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Costa Mesa council discussion on revoking COIN ordinance is taken off Tuesday meeting agenda

A Costa Mesa City Council discussion about revoking the local COIN ordinance has been pulled from the agenda for the council’s meeting Tuesday night.

The council had been scheduled to talk about the possibility of eliminating the Civic Openness in Negotiations ordinance and replacing it with a new set of policies. But the item was struck in a revised agenda released Tuesday morning.

It’s not yet known when the item will return for the council’s consideration.


COIN, adopted in 2012, places additional transparency requirements on the city’s negotiations with public employee associations.

Under the ordinance, proposals and offers from both the city and an employee union must be posted online during contract negotiations. COIN also requires independent financial analysis of contract proposals and designation of an independent negotiator to bargain on the city’s behalf.

Council members also must disclose when they communicate with representatives of employee associations.

Former Mayor Steve Mensinger, who authored COIN, criticized its possible repeal, saying the ordinance exposes labor negotiations to additional public scrutiny.


Mayor Katrina Foley said last week that while she supports the ordinance’s openness goals, she thinks the city should look at eliminating its “burdensome aspects.”

Because the city has a COIN ordinance, for instance, it is subject to a 2015 law called the Civic Reporting Openness in Negotiations Efficiency Act, also known as CRONEY.

That law essentially requires city contracts worth at least $250,000 to have an independent auditor review and report on their costs. The city also would be required to release detailed information about negotiations pertaining to such contracts.

“It creates a huge layer of additional bureaucracy for our city to have to deal with, and I don’t believe it creates any additional transparency,” Foley said Friday. “We want to maintain transparency, good governance, fiscal accountability, but eliminate the unnecessary bureaucratic processes that are a burden.”

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