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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Reasons for pride, reasons for shame

Pride in workmanship

The Halecrest Chili Cook Off was a reminder of how important pride in workmanship and attention to detail can be.

All of the candidates were proud of their chili, and each table had someone who could explain in detail how the dish had been prepared. For example, the Chili Verde from one group had been prepared from meat smoked at a specific low temperature for many hours and . . . The person explaining was clearly proud of his chili, as were the videographer and the photographer who manned the CM employee table next door.

The competitors’ pride would have been no less if they had been forced to use smaller tables, or to have fewer staff at each table.

Beyond Chili 

During a couple of ride-alongs with CMPD we've observed that the officers were not only proficient, they were proud of their skill and expertise. It seemed to be routine, an attitude of, “We know how to ‘serve and protect’ and we do it well now. We'll do it even better.”

During the Scarecrow festival the OCME (Orange County Model Engineers) ran a great Pumpkin Patch program that required a whole lot of “on the flychanges to keep it running – and they are paid only in smiles from kids. They cross-checked each other, made difficult decisions, performed hard physical labor – and cleaned everything up and put it away. They were all proud of what they accomplished.

Excellence, not excuses

It would have been easy to whine about getting a shorter contract than they wanted for the train site. It would be easy for the officers to slack off because they've been told that the Mayor doesn't like them and that he called them goons. It would be easy for the chili makers to dump canned chili into a pot to save time, money, and especially, effort.

Pride from accomplishments

In Costa Mesa we enjoy good policing, good youth train-pumpkin-scarecrow fun. We enjoy good fire and emergency medical service. We enjoy good communications and emergency service support. We enjoy good customer-service from most of the City employees we contact – most of the time.

We citizens of Costa Mesa recognize when and where good work is being done.  No, not everyone recognizes the excellence of employee service. And not every employee and volunteer strives for excellence. But most do.

Executive pride and accomplishment

The Mayor and the Pro Tem seem to be seeking excellence, too. And they are rightfully proud of their accomplishments. Yet the haters continue their uninformed diatribe against them.

Compare the haters’ innuendos, labels, and speculation with the COIN ordinance and Mensinger’s Contract with Costa Mesa. Contrast the haters’ ad hominem attacks against the Council majority and anyone who supports something they do, with the Meet the Mayor program.

Consider the Pro Tem’s goal to walk every street in the City to see what is really going on, and compare that to the speakers on both sides of the dais who don’t even bother to read the City staff’s study of an issue before they start to comment and criticize.

Compare and contrast the fact-finding and open communication with the hatred and insults. The haters don’t do much research before they accuse and insult. They don't seem proud of their accomplishments, just proud of their membership in the “hate the Mayor” group.

Great Chili Saturday; for our taste, the Chili Verde edged out the competition.

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