Thursday, February 13, 2014

Charter Committee Nears Completion Of Task

The Costa Mesa Charter Committee, facilitated by Dr. Kirk Bauermeister and Dr. Mike Decker, met again Wednesday evening - this time in the cozy confines of Conference Room 1A -  to continue their task of creating a document that will change the way Costa Mesa is governed if approved by the voters in November.  The number of visitors was much smaller than usual and the venue doesn't lend itself to hearing what the participants are saying - especially with no microphones.

The schedule now provides for two more meetings at which the members will hammer out some sticking points on a few issues, then begin to fine-tune the language of the document that will be presented to the City Council early in March.  We were told that there is tentatively a "little reception" planned for the members before the City Council meeting on March 18th to honor them for their hard work.

Wednesday night they discussed whether or not to include a reference to Steve Mensinger's COIN program regarding labor negotiations, Conflict of Interest language, the Form of Government, and the probable Pension Timeline if the Charter were to require voter approval.

This group continues to work harmoniously, but the strong political orientation of certain members always eventually shows through.  Having observed most of these meetings I can state with some degree of authority that partisanship on both sides is frequently very evident - and it detracts from the work.

At the next meeting they will discuss Paycheck Protection - that's the scheme Righeimer and his pal and lawyer, Mark Bucher, tried unsuccessfully to foist off on voters in the past, including in Righeimer's Proposition V - that soundly-defeated attempt to hijack the process the last time around.
They will also discuss Eminent Domain, review the Preamble and the entire document.


I was not surprised when member Gene Hutchins suggested they bring back the language of Measure V before they finalize the document.  He's been spouting that mantra since the very beginning, apparently oblivious to the fact that the electorate soundly rejected it.  It will be very interesting to see what part of Measure V gets folded into this document, and whether the City Council will include it as they review the work product from the committee for possible placement on the November ballot.

So, the next meeting of this group will be at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 26th in Conference Room 1A.

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Anonymous Mike said...

The City of La Mirada just finished wrapped up their study committee on forming a Charter City. They recommended no change and to remain a General Law City.

They seemed to complete the process with substantially less rhetoric, drama and political polarization. After keeping tabs on how the process has proceeded in Costa Mesa, it is a pleasant surprise to see that a question can be formed, a process can be started and completed in a timely fashion, without having a "Pre-Determined" outcome in mind.

According to he article, many of their "Pro" Charter members realized through the process there was nothing a general law city couldn't accomplish that a "charter city" could and seemed concerned that there may be more drawbacks than benefits.

Here is a link:

2/13/2014 10:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann O'Connell said...

Mike: The La Mirada group was allowed to discuss the merits of charters and inclusions. We were not afforded that right and there doesn't seem to be a stomach for it, with the exception of two people.

2/13/2014 05:38:00 PM  

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