Monday, January 14, 2013

Fitzpatrick Resigns From the Sanitary District Board

To the surprise of very few, Costa Mesa Sanitary District Director Jim Fitzpatrick resigned his seat from that board today, clearing the way for him to be re-appointed to the Costa Mesa Planning Commission by the Costa Mesa City Council tomorrow evening.

In a bitter letter to Costa Mesa Sanitary District General Manager, Scott Carroll, Fitzpatrick expressed his continuing disappointment in the CMSD Board for its attempt to remove him.  His letter   - which misstates the legal opinion recently provided by State Attorney General Kamala Harris - says that the receipt of his letter by the Board is "ending further legal processes on the Quo Warrento action".  I'm not so sure that's actually the case.  He expressed disappointment that the Board would not wait for his pal, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor, to "amend the language" that apparently prohibits Fitzpatrick - or anyone else - to hold seats on the Sanitary District Board and the Planning Commission simultaneously.  Since Mansoor has ZERO clout in the Assembly, that could be a long, long, long wait.  His closing sentence is a confusing one.  He says, "My actions are designed to end further efforts by my fellow CMSD Board Members thereby eliminating any additional cost to both the District rate payers and myself."  Say, what?  End their efforts to do what?  Get a legal decision that finally resolves this issue?

The CMSD Board held a previously-scheduled closed session meeting today.  In light of Fitzpatrick's resignation they have dropped the Quo Warrento action and, according to one director, are looking forward to getting back to the sewer and trash business.  Any thoughts about how to replace Fitzpatrick on the Board will be agendized for their next regular meeting on January 24, 2013.

Fitzpatrick, who ignored solid legal advice when he held seats on the Planning Commission and the Sanitary District simultaneously, faced the specter of very significant legal costs as his four peers on the Sanitary District board decided to pursue legal action to remove him.  It is unclear at this time whether he will be responsible for legal fees accumulated by the Board in this matter.

Now we will see if cronyism is still alive and well in Costa Mesa.  We'll know it is if the city council majority appoints Fitzpatrick - whom I've previously described as "Sancho Panza" to Steve Mensinger's "Don Quixote" -  to one of the two open seats on the Planning Commission and thereby ousting one of his former peers, either Chairman Colin McCarthy or Vice Chair Sam Clark.  Regardless, it will certainly perpetuate the drama that Costa Mesa municipal governance has become over the past couple years.  It's certainly worth the price of admission.

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Anonymous go fitzy! said...

speaking of cronyism, will the Sanitary Board appoint Arlene S.? Or will they do what their admirers say should be done: appoint the next highest vote getter which would be Don Harper. If they don't do Harper appointment then the "other side" is no different than the councilmen. It is a long tradition to appoint your supporters and not give opponents a political leg up so I am sure the cronyism will continue on both sides. Fitz was a tremendous planning commissioner and is very involved in many community activities, more so than the councilwomen in fact. Look for him to replace Clark. Hi sk

1/14/2013 05:12:00 PM  
Anonymous No Bridge and Happy said...

Arlene S. was not on the ballot this time because she chose not to run against two people she supported.

Appointing Don Harper would be an interesting choice.

It seems unlikely and will depend on the method chosen to by the board to fill the seat vacated by Fitzpatrick when he swore himself in as a Planning Commissioner.

The board could call for a special election (not likely due to the expense) or fill by appointment and have the person go through the process of having to run again in two years and then two years after that to get their election cycles back in order. That would mean four seats up for grabs in the next election and three seats up again in two years.

1/14/2013 06:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Incomplete Application said...

Fitzpatrick wants to be a Planning Commisioner again.

We question his ability to represent the City in any manner when his personal employment record is largely unknown.

When any citizen seeks appointment or election to a City board or position, their employment record is always at issue- we need to know what they've done and how they've done it. Who was their last employer? What did they do at that position? Was it full-time or part-time? What are they doing today other than asking us for an appointment or supporting political friends?

Fitpatrick needs to give us more details. His application describes him as a small business owner with international experience. What does that mean? Does he operate a business today? Did a business he operated in the past fail? Where did he get his "international" experience and what did it consist of? How does he support himself?

The public needs to know.

1/14/2013 06:26:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

I bet Fitzy resigned because he knows he will get the appointment. Too bad.

1/14/2013 06:30:00 PM  
Anonymous sk said...

Fitzpatrick didn't resign because it was the right thing to do or because he cared if he cost the rate payers more money. Fitapatrick resigned because he knew he was losing the battle and thinks he is a shoe in for the planning commission. Hi right back to you go fitzy!

1/14/2013 06:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Not Again said...

This man has zero loyalty to any board, committee, commission or group. He takes his "experience" to any group that will take him.

1/14/2013 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Cheech Marin said...

Did Fitzpatty have to give the golf cart back with his resignation?

1/15/2013 12:08:00 AM  
Anonymous go fitzy said...

Hi sk! Fitzy was a tremendous PC and deserves to be back on. His job history, as one poster demands, is of no consequence. He has already proven himself as outstanding and hard working. I would guess his job position is not great or he could have continued fighting the SD and AG and we could finally get an opinion on whether the offices are incompatible. Now we won't know. All we have is some opinions of lawyers, not a judge. But the seat is not worth losing all your assets over in case of a loss. Too bad Foley or Stephens didn't take up his cause for the public good. Go Fitz!

1/15/2013 05:50:00 AM  
Anonymous road warrior said...

Cheech, golf cart was not from sanitary district. It is easy to think so since come of the other directors are golfing and then having steak dinners with the trash hauling company. no conflict though. right sk? hi alf

1/15/2013 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

go fitzy - I guess we have differing definitions of tremendous, outstanding and hard working. Different strokes for different folks. Time reveals all.

1/15/2013 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Incomplete Application said...

Fitzpatrick pretending to be someone else:

"Hi sk! Fitzy was a tremendous PC and deserves to be back on. His job history, as one poster demands, is of no consequence."

"I really really need that $400 per month and Daddy Riggy promised me rewards."

Does his claim of "international business experience" mean he washed Riggy's car in TJ one day?

1/15/2013 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Road warrior aka Fitzyland,

I never posted a comment here prior to this one
but 'Hi' back.
I always post under the same username, which is never anonymous, nor do I try to post as someone else.

1/15/2013 12:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

All the comments about Fitzpatrick's employment (in this post and others) got me curious. On LinkedIn he lists his employment history as 7 years with Catalina Marketing (consumer discount marketing) and his last employment in a marketing firm in for a year ending in 2003 and then he purchased a ProntoWash franchise. As of 2009 (the last time the franchisor filed an FDD in CA) he was still a master franchisee for that company. That means he has the OC territory to develop either by opening and running locations (leased space in commercial garages) or by selling franchises.

Make of that what you will. It just ended my curiosity.

1/15/2013 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

In response to the question, did Jim resign in order to be reappointed to the seat he resigned from on the Planning Commission? I'll answer with a question, just for fun: Is the pope German?

1/15/2013 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Harland Sanders said...

Wow you get steak dinners when you're on the Sanitation Board? I guess that explains Fitzy's large body mass. And her I thought it was all the donuts he eats.

1/15/2013 07:35:00 PM  

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