Thursday, August 29, 2013

SB311 Signed - Pressure Off Charter Committee

Near the end of the Costa Mesa Charter Committee meeting last night in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC), attorney Yolanda Summerhill told the committee and facilitators Dr. Kirk Bauermeister and Dr. Mike Decker that Senate Bill 311 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, which means that, in general terms, most ballot measures involving charters may ONLY be placed on a General Election ballot.  She affirmed that, if this committee does, in fact, move forward with a recommendation for a charter to the City Council, they have a little more time on their hands now.  The earliest a charter proposal could be placed before the voters would be November, 2014, during the General Election.  Mayor Jim Righeimer wanted their work-product to be on the Primary ballot in June of next year.

This, of course, is good news for the residents of Costa Mesa, since the committee now has more time to craft a proper charter and no longer have to worry about being mired in minutia.  They now have several months more to do the work.  I'm not sure all the members will view this as a good idea.

A few residents and other visitors spoke to the committee, outlining their thoughts about the charter process.  The "Prevailing Wage" issue is one that will soon be discussed at length, so representatives from labor and employer groups expressed their views on that subject.

This meeting of the committee seemed to run fairly smoothly - a fact acknowledged by several members as they addressed the agendized item about whether to name a Chairman and Vice Chairman.  The group seems to be satisfied with the facilitation model that's being followed now.  Tea Party Tom Pollitt opined that having a Chairman would be good because, once the committee completed its assignment, the media would have someone to ask questions of.  In case you're wondering, that wasn't the strangest thing he said last night.  So, the committee will continue with the facilitation of Bauermeister and Decker.  A good decision.

Early in the meeting the committee made two decisions that created the beginning bones in the skeleton of what may be a charter for the city.  They agreed to call the city "Costa Mesa" and agreed that the current boundaries be codified.  If this sounds like something that probably should have been done within the first five minutes of the first meeting, you may be right.  But, then, you probably have not been following the proceedings very closely.  NOTHING happens quickly, especially when significant chunks of time were wasted at at least two meetings trying to resolve the whole "Invocation" issue posed by Tea Party Tom.

Again, some issues that you'd have thought should have been resolved earlier in this process - definitions of some basic terms - were discussed.  Those were:
Prevailing Wages

Yeah, I know.. as I said before, NOTHING happens quickly.

Once again, the professionalism and presence of Director of Public Services, Ernesto Munoz, was the high point of the meeting.  As requested by the committee at the previous meeting, he prepared a memo outlining the current Labor Compliance Procedures, including an extensive list - fourteen (14) items - that outlined steps the staff took during the processing of contracts for the City.  Several members expressed admiration that the staff followed such a comprehensive plan as part of their work assignments.  More than once we heard members exclaim, "I didn't know about that!".  Of course, why would they, or any member of the public?  The memo just captured how the staff goes about doing its job without fanfare, but with a very high level of professionalism.

The committee continues to move slowly through the process they originally prescribed, occasionally getting sidetracked by peripheral dialogue by their members.  That practice needs to be tightened-up or this process will still be dragging along next summer.  One of the problems seems to be the inability of some members to stay focused on the issue at hand.  One member, for example, just had to bring up the unfunded pension liability, which was superfluous to the discussion at the time.

Much discussion was held on whether certain phrases should actually be part of the charter, or just part of the preamble.  Tea Party Tom, for example, seemed firm that he wanted a phrase he created to be a major part of the charter.  It was so broad that it basically said the City Council could do anything it wanted.  Wiser folks prevailed and the phrase was sent to the legal folks for an opinion.

There were a few amusing moments last night.  For example, during the discussions member Harold Weitzberg frequently expressed the opinion that the committee should be wary of changing something that's not broken.  At one point Ron Amburgey said, "I hate to admit it, but I agree with Harold." There was a whole lot of smiling after that one.

The committee seems to have settled in with a pretty darn collegial approach to discussing important issues.  There was generally respect for each others views and cordial discussion.  However, Brett Eckles suggested that time on the agenda be carved out for each member to just "talk" - to say what may be a specific concern for them.  There was agreement from the group, with others chiming in, indicating they felt just a little stifled by the format.

One of the frustrating moments for me was the stubborn insistence of member Gene Hutchins that the COIN policy be utilized for ALL contracts.  You may recall that COIN was hatched by Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger to, theoretically, provide more transparency to the labor contract negotiations.  It is specifically NOT designed for public service contracts, but Hutchins just wouldn't let it go.  He kept saying that COIN was working just fine when, in fact, we don't have any idea if it will work at all.  He sounded like he was just parroting things Mensinger says all the time with no facts to back him up.  In the end, the issue was passed to the legal time for an opinion.  There's a whole lot of that going on.

By the time the meeting finally wrapped up, nearly three and half hours later, Munoz had an assignment to provide information at the next meeting about how costs might have differed on recent contracts IF prevailing wages had NOT been used.  This is another big assignment for him, but he seemed willing to provide the committee the information.  And, Summerhill took away with her several items to research before the next meeting.

Speaking which, the committee will next meet in the EOC on September 11, 2013 beginning at 6:00 p.m.


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Anonymous Rob said...

SB 311 was sponsored by statewide labor unions, the California Professional Firefighters and State Building and Construction Trades Council, and authored by a LOs Angeles Democrat. Los Angeles is already a charter city, so there should not be any doubt that this is a bought and paid for piece of legislation. The vote was party line, with Democrats for and Republicans against.

The State Building and Construction Trades Council stuck its nose into our municipal affairs, sending lobbyists to our council meetings to demand that we include prevailing wage in our charter.

The unions want uninvolved, ignorant voters who are easily influenced by torrents of misleading mailers to vote on charters, not the engaged, informed voters who typically vote at primary elections.

Yet you think this is good news, Geoff?

8/29/2013 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Once again I have missed another meeting……

Has anyone actually read the California Constitution…Article 11….Local Government….I suggest you do…

Of course we are paying yet another outsource company to decide how to enact the desires of a bunch of thugs who have high jacked my city…

If I were a… developer… banker…realtor…real estate lawyer…bar owner…etc… sitting on our current city council or planning commission, or my buddy who will be later and wanted to make a pile of cash to help me live like a king, I would want to rule a city that I could make up all the rules for…California Legislature…What is that..Especially the rules about how many munchkins I could squeeze into my buildings, that I might own through 5 different corporations, or my friends might own or build or finance or…….

I could write fun rules…You must bow and call me master when I am in your presence…….Women must walk two steps behind me to my left…I could sit out in my backyard in my sandbox building sand castles…A little water…A little of the right kind of special sand…One of my sand buildings would be a bank, where I could store all of my money I made turning my sand into money squeezing all those munchkins into my giant skyscrapers…

In our little piece of paradise, we had one high rise building in Costa Mesa….Built in 1967 as affordable housing for old people like me with no money…You can’t miss it sitting on 19th street…Bethel Towers…As is usual for our civic leaders and developers it is now going to be called Tower on 19th…Still for low income older folks…I support securing a spot for us seniors if we go poor…But still a Quid Pro Quo for some civic leader…

Who needs to give notice to anyone by the way…Thank you Daily Pilot…

Have you ever been to Honolulu…. New York City…Boston...Hong Kong…Macau…

I lived in Honolulu…You don’t want to live in Honolulu…Unless of course you can afford the top floor…

Well once we have a charter city, you will see exponential development at a pace that will boggle the mind…Have you ever had a tower crane over your head 24 hours a day….Goodbye sunshine, hello high rise…Irvine’s high density build out in the Spectrum area should be a warning…Look at what has happened by South Coast Plaza…In Costa Mesa…

Homogenized cement and glass towers…Stepford City…I forgot…Donald Bren owns the Irvine Company…Irvine is a charter city…I got my NRA card at the South Coast Gun Club when it was sitting in the middle of the agricultural fields off of Sand Canyon…Before Joan Irvine Smith lost her lawsuit to Bren and had to sell him the rest of the company…He owned Mission Viejo before he owned Irvine…

People just are not looking under the right rock…

Living in a General Law City requires a 5 member city council…Corrupt or not…My charter city will have one King and a couple of Princes….One Court Jester and the Palace Police….

Maybe I don’t like term limits any more and I would like a city-state…I could call my new empire…Casino Mesa…I think a casino would go very well on the Fairgrounds property…Don’t you….I could call it Costa Lost Wages…….

8/29/2013 09:16:00 AM  
Anonymous where's my coffee? said...

Ken, since you put it that way...

Thanks. We will vote one out in November, and silence the other with a majority. We will...we will.

8/29/2013 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The Associated Builders and Contractors stuck its nose into our municipal affairs, sending lobbyists to our council meetings to speak for more than three minutes, not follow the rules, and then yell "Fascism!" when he couldn't follow the rules.

What's your point, Rob? In this country, we have free speech, and the courts clearly say money equals free speech. That's a conservative principle , by the way.

8/29/2013 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I'll accept your information on how the vote on 311 went.

Nobody "demanded" that the prevailing wage be included in the charter. I've attended the meetings - you have not. You're hearing a version through the eyes of biased observers. The members of trade union organizations I saw speak simply expressed why using prevailing wage was, from their standpoint, a good idea. They ASKED for it to be considered. We have not yet been blessed by the presence of Kevin Dayton, the designated screecher against prevailing wages.

Your phrase "stuck its nose into our municipal affairs" is simply partisan rhetoric, using the pro-charter buzz words. Fortunately, most of the people who read this blog are smart enough to figure that out.

Your contention that only "uninvolved, ignorant voters" vote in the General Election is so condescending and arrogant that I can't believe you actually wrote it. Sadly, it's a clear indication of just how the voters, in general, are viewed by you and your guys - the current power elite in Costa Mesa.

Regardless who footed the bill and/or sponsored 311, I support the contention that only the greatest number of voters possible should make decisions on city charters. Bell was converted to a charter city via a special election in which only 450 people voted, total! I know - you think Bell is irrelevant, but it's not. Robert Rizzo's trial is beginning and curious folks will stay tuned to how it plays out.

And, yes... I DO think SB 311 is good news for the voters of Costa Mesa. It quashes the attempt to get the charter question decided by the fewest number of voters possible and I didn't even have to help out this time around. :-)

8/29/2013 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gericault said...

I'll see your do-nothing minority Assemblyman, and Raise you a Governor.....

8/29/2013 10:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

I offer this without an opinion, but just as a recount of what I have been reading.

The origin of SB311, as I have followed it, was a reaction to the scandal in Bell. Their charter was pushed through in a small, local, off-year election where there was almost no voter turnout and the Charter passed with merely hundreds of votes. The idea of SB311 is to get more people educated and informed about the charter, get them in process and in the polls and make the change more reflective of the community's desire.

8/29/2013 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

A party line vote, with Democrats for and Republicans against?

If you switch 'Tea Partiers' for Democrats, and left Republicans alone, you'd be talking about how our City Council votes.

8/29/2013 11:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Have I mentioned anywhere that I used to bid on prevailing wage contracts myself as a building contractor…Yep that’s me…So as not to cause myself any more grief then I usually do…Since after all, I am a …Stuck up…Long winded… Blowhard…Know it all…Uninvolved…Ignorant Voter…

I would always answer my phone on the second ring…or someone else for me…24 hours a day…It was the building, engineering or planning department on the phone of some unnamed city or developer…Since I held a California Contractors License with the premiere classifications, I could build anything in California…That meant anything from a chipmunk washing station up to a Nuclear Power Plant…Actually the entire state from the ground up…Unnamed city officials would give me all the inside scoop on every contract going to bid in said city, as well as all school projects, etc..

Any property that had code enforcement issues, somehow got my number to help solve their problem…Your Grandfather clause just passed away, it had cancer….

Anyway….You had to have a 10% bidding bond to even turn your funny papers in for the bids on public contracts…No sweat…Everybody has a few mill hanging around for bidding purposes…Unless of course you have a buddy on the inside…or a bank…or a construction lawyer…or a…….

Take the Newport Beach City Hall mega pile…Cost + how much in change orders over the iron clad bid amount approved by a vote of the city council…You know…Can you build us a wine rack over there next to the spa…

You know how charter cities are…

It seems that every question of how our city leaders work their magic, is tied to contractors, developers, lawyers, bankers, real estate folks and shredders…

I just can not help quoting Dr. Seuss….Since this is going to be another quote Dr. Seuss day for me…..Here a three that apply to all who want to understand how the law works, including city hall, city councils, legislatures, etc…..

“When at last we are sure, you’ve been properly pilled, then a few paper forms, must be properly filled, so that you and your heirs may be properly billed”

“You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room.”

“Preachers in pulpits talked about what a great message is in the book. No matter what you do, somebody always imputes meaning into your books.”

8/29/2013 11:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Geof, I am not being condescending, I am taking the hysteria over placing a charter vote on a primary election ballot to its logical conclusion.

Condescending? That would be you, and all the others who protested loudly about placing Measure V on the June ballot. Why is that, Geoff? Why don't YOU tell us all why you objected to that?

Be specific.

8/29/2013 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike Fountain said...

Oh my gosh Rob. Are you saying it is a bad thing to have a vote of the people. Or are you saying the only informed, "Right" voters participate in primary elections. God knows we don't want "Those" people having a say in the direction of their City. After all, if they just left the important decisions up to "Engaged" decision makers of the City? Your comment no matter how I read it is laughable and "Transparent" at best.

8/29/2013 10:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Unless its illegal, who cares who paid for SB 311? Its a good move. All voters should be included in issues that involve their cities.

8/30/2013 06:40:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Along those same lines, people could complain about out of town developers paying for the campaign of our councilmen. Is that any better or worse for you, Rob? Oddly I doubt you care about that.

Is it any better or worse, than say, a computer supplier donating $1,000 towards a councilman's campaign, and then being awarded a HUGE computer/spying program for city hall? Somehow I doubt you have a problem with that.

But you whine because unions put money toward legislation that benefits all voters? Geez...

8/30/2013 06:44:00 AM  
Anonymous James Rivera said...

Ideally, we are a constitutional republic. I do think the tyrrany of the majority must be tempered by courts and elected representatives. But I do think big money on each side rules too much, making this country financially tainted.

8/30/2013 07:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I have no clue who Rob is since I am new to A BUBBLING CAULDRON….

When I get a campaign mailer in my P.O. Box. I throw them in the trashcan right there…

Making a comparison between people who vote in a primary verses a general election the way you do is kind of insulting…

When I go to vote at the Costa Mesa Historical Society, clear as a bell I am a Republican…As uninvolved…easily influenced and ignorant as I am…

When I go to the Veterans Hospital for care, I am a Veteran…

When I went to the building department for a permit, I was a contractor…

I am not a supporter of prevailing wage in public contracts…I do not support unions…

I don’t know you… I have no clue what you do for a living, but I would bet it has something to do with washing your hands a lot…

Kind of reminds me of being at Bruce Nestande’s house, looking through the porthole between all those dark suits bidding on a closet remodel…

I think the one bill we need passed is a mandatory two year military service for all 19 year old boys, so they can learn how to be men…

SB311 is the law now….Too bad for you….Remember this is a republic, not a private concern…

I think SB311 is good news…..

I just loved Dr. Seuss…

“With your head full of brains,
And your shoes full of feet,
You're too smart to go down a not-so-good-street.”

8/30/2013 08:27:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

The basic presumption that placing Measure V on the June ballot would have somehow "evaded democracy" or been an attempt to "sneak" it past voters is intensely offensive, unbelievably condescending, and entirely indicative of the nonsense propoganda and misinformation that was the anti-Measure V campaign's stock in trade.

When the City Clerk missed the filing deadline, the anti-Measure V folks could not contain their euphoria, even though it cost the City Clerk her job.

Now, I point out the obvious - that the reason anti-Measure V campaign wanted to avoid the June ballot was because they did not want focused, energized, involved voters casting ballots - they wanted the ones who only show up for a presidential election.

Why is that? No one has ventured an answer, just the usual diversionary rhetoric.

I kept hearing about turnout, and the statistics support the premise, but that is where it really gets offensive. Anti-Measure V folks honestly believed, and their intense rhetoric is proof, that a large percentage of Costa Mesa voters would not care enough about Measure V to vote in the primary election.

Talk about condescending.

Last time I checked - a vote is a vote, whether cast in June or November.

8/30/2013 02:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Mike H., I welcome every speaker on every issue - the more the merrier and better to inform the City Council. Nowhere did I say that they should not speak. Nice try. By the way, I am not the one who screamed bloody murder about Kevin Dayton's performance.

I did think it was interesting that we had paid lobbyists from all over the state telling us we had to have prvailing wage in our charter.

I also thought it was fascinating that they claimed that ONLY union labor does quality work when, in fact, less than 20% of workers in the construction trades are union.

They're free to speak to their hearts' content, but don't be fooled - they are hardly concerned Costa Mesa residents, and they could care less about Costa Mesa's issues, or voter's rights. They are only concerned with keeping their members employed with monopolized government work - shutting out over 80% of workers in the construction trades.

8/30/2013 03:31:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Rob, we had paid lobbyists from both sides advocating their positions on the charter. Everyone is free to speak to their hearts content with their paid spokespeople and their campaign ads. Like Mr. TPS said above, the unions made their argument, but they did not "demand" or "had to have" prevailing wage in the charter.

If the person who called more than 20,000 voters "ignorant" is giving me advice on how not to be fooled, well, I'll be sure to take your "stats" with a 5 pound box of salt. But, by all means, please proceed with this evidence...

8/30/2013 05:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Rob, you should have screamed bloody murder about Kevin Dayton's performance. He's an idiot. He did more to hurt your cause than help it.

Yes, there are non union workers in the construction trade. If you want an untrained, unlicensed builder, on your house, probably couldn't hurt your house, but most of us want reliable, trained, licensed and insured workers. These workers have apprenticeship and experience. So you are comparing apples and oranges. Kind of like paralegals versus judges, eh Rob?

And as fofr the 20,000 "uninformed" voters, I'm betting they will be plenty informed by the next election, and I believe you are already aware of that also,

8/30/2013 05:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Rob…Whoever you are….

Do you know if the California Constitution…Article 11…Local Government…Allows for a change of term limits to be written into Costa Mesa’s charter if it should become a charter city?

8/30/2013 07:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

"The basic presumption that placing Measure V on the June ballot would have somehow "evaded democracy" or been an attempt to "sneak" it past voters is intensely offensive, unbelievably condescending, and entirely indicative of the nonsense propoganda(sic) and misinformation that was the anti-Measure V campaign's stock in trade."

...And entirely true. Sorry your skin is so thin, sir, but it is not my fault.

One of these days Costa Mesa will wise up and recognize what a civic service Julie Folcik did for us as her last action as City Clerk.

8/30/2013 07:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...


Nice dance. I stated the obvious twice. You can keep pretending that I am the one who thinks Costa Mesa voters are ignorant and could care less about Measure V. That is not true, but don't let that stop you.

I'm not on the side that did everything humanly possible to keep Measure V off the ballot in June.

Everyone posting here huffs and puffs about my alleged characterization of Costa Mesa voters, yet you are the ones who didn't trust them enough to show up at the polls.


8/30/2013 08:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Poor, poor Rob. Want some whine with that cheese?

8/30/2013 09:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I might as well put my two cents worth in here without Dr. Seuss…

I voted against V for a few simple reasons:

Section 205. Interference With Performance of Duties of City CEO
‘except for the purpose of inquiry” would have to have been removed

Section 401. Purchasing and Contracts
(b) Exemption from the Public Contracts Code
I believe this leads to corruption, and more Quid Pro Quo situations.
(d) Establishment of Procedures
I did not trust the current administration to not take advantage of this and forgo self dealing. Good Faith and Fair Dealing needed to be in the language as well as protection language against sitting administration having conflicts of interest.

Section 602. Employee Retirement Benefits
I did not feel we need to have registered voters decide how Employee Retirement Benefits should be administered, any more than I think we the registered voters should all vote at city council meetings instead of the council.

Section 900.
I did not find “initiative” in this section to enumerate the % of qualified voters required to bring it forward, as the language of the charter in this matter, is not a constitutional amendment requiring 8% of registered voters as specified in the State Constitution from my perspective and needed to be enumerated for clarity.

I would need:

Language that would specify that term limits may never be changed in the future.

Language that no sitting member of any committee may run for a seat on the city council for a period of three years from the end of their sitting term.

8/30/2013 10:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

I agree with those who think Rob’s comments were insulting. Is he calling the citizens who resoundingly defeated a charter proposal in November not informed and not engaged? I believe Costa Mesa had a really good turnout last year because so many residents were engaged and aware.

It’s a fact of life that although all voters can vote in a primary election, many don’t, why go to the polls when your party doesn’t have a horse in the race? The fairest election will not be the one that motivates voters from only one party, but the one that is most likely to get the largest turnout. Ultimately a charter wasn’t a partisan issue in Costa Mesa or it wouldn’t have been shot down by nearly 60% of the voters who judged themselves competent enough to cast a vote on the issue!

As to who did everything possible to force their own way on the public after a filing deadline was missed- Rob has forgotten history, or is rewriting it a bit. It was not the residents who sued the Registrar of Voters to try to force him to do something he had no authority to do. It was the Council majority who spent tens of thousands of taxpayer money in another losing lawsuit and a losing appeal. The Court upheld that the Registrar could not accept a late filing after the statutory deadline.

The Council then prepared to blow more money to hold a concurrent special municipal election. Ironically, they failed to properly notice the required public hearing and it had to be canceled. By then it was completely too late to impose a charter on the June election because it was not physically possible to print ballots in time to mail to overseas armed forces.

8/30/2013 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

I find it curious that you are obsessed with a defeated - actually, trounced - ballot measure when the focus should be on whatever proposal the Charter Committee comes up with.

The voters saw Jim Righeimer's Charter for what it was-a self-serving scheme to perpetuate his personal political agenda.

I think it was despicable for them to cast Julie Folcik aside when, up to the moment they placed her on administrative leave, ALL the officials and the lawyers had been describing her transgression as a " clerical error". I'm sorry she lost her job.

I am happy to have played a part in scuttling their attempt at an end-run to force the issue on a separate ballot in June. It was another example of their arrogant disregard for the rules that sunk that little bit of sneakiness.

Righeimer's disregard for the voters - they made their voices heard loud and clear last November - by demanding that another charter be created, then ignoring the most appropriate method, an elected commission, and forcing the use of a committee ( which is suvservient to the council) then packing it with like-minded sycophants to do his bidding will not be lost on those voters if a charter makes it to a ballot next year.

The way the committee is progressing, there is no certainty that they will ever come up with enough valid reasons to change to a charter form of government. They wasted valuable time debating prayer in their meetings and, despite the best efforts of the "facilitators' they continue to get hung up on minutia.

Personally, I think Costa Mesa has done just fine as a General Law city for 60 years. Nobody has yet come with any valid reasons to change it.

8/30/2013 11:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Subservient. Darn IPad without a spell checker!

8/30/2013 11:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Wow...Rob has a lot of friends here...Are you/is he the Costa Mesa paralegal planning commissioner?

By the way...I left out the words commissioner to go along with committee member not being able to run for city council in my earlier brief..

8/31/2013 12:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Paralegals are valuable to legal work. They gather information, do research, organize files, word process, and put things in the proper format so the attorney can find legal solutions and advocate for the client.

8/31/2013 02:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...


I am off topic here I believe, but I was just trying to find out if the guy Rob posting here was on the Costa Mesa Planning Commission…Where’s My Coffee? mentioned paralegals…Judges and Rob in the same sentence…Oh well maybe nobody wants to say or knows..

Paralegals sure do a lot of the legwork…I remember how much time I spent in the Law Library pouring over Deering’s…I knew a paralegal who went on to law school and became a fantastic attorney…Patent & Trademarks…

A Legal Secretary was probably as close as you could come before 1985.

The advent of the computer has of course made legal information much easier to access,
right in the courtroom.

The court reporter even has a feed straight to the judges monitor now.

8/31/2013 05:10:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Some interesting phrases that I always red-flag on-- I call them "RF's":
1. "Trust me"
2. "To be perfectly honest with you"
3. "Don't be fooled"
4. "The people have spoken"
5. "I never post on Geoff's blog"
6. "I'm doing this for your own good"
7. "I'm not gonna screw you"
8. "We want to protect the public"
9. "Guns are dangerous"
10. "Going forward,..."
11. "I cannot tell a lie"
12. "I only want to help you"
13. "The unions want..."
14. "Would I try to cheat you?"
15. "We need a charter"

Each of these deserves at least half a page of discourse. Failing that, five minutes of real thought on the ramifications of each will do more for one's safety and security than any action the city council has ever taken.

I can probably name a lot more RF's than these few. Usually when I hear one, I expect to be kissed in the ear, because I know what is coming next.

'Nuff said.

8/31/2013 09:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Dark Moon said...

I’ve been trying to follow this thread of comments AND understand it at the same time. Whew! Lots of thoughts tossed into sentences to make you think they said it but not really. Kinda like a person who likes to listen to himself speak. Or maybe a foreigner who really doesn’t have a grip on the English language but being graceful, you listen anyway. Actually it reminds me of some stories that my daughters would tell me when they were fifteen that I was supposed to believe. Uh huh. Am I stupid? Did I stutter? I said, no. Reading the comments I would get that the City Council needs guidance and lots of it. I have had the pleasure of watching them in action, I agree. I was appalled at their manners, as for anything else it depends on the subject. They are entertaining, I’ll give you that.

Rules are rules. They were written for a reason, much like the subject of a city charter keeps coming up. Is it needed? I think that’s how most voters felt no matter what intelligence level or interest in municipal government; they didn’t feel good about it. They didn’t trust it. That’s the reason I would have voted it down, it didn’t set well. It didn’t feel right. It felt like a secret society wanting to take over and control. It’s been proven to me reading about and watching the city leaders that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. There have been several times where I have busted up out loud, and they want me to vote yes on something they wrote? This has no bearing on whoever votes or when. Don’t mix them up.

I do think that City Council should be given a budget and follow it. I do find it interesting that they want to force a near poverty level existence to the city employees. I’ve done furlough weeks and days. One furlough day a month is equivalent to over two weeks of no pay, added to the one week, is almost an entire month with no pay per year. It’s like the letting of blood practice; it’s not good and will weaken the whole system.

It’s like dropping a plate on the floor and saying you’re sorry. Does the plate magically come back together again? A City Charter will not fix things. Take your time to do it right, so you don’t have to take the time to do it again. No, you can’t have another one, use the one you have and learn to get along. That would be my rule.

8/31/2013 11:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

I posted a few reasons why I voted against a charter city from a legal perspective, since I actually read the charter before I voted and made my decision based on that reading…

It had nothing to do with any of the discourse that went into how it was written, why it was written, or anything that was going on here at the Cauldron…

My spouse worked for a charter city as an employee, and went through everything that is going on at Costa Mesa City Hall, so I have some background. I knew the president of the employee’s association, how the lawsuits work etc..A lot of good people got screwed.

Many people reading this may not understand that the upper administration of the city, have their own association as it were, a Non Associated MOU or whatever they may want to call it…Since I have no insight into how Costa Mesa runs internally, I may be off base here, but I am pretty sure I am on target…It is there somewhere…

The rank and file employees have a different association and are subject to different rules and pay scales, including benefits.

Let’s take the city council who are in an entirely separate class…Why should we the people of Costa Mesa be paying for their medical benefits at all…It is a waste of my taxpayer money to pay for that…I think one declined coverage…

Some were getting about $1,500.00 a month for medical insurance…Are you kidding me…Since the link is disabled, I can not remember the actual number, but I was blown away…I understand tough economic times…I have suffered greatly because of them…But why do I have to pay for that…

I am no novice when it comes to computers, routers, servers and the like..I have 6 computers within eye shot..From XP through Windows 8…Somebody is trying to work their IT magic on my system from the outside.

I find it incredible that the council compensation page at the city council website just won’t load anymore…At least not for me anyway…Go to the council webpage and look under council compensation…It used to work, although it still had Mansoor and Bever listed just last week…Great job Mr. Mayor...What a great leader…Are we hiding stuff…

A charter does a few things from my experience…Corruption is number one…

Allow all who make a living building things on the land a lot of money in the end…Developers…Bankers…Realtors…etc..and of course the attorneys…

Transfer the services of city employees to private outsource companies having nothing to do with money that it costs the city.

There is no way to see the books of these private companies by the way…

Allow the growth of Costa Mesa’s tax base by squeezing as many buildings and people into this town as humanly possible…

Create a power base that serves the needs of the current administrations emotional need to be in politics for ego, spite and control…

I have never sat through council meetings with such sarcastic, rude little bullies in my life…

I can appreciate the posts here..Posting on this blog with my real name, as I have, is stretching my desire to remain in the background.

9/01/2013 09:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Re paralegals- I was being facetious.

Many paralegals, including the one on the planning commission, forget their true role in the big picture.

Here's the story folks:

Ocgop initiated an extremist takeover of Costa Mesa for power and money when it ordered Mansoor to put Righeimer on the planning commission.

It will take approximately 1.3 more years to undo this.

Study the issues, follow the money, support the good people, vote, and be patient.

9/01/2013 01:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Ken, thank you.

9/01/2013 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Ken Nyquist said...

Arthur…Where’s My Coffee?...

Thank you for the responses….

I have no time for paralegals or attorneys who are politicians…Zero…I have even less for developers, their lackeys or alcoholics…

If you have read through any of my other long posts on this blog, it is a tell from word one that I have the current male council members, the outsource City Attorney, the Planning Commission, the Planning Department and the upper management of the City Of Costa Mesa directly in my line of sight and despise them..

I am no novice to the GOP, as I had actively campaigned to get rid of Jerry Brown, Rose Bird, and Cruz Reynoso and bring the rise of Pete Wilson. I voted blanket Republican..

I campaigned for Ross Perot…

The first president I ever voted for was Nixon…Nixon was president while I served in the U.S. Army, in the Infantry, spying on folks, hunting them..…I joined the Army…No draft here…I lived many days in the jungle with little food, no hope and an absolute desire to change the world the day I got set free from my duty…

Like most of us, my children became my priority, and changing the world was replaced with survival again..

Once Watergate broke loose, I started paying way more attention to what was going on…When Iran Contra came about, I listened to the entire testimony of everyone and decided right then and there, justice goes to the highest bidder, my government was corrupt and the Supreme Court had lost sight of everything.

It was not until I voted for Gore instead of Bush, and it came down to the Bush family in Florida and our Supreme Court’s rulings, that I actually understood the power of the CIA and all the other acronym agencies and money in politics.

I grew up on Newport Island with some of the wealthiest people around when I was a kid…My neighbor was the mayor of Newport Beach…I had an Edwards Cinema pass given to me by Jim Edwards..I went to school with John Wayne’s kids..Everybody laughed all the time...I loved our cabin cruiser on the dock out my bedroom window..I understand money…

I have lived more years in Costa Mesa now than anywhere else in my life…

I voted my conscience on the city charter, as well as the council members I thought would do the best job for my family.

The mayor is the civic leader of my city, the head man, the Commander in Chief of our local military…The CMPD…And he and the second in command sues the people who are out there to protect us from the bad guys…I don’t care how they word it, how it comes out of their mouths…It is a diversion…There is just no other way to put it…

Something has happened to me personally at the hands of this corrupt group at city hall that has affected many of my elderly friends…I will not sit still for it…I am now 100% certain that there is corruption at city hall…Not maybe…Not could be a possibility…

I intend to find a way to bring them down…

I have known about this blog for a few years due to my spouse, and Geoff has been gracious in allowing me to stick my nose right in the middle of his blog, and I do appreciate him letting me post here…

I just hope I don’t cause him trouble..

9/01/2013 06:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Wow, this got off track fast.

More ignorance. Robin, thanks for proving my point better than anyone else possibly could:

"It’s a fact of life that although all voters can vote in a primary election, many don’t, why go to the polls when your party doesn’t have a horse in the race?"

Measure V (all city elections in fact) are non-partisan. Voters who fail to even show up at the polls to vote on Measure V - a very important race - are, by definition, ignorant about it.

All Costa Mesa voters would have received ballot pamphlets prior to the June and November elections. Curious how they were so well-informed in November but, according to you, would have not bothered to vote in June.

Do you even read what you write? You were President of the main anti-Measure V organization, and you actually stated that many voters would not bother to show up for such an important election! And you call my comments offensive?

All of you, be honest and drop the nonsense for once. The future of Costa Mesa is too important.

9/03/2013 11:49:00 PM  

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