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Costa Mesa’s Righeimer and Mensinger Get A Reality Check on Pensions

Councilman Jim Righeimer - Costa Mesa, Photo: Chris Prevatt

COSTA MESA — At last night’s special budget study session Councilmembers and the public learned that the outsourcing scam that Councilmen Jim Righeimer,  Stephen Mensinger, Gary Monahan, and Eric Bever have been promoting with bulldozer accuracy would cost the city more than it could save. What the Outsourcing Bozo’s forgot to add to their calculation was that if they drop hundreds of employees out of the pension system, they will have to pay off the unfunded liabilities over a ten year period. The Register reports that the cost of that maneuver for the City could be as much as $31.5 million a year for 10 years.

Not for nothing but I think this is what Councilwoman Wendy Leece might have been talking about when she told you that you were rushing things forward without thinking them through.

One thing that needs to be added to the discussion here is that the pension contribution percentages that Righeimer had been throwing around as accurate were in fact grossly overstated, in some cases by more than 50%. Since I was unable to make it to last nights meeting in person, I spent some time trying to drill down the projections made in February by city staff  (with Righeimer’s obvious manipulation) and the projections that came out on Monday from CalPERS. The differences are striking. The costs for the first two years were accurate so I am only comparing in the graphs below the costs for fiscal years 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16.


So in addition to the information learned at last nights meeting, which we will report in more detail later, the residents of Costa Mesa can be sure of one thing. Jim Righeimer, Stephen Mensinger, Eric Bever, and Gary Monahan hyped up their numbers embarrassingly high in February when they decided they wanted to layoff virtually all staff other than police and contract out the jobs. They failed to investigate the costs of their proposal and rushed to judgment without the most basic of information. In short, they had a political mission to pursue, and they weren’t willing to consider any facts along the way.


  1. Wilma Wilma April 27, 2011

    1. Liberal website resorts to name calling.. no surprise there. Very classy my friend.

    2. You are basing your figures on old calculations. Not smart. Want to report news? You need to attend the event and listen to whats being discussed, not make it up as you go along.

    • Chris Prevatt Chris Prevatt Post author | April 27, 2011


      You are indeed correct, I am using the percentages presented by Righeimer in February as the reason why outsourcing was the only solution and that layoff notices had to be issued immediately to avoid impending doom. Since they were issued in February, and it is now the end of April, I guess that they could be called old.

      I used those numbers because I was comparing the projections made in February to those from CalPERS released this week. I’m not really sure what other numbers you think I should have used.

      The fact of the matter is that the numbers used in February were pulled out of thin air for a political purpose. That being to fabricate an immediate crisis to justify a political attack on public employees and their unions.

      Sorry, though you are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to you own set of facts.

      Fact: Righeimer and his band of clowns lied.

      I am sorry you were offended by my calling these guys Bozo’s. Would you prefer I just use the term liars’s? Or is that name calling too?

  2. Melissa Melissa April 27, 2011

    The truth always comes out!

  3. keep da peace keep da peace April 27, 2011

    Goshh, Wilma. Those were the figures Monahan was spewing at his summit at Skosh Monahans. You mean to say they are not correct? Seriously, I didn’t attend but thse figures are the ones presented and they are currently the ones going around. What other figures did you see besides the writing on the wall? I will agree that the writer should noy call Monahan a bozo. There are much more descriptive terms being bandied about for hizzonner.

  4. John John April 27, 2011

    These are the facts people! OCERS is so well funded that if zero County employees made no contribution and the County made zero contributions it could still pay full payouts with COLA’S for the next 20 years for current retirees and future retirees as it has a 7.5 billion dollar reserve. The employees pay 100 percent of their contribution the 2.7. The 1.62 is funded by the employee and the County as by state law the County has to provide a pension. The 1.62 contribution made by the County is very little. Once you are on OCERS the County is out of the picture. The so called unfunded liability is they have to fund right now for 100 percent of employees retiring. Only 10 percent make a 30 year career. It’s like buying a house and you have enough money in the bank to pay it off now. THERE IS NO UNFUNDED LIABILITY! The county saves zero by taking 2.7 percent. This is just a scare tactic and people that have their facts wrong eat it up. Plus it has a 8.5 billion dollar surplus. We do need to cut the managements perks now!

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