Judge Stops Costa Mesa Layoffs Indefinitely

COSTA MESA — On Friday Superior Court Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann released her written preliminary injunction issued on July 5, 2011 which prohibits the City of Costa Mesa from laying off the employees represented by the Costa Mesa City Employee’s Association

As I previously reported, Costa Mesa erroneously claimed that the verbal ruling issued on July 5th permitted the city to continue with their outsourcing process provided “proper procedures” were followed. In her written ruling, Judge Schumann made it crystal clear that the city may not contract out services currently performed by City employees to any non-local public entity under the Government Code, and further prohibits the City from laying off City employees pursuant to any such contracting out until after trial.

In a statement released on Monday, Orange County Employees Association Communications Director Jennifer Muir said; “We respect the judge’s ruling, and we hope the City Council and CEO Tom Hatch will do the same. The ruling has been clear from the beginning, and we’re hopeful that now that it has been issued, the written order will clear up any confusion caused by the City’s press release.”

In the City’s release on July 5th, their $3,000 a week no-bid contract PR Consultant Bill Lobdell tried to help City Attorney Tom Duarte spin the decision to say that the outsourcing process would continue unabated because the city had “followed proper procedures.”

Speaking of no-bid contracts, Bill Lobdell’s contract extension is up tonight  for approval by the City Council with an additional $70,000 through the end of the year on the table. That puts his contract for 8 months worth of spin at $120,000. In addition to the fact that the contract was never put out for bid, the costs were not even included in the budget approved last month. Lobdell’s contract will come out of the city’s $ 1 million “contingency” slush fund. It seems the City Council majority of fiscal idiots didn’t want to approve these costs in their budget at the same time they were laying off cops.

  2 comments for “Judge Stops Costa Mesa Layoffs Indefinitely

  1. Joe
    July 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Chris,
    Is it really a City Council majority of “fiscal idiots?!”

    What did idiots do to you?!

    The Riggmarshall and his pals are clever. But Good will prevail.

  2. July 19, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Thanks for the good reporting! My dad is a hard-working mechanic for the City of Costa Mesa. City divisions are, de facto, non-profit. Out sourcing them for a cheaper price will rarely provide better bang for the buck. I interned at Fletcher-Jones Mercedes Benz many years ago. Their mechanics told me that they make well over $100,000 a year without any benefits. Despite this, people on the right tend to believe that the government workers, in this case a mechanic who makes somewhere around $60,000 a year + standard benefits, is getting paid much more than in the private sector. If their facts were correct, then the government should be getting workers in the top percentile, which is a good thing for efficiency. There would be less repairs and mistakes and less throwing every single part at the car to make it work because they would actually diagnose the problem. Be as it may, the $100k+/yr Mercedes mechanic I interned under was jealous of my father’s less paying, yet stable job. It would be wise to keep the well-educated and hard working city employees that just want to do a good job in a stable work environment, and not scare off all of the talent to seek jobs elsewhere. Sorry for the tangentialness.

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