Apathy Equals Surrender
If the turnout at the informational meeting on the proposed City Charter at the Neighborhood Community Center last night is any indication, Jim Righeimer's plot to takeover the city is a slam dunk. Wednesday night fewer than 100 residents showed up to gather information on this scheme and to leave comments. The City staff members counted 90 heads that were not staffers or invited experts. So, depending on what you think our population is - I use the official census number of 109,500 - only 8/1000th of 1% cared enough to show up. And, many of those were folks who had already been engaged in this issue through attendance at council meetings. As I gazed around the room I saw fewer than 50 unfamiliar faces. I find it curious that there is such a low turnout on an issue so important to every resident of the city - the second most important issue since the city was formed more than a half-century ago.WAKE UP, OR ELSE...
Jason Chamness and Sue Lester)
CITY STAFF AND "EXPERTS" AVAILABLE FOR QUESTIONS
INFORMATION ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE CITY WEB SITE
HATCH PLAYED DODGEBALL WITH QUESTIONS
APPARENTLY SB 202 DOES NOT APPLY
Earlier I had written to Hatch and Duarte about the possible impact of Senate Bill 202, which went into effect January 1, 2012, on the timing of the Charter placement on a ballot. It was unclear whether SB 202, which requires initiatives to be placed ONLY on the General Election ballot, applied to this issue. According to Duarte and, second hand, from Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelly, local issues are NOT subject to that restriction, so this train can continue at break-neck speed toward the June, 2012 ballot.
There were plenty of officials at the meeting. Apologies to those I missed, but I did see Wendy Leece and Steve Mensinger from the City Council and Jim Fitzpatrick and Rob Dickson from the Planning Commission. Former Planning Commissioner and City Council candidate and current Mesa Consolidated Water District Director Jim Fisler showed up. Among the City Staff present, in addition to those mentioned above, were new Economic/Community Improvement Director/Deputy CEO Peter Naghavi, Interim Public Services Director Ernesto Munoz, Police Chief Tom Gazsi, Costa Mesa Police Officer's Association President Jason Chamness, Interim Communication Director Bill Lobdell, Interim Public Affairs Manager Dan Joyce and soon-to-be Assistant CEO Rick Francis.
CMTV TAPED IT, TOO
Hatch's presentation plus other vignettes of activities last night were taped by Brad Long of CMTV and will be placed in the CMTV rotation for viewing on Channel 24 (Time Warner Cable) and Channel 99 (ATT u-verse), plus will be available for viewing on streaming video, too. I'll let you know the play schedule when it's available.
IT'S UP TO US...
I'll leave you with this message. If you and I and other residents don't do our parts to present alternatives to the present Charter being proposed by the City - a document created by one man to suit his own personal political ambitions - then we have decided to give over control of our lives and those of our neighbors to a carpet-bagging political opportunist with no long-term ties to our city. It's up to us...