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By Mike Harmanos | June 20, 2013
Just a few months ago, Costa Mesa held a charter election that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. After hearing all the arguments, voters rejected a risky move to change our fundamental form of government. Although a resounding 60% of voters said no to the proposal in November, the City Council majority once again moved to put a charter on the ballot in 2014. This time, the same council majority handpicked the vast majority of the charter committee members. Taxpayers will pay even more because of staff time, a $14,000 bill for two "facilitators," committee meetings and the cost of placing the measure on the ballot.
NEWS
By Jerry Kern | October 5, 2012
I read Jeffrey Harlan's amusing column regarding city charters and felt I had to respond ( Harlan: More questions about charter arise, Sept. 22). Hopefully, the Daily Pilot publishing his utterances of half-truths and misleading information is an anomaly and not a standard practice of the publication. Apparently fact checking is not one of this paper's strong suits. To set the record straight regarding the city of Oceanside, I can absolutely document that our 2-year-old charter has saved local taxpayers several hundreds of thousands of dollars since its brief inception.
NEWS
By Geoff West | November 3, 2011
Late Tuesday evening, at the tail end of the Costa Mesa City Council meeting, after most observers had left and local reporters had already filed their stories, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer dropped a bombshell ("Chart city request proposed," Nov. 3). Following a rant in which he whined about the city being forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars defending itself in a lawsuit filed by an employee association when, as he said, "We didn't do anything wrong," Righeimer instructed contract City Attorney Thomas Duarte to bring back to the council "in writing" the process that would be necessary to convert Costa Mesa from a general law city into a charter city.
NEWS
By Jim Righeimer | December 2, 2011
On Tuesday, I will put forward a proposal that our City Council ask our citizens whether we should become a charter city. After my first year on the council, it has become clear to me that in order for our town to thrive in the 21st century, we must free ourselves from the way union-backed politicians in Sacramento want our city to run and bring more local control — and common sense — to Costa Mesa. But you do not have to take my word for it. Just look at what the non-partisan California League of Cities has to say in its excellent analysis for those wanting to know more about a "special form of local control" known as charter cities.
NEWS
January 4, 2012
"Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely," astutely observed Lord Acton. For this reason, if there's to be a new constitution for Costa Mesa, it should include a court of review — akin to the U.S. and California supreme courts — to provide local checks and balances on the Costa Mesa City Council. Checks and balances are purposely built into the California and U.S. constitutions by splitting governance into three equal branches: the executive, legislative and judicial branches.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | December 2, 2011
COSTA MESA — Continuing with his plan to overhaul the city's structure, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer on Tuesday will ask his peers on the City Council to begin the process of making Costa Mesa a charter city with its own set of laws and regulations. But council critics say forming a charter city is a way to avoid the lawsuits over the decision to outsource 40% of city employees. Righeimer said the charter that will be presented to the public is just scaffolding for what Costa Mesa residents would want to see in their own charter, or city constitution.
NEWS
November 4, 2011
After reading Friday's article, "Kids to 'occupy' Fun Zone," I must say, it's great to see young people get involved in their community and we welcome Courtney Brown and her friends to our open house this weekend. After reading their comments, their enthusiasm is inspiring, and honestly, it appears we are all on the same page: Let's put the fun back in the Fun Zone! The whole objective for the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum renovation is to be more relevant and more inspiring, and to relate better to a new generation.
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NEWS
By Emily Foxhall | September 5, 2013
When Jim Righeimer, the mayor of Costa Mesa, approached the lectern where he would speak Thursday morning, he immediately discovered two plastic bottles of Diet Coke. He pulled them from the podium's shelf and, to general laughter, placed them atop the stand. "OK, I get the joke," he said, feigning defeat. About 75 Newport Beach residents and employees had gathered at the Newport Beach Public Library to hear thoughts from the mayor of their neighboring town. Mentions of the relationship between the two cities coursed throughout the speech, which was part of a morning speaker series hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.
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NEWS
By Mike Harmanos | June 20, 2013
Just a few months ago, Costa Mesa held a charter election that cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. After hearing all the arguments, voters rejected a risky move to change our fundamental form of government. Although a resounding 60% of voters said no to the proposal in November, the City Council majority once again moved to put a charter on the ballot in 2014. This time, the same council majority handpicked the vast majority of the charter committee members. Taxpayers will pay even more because of staff time, a $14,000 bill for two "facilitators," committee meetings and the cost of placing the measure on the ballot.
NEWS
By Charles Mooney | April 25, 2013
It has only been six months since the first proposed Costa Mesa city charter was defeated by 60% of the voters, but on Tuesday the Costa Mesa City Council held a study session with the first question being, "Should Costa Mesa pursue becoming a charter city?" The city provided a written report and an oral summary of it at the meeting, and I have some comments about that report. I was under the impression, based on his last campaign, that with Mayor Jim Righeimer on the council the city would be run in a more businesslike manner.
NEWS
By Jill Cowan | January 19, 2013
In addition to votes likely solidifying an employee pension deal and extending the city's pledge to match Bike Safety Improvement Fund donations, the Newport Beach City Council will consider the following issues at its meeting Tuesday evening: * Implementation of harbor rent changes The council is slated to vote on ordinances necessary to implement the hotly debated residential dock fee increases approved last year. The council in December voted to increase rents for harborside homeowners whose piers occupy public tidelands.
NEWS
By Geoff West | December 6, 2012
Re. " Commentary: Charter government suits Costa Mesa's personality," (Dec. 2): My great friend, Byron de Arakal, the man responsible for me writing my very first letter to this fine newspaper more than a decade ago, recently wrote a commentary on these pages opining that a charter form of government "suited Costa Mesa's personality," and went into great detail explaining why. Over the years, Byron and I have discussed many of the pithy...
NEWS
By Byron de Arakal and By Byron de Arakal | December 1, 2012
Democracy and sausage-making have often been "linked" (sorry) as really ugly processes that produce good things. But having just passed through one of the nastiest local election cycles I can remember, I'm not feeling the parity between the two anymore. The comparison gives sausage-making a bad name. We can, though, cling to this one soothing truth about our form of government: We vote, the votes are counted, and the winners take their seats without gunfire or bloodshed. Or at least as far as I know.
NEWS
By Charles Mooney | October 23, 2012
Re. Wu: Charter gives 'men of action' right tools," (Oct. 6): Columnist Jack Wu referred to a business mentor's advice, not a political mentor. Political decisions can have many unintended, negative consequences beyond those usually considered in business. As a result, rather than out-of-towner Mr. Wu's favored approach of taking hasty and reckless action, city governance action needs to be taken thoughtfully and cautiously to avoid difficult-to-reverse and costly situations.
NEWS
By Bradley Zint | October 15, 2012
A full house at the Neighborhood Community Center on Monday night came to hear two sides debate Costa Mesa's proposed city charter. The topic of the fifth Feet to the Fire Forum was Measure V, which would change Costa Mesa's form of governance from a general law city under the auspices of the state to one that's home-ruled by what's essentially a city constitution. On one end was Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, who has argued that the charter would bring about better localized control over Costa Mesa's affairs and ultimately give the city the tools to put its "financial house in order.
NEWS
By Jay Humphrey | October 11, 2012
Re. " Commentary: Column twisted facts about charter city," (Oct. 5): Jerry Kern's commentary is another of the "rush-to-get-a-charter-approved" group's attempt to sell a flawed charter to Costa Mesans. Keep in mind that Kern was the chief proponent for the charter in his town, Oceanside. In setting the record straight, he comments that he can "absolutely document that our 2-year-old-charter has saved local taxpayers several hundreds of thousands of dollars. " Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer, the leader for the proposed charter, proclaims that our charter will save Costa Mesa millions of dollars in the first couple of years.
NEWS
By Pamela Wilson | October 10, 2012
During the last several years, there has been little our city and its residents have been able to rely on. As the economy faltered, incoming revenues were uncertain. Government services have been cut due to a lack of funds. Yet one fact remains as consistent as ever: Sacramento politicians continue to do what they can to meddle in our city's affairs and impose burdensome laws that cost taxpayer dollars. It should be Costa Mesa's right to manage our own affairs and make decisions that will benefit our citizens and taxpayers, not the special interests to which the Sacramento politicians are beholden.
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