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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Meet the Mayor Thursday Night (updated)

The first Meet the Mayor event filled the backroom at Pitfire Artisan Pizza, with 20-30 folks enjoying the pizza and drinks provided. The important part of Meet the Mayor was the chance to ask questions, of course.  Righeimer passed out T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats to those who asked questions. Even the confrontational questioners received gifts.

Gifts got questions flowing

The gift idea turned out to be inspired. Citizens who seemed to feel shy about speaking out were more able to speak up while the crowd was competing for a chance to ask questions. In any case, questions provoked more questions and a broad range of subjects was covered. These will be covered by the reporter who attended, I’m sure. I’ll add a link to the article when it appears. See: Pilot Article

This blog will address some observations about the meeting.

Knows his stuff

First of all, we were amazed at the breadth of knowledge – without referring to notes – displayed by the Mayor. He covered subjects like funding for projects, water drainage requirements, and code enforcement in detail and made the subjects seem easy to understand.

(Ten minutes reviewing the City’s ordinances will convince anyone that collecting and organizing information from them to reach a conclusion is a major undertaking.  Surveying the code is like studying calculus – persistence and a willingness to look at the matter from different perspectives are essential for both.)

Next, his explanations of infrastructure maintenance projects, their priorities, and the detailed requirements that had to be met were also clear. Mayor Righeimer certainly knows exactly what is going on in Costa Mesa.

60 anniversary logoA little advertising thrown in             

He pitched the 60th Anniversary celebration kick off in June, and told the crowd what a great Council was working for them. “Five Council Members working very hard, and (we’re) working together to (get business done) and to make Costa Mesa even better.”

Mayor Pro Tem Mensinger helped hand out the gifts and extended his greetings to all. We noticed him helping an older visitor get her drink; very gentle and agile for such a large man in that confined space.

Almost on time

Some of the visitors arrived little late and asked questions that had already been answered; the Mayor handled them courteously and respectfully.

“I had to go around the block and then I had to park next door, sorry I’m late,” was met with “That’s fine, that’s fine, I’m glad you’re here.”

Few nay-sayers

We didn't notice many of the “chronically-opposed to everything” group there to have their questions (or accusations) answered “up close and personal.”  It’s too bad they weren't there. 

(The two we noticed were uncharacteristically courteous -- not polite, just uncharacteristically courteous. They were happy to get free shirts; one even sarcastically demanded, "what am I going to do with this, wash my car" to get a smaller size.)

The nay-sayers' characterization of Righeimer as rude and pushy was overwhelmed by a gracious, humble, and very well informed Mayor. Maybe they stayed home because they were afraid that they would see a different Righeimer. Or, maybe they just don’t like pizza. 

Great pizza, successful Meet and Greet 

The pizza, by the way, was outstandingPitfire Artisan Pizza is definitely on our list for a dinner visit, so the “Green Eggs and Ham” pizza can be more fully explored.

Pizza, questions, and especially answers exceeded our expectations. A great beginning for what should be an informative series of meetings.

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