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Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ignoring the facts, regardless

Mayor caused this mess

A blogger is accusing Mayor Righeimer of “. . . ignoring council rules which has mired us in a seemingly endless law suit.” Is that valid criticism or blathering by a mumpsimus (1. someone who obstinately clings to an error, bad habit or prejudice . . . a bigoted person)?

Actually, . . .

He’s referring to an attempt to close a $1.4million gap between City income and expenditures in March, 2011. The City Council wanted to study the City workforce, which was its biggest single expense. It was required by law to notify every employee who could be affected that their job was being studied.

The notice was specified in process, in detail, and in wording by MOUs – Memorandums of Understanding -- with the employee unions (which prefer the term associations). The MOUs forbade a general notice to employees, which would have applied; instead, personal notices had to be distributed.

Finding out what we're buying

The City sent out the required notices, and, as expected, faced legal challenge and legal harassment from the associations. 

Note that the Mayor, at the March 1, 2011 Council meeting, “. . . clarified that the six-month noticing was not a layoff notice . . .” and advised that was designed to allow a financial services analysis to be completed.

That is, the City followed the contract-mandated procedure to study how employees are used and how they could be better utilized in the future. It was free to consider outsourcing jobs done less expensively by vendors. No job loss was identified -- by the City.

Not a lot of savings here

After study, the City determined that most of the positions considered weren't economically feasible to outsource at that time. The City withdrew the notices.

The associations have refused to withdraw their suits, though, and continue to delay, obscure and obfuscate as legal harassment of the City: “you’re gonna’ pay lots of money for crossing us.” The unions are using employee money to fund their legal maneuvers and the City uses tax money; City employees contribute to both.

The suit about how well Costa Mesa followed the mandated procedure is moot -- the notices are not even in effect anymore. However, forcing an opponent to continue spending money is often an effective legal tactic, so the association suit nonsense continues.

Union tactic, not an evil Mayor

Is it wrong? Nope, it's just a battle tactic, like castling in chess, or faking a pass in football.

But is it evidence that the City Council and especially the Mayor (who wasn't Mayor when the decision was made!), is wasting City funds on a lawsuit “. . . filed by the employees because they had no recourse . . .?” That’s clearly ridiculous.
We’d have to call this mumpsimus (2) – a notion adhered to although shown to be unreasonable.

Note: if you review the minutes of the March 1 and 15 Council meetings notice that a few familiar names were offering their opinions before the meeting and after each agenda item -- then, too. (March 1) (March 15)

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