Egan and Hall Bow Out
Last night the Costa Mesa Planning Commission held it's final meeting with recently ousted commissioners Eleanor Egan and Donn Hall on the dais. Both were tossed aside by the current City Council majority last week and will be replaced with newcomers Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger.
WHY THEY WILL BE MISSED
This particular commission meeting was interesting for several reasons, but what stood out in my mind was that it demonstrated exactly why both Egan and Hall have been such valuable contributors during their tour.
RULES VS. HEART STRINGS
The most contentious issue dealt with an Eastside residence that has an outbuilding on the back of the lot that was built in the 1960s. This issue has bounced back and forth between the commission and the City Council for many, many months. The debate last night among the commissioners clearly pitted Hall against the other four, including Egan, who gave the best summation of her reasons for her opinion on the issue, while Hall didn't let the actual facts of the issue stand in the way of making an impassioned appeal to do what "was right" for the property owners. These two war horses will be deeply missed.
NEW (ILL) WIND IS BLOWING
With the exception of Jim Righeimer, the other commissioners, some speakers and members of the city staff took great pains to thank both Egan and Hall for their professionalism and contributions during their tenure. Hall and Riggy have clashed at almost every meeting during Riggy's tour. I fear we will see a very different tone on the commission once the new guys are seated.
FISLER IN CHARGE - AND DID WELL
I didn't catch the very beginning of the meeting, so I don't know why Vice Chair Jim Fisler conducted it when the Chairman - Hall - was in attendance and sounded like he was in fine fettle. Regardless, I thought he did a good job with that responsibility last night and particularly so during that above-mentioned item. He kept things focused and did a good job of controlling the tempo and debate. Yes, I was surprised, but was pleased.
COST OF A PARKS SEAT - TWO GRAND
Wednesday will be the last Parks & Recreation Commission meeting with the current crew. The new appointees, Jeff Mathews and Kim Pederson, will take the dais at the February meeting, replacing long-time commissioner Mark Harris and ousted commissioner Bob Graham. Mathews was a supporter of Gary Monahan and Eric Bever to the tune of $1,000 each during the last election and was on Monahan's campaign staff. Pederson is a former commissioner and long-time youth athletic activist.
So, off we go into the future with our commissions staffed to a greater extent with political buddies and contributors... sad, indeed.