Thursday, February 25, 2016

Vindictive Righeimer Will Toss Vrska

The agenda for the Costa Mesa City Council meeting next Tuesday, March 1, 2016, is up and I'll post about it on a separate entry.
New Business #2, HERE, is the final agenda item listed and it requires special attention.  This one is a demand by Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer for the removal of Anna Vrska from her position on the now-dormant Fairview Park Citizen's Advisory Committee.  While this issue doesn't really require Righeimer to explain himself, I doubt he will be able to contain himself on it - expect at least 10 minutes of verbal posturing and false indignation.

As specified in the staff report, the council DOES NOT need a reason to remove a person from a committee.  The Council Policy, HERE, is quite specific on that subject.  In that policy, under Practices and Procedures, item 2e states, "The City Council, at any time, may request the resignation of or terminate membership of any committee member."  But, the timing of her removal - from a committee that has been dormant and without a Chairman for many months - is curious, at best.
For Righeimer to demand Vrska's removal at this time is clearly an act of vindictive retribution - and the kind of dictatorial act we've come to expect from him.  Clearly, this is in response to Vrska calling the Sergeant-at-arms at the Planning Commission meeting last Monday night a "Nazi" - an offensive and unfortunate choice of words, for sure.  She said it.. she owns it.. but that's her right, right?  Free speech and all that...
I watched that drama unfold - the Sergeant-at-arms responded to clapping by a woman - she seldom attends these meetings - to show support from a comment made to the commission.  The officer rose from his seat in the front of the auditorium, walked to the center aisle, then up to the row where the woman sat, leaned in and told her clapping was not permitted.  He then returned to his seat.
This particular officer runs the meeting with a firm hand.  I'm OK with that.  It's a rare occurrence, though, to have an officer at a Planning Commission meeting.  Regardless, he enforced his understanding of the rules of decorum, albeit with a firm hand.  I'm OK with that.
I don't know what was in Vrska's mind when, following her presentation on the Smart Growth Initiative, used the last few seconds of her three minutes to address the officer's actions and use that very offensive word.  I've not spoken with her about it.  However, social media has been white-hot on the subject ever since it happened.
Adding fuel to the controversial fire, Planning Commissioner Colin McCarthy launched his "commissioner comments"segment with a scathing indictment of ALL the women who spoke in favor of the Smart Growth Initiative - he calls it the no-growth initiative - with the following statement: "Nothing from me tonight except the absurdity of the no-growth hater crowd never ceases to amaze me and I guess it never will."  And, he had much, more to say, as I outlined in my blog entry about the meeting, HERE.

It was completely unacceptable for McCarthy to label folks simply presenting a view of the initiative as "haters".  I'm convinced that his remark was precipitated by Vrska's use of the word "Nazi" just a couple minutes earlier.  And, we see no sanctions being suggested for his denigration of members of the public who respectfully presented their views on the initiative - an issue he strongly opposes, by the way.
And, there's more.  There is very clearly a double standard being applied here.  Dennis Popp, the pompous pontificator who used to operate a miserable blog in town, is also a member of the Fairview Park Citizen's Advisory Committee.  During the time when it was active he took strong exception to ideas and opinions expressed by speakers before that group.  Far and away, the opinions expressed were to keep Fairview Park natural.  He would frequently opine on his pathetic blog about experiences on that committee, including an entry, HERE, in which he accuses speakers of using "Nazi tactics".  He used the term several times.  Where was the outrage from Righeimer then?  Why was he not tossed from the committee?
Want more?  As recently as a year ago Popp bloviated about the speakers before the committee in an entry HERE, in which he accused speakers of using "terrorist tactics", going on to compare them to "disparate groups of radical Muslims".  He actually used the term "Al Qaeda approach" in his commentary.  Where was the outrage then?
The creation of - and the stacking of the membership - backfired on the council majority.  I think they expected a huge public outpouring of support for their ideas to plow under parts of the park for playing fields, but just the opposite occurred.  Overwhelmingly - estimated at 90+% - speakers demanded the park remain natural.  And member Anna Vrska - a very smart, very tenacious person -  was a burr under their blanket because she demanded facts - statistics to support the contention of an unmet demand for playing fields.  Those numbers were never presented.
So, I fully expect Jim Righeimer - the de facto dictator in our community - will get his wish.  Anna Vrska will be summarily booted from the committee for the use of a word that was unrelated to her assignment on that body.  And Dennis Popp, an insider, will go unsanctioned for his despicable characterizations of folks with opposing views using the same terminology.  And Colin Mc Carthy will receive not so much as a scolding for his scathing diatribe.  This is what happens when the form of government deteriorates into a dictatorship - where the council majority has a stranglehold on every aspect of governance.  That can all change in November.

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Anonymous Eleanor Egan said...

McCarthy's use of the term, "haters" is probably based on reading the CM Press, an outlet of that certain individual from North Costa Mesa whom you occasionally refer to in this blog. That person has been using that term for people whom he disagrees with for years and years. It's not a good sign that a Planning Commissioner has adopted it.

2/25/2016 05:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Great post Mr. West. You hit all the issues and said it perfectly.
The little dicktator and his dunce shadow Mensy are running scared. When Smart Growth passes they will be exposed to all their followers and contributors as powerless puppets of the Newport bosses.

Tossing Vrska affords him a temporary distraction from the meltdown of his facade.

Pay no attention to the carpetbagger behind the curtain.
Instead, follow the money.

2/25/2016 05:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

I wonder how the the little dictator Junior Mayor would handle an individual that used the same term and wasn't on a City Committee? I can't wait for Mount Little Dictator to errupt, and everybody remember to keep tabs on all of his most popular and rehearsed sayings.

2/25/2016 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

McCarthy and his commissioners were in rare form at the last pc meeting. Watching on CMTV it was an eyeopener, the out of control rant
by McCarthy was reminiscent of Righeime and his foot in mouth oratories. Disrespectful attitude's toward the residents were thoroughly disgusting. Hope these Rigbots, enjoy their last few months on the dais before the November election takes place and they can rejoin the ranks of residents. Geez, what a group of clowns...every day like Barnum and Bailey, rolls into town, with amble supply of elephant dung and monkey poop.

2/25/2016 05:29:00 PM  
Blogger OC Public Square said...

Stepping into God's place to judge another for exercising rights guaranteed in the US Constitution and our Municipal code is a dangerous and presumptious place to be. Woe! The mpt could have done the decent thing and called Ms Vrska. But no. Grandstanding and pontificating are natural for him. Will he go on the radio and run Ms Vrska out of town? Free speech has been chilled again in Costa Mesa by a man who has no roots here and thinks we're a bunch of morons he can control. Wendy Leece

2/26/2016 08:37:00 AM  
Blogger Honeyman said...

The complete and utter joy we will all feel when the pompous prick Righeimer is neutered in November is almost to fantastic to fathom. Can't wait to see his face when he's outnumbered sitting on one end of the dias.

2/26/2016 05:11:00 PM  

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