Why This Blog?

The aim of this blog is to fit into the blogosphere like the bracingly tart taste of yogurt fits between the boringly bland and the unspeakably vile.

All comments will be answered if their author provides contact info.


I have no sponsoring group(s) or agencies, and I owe no allegiance to any candidate or group.

(C) Copyright 2012 DenRita Enterprises

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Live numb, blame the tool,      

deny personal responsibility

During this holiday season, as hyperactive commerce envelops vicarious horror, let’s stop to consider that horror. Is it new? Can we stop violence by regulating citizens’ access to tools that can be misused to cause horror? Why is there so much violence now?

It's been happening for long time

About the time of Christ’s birth a local ruler named Herod ordered all male children under the age of two executed as potential threats to his power; about 200 infants were butchered.

The tools used were edged, like swords, and the sword wielders were soldiers who were probably sane and sober. The ruler, well, his sanity is hard to analyze from 2000 years later.

At the time, life in the farming villages and small towns was difficult and stressful. Growing up involved learning how to deal with an adult world.

Our solutions worsen the problem

Today, some folks in power are trying to “social engineer” society into a non- stressful exercise, and growing up into a stress- and challenge-free time. They insist that children shouldn't compete because some won’t win and they’ll feel bad. They think children shouldn't be held responsible for doing homework or participating in class because it might stress them.

As part of our social engineering, we have schools that vigorously prosecute “bullying” although that’s long been a common discomfort in adolescence in the U. S. and overseas. Who’s and whys of school bullying vary, and change over time. We used to teach children how to deal with bullies – no more.

Stress will appear – and maybe bullying -- when the adolescents graduate to a job. They will have to learn to deal with stress and bullying on the job. Some don’t; they “go postal.”

In spite of, or because of, the social engineering, violence against children continues.

Stress? Numb it away!

To help relieve the stress of living, we've developed medicines that affect minds – if we can’t be happy, we can at least be numb to distress. If we feel tired, we have pills to pick us up. If the problem is an active and curious six-year-old boy we have pills to slow him down.

Soldiers in combat are stoned on prescribed drugs. A recent article showed a printout of medications taken by one deployed soldier, which included 17 that affected mood and mind. A drug banned from many ERs as too dangerous (may cause suicide and violence) is often prescribed to assist soldiers’ sleeping. Mood-altering drugs are very commonly prescribed to both soldiers and civilians.

The perpetrator of the Newtown, Conn. atrocity had been treated for mental or emotional illness; it’s not yet clear what medicines he was taking or when he had last taken them.

We've found two interventions that don't work

So, we have children who are not allowed to fail and who are given awards for being present. They learn that if they don’t feel good it’s someone else’s fault and maybe they should take a pill or file a lawsuit. Some learn that it’s so bad to feel inferior that it’s OK to kill another youth to get his stylish sneakers—the cause of that crime was attributed (in the popular press) to being poor and disadvantaged, not to lack of respect and self-discipline – and not to poor parenting.

Mood altering medicines haven’t helped, they've exacerbated violence.

Opportunity for power

Finally, we have a president who knows that “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” He’s busy pointing fingers at the tools used to commit the Newtown atrocity so the horror will help him advance one of his favorite causes, disarming U.S. citizens.

We can imagine him arguing against private possession of swords and knives 2000 years ago to prevent the slaughter of innocents, ignoring Herod’s paranoia. Today, he’s blaming guns. Not society. Not efforts to social engineer stress out of life, even to the point of living – and entering combat – stoned. Not inadequate treatment of mental illness which isn't addressed in his so called “Affordable Care Act.”

Nope. He’s against guns, and he’s going to use all of the power of his office to fight against them.

Increasing what doesn't work is easier 

If he succeeds will atrocities like Newtown be averted? Nope. Very strong gun control in the former Soviet Union and China didn't and still doesn't help prevent child hostage taking, murder, and robbery. Nor does the near absence of legal guns in Great Britain help much – the joke we hear from British police officers is, “the constable’s office, the Muslims, and the criminals have guns. We have to ask the constable if we need one, while the other guys carry theirs.”

Switzerland and Israel require their citizens to have a great deal of familiarity with guns, and they have low crime rates. (However, Israel has high incidence of terrorist activities, probably due to their being surrounded by enemies.) Nearly every city and county in the U.S. that has encouraged gun ownership and possession has seen violent crime drop markedly upon adoption of the “Shall Issue” laws. (These laws say that a permit for concealed weapons carry shall be issued if the applicant is not a criminal or mentally ill -- it's not up to the whim of the sheriff.)

Outlaw what works

These and many other statistics support guns as tools to reduce violent crime. Universal firearms training marks countries with low crime and controlled terror. (Terrorists and criminals who face an armed populace can — and do -- resort to explosives and poisons. They are inconvenienced and deterred, not stopped by personally-owned firearms.) Mood altering medicines increase violence and suicide as well as numbing away stress. But. . .

Propaganda again

It’s easier to take advantage of the crisis than it is to address the causes and prevention of violence. After all, if many of your constituents are stoned, and the great majority expects quick and easy solutions, facts and logic aren't important. Only the message, repeated from (seemingly) many sources, over and over matters.

This sounds like propaganda, used as Hitler advised. It worked then. It worked to some degree in Costa Mesa’s recent election. Maybe it’ll work now, nationally.

Blame the tool, drug the people, and grow your power. Hitler would be proud. So would Herod; he, too, knew how to sacrifice children to extend his power.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Who ya gonna' Call in CMPD 

Whether we need information about local laws or want to get police assistance for something that is troubling us, we can find the door to the Police Station an entry into a world of strange terms and abrupt personnel. "Just the facts, ma’am,” Sergeant Friday’s iconic phrase, is what they imply.

Before we can decide how to get things done at the CMPD, we have to know a little about their organization. Today, let’s start with that organization; “Who’s Who in this Zoo?”

Who's who

The Chief of Police Tom Gazsi, has four people directly reporting to him; his executive secretary, (Sorenson) and three subordinate managers. The managers have a great deal of latitude and are responsible for results; they’re referred to as commanders, like the military term that refers to a similar latitude and responsibility.

Lieut. Schennum manages the Professional Standards Bureau, which includes Training and Recruitment under Sgt. Hicks, Internal Affairs (who “police the police”) under Sgt. C. Phillips, and Public Affairs.

CPT. Gogarty commands three teams: Investigative Services Bureau under Lieut. Dondero, Records and Evidence Bureau under Susan Lozano, and the Telecommunications Bureau under Lieut. Glass.

CPT. Huggins’ immediate subordinates are organized by geographic area. Lieut. Manley commands Area One, Lieut. Ciszek Area Two, and Lieut. Sharpenack commands the Special Services Bureau.

Divided geographically

Each area is divided into two beats, One and Two. So we have Area One and Two, each with a Beat One and Beat Two. Officers are assigned to the Areas and Beats throughout the day and night. There are no holidays. Typically, the same officers patrol the same beats, making them sensitive to changes and helping them get to know the area and the residents.

We have one K-9 officer Chuck Oliver, and his partner police dog Tornado.

Divided by function

CMPD is organized to investigate crimes against persons (including frauds and scams, which are prevalent during the holidays) and property, and has a gang detail focused on gang organization, location, and crimes.

We also have traffic and SWAT; SWAT includes crisis negotiation specialists. SWAT officers are integrated into the working force when they aren’t on a SWAT call. Although they train a lot as a team, they don’t become an active team until they are activated for a SWAT-appropriate crisis.

And, the department has animal control, parking and a number of special functions. A lot of the routine tasks are done by volunteers who also respond to community problems such as family fights.

Now let’s talk about “who you’re gonna’ call.”

Who and how to call CMPD

If you are facing an emergency, whether related to medical, fire, or crime, dial 911 and the operator will help you sort it out. Most people who are extremely frightened or excited have a little trouble deciding who would best handle their problem. That’s what the operator is trained to do – get the right information to the right people as quickly as possible.

The operator will help you provide the information they need. If you want to be efficient, plan to start with your address and what is happening that requires assistance, then your name and involvement. For example:

            “Nine one one, what is your emergency?”
            “2025 Apple Street, car theft, they just left, I’m John Smith, and it’s my car.”  Or,

            “Nine one one, what is your emergency?”
            “2032 Apple Street, someone out in front of my house is waving a gun and shooting in the air, I’m Mary Jones.”

Once the operator has the needed information, let her (or him) end the call; they may want to keep you on the line to help direct the responding officer or to collect more information. If you don’t want to be contacted you can tell the operator at that time.

For a less time-critical problem, like a missing bike, or a blocked driveway, call the non-emergency number (714.754.5255), with about the same information:

            “Hi, I’d like to report a blocked driveway in front of my house at 1243 Pear Ave. This is Jake Sanchez.”

Or visit

Or, you can drop by the PD headquarters where you’ll find a couple of very knowledgeable folks at the desk. They can help you file a report, get fingerprinted, or efficiently transact police business.

Now you know that you’ll be dealing with specialists in property crime, or crimes against persons, or sometimes with officers specializing in “Problem Oriented Policing.” These are the officers who get the problem resolved using whatever police resources are needed. Just ask the desk officer or desk clerk and you’ll be on your way.

It’s your Police Department, and it is working for you whether you call, visit, or just enjoy their protection.

Hypocrisy and Prejudice --

against Fitzpatrick 

Let’s take a look at prejudice and hypocrisy today. The term prejudice refers to preconceived, usually unfavorable, judgments toward a person because of personal characteristics, such as gender, social class, or ethnicity. It’s also defined as a “feeling, favorable or unfavorable, toward a person . . . not based on, actual experience.”

Prejudice is used to prove some value or defect without reference to facts. Today, the label “racist” is replacing “prejudiced” since it’s easier to apply to anyone who disagrees with or criticizes a person who might be considered a minority. People have been publicly called racists for noting the ethnicity of a criminal in the crime report. Prejudiced might be a more accurate term, but it’s not as easy to scream and it doesn’t carry the inflammatory stimulus of “racist.”

(Just to keep the record straight, in this blog we’ll use ethnicity to refer to a group identified through a common trait, such as a common culture, language, or dialect. And we’ll use race as a grouping used in Anthropology, which is based upon physical characteristics. For example, the Caucasian race has the characteristics of “light skin and eyes, narrow noses, and thin lips.”)


Now for hypocrisy: promoting virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that one is personally violating. It can be considered a form a lying since it misleads people. An example we've seen in the public square in Prague was a man preaching about the evils of stealing while his confederates picked pockets in the crowd.

Both hypocrisy and prejudice are eventually self-defeating tactics. And where can we see them demonstrated?


For an example of both in Costa Mesa, simply look at the comments in a recent Daily Pilot article about Jim Fitzpatrick (here). In case his name doesn't ring a bell, he is an elected member of the Sanitation Board that the rest of the Board is trying to oust.

The ostensible reason is that he held an incompatible office (Planning Board), but he asserts, and the chairman at Sanitation agrees, that the reason is largely his behavior. He had the audacity to criticize the Sanitation Board’s decision to forgo competitive bidding repeatedly so they could award the garbage collection contracts to the same company over and over. In other words, Fitzpatrick opposes the “no bid” contract awards.

Haven’t we heard a lot about the evil of “no bid contracts” recently? Of course we have, it was the mantra of a small but vociferous group, chanted incessantly against the proposed City Charter. And, it was published in many big labor-supported mailers as a major threat of the Charter to Costa Mesa.

No bid not so bad after all

You’d think that the people who were so vehement against what they perceived as “no bid” clauses in Costa Mesa’s proposed Charter in the last election would support Fitzpatrick. After all, several of them accumulated a lot of space in the Pilot commenting about the danger that the Charter would allow “no bid contracts.” In fact, several of them threw that threat into most of the threads they responded to, one way or another.

You’d be wrong. Instead of supporting his position they are yapping at his heels about such irrelevancies as his job status, or his support of the majority of the City Council. “If you opposed us on Mensinger, we’ll try to destroy you.” They want him gone, better yet, gone and embarrassed and out of cash. No bid contracting, for real in this case, is OK with them.

So, if you consider “no bid” as an epithet of evil, as this small group apparently did, you’d have to conclude that supporting Mensinger was a worse evil than “no bid.” Or, maybe their point is that being Jim Fitzpatrick is more evil than a “no bid” clause in the Charter.

Either way, the terms prejudice and hypocrisy are thus illustrated in those Daily Pilot comments. Their remarks certainly don’t speak well of them, either.

Threat to clean up corruption scares them

As commenter Scott Peotter said, “Just admit it that you hate Fitz and want to use any means necessary to shut him up, before he gets a majority like Righeimer and starts to clean up the San Board like Righeimer is cleaning up Costa Mesa.” 

Perhaps that’s the fear that is driving the prejudice and hypocrisy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all

This is a holiday season for us, and for some of us, this season offers a reminder of religious messages. Perhaps the season provokes reflection, and will lead us to understanding, maybe even to wisdom.

But, we are here only because “some rough men” are “out there” protecting us. Some of the men (a term I use without intending to imply gender) are overseas, away from families and loved ones, doing work and facing fear we can only imagine.

Others are “pounding beats” although mostly in police cars, or watching for gang members, or directing traffic. All are “in harm’s way” to protect us as we celebrate our holiday.

They deserve our thanks and our prayers. We pray they will return safely to us.

May the peace and joy inherent in this season be with you and yours throughout the coming year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Election final, candidates seated 

Costa Mesa’s election results were stabilized and certified, ending the campaign in time for Thanksgiving.  The why’s of the voting will be debated for years, but the effects of the voting are just starting.

Results breakdown

The Anti’s – Genis, Stephens, and Weitzberg, were supported directly by the local advocacy group CM4RG and government employee unions, and less directly by organized labor PACs (to the tune of about half a million dollars). They won 41,469 votes or about 46.5% of the candidate votes. It should be noted that Weitzberg appeared to have been abandoned by both labor and CM4RG toward the end of the campaign.

Genis captured the most votes, running a “gray man” candidacy (didn't articulate substantial positions – just floated into office on name—and image -- recognition). Mensinger was second in vote count and Monahan third (155 votes ahead of Stephens). McCarthy was fourth, behind Stephens by 340 votes.

Mensinger, Monahan, and McCarthy (3M’s) garnered 46.6% of the votes. These three were probably supported indirectly to some extent by the OC Republican PAC, but it’s unlikely that the support approached a significant fraction of half a million dollars. Much of their campaigning involved voter contact, in “coffee and conversation” meetings and in walking the precincts. Slightly more votes with exponentially fewer dollars.

Proposed charter defeated

The coordinated effort to defeat a charter inimical to big labor, and to elect a slate of candidates friendly to big labor, resulted in defeat of the charter (success) and capturing slightly fewer (125 fewer) candidate votes than the three conservative candidates running independently (not so successful).

There were also 6107 votes (6.8%) cast for the non-campaigning candidates. More about this later.

Endorsed and advertised

The OC Register endorsed Mensinger, Monahan, and McCarthy while organized labor endorsed their opponents.  Both groups distributed lots of signs, and both claimed their signs were being stolen and vandalized. (The 3M’s made a video of a City employee damaging signs.)

Also of note, a newspaper columnist (Barbara Venezia) advocated splitting votes between the 3M’s and the Anti’s. She endorsed Stephens over McCarthy using a bizarre argument that Stephens had more or better experience for the City Council seat. McCarthy is an attorney who is chair of the Planning Commission which is intimately involved with the Council, whereas Stephens is a lawyer in private practice. It’s hard to tell how much effect endorsement or signage has on a candidate’s election.

Minority threw down the gauntlet to start  

Regardless of how they got their votes, the new Council started out with a bang. The pundits/commenters who opposed Mensinger and Monahan proclaimed that the majority (Mensinger, Monahan, and Righeimer, who faces re-election in two years) should “be nice.” That is, they should offer one of the minority members a position as Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem to show how much they wanted to get along. Although that would have been an unlikely mistake for this majority to make, the pundits screamed (in print, anyway) how betrayed they felt when the majority didn't meet their expectations.

And, new member Genis threw down the gauntlet in a sarcastic, abrasive and ill-advised support statement for her nominee for Mayor, fellow minority member Leece. She seems to have abandoned her “gray man” approach after being elected, for an “in-your-face,” sarcastic approach.

Leece confronts windmills, but not well

Ms. Leece, for her part, has become more active in commenting about Daily Pilot columns and letters. She took offense when a commenter pointed out that neither she nor Genis publicly condemned the tactics of intimidation and the outside money used to influence Costa Mesa’s election.

She huffed that she (personally) never took big labor money and has never been charged with a crime. (Leece’s lack of expressed disapproval of egregious behavior was criticized, not her personal crimes or acceptance of union money. She wasn't a candidate in this election, anyway.)

Leece said that the investigations aren't complete so she won’t comment until she has the facts. She or whoever is helping her write comments isn't focusing on the issue; the intimidation tactics and the outside money are well documented, although the exact dollars spent and the guilt or innocence of specific miscreants are still in question.

Votes for non-candidates

The two candidates who were not seriously campaigning received nearly 7% of the vote. (One became a candidate to publicize pet issues; the other dropped his candidacy early on but couldn't get his name removed from the ballot.) Neither actively campaigned.

Some of their votes were surely from family and friends. A few more might have come from voters who were confused. But many of their votes may have been cast by voters who opted for the non-viable candidates out of frustration and resentment about the contentious election.

Lessons from this election

The most visible lessons to learn from this election are:
            1. Hitler’s admonition to repeat simple phrases over and over and make them seem to come from different sources was well-demonstrated and probably fairly effective during this election.

            2. Fear mongering works. This factor, integrated with the repetition mentioned defeated the Charter. Propaganda can be effective in the 21st century if enough resources are thrown into the fray.

            3. Name recognition and avoiding controversy is effective for accumulating votes.

            4. Many folks who registered to vote – didn't.

Now let’s see what the Council majority can accomplish. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Call 'em cops  

We call them a lot of things; Police Officers, Cops, Sworn Officers, Policemen (and Policewomen). And, of course there’s the acronym for Pride, Integrity, Guts often used by the ignorant as a pejorative.

They are the “Blue Wall” that separates us as citizens of a law-based society from the barbarians. That is, they are what stand between us and thieves, rapists, gang-bangers, con artists, and a whole plethora of other criminals and miscreants. 

They are also those who may cite us for speeding or making a “California stop” at a stop sign – and cost us money and time.

And they are the ones who sort out family fights, deter thieves in the malls, and question suspicious persons who sneak through our neighborhoods looking for unlocked car doors. And the ones who stop the violence quickly at sports events and bars – and in some of our neighborhoods.

They show up at odd times in the alley behind our homes, and drive down our streets early in the morning. And they are the ones directing traffic around an accident site – and measuring the skid marks at the site.

We see them depicted sitting in a donut shop, but have you ever seen one there? We pay them professional wages, and watch the Chief of CMPD hand out awards. At civic demonstrations we view their impressive array of tools, especially their firearms.

What's a cop's day like

Do you wonder what cops actually do? Can civilians – non-cops – understand what they do, and why and how they do it?

Of course we can, but it takes time and effort. Since they work for us, it’s time well spent, though. How else will we know what we’re getting for our money? (Also see Blog 4 Sep.)

The street-cops work in tech-rich offices known as police cars, adjust their daily schedule and re-prioritize their task lists every few minutes, and respond to emergencies throughout their shift. They are held to a far higher standard of behavior, both on and off duty, than most other folks – comparable to or higher than the requirements for Registered Nurses and Physicians.

Their “competitors” try to out-maneuver them, try to fool them, and sometimes even try to kill them. Many of the citizens, who are their “customers,” try to mislead them or suborn them. 
Sometimes the guy who tries to buy the cop’s dinner is just appreciative; sometimes he wants a ticket fixed or a “get out of jail free” card for the future.

Other citizens support them. And some of the citizens idolize them; cops used to have  an unprintable term for their groupies, although it applied literally to only a few. Some may still use that term.

Another question is; why is it so hard to get to know a cop if you aren't one?

Think about the above as if you were a cop; non-cops want to prevent you from doing your job, or even kill you. Other non-cops want to suborn you, manipulate you, and tempt you to betray your honor and integrity. And who understands what pressures you face, and the dangers, and the difficulties? Another cop, of course. So who will you want to talk to, visit for dinner, or join for golfing?

You can find out

If you’d like to know what cops do, how they think – and who they are, one excellent way to learn is to attend the CMPD’s Police Academy. It is back in operation; there’s a course beginning in very early 2013. The training is coordinated by, Kelly Vucinic in the Crime Prevention Unit.  Applications are available here.  It’s open to adults who have no felony convictions or outstanding warrants or criminal charges, and no misdemeanor arrests within the last three years. (CMPD isn't particularly interested in educating and recruiting volunteers from the pool of wanted criminals.)

Kelly runs a great course

The Academy that finished in late November was an icon for Public Education in our opinion.  It was educational, of course, but it was also fun. (No, we didn't get to shoot the SWAT Team’s automatic weapons – darn!) It was an example of how adult education should be run: sessions started and ended on time, the presenters were prepared, the material was directed toward adults – and best of all, no subject was off limits for questions or discussion. Except politics.

Many of the students in the last class were surprised, even amazed, by riding with a cop for part of a shift. Most of us weren't aware of the resources, pitfalls, and handicaps that affect a cop’s job today.  And pretty much every student was impressed with the officers who presented and especially with those we rode with.

If you don't know, don't open your mouth

The Police Officer’s role is complex, difficult, fulfilling, and sometimes exciting.  It’s been suggested that an intelligent person should “never criticize a man (or woman, of course) until you've walked a mile in his shoes.” Perhaps we could paraphrase that to, “you can’t criticize a cop if you don’t know what he (or she again) does, and when, and where, and how.” That’s true as well for praising and idolizing cops; if you don’t really know what you’re talking about, it’s better to shut up.

So, if you want to idolize them, or think they deserve your criticism – complete the CMPD Citizens’ Academy before you open your mouth. Cops aren't like you or me; to understand how they’re different you’ll need a new perspective.

How they work -- later

We’ll go into a little detail about how your Police Department operates in future blog entries, as part of our focus on how the city works, and who makes it work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Council installs new members, updated 

The Council meeting Tuesday evening was an interesting study in timing. As expected, the Council majority elected two of their members as Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem

And, as expected, the anti-everything group, fielded a slate of speakers, mostly members of CM4RG (see Blog 10 Oct); fortunately their resident singer only brought a CD of a song instead of singing it to the Council. He offered the Council the opportunity to make their own copies, but no one took him up on his offer.


The Council members lauded retiring City Deputy CEO Peter Naghavi and  outgoing Mayor Eric Bever. Many of the speakers praised Bever and Naghavi as well, whether they favored Righeimer or Leece for Mayor. 

Bever's Legacy is large, but his most-mentioned accomplishment was thwarting the I405 changes that would have hurt Costa Mesa. He faced a "done deal" and rallied the support and testimony needed to get the Orange County Transit Authority's (OCTA's) plan reversed.  His persistence in building infrastructure for  the Westside also came up repeatedly. A good job recognized belatedly by his opponents.

Unexpected bile from the new Council Member

What surprised us was the acrimony and divisiveness from Genis when she was supposed to be praising her nominee for Mayor, Wendy Leece. This is usually the time that nominees get slathered with accolades for their virtues, since the vote is a formality; the majority members will fill the honorary positions of Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem pretty much as they please. However, she chose to insert acrimony and start dividing the Council into “the guys” and “us.” This was not only futile, but in poor taste.

Perhaps her testifying against Costa Mesa when she was miffed (see blog 20 Oct) was an omen. And, as Councilman Mensinger noted in gently chastising her for her comments, it might be an omen for the next four years.

At least four of the next six speakers chimed in to criticize her antagonizing and dividing the Council; to her credit, she reversed course during her comments about her Mayor Pro Tem nominee (Leece again) and sounded (very) slightly contrite.

She should be more savvy than that

She did not sound like an experienced and savvy politician, she sounded like a brat who was being thwarted. Surprising, for she should know better. And, her animosity and divisive comments probably were embarrassing to her supporters who spoke about “bringing peace and healing that is sorely needed to this council.” 

She campaigned in part by promising healing. Yet the rift-tearing and animosity tonight came from Genis, herself, the newest Council member. 

Politicians sworn in

Mensinger promised to uphold his “Promises to Costa Mesa” and Monahan, a very able politician, spoke of his commitment to the work that needs to be done to help Costa Mesa.

Problem clear to most

Many of the speakers  mentioned the need for financial security for the city, citing the unfunded liabilities posed by the retirements of city employees. Righeimer reiterated his desire to solve the unfunded liabilities issue and to prevent any employee from losing a job or their retirement.


It’s disquieting to note that the Daily Pilot article filed after the meeting comments about Righeimer’s desire to "enact a city charter and lay off employees," which, as far as we know is a gross misstatement of his position. Perhaps the reporter got his information from the CM4RG group that attributes some pretty far-fetched ideas to folks (and charter provisions) that they find disagreeable.

The reporter also stated that the majority of the speakers favored Leece for Mayor but the Council installed Righeimer anyway. First of all, the speakers are spectators, not participants. The Council elects their leaders, the spectators don't, so the majority opinion of the spectators is irrelevant. Second, our count was about 18 to 16 – a majority to be sure, but a small one. (Another blogger listed the count as 20 to18.) 

The article was slanted to suggest that the Council ran roughshod over the people, the proposed charter was beaten by (local) money raised to defeat it, and the "pink slips" (required notifications that job was being studied for outsourcing) were rescinded when the number of jobs under study fell from 200 to 70.

Perhaps the Pilot should conduct some Civics 101 and Descriptive Statistics classes for reporters needing help. Or, the authors should call their work “opinion columns” rather than news. Maybe that quality of reporting is what’s driving the Pilot out of print.


After a reception for the new Council, further business continued, per report, including setting a seating arrangement. The two female members, Genis and Leece, will now sit adjacent to each other. Blogger Geoff is appropriately and predictably irate that the majority of the Council voted for majority candidates and that the candidates' seating wasn't to his liking. 

Big, well-behaved crowd 

The crowd was large, and mostly well-behaved. Toward the back a constant murmur of conversations among the CM4RG group distracted and annoyed those of us trying to hear what the speakers and Council Members were saying. Courtesy apparently isn't their forte.

Some young people gave their comments at the meeting, too, an example of courage and involvement. They may have all been Council Members’ kids; however, they were brave and forthright.


As a matter of record, both female Council Members were decked out in “power red,” but weren't seated closely enough initially to have their outfits clash. After further business they were seated together and will have to coordinate their outfits in the future.