Why I started blogging for TheLiberalOC

Kathy Findley

I have lived in Costa Mesa for 33 years.  I consider myself a local even though I wasn’t born here.  In my neighborhood, we care about each other.  Those of us who have had friction, have learned to get along.  As a matter of fact, my landlord is my ex husband’s father and he is my next door neighbor.  Our yards connect and we walk freely between each other’s homes.  Sunday he will share a holiday feast with me and my kids, as we do for every holiday, birthday, and sometime just because.  Grandpa is the patriarch of my family and someone I would call both friend and family.  I am proud of this.  Not just the relationship with my father in law, but with all people in my community.  We aren’t that kind of neighborhood were we don’t know our neighbors.  We are family and a little community within a little community.

That said, I want to tell the readers why I started blogging for TheLiberalOC.  Something happened that was so horrifying to me, that I immediately went online to look for a way to become active and hopefully help stop what I believed to be the first sign of the quality of life in a town I love circling the drain.  On March 17th the city council gave pink slips to 213 city employees, one of those employees killed himself at city hall at the same time the slips were being handed out.  The mayor’s response was to pose in front of his bar and say, “I hire and fire people every day.”  He then went back to the party.  It seemed to be the perfectly natural thing to do as it was Saint Patrick’s day and Gary Monahan owns an Irish bar.  Oh yeah, and he was wearing a skirt while posing in front of his business with a huge grin on his face.  The mayors affect and response were so callous that for me, it was the last straw.

That same day I sent a sample to the editor of TheLiberalOC.  They used it and now I am a part of what I consider an intelligent voice in local and national politics.  Thanks to Chris and Dan.

Feet to the Fire Forum - Costa Mesa

Newport-Mesa Feet to the Fire Forum (L-R) OCEA General Manager Nick Berardino, Councilwoman Wendy Leece, Councilman Jim Righeimer, Costa Mesa Taxpayers Association President Colin McCarthy

I just spent a couple hours watching the most recent city council meeting and the “Feet to the Fire” forum online.  Something that Councilman Jim Righeimer said just set me reeling.  Well, actually there were many things said that appalled me, but those will be subject for future blogging.  It was Mr. Righeimer’s assertion that most of the anxiety and active outrage are coming from the city employees and the union, not the citizens of the city.  Either he is flat out lying, or is not paying attention.  I think there are some persecutory delusions lurking there somewhere as well.

At the closing of the “Feet to the Fire” forum, Mr. Rig stated, “The majority of the community wants this (outsourcing).  The people who are caught up in this for the most part are the people that jobs are on the line, that family members are working it.  That’s the ones who are most excited.  The rest of the 116,000 other people in the community are putting their kids to bed, going to soccer, doing all that.  They’re not as caught up as your are (speaking to facilitator Barbara Venezia) or people are in there thinking that the whole city has a problem with it.  They aren’t.  And so, the people that came here tonight for the most part, and we got a lot of good, hard working employees, they came here and that’s understandable.”  He went on to suggest that if the employees want to save their jobs, they should “start their own businesses and bid for the contracts.”

Mr. Righeimer, open your ears and your eyes.  I went to the council meeting on the April 5th and have just sat and watched the entire meeting that was held on the 19th on my computer.  Speakers against outsourcing the city services at both these meetings were at least 5 to 1.  The speakers were for the most part, articulate, well informed and respectful.  They were also, per their own assertions, not city employees but concerned citizens.  Believe me, I don’t watch city council meetings online because it’s fun.  I do it, and the citizens do it, because we feel like we must.  We must keep a close eye on what the city council is doing because we have lost our faith in them.  We must speak out, write out and act out as citizens, not union members or employees.

Most of those 116,000 people you seem so in touch with hate you and the rest of city council for what you are doing and how badly the council, especially Mayor Monahan, have humiliated us all over the country.  I work in another county, and when I got to work after the city hall tragedies had hit the news, I was rushed by my fellow employees wanting to know “what the hell is going on in Costa Mesa?!”

The worst part is, I know that Jim Righeimer, Gary Monahan, Eric Bever, and Stephen Mensinger aren’t interested in what the citizens of the city want.  If being liked and respected was important to them, they would have a completely different moral standard.  Their agenda is to destroy the union, to cherry pick their contractors and further their own political agendas.

  18 comments for “Why I started blogging for TheLiberalOC

  1. April 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Welcome aboard Kathy.

    • Kathy Findley
      April 23, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Thanks Chris.

  2. Amy Leece Fox
    April 23, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    Dear Kathy,
    I appreciate your open honesty and loyalty to the Great City of Costa Mesa. It was nice meeting you at the Council meeting the other night. I hope all is well and Happy Easter.
    Amy Leece Fox

    • JFW
      April 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      Get that apology from The Beve yet?
      I thought not.
      What an angry, classless punk.

  3. junior
    April 23, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    Some say that, due to budget considerations, more outsourcing is headed toward Santa Ana.

    Santa Ana resident George Collins has performed another of his great community services. He video recorded Costa Mesa’s “Feet to the Fire” panel discussion (debate) featuring Costa Mesa council members, OCEA representatives and news organizations.

    However you feel about outsourcing of city performed work – this debate, through George’s video, gives us a better understanding of the issues and the process.

    Find George’s video on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jEidCSKCns

  4. Francisco Barragan
    April 24, 2011 at 9:36 am

    @Kathy F.

    Thank you for you well thought out, and articulate post. It is so unfortunate that a citizen/employee was driven to death by what seems a poorly handled decision.

    Look forward to you posts, and your contributions to the community.

    Francisco “Paco”

  5. Francisco Barragan
    April 24, 2011 at 9:38 am

    sorry for the typos on “Your”

  6. junior
    April 24, 2011 at 10:16 am


    We should know what other factors involved in this man’s life may have contributed to his decision to end his life, before we jump to conclusions and make accusations.

  7. April 24, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Welcome to the OC blogosphere Kathy! You are writing from Ground Zero.

  8. Kathy Findley
    April 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks to all. Glad you liked the post. It came from both my heart and my head. I believe in emotion and common sense working together.

    @Junior, it is a given there are many factors involved when a person takes their own life, but the loss of this young man’s job was the catalyst. For the mayor to behave the way he did after an employee had just jumped to his death from the city hall building is what I and many others find so appalling. It takes a certain kind of person (monster) to be that detached from such horrible tragedy as to go out and party immediately afterwards.

    Kathy Findley

    • junior
      April 24, 2011 at 9:46 pm

      It is unfortunate that this tragic event took place on THE most important business day of the year for the mayor’s business.

      I don’t know what I would have done in the same circumstance. I don’t have enough information on what transpired to make a personal judgement on what occured. Do you?

      • Kathy Findley
        April 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

        Yes Junior, I do have enough information. It’s called “common decency.” Anyone who was rasied with the appropriate concern for the others would behave with “common decency” and respect for the severity of the situation. I can assure you, the bar could have run just as was well without the mayor grinning from ear to ear, dressed like a fool and shooting his pie hole off with reporters. He has a staff to run the bar. When one of your employees dies in a horrible manner of any kind at city hall, and you have given pink slips to more than half the employees, it shows a lack awareness of what COMMON DECENCY is to behave the way he did. That is aside from questions of lay offs, politics or unions. It is a statement of how a civilized human being behaves. I don’t get how you have any question in your mind about how you would react in that situation. Here, I will spell it out for you, C-O-M-M-0-N D-E-C-E-N-C-Y.

  9. JFW
    April 24, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Assume your typo meant “facilitator BARBARA Venezia.”

    I got that same outrage on the day Huy Pham died. I’ve lived in the city 21 years and am amazed at this horrible turn of events.

    Riggy, Menssy, The Bever, and Mayor Kilt won’t be dissuaded. Their “minds” are made up. They have lots of henchmen like Fitzpatrick backstage. I see it as class war a la Wisconsin.

    And even though I’m a member of the “upper class,” I remember where I came from and what is best for our city and our country.

    I still have the retirement card I received from the AFL-CIO after leaving my supermarket job Back East and heading west to finish college, earn advanced degrees, and eventually start my own business. I will never forget that organized labor gave me the leg up to get ahead in life. I will never forget that unions helped make this country great and I will always resist those who have no respect for our Constitution and try to maintain a plutocracy in place of government BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE.

  10. junior
    April 24, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    And I wish the employees union would stp lying in their tv commercials.

    These layoffs are not definite. What is in process is a notice that layoffs may occur.

    This process is what the union agreed to in the CBA. This is the way the union wanted this process to be carried out.

  11. Karin Ahlf
    April 26, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Welcome, Kathy!

    I really enjoyed reading your post.
    As a 26 year resident of Costa Mesa, you
    speak for me, also.
    Costa Mesa has become Wisconsin in CA.
    It’s up to all of us who oppose the three councilmen
    and council appointee Mensinger to step up and speak up!
    Thanks, again.

  12. junior
    April 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm


    I understand that the victim’s family is indicating that the layoff notice was not a significant factor in his decision to committ suicide. And that he had a job lined up if the City did actually lay him off.

    What do you have to say about that?

Comments are closed.