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Righeimer: Costa Mesa should become a charter city

Mayor pro tem requests report from city attorney on letting voters decide if Costa Mesa should set its own course, write its own laws.

November 02, 2011|By Joseph Serna

Of the more than 470 cities in the state, at least 120 of them operate under a city charter, according to the California League of Cities.

The council's outsourcing plan has driven a wedge between public employees and a majority of the council. Employees accused the council of pushing through a political agenda, while the council majority argues they are trying to reduce growing pension costs.

Rumors swirled earlier this year of a potential recall against Righeimer, the mayor and others, but it never came to fruition.

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The OCEA led an anti-outsourcing campaign over the summer.

"I think it's highly unlikely that the residents of Costa Mesa would vote to abandon protections of the state and turn over almost entire control to a City Council that has already done so much damage to the city," Muir said. "Taking away even more of the public's control over regulating their city government only exposes residents to even more of this behavior."

To adopt its own charter, Costa Mesa voters would either elect a charter commission to draft a charter that would be voted on later, or have the council create the charter. Voters would then OK it.

"Newport outsourced their street sweeping," Righeimer said. "They're a charter city. They just did it. There was no question about outsourcing. I think it's about local control.

"Once you're a grown-up city, we've been around, we know how to operate. You take the training wheels off."

joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @JosephSerna

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