Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Feeling Safer? Why?

Here's a little something for you to contemplate as you plan to ring in the new year.  The City of Costa Mesa is not safer this year than it was last year.  And, sadly, this is a DIRECT result of policies and attitudes by the current City Council majority - specifically Mayor Steve Mensinger and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer.
Here's a little information for you, plucked straight from the pages of the city web site.  I've provided the last three months available for your consideration, but you can find all the rest at the city web site HERE(Click on the individual charts to expand.)

So, as we enter the new year, full of hope and anticipation, keep in mind that some of your elected leaders have chosen to place potholes before public safety.  They care more about their legacy as measured by paved streets and alleys and fancy new center dividers than the safety of those of us who live or work in and those who visit and shop in Costa Mesa
As of the end of the year the Costa Mesa Police Department will have fewer than 100 officers ready for duty.  There are nearly 30 vacancies in the department.  Of the authorized staff level - which is well short of optimal - five are so-called "grant cops", officers being paid through a 5-year grant.  The time on those grants is expiring, which will reduce the authorized strength of the department's sworn officers even more!
And, you may recall that Mensinger and Righeimer refused to let then-chief Tom Gazsi begin the hiring process for new officers for more than eight months, putting the department so far behind the curve that it will take years to recover.
Even without the impact of a growing drug problem, and expanding homelessness problem, AB 109 releases and Prop. 47, it would be tough to properly police this city.  Add those elements to the mix, PLUS the fact that Costa Mesa has the highest percentage of rehab homes in the county - by far - than any other city and those places have been demonstrated to be incubators for homeless criminals.  When they are bounced out of the rehab homes for failure to complete the programs there is no mechanism or requirement for them to be returned to their home of record, so they end up on our streets.  A recent incident where a resident clobbered a burglar with a flashlight emphasizes that problem, HERE.
And, of course, we have the CMPD contract to consider.  The men and women of the CMPD are working without a new contract for more than 500 days.  Only three members of the City Council - Gary Monahan, Katrina Foley and Sandra Genis - may be involved in the negotiations because the other two men have sued the men and women of the CMPD.  And those three must reach unanimous accord on the contract.
And, there is the loss of experience caused by the retirement and/or departure to other venues by skilled, season veteran officers.  Yes, we can hire some of the best new officers available, but they simply don't have the experience yet to actually fill the void - that takes years.
So, I encourage you to drop a little note to the two top elected leaders in our city to "thank them" for caring more about their legacy than our safety.  I'm sure they will welcome a little note from you.  I suspect Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer will remind you of what he constantly says - "Having more cops doesn't mean you have a safer city."  Yeah, really?  Well, it's a great place to start!
And a Very Happy New Year to you all.

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Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Its a sad scenario. We keep hiring, but what isn't being said is that the new hires leave for greener pastures soon after hiring on. We hire 5 and 3 leave. We hire 3 and 2 leave. So frustrating. Same with the fire department.

The safety of this city is in the councilmens' hands and they are responsible for destroying this city. Bad enough the streets in all neighborhoods are fair game for property theft, cars being broken into frequently, tweekers roaming the streets looking for anything they can steal to sell for drugs, sober living homes giving a good share of the thieves refuge, and now they want to bring more drugs into town. Gary Monahan and Jim Fitzpatrick are actively seeking to get into the marijuana business. Great, a ton of bars, liquor stores and now dispensaries coming to your neighborhood soon. Yeah yeah, people who smoke pot are laid back and lazy. But the people who run the dispensaries are not. And that is going to be a problem. Just watch. And now we have no cops that can be proactive, so they can't do anything until a drug war breaks out or someone breaks into your house. Great! I blame Righeimer and Mensinger and Monahan for these issues and lack of safety in this town.

12/30/2015 05:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Years ago, people warned us about Righeimer but not enough voters listened. Then he got a second term by 47 votes. He and the blockhead Stevie have done heavy damage to Costa Mesa for the sake of special interests and political extremism. They are building mansions for themselves this moment while the average person sits in traffic half an hour to get from the 405 to Triangle Square. Then they might finally arrive home to find it's been broken into because there aren't enough cops.

Shame on the council majority. Boycott Monahan's bar forever. Recall Righeimer. Make sure Mensinger is not re-elected this November. Spit when you see these punks in public.

12/31/2015 05:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Teresa Drain said...


Happy New Year to you, Susie, and all my good Costa Mesa neighbors and friends! Let's look out for each other, stay connected, vote well, and by this time next year things will be getting better and better!

2016 will be tough and we will get through it. The reality of our situation no longer lets those responsible hide behind their lies. There are now many more enlightened residents, and with the new initiatives, we are all going to make sure that the disasters of the past couple of years can not happen again.

All the best to all of you, Jim & Teresa

12/31/2015 01:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Disgusted Republican said...

Geoff - Ditto what Teresa said! Happy 2016! May it be a great and victorious for Costa Mesa and her residents!

12/31/2015 08:45:00 PM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

Bruce Krochman's attempt to belittle those speaking against favors and over development, on the Costa Mesa Voice page, by using Henry Segerstrom is pathetic and sad. Henry Segerstrom and the Segerstrom Family while certainly developers understood the importance of so many other aspects of development in a community. Their generosity and vision to the city's development in land, the arts, education, water and people is above anything we see today from today's developers. Yes there was opposition to the IKEA, Ajulan and other projects. But the opposition isn't to necessarily stop the development it's to make sure we as Costa Mesan's get the best. Please remember that the IKEA development spurred the High School Foundations grants and other traffic and critical mediations. Also please keep in mind the other generous donations of the Segerstrom Family. Land to SCR and Segerstrom Center. Millions in dollars to both. Sandy Segerstrom Daniels and her countless hours and dedication to Children through the Festival of Children Foundations not just helping charities but empowering them. There is so much more that makes this Apples to Oranges comparison and an attempt to draw ire to those who oppose what is happening today. Shame on you Bruce Krochman to use the name of a family that my bet is would be totally embarrassed knowing you did this.

1/01/2016 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

2016 a New Year filled with hope for our city. The Smart Growth Initiative has been embraced by the residents, who have said yes and more importantly they have said HELL NO, to more poor planning and development overload. Wake up Costa Mesa before you don't recignize your city, before you can't traverse the streets to the market, where your neighbor is a three story monstrousity hovering over your privacy., WAKE UP COSTA MESA...get involved, get engaged, get informed. There are so many issues looming, over our city. These next eleven months are critical leading up to the election...Happy New Year to all my friends and neighbors.

1/01/2016 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Breaking Bad, so very true. Bruce Krochman has attempted, in a rather lame and pathetic way, to attack anyone that opposes the council. He particularly likes the high density, or so he says he does, but then admits he would never live in one. But he is positive our children will. I think his age is sneaking up on him in more ways than one. He used to be a guy that you could have a good conversation with, but now he's just strange.

The Segerstrom family knows good development. They put thought and care into projects. They have done a lot of good for Costa Mesa.

Yes, there is still opposition to projects that people, including myself, feel are not the best they can be. Not opposed to development at all, but just that development that is out of character for a neighborhood, does not supply parking for its residents, forces gridlock in the surrounding intersections, drives out surrounding businesses, and overall simply isn't the best project that can be built. A developer can do that, they simply don't have to in this city as its not important to our councilmen. It is, however, important to the residents and will show them so with the support of the initiative next November.

1/02/2016 08:50:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

There is a lot of things this city needs. We need less fast food, less liquor stores, less bars and more for the residents. We need shopping that residents can shop. Why should we have to go to Huntington Beach to shop? Or Westminster? We need a market on the Westside. We need jobs for our kids, other than in hamburger joints. Harbor Blvd. and Newport Blvd. should be for commerce, that the entire city can utilize. Instead, the councilmen want to line both Harbor Blvd. and Newport Blvd. with high density such as that on Harbor next to the Toyota dealership. The councilmen are forcing land/business owners to sell to their friends, such as the one on Fair that they wanted for home development. They have rezoned the land where Trader Joe's is now, and it can be developed as residential now, should they be able to get it. The crap coming down the pike will make you sick. Welcome to the Concrete Jungle.

1/02/2016 08:58:00 AM  
Anonymous breaking bad said...

WMC, the thing that bothers me the most is the Planning Commission, supported by the City Council seems, to be settling for the lesser of 2 evils. I don't know how many times I have heard while watching the Planning Commission meetings, Sesler, McCarthy and Dickson state well it could be worse. It could be a recycling center or a storage facility. NO! I want what is best for Costa Mesa, not well it could be a recycling center or storage facility so lets be happy with this medium to high density units per acre project.

Just look what happened in Mesa Verde. They didn't settle and a fairly decent project came out of it.

The "Brand is Strong" so why are we settling and not asking for what is best for Costa Mesa. It doesn't pass muster. If we are such a strong brand we don't need to be settling for the lesser of two evils. Let's demand what is best for Costa Mesa!

1/03/2016 09:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

Yes, breaking bad, their most favored argument to get what they want is to fill in the blank with some exaggerated alternative - it's better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Most of the lackeys do this - Jim F. (he's been quiet lately), Jamie Jo, and the council dudes themselves. I can see the campaign slogan now - "Vote for Steve - he's better than Kim Jong-un."

1/04/2016 07:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Casual Viewer, YES! Exactly!! Did you see his comment in the Daily Pilot regarding the initiative? He did exactly what you said. So funny.

1/04/2016 08:29:00 PM  

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