Measure V Defeated: No Charter In Costa Mesa, yet.

Responsible government experienced a victory last night when more than 59% of Costa Mesa voters resoundingly rejected the city charter initiative cobbled together by Councilman Jim Righeimer and his council majority. The failed proposal would have converted Costa Mesa to a Charter City form of government. Had it passed the council majority would have had the ability to impose their whims on the city without any controls. The voters clearly wanted nothing to do with the hastily assembled initiative. The failure of Measure V doesn’t however mean that the charter city concept is dead. Many in the coalition that defeated Measure V are not opposed to the charter idea, just the way Righeimer and his colleagues went about their mission of trying to ram it down the voters throats.

Councilman Jim Righeimer – Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Righeimer pledged last night to return the issue to the ballot at a later date, possibly using a citizen’s commission to draft the charter in a more deliberative process. It appears that Righeimer will have an effective three person majority to move his agenda forward. While former Councilwoman Sandy Genis won the vacant seat of Eric Bever, it looks like Stephen Mensinger and Gary Monahan will continue on the council for another four years.

  4 comments for “Measure V Defeated: No Charter In Costa Mesa, yet.

  1. junior
    November 7, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    “Many in the coalition that defeated Measure V are not opposed to the charter idea, just the way Righeimer and his colleagues went about their mission of trying to ram it down the voters throats.”

    Exactly!! This was handled like monkees f**king a football -amateurish. There is nothing wrong with a Charter city – Santa Ana is a charter city for krise sake.

  2. November 7, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Now Righeimer is whining all over the media about how we “didn’t have enough time” to use a citizen’s commission to create a charter! We didn’t have enough time because he tried to force it onto the June ballot, which failed because of a clerical error – some say divine intervention – caused the deadline to be missed. There was barely enough time for the mandatory public meetings and virtually all of the hundreds of suggestions for modifications to Jim Righeimer’s Charter were discarded out of hand! He wasn’t going to let anyone tinker with his self-serving, cut-and-paste charter. The public wised-up and voted it down with a nearly 60% majority. And, the election’s not quite over. As of Wednesday night only 319 votes separate challenger John Stephens from stayed-too-long-at-the-dance incumbent Gary Monahan. With several thousand votes remaining to be counted, there’s still a chance that Stephens may sneak past Monahan and be part of a NEW majority on the council.

  3. CM Man
    November 8, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Das Riggmarshal’s grip on Costa Mesa has been weakened, but we still have a lot of work to do to get our city back on track.

    Monahan refused to come to city hall the day Huy Pham died. 3/17/11 will live on as a day of infamy in Costa Mesa history.

  4. Costa Mesa Observer
    November 16, 2012 at 9:30 am

    In a recent post-election newspaper article I was struck by Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer’s comment that “I think through this whole process we heard the community loud and clear.” “The community wants more of a committee-type process.” “And that’s what I’ll be bringing forward to get the community (involved in the writing) of the charter and to make sure any of the concerns and safeguards are put in the charter to make the public feel comfortable.”

    The desire for an elected charter committee (community involvement) to write the charter was expressed in public comments when the charter was first proposed by Righeimer and at nearly every city council meeting thereafter. But now, since his proposed charter was voted down, Righeimer says that he hears the community loud and clear. It should not require an election to communicate with him. If that is the case, we will need an election every month.

    There are a few other points worth noting. Righeimer told us that he was opposed to using a charter committee to write the charter because it would take too long. So he rushed through a flawed charter that was defeated and it may now take another year or more to clean up the mess. Haste makes waste.

    Righeimer also said, authoritatively, that an elected charter committee wasn’t needed because he hadn’t found any other city that used a committee to write their charter. He frequently referenced Newport Beach’s charter but evidently didn’t read their charter history. If he had, he would have known that they used an elected charter committee to write their charter. Can we trust what Righeimer says to us in his authoritative way, particularly when we now suspect that he never really studied this issue in any detail?

    There are some other issues of trust. Remember that he tried to rush the first even more flawed charter onto the June primary election ballot. This strategy has been used by others before because the voter turnout is usually lower and this can be used to gain an advantage for getting Measures (charters) passed. He might try this strategy again in 2014.

    Also, he tried to force the current proposed charter onto the citizens of Costa Mesa that, by his own admission now, does not have detailed safeguards for the city residents. Can we trust a person that knowingly tried to push through a charter with such a flaw?

    I am glad to hear that he is now considering a charter committee, and it should be an elected committee; but, I am still not convinced we need a charter. However, if we do, we need someone other than Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer to lead the effort. We need a different leader because of his deafness to residents, hasty actions, questionable credibility and trustworthiness, and his repeated oversight of details. I suggest that Councilwoman Leece and past Mayor and now new Councilwoman Genis be considered to lead the restart of the charter effort.

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