Wednesday, November 02, 2016

A Message From Rob Gagne

Rob Gagne, President of the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association, published a letter addressing the current political climate in Costa Mesa.  Last night Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer - perhaps the slimiest, most dishonest politician ever to hold office in Costa Mesa - told the audience at the Council Meeting that firefighters are going door-to-door telling residents that if the candidates they support are not elected firefighters may not show up in case of an emergency.  He described this as being "all about money", painting the Costa Mesa Firefighters as greedy union thugs, only out for themselves.  In light of his nasty, lie-filled comments last night, I think it's only proper to set the record straight.

The following is Gagne's letter, verbatim.

Costa Mesa Fire Fighters Association - IAFF Local 1465
***A Message from the CMFA President***
Citizens of Costa Mesa,
Over the past few weeks and up until Election Day, you will receive numerous slates in the mail by several people running for elected offices. It is often hard to decipher what is true and what isn't worth the paper its printed on. However, if you step back and look at the tone of the slates, you will notice that your Costa Mesa Firefighters are once again being truthful, factual, and above board. If you listen to the tone of the slates being rapidly sent out by Mayor Mensinger, he continuously berates your public safety servants. Why is this? It's because he doesn't want you to know the truth about your decreased police and fire staffing levels, the drastic 42% rise in calls for service, or the money wasted on ambulances that YOU bought and that he and Council Members Righeimer and Monahan voted NOT to use for transporting you to the hospital. This vote was done against the recommendation of CEO Tom Hatch and Fire Chief Stefano. Why is this? It's because the Mayor's campaign is being funded by the private ambulance company contracted with the City!

I can assure you that your Firefighters will always be truthful and put you, our customers, first. We work for you, not dishonest politicians. You may have seen a slate mailed out by Mayor Mensinger showing some of your Firefighter's pay and benefits (with our names included). This is very misleading as the Mayor chose once again not to tell you the whole truth. Every Firefighter on that list is working thousands of hours of overtime because the Mayor refuses to properly staff the Fire Department. There are 63 Firefighters available to work 78 positions. For example, the Metro Fire Station on the North end of town is still scheduled to be closed under the Mayor's plan. The Council has not re-voted to keep it open, but for the past five years it has been staffed with overtime positions. We have 15 vacancies in the Fire Department with that station remaining open. The Mayor refuses to count those vacancies in the staffing levels. Why? To mislead and deceive you. You should also be aware that the station off of Placentia Ave on the Westside now only has one Firefighter/Paramedic. Why? Because the Mayor won't staff the second Firefighter/Paramedic. Some stations have three firefighter/paramedic's -like the station that protects the Mayor's house. Why should Westsiders be short-changed by 50% on their Paramedic coverage Why, why, why? Lies and deception.

This election is like no other on every level. My job as a Firefighter is to protect you and your property. I took an Oath to do that and don't take it lightly. I will live up to that. Please trust your Firefighters. At the end of the election, I can honestly say that the Firefighters have run a clean and truthful campaign. Can the Mayor say that with a straight face?
Rob Gagne, President
Costa Mesa Firefighters Association

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Anonymous Tom Egan said...

Pot Stirrer:

You describe the mayor pro tem this way: "...Jim Righeimer - perhaps the slimest, most dishonest politician ever to hold office in Costa Mesa."

I'm not saying I disagree, but I prefer to spell it slimiest, or sometimes SLIMIEST, or even SLIMIEST.

Sometimes to emphasize how I feel about a slimy, dishonest politician, I'll do it this way: S-L-I-M-I-E-S-T.

So, if I were to write a sentence like yours, I might do it this way: "...Jim Righeimer - perhaps the S-L-I-M-I-E-S-T, most dishonest politician ever to hold office in Costa Mesa."

That would get across pretty well how I felt ... if I felt that way, of course.

11/02/2016 11:08:00 PM  
Anonymous big boy pants said...

Why I want my Police and Fire Personnel to give their input, participation and action during local elections. These are the people on the front lines of so many issues in our city. They know many of the local characters, local businesses and local problems. They are the most knowledgeable and they are experts because they personally deal with it daily. I value their insights and experiences regarding public safety way more than some developer friendly politicians or a group of closed minded individuals on a closed public webpage. CLOSED. A CLOSED minded public square. That should tell you enough about them right there. For the safety of my family, my friends and my community I want to know what these guys think, what they feel and what they fear. I want to know who is hindering them, who is helping them and who will work with them to fix problems, like the pension situation in a reasonable way. They have critical insights and a frontline perspective. I want to hear what they have to say.

I will listen to the other side too. I admit I am a little tired of their lies and deception. But I still want to hear their reasonable points too.

11/02/2016 11:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

I'm so tired of what feels like the oppression of Costa Mesa. Can't we just be free to need and respect our Firefighters, our police? Can't we be free from a new fear drama every few months? Issues can be resolved where there is political will and a spirit of working with others to solve problems, not just create a big soap opera to keep the public agitated.

There's no real attempt to resolve the issues - that would mean progress but we can't have progress because there's too much value in using envy and fear as political capital. Whip up that pension envy! Demonize some motels, gotta devalue property to make the land grab easier. These are small men with small hearts, small minds. The idea of public service is something to give lip service to, while serving their own self-interests. I don't usually let it all hang out like this but I am just so tired of their act. Let's vote them off stage, dial down the constant drama, and get some real, normal people on the Council who really just want to serve the community. Please!

11/03/2016 02:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

Thank you Rob!

11/03/2016 07:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Thank you Rob Gagne and all our public safety people. You have been saving lives and will continue saving lives while the slimeballs fatten their waistlines and pockets at our expense. They have to go.

One particularly creepy candidate this cycle is the David Duke/Trump wannabe Fisler. He thinks nothing of using the "T" word in reference to women and disparaging Hispanics and others at every opportunity. Not to mention taking money from the desal scam company Poseidon.

Fisler's recent participation in the phony fire truck scandal, where extremists rented an old fire truck and drove it around town to try and mislead voters into believing Fire supported the mayor and his minions instead of Humphrey, Genis, and Stephens, disqualify him from holding public office.

Even before this amateur hustle, it was clear that Alex Reich is the better-qualified candidate for the seat on Mesa Water.

We urge everyone to not only vote for Genis, Humphrey, Stephens and Reich, but to boycott Fisler and his agency in any future real estate transactions. Those who lie and attack for their own enrichment should be shunned instead of supported.

11/03/2016 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

Mr. Nern, let me understand this correctly. If I should be elected to public office and some people disagree with a decision or decisions that I make, these people should attempt to destroy my business and the jobs of my employees?

11/03/2016 11:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Casual Viewer said...

David - I for one, would not try to destroy anyone's business or put anyone out of work. But, with so many real estate agents to choose from, I would choose someone I felt I could trust. Spreading lies is not okay regardless of how righteous you think your cause is and should not be done by either side in this election. Unfortunately, we have seen this happen more on one side than the other.

11/03/2016 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Uncommon Duty said...

Thank you Rob for taking the time to publish this letter. I hope it is distributed for all of Costa Mesa to see.
Going along with cleaning up Washington DC of dishonest and lying politicians, may the same thing happen in Costa Mesa. I pray people vote Genis, Humphrey and Stevens.

11/03/2016 03:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

David wrote:
"Mr. Nern, let me understand this correctly. If I should be elected to public office and some people disagree with a decision or decisions that I make, these people should attempt to destroy my business and the jobs of my employees?"

No, Dave.
When someone does conscious damage, as your pal Fisler has done, we have the right to not support them by taking our business elsewhere. There are lots of people currently doing damage to our cities through the political process. But you would know all about that, wouldn't you?

Maybe there are some fairgrounds in Russia you can pick up cheap.

11/03/2016 03:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Jon said...

It is a shame with elected officials force public safety into positions like the this....It seems that the City Council is willing to endanger public safety and just to score political points....time to read more about the City of Costa Mesa and go through through budget and see what is truly going on

11/03/2016 07:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Even though prior councils have had different opinions, this is the first regime in local history where there is no cooperation, no coordination, and no working together whatsoever by the councilmen. I believe its because they don't want anyone else to know what they are doing. Either way, the contention is a first and we need to vote out those that refuse to work with the rest. There are things going on in city hall that only the three councilmen know about. That is unacceptable. And Hatch is right in there allowing that to happen.

We need a real city manager, a real city attorney, and council members that can get along with each other. I'm obviously voting for Genis, Humphrey & Stephens.

And yes, David, when Fisler openly calls women "tw*t" then that is a person that does not need to be in the city employ. He doesn't need to be in the political mix whatsoever. I will not support any business endeavor this man is involved in. Believe me, this is mild to what he has said in other venues. We don't or want someone like that. Perhaps his employer should consider who they have dealing with their public.

Our fire and police have never pulled the dirty tricks our councilmen have. So they hauled a trailer around town. Mild in comparison. The fire personnel have never stooped to what they have been accused of. Never have they stooped to the low that our councilmen have. Righeimer flat out LIED and continues to do so. We can easily do without Righeimer, but we cannot do without our fine and professional fire (and police) personnel.

11/04/2016 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

For 63 men to cover 78 positions, at 242-2/3 hours per month nominal schedule, firemen must work 300-4/9 hours per month, average. That's 57-7/9 hours per month of overtime, or 693 hours per year, for EACH fireman. At time-and-a-half, each guy gets 1,040 hours' pay per year. (It's not enough compensation for a backbreaking schedule like that.) The work-week amounts to about 71 hours in-harness. Yeah, they get to sleep while they're on duty. So do soldiers. Like a soldier's, a fireman's life consists of long periods of boredom punctuated by short instances of stark, screaming terror. But it's 71 hours, plus travel time, away from home and hearth. It's 71 hours every week, for every man, and it costs Mensinger's budget 65,520 hours of pay each year for the 63 firefighters.

By Mensinger's stinking statistics, the top fifteen guys in the department together get paid $3,075,755 per year exclusive of benefits. That averages $205,050 per man, and at 3,952 pay-hours per year, that's $51.89 per hour, average. Let's see, for 65,520 hours per year, that's $3,399,518.68 per year that Stupid Steve is paying out JUST IN OVERTIME. That's $323,763 more than the top fifteen guys make TOGETHER. What this tells us is that the department COULD be fully staffed, for LESS MONEY than Stupid Steve is now paying. We could hire fifteen more men, and fully-staff the whole department, and SAVE MONEY. Into the bargain, we might save a few firefighters' lives.

We all know that Righeimer is arithmetically challenged. We can smell his exposed toes every time he has to count above ten. But at least Riggy stops at twenty (I presume he has no missing or extra toes). Stupid Steve's arithmetic winds out to the three-million-dollar and more range.

Hell, we pay plumbers more than we pay our firemen. These guys sell their time to us really reasonably. And it's no wonder they can't afford to live in Costa Mesa, what with the $800,000 price tag on Riggy and Stupid Steve's crackerbox condos.

Get real, Mensinger. Stop putting your foot in your mouth. Stop dissing those who have more ethics in a fingernail than you have had in your whole life.

11/04/2016 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger zennymoon said...

Two days and counting....will Costa Mesa residents evaluate if they feel safer today than five years ago! Will they weigh the 74 unfilled positions in the city ...15 with fd.....24 in pd. Please think about Mensinger's vote for pink slips which catapulted our city in mass exodus of experience employees. Think of the major missmanagement of The 60th fiasco. Oh, did I remind you of charter 1 and charter 2 , costing, God knows how much this cost. Their arrogance, attitude and lies has reached the tipping point. The same attitude in the re-districting
ignore the consultant, ignore the staff report and of course ignore the residents. Nov 8, is the solution...

11/05/2016 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Just to make sure the record is clear, to the best of my knowledge I've never met or communicated with Mr. Fisler.

"Our fire and police have never pulled the dirty tricks our councilmen have." The PD Association has certainly acted in an unethical and possibly illegal manner. Regardless of how you feel on the other issues, having a criminal element in the PD should scare the hell out of all of us.

11/06/2016 01:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

The PD Association and FD Association employee attorneys in the hopes of following the rules, filings, and making sound decisions. Oh, and of course, point out when things like pink slips are handed out without following due process or the law. And although mistakes can and will happen, I truly doubt it is what would be called a "Criminal Element." If so, due process should be followed and progress legally through the IA of the Department, outside agency or D.A.. The results will speak for themselves, but I doubt the Chief and Management of the Department would tolerate this type of behavior and yet how many Police Chiefs have quite or retired from their posts out of frustration or contempt of the Council Majority. There has been more turnover in the Management of these and other departments in the last several years than in the previous entire history of the City.

These guys would make a great sitcom. Overweight, balding men past their prime who are trying to hold on to their past glory, making decisions based on their puppet masters. Fisler, on aside, is another piece of work, who has a long history of meddling in other people's and City's affairs, only recently highlighted by advisory measure TT. How can an agency spend so much money on something that can be handled through a entirely different avenue, if approached in the right way. Just another example of wasted tax payer money in an obvious power grab.

The council majority simply does not follow the rules. Heck, they don't follow the recommendations of their own hired employees, experts, or consultants if it doesn't line up with their party line or contributors. It's that simple and clearly a situation of "Do as I say, and not as I do." Example after of example has been laid out factually. But of course, if they just don't answer the charges then it must not have happened, but I would argue that citizens should be outraged by the amount of legal fees that they are shouldering as a direct result of their malpractice.

As a resident of the City, I am deeply disappointed that politics have degraded to such a point where a retread like Alan Mansoor is running to come back to the City Council. All of these men decry government workers, yet all seek their next position, gladly taking the benefits along the way. Their zealous, disrespectful disdain for the residents is obvious and their childish and immature behavior should no longer be tolerated. Stand Up Costa Mesa and take your City back.

David writes, "The PD Association has certainly acted in an unethical and possibly illegal manner. Regardless of how you feel on the other issues, having a criminal element in the PD should scare the hell out of all of us." I would counter that the exact same statement applies to the Council Majority that has been spelled out time and again.

Good luck Costa Mesa.

11/07/2016 08:43:00 AM  

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