has a very difficult time sorting fact from fabrication.  For example, during his little fit of pique he again criticized previous councils for "blowing through $33 million in reserves" - conveniently forgetting that those councils had the foresight to accumulate those very reserves for emergencies - and said those councils refused to lay anyone off.  Of course, THAT IS A LIE!  The previous council, when the economy began it's free fall in 2008, took many measures to head off catastrophe, including inducing retirements and other measures that cut the headcount approximately 20%.  Of course, it's inconvenient for him to remember the truth because the truth doesn't work in his equation.

And, in another master stroke of falsehood fabrication, in response to speaker Eleanor Egan's scolding of him and his peers on the dais for "destroying" her city, he told the audience quite directly that the Costa Mesa Police Officers Association is responsible for destroying the city!  The man has no shame!
During his segment CEO Tom Hatch told the council and audience that an "Elections Team" had been formed in City Hall to deal with questions/problems during this election season.  The first order of business is the apparent removal/destruction/misplacement of campaign signs.  A summary of what is and is not permitted will be placed on the City web site and staff will be working to resolve any issues quickly.

In response to an earlier question, Hatch said he will meet soon with Police Chief Tom Gazsi to clarify the School Resource Officer issue and report back to the council.  Apparently he was not ready to get into a discussion of why officer Jess Gilman is back working as an SRO - trying to cover four schools, by the way - instead of remaining on patrol.

Hatch then presented councilwoman Wendy Leece with her five-year pin - she actually has six years in as a council member - and did so by heaping much praise on her for her dedication, hard work and tenacity.  He said nobody on the council works harder to help residents.  He also thanked her for helping HIM during his tenure with the city.  The comments were much deserved but probably cost Hatch points with the other four council members.

Several items were pulled from the Consent Calendar, one of which dealt with the item involving the 7-Eleven Store on Adams Avenue.  Once again, we had a lengthy discussion about liquor licenses in the city and how little control the city council actually has over this issue.  One speaker, former Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bob Graham, asked if being a Charter City would resolve it.  The answer was NO.  Councilman Steve Mensinger told us he's "not a fan of 7 Eleven to start with..", without further explanation.  Perhaps it's because what was one of the great American success stories is now controlled by a Japanese holding company.  It just seemed like an odd statement coming from a council member about a company trying to expand its business in Costa Mesa.

Item 5on the Consent Calendar is an RFP for Roadway markings and Traffic Sign Maintenance.  It turns out this is actually a request for re-advertising this item, which apparently was incorrectly announced previously in what Hatch referred to as a "staff error."  Righeimer immediately pounced on that like a jackal on a carcass and said, "We have 400 people on staff.  Who did not do this correctly?"  Clearly, he was out for blood on this fairly minor issue.  Bever shut the door on him, but it demonstrates one more time his impatience on the dais and that he will praise staff members with one breath and castigate them with the next.

The final item discussed - and the only item on the agenda beyond the Consent Calendar - was the decision to cancel the November 6, 2012 City Council meeting due to the national election.  I suspect that staff recognized the reality of the situation - that several members of the City Council will be too busy either partying or crying that night to give city business a fair shot.  So, that meeting will be canceled.

This meeting could, and probably should, have ended an hour earlier.  It took more time because some council members just had to pontificate about pet issues and because Bever just had to interrupt the flow of events with his petty, insignificant and rude interruptions of speakers before the council.  C'mon January!

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Anonymous sk said...

Happy to see the mention of the soon to be ex sanitary director. Don't expect Fitzpatrick to admit he was wrong in trying to hold two incompatible seats and costing the residents of Costa Mesa the legal fees to get the issue resolved. No, Fitzpatrick will argue the ruling was wrong because Fitzpatrick is always right.

9/19/2012 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Race Bait said...

Marty from Grant Avenue has allegedly gotten the attention of the Southern Poverty Law Center because of his race-obsessed screeds. Why do I believe he doesn't like Jews?

9/19/2012 07:20:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

THANK YOU HAROLD, for having the huevos to stand up to those bullies. Screw those who don't like it. I'm so glad to see a candidate that can stand his ground when he is right. YOU GO HAROLD. There are lots backing you up.

9/19/2012 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Moon said...

Self absorbed is an accurate description of Jim Fitzpatrick, Eric Bever, and Jim Righeimer. It's always about them. It's rarely about Costa Mesa. That is the number one reason they shouldn't be holding a public office. They're to do the public's business, which they appear to have little time for.

9/19/2012 07:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Inquest said...

Are people affiliated with the council majority paying Marty the weirdo blogger to attack Weitzberg, Genis, and Stephens? Sure looks and sounds like it.

Surely CM Taxpayers, a shill group headed by alleged house husband Fitzpatrick, would never do such a thing?

9/19/2012 08:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

So last year and early this year the firefighters were the ones destroying the city according to Righeimer. Now the cops are destroying the city? Sounds like a playbook to me.

9/19/2012 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Creepshow said...

Righeimer has reached a new level of being a shrill, overfed lowlife by attacking our cops. May God have mercy on his miserable soul.

9/19/2012 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Paid For said...

Righeimer and Mensinger got to go play with Romney the other night while Bever, Monahan, Fitzy, and the other servants had to scrub the castle floor.

Do they make Gary go without underwear when he wears that ethnic skirt?

9/19/2012 09:35:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Thanks for another great report.

We're grateful that Harold Weitzberg is out there standing up to the bad guys. Along with Sandy Genis and John Stephens he deserves our support!

9/19/2012 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous roboto said...

Weitzberg is a loose cannon like Gericault and Foley. to be laughed at as the village idiots. for some reason i couldn't get the live feed of council meeting online last night but, again, i bet when i watch it i will think i am seeing a completely different meeting than the way it was reported herein. (or was i actually at the meeting, trying here to throw you off? maybe i was on the dais? who knows?)
Great that Fitzy grabbed your seat and cm4rg spot. both public property, step up your game or lose again. btw, "sk", fitzy isn't costing the ratepayers money with a lawsuit- it is the soon to be ex San Board members who are using our monies for a personal grudge. fitzy will be re elected before this ever gets in front of a judge, just a huge waste of money from people who can't think forward. God Bless Wendy.

9/19/2012 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Concerned for Costa Mesa said...

Interesting about Fitzpatrick being there and his juvenile tactics. He has also taken to deleting any point made that would make him think on his Facebook Page under Costa Mesa Tax blah blah blah. I sincerely hope Costa Mesa citizens get involved and turn out for this election. The lack of curiosity and reasoned debate amongst the 3 M candidates is sad and disturbing.

9/19/2012 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan (man of few words, sometimes) said...

Herman Melville says that Capt. Ahab was “monomaniacal” about Moby Dick. His novel tells of Ahab’s self-destructive obsession to hunt the white whale.

Monomaniacal is a nifty word. It’s not only fun to say (how many words have six syllables?), but it pretty well categorizes the OCGOP’s and Jim Righeimer’s attitude towards unions. Remember OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh’s excited announcement that “Costa Mesa is ground zero” for the Republican attack on public workers? From subsequent events, it’s clear he meant they’re trying out their strategies and tactics in CM for use elsewhere in the state of California, but nationwide as well. We might be famous (or infamous) folks!

Righeimer’s monomania surfaces frequently. Last night, he just couldn’t wait to publicly try to show that city workers are inadequate. He noted that there are 400 employees (implying that there are so many that Hatch couldn’t have had the problem of overworked staff), then asked for the name of the person responsible for the improperly done Roadway RFP. If Eric Bever hadn’t jumped in and told him it was not appropriate, Righeimer might have been able to drive a harpoon into his personal Moby Dick.

Righeimer may be running the city like a business, but it’s a business like Captain Ahab’s … nothing else mattered to Ahab – not the welfare of his crew nor the welfare of his ship – but the killing and slicing up of Moby Dick.

More and more, Righeimer is proving to the world that a city should NOT be run like a business!

9/19/2012 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Gabe Kotter said...

fitzpatrick is such a creep

9/19/2012 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Wow roboto, you think you are so cool. If only you could resist the use of your favorite words. “personal grudge” we might not have figured out that you are obviously Jim Dickpatrick. Let’s talk about who the real village idiot is here…it’s you! Not just an idiot, but clearly, a delusional one as well. There is no chance in hell you will ever be reelected to anything again. You really need to get over yourself. Personally, I love it when sk, a 9 year CMSD employee who worked with you, makes her points about your awful personality on this blog and in the Daily Pilot. And, thank you very much for proving her love to argue and you are never wrong. Well, when one has to defend his actions over and over again, he has a serious problem. Public perception is not working in your favor. Oh, but I’m sure your next post will be that Fitzy has gone fishing today and out of range for! Get a flippin job dude!

9/19/2012 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous bebe said...

so fitzy went and put up a table and he is a creep. cm4rg puts a table in the same place and they are standing up to the bad guys. got it.

9/19/2012 02:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Help Needed said...

How many jobs does Mrs. Fitzy have to work so Jimmy can run around town annoying others and kissing up to Riggy?

9/19/2012 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous roboto said...

anyone else think that Genis made a mistake running as a slate with Weitzberg? From the beginning he was a nobody and now he is a hot headed nobody. He may even finish below the two candidates who are not even running but on the ballot if he keeps this up. Most likely he doesn't but things seem to be getting worse for him and his illegally placed signs. facts can be great friends.

9/19/2012 04:23:00 PM  
Anonymous He make a mistake said...

Like Riggy has never made a mistake? I can name three just from reading about the meeting:

1. His comb over
2. His clothing selection
3. Ever opening his mouth

9/19/2012 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous I'm With Goofy said...

Help Needed-- I don't know about Mrs. Fitzy, but Mrs. Mensy is busy putting up "Vote 4 Mensinger" posters in all the breakrooms at Disneyland.

9/19/2012 08:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Screw Up said...

The Purchasing Department screwed up on the Signs and Marking Bid Proposal. It is their job to coordinate the advertising of bids. What is ironic is that Purchasing falls under lap dog Bobby Young. Why wasn't he raked over the coals for the screw up?

9/19/2012 09:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Help Needed said...

I'm With Goofy wrote:
"Help Needed-- I don't know about Mrs. Fitzy, but Mrs. Mensy is busy putting up "Vote 4 Mensinger" posters in all the breakrooms at Disneyland."

o/o/ "It's a small world after all...." o/o/

9/19/2012 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Onan said...

roboto re Harold Weitzberg:
"he is a hot headed nobody."

So in your small brain, a hot-headed "somebody," Mensy, is somehow superior?

How many lawsuits was Weitzberg involved in? How many baggage clerks did Weitzberg have altercations with at the airport? How many Costa Mesa teachers did Weitzberg have altercations with?

None? What a nobody in the twisted world of the ocgop takeover.

9/19/2012 09:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Gabe Kotter said...

@ bebe:

No, fitzy is a creep because of a long, laundry list of screw-ups, gaffes and overall boneheadedness. I've never seen a grown man so desperate to be accepted by the lower tier of OC Republicans as fitzy. He kisses the butts of riggy, and mesinger. riggy and company have cut their bones with the "less government is more" blotter yet they go and form a tea partyesque group called CM Taxpayers. A group that has no power whatsoever, yet they actually feel the need to have a "president" which in this case is fitzy. I could care less if fitzy wants to sit a table in front of city hall. But to hear fitzy rant about things above his level of intelligence is the real issue.

9/19/2012 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Actually, Gabe, one of his first hair-brained ideas on the San. District Board was his demand that they build a dais for the five directors. If you've ever seen the conference room where their meetings are held you'd realize what a ludicrous idea that was - and is. Guess he didn't like the fact that he couldn't look down on the little people...

9/19/2012 10:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Please Stop Stealing Signs said...

don’t know what Fitz and his gang were doing, maybe having signs delivered at City hall like some of the mm’s had at the community center during a Forum? Most of the companies won't deliver to a residence and maybe they couldn’t find a business that would accept their deliveries. Why couldn't they go to the room of dead animals upstairs from Monahans?

If they were trying to get my goat I didn't get it. CM4RG doesn’t own that spot. I was late, they were there, we set up on the other side and made new friends, passed out literature, had a good time as usual.

I offered Jim and Barry cookies, had a good conversation with another frenemy. It's no big deal.

The main thing I want to say is, if anyone thinks they are doing our side a favor by stealing the other guys signs, you are not! Please don't. Thugs steal signs, whatever side they are on. CM4RG is here because we value Democracy and want to support it. Anyone who steals signs is not showing any respect for the Democratic process we enjoy in America.

Once those signs are on someone’s property they are personal property, another thing we ought to respect. Oh, and I’ll throw in “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If consequences motivate you more than morality, I’ll remind you there can be stiff penalties for stealing another’s personal property, even if it’s just a $3 yard sign. A lot of homeowners have installed cameras these days and you can’t even see where they are. Think about that if you don’t want to stop being a thief just because it’s the right thing to do.

I can understand kids or teenagers thinking it’s a lark or thinking they are doing someone a favor. If anyone reading this knows any young people who feel that way, please do your utmost to discourage them.

Thank you.

Robin Leffler
Costa Mesans for Responsible Government

9/20/2012 04:41:00 AM  
Anonymous roboto said...

one of fitz's good ideas was asking to bid out a trash contract since we pay the SAME company 50 per cent more than they charge other cities for the SAME service. Of course, they give golf outings and nice dinners to the soon to be gone incumbent directors so the trash company does spread the wealth around. Hear they are doing 10K worth of campaign work on behalf of same incmbents. Have you heard that? Sounds like a takeover of the San District is in the trash company's plans. Too bad, so sad, won't work. They will have to lower their rates for us. facts can be friendly, personal grudge.

9/20/2012 06:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Occupy said...

Sounds like Fitz & the CM Tax are younger, smarter & faster.

They sure are upsetting the status quo. Look how angry they are. Sloppy , angry, unfocused, undisciplined ... Did I mention angry? Lead by the angry author of this blog that is the last outlet to facilitate Haters comments.

When we get old we hope we do not become as angry as the anger displayed here.

We are thankful for the efforts that support change. That support restructuring of the city budget and putting residents first.

Looks like Fitz has occupied Geoff West's head

9/20/2012 08:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Truth Be Told said...

We don't think there are any "stolen signs," just like we don't believe the Monahan brick, Mensy paint, or Riggy DUI fables.

9/20/2012 08:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Sam Grady said...

I agree "Truth Be Told." All the "incidents" have no resolution. There is big publicity when they happen with lots of speeches and press release on how those poor council members are being attacked. Then nothing. No further investigations. No resolution. How can that be? Why has there been no follow up with the Righeimer DUI incident? We know who made the call to 911. Why are their no more details? Sounds pretty suspicious to me.

9/20/2012 09:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Honeyman said...

I must come clean.

I do allow my dogs to pee on lawns with Mensinger signs.

9/20/2012 10:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Gabe Kotter said...

@ occcupy

actually i am much younger than fitzy the car washer.

9/20/2012 01:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

Just so much disinformation, noise and outright lies being spread. A sad state of affairs...

9/20/2012 08:56:00 PM  

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