Pacifica Institute hosted the City of Costa Mesa Mayor Jim Reigheimer on its talk series on October 10, 2013 at the Irvine branch. He was elected to the Costa Mesa City Council in 2010, and currently serves as mayor. Reigheimer serves on the advisory board of the Costa Mesa Pop Warner and Cheer programs, and has served on the board of Youth Employment Services (YES) organization, which is a 40-year-old organization that helps the local youth find jobs in their communities. He also serves on the Orange County Airport Land-Use Commission, and is a founding member of both the Orange County Education Alliance and the Family Action Committee.
To start off the event, Pacifica Institutes’ CEO Tezcan Inanlar introduced Mayor Jim Reigheimer. He began his speech by expressing his pleasure of having the Anatolian Cultures and Food Festival in Costa Mesa. He talked about how the local city governments affect the citizens and children with the current shut down.
He mentioned the ease of working with all the public employee groups, that they are all fine and everything is perfect, yet the truth is that the pension plan is absolutely unsustainable. However, now in Costa Mesa, there is a quarter of a billion dollars worth of unfunded pension liability that comes out to 468,000 dollars per employee. He also criticized the government early retirement policy. Reigheimer also referred to the importance of the bankruptcy problem and added that no city can be immune to this problem, not even in Newport Beach or Irvine, and that this monster eats money that nobody can believe. He remarked that during campaigns, the local employee and association unions in the city spend more money than all the citizens in the city combined. He also mentioned that the city is looking for sustainable solutions for homeless people and a way to maintain transitional and permanent housing with supportive services to homeless men, women and children living in Orange County.
The luncheon came to an end with a Q&A session.