top of page
  • Cynthia McDonald

🧨🧨🧨IMPORTANT Costa Mesa City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 4 at 6:00 p.m. 🧨🧨🧨 DON'T LET THEM TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON OMW 🧨🧨🧨

Next Tuesday’s Costa Mesa City Council meeting starts at 6:00 p.m.  You can attend in person, or by computer (Zoom), or phone.  Instructions are in the agenda found here and is also attached: There are no Closed Session items and no presentations.  The Consent Calendar is fairly routine (although the Falck Ambulance contract may garner a deeper dive).

There are three public hearings:

  1. BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT AREA (BIA) REAUTHORIZATION AND LEVY OF THE ANNUAL ASSESSMENT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2024- 2025:  Since November 2010, the City has levied a three percent (3%) special assessment on the eleven (11) participating hotels in the BIA based on the sale of overnight guestroom stays in the partner hotels (2,375 total available rooms).  The City intends to continue to levy the 3% special assessment, (1%) of which goes to the City for partial reimbursement for its collection and administrative costs, and the remainder goes to promoting tourism.


  1. HERE’S THE 🔥HOT 🔥 ITEM!  FIRST READING OF ORDINANCES APPROVING DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT, REZONE TO 80 DU/AC, SPECIFIC PLAN CHANGES, AND CHANGES TO THE CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL FOR ONE METRO WEST PROJECT.  This was previously heard by the Planning Commission. Besides asking to change the timing of payments of certain entitlement fees (including what amounts to a sweetheart loan by the City to Rose Equities), the applicant wants to change the effective date of its entitlements and rid itself of the requirement under Measure Y to put this project to a vote of the people. That requirement was one of the original Conditions of Approval for the project and the applicant agreed to it. Nowhere in Measure K (hastily written and barely passed by the voters in late 2022) was it stated that Measure K would be retroactive and applied to a previously approved project. In fact, it states the opposite: “This ordinance shall take effect according to law ten days after certification of the election at which it is adopted.” The City must fulfill its role as the representative of the nearly 70% of the electorate who voted for Measure Y and follow its own ordinance by bringing this project to a vote of the people.  PLEASE EITHER COME TO THE CITY COUNCIL MEETING TO SPEAK ON THIS ITEM OR SEND AN EMAIL TO THE CITY COUNCIL ( ).  WE NEED YOUR VOICE!!  Please note this hearing is not about the merits or detriments of the project, as the City Council voted to approve the project in July 2021.  THE HEARING CONCERNS YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE ON THIS PROJECT.


  1. OPERATING AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BUDGET.  This is the first look (and perhaps the last) at the entire budget.  The proposal is to budget for $240.1 million in expenditures, an increase of $6.1 million, or 3% compared to the Fiscal Year 2023-24 Adopted Budget of $234 million. According to the Agenda Report, “[t]he guiding principles that inspired the recommendations for the FY 2024-25 Proposed Budget were created when the City Council conducted a Strategic Planning workshop identifying key priorities, as well as a new Mission Statement for Costa Mesa, as follows: “The City of Costa Mesa serves our residents, businesses, and visitors by promoting a safe, inclusive, and vibrant community.”  That is the first we have heard of anything coming out of their Strategic Planning retreat back on April 19.  

There is only one New Business Item:

CONTRACT WITH THE COSTA MESA FIRE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (CMFMA).  In 2020, the City negotiated a 5% furlough of salaries.  The City and CMFMA has agreed to the following changes to their contract:

  • Term of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Upon City Council adoption, the term of the MOU will be from July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2027

  • Salaries and Wages:

  • Effective July 2024, a 5% increase;

  • Effective July 2025, an additional 3.75% increase; and

  • Effective July 2026, an additional 3.75% increase

  • Cost Sharing and Retirement Contributions:  Effective July 2024 an increase of 1.25% of employee cost sharing for CalPERS “Classic” Tier 1 and Tier 2 (for a total employee contribution of 17%), which may require future City Council approval to amend the City’s current cost sharing agreement with CalPERS.

  • Recruitment and Retention Pay:

  • Effective July 2024, 7.5% for 20 years of sworn service

  • Effective July 2025, 5% for 15 years of sworn service

  • Effective January 2026, 2.5% for 10 years of sworn service

  • Education Pay/Certification Pay:

  • Addition of Education Pay of 2.5%

  • Include additional certifications as part of the Certification program with no increase to the current maximum.

What does this look like in dollars and cents?  For the period through July 1, 2024:

And for the period ending July 1, 2025:

And for the period ending July 1, 2026:

The City has contracted with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) to provide retirement benefits to eligible City employees.  Employees will contribute towards the employee and employer contribution as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Side Letter with the Costa Mesa Firefighters Association.  There will be no Employer Paid Member Contribution (EPMC).

Yes, our police and fire protection cost us (pay close attention to the Budget, which precedes this on the Agenda), but thinking back to the Righeimer days when the forces were reduced, I would rather pay for the assurance that when I call for help, help will arrive.

I look forward to seeing or hearing from you on Tuesday, June 4, at 6:00 p.m. Remember, you get three minutes of public comment on anything not on the Agenda at the beginning of the meeting, and three minutes on any of the agendized items. Attend in person (77 Fair Drive) or by Zoom (see agenda).

2 views0 comments


bottom of page