TV Commercial Targets Costa Mesa Mayor, Gary Monahan, Calling for Him to "Keep Walking"

OCEA
St. Patty's Day: not one of Mayor Monahan's better moments.

​Controversy goes a long way in stirring attention. Costa Mesa, the city that was once best known for being home to South Coast Plaza and the Orange County Fair, finds itself embroiled in a power struggle that has managed to grab national attention. And the two sides continue to re-arm as the battle continues. 

The side that opposes the city council's decision to outsource one-third of the city workforce has delivered its most recent blow: a commercial attacking Mayor Gary Monahan

The commercial, which was produced by Repair Costa Mesa, focuses on the hours and days following the St. Patrick's Day suicide of a city employee, Huy Pham, who jumped off the roof of CIty Hall on the day he was to receive his pink slip. While hundreds gathered at City Hall, Monahan decided to remain at his bar, Skosh Monahan's, which drew the ire of the unions and the attention of the media.

You can view the commercial after the jump. 

Before the events on March 17, the majority of the anger and frustration was focused on council member (and mayor pro tem) Jim Righeimer, who was believed to be the primary proponent of the outsourcing decision. But Righeimer made an appearance at City Hall on the afternoon of Pham's death.

Mayor Monahan has yet to respond to any of the Weekly's interview requests. 


Among RCM's supporters is the Orange County Employees Association. 

"Repair Costa Mesa is a group that sprouted from the ground ... it's made up of people who are adamant about taking back their city," explained Nick Berardino, the general manager of the OCEA. "It's obvious why we're involved ... someone has to step up and support the lower paid guys."

Sandy Genis, a former Costa Mesa mayor and a woman who seems to be involved with various civic action groups--including the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society, which is working to prevent the sale of the fairgrounds--is also a part of RCM. 

"Unfortunately, it took a real tragey to get us organized and it started partly because we just started talking on the steps of City Hall, whether we were standing with a candle or bringing flowers," Genis said. "For now, we're asking the city council to rescind its action, regarding outsourcing of most of the jobs. I dont know if they will, but we'll give them a chance."

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32 comments
Wesley Warner
Wesley Warner

How much money was raised and spent on the campaign this commercial represents to attack the mayor and his cabinet? Why didn't we donate that time and money to Costa Mesa for providing more jobs instead? Are the people who made this commercial interested in providing jobs for our community or are they causing divisions in our community to promote their own self-interests? 

This video and the people on it are publicly disrespecting the mayor which makes a disgrace of Costa Mesa. This loss of jobs is a tragedy, and while it's appropriate to question our mayor about this depression, to publicly criticize and disgrace our mayor is shameful.

NOBODY, especially the mayor, takes pleasure in people losing jobs in this city. Don't you realize he knew how tough a decision it was to make? Very few people, especially outside of a political profession, understand the scope of responsibilities he bears as our mayor. I love democracy, but It's a flaw of democracy to think we know how to do it better. If he needs to hire somebody or fire somebody, its his responsibility and his job to do so. That's what leaders do, they make tough decisions. Costa Mesa needs to remember how treat a leader respectfully during tough times.

It's the respect and commitment of the city that make a good mayor. The better we support our leadership, the better they will be. These divisions confuse, weaken us, and tear us apart. We need to be thankful for his hard work. He's got 6 kids and he loves his family and his community. He is not the cold-hearted, disinterested man this video makes him appear to be.

Joannaecono
Joannaecono

I have lived in Costa Mesa for 51 years. I think it is about time we start electing our own Mayor. Why are we in such a state of antiquity? When I came here we had one stop light on wheels that was wheeled away after the evening traffic subsided. Baker Street was a levy road (2 lanes) with drainage ditches on each side. Mutter's kitchen was on the North side of the street where their ducks floated around in a big pond. We had no freeway, no South Coast Mall, no Yamaguchi 'Essence of the Bean' and no Seagerstrom Theater. The Seagerstrom family were still farmers and the people still provincial.Why then are we still a 'one horse town'? I think we are capable of making a few decisions via an elected Mayor of  our own.I would sure like to sign a petition for an elected mayor; it might just knock a little sense into these 'Good old Boys' we have right now.Yours Truly, Joanna Economakos 3258 New York Ave. Costa Mesa, California. 92626

Radic1
Radic1

Oh, and nice how you control your Facebook page so no one can post opposing views....

Rktekt99
Rktekt99

This is really simple to me. Cities that can't afford to fund themselves should cease to be cities. Too many little organizations that are trying to look out for themselves and not be concerned about the greater good of being a cog in the wheel of the Greater Los Angeles-Orange County basin. Let the sales tax monies go the counties and let them be a part of the county only. I think the best example is Los Alamitos where their planning department could care less about developing anything that doesn't generate revenues - regardless of what the people need! Too many - more than 35 in each county - stealing sales / business tax money just to survive.... give it to the counties, and let the overall system be stronger! Stop attacking your own citizens, and the wants and needs of the greater good - just to remain in business.

CMresident
CMresident

Costa Mesa has the same problem as other Cities, Counties, States and Governments. You cannot keep paying out more than you take in. It's as simple as that.

You HAVE to slash spending, majority of which is employee salaries/wages and benefits and the cuts should apply to elected officials, department managers and the 'footsoldiers'. And you have to raise revenue in a way so as to not "shoot your self in the foot". No point raising taxes to the point where the taxed entity leaves and you end up with a loss, not a gain!

This is a dilemna being played out around the World (in some cases violently) as Economies come to grips with the fact that you cannot have overpaid and overprotected public employees at the same time as having under-taxed Corporations, businesses and individuals. In fact, neither should be allowed.

Just thought I would give a broader perspective.

liberty396
liberty396

Repair Costa Mesa is a sleazy campaign funded by the public employee unions to further their agenda during a time when the rest of us in the private sector are being forced to tighten our belts. The layoff’s that have taken place are a direct result of the unbridled greed of public employees who insist that taxpayers continue to pay for outrageously generous health and pension benefits. Those of us in the private sector can only dream about such benefits, but we have had to pay for them nonetheless. No more. Public employee unions are no longer relevant. They are costly and their existence is rapidly coming to an end.

Git011
Git011

what? people lose their jobs every day and they don't jump off of buildings. The mayor is supposed to do what...go help scrape this guy off the sidewalk and somehow accept partial responsibility because the entire state is bankrupt? Please. I don't know Monahan and have no care about who the mayor of costa mesa is...i just dont appreciate being manipulated by people who obviously have an agenda they are not discussing/.

Halcro
Halcro

Obviously Communism is well and alive in Costa Mesa. The Unions of today have the same values as those of the old Soviet Union. If you think what is happening to Mayor Gary Monahan is wrong then wait and see what will happen in our near future. Finally, I noticed that the Repair Costa Mesa group can dish it out but don't have an email for the citizens comments.

Michael Moon
Michael Moon

The reasons for laying of 'those people' is not clear. First, it's not clear that outsourcing will save a dime. The city council, lead by Righeimer and Mensinger (and followed by Bever and Monahan), didn't plan this step at all. That's the big problem. These guys are of the 'load, fire, aim' school of targeting. They really don't know if what they've done is cost effective, legal, or beneficial -- and they haven't done the work. What they have done is hire William Lobdell at $3k a week to protect their sorry back sides. Union bullies? Ha. The city councl is nothing but a gang of bullies.

OCSOLJAH
OCSOLJAH

outsourcing and mass illegal immigration will eventually turn our nation into a third world, how can you not see that, simple economics, there is nothing racist about it, you bleedeing heart libs live in lala land

OCSOLJAH
OCSOLJAH

i wonder if the mayor took a pay cut to help the budget?

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

Yes, lets fix it by paying super high pensions to union workers and letting in citizens of other countries. That fixes it somehow...

Mike Harmanos
Mike Harmanos

The choice doesn't have to be between "union bullies" or "city council bullies." This is a real opportunity to sit down with all Costa Mesans and start treating all of us like adults. Instead, the proverbial circus is coming here. I'd gladly trade that for a few days of open negotiation, transparency, and a get it done attitude, and let's leave the circus atmosphere for the fair this summer.

Nncbaxter165
Nncbaxter165

Union-funded "Repair Costa Mesa" you suck big time. You are blaming another person for somebody's suicide? That's totally low. I don't live in CM and I don't have anything to do with the mayor's office, but I just saw your TV Ad. It's revolting. You are totally disgusting to blame the mayor for the janitor jumping to death. Have you considered that this guy is from a society of shame? If I remember reading the articles correctly, the janitor was Asian. Perhaps that's why he killed himself? He couldn't take the rejection. What does the mayor have to do with this? Also, your TV ad is filmed undercover. That goes to show how you operate - behind closed doors with smoke & mirrors. The mayor let go people because the city is broke. Get it into your stupid minds!

dugzstuff
dugzstuff

The reasons for laying those people off is still real. This tragedy could have happened toa private sector worker also. We must not turn our back on the process of returning our great city to a city that live within its means. We must not let union bullies tell us how we should run our city.

CM TAXPAYER
CM TAXPAYER

This is one Costa Mesa Tax Payer that won't join that astro turf group.

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

You mean the reason they layed off these people is unclear to you, right?

I'm sure they did a lot of research before they made this decision. Why do you assume they didn't?

Have you ever been through the process of hiring an outside vendor to come in and take over work? I have, it's a very long process and not really something you can do without planning.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

The "High Pensions" are not paid to Union Workers at all. They are paid to Administrators, Attorneys, and Physicians. for proof check this link: http://www.voiceofoc.org/pdf_9...it is a list of Orange County recipients of pensions in excess of $8333 a month. Read that and cry about a $1000 a month working stiffs pension.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

You are the one with the stupidity issue. The guy was a Maintenance worker, Carpenter, Plumber, & Mechanical Not a janitor, had you been able to read any of the previous related articles you would know that. He was also dedicated and good at his job. No one knows the reason the young man chose to jump to his death, but one fact is he was at home on sick leave nursing a broken ankle. (most likely on pain meds) Another fact is he worked for the city for 4 1/2 years, as I understand 6 months short of his pension being vested, and able to be transferred to another agency. I also note that you have no previous comments recorded, therefor it is quite likely you are not even human, but an Astroturf Bot paid for by the republican party. http://www.alternet.org/media/...

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

Anyone with a brain it there head would realize this guy had mental issues. Nobody kills themselves because they lost there toilet cleaning job.

I think it would be more likely that the union heads pushed him off the roof to make a point...

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Yes, they did research, they researched how much outside contractors will line their personal pockets.

Chasen_Marshall
Chasen_Marshall

E2kfilms: Were you at the city council meeting when the vote was passed? I was. The city council made it rather clear that they have no hard numbers to back up their decision to outsource the jobs. If they had facts to back up their assumptions, this situation would appear a whole lot less murky and (potentially) corrupt.

And the reason the union commercial went after Monahan was because they could. Did you happen to see how he spent his St. Patty's Day while the city was in mourning? Not a good move on his part.

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

So he could be making $8332 a month? This list does not disprove a thing. Talk to me when you have something that has to do with this case...

HeWhoSpeaks
HeWhoSpeaks

I was actually referring to your statement about the union pushing the man off the roof. Regardless, your blatant disregard for compassion while making assumptions about the mental stability of the man says enough about you.

HeWhoSpeaks
HeWhoSpeaks

No matter what world you came from, that's a screwed up thing to say. And in this world, we correctly use the possessive "their." You had it wrong twice. But by all means, back to the hating.

Git011
Git011

I don't need to attend a bleeping city council meeting to know that the entire state is bankrupt. & even if (and I don't know that this is true) Monahan spent his day celebrating St. Pat's after learning of Pham's suicide the only thing he could be accused of is callous and insensitive behavior which is just about par for the course when speaking of politicians. What would you have had him to do....give a press conference full of hand wringing and acts of contrition? Here's the real question. What's your underlying issue/agenda? Let's cut the crap and get real.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Sorry Chasen, This guy that has never replied to any DISCUS forum before is most likely a bot. Or possibly a closed minded right wing moron that has been totally brainwashed by Limburger or Insanity, either way trying to reason with it is a waste of breath/keystrokes. But, if I continue to point this out, in time others may realize this.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

This reply indicates you did not read the link, and/or you are a total moron, OR what is most likely you are an Astroturf Automated reply most likely paid for by the Kochs or the OCRPhttp://www.alternet.org/media/...

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

I thought my hyperbole was clear about the union guy but I guess not.

What other assumption can I make? Jumping off a roof because of a layoff is not a sane thing to do. No person in there right mind would do something like that.

This article was about the mayor not the worker. I showed my disgust that people are making it seem like the mayor had anything to do with a death...

E2kfilms
E2kfilms

Wow, for people to completely miss my point as bad as HWS and Dweezle. I was pointing out that jumping off a building because of a job, any job is not a reasonable thing to do. I guess it is to you guys. I suppose you guys have a murder suicide ready if you ever have a moderate set back in your lives. While what happened is very upsetting it is clearly not a sane reaction to his situation.

I am very good at my job and I worked through a broken foot, torn muscle and torn meniscus (only missed one day, no pain killers) and was less than a year from being vested when we our contract ran out. I simply got another job, no suicide required.

Dweezle, what the hell is a Astroturf Bot? You don't think I'm human? Do you see robots in your everyday life? Do they tell you to do things? I'm not even republican and I don't see how knowing that a person killing themselves for a mediocre job is a republican issue anyway. Are republicans for or against jumping off of buildings? Oh now that I look again you say the guy was "Mechanical" so I guess you are some weird robot nut. I have posted many times but for some reason this browser put in part of my email address instead of my name...

What I said is not nearly as "messed up" as accusing the mayor of somehow murdering this guy and not caring.

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