Why This Blog?

The aim of this blog is to fit into the blogosphere like the bracingly tart taste of yogurt fits between the boringly bland and the unspeakably vile.

All comments will be answered if their author provides contact info.


I have no sponsoring group(s) or agencies, and I owe no allegiance to any candidate or group.

(C) Copyright 2012 DenRita Enterprises

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Effective or "Touchy-Feelee"

Better roads require 

drive to accomplish

Watching the Mayor and Pro Tem work during the past year brought to mind a Chief of Surgery at a military hospital, many years ago. The staff would all have cancelled and connived to get him as the surgeon for their surgery -- or their family's. However, they cancelled and connived at least as hard to avoid working in the operating room with him.

Excellent work, caustic criticism

He was irascible, demanding, and an extreme perfectionist. Other surgeons feared him, too, because of his caustic criticism of their failings. Morbidity and Mortality conferences, where medical folks meet to discuss cases that went either well or poorly, were well-attended (Chief’s orders) and dreaded (Chief’s presence). No one ate the breakfast supplied at the meeting, and many didn't sleep well the night before M&M conferences.

Dr. Z spared no words on someone who made a mistake – it would be a long time before anyone in the room ever made that mistake again. So, after about a year with Dr. Z as Chief, most surgical staff errors were small and subtle. Surgery was safer, faster, and more competent in all surgical departments. Overflow fastidiousness improved the nursing services, the Medical (non-surgical ill) service and even the housekeeping services.

Dr. Z demanded perfection and improvement – from himself as well as from every member of the staff.

In Costa Mesa 

When we see the accomplishments of the City Council majority we remember Dr. Z’s insistence that every job be done perfectly, or at least close. And that it be done better next time. In Costa Mesa we are seeing roads and gutters being redesigned and repaired and fixed correctly after years of neglect and patching and slurry.

We see the City’s Reserve funds, spent down from $35M by previous councils, being restored dollar by dollar. We see Fairview Park getting some of the attention we promised for it a decade ago – which the Councils since that time have ignored and refuse to fund.

We see award-winning transparency, enforced by ordinance. We see the Westside starting to rise into prominence and importance after years of being ignored. We see the problems generated by the Problem Motels being addressed for the first time since they were identified,tabled and ignored more than a decade ago.

He doesn't talk soft and nice

But, “the Mayor’s harsh” with people who interrupt and delay Council meetings. The Council majority insisted on learning what the employees were being paid to do. (This required “pink slips” per labor union contract, although the Mayor assured the employees that no one was expected to lose their job, regardless of the study’s outcome.) 

Note that teachers face these “pink slips” repeatedly; they’re just part of the procedure required by union contracts. (Yes, some prefer the term “Association Memorandums of Understanding” but there’s no essential difference in meaning, just in length of terms.)

The Mayor and the Pro Tem don’t always talk softly and never talk timidly. They demand excellence for Costa Mesa. They serve the citizens of the City, without capitulation to the agitators and other power brokers. They don’t talk sweetly and pontificate about abstract “good things;” instead they meet their responsibilities as elected leaders.

Accomplishment admired, style -- not so much

Similar to the Dr. Z story above, a lot of cities would like a council majority like ours. But, also similarly, the critics in our City don’t like his manner. They enjoy the improved roads and alleys and parks, but they hate the Mayor who speaks directly, sometimes very directly -- and drives the improvements.

 Perhaps we should all get used to hearing truth spoken “directly” as we enjoy the fruits of jobs done well – and done better every time.


  1. We are starting on Motels

    The Haters will say it is "This Council" and we are all in bed with Developers

    I wanted to share this document with you

    These issues are not new, see pg 13.

    The issues are the same a very different council came to similar conclusions in 1996

    I have the minutes: Motioned by Monahan, 2nd by Mary Hornbuckle (current Trustee at Coast Community College). 5-0 vote included former mayor Joe Erickson, former mayor Peter Buffa and also Sandy Genis

    Facts are not the friend of the haters

    Jim Fitzpatrick

    1. Some of the same folks happily promised to protect the vernal pools, and maintain Fairview Park. They didn't.

      The present Council majority is now funding protections for the vernal pools; the former and present Councilwoman is vehemently protesting the "desecration."

      The citizens began maintaining the park because the City wouldn't; the same Councilwoman insists the Pro Tem is responsible for a small bit of maintenance that overlapped an unprotected vernal pool, although he didn't; the "crown jewel" Park's care and preservation are far secondary in her priorities to trying to get a dig at the Pro Tem.

      That is, for her, maintaining the Park is only good when you are prostituting the Park out of political spite.

      You're right Jim, the issues aren't new. The tactics aren't either, and they're "natural;" you'll see them used every day in Kindergartens throughout the County.