Harlan and Genis Both Hit The Mark
These days, when all traditional media outlets are struggling to remain timely, relevant and solvent, we here in the Newport-Mesa are fortunate to have the Daily Pilot as our local newspaper of record. The past decade has been very difficult for all local newspapers and the Daily Pilot is no exception. That period has seen tremendous pressure on the management of the Times Community Newspapers - the umbrella under which the Daily Pilot operates - by the parent, The Los Angeles Times and its parent, The Tribune Companies. Management at the Daily Pilot has undergone frequent upheavals and reporters have moved on, being back-filled by others who must learn the turf to become proficient in providing us with the important news of our area. Today it operates under the steady hand of John Canalis.
A LONG, LONG LIST
One constant during this time of transition, however, has been a cadre of local columnists, each of whom has had an up-close and personal perspective to their slice of our area and they reported on that slice with their own style and flair. Names like Joe Bell, Peter Buffa, Fred Martin, Byron de Arakal, Steve Smith, the long-winded Judge Jim Gray and others have given us the value of their insights - some better than others.
HARLAN HITS THE MARK
This weekend one of the most recent of these local columnists, Jeffrey Harlan, presented to his readers what may be one of the most finely crafted essays on an important issue as any seen on those pages. Those of you who do not read the Daily Pilot can find this essay, Process is king in city government, HERE.
SHOULD BE REQUIRED READING
I'm not going to rehash Harlan's column - it really needs to be read start to finish for the full impact of it. I must say, though, that this particular essay should be required reading as we head into this political campaign season, and particularly for those who have even the slightest interest in Jim Righeimer's Charter.
TRYING TO REEL YOU IN...
I will attempt to lure you into reading this column by giving you just a few phrases from it - to pique your interest. These phrases may seem curt and crass out of context. Trust me, you'll feel differently after you read the entire essay. So, here are just three snippets from the essay to provoke you:
"First, the councilmen are afraid."
"Second, the councilmen are driven by control and ego."
"Third, the councilmen are just plain lazy."
SOUND INTERESTING? READ IT!
OK, got the picture? It sounds like something I would write, right? Believe me when I tell you that it is MUCH better written than I could ever do. Enjoy it.
GENIS HITS THE MARK, TOO
The Daily Pilot also provides an excellent forum for community input in the form of their Mailbag and Commentary segments. This weekend, former Mayor Sandra Genis presented a commentary on those pages that deals with the ill-advised agreement the council signed with the proposed developer of the Banning Ranch. That essay is titled, Council sold Costa Mesa short on Banning Ranch project, and can be found HERE.
STELLAR CIVIC CONTRIBUTOR
Genis, who recently announced her candidacy for a seat on the city council in November, served this city with distinction for two terms on the council - including a stint as mayor - beginning in 1988 and has remained an activist in municipal affairs ever since. A Stanford-educated land use planning consultant by profession, she may be the smartest person in the room when it comes to those kinds of issues and is certainly one of the hardest-working, most detail-oriented you'll find when it comes to issues involving this city. She was, for example, the president of the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society and a driving force behind getting the bogus sale of that property quashed.
READ IT FOR YOURSELVES
Her essay this weekend asks some very thought-provoking questions - I'll let you read them in context. She speaks of "an Orwellian twist", gag orders and such. Take a few minutes and read her views.
THESE ESSAYS SET THE TONE
These two essays by Harlan and Genis will give you a very good idea of what this council campaign may be like. It's going to be the three lock-step lemmings, Steve Mensinger, Colin McCarthy and Gary Monahan, spouting the OC GOP party line versus those within the city - long-time residents with impeccable credentials - who don't want to see our community become a fiefdom controlled by a political ideology directed by others outside our city.