Over at the CM Press our old buddy, The-Brain-That-Ate-Costa-Mesa, is ticked off at the Planning Commission again. Ohhh, poor baby! All this angst can't be good for his health.
Yep, he apparently thinks some members of his little flock seem to be drifting away from the path he's chosen for them and it angers him. This time he shredded four of the five commissioners - he thinks Commissioner Sam Clark is still on board with him. The remaining four, Chairman Donn Hall, Vice Chair Jim Fisler and commissioners Eleanor Egan and Jim Righeimer are sabotaging his grand plan for the renaissance of the Westside industrial areas because they voted Monday night to permit an existing contracting operation to continue to do business in our city. I watched the tape of the proceedings. The parcel in question is zoned industrial and the use as presented to them is just about as benign an "industrial" use as is possible to imagine. Still, "The Brain" is ticked off because they followed the rules instead of his wishes.
So angry is our pal, who very much resembles my theoretical character Your Neighbor, that he's blaming his majority on the City Council for appointing these commissioners. He practically demands that the council replace them, "as is their right", according to this bleating donkey. He makes not-too-veiled threats about the political future of a couple of these commissioners who don't toe his line.
Do you remember when the Westside plans were first launched? This guy stood before every podium he could find and yapped about "market forces" being the driving motivation for change on the Westside. He implied that no coercion would be necessary to oust existing businesses - that time and a changing market would facilitate the changes he wanted. Ha!
I wouldn't be surprised to see the specter of eminent domain rear it's ugly head once again. We already hear the chatter about using it as a way to bulldoze "slums" to make way for apartments or playing fields. The Redevelopment Agency - the City Council in a fancy dress - has the power to use eminent domain in it's area. The council has denied they intend to use it in the past, but I don't trust them, particularly now that their "leader of the band" is getting mad at them.
Don't turn your back on these guys. You'll regret it.
On a lighter note, there was an interesting exchange between Chairman Hall and resident Mike Berry who, with his wife Judy, form a one-two punch on many issues before commissions and the City Council. This time it was the parcel mentioned above. Judy spoke first and pleaded her case for denial of the requested conditional use permit, citing her opinion that the Westside would never get changed if the commission continued to permit industrial uses in the industrial area. Then Mike stood to amplify her views. He got off on the wrong foot with Hall, who interrupted him to rebut a comment he'd made, then just flat told him "you're done" and shut him out as Berry stalked from the podium.