Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Finally, Back To Business..

Tuesday night, in their first meeting in over a month, the Costa Mesa City Council got back down to business, but not before an interesting sidebar.


A crew from KCET presented itself in the auditorium at 5:00 hoping to get some footage of the council in action and specifically to interview lame duck Mayor Eric Bever for a story they are doing on homelessness in Orange County.  As you may recall, Bever became a lightning rod for criticism recently when he suggested to the City CEO, Tom Hatch, that he investigate ways to shut down the social service agencies that serve, among others, Costa Mesa's homeless population.  In typical Bever fashion, he refused to be interviewed and the KCET crew promptly left.  OK - a show of hands of those who are glad Bever's termed out?  Yeah, that's what I thought - nearly unanimous.

Among the presentations made last night was to a group of car owners who have participated in Bever's legacy event - the First Friday Car Show.  The owners were presented with what amounted to a "people's choice" award for each show since the beginning in August.  Here you see volunteer Cindy Brenneman and Special Affairs Manager Dan Joyce presenting the award to George Freestone for his magnificent Cadillac convertible.

Back to business.  A small crowd assembled in the council chambers for the meeting last night.  Fewer than a dozen stood to address the council during the Public Comments segment of the 

meeting.  Most were familiar faces, but the number included Nick Berardino, General Manager for the Orange County Employee Association, who used his three minutes and a little bit more to congratulate Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer for his statement recently that he wanted to rescind all remaining layoff notices and begin negotiating with the employee associations to try to find ways to outsource operations where possible and to improve service to the community.  Righeimer watched intently, then confirmed his commitment during his time to speak.

Immediately after Berardino spoke Robin Leffler, activist and President of Costa Mesans For Responsible Government, stepped up to address, as she said, "the elephant not on the agenda".  She was referring to Righeimer's comment in the press that he "was going to cancel the remaining layoff notices".  She reminded the council that, since that item HAD NOT been placed on the agenda, it would be improper for the council to even discuss it at this meeting, much less vote on it.  She reminded them that proper procedure required them to have the item placed on a future meeting agenda, which would be "noticed" to the public in time for them to present themselves before the council to discuss it.  Her reminder worked because that is precisely how it played out later during "council member comments".

The meeting actually moved fairly briskly last night.  The Consent Calendar provided some interesting moments when councilwoman Wendy Leece pulled several items for separate discussion.  One was one of the five Warrants being considered that included very significant legal bills for Jones and Mayer.  She asked stand-in City Attorney Christian Bettenhausen to provide a report to the council on the status of the litigation still pending at a future meeting.  Another was the need to continue to retain Tammy LeTourneau of Management Partners for another six months and $37,000.  CEO Tom Hatch explained that her presence was still necessary due to the heavy load in Human Resources with the screening of applicants and other items.  He said she provided a 16 point plan for managing their Workers Compensation issues that saved lots of money.

Hatch announced that Peter Naghavi - who recently announced his retirement - will be sticking around for a few more months to help with the recruitment for his replacement.  That's good for the city.
The council approved the extension of the current Traffic Impact Fee structure until the consultant hired has finished his review.


They also approved the issues involving the second pension tier for the Fire Safety folks - 2%@50 - as the final step in the agreement between the City and CalPERS.

The council approved the design of the SR-55 Gateway sign to be placed on Cal Trans property visible to drivers as they emerge from the ditch to the intersection of SR55 (Newport Blvd.) and 19th Street.


And, finally, they approved the plans for the formation of a committee to make recommendations for the City's 60th anniversary celebration.  Not unexpectedly, several council members added groups to be included to the nearly two dozen recommended by staff. 

The next meeting will be on December 4th and will mark the changing of the guard as former mayor Sandra Genis replaces Bever on the dais.  Since, based on comments made last night by Righeimer on the dais, we seem to be entering a new era of cooperation and conciliation, I have a suggestion for him.  How about a demonstration of that new-found attitude by nominating Wendy Leece as Mayor on December 4th?  Then Steve Mensinger could nominate Sandy Genis for Mayor Pro Tem.  I mean, they've got the votes, so why not show us exactly how magnanimous they are willing to be?  I think that would be a great show of class on their part and go a very long way to getting this newer, kinder council headed in the right direction.  How about it, Jim?  Are you REALLY ready to have the new council function as a team?

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Anonymous Actions said...

Regarding Riggy...

Actions speak louder than words.

Not a hater...just REALLY skeptical.

11/21/2012 12:35:00 AM  
Anonymous quilters said...

Gee, thanks Robin for instructions on how to proceed. "it worked", you saved the meeting. Pleeez.. go away. you still seemed stunned that frogs lost council races. come back when u are in the acceptance stage.
Leece is an intellectual lightweight not fit for office, much less representing us as Mayor. Genis has just come off two election defeats, pro tem is a little hasty for her. Wendy should never be Mayor, no matter what her daughter thinks. Riggy for Mayor !

11/21/2012 06:26:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

True. I'll believe it when I see it. I think Riggy must've gotten his ass kicked or something. A leopard can't change its spots. Let's hope its not just a show to get him ranked higher for Moorlach's seat.

I'm really hoping I'm wrong, but I can't trust the guy.

11/21/2012 06:34:00 AM  
Anonymous George Ponzini said...

I'm a hater. I hate that Huy Pham's death was triggered by a misguided political scheme that has now been admitted to be just that.

I hate that neanderthal Millard now obsesses on Wendy Leece by going to her complex, taking photos, then coming to council to brag about it.

Not long ago we had Marty's obsession with Geoff, a happily married heterosexual man; now he seems fixated on Wendy.

Is this some sort of resugent polygamy play on the part of the Unwashed One? Maybe Marty should spend more time at the laundromat washing his dirty clothes or even at Macy's or Kohls looking to replace them instead of doing this weird stuff.

11/21/2012 07:40:00 AM  
Anonymous ANNOUNCEMENT said...

Outgoing mayor Eric Bever will be collecting food from the homeless for his own use this evening between 6 PM and 7 PM in front of the Costa Mesa Historical Society.

Homeless people, especially the elderly and infirm, are asked to bring Eric all their canned and dry goods, in addition to any spare change they might have on hand.

11/21/2012 07:44:00 AM  
Anonymous "Leeced" of his worries said...

Rigsheister would never allow Wendy to be the Mayor b/c he needs to exploit that title to move on up the political ladder...

11/21/2012 08:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Costa Mesa Patriot said...

Brrr. I just got a shiver thinking about Leece as Mayor. This is the woman who once said at Council meeting that she feared our Police would on strike. Yes, she is that dumb. She also continues to fight improvement saying Costa Mesa shouldn't be like Irvine and Newport, but she lives in a posh, gated community. She is a complete hypocrite. How many days until this woman is out of office?

11/21/2012 08:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Suspicion HA! said...

What suspicion? measure V defeated Costa Mesa remains a General Law city. The only way Riggy gets to outsource now is to other Public Entities, wait for the court decision and or work with the employees on outsourcing. He is being forced inspire of Da Arakal and Fisler trying to make it look Riggy is a only concerned about residents and doing the right thing. In order to save face and outsource somethings he has to do this plus I would bet GOP is not happy.

The GOP is reeling after the stunning defeat locally and nationally. This election should have seen huge GOP victories based on the last four years nationally and locally based on the economy and public employee sentiment over their pensions. Even public employees have shown they understand there need to be reforms.

But because of the way they let the extreme nut jobs of the GOP run things locally they lost their 4-1 edge they should have easily held.

They were trounced on a charter that should have passed easily had it been done the right way.

And look at the RFP's. Most have shown not to be worth what they thought. The ones left they probably already know not much there either. Yeah jail, payroll and streets seem reasonable. All this turmoil to learn this. A suicide and such division in the community to get down what could have been reasonably figured out and actually implemented a longtime ago saving the city so much trauma.

The only real suspicion is what does DaArakal gain. Does he get that Planning Seat he desires, or is there a development deal twinkle in his eyes or how about Naghavi's job? One thing for sure it's not about what's good for the city it's what's good for Da Arakal.

Sorry Geoff I know he appears to be a friend of yours but so are those other clowns Cassity and Krochman who all have shown nothing but hypocrisy recently.

11/21/2012 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Costa Mesa "Patriot"
MM, Why are you stalking Wendy Leece, trying to get a photo of her house? You do know stalking is illegal, right?
I get that you trash people you don't like, I've seen you in action during Public Comments, degrading them any way you can whether it's true or not. It's more of a reflection on you, not those you target.
But stalking Wendy- WTHell is up with that?

11/21/2012 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Geoff,- I agree with your suggestions.
It is long overdue that Wendy is Mayor of CM, this should have happened two years ago.
Sandy would make a great Mayor Pro Tem. This would show a good faith effort from the councilmen.

"quilters"- Robin knows how items are to be agendized first. That seems to bother you.
Sandy, one of our candidates, got the highest vote count of all. John was narrowly defeated for the third spot. The Righeimer Charter failed. That's hardly the big failure you are trying to present here.
But I'm not surprised- you still persist with that juvenile tactic of name calling "frogs".

11/21/2012 10:35:00 AM  
Anonymous Dam Beaver said...

MM must be fixated on Leece because Geoff turned down his advances....MM is moving on......MM is scary!

Perhaps MM wants to see Wendy's lawn cuz he can't get his to green up? Try water!!

Way to go "Bever the Improver." You will improve the City by leaving! Buh-bye!!

11/21/2012 11:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

First of all, it's sounding like the real haters are coming out in droves here because their charter failed, McCarthy lost, Monahan barely won, Bever lost, Harper and Matthews lost...they are showing their true hater colors because they can't pull the in your face, we won, you lost, haha juvenile performances they were hoping to do.... Big sour grapes among them.

Second, what a HUGE waste of a cc seat that Monahan sits in. He couldn't be bothered to say anything or participate in any of cc meeting last night. Probably ordered by the RIGmeister to show up and that's the only reason he was there. What an incredible waste!

And lastly, righeimer's appallingly casual glossing over last night at the cc meeting of the problems that he has brought upon our city was sickening! The death, divisiveness, not to mention the millions of dollars that he had cost us and our city to be dismissed as " bumps in the road" and "not a perfect process" I found incredibly offensive and insulting. He should be made to reimburse us and city for every last penny he has cost us. Between his "charter" and the lawsuit brought about by his layoff notices, he has cost us millions, and that's just to date. And then he should be tarred and feathered and run out of town!!

11/21/2012 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Bever Is A Coward said...

Anyone else surprised by Bever not talking to KCET? Not me, this man is a gutless coward who can't go away soon enough. Why wouldn't he want to come out and defend his comments about the soup kitchens? Because he's a giant P.O.S who "didn't sign up for this". What a complete joke he has been for this City and the Council, and in a few weeks nobody will even remember his name. Bye Bye Bever.

11/21/2012 02:44:00 PM  
Anonymous unionquiltersforleece said...

alf, yes robin and thousands of others know to agendize it. if no one else did the attorney would remind them hers was a wasted three minutes of facetime, not needed. heck, even wendy might have known if she was given her talking points. there is NO WAY wendy should be mayor, what a joke. and what has sandy done lately? boy, you think you are owed the world for just a pretty smile?

11/21/2012 03:43:00 PM  
Anonymous ribbet said...

Byron would make a great planning commissioner! good idea. he has been passed over before but now is his time. he would make an outstanding councilmember also. He backed the right people, didn't make the mistake of denigrating them, it all adds up to Harlan getting passed over again. beautiful!

11/21/2012 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous History Channel said...

Disgusted Repub re Righeimer:
"..he has cost us millions, and that's just to date. And then he should be tarred and feathered and run out of town!!"

Hear! Hear!
130 years ago he'd still be walking northeast between here and Salt Lake City.

Unless of course another snake oil salesman gave him a ride..

11/21/2012 04:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Request said...

To: People of Costa Mesa
From: The 909

Please don't send Eric Bever here. He doesn't have enough class.

11/21/2012 04:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Byron de Arakal said...

Suspicion HA!:

I gain nothing in voicing my position on issues other than I am speaking my views out of conviction...and nothing else. Not anger. Not spite. Not politics. There aren't any development deals in the que for me. Do I hope to be a member of the Planning Commission? Yes. Why? Because if Costa Mesa is to remain a sustainable community, we need to expand and modernize our tax base. That occurs only, ONLY, through thoughtful, balanced development. I raised and educated four children in this community, HA! I've served on the Parks and Recreation Commission and in so doing worked hard - and took a lot of arrows - for making sure our kids had adequate fields to play on. I've written hundreds of columns for the Daily Pilot, many of which took our local officials to task for bone headed policies and practices. What have YOU done, pal, other than bitch? Geoff West is my friend. He will remain my friend as long as I'm alive. I hope he feels the same way about me. Bottom line: No one cares MORE about Costa Mesa than I do. Not even you...

11/21/2012 04:16:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Guaranteed, amigo. We have our differences on some issues, but I NEVER doubt your motives. We both care about our city and sometimes see different paths to what usually is a common goal. We would be well-served by your presence on the Planning Commission.

11/21/2012 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Grant Street Patriot said...

Miltard has been a blight on the city of Costa Mesa for some time. Miltard is the definition of a loser. The man likes to bully people but in reality he is a passive aggressive coward. It should not surprise anyone that he seems to have a crush on West. We wonder if his only serving one tour in Vietnam to pursue a career as an actor was an early sign of his desires.

11/21/2012 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

" unionquiltersforleece "
MM, is that you again?
Your charm gave you away.
How many aliases do you have here?

11/21/2012 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Community is great! said...

Mr. de Arakal maybe the naive fall for that but those who follow the history of the city know better. The appointments to commissions, hiring of employees and even development approvals. This crowd pays back their supporters for sure. Come on Mr. de Arakal Temianka apppointed a Parks Commissioner. You know very well what was behind that.

You said you were once a Parks commissioner you should be insulted by that appointment alone.

Hopefully you are being honest about this but you do also apparently have a development connection or background and seem to have flipped flop from a return to reasoner to the latest version of the so-called improvers.

Lastly you also seem to have sat on the sidelines for a while. I have never met you personally so based on all things I have seen recently it's fair to speculate something maybe other than just your desire to see the city improved brought you back. We will certainly see. I am pretty sure!

Lastly those you supported cared nothing of John Stephens sacrifices and raising his kids in our community. Even Steve Mensinger at one of those forums demeaningly told Stephens he needed to spend more time in his community. Sandy Genis a longtime community dedicated person was labeled as not liking and supporting youth sports I believe on their flyers. I will aplaud your stated accomplishments along with the accomplishments of so many others to this city who don't ever receive any recognition and those like Stephens and Genis who get attacked with their backgrounds. Community service and dedication is great on all sides and maybe you could remind your pals of that next time they go after all these great community folks.

But I still see nepotism happening inspite of all that. Sometimes not for the best as we have seen with Temianka and Mathews on the Parks Commission. Weren't there a few really good commissioners back then that got sacked for Temianka and Mathews too? How good was that. Now Temianka gets propped up for the Water District. There's a lot of payback Mr. de Arakal and my bet is yours is going to comne too. I really hope you are sincere and wont just be a flunky for them when whatever it is they send your way comes.

11/21/2012 08:38:00 PM  
Anonymous History Repeats said...

Let's give de Arakal the benefit of the doubt and see how his Vichy government works out.

11/22/2012 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sounds like good advice to me. Byron has demonstrated a keen eye for municipal affairs over the years. I'd love to see him on the city council, but would settle for his wisdom on the Planning Commission. I think we all need to take a deep breath, let the triptophan kick in on Thanksgiving and - in the immortal words of Jim Righeimer at a recent council meeting - "Calm Down!" Let's give the new "kinder and softer" Righeimer show us his game... we'll be watching.

11/22/2012 11:34:00 AM  

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