Who's to blame for Costa Mesa's woes? The bloggers are out in full force, blaming the current City Council for all of the problems with the budget. They are vilifying the current City Council, but there are numerous parties at fault in this scenario.
Union contracts. If the union contracts did not require a six-month layoff notice before outsourcing, all of the outsourcing decisions could have been made before the layoff notices were issued. Many would probably not have been issued at all.
Prior city councils. The union negotiators, when CalPERS was making 11% a year in returns, used the naiveté of the previous council members to convince them to give generous benefits by saying, "You will never have to pay for them." Now, they are saying, "You didn't pay anything for 10 years, so why are you complaining?" Of course they do not mention that the city was paying the employees' share of the pension expense, so the city was paying. When things started going downhill, they made the city wait nine months for audited numbers before any changes could be made to existing contracts.