Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Improvers" Coming Unglued?

Still fighting a cold, I arose this morning and did my usual canvass of online publications and blogs, just to see what was on folks minds this cloudy day. When I hit the CM Press and read his current contribution to the general enlightenment of our populace I almost choked on my grape nuts! Then I got a big smile on my face. Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

The guy, who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor, seems to have slipped a cog or something. In his post today, #88 since he became a blogger, he goes on and on accusing the current majority on the Costa Mesa City Council of having "lost it's focus". I've linked to it here. He asks, for example, "Have your elected positions gone to your heads?" This was one of fourteen questions he posed to the majority - hand-picked by him, by the way - apparently trying to slap them back into line.

Another very interesting question was, "Have you turned your backs on improvement activists in your appointments to some city commissions and appointed political hacks who know nothing about our city or improvement?" This, obviously, refers to one loyal "improver" foot soldier who was rejected not once, not twice but three times as a candidate for the Planning Commission by Mayor Mansoor and carpetbagger Jim Righeimer was appointed instead. That must have been painful and embarrassing for him.

The final sentence on his entry was quite telling. He says, "The CM Press certainly hopes the above don't apply to you three, but some in the improvement community are asking questions similar to the above."

The message here, my friends, is that this fellow feels his little flock has stopped dancing to his tune. Apparently he thinks they should already have bulldozers plowing down the "slums" around town to make way for parks. That's just one of his metaphors for expunging every brown face from the city's borders.

That "improvement community" to which he refers is that small, angry cadre of mostly Westsiders who have attempted to take over control of the city for almost a decade, beginning with the election of the chronically inept Chris Steel. When Eric Bever was elected and lame duck Gary Monahan joined the dark side, they began to trample the rights of residents and have kept this city in a turmoil for more than two years and counting. Now, with Wendy Leece teamed with Mansoor and Bever, there's no stopping them. They've stacked the deck on the Planning and Parks and Recreation Commissions, which provides them even more power. This "improver" majority has demonstrated a willingness to blatantly ignore opposing viewpoints and have attempted more than once to quash debate when it didn't suit them.

Over the years I've gotten to know a few of the self-named "improvers". Some of them are pretty darn nice people, with good intentions and some very valid concerns about the deterioration of their neighborhoods. There are others in that group, however, that might be best described as frothing pit bulls instead of activists. They seem to have channeled all their fears toward the Latinos among them and have followed the lead of the guy who runs the CM Press to solve every problem in this city by simply removing the Latinos, legal or illegal, from our midst.

Today's posting is, hopefully, a sign that there's discontent in the "improver" camp. Let's hope that means that a few of them will realize what a dangerous, disgusting path they've been led down and will come to their senses. Let's hope those good, solid citizens among them will take a step back and select a different course. I fear that, if they do not, they may be tarred with the same brush as the guy who continues to turn the pages on their song books - a man who is notorious for his racist rants posted on the internet at various sites and who has been under scrutiny by civil rights organizations for years.

In the meantime, if the CM Press is angry, I'm smilin'.

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Anonymous dvs said...

You know? I hate to admit it, but he has at least one good question/point:
Are you listening too much to your new best friends in the GOP who wouldn't give you the time of day before you were elected, but who are now instant experts on what you should do in our city?

I guess that proves the theory that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of typewriters given infinite time will... well you know the rest.

2/22/2007 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Andrew Dorian said...


2/22/2007 05:46:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Welcome, Andrew. I'm thinking there must be more to that thought...

I invite you all to visit for an excellent take on this issue. There's a link on my home page that will take you right to it.

2/22/2007 07:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Witty/2 said...

Well, I’ve been away for a while but I am happy to report that I’m back. Sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well, but karma doesn’t allow for any escapees.
I found it interesting that you displayed your “smilin” countenance along with your posting! Your picture provides some insight into your prospective and a possible reason you may not feel interested in addressing the city council directly at their public meetings.
Your focus on the CEO of the CMPress was interesting. I believe you expressed some skewed opinions of this man. For instance, how could he have “hand picked” some of the members of our city council as they were all elected by the good citizens of our city? And if he did have some special power, why did he let Foley and Dixon slip through? If “his little flock has stopped dancing to his tune” it seems that you can express a sigh of relief and stop worrying about his views.
You may find it interesting that I know the person you mentioned that applied and was rejected for a Planning Commission appointment. You thought the experience would have “been painful and embarrassing for him”. When I spoke to this gentleman, about a week after the event, he said that he was proud that two council members felt so strongly that he received a nomination and a second, three times over. It was much a much better showing than several of the other failed applicants received. It was interesting that the Mayor, in likely the only time that he voted with the Foley, Dixon minority (or ever will) against Bever and Leece, must have had more confidence in the views of the other three successful applicants. This westsider told me he submitted himself in case there weren’t enough right-minded applicants to keep the recent progress going in Costa Mesa.
You mentioned being happy that there is “discontent in the ‘improver’ camp”. I can provide first hand testimony that this is true – and it always has been that way. We are all thinking individuals and have our own ideas about how to improve our city. Our common link is that we have realized that there are significant problems in our city and worked to elect individuals to achieve a solution that works to the advantage of all. We now have leaders that are making changes and will not take your suggested “step back”. That was the problem with the Return to Reason candidates in the last election.
Finally, don’t fear for us getting tarred, for I am more concerned about the wielders of the tar brush as they try to impugn the motives of good citizens working on city issues and the quality of life of all that live here.
I hope you get well soon.

2/22/2007 08:41:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

witty/2, I missed your poignant prose. Hope you'll stick around for awhile. I always enjoy your participation.

Glad you liked the picture - it's an old one, before the braces. Did you like Eric's in the previous post? I knew you would. I think I liked his look better with the waist-length ponytail that he clipped before he ran for office - how about you? It must have been difficult for him to shear those locks and create the new facade of acceptability. He's still the same, lovable guy, though, always ready with an ill-conceived "clever" line at an inappropriate time. Yep, same old guy.

You referred to the guy over at the CM Press as the CEO. Let's see, now, that would stand for Condescending Egregious Obfuscator, right? Yeah, I guess that works. I'm not focused on him, just responding to his most recent post. Sounds to me that he's not happy with the troika he helped place. I think Byron de Arakal, over at the, hit it right on the head with his current posting.

As far as that "improver" who was rejected from the slot on the Planning Commission is concerned, your version of the story may be right, but it sure was a waste of a new suit and new haircut, don't you think. Come on, we all know what happened. Mansoor had to pay back Rohrabacker for his "help" with the election, so there were just not enough seats to go around. I think the CEO of the CM Press might just have gotten it right. If I were an "improver" I'd be wondering where the allegiance of the council majority lies right about now, too.

If our young jailer/mayor expects to have a political future beyond Costa Mesa I suspect his advisors are looking for ways to distance him from the CEO (I love that acronym), and fast. That will be tough, since he's one tenacious dude who doesn't appear to handle rejection particularly well. I imagine his rebuff will just be the next of many loyal associates shot down in flames by our young jailer/mayor as he climbs over the smoldering bodies to higher office. Wonder who might be next - Bever, maybe?

Now, if we can just keep them from destroying the city while they snipe at each other...

2/22/2007 11:00:00 PM  
Blogger Len Bose said...

These comments are all well and good. Lets try to get something done today?
Council Member Foley expressed help in finding a way to clean up the old Shopping Mall in Mesa del Mar. Now I am not going to go into that the privies council and the homeowners Ass decision that would not let the tenants go month-to-month last year.
Lets press hard at code enforcement and find some tax benefits for this developer to move forward. I can bet that staff is only emailing the county for the road study. LETS PICK UP THE PHONE AND GET SOMETHING DONE TODAY!
Council members should be following up and making the calls them self. That’s one of the bad things about email. The coffee just keeps percolating and nothing get done!

Len Bose

2/23/2007 08:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Andrew Dorian said...

Geoff - I do not have a lot more then “Petty”. I can go out on a limb here and say that you seem to have nothing to place on your blog unless your arch rival post something on his. Byron said it well on his site (CM ought to be "more like Newport Beach" and less like Santa Ana (we agree)); work needs to be done in this city to make it better. There will never be total agreement on how to make it better but for the first time in years I see things actually getting done.

If you’re interested in helping then offer solutions or alternatives, not just sarcasm and ridicule. That can be left to the kids on the schoolyard

2/23/2007 10:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Rob Dickson said...


Great post. I think that vigorous code enforcement city-wide is a great middle-of-the-road solution to a lot of the issues facing Costa Mesa. It is a crying shame that we have a delapidated shopping center sitting nearly vacant in the middle of a major Costa Mesa neighborhood. On that note, why is the City so concerned with purchasing new parkland when so many of our streets are literally crumbling to pieces? There is some real improving calling out for action! Lets stop worrying about bulldozing the Westside for upscale housing and actually take care of our existing infrastructure.

As for Mansoor acting on his own, or at the behest of the County GOP - I like the fact that he is not beholden to the alleged CEO. Who knows, Righeimer may be a fantastic Planning Commissioner, only time will tell. So far, so good.

2/23/2007 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Andrew, I'm really happy you chose to participate here. Obviously, you're a new visitor to this site or you would know that I don't rely on the CM Press to prime my pump. That would be much too easy.

Before you start thumping your drum about "sarcasm and ridicule" too loudly, let me refresh your memory. Recently you posted the following comment on the Daily Pilot site attached to an article about the Youth in Government program:

Andrew Dorian wrote on February 14, 2007 10:40 AM:"Foley - Can you please make a committee just for my needs and me? I have struggled for a while getting the city to pay attention to the cars speeding down my street and the potholes in my neighborhood. We can call it the Dorian in City Government Program. The program will help me to understand why my local government does not care about me. PS can get $3800.00 too?? "

Remember that old saw that people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones?

Now that we've dispensed with that, I'm happy to have you participate here. As you can see from other comments posted here and elsewhere on this site, many of those who choose to do so actually want to try to find solutions. I'm sure you do, as well. Unlike the Daily Pilot, there is no 100 word limit to comments - only my editorial license as the owner of the site. There's lots of latitude here, but the fact remains that if I find a comment too offensive it doesn't get posted. If you want to get into a spitting contest, save it for the Daily Pilot posts.

If you don't like what I write on this site, if it really bothers you, then I suggest you just stop reading it. I'll continue to post my views in the manner I choose. It is, after all, my sandbox.

Now, shall we continue....?

2/23/2007 01:29:00 PM  
Anonymous Andrew Dorian said...

I love the site, even though I do not share your views I think you have some valid points and are obviously a frontrunner of the bloggers in CM. I have read your blog for about 6 to 7 months and I do think with that you can provide more value for CM then following the other bloggers direction. This focus, on the surface, appears to limit you to his leads and for the past 6 or 7 months the majority of your articles follow his postings.

Fair enough on the Foley comment and on the surface it is a valid. My point was purposely ridiculous, as was the program. I was trying, in limited amount of wording; state that if the government is paying for the kiddies to get something (time, attention, whaterver), then whey should other people or groups be left out. Is this really the councils job or best interest to have a program like this, I don’t think so, even if the source was other then Foley. CM has bigger fish to fry then silly programs like this one. When our schools and our public safety are running on all cylinders that’s when programs like this might be proposed. Until then focus on what the government should be providing as basic services.

For now I will keep reading. Thanks for hosting.

2/23/2007 02:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Westside said...

Removerdor de la olla:

I think a lot of people are missing the point here. YOur neighbor, el 666, indeed is pissed off because he's sensing signs of rebellion in the City Council. But, when you think about it, he's still very happy. He has acomplished just about all his wishes since his puppets became a majority in the local government. What is new here is what Mansoor is up to since he got reelected. He doesn't care anymore about Your Neighbor, el 666; Mansoor feels he's his own boss. The divorce of Mansoor and Millard is a reality because your Mayor has learn to be a fairly good politician. He is now looking for a job in the House of Rep. He feels he can beat anybody of the Republican Party, even though he is only, as you call him, a JAILER and only has two years of college education. Let me tell you. He won't make it. Something big is coming this Summer that will affect his political career dearly.

2/23/2007 11:34:00 PM  

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