Bever Steps Beyond The Bounds Of Propriety - Again
Yesterday, April 5th, the Daily Pilot published a Community Commentary by Costa Mesa Mayor Pro Tem Eric Bever entitled, "Comments on anti-gang proposal ignore real issues", in which he criticizes the proposed Truancy Ordinance proposal made by the Costa Mesa Police Department as one tool in the fight against the growing gang problem in our city.
Daily Pilot Publisher Tom Johnson, in a column today entitled, "The great, communicating councilman", rips Bever for his commentary. It was delicious and very appropriate.
Bever has, once again, demonstrated that he is unfit for the office he holds - one that he apparently is already jockeying to retain in 2008. In his own special smug, arrogant way, he manages to step beyond the line of propriety by criticizing a city employee, Costa Mesa Police Lieutenant Clay Epperson - one of the architects of the overall anti-gang program and advocate of the Truancy Ordinance - in the public press. It was moronic, despicable and absolutely inappropriate for Bever, as a sitting council member, to publicly criticize Epperson, who was just doing his job. If he has a problem with Epperson's performance, that is a matter to be discussed with the City Manager - not blasted all over the newspapers.
In fact, I suspect Bever doesn't have a problem with Epperson's job performance - he just doesn't like his political choices. Epperson - reportedly the highest ranking officer in the Costa Mesa Police Department who actually lives in our city - supported candidates who opposed Bever's buddy, Mayor Allan Mansoor and his campaign barnacle, Wendy Leece, in the last campaign. So Bever, in a petty, classless move, uses his bully pulpit as an elected official in this city to attack one of the finest officers on the CMPD. This is just one of innumerable instances when Bever has used terrible judgment in the performance of his job.
In the more than two years since he's been on the City Council - and before that as a Planning Commissioner - Bever has frequently tried to circumvent proper procedures on any number of issues. One of the most flagrant was his quick-pitch of the process on the Westside Improvement issue, where he ignored the hard work done by the members of the Westside Revitalization Oversight Committee (WROC) and expanded and manipulated the area to be covered. Of course, we all recall the infamous "note passing" incident, when Bever tried to circumvent the Brown Act by passing a note to Mansoor and then-councilman Gary Monahan to influence the debate of an issue. These are but two of many times he's chosen to bend the rules.
It must be especially challenging for members of the CMPD to work in this city today. It must be hard for those sworn to uphold our laws to work in an environment that is very obviously targeting one demographic group - the Latinos among us. It must be hard to work for a city in which top elected leaders propose policies that smack of racism.
If I were a city employee today, having seen Bever attack a fellow employee in the public press, I'd be very nervous. If, instead of addressing concerns about my job performance, a council member chooses to make a point of my performance in the press, I think I'd be considering other options. If I were one of the many silver-haired senior employees watching this kind of malicious buffoonery, I suspect I'd be investigating my retirement options.
These are the kind of things that happen when the voters of this city, so afraid of a perceived "alien invasion" as peddled by our local politicians and their mouthpieces, elect leaders who lack the wisdom and good judgment so necessary to effectively manage our city. This is what happens when you open the door to racists and let them take control. What a shame.