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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Council meeting 4 Sep no more exciting than TV 

If I had attended Tuesday night’s Council meeting for its entertainment value I’d have been disappointed. 

However, I attended hoping to watch responsible adults conduct Costa Mesa’s business, and was pleasantly surprised! I saw cooperation, compromise and adult behavior – on the dais, anyway. And the silly and embarrassing effluence that often fills the three-minute citizens’ comments was markedly reduced. Finally, a couple of uniforms appeared in the audience, but I saw no bicep flexing, chest inflating or scowling from the back of the room. And, no one, uniformed or not, blocked the aisles and dared me to enter. Refreshing.

Adults showing statesmanship

Council Member Leese disagreed with the scope of COIN (she wanted a larger scope). Members Righeimer and Mensinger expressed a willingness to work out a compromise on a transparency policy with Leese that covered other aspects of contracting beyond negotiations with employee unions. Leese then supported COIN with her vote. Compromise and statesmanship tonight. Also, an agreement with the FD union was announced and accepted, apparently with positives for both sides -- and the agreement wasn't even necessary for another two years. Kudos to the negotiators, Council members, and especially the FD union! 

Info about Costa Mesa

A touching presentation by a citizen who advocated warning signs about coyotes in the area was notable for excellent graphics and a clear and a concise request. In contrast, the Homeless Task Force presentation seemed to last forever, with more and more information piled on; perhaps the concept of “less is more” needs to be discussed when they plan their next presentation. However, it is amazing and encouraging that they have accomplished so much in the last six months. The Homeless Task Force identified a citizen-volunteer who single-handedly got one homeless person on a plane back to the care of his family.

The naysayers behaved . . .a little better

I may not have paid strict enough attention, but I heard no one called a name, and the majority of the speakers expressed support for Righeimer in the brouhaha about the false DUI report, and outrage about the effrontery of whoever was paying the PI/false reporter. The usual speakers from CM4RG spoke their usual “nays,” to about everything, and continued to allude to perfidious motivations among the Council Members. It’s surprising that I could see this as a restrained commentary, but after some of the other meetings, well . . .

Comparing my hangnail to your appendectomy

However, we also had a chance to consider a good “apples to oranges” argument from a speaker. She told Righeimer she appreciated and was sympathetic to the pain to his family from the ill-advised DUI report. However, she said, he should remember the suffering caused when the Council “ratted out” the marijuana dispensaries in Costa Mesa to the feds and they were closed, sometimes with the federal officers “holding families at gunpoint,” and leaving the marijuana users at the mercy of street sellers.

Somehow it’s hard for me to compare a councilman who is obeying the law being assaulted by a ruffian using (probably not) legal, and certainly unethical, conduct, and folks who are breaking federal law being thwarted by federal law officers. If the “dispensaries” or head shops, had occupants who act like the chronic naysayers group in Council meetings, I think they were lucky to not end up in federal lockups after mandatory visits to the local ER -- FBI officers expect compliance, if not manners.

Adults acting much like adults -- and Council members

The non-professional taxonomists, who categorize the Council members' beliefs and behaviors purely through speculation, and the non-professional psychologists who identify Council members' motivations, feelings, and thoughts without training or test-data, delivered minimal nonsense this meeting. 

All in all, a more adult and civil meeting than usual. The Councilmembers’ statesmanship was noteworthy, under the effective leadership of the Mayor Pro Tem. Good job Council, and thanks to the opposing-everything group for a welcome improvement.

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