Thursday, November 01, 2018

Lies, Lies And More Lies!

Yesterday, October 31st, many voters in District 3 received the mailer displayed below.  Each of the four (4) pages is shown.
As you can see, any reasonable person would assume this was distributed by the Democrats - the two images of the donkey, for example, implies a level of officialness to this piece.  And, since this thing clearly touts Sandy Genis and Brett Eckles as the right candidates for mayor and District 3, respectively, those voters might logically assume that Democrat officials support those two candidates. I'm told similar, but not exactly the same, mailers in other districts with the same misleading messages.
 This is the image of the front page, with mailing address, misleading title and donkey images.
This is a blow-up of the Notice to Voters box in the lower right corner.  Please note the last statement.  It tells the reader that the "Appearance is paid for and authorized by each candidate and ballot measure which is designated by an *"  Well, Brett Eckles carries that designation on the back page, so one can logically assume that not only endorsed this mailer, but authorized it (paid for it?).
Back page clearly carries the * adjacent to Eckles name, indicating he endorsed and authorized (paid for?) this mailer.
This mailer reflects the desperation on the part of the Sandy Genis faction in this election.  They are in a panic and, with less than a week to go, are pulling out all stops to lie, defame and discredit Katrina Foley and those she supports.  Every voter should consider this kind of deceit when marking their ballot.  A vote for Genis and Eckles is a vote to perpetuate the developer-controlled interests that have dominated the political discussion for that past decade.

With every attempt to deceive voters Genis and her developer-funded faction make the choice easier.  Katrina Foley for Mayor - Andrea Marr for District 3 - Manuel Chavez for District 4 and Arlis Reynolds for District 5.

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Monday, October 29, 2018

This Election Is Too Important To Be Silent

Eighteen months ago, in the wake of my wife's retirement and my previously-mentioned health issues, I retired this blog.  At that time I presumed the restoration of my health and our anticipated travel would preclude me from giving enough attention to issues in Costa Mesa to justify the time it takes to produce this content.
Instead, although I throttled-back my meeting attendance to almost nil and paid a reduced amount of attention,  I didn't stop watching completely and I burped out frequent Facebook posts with my observations.  However, times have changed a little, to the point where I think it's important for me to comment here on our upcoming elections.  I don't know what the future holds for the blog - or for me, for that matter - but I may post things here on a very reduced schedule, so stay tuned.  And now, about this election...
I've lived in Costa Mesa for more than 45 years - 46, if you count the short time I rented a little studio apartment just off 19th Street in the mid-60's.  I've written about all things political in our city for more than a fifteen years, both in local newspapers and here on my blog.  I have never seen such a contentious, divisive political season in all my years as a Costa Mesan, and I'm concerned that our city might not recover from the wounds being inflicted in this campaign.  Civility is a lost art in our town these days.

For the first time in it's 65 year history Costa Mesa voters will select council members by district, launching a potential "Balkanization" of our town, pitting one district's interests against others.  This was predicted several times from the dais by Jim Righeimer - the man who eventually orchestrated this mess.  And, for the first time, the mayor of our city will be directly elected by the voters instead of being chosen by council members from among their peers.  The only advantage of having a directly-elected mayor is that an incumbent can't be ousted by a capricious, petulant, agenda-driven majority in the future.  It will take another vote of the people to cast aside a mayor in the future.

Since the campaigning began in earnest this summer two clear factions have emerged.  One, which includes current mayor Sandra Genis, current council member and former mayor Allan Mansoor (running for the District 5 seat), unknown newcomer Michelle Figueredo-Wilson (running for the District 4 seat) and Brett Eckles (running for the District 3 seat), appears to be largely funded by developer interests and other friends of termed-out councilman Jim Righeimer and former mayor Steve Mensinger - who was soundly defeated in his run for re-election two years ago in a statement by the voters that they'd had enough of their pro-developer schemes.

The other faction is led by former mayor Katrina Foley and includes outstanding candidates Arlis Reynolds (District 5), Andrea Marr (District 3) and Manuel Chavez (District 4).  More about this team later...
The Genis faction has chosen a very vicious, back-stabbing, divisive tack, spewing lies and other fabrications to cast a shadow on Foley, in particular, but also includes attacks on the others in her faction.  This has fractured old friendships throughout the city and may have done long term damaged to the very fabric of our city.  The Foley faction, meanwhile, has focused on presenting their qualifications for office, citing their strong education credentials, career successes and previous public service, instead of rolling around in the political mud with their opponents.

Steve Chan (District 4) and Rebecca Trahan (District 5) are outliers and bring little for the voters to consider, but both tilt strongly toward the Genis faction, which could complicate the votes in their districts.

In this most unpleasant campaign season Mansoor, a divisive councilman throughout his career with two years left on his at-large term, has chosen to attack Foley with lies and deceit rather than actually taking on Reynolds for the District 5 seat.  Clearly, he knows he has nothing to lose, since he will be sitting on the dais the first week of December when the results are certified no matter which way this campaign goes.  Perhaps he's contemplating a run for mayor in 2020 and figures he can fool the voters, again - who knows?

Similarly, Genis - also with two years remaining on her at-large seat -  will still be sitting on the dais even if she loses the mayor's race to Foley, who will be out without a seat once the music stops unless she prevails on November 6th.  The Genis team has chosen to unleash a blistering social media (perhaps "anti-social" is more appropriate) attack on Foley, spreading lies and falsehoods to all who would read them.  Foley, on the other hand, has taken the high road, remaining focused on guiding her team of volunteers in positive actions - meet-and-greets, letter-writing, knocking on doors, placement of signs throughout the city - instead of engaging the opposition in combat on those sites.

Genis has a long and, until recently, illustrious political career in Costa Mesa. She's a former mayor, with service on the council dating back 30 years.  No one can question her contributions to our city, both as a council member and as a private citizen.  However, more than a year ago she changed and that change manifested itself most clearly in her unwarranted, unexplained and unceremonious ousting of Foley as mayor a year ago - despite the fact that she, herself, nominated Foley for that slot - and having herself placed in that job by a 3-2 vote.  Mansoor and Righeimer joined her in that vote.  Previously viewed as an intelligent, independent thinker, with only the good of the city guiding her moves on the council, she has shifted her focus and aligned herself with the developer-oriented folks who seem eager to pave over every single square foot of earth in our city.  These are the very folks who, only a short time ago, vilified, ridiculed and chided her mercilessly and attempted to sabotage her last campaign - straight out of the OC GOP playbook that we saw in action in the 48th District Primary combat between Scott Baugh and Dana Rohrabacher.   It's difficult to see how the city benefits from this new alliance, since the voters spoke overwhelmingly two years ago that they'd had enough of that kind of governance.
My wife and I mailed our completed ballots off to the Registrar of Voters last Wednesday and they included our votes for Foley.  This time around we get no vote for our council district, Number 6 - that will wait until 2020.  If we could have, we would have also voted for Arlis Reynolds - a hometown woman with an M.I.T. engineering degree, a successful career and strong community volunteer history, including currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Parks and Recreation Commission; Andrea Marr - a Naval Academy graduate with five years of service in the United States Navy where she led sailors in hostile waters and has shown a strong volunteer spirit, serving on two important committees, since moving to our city 6 years ago; and Manuel Chavez, another home-grown product of our schools and a UCI graduate who, despite his youth, has been heavily involved in his community since a child.  Nobody has a better feel for residents of the district and the needs of District 4 than Manuel Chavez.

My concern is how this city comes together after this campaign.  How will those campaign combatants reconcile their differences, resolve the bad feelings generated over the past couple months and find ways to work together for the good of all our residents?  We've seen this campaign fracture old alliances and friendships.  How do those get repaired?  In my view, that will take strong leadership - something Katrina Foley has clearly demonstrated throughout her political and volunteer career, and especially during her year as mayor, when she guided the prioritization of issues for the future of our city.  Genis has not shown leadership since ousting Foley.  Quite the contrary - Genis has allowed others - Righeimer and Mansoor -  to guide the ship during her recent mayoral tenure.

The future of our city is in the hands of the voters, who will cast their ballots in the most important election since the formation of this city.  I hope they do it with care.  I hope they will select Katrina Foley, Arlis Reynolds, Andrea Marr and Manuel Chavez to lead our city into the future.

In recent elections we've had races decided by fewer than 50 votes, so it's very important that every registered voter take the time to exercise this responsibility.  PLEASE VOTE!

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

A Half-Century Of Wedded Bliss

It's been three months since, with a couple exceptions, I posted anything here on the blog.  There was no way I would not post about that event on July 13th, nor would I miss my friend's birthday on the 30th.  As promised, I will occasionally post something here when the mood strikes me.  Today - August 5, 2017 -  is one of those special days and I think you'll soon understand why.


As you read this my Sweet Susie and I are in the midst of a celebration of our 50th Wedding Anniversary.  I've written about our marriage in the past and the images you see at the bottom of this page are from that wonderful day.  I just wanted to mark this day - a very significant milestone in our lives - and to share my joy with you all.
Susie and I were married on August 5, 1967, in the old St. James Episcopal Church on Via Lido in Newport Beach, not too far from the home where she had been raised - back in the days when it was just a nice, little Episcopal church without all the drama about which denomination it really was and who owned the property, before the Bishop tried to pull a fast one and sell the land to developers.  We met at work and had our first date on New Year's Eve, 1966 (that image above with her in the green dress is from that evening).  We had only dated a few months before my employer made me an offer I couldn't refuse - a promotional opportunity on the other side of the country.  So, it was decision time for me - and I made the correct one.  I asked that sweet young woman to be my wife and less than 2 months later we were wed - and a week later drove across the country, with a stop in Niagara Falls, on the first huge step in our lives together, and we've never looked back.  I wrote about our lives together last year and showed you some of these images of us through those years HERE.
For the first half-dozen years of our married life we lived and/or worked in Santa Ana, Hartford, Houston, Hartford and Concord, CA (I worked in San Francisco) before returning "home" to Orange County.  We lived like a couple nomads, following promotion after promotion, until we decided it was time to step away from that corporate fast track which could only end up on the East Coast (two winters are plenty for anyone!) and settle down near our family and friends.  We moved to Costa Mesa, into our current home, and have been here for the past 43 years.
Although Susie worked hard at each stop along the way, it wasn't until we dropped anchor here and she began working in her father's business that her professional presence blossomed.  She and her two younger brothers took the business over more than 40 years ago and grew it exponentially, becoming a benchmark for reliability and quality products and service in their industry, continuing the tradition their father had begun.  During this time Susie was the Administrative/Finance honcho - overseeing all the employees and managing the inside operations of the business, including all financial matters.  Her brothers generated the sales and did a wonderful job of it.  The three of them, amazingly, operated like a well-oiled machine.  No sibling strife, just tight focus on growing the business and providing the best service possible.
Meanwhile, I worked as a Human Resources guy at a couple outstanding local companies, both as a generalist and as an Employment Manager in what was, at the time, the fastest growing company in Southern California.  I was proud of those companies and the time I spent, and contribution I made, with each.

In the early 1980's, after several very successful stops along the way, I stepped away from the corporate life and founded a Human Resources Consulting Practice, specializing in Executive Search, which I operated as a sole practitioner for more than 20 years.  After helping client companies build their management teams for two decades I "retired" from that career about the time I started paying close attention to local issues and began writing.  After lots of thoughts and opinions being presented to the world, both in local newspapers and on my blog, I ceased that activity three months ago so Susie and I could both enjoy our retirements together.
Through all this time - the multiple moves, the shifting of jobs, wondering if my consulting practice would actually make money and the sometimes anxious moments when readers took exception to what I'd written - my patient Sweet Susie has stuck by my side as my cheerleader, supporter, proofreader and always my sweet, kind, patient, loving wife.  Without her constant encouragement this award-winning blog would not have been so successful.  Today we will have been married 18,263 days!  If you throw out some of my business trips and a few of her dance competitions and vacations away with relatives, we've probably slept side-by-side for 18,000 nights.  The comfort and joy I've gotten from her softly purring beside me is almost indescribable.
So, today, we mark 50 years of married life together by doing what we hope will become our "new" career - traveling, and maybe sharing some of those adventures along the way.  Throughout our married life we've been very fortunate to have traveled, both for work and recreation.  We spent our 20th Anniversary with friends touring Europe for a couple weeks.  We spent our 25th anniversary in Hawaii, nestled down in a house right on the water on the uncrowded island of Molokai and snorkeling all alone in a cove for an entire day.   We've cruised Alaska and the Eastern Seaboard.  A couple years ago she spent a month traveling around Australia and New Zealand.  The last time I counted I think there are only one or two states we have not been to or through.  We've had adventures with our dune buggy all over the Western United States and have also had boating and water skiing adventures in many of the same areas.  For more than 20 years we've been fortunate to find solitude and recreation on the California Central Coast.  We've had a wonderful life together and it's not over yet!
This trip will last nearly a month, will likely involve driving around 4,000 miles and includes a little ocean cruise, plus visits to far flung places we've never seen before and return visits to some of our favorite venues, where we will re-kindle old relationships and visit relatives.
Thanks to all of you who have extended congratulations to us on this wonderful day.  We appreciate your friendship and kind thoughts.  And, thanks for joining us on this little trip down memory lane.  We hope each of you will be able to find the kind of joy we've shared over this half century.  The formula for our life together has been pretty simple:
  • First, pick the right person 
  • Always be patient and forgiving (yes, she has been all of that!)
  • Always put "We" before "Me" 
  • Always be willing to go MORE than half-way, so you have a place to stand to resolve differences
  • And love her every single day like there's no tomorrow
Today our lives are, indeed, Golden... And I'm the luckiest guy in the world...
Since we began with Bobby Hatfield it seems appropriate for Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes to provide some music for you as you enjoy the images.

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