Thursday, February 27, 2014

Charter Committee Hijacked By Partisans

A funny thing happened on the way to a Charter last night.  As the committee headed for the home stretch after months of diligent, tenacious and sometimes heated discussions during which polar opposite viewpoints seemed to drift together and much progress had been made, the whole process was hijacked!

At the first meeting in months where all the committee members were present and at what was supposed to be the next-to-last meeting of their process before their work product - a Charter for the City of Costa Mesa - was to be presented to the City Council, the true colors of some of the players around the table finally surfaced.

After facilitator Dr. Kirk Bauermeister and his sidekick, Dr. Mike Decker, got the committee off and running in what certainly looked like a productive evening when they promptly dispatched with Jim Righeimer's Paycheck Protection scheme and Eminent Domain as unworthy of being placed on a Charter, I thought they might actually have a chance to produce a document within their schedule.  Now I'm not so sure.

Just before 8:00 member Andy Smith turned the discussion to lawyer Kimberly Hall Barlow and suggested that she and fellow-lawyer Yolanda Summerhill might wish to provide the committee with "guidance" about what they might be missing in a Charter document as the headed for the finish line.  This was a stunning development, since it has been understood from the beginning that the staff, including the lawyers, were there to provide technical/legal advice to the committee - to help them produce a document that was legal in form and format - NOT to provide input on the content of the document segments.  The members of the committee have had at their disposal from the very first meeting copies of many other charters from which to glean ideas for inclusion in a Costa Mesa Charter.  It's going to be very interesting to see how Barlow and Summerhill play this one.
Another late-in-the-game curve ball was generated by member Gene Hutchins - who continues to be unable to get beyond the Unfunded Pension Liability issue - when he tossed into the mix some lengthy language regarding Pensions that had been conjured up by the Pension Oversight Committee, of which he is also a member.  Based on the brief discussion last night, this item is likely going to take an hour or more to flesh out at a time when the committee expected to just be polishing their final document.

GRAVE ROBBINGHowever, the biggest surprise/disappointment came when Smith - did I mention that he and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger used to share a cubicle at Arnel Development? -  reached down into the grave and attempted to resurrect Measure V, Mayor Jim Righeimer's failed Charter from the 2012 election.  Although they've had more than six months to tinker with that document and other charters, this attempt to bring back that document from the dead was a shocker.  It all began simply enough, with a request to carve out the verbiage from Section 201 (e) Qualifications for City Council members and include it in their Charter.  There seemed to be unanimity on that subject when, all of a sudden, then the whole thing took on a life of its own and now the committee will be pouring over Measure V with an eye to plugging items from it into their Charter!

This is more than a curious turn of events.  Unless there are serious politics at play here, why would they attempt to dredge up a document that failed convincingly at the ballot box - nearly 60% of the voters rejected it?  There is only one answer - that the Righeimer/Mensinger appointees on the committee have waited until the very last minute to spring this on the committee and facilitators to force the process to hastily consider segments of that document with the hope of jamming them through onto their Charter due to severe time constraints.

Well, let me tell them that it won't work!  Sure, they can go ahead and try it and, perhaps, even get much of it included as their fellow committee members run out of gas.  But, the community didn't support Measure V and I doubt very much they will support "Son of  V", either!  No, this is going to be just one more example of where the cabal that controls this city is too clever for it's own good.

In two weeks, March 12th, the committee will meet again in Conference Room 1A, starting their deliberations earlier than usual - at 5:00 p.m. - and will work late if necessary to finalize their document.  It's going to be VERY interesting to watch this little soap opera evolve.

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Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Das Rigmarshal planned very well for the Second World Charter. What did you think he would do- allow a true democratic process in the best interests of Costa Mesa?

2/27/2014 05:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

It pretty much was the general consensus that Righeimer would get his own on the ballot rather than use the one the appointees cooked up. It won't pass.

2/27/2014 07:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

But didn't the council majority (Jim's boys) stack the committee with cronies that would do their bidding? No surprises here.

2/27/2014 08:07:00 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

It looks like the moment of truth has arrived.

Drs. Bauermeister and Decker:

Will you stand up for the people of Costa Mesa, or allow, without resisting, the "Rigged" committee to just re-submit the extremist's failed Measure V?

2/27/2014 08:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike McNiff said...

This is great news.

Trot out Measure V 2.0 and watch it go up in flames, just as it did the first time.

Can't wait to see how they try to spin it to the electorate, and will cross my fingers people will see through the charade. It seems to me they've already lost plenty of supporters as is (i.e. adult softball players, little league parents, nature lovers, etc.).

2/27/2014 08:52:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

We don't want Righeimer's charter.
Why can't he take 'No!' for an answer?
Is it because Scott Baugh won't allow it?

2/27/2014 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

Let me quickly run down the process going forward:

The majority on the committee seems hell-bent on getting their work done by March 18. This date is completely arbitrary.

The charter cannot be on the ballot until the November election. The last day they can transmit a passed charter to the Registrar of Voters is August 30. That means the city council majority will have to have their two hearings on it on August 5 and August 19.

So what is going to happen between March 18 and August 5?

2/27/2014 10:59:00 AM  
Anonymous apple said...

I briefly glanced at the 2014 New California State laws pertaining to Charter Cities,and so far the only item I found is:
Senate Bill No. 7 Chapter 794
An act to add Section 1782 to the Labor Code, relating to public works.

For a full list of new California State Laws: see link

2/27/2014 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Sung to the tune of "Bensonhurst Blues":
Oh, mistah Righeimer,
You such a success,
Yo’ city employees, Hah!
They say you are da best.
You face always smilin’,
But you ain’t paid yo’ dues,
You still owe yo’ soul, to O.C.G.O.P Blues.

You custom-made charter,
It went down in flame,
You try fo’ another,
We treat it the same.
And those layoff notices,
And the cops you abuse,
Do they know that you suffer from O.C.G.O.P blues?

You pavin’ our park now,
Ignore all we say,
When da Park Service catch you,
They put you away.
You playin’ wit’ fire now,
Da Park Service choose
You sit in you jail cell with O.C.G.O.P blues.

You actin’ so hasty,
You frantic to move,
You don’t do no thinkin’
Bout what you approve.
You suin’ da cops now,
It’s all in da news,
You end yo’ career with O.C.G.O.P blues.

So thanks for the lesson,
But the life that I choose
Won’t be like livin
With O.C.G.O.P blues.
And don’t try to sway me,
My vote’s not fo’ sale,
But I’ll come to visit when you locked up in jail.

2/27/2014 04:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Now it's finally getting to be fun. Are Brown Act laws applicable here? I personally like the idea of bringing back the "Son of 'V' part II" movie. Would be good to watch it go down in flames again.

2/28/2014 09:09:00 AM  

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