COSTA MESA — Yesterday came confirmation of what I have suspected for months; Costa Mesa Mayor Gary Monahan may actually be a moron. Monahan was criticized by Orange County Employees Association General Manager Nick Berardino earlier this year for his secret meetings with Field Marshal and Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer to draft the illegal scheme to outsource the jobs of almost half the city workforce. Berardino, among others, pointed out that those private meetings they had violated the California open meetings law the Brown Act. Monahan claimed to anyone in the media who would listen (Daily Pilot took the bait) that by sending a letter to all members of the Orange County Fair Board had violated the Brown Act. He demanded that the District Attorney investigate the alleged violation.
Monahan told the Daily Pilot:
“All we hear from these guys is, ‘transparency, transparency, transparency,'” Monahan said. “How many times has the union complained that we’re violating the Brown Act? Then Nick goes out there and throws this thing out that, I think, is an obvious violation.”
Poor little Leprechaun Mayor Gary cannot seem to figure out that a publicly released letter sent to all members of a public board is about as far from a violation of the Brown Act as you can get. General Counsel for Californian’s Aware Terry Francke was the one who raised the issue of Monahan’s potential Brown Act flubs, pointed out to the Daily Pilot how wrong Monahan is about his charges.
“A unilateral communication by any one member of a local board or council is not in itself a violation,” he said. “Not one communication to all. You’d have to have a majority of the body involved in some sort of communication.”
Maybe Monahan should stop using his faded notes on the Brown Act, written on the back of a bar napkin, and get a new laminated copy in large print that he can easily read. Granted the ability to read something does not necessarily mean that it will be understood, but it’s a step in the right direction.
I do find it interesting that Monahan’s critique of Berardino’s letter to Fair Board members came around the same time he and the Council had to reverse course and start over on their outsourcing plans, because of an existing City policy that clearly outlines how such processes are to occur. Monahan’s complaint to the District Attorney was sent on August 10th. The city reversed it’s outsourcing plans the following day. Coincidence or classic misdirection right out of the Leprechaun play book?