Jim Righeimer: Costa Mesa Government Cuts Backed By Residents

Jim_Righeimer_RSM21.jpg
Righeimer defends cuts
During a live, three-minute interview on NBC's Today in L.A. Weekend, Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer asserted that he is getting public support to continue slashing his city's budget.

Righeimer told Ted Chen during the interview that residents are telling him, "Keep on going. Don't stop."

Public employee unions certainly would like Righeimer to go and never return to Costa Mesa, where Orange County Republican Party boss Scott Baugh, a longtime Righeimer ally, has said the city is "ground zero" for a national GOP effort to confront bloated government.

City employees and union officials in California have responded to the Righeimer-led cuts with outrage. In potent television commercials, they've slammed the all-Republican city council for taking lucrative, unnecessary perks for themselves while slashing city jobs and services. Steve Staveley, an interim police chief, noisily resigned in protest this month over planned cuts to his department.

But Righeimer blasted Staveley, calling his angry departure "kind of bizarre" and "political" and labeled him a stooge of union bosses who backed him in an unsuccessful 2002 campaign for Anaheim mayor. Righeimer hinted at laziness. Police employees are whining about being asked to work eight-hour days for five days each week, he claimed.

Righeimer also said a push for a 3 percent budget cut isn't drastic, but that "outside forces" are "playing politics" with the city's dire financial situation. He maintained that the city has spent $33 million of its reserves in recent years and can't sustain spending each year more than the tax revenue it receives.

"We have to live within our means," said Righeimer, a freshman member of the city council and a longtime Republican Party operative who has spent nearly two decades trying to reduce the power and influence of public unions in California.

Righeimer opponents have their own website: www.repaircostamesa.com

Go HERE to see a previous Righeimer profile in the Weekly.

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

My Voice Nation Help
32 comments
TheFarmer
TheFarmer

How did we reach this point where Chicken Union's earnings and promised earnings (after they are done laying eggs) ate into such a large portion of running the Farm?  

Well, the Chicken Union Leaders, along with adjoining farms had an informal plan that was played out in many different forms, throughout the years, behind barn doors.

Operation Chain Reaction

It was informally known among the Chicken Union leaders as "Operation Chain Reaction" and for years the goal was simple.  Persuade one Farm to increase the corn to their Union Chickens and then approach neighboring Farms and argue that if the increases weren't matched, the Farm's Safety Workers would fly the coup to another Farm, for more corn.  And that would result in the Farm not being safe in their absence.  By the time the Chain Reaction made it to our Farm, neighboring Farms had already toppled. As an example, our Farm's Manager for more than 20 years recently laid the last egg for our Farm, but will still continue to get 190,000 kernels of corn a year.

A few years ago, corn shortages occured for all the communites in the Land.   Yet at the same time, corn and promised future corn (after the Chickens had finished laying eggs) was still increasing.  By 2007, our Farm had begun to draw on it's reserve corn from the silos.  In fact, last year, our Farm's "after the Chickens have finished laying eggs" costs were triple that of filling holes in roads, maintaining playpens for Chickens and other improvements that benefited both the Farmers and all Chickens of the community.

Still, the Chicken Union Leaders had no intentions of giving up anything close to the amount that non-union Chickens across all the Lands (including those who are on the Farm) had already given up in recent years.

But there is Good News!  All the Farmers and Chickens on the Farm voted for Elected Farmers to bring the Farm back to it's once strong position. Both the Chicken Unions and the Farmers had previuosly agreed years ago that this is how they would settle on the proper way to run the farm. 

And yet, when the Elected Farmers had begun to put the will of the Farmers and Chickens in place (the reason they were elected), the Chicken Union leaders squawked  "There is no shortage of corn!  We just gave up corn for a study to find the unused corn that we knew you were hiding!" The other Union Chickens clucked in " Yeah, bawk bawk bawk, and we found it!" 

But alas, the corn wasn't hidden at all. It was in a silo,  in plain sight.  You see that silo was holdng the corn needed to exchange for worn out tractors and other farm implements when that time comes.  But the Chicken Union leader still wanted it.

TheFarmer
TheFarmer

As an elected official Farmer was in the middle of his field one morning he was approached by a Chicken Union supporter.  This was a curious site to see, as the preferred method for discussing the Farm business had previously been established and the Chicken Union supporter had already used his chance to do just that.  The Chicken Union supporter had noticed that the Farmer was all alone in the middle of his field so he decided to continue with his plan.  The Chicken Union supporter saw an opportunity to speak to the Farmer about the outsourcing face to face.  What started out as a normal conversation quickly became heated. 

As the discussion turned to an elevated argument the clucking started to get more intense, "Bawk Bawk BAWK BAWK BAAAAAWK."  Much to the dismay of the Chicken Union supporter, the Farmer remained as calm as possible.  This infuriated the Chicken. More clucking and bawking continued, but to no avail. The Farmer had seen this tactic before and was not falling for it.  You see, the Chicken Union supporter was a Chicken himself from another Farm, trying to ruffle the feathers of the elected Farmer.  But as the Chicken quickly figured out the Farmer had no feathers, and indeed had no feathers to ruffle.

Frustrated he went back to his Farm and spoke to his Leader. "Did he hit you?" asked his leader.  "Not really" he replied. She continued, "Was anyone around?" "I didn't see anyone, maybe?" he returned with. "Well did he touch you at all?" she clucked.  "Yes, his clothes brushed against me when he turned away!"  "Good", she clucked, that's a start. "Was he larger than you?"  "Heeee sure was" the Chicken Union supporter said as a slight grin began to form.  "Well that settles it, he used his size to push you around!". Then they both looked at each other and clucked in unison, "With his Chest!"

As the plan was finalized, they alerted the officials on the Farm and squawked as loud as they could about this injustice.  This was the tactic they had learned about early on, deciding to disparage the elected Farmer with a fabricated incident.

As a few days went by though, the real story was told and the chickens ended up waddling away with thier tails tucked under.  No apologies to the Farmer followed. The community knew what the real story was from the start anyway. You see, they had become well versed in these tactics also. 

The investigation that continued found the the whole incident quite silly and without merit.  The elected Farmer continued on with the business of the Farm.

TheFarmer
TheFarmer

The Chicken Union Leader had soon begun to realize that the tactics of fear and intimidation was no longer working like it used to in the past.  This bewildered the Chicken Union Leader.  These were tried and true tactics he could count on throughout the years. He even called upon the Chicken Union lawyer to cry "Fowl!", but no one would hear of any of that clucking. 

The Chicken Union Leader hatched another plan.  He decided to make signs that read "Oust the Outsourcing". He made many, many signs and asked the useful Chickens to place these signs all over the Farm.  But alas, since there was no real support for his plan, the signs were removed as fast as the Chickens could plant them in the ground. To make matters worse, some signs became an eyesore as many were run over by the livestock traveling throughout the farm.  

Longbeachloser
Longbeachloser

It's only fair that the councilman be allowed to voice these unproven comments, the biggest mouthpieces against the layoff's (OCEA's cheerleaders) don't live there either. Infact, County Worker/Blogger Chris Prevatt doesn't even live in Orange County!

This is all gamemanship.

lazyboy12398
lazyboy12398

 As an executive of a MNC at my early 40s, I'm seeking a great lady to enjoy the true love of my life. Currently, I started to realize that the family life is as important as my career. So, I put myself at ---HOTTIEONLY.C oM--- with a username TrueLove. I choose this club as it's the best choice forSuccessful, Wealthy, Rich and high class singles to pick up the other half online. It's a very friendly club.  You do not have to be rich or famous, but you are invited to join us and share your success and happiness!

TheFarmer
TheFarmer

When the Chicken Union leader started reading about the Farmer's plans to exercise the provisions of the agreed upon contract, these plans helped the Chicken Union understand that the Farmers were going through with it and what to expect.   Reading these plans made the Chicken Union leader feel sneaky and excited his audience of followers. The Chicken Union leader portrayed the plans he was reading as something he was able to read because of union supporters he knew who were able to provide these to him. This connection made the Chicken Union leader feel more in control.

Then the Chicken Union stopped having the ability to intercept the Farmers plans.  This ruffled the feathers of the Leader and although he was able to read all the plans up to a certain point, when the time came when he could no longer see the plans he decided to formulate a plan of his own.  His plan was to use fear and insinuate that there were some back room dealings going on on the part of the Farmers that would benefit contractors, lobbyists and other people that are going to help the Farmers.  Nothing in the plans he had read up to that point indicated this was true.

Frustrated
Frustrated

Funny story about the Farmer and the Chickens, but most of it is not true.  Most road repairs are paid for by Measure A, Gas Tax, and Federal $, not the general fund.  Every year the city has completed road repairs.  Check on the Public Services website and you can see what road repair work is scheduled for the future.  The City Engineer can give you a list of completed road repairs and other capital improvement projects.  82% of city funds do not go to salaries.  Some residents are in support of the layoffs and some are not.  90% of those who go to a Council Meeting were not in favor.  Righeimer is going to every media outlet to spew his version of the truth.  Pension reform is needed, however even if you lay off all those employees, the $300 million unfunded pension liability will still need to be paid regardless of whether the employees are there or not.  Who is going to oversee the contractors doing the work, especially in maintenance?  Some knowledgeable staff will need to be retained in order for this privatization to work effectively.

lazyboy12398
lazyboy12398

 As an executive of a MNC at my early 40s, I'm seeking a great lady to enjoy the true love of my life. Currently, I started to realize that the family life is as important as my career. So, I put myself at ---HOTTIEONLY.C oM--- with a username TrueLove. I choose this club as it's the best choice forSuccessful, Wealthy, Rich and high class singles to pick up the other half online. It's a very friendly club.  You do not have to be rich or famous, but you are invited to join us and share your success and happiness!

Mackay
Mackay

Moxley clearly doesn't have a clue.  I live in Costa Mesa and find most people don't like Righeimer's decisions.  We all want to cut back but we don't want him doing it.  He wants to use taxpayer money to buy hotels and cut the number of cops to 1980's levels in a city that has its fair share of crime.  Plus, a lot of people don't trust him after he told Costa Mesans we could buy the fairgrounds for $30M or so.  His "Save The Fair" campaign was a fraud in that it promoted the sale of the fairgrounds.  I don't know anyone that trusts Righeimer with all of those contracts up for grabs.  A contractor will no doubt want to be as friendly as they can to someone like Righeimer if they want to do business in the city.  Costa Mesa is poised to welcome corruption, crime, and illegal immigration.

TheFarmer
TheFarmer

This story is designed to help the children understand that unionizing has consequences, but the adults can sit in too... The Farmers that built the farm (taxpayers and elected officials) decided it was time to run the farm like a business, since things were getting tighter and the thought of begging the Chicken Union again for concessions to maintain the farm in good fiscal standing for the upcoming years had become rather repulsive. Besides, these concessions in the past had only allowed the farm to just squeek by. Over the years, the leaders of the Chickens had done such a good job at demanding and negotiating that now 82% of the farm's budget was going to just feed the chickens. Leaving no extra to pave the roads around the farm or allow the farm to maintain/install drainage systems to keep the crops from flooding out. And not to mention if the farm is involved in a lawsuit that insurance won't cover, like San Juan Capistrano, it will be in dire straights. The "elephant in the barn" is that Chicken Union had negotiated through the recent years that after some of the chickens turn a nice young 50 years of age they are going to need to get up to 90% of their corn they had been getting every year and be set free. The corn needs to be given to them every year, the Chicken Union contended, except the chickens will no longer be laying any eggs for the farm. This left the humans with a "unfunded corn payout defecit" that would eventually break the farm and force it to either issue Bonds (go into debt), declare insolvency (just say screw it, we are plucked),or raise taxes up to 50% on the eggs they provide the other humans that live in the community (ah the taxpayers, the Farm co-builders). The Farmers decide to read the contract thoroughly as they faced an enormous problem. They found out that both the Chickens and the Farmers had agreed that there were 2 ways to help their situation. They could 1. Lay off or 2. Outsource. Outsourcing would require a 6 months notice to the chickens, which they did. The chickens were very upset when they got this notice. The notice of 6 months would be ample time for them to go out and search the community for other barns. One of the chickens that couldn't fly had decided to jump off the top of the barn. This upset the community as was sad for everyone invoved. Not to let a good crisis go to waste, a couple of the Chicken Union supporters had decided to politicize the event and come out to the wake and "let the community express their grief over what's been happening on the farm". The union supporters didn't know at that time the chicken that decided to jump had drugs in his system. Certain Chicken Union supporters tried to use fear "oh our community will no longer be safe!" But that simply was not the case and the community understood that. The Union leaders said "oh the private sector will eventually be ripping you off!" Little did that Chicken Union leader know that he was describing his ex-union members in the near future... This story has many twists and turns that would be too lengthy to publish now. The Chicken Union has put the chickens in a very bad situation. But there is hope! The very chickens that are getting out-sourced have the opportunity to start their own business! Yeah America! They can provide the Farm with their services and know-how at a profit! And best of all, the Farm will continue to provide for the community and build it up to greatness. Fixing roads, Drainage systems and invest in many improvements to let the community live even more comfortable. And the people said "God Bless our Farm, God Bless America". 

Chris
Chris

I don't want my city used as a political tool. It is an embarrassment. the Costa Mesa I talk to do not support the city council. It's all very sad that they are using the people of this city as a political agenda. So sad! 

truthhunter
truthhunter

Sorry to dissapoint some of you.  Jim Righeimer DOES have the full support of most Costa Mesa residents.  I live and work here.  I talk to many people, and most get it and are thankful we have some responsible council members.  Thank you Jim! Also, the city has not laid off half of the work force. But if they did, so what.  You get laid off by the city and rehired by a hired contractor to perform the same work.  What does it matter who signs your check. A worker's value results from the job they perform, not who signs their check.    I understand all the anxiety.  Structural change in any large organization is difficult.  It's natural to resist change.  But we cannot let momentary feelings dictate policy decisions.  The city is spending more than it was taking in.  Period. End of story.  The budget needs to be balanced, and its getting done thanks to this council.   The police department cries foul because they have to take a 3.5% budget cut.  Are you kidding me?  They are upset because the city wants them to work 8 hour days so as to not pay overtime because its not necessary with the number of officers we have. That simply does not sound unreasonable to me.  We have a "temp" police chief who was on the job for 3 months until a permanent one was hired.  He throws a temper tantrum like at 14 year old girl and bails out because he can't handle the city's crazy demands for an 8 hour work day and 3.5% budget cut.  Cry me a river.   For those of use who work in the private sector either, public employees are not going to get sympathy when we see a police department for example crying foul over small cuts to the budget. Its like they live and work in an alternate universe from everyone else. I hope the city looks for new and creative ways (like outsourcing) to alleviate budget and pension concerns.  If the public employee unions would simply agree to a benefits and retirement (401K) package similar to what someone in private industry gets, we probably would not need to explore these other options.  But they don't want to live in reality.  There we see the real problem. 

All4won
All4won

I've heard people that voted for him apologize.  Love the brand new $$ Fairview Park $ign -- we have uneven sidewalks up the ying yang in our neighborhood, but we golly gee we sure needed that $ign. 

Cdefxx
Cdefxx

I really don't follow the issues or study the personalities, but if people took responsibility for their own safety and welfare, the cities could lay off half of the cops and other personnel who are just out looking to fine people to pay their salaries and we'd all just be better off.

Gericault
Gericault

Righeimer heard voice after voice of residents speak out against him on this issue. About 1 in every 10 is a verifiable tea bag kool aid drinker. After that one person speaks Righeimer likes to then go ....."See , the residents support me.....and there are even more that silently do". The fact that Republicans, Dems, Decline to states, Independants, of all political stripes and persuasions have joined together to fight him seems to be beyond his understanding. No one person has ever done so much , in so short a time to mobilize the people , against an issue. OCGOP, you've lost Costa Mesa..........you can thank Jim Righeimer.

Skipcjr
Skipcjr

your dreaming.the residents are opposed to this city council plan.  wait until election time.and maybe a recall.this council is all washed up except for the hold out.

Moonbandito
Moonbandito

Jim Righiemer laid off 1/2 the city workers. Jim Righiemer appointed friend (and ex-driver for George Argyros) Mensinger to the Costa Mesa city council. He planned this appointment well before the election. Jim did not run a campaign based on laying off city workers and outsourcing jobs. Jim is a tool of the Orange County Republican machine. Costa Mesa will not be a better place when he is gone.

Leeward762
Leeward762

Are you from the same planet as the mayor pro tem?Sadly, we are not lowly flightless birds ganging up on a hard working productive man.Stop the rediculous story telling or a Hitchcock movie may result.The spotlight is on this council, not your prose.Very bright spotlight indeed.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Most likely this Farmer is one of the broke poorly managed farmers that was begging for handouts back in the 1980's. Remember Farm Aid? Willie Nelson singing to help BROKE farmers? Lets see if there was some back room dealings where FMW gets 100 some odd acres of PRIME OC property for an outlay of less than 1 million dollars? I wonder why they abruptly stopped the appraisal of the property? perhaps because it may really be worth 500 million to 1 billion dollars? I will bet Reigheimer had his hand in the cookie jar, and Trak will never think of going after a republican! Kamila!!!

Frustrated
Frustrated

Contractors have already been in discussion with certain members of the City Council about getting jobs with the City.  Of course, no RFP's have gone out yet.  Makes you wonder how Righeimer knows the conditions of contracts that have yet to be awarded. Hmmm.

Jason Piazza
Jason Piazza

there are so many problems with this analogy that i don't even know where to start.  seriously, get a life.  unions are not the ones destroying this country; mega corporations who claim "free market" principles while they conglomerize and monopolize and corrupt our gov't into deregulation and free trade are the problem with this country.  the fact that mega corps won't pay a living wage doesn't mean that unionized employees are overpaid.  it just means that tax breaks for the rich (and reaganomics in general) is a failed theory.  if reaganomics was a valid theory, then corps would be creating more jobs and paying healthy wages, but they aren't because reaganomics only lines the pockets of the wealthy and their heirs while stripping money from the working stiff who actually creates that wealth for the corporation.....i know that's hard for you to understand, but its true.  so tell me, how is an underpaid construction employee supposed to save for retirement when he/she is being paid poverty wages?  look back in our recent history and you will see that unions actually created the middle class that Tea Party wonks claim is being starved by unions.  the problem with our country is corporate corruption of government.  government is not a for profit, free market enterprise.  government is of and by the people to create and maintain our civil society.  by introducing free market principles into a non-profit gov't entity you strip the gov't of its ability to function.  also - if you want to use business as an analogy for how to properly run government, then it must be said that the best way for a business to be succesful is to INCREASE REVENUE.  cutting expenses is only a tool which businesses can use to trim fat; it is not the golden rod of succesful business ventures.  a good, reliable product is what makes a business successful.  if the business needs to trim some fat then it will perform an honest audit and see what areas it can safely cut from without harming the integrity of their product.  what Tea Party wonks want to do (from local city gov't to DC) is slash gov't spending to the point that the middle class and poor are left to fend for themselves while the military industrial complex wages war in our name (spending trillions) and while corporations pay slave wages to employees in 3rd world countries (thanks to free trade).  This country is going down the drain and its all thanks to 30 years of Reaganomics.....

Frustrated
Frustrated

Roads and drainage systems are not paid for out of the General Fund.  It is paid for out of Measure A (1/2 cent sales tax for road improvements in OC), Gas Tax, and Federal Funds.  What is the private contractors cost the city more than the city workers?  What will the City  Council do then, admit they were wrong?  I do not want some cut rate contractor who hires illegal aliens maintaining the City of Costa Mesa, even if they are cheaper.

Jason Piazza
Jason Piazza

uh....that's very presumptuous of you truthhunter.  not only do i live and work in Costa Mesa, but I have been here since I was 3 years old.  i know this city better than most and i can tell you that the residents of Costa Mesa do not want these cuts.  much like the people of WI, Costa Mesa residents are sorry they voted for this GOP/Tea Party puppet.  this is not what he ran on and this is not what we voted for (well not me - i didn't vote for this shill of a man).  i hear a lot of the same nonsense coming from supposed Costa Mesa residents in the comment sections of these articles and it makes me wonder who you are.  i highly doubt you are the Costa Mesa resident you claim to be.  you can come check me out anytime you like.  my name is Jason Piazza; i am a Costa Mesa native who lives in Mesa Verde and knows people of all walks in this great city.  if you are who you say you are, then tell me your name or give me some inkling that you actually know something about Costa Mesa....

Costa Mesa Resident
Costa Mesa Resident

How is that you are speaking for the city? I live here and certainly do not support these actions at all. The people I have spoken to who actually live in Costa Mesa also do not support this. Not even the most conservative people in my neighborhood (who consistently get together and make our voice heard to the City Council) support these actions. Drive through Costa Mesa lately and on every block is a sign saying END THE LAY OFFS. So, not sure who you are but you do not speak for me and you do not speak for the East side of Costa Mesa. 

Frustrated
Frustrated

How do you know what most residents in Costa Mesa want?  Have you personally talked to all 110,000 of them?  I am sure there are some that agree with what is going on and some that are against it.  It is very egotistical of you to assume you know what everyone wants.  Let the Department heads decide on the schedule that works best for their operations.  I kind of wish City Hall was on a 4/10 schedule.  That way I would be able to go to City Hall after work to conduct business without taking time off from my job. 

Frustrated
Frustrated

They used RDA money for the sign which is against RDA policy.  Righeimer wanted the sign and what Righeimer wants he gets.

Bill T.
Bill T.

So if your neighbor gets it in his head that you've wronged him you think he should be able to shoot you ...

Frustrated
Frustrated

Yes, but by the time he leaves, the damage will be done.  He wants to go to Sacramento where he can make $112,000/year, get a pension and free medical and be like Alan  Mansoor with no power or clout.  He can propose bills that will never pass, because the Dem's are in control of Sacramento.  To bad he didn't just bypass Costa Mesa and go directly to Sacramento. 

lydiawow
lydiawow

Moxley clearly doesn't have a clue.  I live in Costa Mesa and find most people don't like Righeimer's decisions.  We all want to cut back but we don't want him doing it. I am a 28 years old doctor, mature and beautiful.and now I am seeking a good man who can give me real love , so i got a username Andromeda2002 on--s'e'ek'c'ou'ga'r.c óm--.it is the first and best club for y'ounger women and old'er men, or older women and y'ounger men,to int'eract with each other. Maybe you wanna ch'eck 'it out or tell your friends!

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Good fact full comment, contrary to the chicken farmer fairy tale! However I disagree with you on two minor points. 1, The billionaires and Corporations ARE creating jobs, creating them in India, China, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Philippines, Just not in the USA (where their bread and butter come from) and in the case of China, It is very probably that the jobs they are creating are Union jobs. I do not remember exactly, and I am not going to spend hours looking up the source of my memories, but roughly 1/2 of non agricultural workers in China are represented by a Union! I read that they actually went on strike against Honda Motors, who has a transmission manufacturing plant there.

2. Reagan was not solely responsible for the economic theories that have been destroying us, These theories have been around since before the great Depression, and partially caused it. In fact Reagan actually was the Governor of California that signed the law allowing State Employees to organize. I also believe Reagan was a former President of the Screen Actors Guild, (or one of the actors unions). But I do agree the financial woes of the nation have been brought about by the intense de-regulation that Reagan's staff pushed.

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

You took the words right out of my mouth! I have seen in Los Alamitos the Water district uses a non-union Contractor to install/upgrade or repair a section of the water system. These guys cannot even speak basic English, I tried to ask one a question, and the reply was No Habla English...

Dweezle.Di
Dweezle.Di

Chances are Jason  this is an Astroturf, Bot using the name Prague2006-web has made 2 comments on 2 articles, both about Righeimer, it IS possible it is Riggy himself. but chances are it is not even a person, but a software program created and funded by the Republican party supporters such as the Koch brothers. (anyone can right click on a commenters image and see their history)

Now Trending

Anaheim Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Fashion

General

Loading...