Thursday, July 25, 2013

Charter Committee Makes Progress, Slowly

Wednesday night the Costa Mesa Charter Committee met again to tackle the task of creating a new "constitution" for the city.  Progress was made, but came slowly.  It was more than a little like watching sausage being made.

The meeting began promptly with facilitators Kirk Bauermeister and Mike Decker moving swiftly to guide the group through the agenda.  All agreed to look at their progress at 8:45 and decide whether to wrap it up then or extend the meeting.
Public Comments saw five of the dozen or so people attending the meeting address the committee.  The first was Jim Adams, representing the Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades, who spoke about the value of a highly skilled workforce, emphasizing Skill, Safety and Efficiency.  His organization represents 150,000 members in Southern California.  He left a DVD for each of the members.

Resident Sheila Pacquin reminded the committee that, as they assess the different elements of a Charter, they don't really have to do anything if they feel that is the appropriate course of action.

Mike Harmanos attempted to correct an error in the staff report and implied that the staff was letting them down by providing inaccurate information.

Robin Leffler briefly asked what happened to the item that had been placed on the "Parking Lot" to be considered later.  That issue was the "community needs assessment", which seemed to be a logical place to begin the deliberations.  Although nobody answered her question, one might assume that since the decision has already been made for this group to create a charter for the city, a "needs assessment" is now unnecessary.

Finally one grumpy old fella, who left a few minutes later, reminded the group that the council had charged them with creating a charter, so they should stop wasting time and get with it.

The committee then wasted fifteen minutes again discussing "Tea Party Tom" Pollitt's request for an invocation at the beginning of the meetings.  Part of the staff report included correspondence from the CEO's office that opined that if the committee wanted to have  prayer it would require a formal change in council policy.  After too much conversation the end result was that Pollitt was told to pursue it personally with CEO Tom Hatch, and not as a member purporting to represent the views of the committee.  Since he kept muttering about not being able to exercise his First Amendment rights, I imagine he will do just that.  We'll see.

Following a brief discussion about the process to be followed - a couple members just wanted to dredge up Jim Righeimer's Charter and glue corrections to it to make it acceptable to the voters - lawyer Yolanda Summerhill led an hour-long discussion of the different types of Public Contracting environments that exist in California.  At the previous meeting the committee agreed on their priorities and Public Contracting was at the top of the list.

Costa Mesa, a General Law city,  follows what is known as the Uniform Construction Cost Accounting Act (UCCAA), which streamlines the public contracting process.  The objective was to provide information to the committee about how the city currently manages public contracts.  Unfortunately, Director of Public Services Ernesto Munoz was not available for this meeting.  He will be asked to be at the next one so he can provide some critical answers to important questions that will affect the committee's decision on this cornerstone issue.

The discussion was cordial and most members were patient with the opinions of others.  Since they didn't have enough information regarding the current process the discussion tackled the Transparency portion of their concerns.  Based on what I heard, there was a rough consensus that the current methodology of managing public contracts using the UCCAA model seemed to be satisfactory.  That view may change after they get more details on the current process at the next meeting.

They did not finish the Transparency element Wednesday night, but hope to do so and move on to "Openness" at the next meeting.  It's clear to me that, despite the fact that some members want the process to move more quickly and are willing to take shortcuts to accomplish that, this is going to be a long and sometimes painful process.  Those preferring to find shortcuts represent the element on the committee that can be accurately described as supporters of Jim Righeimer's Failed Charter.  It's going to be very interesting to watch this play out.    As I said earlier, so far the participants seem willing, but not necessarily happy, to consider all views and to follow the guidance of the facilitators.

Bauermeister gave them a homework assignment - to assess the various charters provided to them earlier for ideas for "transparency" and "openness" segments of a potential charter for the next meeting is August 14, 2013 at the Emergency Operations Center.

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Anonymous Pirate Press said...


7/25/2013 04:48:00 AM  
Anonymous spell check said...

Just a question, Geoff. Sheila Pacquin's comment, and I'm pretty sure its merely a typo, but said they didn't need to do anything they feel is appropriate? Or inappropriate?

7/25/2013 05:33:00 AM  
Anonymous CM Pessimist said...

Why was I not surprised to read that some of the committee members wanted to simply resurrect Riggy's plagiarized charter? I actually support this. I want to see charter version 2.0 be as successful as its failed predecessor. So please, any Riggy-minions serving on this committee: Hijack this process! Leave no doubt that this is indeed a sham! Follow your pre-written script. Toe Riggy's line. Bring a charter to the voting populace as quickly as possible so we may strike it down.

7/25/2013 05:38:00 AM  
Anonymous where's my coffee? said...

Why does "grumpy old fella" get involved in this? Does he like to hear himself so much that he has to get up there to tell them get business done? What does he think they are doing there? Playing cards? This guy is about the most useless individual I've seen in this town. Does he think they can knock this out like Riggy did and we'd vote for it? Good luck with that...

7/25/2013 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

No one is stopping Mr Pollitt...he can pray before, during and after the meetings. He can pray without ceasing.
He can be the Brother Timothy of the Costa Mesa Charter Committee,.....but he should read this and pray on it, before he starts trying to force his will on others.As a fellow Christian, while I understand his perspective, I disavow his methods.

Matthew 6:5-6
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

7/25/2013 06:46:00 AM  
Anonymous New Charter-Same Result said...

CM Pessimist --you're 100% right, we the right minded people of Costa Mesa need the same Charter to come back with zero changes and people will do what they did the first time this P.O.S. came to the public--vote it down big time.

Riggy thinks that by creating a BS committee, most people will change their minds about this Charter, nice try Riggy, we still see it this Charter as your only way to take over the City, and it will have the same outcome--failure.

7/25/2013 09:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

I read a post by “glass houses” back a few topics, once again harping about money spent to oppose Measure V. Where did you get your figures? I have searched and have not been able to verify that labor organizations spent “well over” $500,000. It’s under, although not by much. You exaggerate, as you and your buddies tend to do. Anyone with eyes open can tell both sides spent a whole lot of money, probably very close to the same.

The number of glossy flyers for YES and NO is equal. Yes on V bought large, expensive 3-color plastic signs, No on V had small, cheap paper ones. Yes on V had more robocalls, push polls, newspaper ads and banners than No on V. Records show OCEA bought a TV ad, that might have put them in the money lead. The problem with figuring all costs is some of it is hard to find.

Easy to find on the City Website: The group “Citizens for Costa Mesa City Charter” largest donors were organizations from Bakersfield, San Diego, San Juan and Irvine. The national organization Associated Builders and Contractors sent Yes on V mailers. Costa Mesa Taxpayers PAC donors are from Irvine, Laguna Nigel and Newport Beach. CMTaxPAC’s predecessor “Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association” didn’t file anything, although they collected money locally. Local Liberty PAC is from Los Angeles.

NOT found on the City website is anything from the Old Boyz Club, aka OCGOP. They sent out several glossy Yes on V mailers and funded real polls, blatant push-polls and robocalls. We’ll never know the cost because it will be lumped into a line item called “Member Communications” and doesn’t have to be reported locally.

It was a lot of money but a waste because a majority of Republicans didn’t buy the so-called Party Line. If that faction really represents Costa Mesa Republicans then V would have won by a landslide. Their expensive polls told them they were losing, but that out-of-touch clique kept throwing good money after bad like the fake fiscal conservatives they are.

Glass house, be careful where you throw those stones. Your house may come crashing down.

7/25/2013 06:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot, meet kettle said...


If the declared amount spent by organized labor is very close to $500,000, the total amount is well over that - who do you think covered the city with No on V signs, often stealing Yes on V and replacing with No on V? Volunteers? Nope, professionals. Who paid them? What about all the lobbyists who came to speak at meetings? They were paid as well.

You allude to unaccounted for expenditures by Yes on V, while seemingly stating that the organized labor professionals opposed to V did not?

Really, Robin?

7/25/2013 10:22:00 PM  
Anonymous MV said...

Hey, Pot, take another look at Robin's post regarding where the money came from. That's the important part. Both sides spent a ton, at least the cops and fire have a stake in our safety. Out of town builders, not so much.

7/26/2013 05:34:00 AM  
Anonymous giving alf fitz said...

robin rubs me the wrong way, always. can't stand the lady. she is very intellectually dishonest and has a holier than thou attitude. hers is coming, and soon. bye bye robin

7/26/2013 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

"giving alf fitz" wrote:

".. hers is coming, and soon. bye bye robin"

This sounds like a threat.

7/26/2013 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Hey Fitz, (or not, whoever posed as giving alf fitz) are you threatening me? With what? If you are threatening me with personal harm, what a creep. If you are intending to keep saying snarky things on line, so what? If you pull any other crap, all of Costa Mesa will see exactly what you are made of. If I ever make a factual mistake please provide documentation. That would be a favor and I will immediately own it and correct it.

I’m just amazed that my little rays of light warrant all the negative attention. It must mean those who disagree with you are hitting a nerve or two. We look at your hateful comments as encouragement. Yes you are a hater, as your last post clearly shows, and that is sad and pathetic.

You’ll probably deny you are Fitzpatrick. You sure sound like him...if you are you should know I have no personal animosity toward you. I certainly disagree with some of your views and some of your tactics, such as threatening my friend Joy with not getting the drainage fixed on her street. That was over-reaching a bit! Yet I like you unless I find out for sure these creepy petty messages are from you, then I will be disappointed by your hypocrisy and lack of character.

Whoever you are, I’m pretty sure you have two faces -so very friendly and nice when you see me face-to-face but so petty and hateful under your transparent anonymity. My reaction is amusement tinged with pity. I feel sorry for people who feel a need to step on others to feel okay.

7/26/2013 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Pot, how do you know that? I go by facts I can verify. I think your logic is faulty. Actually it’s not even logic, either it’s just a W.A.G., or you think everyone does like you would do. Most groups listed on the City Website seem to have very thoroughly disclosed all they were required to. Penalties are pretty stiff for failure to disclose and if you were reporting for a group that knows they are under scrutiny wouldn't you be doubly careful to be completely transparent?

Or is that not the common practice for the groups you work with?

7/26/2013 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous crazy thoughts said...

I remember his comment about drainage. It was not a threat at all. It was an opinion that if the current council was not here, if others were elected instead, no one would get the drainage fixed.

This council is focused on investing in infrastructure.

No threat. Farthest from the truth. But typical how many twist to fit their needs and images of a clouded reality

7/26/2013 04:11:00 PM  
Anonymous ABC said...

"images of a clouded reality.."

Like one gets from sitting in a local dive bar and drinking too much. We get it.

7/26/2013 05:19:00 PM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Crazy Fitz, that wasn't the comment you made at all. Yours was a threat, and it was treated as one by those who it was reported to. You said that if that person didn't behave like you thought they should, you would make sure that the people involved in fixing the drainage looked the other way and you would be sure it didn't get done.

You sir, are a LIAR.

7/26/2013 08:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Echo Chamber at work said...

These folks live in an echo chamber.

One says it and they all believe it.

Did you see Byron bark down Egan. Well done sir. No clearing of the throat necessary with written comments.

They just make up facts and once one does they all quote each other.

I think they actually believe it.

Fitzy threatened to put the trash contract out to bid.

To think one person could stop a council majority action is a bit nutty. But that does not fit the narrative nor the opposition's modus operandi to label and call names.

It will be fun watching their heads explode as the Charter passes as it goes through this process.

What are they for? Nothing but preserving status quo and being obstructionists. The sky is falling mentality. Humorous at times. Mostly very sad.

They lost on issues then as they will now.

7/27/2013 05:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Action Needed said...

If James Fitzpatrick is threatening citizens, he needs to resign or be removed from the Planning Commission.

7/27/2013 11:15:00 AM  
Anonymous bird watcher, crow killer said...

I think day of reckoning for lies is what was meant by the comment to robin. she is too touchy. when her lies are exposed and her secret dealings come to light, that is the "threat" it seems. sounds like it is fair, she ahem, "stretches" the truth quite often. could be faulty memory but I think it is on purpose.

7/27/2013 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous Allen Barta said...

The State Attorney General can investigate complaints of wrongdoing concerning a local board/commission member. Political action by threat has no place in Costa Mesa.

7/27/2013 07:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Threat to Public's Right of Access? said...

"Crazy Fitz, that wasn't the comment you made at all. Yours was a threat, and it was treated as one by those who it was reported to. You said that if that person didn't behave like you thought they should, you would make sure that the people involved in fixing the drainage looked the other way and you would be sure it didn't get done."


54957. (a) Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to
prevent the legislative body of a local agency from holding closed
sessions with the Attorney General, district attorney, agency
counsel, sheriff, or chief of police, or their respective deputies,
or a security consultant or a security operations manager, on matters
posing a threat to the security of public buildings, a threat to the
security of essential public services, including water, drinking
water, wastewater treatment, natural gas service, and electric
service, or a threat to the public's right of access to public
services or public facilities.

7/28/2013 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Building a case said...

thanks, got it.
The knucklehead has a case of terminal stupidity. He is making this too easy. The file is shaping up nicely.

7/28/2013 05:52:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Man of multiple online personalities here does make it easy to build a case against him. He has threatened others in the past and continues to do so. You'd think Colin and Tim would advise him against this.
His moniker 'giving alf fitz' is inane and incorrect. I view his posts as fillers,as he is paid to troll this blog. I am slightly amused by his attempts to establish credibility, but mostly sad for him.
The very people he attacks the most, calling them liars, cheaters and scoundrels in so many words, are those who threaten the OC GOP regime the most. The accusations reflect his own character, or lack of it, and his own tactics. It's like he's looking in a mirror and trying to purge himself of his shortcomings.
It's sad, very sad.

7/29/2013 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous FBI in town said...

Maybe the FBI should investigate?

If we challenge enough things about enough people maybe someone will listen to something.

7/29/2013 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

FBI in town,

I agree!

7/29/2013 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Look over there said...

Ha kwahlf. How do you know who wrote thw FBI comment? Could have been the same person you think is posting. Maybe maybe not. But kind of funny to think about how people are so sure of things they can't be sure. Perhaps others are easily distracting you and others?

7/29/2013 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

To Look over there,

I don't know who posted under 'FBI in town' and it really doesn't matter.
He/she made a good point and I agree with it.

If it was in jest well, the joke's on you.

7/29/2013 07:56:00 PM  

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