"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'.