"Adios Critter" Day, Jackass Gets His Way, Allocating Fields and How We Play
CRITTERS, RE-DEFINED AND RESTRICTED
For example, in an ironic bit of timing since the critter-filled Orange County Fair is currently being held right across the street, the second item under Old Business is an ordinance amending Title 3 of the municipal code relating to animal regulations and another section specific to dogs. Theoretically, this is to bring the city up to date and drag it into the 21st Century from it's initial days almost 60 years ago as a primarily rural community. With the sweep of the pen - and the solid line of a ruler through the old code - this change basically removes almost any reference to critters other than dogs, cats and some birds. There are some exceptions, but they are few and severely regulated. For example, all you reptile fanciers are going to need a permit for your critters. And you dog and cat owners are going to be restricted to a maximum of three each unless you have a license for a kennel, pet store or an animal hospital.
I find myself thinking about Noah, and wondering how he would react to the whopping fines imposed on him if his ark happened to come to rest within the Costa Mesa city limits.
As I read the new ordinance, if it doesn't bark, meow or chirp you can't have it inside our city. The exception to this will be the Orange County Fairgrounds. But, if you hope to own a cow, horse or other hoofed critter in this town you're out of luck unless the police chief gives you special dispensation. This is going to cause a problem in a neighborhood in the north part of town, where a well-known jackass is in residence.
PAULARINO PARK - AGAIN
Speaking of which, item 3 of Old Business will be the presentation to the council of the Parks and Recreation Commission's recommendations regarding Paularino Park. You will recall that this flap was created by a single Costa Mesa resident - see hoofed critter above - who felt threatened by marauding soccer players in "his" park, so has been a thorn in the city's side ever since, demanding that this park be restricted to non-athletic uses. Anyone paying attention to this guy and his agenda over the past few years knows what he was after - elimination of a place where Latinos could kick a soccer ball around after work. Now that he has a sympathetic - maybe that should just be "pathetic" - majority on the council it's likely that "his" plan will pass and the park will become a field of grass littered with boulders and trees to prohibit any use but walking or sitting. Don't you dare take your young son over there to play catch with a baseball or a frisbee. No sir, the Park Rangers will bust you, for sure.
FIELD USE AND ALLOCATION - ONE MORE TIME
And, as a perfect segue, the final item on the agenda will be Number 1 under New Business, Field Use and Allocation Policy. This one promises to be very interesting because of the many diverse constituencies represented and the fact that, although much progress has been made, there appears to still be much animosity between leaders of some of the youth sports groups in town. I've watched this debate over the past few years, through various iterations of the City Council and Parks and Recreation Commission, and thought much progress had been made recently. Then we hear of the recent discontent by one leader of youth football and wonder if perhaps we would be better served by just turning this whole thing over to the kids - the adults don't seem to be able to sort it out amiably. Or, maybe we should just take the adult leaders out onto the front lawn of the City Hall and let them settle the thing once and for all by a tug-of-war.
In any event, as usual, the best will be saved for last on Tuesday evening. I invite you to attend the meeting beginning at 6 p.m., view it live on Channel 24 or on streaming video via the city web site - there's a link to it over there on the right side of this page. Or, you can just wait for me to tell you how it went.