Aztec Basketball League Given Provisional Approval
The Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission, at their meeting Wednesday evening, agreed to permit the Aztec Basketball League to use the Downtown Recreation Center on Sundays, displacing a few folks that have been utilizing that facility in a drop-in basis to play basketball and volleyball.
BIDDERS TO BE SOUGHT FOR NEW LEAGUE
The approval was on a provisional basis, month-to-month, while the staff prepares a Request for Proposals to create a Sunday Costa Mesa basketball league. Aztec Basketball would be allowed to bid on that contract, but would not necessarily be the successful bidder.
COSTA MESA TEAMS INCLUDED
It was interesting to note that the Aztec Basketball League presently has four teams made up of Costa Mesa residents, and could field two more except for space limitations. That kind of deflated the argument made by The Mouth from Mesa North about Costa Mesa residents being displaced.
ARMY VETERAN RUNS AZTEC
I'd would loved to have been inside The Mouth's head when the applicant, Rigoberto Bautista stepped to the podium to present his case in his "work clothes" - an Army uniform. Sergeant Bautista - a 16 year Army veteran - is a National Guard recruiter, who recruits in Costa Mesa. He's operated the Aztec Basketball League for nine years and has glowing references from his former landlords - the City of Santa Ana. His program takes people from age 16 and up and creates a healthy, competitive environment in which they can play and develop basketball skills. The Mouth, as we all know, makes a bid deal of having been a Marine - among other things.
PROGRAM INCLUDES FEMALE PLAYERS
Sergeant Bautista told the commissioners that he's more than willing to include more Costa Mesa teams if the facility is made available. Recreation Manager Jana Ransom told them that his program includes female players, too, and that we currently have no female basketball programs in the city. Bautista also indicated that he will give priority to new Costa Mesa teams if permitted to use the Downtown Recreation Center facility.
"THE MOUTH" BLOWS SMOKE
Undeterred, The Mouth stood and blew a smoke screen about potential parking problems and, since the Aztec Basketball League is a for-profit organization, wondered where the profit went - as if it's any of his blasted business!
STILLER PROVIDES VETERAN GUIDANCE
The only other resident to speak on the issue was former Parks and Recreation Commissioner David Stiller, who made many good points and spoke in favor of approving the request.
A couple of sidebars to the proceedings last night...
"THE MOUTH" RANTS AGAINST GALITISKI
First, during public comments, The Mouth stood and ranted and raved against Chairman Kurt Galitski for his comments appended to The Mouth's recent Daily Pilot commentary defending his position at the previous commission meeting. His demeanor was not just aggressive, it was down right threatening. It was clear that he was trying to bait Galitski into making an inappropriate comment - which he didn't.
BRUMBAUGH BLASTS ME
Of more interest to me, personally, was the tirade launched directly at me by Vice-Chair Mike Brumbaugh for the comments I wrote - also on The Mouth's commentary - in which I suggested that the four commissioners turned to lumps of stone when Galitski moved to approve this item last month. I suggested that they had been influenced by the comments made by The Mouth at that meeting. Brumbaugh didn't like my suggestions one little bit. I really can't blame him too much - no one in his right mind would want to be even peripherally associated with The Mouth.
HE CAN'T TAKE CRITICISM
Well, Mr. Vice Chair, that's just too bad. If you watch the tape, as I have - several times - you can see exactly what happened. The discussion was rocking right along, with no critical comments nor concerns expressed by any of you. Then The Mouth spoke and four of you were struck dumb. Not one of you stepped forward to second Galitski's motion - even for discussion. Not one of you raised any concerns about the proposal - which would have been handled at the staff level and you'd never have had it presented to you except the staff felt you should sign on in the case of a program that would displace a few drop-in basketball and volleyball players on Sundays.
FOUR LUMPS OF STONE
Nope, when The Mouth presented his "hypothetical" scenario involving ex-convicts who might come to town to play basketball and terrorize our young children using the pool or library, the four of you reacted as though someone had torn your tongues out. If you don't care for my characterization of your performance - or lack thereof - simply don't read them.
IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT, MIKE...
Brumbaugh criticized me for not attending meetings to express my views to them, and for not running for public office. Well, Mike old buddy, we each do what we can do toward making this a better city. Yours apparently is participating on the commission and, on occasion, being influenced by speakers before you to the extent that you are frozen in place. My contribution is to observe, assess and report. Criticism comes with the turf you bought into when you accepted the assignment as a commissioner. If you don't like it, maybe you made the wrong choice. Besides, I'm just one guy - what do you care what I think, anyhow?
CONCERTS IN THE PARK CANCELED
Finally, on Wednesday the city announced the cancellation of the first three dates - July 7th, 14th and 21st - of the annual Concerts In The Parks series and mention was made about the cancellations by Ransom at the end of the meeting. The remaining concerts might be retained if some sort of sponsorship arrangement can be made. It's too late for those early in July. This is very sad, indeed, because thousands of Costa Mesa residents look forward to the concerts each summer.