Geez, I sneak away for some quality time with the little woman for our 42nd wedding anniversary and the wheels begin to come off around here!
Upon my return Monday I found a few minutes to go online to catch up and found some very interesting items awaiting me.
QUACH'S CANDIDACY SQUASHED
First, there is the article about Assemblyman Van Tran's right-hand man, Andy Quach, getting tanked - with a blood alcohol level of .26 (three times the legal limit) - and smashing his car into another car, a power pole and a building and knocking out power to 300 homes! According to news reports, Tran himself came close to getting arrested as he tried to intervene during the processing of his friend at the scene. Quach was to be a contender in the race with our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, for Tran's Assembly seat. Looks like that race got just a little easier for our easily-led mayor.
BEVER BLOGS BUFFOONERY
Then, there is the article Alan Blank wrote in the Daily Pilot last week, HERE, about Costa Mesa employees taking furloughs generated lots of flack on the DP Blog. Among the many familiar names posting long, long entries was our very own formerly-pigtailed councilman, Eric Bever. He defended his position on the votes at the recent council meeting wherein he voted NO! to almost every item having to do with the negotiated budget issues. He apparently thinks that the employee unions should have taken a flat 5% pay cut instead of 104 hours of unpaid time - the fiscal impact is the same.
HE SHOULD PAY ATTENTION
Now, I understand Bever's view, but I wonder if he understands the position of the unions. Word has it that he was absent from almost all the sessions where negotiations took place or were discussed. Maybe if he'd pay a little more attention to his job as councilman he'd actually be in a position to make an informed vote, not just some gut reaction in a fit of pique. As I type this the comment thread on that article is at 54 and counting... very interesting.
GOOD GOD, WENDY!
And then there is the issue that Wendy Leece is going to present at the council study session on Tuesday! She apparently wants the city to fork over enough cash - maybe as much as $3,500 - to place a plaque somewhere in the council chambers proclaiming, "In God We Trust". You know, I'm not really surprised at this. All you folks who voted for Wendy knew what you were getting. It was inevitable that, somehow, she was going to attempt to insert her religious beliefs into her job as a council member. What astounds me is her absolutely abysmal timing! This is an unnecessary distraction for our city leaders at this moment in time.
LOBDELL CHIMES IN
There are some interesting viewpoints on this issue, one of which is HERE, from former Daily Pilot Editor and current Co-Publisher of the recently-launched Daily Voice, William Lobdell's take on this subject. He's the author of, "Losing My Religion: How I Lost My Faith Reporting on Religion in America - and Found Unexpected Peace."
MAYBE WENDY'S RIGHT...
Lobdell is apparently willing to cut Wendy some slack, but many of those posting comments on the Daily Pilot article are not, HERE. But maybe Wendy has a point. Based on some of their actions in recent years, maybe this current City Council needs a little reminder of some of the cornerstone values of Christianity - like tolerance, for example. It might work better, though, if - every time a council member votes to disenfranchise a member of a minority in our city - a big mallet would drop from the ceiling and give him or her a big whack on the skull. I can see it now... "I'm sorry, Mr. Bautista, but we want you to change the name of your basketball league to get rid of that nasty, offensive 'Aztec' reference"... Whack! A new lump on the skull of the mayor! I don't think a simple little plaque with a motto on it will do the trick.
On the other hand, I'm a little concerned about just what this plaque will say. Since we are rapidly becoming a very diverse nation, in which sizable chunks of our population do not, in fact, worship God. What about Greek gods, Hindu gods, Norse gods, Roman gods? You get the picture. Maybe the plaque should say, "In Gods We Trust", and cover all the bases.
OR A HIGH-TECH CRAWL?
And, since we're a high-tech kind of place, maybe we don't need a plaque at all. We can take an idea from the news media and include a big, running scroll across the council dais that says, "In God We Trust....In God We Trust....In God We Trust..." in big, red illuminated letters. Wouldn't that be cool?! Even better, every time the word "God" passed in front of Wendy Leece's position on the dais a big halo would light up around her head!
FULL AGENDA AT THE STUDY SESSION...
Tuesday is going to be an interesting day for the City Council. They have the aforementioned Study Session at 4:30, in which they will hear about John Wayne Airport, Local Agency Formation of Orange County and have the new city website previewed - in addition to Wendy's plans for a religious overlay for our city.
THEN BAD NEWS FOR THE REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY...
Then they adjourn to a meeting of the Redevelopment Agency - the City Council in a fancy dress - at which they will undoubtedly hear how the current state budget crisis is going to hamstring redevelopment agencies state-wide.
AND THEN A SPECIAL COUNCIL MEETING
And then they will convene a special City Council meeting at which the new Memorandum of Understanding with the Costa Mesa firefighters will be discussed. It's going to be a very, very interesting afternoon and evening.
I guess I'm just going to have to stick closer to home from now on...