Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Costa Mesa Finance/Information Technology Director Bails

The City of Costa Mesa, in an entry on their web page, HERE, announced to day that Bobby Young, Director of Finance and Information Technology, will leave the city on August 23rd for a job in the private sector.

This is NOT good news for the City, but is probably GREAT news for Bobby Young.  He's among the hardest working staffers in the city and, from my perspective, has done an admirable job of trying to keep up with the ever-shifting and sometimes unreasonable demands placed on him and his staff by the current council majority and respond to the inquiries of members of the public.

We here at A Bubbling Cauldron wish Bobby the very best and thank him for his dedication and professionalism over his 13 year tenure with the city.  He's a good man.

Sadly for those of us in the city, Bobby's departure is just the most recent of senior staffers who have chosen to move on.  Starting wherever you like - with City Manager Allan Roeder retiring shortly after this council majority was seated, to Kim Brandt and Terri Cassidy leaving to Newport Beach, Peter Naghavi recently retiring to the south of France and now Young.  There are many more that could be listed - we may do that at a future date.  All that institutional knowledge and skill will be deeply missed.

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Anonymous sk said...

Perfect time to implement a transparency in government hiring policy. Any employee with connections to a candidate should not be involved in the hiring decision. Candidates should not be hired on at a step higher than the medium step. Unqualified, overpaid new hires increase taxpayer costs. They are brought in at a higher than normal salary, we pay retirement costs based on that higher salary, training costs, costs of mistakes made, low employee morale from favoritism issues. Residents questioned some of the new hires the City recently brought on board. Write the Council members and ask they be pro active in a most needed transparency in hiring policy. In fact, ask all the local agency Board members to implement transparency in hiring. We owe it to ourselves to have qualified employees working for us. The Council is on the transparency band wagon so why wouldn't they want transparency all around.

Wishing Bobby the best of luck.

7/30/2013 03:46:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Thank you for your many years of service to our city, Bobby.
You will be missed.

7/30/2013 03:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Headhunter said...

Doesn't Scott Baugh have any relatives who can take Young's place?

What about Fitzpatrick? If Riggy says one plus one is three, Boy Jimmy will swear it's true.

7/30/2013 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Thank you Bobby Young!

7/30/2013 04:47:00 PM  
Anonymous City of Friends said...

Transparency is a good thing all right, let's see if one of the current individuals in the running for the Fire Chief job makes it all the way, with his fraternity connections to Mayor Pro Tem Mensinger and good friend connections with the Chief of Police it should be interesting.

7/30/2013 05:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Dripping with Sarcasm said...

Did Mr. Young work long enough at his current position to reap the benefits whenever he decides to take advantage of his CALPERS retirement?

Mr. Hatch: Isn't it about time you bailed from the good ship Riggy-pop? I am not sure if the private sector is calling, but there must surely be some other position in another fiscally conservative regime out there. Might I suggest you start the job search in the good state of Wisconsin.

7/30/2013 09:29:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

In my organization, an employee leaving is bitter-sweet. Bitter in that we have come to rely on that person and will miss them, sweet in that we have helped them grow and they have found a new path.

We have always found that new opportunities open up for both our departing comrade in their quest for personal and professional fulfillment and our organization in embracing a new team member.

Every personnel activity isn't an indictment of the organization. Some may want to believe that, but they would be wrong.

Via Con Dios Bobby!

7/30/2013 09:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Crystal Ball said...

I predict the Interim Director will be someone Hatch worked with in Brea. Probably Hurst again. The permanent replacement will be a white male between the age of 45-60, who will have some connection to the current council, but no direct municipal government finance experience. Kind of like how Bob Knapp had no recreation experience, but got the recreation manager job anyway.

7/30/2013 09:59:00 PM  
Anonymous opportunity knocks said...

Thanks Bobby for all your hard work, hoping for great happiness and success in your new venture.

Now, in the search for a replacement I would suggest the City makes sure to hire a CPA for starters. We have a private firm now for investments. Secondly, don't recycle someone from the government sector. They tend to know how to just "get along" at the job. Hire from the private sector, get some new energy from a private sector working stiff who had no union protection on his job, who had to produce or was shown the door. Hiring from the private sector can also reduce your pension costs as they will be under the new, lower pension rules. Someone from another government job can just continue at the higher, unsustainable rate as their pension is portable. Haters, any comments? Does this all sound too OCGOPish?

7/31/2013 06:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

Thank you, Bruce Krochman, for staying above the ugliness in this thread and wishing Bobby Young well and keeping perspective.

It was well said.

I don't know him personally, but I agree with Geoff's comments that he did a great job of balancing the demands of the position and the Council and I am happy to know that the expertise we had for our use was appreciated and recruited by the private sector.

7/31/2013 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

I'm sure you think of me as a hater as much as I think of you as a gutless, anonymous coward. So I'll bite.

It only sounds too OCGOPish if this person you describe is a relative or married to Scott Baugh (or in the hierarchy) or has donated generously through the usual channels.

Other than that, it's fine.

Oh, and one last thing. By your standards, Lobdell or Dan Joyce couldn't get hired the way they did. Better be sure you're on the same page with The Boss on that one. Heads have a funny way of getting lopped off of shoulders.

7/31/2013 11:40:00 AM  
Anonymous sk said...

I apologize for taking away from the blog on Bobby. I do appreciate all his hard work and wish him well. I can't help buy look for any opportunity to bring up the issue of hiring practices that are not in our best interest.

8/01/2013 06:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...


It’s distressing that many of Geoff’s posts are diverted to exchanges of insults, but your opening comment is relevant and important; you have nothing to apologize for.

Coming from a public institution where every effort is made to maintain objectivity in hiring, I’ve been shocked to watch the extent to which cronyism governs hiring here.

Although I don’t make a point of scrutinizing salaries offered, I have seen examples costing the taxpayers thousands of dollars, which shows the need for your cautions about salaries as well.

Thank you for this important focus.

8/01/2013 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Goose vs Gander said...


I hope you find his relevant and respectful.

You seek transparency to understand how much Bill Lobdel makes.

As an employee of a public entity, how much do you make in compensation with fully loaded benefits?

8/01/2013 11:34:00 AM  
Anonymous C U at Yogurtland said...

Congrats Bobby! You have always been a professional. I am SO happy to see that you've finally jumped off the sinking ship. Unlike Hatch, you see whats wrong and you're choosing to leave instead of leading your fellow workers into the gas chamber.

Thanks for everything you've done!

8/02/2013 01:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Tamar said...


Your comment is not disrespectful, thank you, but not relevant either.

In my support for “sk,” I was endorsing her whole statement about hiring, particularly:

“Any employee with connections to a candidate should not be involved in the hiring decision. Candidates should not be hired on at a step higher than the medium step. Unqualified, overpaid new hires increase taxpayer costs. They are brought in at a higher than normal salary, we pay retirement costs based on that higher salary…”

City Council has implemented “COIN,” which drags into the public limelight association contracts, which are already carefully weighed, negotiated, and discussed, and drags out further what is usually a long laborious process anyway.

Following your metaphor, “What’s sauce for the goose…,” I believe it’s much more important to provide the same opportunity for public input on “fifth-floor” and consultant salaries and outsourcing contracts because that’s where the cronyism and favors come in. COIN needs to be applied to every position—or none at all.

It’s not clear why you dragged Mr. Lobdell into the discussion—completely irrelevant, but since you brought up transparency in salaries, I will tell you that I think it’s inappropriate to publish names the way the city has done, and it’s misleading to add in overtime in the final total.

8/02/2013 09:44:00 AM  

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