Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Answer To The Question "Who Is That Guy?"

OK, folks... the partying is over... thanks for all the kind words.  Now back to business.

I had a chance to speak with the unknown candidate for Costa Mesa City Council, James Rader, earlier this week.  He was kind enough to return my calls and we had a nice chat about him and his candidacy.  I must tell you that I liked him a lot based on that conversation.

Mr. Rader - a Westside resident -  is an engineer involved with customer interface in the custom circuit board business.  He's been doing this kind of work for almost three decades and has been with his current employer for a dozen years.

He tells me that he decided to throw his hat in the ring because of his frustration with the homeless situation near his home - across the street from Lions Park.  I'm sure most of us can understand that, for sure.  He complained about transients sleeping near his home, defiling his trash cans and making every trip across the street to the library or Historical Society an adventure in personal safety.

It's been my observation that, over the years, it has been a single issue that has prompted many of our local politicians to get involved, so his reasoning didn't surprise me.  What did surprise me was his almost complete lack of knowledge - or even awareness - of many of the important issues that have been swirling around our city for the past few years.

For example, he was completely unaware of the Homeless Task Force that had been working diligently to try to identify and solve the many elements of the "homeless problem".  Since that was his motivating issue, I kind of expected him to be a little more up to speed on that one, if nothing else.

He also has NO knowledge of the Charter issue, only a cursory awareness of the outsourcing drama and is vaguely aware of the budget issues facing the city.  He told me he has no acquaintanceship with any of the other candidates and only knows Gary Monahan because he's eaten at his place a couple times.

I don't get too excited when I meet residents who are clueless about important issues because that was me for nearly three decades.  I was like most folks in this town - I went to work each day out of the city, worked hard to make a living, then returned home to enjoy the fruits of those labors.  I figured I was in good hands - that the elected leaders of the city would do the right things on my behalf.  Yep, I, too, was clueless.

However, it's a BIG problem for me when a person takes the step to file as a candidate for City Council - paying the fees, gathering the necessary signatures and exposing his life to the world - with so little awareness of the important issues in the city and the time it will take to do the job even moderately well.

It was clear during my conversation with him that Mr. Rader knew he made a mistake by filing because when the City Clerk called to tell him he had qualified for the ballot he asked her if it was too late to withdraw.  The answer, of course, was YES!  That's a real shame, because this race is going to be a barn-burner and every single vote will count.  Even if he avoids every candidate forum - he's going to miss the first one because of a planned vacation - and does NO campaigning at all he will likely get 1,000 votes in November that would have gone to someone else.

Mr. Rader describes himself as a "decline to state" candidate.  He told me that he had been a registered Democrat, then switched to the Republican Party, then re-registered in his current status several years ago.  So, because he doesn't know the issues, we don't know how his presence on the ballot might impact the election.   I guess we'll see.

He told me he's going to be very busy doing his homework to get up to speed on the issues.  Based on the number and complexity of those issues, he's certainly going to have his hands full.  I wish him well and actually do look forward to meeting him at the forums if he decides to actually participate in the process.

I shudder to think about the possibility of this election - the second-most important one in the city's history - being decided by the votes cast for a man who made a mistake in filing.  Let's hope that's not the case.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Singing in the rain said...

Ha. West outlines what many already know.

Many many in the City have no idea of many issues that make the Wackos 4CM nuts.

Reality is that the good reasoned residents will be informed in the election. Just like they were in the last election when they voted Righeimer number 1 in votes.
Mail, walkers all united around a solid message campaigning for the same candidates and the Charter will produce the same results. West knows it. Drives him nuts too.

Rader will take votes from Wackos 4CM.

But this represents the playing field where so few are upset and so many don't know or don't care about W4CM issues.

This is why West's frustration shows when he writes about these topics.

8/15/2012 06:25:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Goes to prove my theory that probably 95% of Costa Mesa has no idea of what the Charter is, and probably even who Righeimer, Genis or even Allan Mansoor are. Lots of money is going to have to be spent to educate the "General" public on it.

Fortunately, human nature dictates that if someone doesn't understand an issue or a measure, they tend to vote no on it, so...

8/15/2012 07:11:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Singing, you couldn't have guessed more incorrectly if you tried.

I inadvertintly voted for Riggy in the last election, as he ran under "fiscal responsibility"...what a joke and lie that was!!

Now, I will work hard to do and have done everything in my power to undo that mistake, and there are many others like me.

I will make sure I cost him as many votes as possible for the scourge he has foisted on this city. Its a personal mission.

And Fitzy is next in line as far as I'm concerned.

8/15/2012 09:04:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

I ran for CM Water Board a gazillion years ago, decided to actively support another, more qualified candidate, did not spend one red cent on the campaign and still got 600 votes! CRAZY!

8/15/2012 10:25:00 AM  
Blogger just wondering... said...

Isn't it funny, that if one person is busy for the day, 15 "handles" don't post?

8/15/2012 02:32:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home