Costa Mesa — After two public hearings and a couple of town halls, the Costa Mesa City Council has thus far failed to yield to an overwhelming amount of public comment opposing the rush to place an initiative to make Costa Mesa a charter city on the June ballot. The final vote to place Righeimer’s Charter Folly before the voters happens tonight.
At a cost to Costa Mesa taxpayers of between $97,000 and $127,000 in ballot charges, Righeimer and his gang on the council have rammed through his initiative without the more common benefit of a citizens charter commission. Instead, Righeimer cobbled together pieces he liked from various charters across the state, added some poisonous conditions preventing public employees from advocating for their rights, all for the expressed purpose of allowing his council majority to lay off hundreds of city workers and contract out their jobs to private contractors.
The lone dissenter in this process has been Councilwoman Wendy Leece. She has called upon her colleagues to slow down the process and not rush to judgement on what is probably the most significant matter the city could consider. In response, her colleagues have shut down every motion and suggestion she has made. The actions of members Gary Monahan, Eric Bever, Stephen Mensinger, and Jim Righeimer have amounted to nothing short of Tyranny of the Majority.
Throughout the public hearings on the initiative, Righeimer has refused to allow any thoughtful alterations to his initiative. He has made a few surface changes in an attempt to make it look like he considered the significant public comment. The end result however is the voters will be presented with the same initiative he appears to have scribbled on the back of a bar napkin over cocktails at Skosh Monahan’s.
There are no expectations that the initiative will be stopped at tonight’s meeting as the vote is expected to be 4-1 with Leece voting no. It could be 3-1 if Councilman Bever misses this meeting; he seems to be missing at least one council meeting a month as a general rule.