Costa Mesa — More than 50 people addressed the Costa Mesa City Council on Tuesday night and it wasn’t pretty. People were angry. They were angry about the poorly researched outsourcing juggernaut that the council majority was imposing on the city work force. They were embarrassed that their Mayor had shown such a disregard for his duty as Mayor to continue to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day after city worker Huy Pham took his life at City Hall as layoff notices were delivered to 213 employees. They were disgusted at the council plans to sell off city services to the lowest bidder.
The meeting started off with Mayor Gary Monahan apologising to the hundreds of people packing the Council Chamber and overflowing out doors for his behavior over the past couple weeks. He promised to do better. His remarks were most likely constructed for him by the recently hired communications consultant Bill Lobdell who is on a three month mission to turn the city from a black box of of secrecy to a display box of transparency. I doubt many people ar buying it, but at least the city now has its own Facebook page.
The Council majority showed no signs of being deterred from their mission of dumping most of the city staff for contract labor. Their main goal seems to be a desire to eliminate the issue of future pension liability by throwing their workforce into the private sector. To create a sense of urgency they have orchestrated an undocumented and unsupportable budget theory that the city will face insolvency this fall, even though city cash reserves sit at about $40 million.They are handing out no-bid contracts like candy, skirting the city purchasing policies claiming that the expenditures are part of a blanket $200,000 approval to hire a bunch of unnamed consultants to implement their plans.
Probably the most clear evidence of the disconnect that the Mayor and his supporters on the Council Righeimer, Mensinger, and Bever, was their consideration of a proposal to spend more than $100,000 to install street banner poles for the display of banners promoting the city, events, and local non-profit organizations. They were hammered by multiple speakers for their apparent lack of serious priorities for even considering the unfunded proposal.
It seems that Righeimer and his “Mini-Me” Monahan are making things up as they go along. They have no clue and no plan as they drive the city full speed towards the precipice of Costa Mesa’s cliffs.
Geoff West has an excellent take on the evening’s events here.