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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meeting Weitzberg

Harold Weitzberg, sponsored a coffee/get acquainted on his front lawn. He said I should vote for him because Costa Mesa has a financial problem and his solutions insure unity, safety, and prosperity, his theme.  He noted that a charter might be needed to free us from Sacramento control, but not this one because it presents too many dangers. His arguments for the dangers of this charter were a rehash of unsupported claims featured on the CM4RG site.

Charter meaning is hidden

Weitzberg said the council won’t tell you what the charter says, just what they think it means and insisted he had read the copy of the charter (link above). However, he couldn’t tell me where the charter’s dangers appeared, but instead offered that, “It’s what’s left out that makes it so bad.”

He said that the provisions of the charter opened the city to more lawsuits and acrimony and was an open invitation to give business to friends instead of to the lowest bidder. When I suggested that under the charter purchasing and contracting pretty much followed current practices he said that everyone knows you need checks and balances. He could not explain how continuing to follow our current purchasing and contracting procedures would open up “giving business to their friends.” He seems to think that by repeatedly misusing the purchasing term “no bid contract” he would damn the charter as a clear and present danger to Costa Mesa.

Why can't we all just get along?

Harold said the way to balance the city budget was to negotiate with the unions in good faith and that the current council has not, even though the unions had offered two and three-tier deals. He said that “it’s more complicated than that” regarding the requirement that management tells the truth to all employees in labor negotiations but that the unions were not so obligated. And further, that the council won’t even mention the unions’ offers is proof of the members’ inflexible,” my way or the highway” approach to labor negotiations.  He knows that the Brown Act limits some kinds of information release but believes it doesn't apply  to this.

Burglaries because no new cops hired

He said that the current rash of burglaries is an expected result of the City Council not hiring new police officers; the reason they won’t is because they want to beat the unions and won’t negotiate in good faith. (Note the August 16 OC Register article about suggested negotiation tactics for PD unions.) His argument seems to be another way to blame crime problems on politicians instead of on criminals – unfortunately that makes treating the problem misguided at best -- we don't need to make the politicians open and honest we need to jail criminals.


Learned from this visit: Mr. W’s knowledge base is the CM4RG, he believes that the City Council meeting disruptions are justified by the importance of the CM4 party line, he doesn’t believe that I can read and understand the charter without interpretive help (from CM4RG or him but not from the City Council, the City Attorney, or the City Manager), and that he is sure that the opposition is deceitful and well-funded. His dogs love treats.

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