Hoping for a Quorum, Expanding The Forum and Acosta Decorum
I hesitate to mention this for fear of jinxing another City Council Study Session. That being said, this afternoon the Costa Mesa City Council will attempt to hold another study session. The April session was canceled because they didn't have a quorum. Let's hope that at least three members show up today.
CMPD GANG PLANS
Once again, members of the Costa Mesa Police Department will attempt to present their ideas on how to manage the gang problem in our city. The staff report is skimpy, to say the least, but I imagine their plans will include a prevention/intervention element to it in addition to the enforcement segment. Let's all hope the council will listen to them this time around and fund an intervention segment. Last year they blew it off, despite a very credible presentation by the Police Department about how essential a prevention/intervention element is to any successful gang control plan.
There are those in our community that rant and rave about the gang problem in our city, yet completely reject what the Police Department feels is a very real threat - White Supremacist gangs. According to reports made previously, those gangs are vicious and clever. A sweep not too long ago throughout Orange County snatched up nearly 60 White Supremacist gang members - including 20 at 17 locations in Costa Mesa. Those thugs had put out "hits" on law enforcement members and prosecutors. They infiltrate financial institutions, steal sensitive personal information and use it to engage in identity theft crimes to finance their drug businesses. Since the police consistently present facts to back up their position, one can only assume those who reject the very existence of this threat must have a vested interest in it being ignored. I wonder what that might be? I also wonder why, to this very day, the elected leaders of this city - Allan Mansoor specifically - has still not mentioned that sweep and it's results. It's all the more curious because Mansoor is a member of the Orange County Sheriff's Department - a deputy who spends his work day hunkered down in the jail.
NEW BLOGGERS HAVING AN IMPACT
A couple new anonymous bloggers in town, CMTRUTH and CM WATCHTOWER, seem to be having an impact on our town. As we approach the campaign season it will be very interesting to see what positions they take on the candidates. What makes this campaign season especially interesting is the speculation - fueled by his own not-to-veiled comment - that a guy who calls himself "Mr. U-Know-Who" might actually run for City Council. I've said repeatedly that I don't think that's going to happen - it would open him up to so much personal scrutiny and criticism that I doubt he could handle it. Heck, he has a tough time handling criticism now!
COST OF ACOSTA TRIALS
The Benito Acosta trials continue to reverberate through our city. In case you were wondering, as of the end of March the civil trial - Acosta is suing the City of Costa Mesa for his arrest during a council meeting - the cost of defending that suit is over $136,000 according to sources at the law firm representing the city, Jones & Mayer. The criminal trial - the one that was dismissed - has also cost the city over $130,000, but Jones & Mayer is handling the appeal pro bono. I should hope so, since it was their error that caused the dismissal! So far that effort has cost them almost $20,000.
NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED
I don't know how most of you feel about this - I suspect I'll hear from a few of you - but it's my view that this whole thing never would have happened if then-mayor Allan Mansoor had used good judgment and let Acosta finish his presentation to the council that fateful night. I've watched the tapes of that event and agree that Acosta was rude, but the situation only got out of hand after Mansoor refused to let his supporters stand and be recognized - as he had permitted Minuteman Grand Pooba Jim Gilchrist's followers to do earlier - then cut Acosta off short of his alloted three minutes.
MANSOOR COSTS US TOO MUCH
So far, Mansoor's bad judgment has cost the city over a quarter million dollars in legal fees and has the potential to dip deeply into the city coffers if the civil trial is found in Acosta's favor. The costs incurred so far could have funded a couple more police officers and a gang intervention element. All this to perpetuate and enhance the political future of an inept city councilman - a guy who has used the turmoil he created in Costa Mesa as a springboard to higher office. He's on the June ballot for a slot on the Orange County Republican Central Committee.