Another Grass Roots Organization Pops Up
Yoo Hoo, City Council! Are you paying attention? Remember these names - Michelle Simpson and Bonnie Copeland. They've provided the womb for yet another group of concerned residents to meet, talk and strategize about issues important to them. It will be interesting to see what happens to this embryo of concern.
NEW FACES, NEW ANGER
Based on reports from the scene, last night an angry, frustrated group of residents met at Simpson's home in the heart of the Westside to address their concern about a possible 19th Street Bridge across the Santa Ana River. According to Joe Serna's Daily Pilot article this evening, HERE, more than five dozen people met to vent their collective spleens, apparently in response to out-of-touch carpetbagging Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer's position that he was in favor of such a bridge. Other reports from the scene indicate numbers greater than the 60 or so Serna reported - 100 and 200 were mentioned. The number really is not as relevant as the fact that, again, from reports from the scene, most were "new" faces - folks not normally in attendance at council and commission meetings.
CONCERNS ABOUT TRAFFIC AND "THAT BRIDGE"
Of course, the Banning Ranch and Sunset Ridge Park issues in Newport Beach have many Westside residents very anxious about the future of that side of town. The traffic that would result from the current proposal for the development of Banning Ranch is very significant - thousands of NEW car trips each day would be generated by Banning Ranch and most would flow along Costa Mesa streets. And, there is a perception that the development will also increase the demand for that 19th Street Bridge.
ANOTHER CONCERNED GROUP
What we're seeing here is yet another group of residents made very nervous about the way our city is being governed these days. The current city council majority has demonstrated, month after month, that they are not concerned so much about the future of the city as they are about the political future of some of their members.
UH-OH, SOMEBODY'S AWAKE NOW
It appears to me that we are finally seeing that silent majority - that group of residents that Righeimer assumes support him because they've not said they don't - awakening from their hibernation and are looking around and seeing things they don't much like. Are you grumpy when you first wake up? I know I am, and I suspect these folks are not going to get any happier as they learn more about just what's going on.
ACTIVISTS OR "KOOKS"?
It's going to be very interesting to see what kind of activism emanates from this group. Will some of their number step up to the speaker's podium and tell the council of their concerns? If so, will the council take them seriously or simply brush them off as a bunch of kooks and give them the cold shoulder, as they do many others who take the time to air their grievances before them? I'm looking forward to seeing how this plays out.