Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Bleak Times Ahead For Local Charities

The study session held by the Costa Mesa City Council tonight had the distinct feeling of deja vu.  To refresh your memory, please visit an entry I wrote last June, following a meeting at which the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds were authorized, HERE.  It's a long entry with multiple parts, so just scroll down until you see the red heart and read those couple paragraphs around it.  At the time Wendy Leece called for a study session to discuss this issue.  Tonight's meeting was that session.  You can read Bradley Zint's coverage in the Daily Pilot, HERE.

I speculated then that the City Council majority seemed inclined to do away with the funding of 20 or so charities with the CDBG funds available to us through federal programs.  Apparently my fears were well-founded.

Tonight four members of the council - only Leece seemed determined to not change the way the CDBG funds are distributed - made it clear that they wanted a new approach.  Sandy Genis' position made the most sense - she felt it was important to more tightly focus our spending on those items that have been made a priority by this council.  She mentioned the Homeless Task Force and the Neighborhood Improvement Task Force and the road map they've created and suggested the CDBG funds might be used to support entities that are more closely aligned with those plans.

The discussion was lively, to say the least.  In fact, Mayor Jovial Jim Righeimer apparently took a sabbatical and the old caustic Jim returned.  At one point during the discussion and Leece had the floor, Righeimer didn't like her line of discussion, so he just shut her off and passed the conversation on to others.  No civility, no courtesy, just another big dose of his authoritarian dictatorship that we've seen in the past.  Maybe he's mad because nobody wants to attend his Ball later this month.  It really doesn't surprise me.  Costa Mesa just doesn't seem like a city too interested in Mayor's Balls... wait, did I say that right?

Since no decision could be made tonight - it's a study session - the staff was directed to return with more information about how the City could go about using those funds for concrete instead of people.  Apparently it bothers some of them that we'd spend funds that would be paid off over 30 years on things that wouldn't last that long.  They want street repairs, not humans repaired.

Leece, in her abbreviated plea for funding most of the organizations that we've funded before, pointed out that their plans would be cutting the heart out of our city.  It's hard to argue with her assessment.  If you read the staff report, HERE, you'll find the names and amounts we are currently providing to those organizations.  The majority plan, if enacted, would completely eliminate funding for almost all of those organizations.  Services that support seniors, youth and disabled would be on the chopping block.  Righeimer callously opined that if the city funding for those groups was not provided they wouldn't just disappear - they'd find funding somewhere.  In these tight times, I'm not so sure he's correct - but he thinks he is, and that's all that matters to him.

Apparently, according to consultant Mike Linares, the ad hoc committee that replaced the old 3R committee, has screened applicants for potential grants and have their recommendations ready to present to the council - if it decides it wants to go that way again.  I guess we'll find out in a couple months, when these matters are considered as part of the broader budget discussions.

An observation from the meeting tonight.  At times it was like watching a junior high school lunch room.  When Leece, for example, corrected Righeimer and requested to be addressed as "council member Leece", Righeimer then began to mock her like some pre-pubescent bully in the lunch room.  As mentioned above, when she characterized one of his statements he took extreme umbrage and then cut her off before she was finished making a point.  It left those half-dozen of us in the audience just shaking our heads in amazement.  I guess he was trying to demonstrate the theme of his "Ball" - The Art of Leadership".  Sorry, I just can't keep the smirk off my face when I write that.

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Anonymous History Channel said...

All the enablers, apologists, sycophants, and hangers-on need to acknowledge who and what Righeimer is. He's a little carpetbagger who moved to Costa Mesa to push his extremist agenda and make a name for himself at any cost.

All the black frame glasses, insincere smiles, Mayor's awards, and coffee date offers won't change this leopard's spots.

Along with his stuck-in-high school-forever cohort, Righeimer will continue to stomp on anyone or anything in his way.

He wants to be emperor of Costa Mesa and use it as run-off for all his buddies in Newport. Government by the developer, of the developer, and for the developer.

4/10/2013 06:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Mesa Mustang said...

Wendy has just become sad. Even her buddy Sandy Genis wants nothing to do what that dumpster fire. It is clear there are 4 smart Councilmembers and then Wendy. Everyone has to be "nice" to her because she is not smart enough to read her agenda and think for herself. At some point, she has to stop sponging off of Genis and come up with an original thought herself. Curse Allan Mansoor for bringing her to our Council. At least Genis has a brain.

4/10/2013 08:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Just the facts said...

Geoff, you should volunteer fro the ad hoc committee. Perhaps then you would know what you are talking about. One of the rating criteria is the ability of the charity to operate without the CDBG funds. CDBG funds are not meant to fund the organization, but to augment existing funding.

4/10/2013 10:16:00 AM  
Anonymous Not "Council Member Leece" said...

@ History Channel,

All Riggy needs now to complete his "Pension Reform" Super Hero Costume is the official "Mayor 909" Aloha Shirt over his "Costa Mesa 1953" scmedium t-shirt, and flash his "Mayor Pro Team" Badge while showcasing his "All-Mighty-OZ" leadership skills from behind the Fifth Floor's designer curtains...


Your "Mayor's Balls" comment reminded me of the hilarious SNL skit when Alec Baldwin brought his famous "Schweaty Balls" to the radio station. Maybe before Riggy's next habitual radio/tv interview Mensy & Coach Bargas can hose him down after finishing their morning Costa Mayberry walk. And hopefully his wife will somehow manage to put that enormous pair of click-clacks back in her purse before the upcoming "leadership" event ...

4/10/2013 10:29:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

History Channel- Absolutely!
I hope the citizens of our city wake up and see that the "Emperor" has no clothes before it's too late and he's seated in Sacramento.
Please remember the recall petitions out there, people. Jovial Jim has left the building.

4/10/2013 10:59:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Mesa Mustang- Really, Marty?
Your assessment of Councilwomen Wendy Leece is only off by 180 degrees. That's seems to be your MO.
Also, you are big on pointing out" bad behavior" in your political opponents. Is that same bad behavior, childish, rude, bullying tactics OK if it comes from the Councildudes? Not one word from you about it, Marty, not ONE word! Hypocrisy is your trademark also.

4/10/2013 11:00:00 AM  
Anonymous minionman said...

alf thats not marty. remember we must attribute everything to fitz.. perpetuate the big lie and all. remember?that was tactic #2 in our minions playbook. i don't want to see any of our little pretties get off message.

4/10/2013 03:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Troll Tracker said...

Not council member wrote:

"All Riggy needs...the official "Mayor 909" Aloha shirt"

hahaha! Yeah, The Beve had to turn it back in after he left office and allegedly went back to hawking used furniture. Actually, The 909 emailed and said it's highly insulted whenever we use its name in relation to Riggy and his supplicants.

4/10/2013 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

minionman Chairman,

Your comments are getting more and more ridiculous everyday.
I'm not kidding when I say your sanity is circling the drain.
Your posts here prove this.

4/10/2013 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous minionman said...

well said alf! right sk? terri, feel free to denigrate. Ms. Black, where are you? alf, glad we have you back on message concerning the minion playbook tactic #2. we are all relieved that one of our little pretties has flown back home. secret meeting of the organizers tonight.

4/11/2013 08:14:00 AM  
Anonymous crystal balls said...

Hey Alf, you are really good at this.

Where is Jimmy Hoffa?

By the way, where are all Billy Folsom's comments now he is retired? Big drop in no name comments against city council

4/11/2013 09:28:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

If we can"t even make arrangements to help our elderly what does that say about us a society?

4/11/2013 01:30:00 PM  

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