Mesa Water Stifles Public Awareness?
I don't know how many of you read the Surf City Voice, a blog operated by John Earl that focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on Huntington Beach issues, but I suggest you give it a look when you have time. You can find it HERE.
FOCUSED ON WATER ISSUES LATELY
RESTRICTING MEDIA ACCESS
Sunday he published an entry titled, New Mesa Water Press Credential Policy Weeds Out Journalists and Terrorists. Click on that title to go to the site. As you read through this entry - watch the video first - you find some issues that are pretty darn distressing from a censorship standpoint.
SOLID OPERATION IN THE PAST
I've not paid much attention to Mesa over the years. I've felt the operation was well-run and cost effective, so there didn't seem to be much to criticize. However, lately I've become a little more in tune with operations there and the major players involved. It's become more visible on my radar because of the cross-pollination of members of the Mesa Board and Costa Mesa city committees and commissions.
RE-BRANDING AND CASH MANAGEMENT
For example, Mesa recently proposed using a for-profit organization to help manage their cash. Then, out of the blue, a similar scheme is proposed by the new Finance Advisory Committee - which includes members of the Mesa board. And then there's the whole "re-branding" issue on which they will have spent nearly $300,000 of ratepayer dollars.
NO BLOGGERS ALLOWEDAccording to John Earl in his piece, no bloggers will be credentialed to attend any Mesa official function. I guess there is an assumption that bloggers are automatically critics of their operations, hence they will lock them out of any chance to observe and ask questions about operations at Mesa events. You can read Mesa Water's Media Credentialing Policy HERE. As an aside, in that video you'll hear Mesa Communication Director Stacey Taylor tick off the names of media organizations credentialed for the event Earl was attempting to attend. The only local media outlet she mentioned was KOCI - the local radio station to which Mesa provides significant funding. No mention of the Daily Pilot nor the Orange County Register - the two main sources of local news in our area. I thought that was more than a little strange.
"TRANSPARENCY" WHEN IT'S CONVENIENTMesa touts its "transparency", yet apparently seeks to stifle reporting of their operations by some of us with a large local readership. Unfortunately, this kind of attitude is insidious, so I'll be watching to see if this infection spreads to City operations, too.