Best of City Council

Highlights from January 19, 2016, Council Meeting

Hello Costa Mesans for Responsible Government,

Here’s another report from a CM4RG member who watched the last “City Council Show”

BITS AND PIECES

Scorecard:
Mensinger’s ideology 1
Costa Mesa residents 0
The hot issue was Hospital Transport and yes, there were fireworks at the end.

Hospital Transport
If you thought those new City Fire Dept. ambulances that we all paid $1.6 million for would transport patients to hospitals, you would be wrong. The council had a chance to increase overall medical service to residents while also increasing City revenue. Instead, the Mensinger-led majority voted against better care and additional revenue for the city, and for keeping a private ambulance company that is also a campaign donor.

After a thorough analysis over two years in the making, Chief Stefano and CEO Tom Hatch recommended a Public/Private partnership for hospital transport. The recommendation was for City ambulances to transport seriously ill or injured patients, and less critical patients transported by a private ambulance company. The recommended change gave Costa Mesa an estimated $2 – $2.5 million in new revenue that now goes to CARE, a for-profit, foreign-owned, private ambulance company. Currently, CARE transports all patients while the Fire Department only transports City paramedics to the scene, then follows CARE just to give our paramedics taxi service back to the station. The 3-2 vote left that inefficient plan in place.

In May 2013, Righeimer, Mensinger, and Monahan all voted to spend $1.6 million to purchase new state-of-the-art ambulances equipped for transport. Why did they vote for the Fire Dept. to spend time and money to conduct a transport analysis? Why did the 2013 motion include direction to start Fire Department transport when the Care ambulance contract expired in 2014? Why did they reverse their decision on January 19, 2015? Did they intend all the while to keep the status quo? This is a complete waste of Fire Dept. resources, time, and taxpayer money. Every Costa Mesa resident should be outraged!

Speed Humps
After much discussion and comments by local residents, the Council voted to approve speed humps on St. Clair Street in the Mesa Del Mar section of the city.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan
In April of 2015, the Council approved establishment of a Bikeway and Walkability Committee. The committee Chair and Vice Chair presented a status report to the Council. The report urged the Council to increase its promotion of Active Transportation through increased community outreach and provided specific Goals and Objectives for the City to improve and expand its’s current network of bicycle/pedestrian routes.

The Council majority seemed concerned that maybe the Committee was pressing for too much change too soon. Hopefully, this is just a case of Council members needing to be informed about the current state of Active Transportation and progress other cities are making.

-my view from the cheap seats.

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