Fortress Costa Mesa
Well, that certainly didn't take long! I had speculated about how long it would take for the new city council majority to show it's intentions. It took one meeting.
At Tuesday night's City Council meeting - after all the well-deserved accolades were heaped upon termed-out councilman Gary Monahan and the tears from his send-off were barely dry - the new council majority wasted no time in showing us just how they plan to operate.
Allan Mansoor and Wendy Leece were sworn in and perched on the dais, then the new majority showed us it will be business as usual by re-electing Mansoor as mayor and his glib buddy, Eric Bever as mayor pro tempore. This was an omen of things to come.
First, on an item plucked from the Consent Calendar, they debated for nearly an hour on whether or not the City of Costa Mesa should partner with the City of Santa Ana on a study funded by the OCTA regarding methods of getting residents to the MetroLink station in Santa Ana. What evolved was a clear case of Santanaphobia. The Mayor and his buddy, Bever, clearly didn't have any interest in being associated with Santa Ana on this issue - and probably not on any issue, for that matter. Their position was fueled by comments from several activists, including one particularly vitriolic guy who writes a local blog and has demonstrated his racial preferences for years. They decided not to move forward with the proposal and, as a result, may miss the opportunity for the utilization of $100,000 in OCTA funds.
It looks to me as though the new majority will continue to spit in the eye of neighboring cities to the detriment of Costa Mesa residents. They obviously intend to continue to operate this city as a stand-alone fiefdom with as little interaction and cooperation with neighboring cities as possible.
This observer came away from viewing this meeting with the impression that, with their "mandate" firmly in hand, the new majority fully intends to run roughshod over the residents of this city. The mayor, in particular, showed even less patience with differing viewpoints than in the past. He showed that he continues to be willing to quash comments by other council members - particularly when he's apparently already made up his mind.
For example, in the case of the request by Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) for permits to film two special events outside on their property this month despite the fact that they had a request for a minor conditional use permit denied by the council in the past, Mansoor very obviously had his mind made up before any kind of discussion took place. With the majority now in place without the bothersome occasional voice of mediation previously provided by Monahan, he will be hard pressed to even go through the formality of debate before calling for a vote. Does the word "dictator" sound familiar?
You will recall that I speculated about how long it would take for this crew to begin stomping on resident's rights. Last night we found out.
So, to the 10,122 voters who cast their ballots for Mansoor, I urge you to watch your back... your rights may be next.