Monday, December 01, 2014

Hello Council, Good-bye Chief and More Lawsuits

Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that you've rested and are refreshed and ready for more municipal fun and games.  We were away at a location with only the most meager of communication links - no WiFi and marginal cell service.  It was kind of nice, actually.

While I was gone more excrement hit the oscillating unit.  In addition to Police Chief Tom Gazsi announcing his retirement, as portrayed in the Daily Pilot, we had not one, but two sober living operators sue the City, HERE.  The same day he published that piece, Jeremiah Dobruck wrote one about a raid conducted on one of the sober living homes for too many residents, HERE.  Then Orange County Register columnist/busy-body Marcia C. Smith wrote a piece on November 24th, HERE, decrying how badly sober-living outfits were being treated.  Of course, old Marcia - who tells us in the beginning of her piece that this shabby treatment has caused her to reconsider relocating to Costa Mesa - doesn't have to live amidst the unpleasantness that typically accompanies many of the sober living homes in our town.  And THEN Brad Zint wrote a piece the day after Thanksgiving citing problems with processing paperwork for sober living homes, HERE.  As recently re-elected mayor Jim Righeimer has told us - "we're gonna get sued".  Yep.

Almost simultaneously we learned of a lawsuit by residents of so-called "problem motels" over our new ordinance limiting stays at those places, HERE.  The next day we learned that a judge tells us that the City could enforce the new ordinance despite the lawsuit, HERE.  You may recall that Righeimer vowed from the dais to make life so miserable for those motel operators that they would "revalue" their properties, which then could be sold to developers for a more reasonable price, so they could build high-density housing units - and make a HUGE profit.  Did I mention that Righeimer is a developer?

Now might be a good time to remind you that he - the guy you re-elected to the city council - is largely responsible for our litigation fees increasing dramatically during his tour.

So, Tuesday, December 2, 2014, begins the next chapter in the Jim Righeimer era in Costa Mesa politics.  On that evening he and Katrina Foley - who gathered the highest number of votes in the recent election - will be sworn-in and officially seated on the City Council.  You can read the agenda for that meeting - expected to be a short one - HERE.  By the way, if you thought the last four years under Righeimer were bad, imagine what it's going to be like now that he's officially a lame duck?  Yep, he'll be termed out in 2018, so whatever is left in his agenda bag is going to come out pretty darn soon.  Don't blink!

You can read about how the Municipal Election must be handled, HERE and read the resolution about the election HERE.  City Clerk Brenda Green will certify the council election results, plus Measure P and Measure O.  There apparently will be a presentation to termed-out councilwoman Wendy Leece.  There are no other items except the Consent Calendar - you can read the Warrant HERE - and public, council and CEO Hatch comments.

There's much buzz around town about who should be elected mayor and mayor pro tem.  Well, despite the outcry for a "woman" (Foley or former mayor Sandra Genis) to be elected to those slots, it's not likely to happen.  Nope, because electing either of them to either position would mean losing control of the agenda.  What is very likely is that Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger will be elected Mayor and Righeimer will be elected Mayor Pro Tem.  Gary Monahan has already stepped down as mayor recently, claiming conflicting business requirements.  However, since Mensinger finally has a job, I wonder if he will have the time to fulfill the role?  I guess so, since his entire family is in town for the coronation, er, election.  It's going to be a tough couple years with him as Mayor, since he has a very difficult time following along on the dais despite having a virtual song book in front of him.  Of course, much of the time he's distracted by his cell phone.  I wonder what he's doing up there?  Playing "Angry Birds"?  Checking sports results? Texting his pals for guidance?  All of the above?

I wonder what kind of Public Comments we'll be hearing Tuesday night?  Will folks step up to thank Leece for her service?  Will they congratulate Foley?  Will they observe that a Charter scheme was trounced AGAIN at the polls?  Will anyone observe that less than half the registered voters took part in the election?

I wonder if folks will take the time Tuesday to say adios to Police Chief Tom Gazsi, who retires from the CMPD next Sunday and begins a new and very exciting assignment as Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Port Police on December 8th?  His list of accomplishments is long and illustrious during his three years as Chief of Police in Costa Mesa.  I wrote about it HERE last week.  Tuesday will likely be Gazsi's final council meeting.

You may not have noticed, but the agenda, above, indicates the meeting will be adjourned to a "An adjourned Regular meeting on December 9, 2014 at 6:45 p.m."  This is interesting, since there has been no notice of this meeting before.  I suspect this may be the meeting at which the council addresses the difficult issue of the competing Medical Marijuana initiatives.  When last we left this subject the staff was tasked with preparing a comprehensive report for the council to consider.  Since the meeting this Tuesday would normally be the final meeting of the calendar year, it's likely this meeting next week is the mandatory consideration of those issues.  I'll write more about it when I learn more.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Looks like the major rennovation of the home on Darrell Street is moving along. It has two front doors, inches apart. The layout that had been explained to neighbors is not what is happening. I suspect it is going to be a group home. And, by the way, Steve Mensinger was seen over there, and told us that it was one of his friends that is doing this.

12/01/2014 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous xyn bohemia said...

what about the 36 unit live work 3 story "homes" that will be 10 feet from r1 neighbors and will look down into private backyards and private windows on much of federal ave?? imagine if these become apartments or sober living? (cuz single family live work homes sure don't seem to be selling as promised!) what a nightmare--- despite residents complaining and an adjoining business owner appealing for his right to safe entry and exit to his property.. we don't matter, we are just the existing property owners and property tax payers. it better not lower my property value!! i'm mad as hell and i'm not gonna take it anymore---

12/01/2014 10:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Any truth to the rumor that Mayor Mensy's first project will be to replace the asphalt on Harbor with Decomposed Granite?

12/01/2014 07:12:00 PM  

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