The CotoBuzz Journal

Community Journalism, Newsletters and  Blogs Covering South Orange County, CA

The CotoBuzz Journal is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and NAHJ


August  2007 Issue

We do not make jokes, we simply watch the LA Times, the Orange County Register and the Coto de Caza Board of directors and report the facts!


The New Seven, err... Eight Wonders of the World

CZ's  definition for leadership is that whenever questions are raised, the canned response is “Remember the Reserves”!  Now CZ Spin Machine has to be the Eight Wonder of the World!

August 6, 2007

The results of the NOWC’s New Seven Wonders of the World, a contemporary attempt to create an alternative to historical lists of the Seven Wonders of the World, through a worldwide popularity poll organized by the private, non-profit New Open World Corporation were announced on July 7, 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal, in the Estádio da Luz, SL Benfica's.

In no particular order are: The Great Wall of China, Petra, Chichén Itzá , the Statue of Christ Redeemer, the Colosseum,  Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal. An obvious omission was the Great CZ Spin Machine.

Given Mezger’s self-described superior cognitive and leadership skills, and listening to his suggestion that it is all about leadership:  If you pushed for a dues increase to fix Reserves, you obviously weren’t persuasive, and thus not effective.  Being right isn’t enough.  You have to lead”, we retrieved a list of issues prepared by former member of the CZ Master Association board of directors,  and previously discussed in the Coto Discussion Forum, when the Varo/Mezger boards had  5-0 vote advantage:

Conclusion:  Mezger’s definition for leadership is that whenever questions are raised about these issues, the canned response is “Remember the Reserves”!  Now that is a New Wonder of the World!

Varo/Mezger CZ Master Association Board Issues with 5-0 vote advantage- as advanced by former CZ Master Association Board Member.

  1. Election manipulation to deny a candidate a board seat when Larkin resigned just one week after the last election.  Varo/Mezger knew very well that Larkin had relocated.  They did this to manipulate an appointment rather than an elected board member.
  2. The Oakview/Oakknoll Gate issue.  The Varo/Mezger CZ Board is ignoring a legal agreement that was a condition of development breaching our security and exposing our Members to unnecessary liability.
  3. Firing the CHP with nothing to replace them when the speeding problem was well documented.   The end result was two tragic deaths on our streets during the time period we had no pro-active traffic patrols in Coto.
  4. Subsidizing various outside groups with CZ dues money.
  5. Selling Mezger’s wife’s services at our expense at our gates.
  6. Varo endorsing a political candidate as President of CZ.
  7. Hiding the true cost to maintain the Sports Park .
  8. Hiring an Executive Director placing CZ in the employment practice litigation chain which includes the reporting relationship to the board.
  9. Failing to properly use competitive processes to buy goods and services.
  10. Using the Association attorney in an attempt to silence critics.
  11. Lying about bringing Sheriff’s services into Coto which never were going to happen.
  12. All the games with Committees.
  13. The Welcome Home Center Assessment fiasco when there never was a deal.  
  14. The “Free Trees” that actually cost $45,000.
  15. The recent silly study at our expense to determine that we pay taxes. 
  16. Using high priced Consultants instead of lower priced staff i.e. a Landscaping Supervisor that has always been assigned to us by the property manager until Varo/Mezger.
  17. Involvement with CotoCAN including having a Keystone employee act as Activities Coordinator at our expense exposing CZ to liability.
  18. Involving CZ in a serious lawsuit specific to one of the accidents on our streets. 

Don’t forget that Mezger failed to disclose that he was moving to The Estates during Candidates Night in May when he very well knew that his move was just a month away.  Is failing to disclose critical information during an election the same as lying?  I would think so.  If nothing else, it is very Clintonesque.  And, even if he is right that since he remains a CZ owner that he has every right to serve on the Board, why didn’t he disclose his pending move and allow Delegates to decide if there was the conflict of interest that is obvious.  Mezger did not disclose this material information because he knew it would have cost him the election.  I would say the man is pretty sleazy when it comes to that old ethical line in the sand.  Isn’t it funny how Mezger always seems to end up on the wrong side of the ethical line?   Joe Morabito


P.S.  Mezger knew that Sean Larkin had relocated in 2006 and withheld that information too to deny a candidate a Board seat.  Gosh, it appears we have a pattern of lying and/or failing to disclose; call it what you like.  I call it sleazy.  Mezger calls it business as usual. 




CZ Master Association Alleged Corruption and Malfeasance
Responding to a Coto Discussion Forum, Mr. Morabito writes:Hello All: Since Dave asked me to be specific concerning Varo/Mezger corruption and malfeasance, I thought I would provide a list as follows:


How many times must the CZ safety committee be formed before it can be called an association committee?
A 2006 CZ newsletter proudly announces that the ?CZ Master Association Champions Public Safety Committee?, During 2006 general CZ board meetings, the board appoints a chairman and various public safety committee members.A 2007 CZ stupid lawyer letter...


From Safety Committee to Committee to Turn Coto de Caza Into a City - Overview
This brief starts with the firing of a volunteer (early 2006) Public Safety Chairperson for her refusal to give up her free speech rights and promote Coto for city, before public safety.The president of the CZ Master Association board promises to fire...


Call for Coto de Caza Board Candidates - Any One But Varo/Mezger
Traditionally, the Coto de Caza elections are shrouded in secrecy, but has been ratcheted a few notches after Varo/Mezger showed up on the scene circa 2003. To add salt to the wound, there were a good number of irregularities during the 2006 elections,...

The CotoBuzz Journal, Community Journalism - It is clear that Varo, Mezger and Hill very well knew that Sean Larkin was going to ... The L-Factor (Larkin incident) not withstanding, there were major

How long does it take to correct a typographical error? It depends if you use a PC, a MAC, or work for the CZ Association.
For the last two years, we have alerted Keystone about irregularities with the district delegate information the property manager has distributed to CZ Master Association residents. For the most part, we have been ignored.


2007 Coto de Caza Elections, Irregularities Off and Running!
Elections have not taken place yet, but irregularities have. Consider the title for this Request for Candidates sent by Keystone Pacific, dated February 1, 2007 (click here) , Then compare to list of CZ districts below. What is wrong with this picture...

Honesty in Coto de Caza Supplier Management
The Coto de Caza board of directors is fortunate to count in its members self-described supplier management experts. In fact, the Orange County Register has quoted one of them as ?staking his reputation on honesty? ? so the question is:


Reports of the CotoBlogzz?s Demise Highly Exaggerated
In discussions in the Coto Discussion Forum, shortly after the 2007-2008 CZ Master Association board of directors? election results were announced, re-elected incumbent Jerry Mezger characterizes elections results as a victory: ?This vote also means...


LA Officials No Conflict of InterestXPrivate security bids? Property Management company bids? What bids?
A July 28, 2007 LA Times article by Ted Rohrlich reports that Victor Taracena, ?a high-level manager for the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles directed nearly $800,000 in contracts to his brothers and three politically connected firms without...


Board accountability is board accountability regardless of location
Board accountability in Coto de Caza is no different than accountability in Laguna Woods Village:In part, due to the CotoBuzz coverage of the Laguna Woods questionable expenses, the OCR has assigned experienced reporters to the case - For example, refer...


Lack of Civil Liberties ? Cause and Effect
For years we have argued that civil liberties afforded Coto residents by the US Constitution do not have to stop at the gates. Our critics usually counter with General Motors analogies, as if 1) GM was the best managed company in the world, or as if 2)...


The CotoBuzz Journal - July 2007 - CZ Master Association Transparency or Lack Thereof
CZ Master Association Transparency - Mr. ZippermanMr. Zipperman: As the new President of CZ, you really need to break with the Varo/Mezger past and culture of corruption if more transparency is really a goal you want to advance. Executive Session issues...


The Varo anti-CHP Sentiment continues: CHP GO HOME, KEEP OUT OF OUR DUIs!
The Coto de Caza gates, including the automated ones are as reliable as the public utilities in the outskirts of Baghdad, yet the association continues paying for services barely-rendered, no questions asked.


Forensic Audit Request: Conflict Of Interest
Despite Milt Johns?, General Manager of Professional Community Management (PCM) emphatic defense of his business practices, the Laguna Woods Village oversight committee continues to call for Johns? removal, as well as a call for a forensic financial...

1Q2007 Coto de Caza Crime and Vandalism Report
A comparison between the 1Q2006 and 1Q2007 Crime and Vandalism reports shows that a favorite Coto de Caza crime is fraud, that the Peter Pan Syndrome continues to be alive and well (crime is evenly distributed between kids and adults) and a criminal...

CHP in Coto - Big Mouth CZ Bob- By Joseph Morabito, former member CZ Master Association Board of Directors
Hello All: I have heard that CHP officers are not volunteering to work in Coto even for the time and a half pay they would earn. So, we are not even getting the 40 hours a week that was the original deal under Glisson/Rose. It would seem that Bob...

CHP Patrol Hours Down, DUI-related Accidents Up: Coto de Caza Traffic Accident Trends - 1Q2007 - another Case of Cause-Effect
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) reports a total of 6 collision for the first quarter in 2007, one injury and 5 property damage only traffic collisions, for the un-incorporated area of Coto de Caza. Two of the collisions were DUI related.
















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