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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Musings

Familiar faces appeared Sunday morning to support Costa Mesa at the Community Run/Lions Fish Fry. The same people show up and provide support at most events.

Mayor Pro-Tem Steve Mensinger and his crew of “Costa Mayberry” walkers participated, as did Cindy (of Car Show Fame). Sue often shows up to help out. And, as usual for City Activities, Dan Joyce (Costa Mesa’s Public Affairs Manager) and his crew were on scene making everything work smoothly.

The folks who opine on things they don't understand at City Council meetings? Absent. The ones offering paranoid speculation in newspaper comments? Not there. Nope, they're not there in support of the City.

In Costa Mesa some “talk the talk” and some “walk the walk.” Generally, these are different groups.

Whose opinion carries the most weight with you?

That's what they're supposed to do 

That brings up the whining about the Mayor and Pro Tem spending time
in City hall and “keeping employees from their work.”

Let’s review: we, as citizens of Costa Mesa can't handle the business of running the City in addition to living normal lives. We elect a board of directors to run the City for us and call it the City Council. The Council attends to hiring staff, through a Chief Executive Officer, that will plan, organize and perform the necessary tasks.

In a large business, say one with a $100 million budget like Costa Mesa’s, the Directors should be visible. Directors who visit operations become intimately familiar with what is being done and what is needed. They provide support, and show they actually care about both the employees and the job they are doing.  In a big business, they would be applauded.

In military operations legendary leaders were and are seen on the front lines checking on troops and confirming what they've been told about ongoing operations. They are successful leaders, and they get promoted to greater responsibility.

But in Costa Mesa “Directors” visiting and inspecting are, “interrupting performance of duties?” If the Mayor’s visit “keeps employees from their work” maybe the employees are doing the wrong work.

Don't use my name 

Which leads to the subject of anonymous postings; why do commenters criticize others and make snide remarks if they hide their identity? The commenter No One Knows My Name, Podunk High Schoolisn't going to convince rational readers that he has the education or experience to offer believable input.

Or, consider the commenter who weighs in with a profound opinion about Real Estate development theory, although she retired from a clerical career in government. Or someone who cuts grass for a living but criticizes an MD’s diagnosis. Their comments don't seem credible.

That’s not to say that people from outside the field can’t give valid input. But their input should either be based upon their perspective from outside the field, or should be based upon some disciplined knowledge of the field.

For example, if a retired City Administrative Assistant is licensed as a Real Estate Broker, or a Yard Maintenance worker is qualified as a Paramedic, they have some credibility in Real Estate and medicine. If not, they're blowing smoke; you can't tell if their opinion is based on fact and logic or not.

“There are many ‘Arm Chair Coaches’ who could have won that last game – in retrospect.”

Who was, who wasn't

Who was at the Park early this morning to make the Run and the Fish Fry work? Lions President Mike Scheafer, the Kiwanis pancake chefs, the runners and walkers, Pro Tem Mensinger and the Estancia Football Team and Mayberry Walking Club, Police and Fire representatives, Cindy and her crew of volunteers, Dan Joyce and his crew of City folks all arrived early--really early. They were in Fairview park to Support Costa Mesa.

Who wasn't there at all? List the (few real) names on the “anti-Council-majority” blog, then add the names of the newspaper commenters who whine and label and accuse instead of debate. That’s a list of those who “talk the talk.” Or, just visit a Council meeting and record the names of the commenters who provide only their uninformed opinions. The lists will feature pretty much the same people. They talk the talk – only.

Who cares

Now to the final musing for today: who cares?

Have you ever noticed call-in survey results with a percentage who called in to say they didn't have an opinion? We see a similarity in a blogger and a few commenters who offer, “I'm not convinced,” or “I'm suspicious” as if that were important to someone else.  

People with Paranoid Personality Disorder are characterized by a long-standing pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others. It's treatable. (Are you taking your meds?)

We ask the Council meeting commenters who offer their (unsolicited) opinions on most everything; who cares? Are we better off knowing your opinions? If you don't have anything to say, but say it anyway, who cares?

Schedule time to celebrate Costa Mesa's 60th

Don't forget to schedule time for Costa Mesa’s 60th Anniversary Celebration Kick Off at the end of this month. It'll be spectacular.

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