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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

As if the "Chamber Childish" weren't bad enough. . .

Uninformed or just foolish

The Council meeting Tuesday evening was embarrassing. The “Chamber Childish” contingent often triggers embarrassment about their lack of decorum. But Tuesday’s meeting added more reasons to hope intelligent tourists weren't visiting and judging Costa Mesa by what they observed.

Study the study to . . .

The Council considered rehearing the City’s decision to study the impact of the turnaround proposed for the end of Pacific Avenue (and extending into Fairview Park). Yes, that’s reopen study of a study.

A request for a re-hearing in Costa Mesa requires that credible new information be found.

Offered as “new” information were such items as a letter from a state office recommending that archaeological sites be avoided in development. More “new information” included opinions of biologists and archaeologists who looked at photos and drawings. A couple of them speculated that biologically and archaeologically sensitive areas might extend farther south – into the planned turnaround.

Speculation to fact 

How would we turn this speculation into fact? Study the area. The rehearing’s purpose? Delay the study of the area while we learn more about the area – by not studying it.

One new piece of information was advice that a family may have hidden or buried the remains of a relative in the park recently – probably clandestinely.

So there were opinions from a distance, speculation, and a hint that remains had been interred in the public park recently.

Not enough for another hearing

The information offered didn’t meet the criteria for a rehearing, so a rehearing was denied. The emotional outburst by the requester was noteworthy: initially her presentation had been rational. It was disorganized and largely opinion or hearsay-based evidence, but it was rational. Her summary, however, was an outburst unworthy of a government official.

Her attacks on the Public Services Director, in our opinion, were unwarranted and an egregious misuse of power. She castigated him and used one of his statements to try to justify a rehearing. She berated him; he had said there was no need for archeological oversight of the turn-around because it wasn't in an area known for archaeological significance.

What wasn't mentioned in her abuse; there is no evidence of archeological significance in the turnaround area – yet. The design study includes an evaluation of the significance of the site, as well as delineation of the important areas. So, as the study proceeds more area may be protected. The turnaround area may qualify as a protected area. Or not.

Delay the study until we know more 

She wanted to delay study of the area until we learn more about it – by not studying it. She verbally abused and criticized a highly-respected City employee. Her summary of her position was an emotional outburst instead of an argument supporting her position. And, she’s a Council member – a respected and responsible title.

It was embarrassing. And that’s before the “Chamber Childish” started their hoots, groans and catcalls.

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