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A coffee run with Costa Mesa councilmen — in Newport Beach

Councilmen Jim Righeimer and Stephen Mensinger insist their effort to outsource jobs and slash the city budget is about dollars and cents and not ideology.

June 12, 2011|Steve Lopez

Righeimer and Mensinger said that Leece, a schoolteacher, just doesn't have a head for business. Leece, who calls herself a "very conservative Republican," supports some outsourcing and pension adjustments but thinks her colleagues are moving recklessly fast and accomplishing very little.

Did Righeimer and company really have to rush out those layoff threats before producing examples of how outsourcing to for-profit companies has saved money elsewhere? Would the city have the same level of control over contractors and would the quality of the work be as high?

If so, Frick and Frack, let's hear it. If not, quit demonizing public employees, hammer out smarter contracts in the future, and use your so-called business acumen to diversify Costa Mesa's economy so it doesn't rise and fall on how many Fendi bags and Ferragamo loafers are sold at South Coast Plaza.

I'll continue to make myself available as an outside consultant, but please remember that good help is not cheap.

steve.lopez@latimes.com

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