Friday, July 22, 2016

Julie Mercurio Bails Out

As more than a few of you already know, sources tell me that City Council Candidate Julie Mercurio used her platform on the Costa Mesa Public Square to confirm recent rumors that she has withdrawn from the race.
In her announcement she cites her inability to raise campaign funding  in sufficient quantities to conduct an effective campaign.  That's probably true - it costs a load of money to run a successful campaign, even it little old Costa Mesa.   She told those who can read the CMPS that she doesn't hang out in the right social circles to generate enough campaign cash.  Interesting, since I suspect there was plenty of cash to be had if those guys running the show really wanted her to stay in the race.
However, more than a few of us around town wonder if at least part of her decision came from pressure from the "powers-that-be" in town asking her to step aside to make former councilman Allan Mansoor's campaign less complicated.  He's told us he's running again - a second bite of the apple.  His first tour on the council resulted in a divided city, with Latinos, in particular, feeling unsupported by his regime.
Actually, that word - regime - may be too generous.  It implies that he was the leader of a movement, but his leadership skills are so marginal that nobody would consider him the leader of anything.  And, his tour in the State Assembly was a disaster, where he showed no leadership at all.

So, we bid a fond adieu to Ms. Mercurio as a candidate.  She may now return full time to her role as the High Priestess of the Costa Mesa Public Square, where only the anointed are permitted to participate and dissenting voices will continue to feel her wrath.  Oh, yes... she closed her announcement with a recruitment plea - gotta run those CMPS numbers up no matter what!
In the meantime, we get to watch her serve our city on the Parks & Recreation Commission - that high-visibility position to which she was recently appointed to raise her municipal image.  We hope she takes her term seriously, even though it will likely be a short stint.  Her term expires in February.

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Wonderful Profile of Officer Lance Healey

Many of you already, through subscription, see the profiles of the CEO Tom Hatch's Leadership Awards.  Below you will find a link to one that you REALLY need to view.
This one features CMPD officer Lance Healey, a recent recipient of the award.  It's good from so many standpoints that it should be a Must See for everyone.
Thanks to Brad Long and the CMTV crew for the excellent presentation.  Enjoy.  Click HERE for the link.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

More Controversy About Smart Growth Initiative Rebuttal

And yet another curious situation has arisen in the case of Eleanor Egan's lawsuit against Costa Mesa City Clerk Brenda Green and Orange County Registrar of Voters, Neal Kelley, to have segments of the rebuttal to Arguments For the Smart Growth Initiative removed because the document "is not really a rebuttal, since it does not address anything in the Argument For the initiative measure."  She goes on to say, "most of the statements contained in the Rebuttal are demonstrably false, and the rest are not capable of being proven either true or false but are misleading and inconsistent with the requirement of the Elections Code."

The signatories on this so-called "Rebuttal" are Julie Fowler, Chuck Perry, Lee Ramos, Christopher Bunyan and Jim Righeimer.

I wrote about this issue earlier, HERE, and Luke Money wrote about it in the Daily Pilot, HERE.

Now comes the new twist.  Informed sources tell me that the City of Costa Mesa will be covering all legal costs incurred by Jim Righeimer in this matter!  And, further, the attorney that will represent him is Patrick Munoz, the high-priced lawyer from Rutan and Tucker - the firm that was retained to cobble together an initiative to compete with the Costa Mesa First's Smart Growth Initiative.  That certainly has the aroma of conflict of interest.
Now, I can see where the City will represent City Clerk Brenda Green - she is simply doing her job, and Egan's beef isn't with her, nor Neal Kelley.  Her complaint is that the rebuttal is false and misleading, as stated above, and she doesn't want it to appear on the ballot.  I have no problem with Green receiving city-paid-for legal help.
I DO, however, have a problem with my tax dollars being spent to cover whatever legal costs Righeimer incurs in this venture.  He signed the rebuttal as a private citizen, not as the Mayor Pro Tem of the City.  This issue was NOT addressed by the City Council, nor were they asked to waive conflict of interest - a very likely situation.  Instead, someone high up in City government simply decided to make a gift of taxpayer dollars to Righeimer to cover his legal costs in this misguided, malicous and falacious effort.
So, I want to know who made that decision and why?  What authority has been given to whom to make such a decision without council approval or even consideration?  Who decided that it's OK to spend our money to facilitate misleading the voters by placing lies on a ballot measure?  Was it CEO Tom Hatch?  Was it contract City Attorney Tom Duarte?  Just who made that decision?  And, if it's OK to cover Righeimer's legal costs, what about the other four signatories?  If they incur costs will we be paying those, too?  Quite frankly, this stinks!

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