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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Why (try to) fool Costa Mesans?

What to believe

In Costa Mesa we get painted with the usual coats of misleading information from marketers. But we get another “coat of lies” from “calls to action.” These “Neighborhood Watch” warnings, public meetings and newspaper-column remarks focus on arousing fear;  and fabricated fears are annoying, not frightening.

Why would folks mislead us? Cui bono? as we've discussed recently. (Cui bono post )

Can't pave anything -- anyway

A warning posted before the last Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee meeting warned neighbors to join those protesting “paving the vernal pools.” 

The alarm is ridiculous since the committee has no power to prevent or authorize paving. It was studying part of the park and isn't even scheduled to make any suggestions for the Park plan for a couple more months. And, paving vernal pools is forbidden by state and federal regulations as well as contracts Costa Mesa has signed, anyway.

Truth and logic are irrelevant 

Another example of deluding Costa Mesans would be a Council Member’s pep talks to a group of people whose rowdiness disrupted the last Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The group opposed a parking area that was recently funded for study by the City Council; the Commission was reviewing the design concept.

Understand that there are many, many dozens of projects in the plan for Fairview Park. The list started in 1997, and projects are begun as they are funded; think, Vernal Pools project. Very little City funding was allocated to Park projects (or to City infrastructure, for that matter) for a long time -- that's changing.

So, it would have been appropriate to argue the design or to suggest changes. But to use “meeting disruptiontechniques from the 60’s, a la Alinsky, (Rules for Radicals in CM post) to oppose studying a project that has been in the Park’s plan for over a decade?

Why arouse the uninformed 

We can ask, in each of these cases, cui bono? Who benefits (from trying to mislead people)?

Perhaps the issuer of the “call to action” sincerely believes that even uninformed and misguided protests in September will affect the committee’s suggestions for plan changes – next year. Or he may not have bothered to read the information available on the City’s website about how the plan will be reviewed. (City Site Work Plan)

However, he seems to be jumping in front of a number of groups, appointing himself leader, and absorbing the limelight as he verbalizes platitudes. Perhaps he relishes the limelight – or is building a brand for an election next year – or?

Foment discord to accomplish what

And the Council member clearly loves the Park and uses it personally. She is intelligent and extremely well-informed, though, so she is likely aware that rudely disrupting Commission meetings probably won’t have any effect on the Park’s well-being.

However, she is a member of the Council minority and engaged in several activities that appear designed primarily to discredit, or at least to embarrass, members of the majority. Perhaps she is “softening upthe opposition, or starting a pre-election effort to elect a majority that supports her views – or?
If they're trying to fool Costa Mesans with propaganda, who benefits?

Not Costa Mesans.

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