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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Urchins missing, kids well-behaved

Two approaches: pick the best

The Fairview Park Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday illustrated a couple of approaches to local issues. A number of people commented at the meeting, most of them echoing a theme of “don’t build a sports complex in the park.” Others asked the committee to consider all uses possible for the Park, including soccer or other sports fields.

A past and probable future City Council candidate started the comments with a well-organized and well-delivered appeal to emotion; however, he and many of the other speakers departed before the educational part of the meeting. A few of the speakers had kids with them who faced school in the morning and left for that reason.

We saw no “urchins” at the meeting; the youth were clean, competent, well-behaved and they all displayed good manners. The adult visitors appeared clean and most – but not all – were well-behaved (1) and many displayed good manners.
The majority of the speakers, including the candidate, apparently weren't interested in learning more about the park; they just spoke and departed. That is unfortunately too, too true about other issues in Costa Mesa.

Don't bother studying the issue

As an example of knowing little but speaking lots consider a demonstration to demand more CMPD positions be funded. It was conducted by a small group that opposes most everything. They cited a study of Costa Mesa PD staffing levels to support their contention. (covert pic available -- link 2 below)

However, that’s not what the study suggests – and it’s an easily-available online report, so becoming informed is straightforward. (3) Further, the City’s CEO and Police Chief are both happy to discuss plans for staffing with whoever asks. The antis, like some of the commenters at the meeting, would rather protest and demand than learn about the issue. (4)

Good description, attribute wrong

Some folks have criticized the Council for a “Fire, Aim, Ready” approach to issues.  We'd suggest that advocating for or against specific solutions before the issue is understood is a better example of that concept

Some suggest sharing

It should be noted that some of the commenters advocated dropping the NIMBY (Not in my backyard) approach and adopting a cooperative approach; that is, letting all Costa Mesans share the Park. Most of them stayed to learn more about the Park.

Both the Councilman who is liaison to the CC and his alternate stayed to hear the presentation by the City experts and their consultants.

Two issues, different approaches 

So, those who want to help with police staffing read the study and seek expert opinions before they form opinions about what staffing levels Costa Mesa needs. Other folks, though, aren't advocating solutions to a real problem; they just like to protest. (4)

There are those who advocate managing Fairview Park to be used by all Costa Mesans; they also learn everything they can about the Park. Others make their demands and leave; they already know everything they need to know to announce the “correct” courses of action.

“Shoot, Aim, Ready,” indeed. For some of the “anti everything” crowd the phrase should read, “shoot – shoot – shoot again, then publicize the shooting.” 

1). An immature member of the “anti” group brought his “squeaker toy/goose call” to this meeting also – he seems so proud to make sneaky-squeaky sounds. He’s well out of the urchin age range, though.

As usual, there were those in the crowd who just couldn’t control themselves and had to break into cheers and applause when a speaker said something they liked. They may not be clear on the difference between street demonstrations and semi-formal meetings, although decorum is reviewed with them often enough. This rudeness may speak more to their upbringing than to their ability to comprehend and follow rules.

2). “Covert” picture and post #366: Here

3). June 21, 2011 Council agenda and Report:  Here

4). Alinsky’s Rule 6 is; “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”

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