Eight months ago today the City of Costa Mesa issued layoff notices to almost half their employees in support of the crazy agenda of Council members Jim Righeimer and Steve Mensinger to destroy public employee supported services offered by the city. We’ve tried to lay off the Costa Mesa City Council for the past several weeks, mainly because their attempt to do an end run around state law and outsource public employee jobs is tied up in court. But Geoff West over at A Bubbling Cauldron has got our attention today with his recap of this Tuesday’s Costa Mesa City Council meeting.
Among the matters Geoff discussed in his post we find the following particularly interesting:
CEO Tom Hatch told the audience the details of the ongoing negotiations with the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association. That kind of information has not been divulged in the past while negotiations were underway and, quite honestly, this seemed to be a purely political move – an opinion that has become stronger now that I’ve heard the other side.
NEGOTIATING IN PUBLIC?
Hatch told us that the current contract with the CMFA extends until 2014 and that last year they agreed to pay 5% of the PERS costs to help with the City’s budget dilemma. That agreement ended on November 5th. Hatch told us that the 5% represented about $500,000 annualized. He then told us the City had proposed that the firefighters contribute the maximum allowed by State law – 15.839%, but that was rejected and the CMFA countered with continuing the 5% through 6/30/12 and wanted to amend certain layoff policies.
THE OTHER SIDE
What he DIDN’T tell us was that the CMFA, on September 1st, asked for the 5% contribution for the life of their contract and asked for cost projections and other information. A week later, on the 9th, they offered to extend the 5% though February 2012. They received NO ANSWER until November 3rd – nearly two months after they made their offer.
Then there is this on Righeimer’s Grand Plan to outsource all city jobs by converting the City to a Charter City and the status of their useless RFP process outsource most city jobs:
Righeimer launched into his usual late-night rant, starting by saying that “outsourcing is going very well” – which is a crock! Not a single RFP has been evaluated yet and they still have not released all of those planned for release. He harshly criticized the Firefighters for their “unconscionable”contract. He said we had been “hoodwinked” by the fire department. He raved about the benefits of a Charter City, and told us we WILL see it on the June ballot – even though contract City Attorney Tom Duarte has not yet brought the information back to the council. See, facts don’t matter – especially when they get in the way of his plans. He described it as a “very routine” situation. Then, in the most self-agrandizing bit of puffery I can recall, he said he would give the city a “B+” on its report card. I sure hope he didn’t hurt himself patting himself on the back!
Geoff’s post is and incredibly good read. Please take the time to read the entire post here.