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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Long, educational meeting with a look back

The Council meeting last night was longer than expected, but it had several positive results, and it generated blogger-angst unrelated to Council issues. Of course, since the usual culprits were involved, it generated a fair amount of babble unrelated to the issues, as well. We’ll cover the good example of government at work in the next blog.

The gist of the meeting is on the City’s website and is briefly covered in the local papers. It can be seen in its long-suffering glory on the City’s site when the video is uploaded.

Presentations and maybe blather 

The presentations to the founder of Mesa Verde, and especially to the CPR recipient and providers are worth watching. At the end is an appeal by the Director of the Church's Consortium, Becks Heyhoe, which was concise, tightly organized, and effective – once again. We’re starting to expect solid presentations from her. (Perhaps she could teach a class to the naysayers so they’d . . .)

One Council Member’s discourses may or may not be related to the issues; we’re not always sure. They’re issued shotgun-style and hard to follow for meaning. For example, in a single tirade we heard concerns about: trash on the freeways; Bark Park; Veterans’ Hall; a Historical Society presentation; massage parlors; the 60th Anniversary Celebration; and Anchor Trailer Park. Our imperfect note-taking may have missed a few concerns in the discourse.

Attaboy Skosh 

The problem of Styrofoam in our environment was addressed by a speaker who complimented Council Member Monahan for the “green” approach in his restaurant/lounge Skosh Monahan’s.

Too sophisticated for that term 

Blogger Geoff West objected to the Pro Tem’s “Costa Mayberry Walking Club” being discussed because “many Costa Mesa residents find it extremely offensive” to identify the City with “a hick town.” That’s a pretty big stretch, since the comparisons we've heard have to do with walking the streets of Costa Mesa, meeting folks, and resolving problems amenable to prompt government intervention.

Mr. West accuses Mensinger of " being clueless" and reliving "frat days." Perhaps. Or, maybe Mr. West misses the point of the TV Classic that "harked back to the old days when things were simple and problems got solved." That's escape TV in a capsule; it wasn't meant to demean Mayberry or the sheriff and his sidekick (who was portrayed as slow but well-meaning -- like some of the show's critics). 

Perhaps those who hate Mensinger and Righeimer find Costa Mayberry “extremely offensive.” Probably so, they find everything the two do offensive. They've expressed outrage about Meet the Mayor, visits and coffee with Lions Park neighbors and researching the law and issues before Council meetings. However, most folks seem mildly amused by or moderately favorable to the Costa Mayberry term.

Which reminds me. . .

West’s hit on Mensinger invites a look to the past and a perspective that might help him answer a question he poses in a previous post.  He notes that Will Swaim “published The Republic of Costa Mesa - which aimed directly at things I wrote about Costa Mesa.  I was always curious why he authored that thing, since he doesn't live in Costa Mesa and had no skin in the game.” 

In “An Open Letter to Geoff WestOpen Letter Swaim applied professional journalism to rebut unsubstantiated accusations of failure and perfidy that West made. It opens;

Our story begins with a June 11 . . . post in which you claim that Mensinger and . . . Jim Righeimer are going to destroy the city of Costa Mesa (with) . . . the “skills that they used to ride two divisions of SunCal Companies into the ground.”

The accusations were shown to be clearly untrue and likely to constitute libel even though the two men accused were public figures.

Answers to his own question 

In his more recent blog West finds his own answer when he notes that Swaim, in a radio interview, referred to Righeimer as “buddy.” Perhaps Swaim considered Righeimer a friend when West attacked him.
What’s known to most of us, while ignored by West, is that the values of loyalty and friendship aren't negotiable; they’re there or they aren't.

Friends defend and counter the attacks of those who (especially unfairly) attack their friend. They might be outraged by the dishonesty and unfairness used to pillory their friend. (Or they might ignore attacks by folks with no credibility, so Swain must have considered West credible if misguided.)

Friendship and loyalty valued

Maybe friendship and loyalty are indecipherable to some folks. One wonders what they learned during their formative years and during their military service. Or if they even risked or suffered at all to defend their (First Amendment) right to be rude, obstructive, and dishonest

We should be tolerant. It may be hard to absorb values like friendship and loyalty while one is in school, and even harder as he moves forward into a government sinecure. Or even into a staff job where he learns to back-stab,  prevaricate and avoid risk

One learns different lessons in command and leadership positions, an education that is demanding. Demanding lessons might have been avoided by some of the “experts” who criticize leaders.

Should expect your target's friends to respond

Regardless of one’s background, it’s wise to anticipate that friends loyal to a good man are likely to be aroused in his defense. They might object and react if one tries to kick the good man in the crotch.

That might answer why Swaim addressed West’s diatribes while he was posting warnings about the unfunded liabilities in his blog. (He also praised West for expressing understanding of the pension bills coming due.)

We’ll get to the lessons in good government from last night’s meeting in the next entry.


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