Homeless Task Force Launched
I confess... I did not attend the first meeting of the Costa Mesa Homeless Task Force held Wednesday evening at City Hall. I chose, instead, to stay home and tend to my sweet wife, who is under the weather. However, some reliable sources did attend and have reported some of the nuts and bolts of the meeting.
Warning: Second-hand knowledge coming at you...
NEARLY A FULL HOUSE
It's my understanding that Conference Room 1A was near capacity this evening - a good thing. No one mentioned whether any actual homeless folks were in attendance or not. You may recall that at a council meeting not too long ago when this whole idea was launched there was, in fact, a homeless fellow who spoke about what a wonderful place Costa Mesa is for the homeless - plenty of services, nice parks, etc. In fact, he told us he intentionally moved from Lake Elsinore to Costa Mesa for all the benefits.
SMITH AND BERRY LEAD THE EFFORT
I'm not privy to the actual flow of the agenda for this meeting, but I'm told that PR flack and Daily Pilot columnist (and nanny to us all for so many years) Steve Smith was elected Chairman of the Task Force and the irrepressible Judi Berry is Vice Chair. Among the "city" representatives present were Chief Executive Officer of the City, Tom Hatch, councilwoman Wendy Leece, Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy, commissioner Ed Salcedo and our housing maven, Neighborhood Improvement Manager Muriel Ullman. Sorry if I missed others - my reports are sketchy.
SERVICE PROVIDERS IN ATTENDANCE
I also understand that several of the organizations who provide support for our homeless provided representation in the meeting, including Saddleback Church.
The meeting lasted a couple hours and included spirited discussions - no surprise there. If this issue was an easy one to resolve it would have been done a long, long time ago.
NEXT MEETING APRIL 20TH
It's my understanding that future meetings - which are open to the public - will be held at the Neighborhood Community Center at Lions Park on the third Wednesday of each month. Actually, that's a perfect venue because many of the folks we're trying to "solve" with this task force will be right outside the door, sleeping on the grass or, perhaps, using the restrooms in the Center for bathing in the sinks, or dozing in the library.
PLEASE EXPAND MY COVERAGE IF YOU WERE THERE
If you were in attendance and wish to expand or correct my report, please just fire away in the comments section. I want to hear from you.
6-MONTH "OUTSOURCING" NOTICES TO BE DELIVERED TODAY
In closing, I wonder if anyone else sees the terrible irony in the fact that in less than 24 hours after launching the Costa Mesa Homeless Task Force the city will issue 6-month "outsourcing" notices to 213 city employees. By the end of the day today all such notices will have been delivered. For some of those folks receiving the notices it is possible they may be viewing the "homeless" issue from a much more up-close-and-personal perspective before year's end. It's a very sad commentary on the elected leadership of this city that they put the cart before the horse on this issue and made their decision before ANY analysis had been done. They keep talking about running the city like a business, but if they'd pulled this kind of a stunt in a company their boss would have fired them for incompetence.