Monahan's Plan Morphs - Wendy's Peeved
The drama goes on regarding the establishment of ad hoc committee - a "task force" to sort out issues regarding the Costa Mesa Senior Center prior to the renewal of it's contract this summer.
MONAHAN, THE BROKER
At their meeting last night, the Costa Mesa City Council addressed Gary Monahan's proposal for the establishment of the committee in it's latest permutation. Monahan has been trying to broker an acceptable arrangement with the Senior Corporation Board that also would pass muster with the City Council.
HIS LATEST IDEA
His latest idea is that the ad hoc committee would have two members each from the City Council and the Senior Corporation Board. That quartet would then select the remaining community members with the exception of the representative chosen by the Chamber of Commerce.
STACKING THE DECK HEADED OFF
This keeps the City Council from stacking the deck with outspoken malcontents - something Wendy Leece wanted to do.
Last night Leece seemed quite flummoxed by this proposal. During the discussion with Monahan she, in her own semi-intelligible way, said the following:
"I have a concern that, ah, you know, ah, just as far as objectivity as far as the selection. We would only have two city council members on this task force. I just have a problem thinking that there are more members that apply, just really being fair in selecting the final task force.
The way you presented it to us we were going to select the members and now that's kinda being taken away and I'm concerned that we lose that ability to place the people on who would, I feel, really represent the interests of the city."
She later said:
"Expanding the numbers and then, uh, that kinda takes that out of the control of the city then. Because you got, er, you had a definite number of members, but if we grow the committee then we may lose our influence."
Well, duh, Wendy! And why, specifically, should the city have "control" of an issue involving a private corporation? The city provides the building and some cash, but the volunteers on the board and the staff of the Senior Center do ALL the work. You're not losing "influence" - the game will just be played with fair rules for a change.
TAKING THE CLUB OUT OF HER HANDS
Clearly, Leece doesn't like having to work with a level playing field. That's understandable, since she had been part of the "improver" majority during her entire tenure on the council. If this proposal flies there is a chance that the whole non-issue that Leece ginned up will receive something approaching a fair hearing.
MANSOOR AND MONAHAN ON COMMITTEE
The four members of the council who could vote on this issue - Katrina Foley had to abstain and was not on the dais for the deliberations because of a business conflict - chose our young jailer/mayor Allan Mansoor and Monahan to be the council committee members. It's not clear what role, if any, Wendy Leece will play in this scenario. She's the city council liaison to the Senior Center, but that doesn't necessarily entitle her to participate in this ad hoc committee.
NEW RECRUITMENT FOR AT-LARGE MEMBERS
The council also decided to re-advertise the application process and provide applications at the Senior Center to facilitate interested seniors being able to more easily participate in this process. Eric Bever expressed some concern that those folks who had already applied might be put off when they find out that a balanced committee will decide the selections instead of the council using their power to appoint members.
SENIOR BOARD TO DECIDE
Now the Senior Corporation Board will, at their meeting on February 17th, consider this issue again and, perhaps, chose two members to be on the committee. It's still not clear that the Senior Corporation Board is actually willing to participate in this dog and pony show. We'll see how this shakes out now.