Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Righeimer’s Setbacks in Costa Mesa

[City Councilman Jim] Righeimer thought he could defeat labor. In two years he not only screwed up on every scheme he tried in Costa Mesa, he now has given more power to public employee unions. [County Republican Party Chairman] Scott Baugh must be so proud of his boy. Ha!

— Sam Grady / Nov. 28

I’m wondering why, after such a Measure V defeat, is Righeimer still trying to shove this charter back at us? The residents spoke against a charter in previous years and loud and clear against his charter. Does he still assume one is even wanted? Or do we have a choice in the matter?

I’m glad residents are waking up to see what a freak show we have on our council right now. Watching these guys very carefully is to their benefit.

— Merelyashadow / Nov. 25

I can’t take Righeimer at his word for anything nor at this point The Orange County Register. All I read is labor and unions defeated Measure V.

I belong to Costa Mesans for Responsible Government. We had no union funding. We are a nonpartisan group who helped to defeat the measure.

We hear how Scott Baugh of the local Central Republican Committee assisted Righeimer initially into office but not of the money they spent to pass Measure V. Believe me, I recieved abundant mailers equally pro and con on Measure V at my home.

After what Righeimer put our city through, to assume he is earnest in his newfound diplomacy is shortsighted and dangerous. I believe there are still many tricks up those sleeves.

— CM Citizen / Nov. 25

Tighter Laws on Alcohol and Entertainment in Santa Ana

I believe the input coming to the city officials from the parents of underage kids supersedes the financial necessities of the businesses in question.

I as a parent would not want my underage children to have access to a concert venue of this type that is conducive to exposure to alcohol to minors. Raves fall into this genre of music.

Music, I believe, is generational, so why are mid-20s and late-20s and older individuals interested in the same type of music as teenagers? This is odd.

If these concert businesses are dependent on alcohol sales to make a profit, why then are they interested in a group that does not buy alcohol mingling with those that do? Minors at the venues will not add to the alcohol sales but will have already bought a ticket to enter.

Parents would appreciate their children being escorted out when alcohol sales start.

— Art Lomeli / Nov. 28

The city lured these businesses in. The businesses spent over $100,000 developing their properties and businesses under the rules existing. And now the city is pulling the rug out from under them.

The message from the city is don’t do business in Santa Ana.

— Junior / Nov. 27-28

Thank you for doing more than a cursory review of the [Planning Commission] meeting. For me, what was troubling is that there were a large number of folks who don’t normally show up to meetings, most of whom were Latinos. For some reason four of the commissioners were hostile to these folks’ request.

I just got the sense that race played a factor in some of the commissioners’ minds not to allow a delay of the public hearing. Very sad for these folks to see government not responding to their requests.

— Truthiness / Nov. 27

Privatizing Trash Collection in Newport

Let me tell you how this will go down.

HF&H Consultants has already been provided with the study results the City Council wants. HF&H will go out and cherry-pick data to support those results.

Next the city will sell their fleet of equipment, thereby making it cost prohibitive to re-enter the trash collection service again.

There will be some cost savings at first, but in a few years those savings will evaporate due to service cost increases provided in the contract.

Finally, the rate payers of Newport Beach will be paying more than they do now for less service, and the city will be unable to provide the service themselves.

The smart thing to do would be to issue a five- or 10-year contract, and require the contractor to lease the city’s equipment during the contract term. When the cost savings disappear in a few years, the city will be in a position to go back to their former, cheaper service model.

— OC Bureaucrat / Nov. 29

Housing Insecurity

First of all, thank you for sharing your life story with us. It’s never easy to write about yourself without a sense of precaution because of the judgment associated with doing so.

I am glad that we live in different times in a country that continues to evolve despite the ignorance, prejudices, biases and closed-mindedness that reflects from some of the comments written and exists in some individuals around the United States.

Bless you for being brave and becoming educated to give voice to those who are unable to stand up for their rights, not as U.S. citizens or residents but as human beings of this world.

— Humblebeing / Nov. 27

People do come despite the risks. It’s a shame there were so many children to support or maybe they could have made it to homeownership that lasted. Foreclosure after one late payment? Wow, what lender was that?

I wish there were more groups who taught and helped with family planning and budgeting for those in low-wage jobs and undesirable living conditions.

It’s a shame the boss who probably benefited a lot financially from paying lower wages and not paying taxes, worker’s compensation etc. didn’t try to help sponsor the family after all that time.

It’s a shame so many families and even singles, legal or not, have to live this way in unsafe and crowded, shared conditions.

I hope Marilyn and the other children can get help to do family planning, go to college first, to be able to save and have security and a better life. These children, legal or undocumented, are surely not at any fault.

I’ve been homeless, so I’m sure there are many stories. Too many stories.

— Macdoodle / Nov. 27

Valley Fever in Prison

State prisoners get better free health care than many law-abiding citzens get. The best health care that our taxdollars can buy. Prison really wouldn’t be a bad place for someone to go without a career if it wasn’t for all the jerks housed there. Free food, free health care, free education, free job placement counseling. In Orange County they even assign a “life coach” to paroled prisoners to help them find jobs, housing, free money (welfare), etc.

If you obey the laws, go to your local state or county government building and tell them you want a free government “life coach” like the paroled prisoners get, they’ll look at you like you’ve got two heads.

— Beelzebub / Nov. 26

Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Righeimer’s Truce With Unions

Of course Righeimer could have worked with employees two years ago, but he didn’t because he didn’t think they would fight back to stop his power grab. He’s not done yet.

This is a good development, but I’m sure this won’t be the last we see of Righeimer’s political angling to get more power and reestablish himself as [county Republican Chairman] Scott Baugh’s favorite son.

— Stunned / Nov. 20

Dance of the Electeds

This is hilarious. These apparatchiks never consider taking a real job. Sure, they talk the rugged-individual, personal-responsibility, limited-goverment talk, but for others. As if a “chief of staff” produces a useful product. Networking? Scheduling? Please.

— Janey3 / Nov. 20

Man, for a group of people who complain about the size of government and public employees so much, they sure do line up fast for the highest-paying government jobs. What a bunch of hypocrites.

— Stunned / Nov. 19

It’s all about quid pro quo: What have you done for me lately?

No doubt [Assemblyman Chris] Norby handed out lots of favors as a member of the Board of Supervisors. All of them hand out favors for this specific purpose. When hard times come a-knockin’, they expect paybacks. That’s the way the system is designed — not to serve the people but to serve one another.

Anyone who has watched the game of politics for any length of time and had a few seeds in his head understands that is just the way the game is played.

— Beelzebub / Nov. 19

Upset in the 65th Assembly District

The demographics have really changed in Orange County, and politicians have to realize that the issues and needs of their constituents are no longer focused on the stereotype of what people believe Orange County to be.

Norby is focused on corporations and the wealthy. Quirk-Silva seemed to focus on the people living in the district and their needs.

— OCFisherman / Nov. 17

I think we’re all forgetting that once the district lines were redrawn, Democrats were 37 percent while the Republicans were 38 percent [of registered voters].

In that district, voters of third party affiliations or “do not state” historically vote Republican. And the fact that Norby was an incumbent gave him a huge advantage.

So in my opinion, much of the loss must be attributed to poor campaign strategy. This was a huge upset.

— Beelzebub / Nov. 16

Trabuco Canyon Development

Let me understand this: [Political consultant] Lyle Overby is complaining about some perceived “abuse of process?” Really? No kidding?

My give-me-a-break file is overflowing. I guess he’s been spinning in that rarified, oxygen-starved atmosphere for so long he doesn’t realize how truly hysterical that is.

As Phil McWilliams [president of the Inter-Canyon League] eloquently put it, people who live in a community also have a right to determine the kind of community they want to live in. That “right” is just as old and well-established as the straw-man “property rights” issue he attempts to take this discussion into.

And that, of course, was a core purpose of the area plan. A plan that was in effect and known perfectly well to his client when they acquired the property. The same plan he ultimately had to crash through in order to get what his client desired: a more profitable development.

So whose “rights” are and are not being respected?

— Ergodic / Nov. 16

Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

Quirk-Silva “Upsets” Norby

What a total fail on the part of Norby’s campaign. This would be like USC getting knocked off by Garden Grove High School. Embarrassing.

— Beelzebub / Nov. 15

This is only a surprise to the totally clueless and innumerate political reporters in Orange County. When the lines were redrawn, this district was at the threshold of 38% Republican registration, which makes it a competitive district.

— Moonunit / Nov. 15

County’s IT Negotiations

The Board of Supervisors have no clue and are not, I repeat, not qualified to make decisions regarding information technology.

Question: What is the cost of cabling and hardware for unproven VOIP [voice over Internet] technology?

Answer: Very, very expensive. Data circuits will need to be upgraded. Cabling and infrastructure costs, is that factored in?

And if the network goes down, so do the phones.

That is only scraping the surface regarding costs. Something is very wrong and fishy.

— OC conservative taxpayer / Nov.15

This is incredible. An ad hoc committee? For what?

There is no reason that the information is not publicly presented. There should have been a bidding conference and other open ways to get a fair bid in for the county contract.

This is going to be a bad. Someone, anyone, please get the attorney general to look into this mess.

— Loyal OC Resident / Nov. 13

I noticed that [Board of Supervisors Chairman John] Moorlach conducted a frontal assault on free speech by proposing that public speakers get limited to three items @ three minutes each for a total of nine minutes of comments during the board meetings.

Luckily there were three rational board members who believed the public deserves more respect than that and overruled him. Apparently Moorlach and Nelson believed that the public should be treated like little children — better seen and not heard.

If that one speaker named is giving them a hard time, then take action specifically against him. But don’t punish the entire county for the action of one person. We can’t help it if you can’t manage your meetings properly and control individual speakers who go off topic. That’s your fault, not ours.

— Beelzebub / Nov. 14

Community Editorial Debate on Trabuco Canyon

Editorial by Gloria Sefton / Editorial by Lyle Overby

If you’re familiar with Orwell’s “1984”, you’ll recognize the aim of calling it “property rights.” It’s a very rosy term for the viewpoint that if you own a parcel of land, you can do anything you want on it, even to the detriment of your neighbors, society, the economy and the environment.

Lyle Overby points out that lawyers and expert consultants profit from a California Environmental Quality Act lawsuit but conveniently omits the fact that elected officials and lobbyists are profiting from Rutter Development’s plan to erode the laws that protect the canyons. Just how much did Rutter pay you to write this, Lyle?

— Bcmanucd / Nov. 15

The fact that Rutter Development failed to have a backup plan that was compliant with the Foothill-Trabuco Specific Plan — it is possible as 10 other permit holders will attest to — illustrates the backroom deals that must have been agreed to by the developer and the powers that had the ability to approve or reject the plans submitted.

In their argument to the Board of Supervisors, Rutter argued that the FTSP was dysfunctional because only 10 permits had been issued since the adoption of the FTSP 20 years ago.

Well, I am the holder of one of those permits. Was compliance with the FTSP challenging? Yes. Was it more costly than had the plan not been adopted? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely yes.

I do not have a problem with getting new neighbors. But should they not have to go through what I went through to become a welcome fixture in the community?

In the end, everyone wins — the existing community and its new neighbors, not just the developer who is long gone, leaving in his wake misfitted puzzle pieces that are eyesores for an entire county to endure until another bulldozer is allowed to create more havoc.

Let’s not allow this to be the beginning of the end to a rural and natural California lifestyle that is fast dwindling under the guise of “better biology.”

— Captain422 / Nov. 14-15

I was there in the Board of Supervisors hearing. I heard Supervisors Pat Bates and Shawn Nelson complain about the way the amendments were being dealt with. They both commented that approving Saddle Crest and amending both plans was not the way it should be done.

Why then did they defer to Supervisor Bill Campbell? Is not the rural Orange County — the historic mining towns and Modjeska residence, the popular bikeway, and the gateway to the national forest — significant to the 3 million people of Orange County? This deserves a revisit, kinda’ like a recount of election votes.

— Mountain girl / Nov. 14

Voters Reject Costa Mesa’s Charter

In a recent newspaper article, I was struck by Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer’s comment that “I think through this whole process we heard the community loud and clear. … The community wants more of a committee-type process. … And that’s what I’ll be bringing forward …”

The desire for an elected charter committee (community involvement) to write the charter was expressed in public comments at nearly every City Council meeting after it was first proposed. But now since his proposed charter was voted down, Righeimer says that he hears the community loud and clear. It should not require an election to communicate with him.

I am glad that he is now considering a charter committee, and it should be an elected committee. But I am still not convinced we need a charter. However, if we do, we need someone other than Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer to lead the effort. I suggest that Councilwoman Wendy Leece and past mayor and now new Councilwoman Sandra Genis be considered to lead the restart of the charter effort.

— Costa Mesa Observer / Nov. 13

San Onofre ‘Sabotage’

Being a heavy equipment mechanic on diesel engines for 30-plus years and depending on the brand, model and year of those diesel generators and taking into account how long they sit static next to the most corrosive environment on the planet, I would be more apt to suspect a liner leak with coolant in the oil. A quick leak down test of the coolant system would determine this fact.

I cannot believe how stupid they think the general public is to believe that the coolant would just sit there in the governor housing. If the engine was run, it would turn the oil to white mousse immediately.

I’m sure they are running these engines once a month to keep them up to specs, right? Or do they just let those generators sit there next to the Pacific Ocean, hoping they will start, warm up and run effectively when the sheet hits the fan?

Unbelievable ineptness on the part of these idiots and the clowns at the Nobody Really Cares government agency.

— Greaseydog / Nov. 9

Voice of Our Commentators

Here is another roundup of some of the most thought-provoking reader comments of the week. Comments are selected by our editors and subject to editing for grammar, spelling, clarity and length.

Click on each topic’s headline to see the article in question.

A 10th Term for Mayor Pulido

I do not understand the logic of Santa Ana voters. They vote to limit terms but at the same time elect a mayor that has been ruling for longer than they wish to limit terms of office.

— Dweezle / Nov.7

All [Mayor Miguel] Pulido needs is one more election to have his 30 years in for the pension.

Does anyone know what his pension is going to be? My guess is $162,000 for life. And all of it is unfunded.

Anyway, term limits will not hold. In two years the voters will have forgotten, and the soon-to-be termed-out council will take another bite at that apple.

— Robincook / Nov. 8

Norby, Quirk-Silva and the Supermajority

Man, oh, man, I bet [Assemblyman] Chris Norby’s campaign manager is about as popular with the other staff members today as an abortionist at a pro-life rally.

I suspect no one is answering the phones today at Norby’s office. All are looking for a job coach, including Norby. What a downer for the holiday season.

How could an incumbent possibly lose to someone as daft as Quirk-Silva? Hilarious!

— Beelzebub / Nov. 8

Time for a Munger Tax.

Tax at 100% any campaign contribution over $10,000 to any campaign or political action committee that expressly supports or opposes any state or local candidate or proposition.

— Moonunit / Nov. 8

OK, now that both houses [of the California Legislature] have a supermajority, can we finally push for an oil extraction tax like every other red state is using to manage its expenses?

The oil companies with their lip service and claims of paying a fair amount of revenue to the state, with their pre-Proposition 13 property rates and their sales taxes, don’t compare to the $3 billion that they should be paying.

Seriously, this is the only way to build a recovery, because the help from D.C. will be slow and problematic.

— Joe Democrat / Nov. 7

Healing Costa Mesa

Good suggestion by Nick Berardino [general manager of the Orange County Employees Association] to set aside ideological differences and for the City Council to stop trying to destroy the employees and their union. The council needs to get to working on issues which directly impact the citizens of the community.

That said, in my experience with egomaniacs who lust for more power, that will not happen. Righeimer and his two stooges will continue their quest for the holy grail (breaking the union), and the war zone will continue. Too bad the citizens of the city weren’t smart enough to get themselves a new council majority and put the turmoil to rest.

— Ltpar1 / Nov. 7

Privatizing Airport Firefighters

It will be very interesting if the ownership of one of the county’s ambulance services was to respond to the request for qualifications. The real danger to the fire departments is that organization.

— El Guapo / Nov. 3

CalOptima’s Brain Drain

Dr. [Gertrude] Carter [chief medical officer], left to go to LA. That alone speaks volumes about the lengths talented people will go to in order to get away from Janet Nguyen and her personal crusade to destroy CalOptima.

The new kid on the block [new CEO Michael Schrader] has his work cut out for him, unless she hand-picked him herself.

— Accidental Bureaucrat / Nov. 3