Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Discontent And Safety At City Hall

Monday I wrote about what I described as the further "bunkerization" of the Executive Offices at Costa Mesa City Hall, HERE.  As you might expect, that characterization was not met with much joy by a few of the denizens of that venue.  Quite the contrary... some of them are down right pissed-off at me for pointing out the deficiencies and daring to suggest changes are necessary.

The "problems" are two-fold.  First, there is a heavy-handedness by some in charge which has led to a much-less customer-friendly venue.  Second, is the layout of the 5th floor.  There is nobody designated to greet visitors and direct them to the proper person.  Both of these problems seem to be easily-solved.

First, CEO Tom Hatch - the man theoretically in charge of EVERYTHING in the city, and particularly within his own little fiefdom on the 5th floor - needs to provide some one-on-one counseling to the person with the heavy hand.  His behavior must stop.

Second, if security is a serious issue, whether it be concern for information or personal security, then there should be an easily-identified individual or work station assigned to intercept and direct visitors.  That one is a no-brainer - even if it means using interns on a rotating basis.

That issue is really a "building" issue, though.  When a person enters City Hall from either side - front or rear - there is nobody waiting to provide information or direction.  Currently, visitors must present themselves to the locked glass door/wall of the City Clerk's office and hope someone is available to provide guidance.  While the good folks who work for Brenda Green behind that glass barrier do a fine job, one certainly does not feel "welcomed" as they enter the First Floor lobby.

Perhaps those interns mentioned above would be better placed in the main lobby, where they could intercept and greet ALL visitors, provide them with a sign-in opportunity and then give specific directions to locations within the building.  If access badges are necessary to show that a person has actually signed-in, that would be the place to do it.  If security on the 5th Floor bunker is an issue, then visitors to THAT location could be required to wait for an escort.

"US VS. THEM"...
Regardless, things must change.  This adversarial, us-versus-them attitude by some folks working in City Hall is new since the current regime took over and is unacceptable.  Residents and others who visit City Hall do so because they either have business to do - licenses, permits, inspections, etc., - or have a problem they need help with.  They are clients to be served, not opponents to be rebuffed.  This doesn't need to be "studied" - it needs to be fixed, pronto!

I'm told that the woman I mentioned in my earlier post will shortly receive a written apology from those in charge at City Hall.  Well, that's the very least that should be happening.  As a taxpayer and resident of this city for more than four decades, I'm ashamed of how the treatment of residents has deteriorated in the past four years.  This is a direct reflection on the leadership of the City and it needs to be corrected.

By the way, last night at the City Council meeting mention was made of the next "Meet The Mayor" event on Sunday, February 8th from 2-4 p.m.  I guess nothing has changed about how that will be managed.  There is no requirement to reserve time - just wander into City Hall to the 5th Floor where our Rookie Mayor, Steve Mensinger, will visit with you and your entourage as long as you like - or until 4 p.m, whichever comes first.  Of course, if it runs as it did last time, you may end up being part of a group discussing a variety of issues with people who have no vested interest in them.  It seems like a curious way to run this opportunity for face time with the Rookie.  However, if you REALLY want some one-on-one time with The Rookie, you can call Sharon Rodelius at 714-754-5107 to set up an appointment.

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention that the Washington, D.C. trip planned for Mensinger and Hatch in April was removed from the agenda for the meeting last night.  HERE is the link to the original staff report.  I don't know if that means the trip is off, or if they're waiting for Mayor Pro Tem (eMPTy) Jim Righeimer to return from his trip abroad for the vote.  I guess we'll see.

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Blogger zennymoon said...

I must say after several city council meetings, mayor M is incredibly rude, challenging
and abrasive from the dias. His arrogance and bullying ways are erupting, more than ususal, but he did seem lost without hus side kick....gentler, kinder approach..NOT So MUCH.

2/04/2015 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous It has to be said...

it is a very bleak scene in the Lobby. It is a great way to tell everyone "you are not welcome here". A tacky pole sign points to where to pay a bill or where to file your papers. The elevators take you to the beat up lobbies of the other floors - nothing like the newly remodeled Mayor's lair.

If you dare to enter and venture down the galley of the dungeon-esque fifth floor lobby, the only smiling faces are at the far end of the right hall. And you get the feeling that they are smiling with relief because a new face is such a welcome change from the sour and dour that lie behind those closed doors.

In contrast, the lobbies of our neighboring cities are bright, full of life and light, and there is always someone ready to greet you to their city and help you find what you need.

Costa Mesa used to be such a fine city.

2/04/2015 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

On another Note.... Huntington Beach just swore in 5 police officers and a Records Technician. All experienced laterals......

2/04/2015 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...


The next scheduled "Meet the Bully" event will take place this Sunday, at dawn, behind city hall.

Citizens should bring their own Band Aids for minor scrapes or chest bumps.

Baggage clerks, teachers, and people who care about the environment, should probably stay home.

2/04/2015 06:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Did anyone with half a functional brain think steve would change for the better after the election?

2/04/2015 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

@skeptical....hope springs eternal, like believing in the spirit of santa clause, sadly reality , smacked me in the face and I came full circle..I really want to believe that personal arrogance will not overtake the betterment of the community and I also want a pony.

2/05/2015 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous It HAS to be said...

speaking of Santa Claus:

Snoopy House was 12 days. It is still sitting on the City Hall lawn - it has 44 days since it closed.

Stay classy, Costa Mesa.

2/05/2015 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

We should take pictures of the City Hall Christmas display still sitting on the lawn and complain on the Costa Mesa connect app. Then take pictures of the dead grass and do the same thing again...

2/06/2015 10:59:00 AM  

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