Monday, November 03, 2014

And, Finally, The Charter And Ethics...

Tuesday many of you will go to the polls, sample ballot clutched tightly in your hands so you can remember all those decisions you made at your dining room table on the important issues to be considered by the electorate, and step up to cast your ballot.

There are many important issues facing the voters on this one, even though it's a mid-term election.  In Costa Mesa there are two that require your careful contemplation - the election of two council members and Measure "O" - the Charter.

I've written many times about Measure "O", which I've described as the bastard child of Mayor Jim Righeimer's Charter, the flawed and failed Measure "V" from two years ago.  You will recall that the cardboard voting booths had barely been deconstructed and stored away before Righeimer demanded that a Charter be considered again this year.  He cobbled together a weak process - hand-picking the committee that was stacked with folks he knew would re-create his document and perpetuate his myopic vision of how our city should be governed.  Former council candidate John Stephens (he lost to Gary Monahan by 155 votes two years ago) provided an excellent reconstruction of the process in a Daily Pilot commentary HERE last August.

Without beating this dead horse further, Measure "O" is a bad document, flawed in so many ways, but the worst part is the fact that sections 104 and 806 provide unfettered power to the city council.  Short of breaking state or federal law, under the Charter contained in Measure "O" it can do whatever it wishes, whenever it chooses.  That is much too low a bar for the governance of our city.  Vote NO on Measure "O".

The other reason I'm writing this tonight is to remind you that it is critical to the future of this city that it be returned into the hands of the residents and voters.  It is currently in a stranglehold imposed by developers through a developer-friendly council majority headed by Jim Righeimer and the lock-step lemmings of the Orange County Republican Party, whose leader, Scott Baugh, has declared our city "Ground Zero" in their ongoing attempt to smash public employee organizations.

I've written extensively on this blog, HERE, and simultaneously in the Daily Pilot, HERE, about why you should NOT vote for Righeimer, and select Katrina Foley and Jay Humphrey instead.  I've described Righeimer as a carpetbagging political opportunist who has attempted to use the electorate of Costa Mesa to impose his warped values that have been soundly rejected elsewhere.  I've described him as a man who abhors rules - unless he makes them himself, and even then he applies them unevenly.  His attempt to layoff half the so-called "miscellaneous employees" three years ago is the perfect example of that behavior, but certainly not the only one.  Read my other essays, linked above.

Tonight, probably my final post before you cast your ballot, I want to remind you that he recently rejected an Ethics Policy - an issue that was also rejected by his hand-picked Charter Committee during their year-long deliberations.  Shortly after midnight on May 7th of this year, at the tail end of a City Council meeting that began more than six hours earlier, he rejected even the concept of an Ethics Policy.  You can read the staff report HERE, the language of the proposed Administrative Regulation that would have bound employees, HERE, and the actual language of the proposed Ethics Policy, HERE.  At the end the council, on a 4-1 vote (Wendy Leece voted NO) voted to simply "receive and file" the staff report and not be bothered with such an inconvenience.  I wrote about it HERE.  In that entry I provided you with this paragraph to sum up my thoughts on the event:

The meeting ended with us knowing a lot more about Mayor Jim Righeimer.  We know that the rules don't apply to him, and that he won't approve any attempt to make rules that he has to follow - the Ethics Policy, for example.  I read the policy and the modified version handed out at the meeting.  It wasn't quite ready for prime time yet, but it would only take a little tweaking to make it work - some process issues needed to be clarified.  So, dear readers, know that your mayor - the guy with hands firmly on the steering wheel of your city - simply isn't going to be bothered by ethical issues.  He's going to do things HIS way, whether you like it or not - and he's got the votes to do exactly that.  Six months from now you have a chance to change that situation.

Well, that "six months" mentioned above is NOW!  The fact that Jim Righeimer is unwilling to be bound by ethical conduct as a member of your City Council should make every one of you carefully consider your vote Tuesday.  He is a man unworthy of your trust and certainly not your vote.  If you wish to watch that segment of the May 6/7, 2014 meeting click HERE.
Please find your way to the polls Tuesday and vote to return mature, responsible, ethical leadership to our city.  Vote to take Costa Mesa back from outside interests - developers who will defile our city with high-density vertical developments then go on their merry way and politicians with no skin in our game, willing to use Costa Mesa as a Petri Dish for their experimentation.


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Anonymous Tamar said...

Please vote for BOTH Jay Humphrey and Katrina Foley for City Council. It will take both of them to change the majority.

We have a crowded ballot, and one of the other candidates might portray a vision that you hold important. Remember, though, that a symbolic vote for anyone other than Humphrey and Foley is a vote for Righeimer.

No goal, no compromise passes Righeimer’s council unless it is in lockstep with his self-centered vision of Costa Mesa. No matter what your fondest vision is, unless you’re 100% in line with the current council’s self-interests, you need a change of council majority to make it happen.

Humphrey and Foley are clearly the only candidates who have a chance of replacing the current regime. I can also say, based on my observations over the past 20 years and more specifically over the past three months, that they will be the best council members for our efforts to restore good government to Costa Mesa.

Humphrey and Foley. It takes these two.

11/04/2014 01:00:00 AM  
Blogger valan2 said...

Pot Stirrer, you say the proposed charter would allow the Coincil to do whatever it wants, "Short of breaking state or federal law." My first thought was, "when did breaking the law stop them?"

Another serious flaw in the charter is that it would, by its prevailing wage provision, make Costa Mesa ineligible for any and all state funding of public works projects - dumping millions of dollars to save a few thousand.

Measure O is nO good for Costa Mesa. Foley and Humphrey understand that, and will lead the City in the right direction.

11/04/2014 10:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...


Geoff, THANK YOU for your timely and diligent postings on everything that matters to Costa Mesa. Your patience and persistence during those long and arduous meetings is admirable.

A big THANK YOU to my neighbors for all your hard work getting out the vote!!! You are all a big part of the reason that Costa Mesa was, and will be, a great place to live.

11/04/2014 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

Don't wanna get anyones hopes up but I just came from voting at Victoria Elementary and was told by the poll workers that it has been "very busy" all day. Encouraging news since I was told by a major playr at CM4RG that the turnout on the Westside of town was crucial to a Jay/Katrina victory.

11/04/2014 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

The last comment is very heartening! Even Marty remarked similarly early this morning. We're in Tampa, having traveled all day, and are holding our breath and waiting for news. Keep us posted, Geoff!

11/04/2014 08:12:00 PM  

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