Name: Jim Righeimer
How long have you lived in Costa Mesa? Four Years
Occupation: business owner
Education: bachelor's degree in management from Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management
Previously elected or appointed positions: Costa Mesa Planning Commission chairman
Community organizations you belong to: Costa Mesa Pop Warner Football Advisory Board, Mercy House board member
What do you think are the biggest issues facing Costa Mesa right now?
With the way the world has changed over the past few years the city’s budget is the biggest issue facing Costa Mesa. We must sit down, go through our finances, and make some tough decisions if we are to get our city out of the red. Costa Mesa does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem
The second biggest issue I believe that we face is fixing our city’s infrastructure. Because we have been dipping into our reserves to balance the budget, we have not been able to dedicate the proper resources to our streets, parks and schools.
What is one decision in the last year that the City Council got right and why would you have supported it?
I believe the City Council was correct in their voting to get Measure C on the ballot. I strongly supported Measure C which ensured through a vote of the people that the Orange County Fairground zoning would be locked in and the land would not be sub-divided and sold off as condominiums or strip malls.
What is one decision in the last year the City Council got wrong, or partially wrong, and why would you have voted differently?
I would not have passed the budget under its current agreement. This year Costa Mesa has to take out of reserves to balance the budget, which means that money which should be set aside for our schools, roads and parks, is no longer available. Our current rate of spending is not sustainable; we must sit down to review all city expenditures and total employee compensation including pensions.