The Mayor, The Newcomers and The Senior Center
It has been brought to my attention by someone whose opinion I value very much that I may have been too harsh in my judgment of our young jailer/mayor's decision to ask for an immediate pay cut at the council meeting Tuesday night. I criticized him for proposing a pay cut that wouldn't affect him because he will be termed-out before it can be implemented following the next municipal election. I then chided him for springing forward like a jack-in-the-box to ask the City Manager to immediately begin docking his pay 5%.
LEADERSHIP (AND GRANDSTANDING)
Well, I think asking for an immediate pay cut was showing leadership - I give him that. If the other council members follow his lead they will be able to say to the bargaining unit leaders that they, in effect, feel their pain. I still feel that it was a grandstanding move, but that's just my position - one apparently shared by Councilwoman Katrina Foley and others, too.
KEEPING A STRAIGHT FACE
However, each of the council members, including the mayor and Foley, are employed elsewhere - their council stipend is not their only source of income. I'm not sure how they will keep a straight face as they sit across the table from the negotiators who will be asking their rank and file to take a big hit to their ONLY source of income. Since each of them have "day jobs", a stronger statement would have been to reduce their pay by 90% or more for the duration of the crisis, beginning immediately. I noticed that they didn't change their benefits allocation or timing of increases.
IS THE MAYOR STILL WORKING?
By the way, there is a rumor churning around below the surface that our young jailer/mayor may not, in fact, be working as an Orange County Deputy Sheriff in one of the county jails these days. This rumor, which I've heard from a couple unrelated sources, indicates he may be on some kind of leave of absence. Since I know he and his posse read this blog from time-to-time, let's ask him...
QUESTIONS FOR ALLAN MANSOOR...
Mr. Mayor, are you currently going to work these days, or are you staying at home plotting your political career? Are you on a leave of absence? Is it a PAID leave? Is the leave due to personal reasons or for performance issues? Do you plan to return to work, and if so, when? Inquiring minds want to know.
OPPORTUNITY TO REPLY - UNEDITED
To avoid further speculation, perhaps the mayor could let us know. I'd be happy to provide him the forum here to explain. And, I guarantee him that I will publish his response verbatim - no editing. That's a deal he won't get from any local newspaper. All he has to do is call me to arrange the publication - he has my number, so to speak.
NOT HOLDING MY BREATH
Quite honestly, I don't expect Mayor Mansoor to take me up on this offer. I'm still waiting for a reply to the last letter I wrote to him - several years ago.
I saw an interesting little piece in the Orange County Register today mentioning that Costa Mesa is one of the most frequently named destinations of incoming U-Haul trailers being used to move folks into the state. This is good news. It's good news because the thrust of the article was that incoming trailers now exceed outgoing units. Until very recently, that was not the case - people were fleeing the state in record numbers. So, to all those blue-collar workers (that's how the Register article described them) dragging those U-Haul trailers to a new life here in Costa Mesa, Welcome! We want you to move to our city, buy our houses - much more affordable these days - educate your kids in our excellent public schools and spend your hard-earned cash in our stores. We want you to become active in the PTA and other civic activities. We want your energy, intellect and dedication to enhance the lives of all our residents.
"THE MOUTH" JOINS THE PACK
The yapping hyena over at the CM Press has picked up a pitchfork and joined Wendy Leece's witch hunt at the Senior Center. He wrote a bit of drivel today in which he perpetuates the lies of senior abuse and financial mismanagement at the center. This doesn't really surprise me, since he and his fellow-travelers in the self-named "improver" group don't like the fact that the Senior Corporation Board of Directors includes former political foes of Mansoor, Bever and Leece. Well, those rabble-rousers need to be careful what they ask for or it's possible they will find the Senior Center dropped in the lap of the financially-strapped city to run. The phony charges being trumped up by one or two malcontents and, assuming they were true without investigation, publicized by Leece, have hampered fund raising activities and destroyed the morale of the center staff.
ON A MISSION FROM GOD?
I'm sure Leece thinks she's doing "God's work" in this issue, but she seems unable to filter personal gripes from real problems. This has deteriorated to the point where she no longer will deal with the Executive Director of the center, Aviva Goelman. Her personal animosity toward Goelman makes one wonder about the foundations of this ill feeling. Leece has a history of trying to overlay her own personal religious beliefs on issues - as witnessed by her tumultuous tour on the school board. Is it possible that she now refuses to deal with Goelman because she is Jewish? Whatever the reasons for her feelings toward Goelman, having a City Council liaison to the Senior Center who will not deal with the Executive Director is unworkable and unacceptable. For the welfare of the seniors, and the Senior Center, something has to change.