Tyranny of the Majority in Costa Mesa

Councilman Jim Righeimer - Costa Mesa

On Monday night, Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer and his merry band of thieves robbed the citizens of Costa Mesa of their right to be considered in what could be one of the most important political actions taken by city leaders since incorporation in 1953. After a four-hour long public hearing, Righeimer rammed through his city charter proposal on a 3-1 vote. Conveniently, Mayor Gary Monahan was unable to attend the charade to add his vote to the record.

Geoff West described the meeting this way in his post about the meeting:

The meeting, which ran more than four hours if you include the break that was taken right around 8:00 when a near-riot broke out, turned out about as I expected it would. The council took comments from 41 people – nearly 80% of which spoke against the Charter – haggled among themselves about which phrases would be added or deleted, stiff-armed Wendy Leece at virtually every turn and adjourned the meeting shortly before 11:15 with Jim Righeimer’s Charter virtually intact. All that remains now is for them to vote to place it on the June ballot at their meeting on March 6th.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the meeting was the presentation by a fellow named Kevin Dayton, who told us he represented the Dayton Public Policy Institute. This outfit, according to Dayton after he was jeered away from the speaker’s podium, is brand new – he had no web site nor business cards – and is apparently just him. You can read Joe Serna‘s account in the Daily Pilot, HERE. Before he began speaking it was clear that he had pre-arranged for an extended stay at the podium, acknowledged by Righeimer, who was running the show because Mayor Gary Monahan was, again absent

One of the most telling signs of Righeimer’s resolve to ignore the public will at public expense was his revelation of what he planned if the proposed charter fails to pass in June.

Again from Geoff West:

Last night speaker after speaker rose to either oppose Jim Righeimer’s Charter flat out or to request the council to slow the process down and place the Charter on the November ballot instead of jamming it down our throats. At one point, during his response to that suggestion, Righeimer told the audience that if the Charter failed at the June election it would simply be placed on the November ballot. So, not only is he willing to spend between $97,500 and $123,500 to place it on the June ballot, but he’s willing to virtually double-down and spend another $78,500 to $97,500 in November.

Councilman Jim Righeimer - Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

If there was any remaining doubt that the charter initiative is nothing more than a political scheme to support Righeimer’s politically motivated destruction of city government in Costa Mesa, his comments Monday night should clear things up.

Tyranny of the Majority is defined on Wikipedia as “the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority’s interests so far above a dissenting individual’s interest that the minority would be actively oppressed, just like the oppression by tyrants and despots.”

I think that pretty much covers what happened on Monday night.

  8 comments for “Tyranny of the Majority in Costa Mesa

  1. Phil
    February 15, 2012 at 8:49 am

    Not accurate. I was at that meeting and after the speaker spoke for more than 3 minutes Mr. Righeimer offered other speakers the chance to speak longer in order to be fair. Geoff West left that part out of his piece. I’m not surprised.

    If you’re going to rely on the local bloggers, at least make sure they’re telling the whole story and not just fitting it to their tastes.

  2. February 15, 2012 at 9:32 am

    “Phil” is correct. Righeimer, after he orchestrated Kevin Dayton’s almost 10 minute presentation/tirade, DID offer two speakers more time. By that time the raucous crowd was getting REALLY unhappy. Neither of the two speakers to whom he made that offer took him up on it, telling him that they could stay within the rules and make their presentations.

  3. February 15, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I think Phil is missing the point; these guys have their minds made up no matter what the good people of Costa Mesa have to say or how many of them say it. The public comments was all for show.

  4. Bobby Digital
    February 15, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Everyone was limited to 3 minutes until after Righeimer gave the presenter unlimited time. Only then did he tell two speakers from the trade unions that they could go longer if they wanted (obviously they were not given prior notice that they’d have an opportunity to make an extended presentation like Mr. Dayton did). Both of those representatives declined the offer, saying that what’s good for the residents of Costa Mesa is good for them too.

  5. Greg Diamond
    February 15, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I hope you’ll all pardon me, but I do after all live right across the border from Fullerton: can these miscreants be recalled? I’m not asking if you think it will win; I’m asking if it can be done. Because I’d love to see the fate of the Riggy Four be placed on the ballot at the same time that the charter proposal gets defeated in June; that way voters can accomplish two things — well, five, actually — with one blow.

    I’m sure that residents of the City of Bell would love to come and tell Costa Mesans what they think about this proposal for largely limitless local government power.

  6. February 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Man, would I love to see that.

  7. February 15, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Too late for a recall in June. Only Righeimer and Leece could be recalled in November. The other three seats are up for grabs and, as I understand the regulations, you can’t recall someone so close to the election that decides the fate of their seat. Bever is out – termed out. Of course, he’s been a part-time, part-time councilman for the past couple years – showing up at council meetings when is suits his fancy.

  8. February 16, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Dayton was a Shill Show clearly orchestrated by Righeimer. He’s a lobbyist from Norcal,imported to stir up trouble and distraction. The extremists will do anything to continue the takeover of our city.

    Geoff West is to be commended for his excellent reporting.

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