A Double-Header Of Sorts
This morning, as we bid a fond adieu to little old February, I'll report last night's activities. I have not done a double-header for some time, so it was kind of interesting.
MANSOOR'S TOWN HALL
DEFENDING HIMSELF ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
Mansoor led off with a preemptive strike of sorts by attempting to salvage his position on illegal immigration that had been brought into question recently when he - apparently too hastily - signed a letter supporting House Speaker John Boehner's position on amnesty for illegal aliens. Once again - for the gazillionth time - he told the story of his parents, who immigrated LEGALLY from Egypt and Sweden, but this time he threw his mother-in-law into the mix. She immigrated from Viet Nam.
He spoke of the state budget, which Governor Brown recently declared had a $3.2 billion surplus. Mansoor was flummoxed that there could be a "surplus" when the state has a $354 billion pension liability.
He mentioned "bad bills" that were being proposed briefly and without much detail.
He mentioned his bills - which had not been passed. Nothing new here. He's so ineffective in Sacramento that his record of getting bills he originated passed is one (1) UNO! That one removed the word "retard" from the official state lexicon.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERSHe fielded 21 questions covering a variety of issues:
- The recent Huntington Beach plastic bag fee (he doesn't support it)
- Group homes (he said they have a strong lobby and make a ton of money)
- Poseidon Desal Plan (he supports it)
- The exodus of businesses from California (he doesn't like it and thinks we need to find new revenue sources to retain them) No, I didn't get that one, either.
- Budget deficit (he supports a part-time legislature)
- Crime up in Mesa North with slow police response times (he thinks we need to curb wasteful spending instead of raising taxes to pay for more police) He also mentioned Pensions as being unsustainable.
- Westside homeless (he thinks a lot of people want to be homeless and he thinks it takes cooperation by neighboring cities to resolve it)
- He was asked if he was proud of his record (he dodged a direct answer, but said "I'm doing the best I can with what I have". It's not clear whether he meant his own, personal shortcomings, that of his staff or just being a minority in Sacramento.)
- Another questioner asked him if he thought he was "lipstick on a pig" in Sacramento. (He answered "I'm doing the best I can with what I have".)
- He was asked about AB109 - the prisoner realignment scheme that shoved prisoners out to municipalities. (He said "Public Safety should be our number 1 priority", then said, "I'm doing the best I can with what I have".
- He dodged a question about his run for Board of Supervisors
- A question was asked about the ruling by a federal judge to shut off northern California water to protect the Delta Smelt. (His answer was weak, but he said we need to do more to create water storage and transportation.)
- One very attractive woman - a lawyer, she said - thanked him for his help with Prop. 65 and heaped praise on him. (He said he was "humbled" by the praise.
All in all I didn't learn much from the 55 minutes at that meeting, except that he's doing the best he can with what he has. I was reminded just what a feeble public speaker Mansoor is, and, even after a dozen years in public office, how he still can't seem to articulate his points without sounding like an echo of himself. I will attend any debates/forums that pit him against Michelle Steel and other candidates in his run for the Orange County 2nd Supervisorial seat presently occupied by termed-out John Moorlach. I'll be hard-pressed to find a reason to vote for him, though.
PARKS AND RECREATION MEETING
I then skipped over to City Hall to attend what was left of the Parks and Recreation Meeting, arriving just a half-hour before they wrapped things up. I missed both items about tree removals, but did hear the tail end of the report on the field use allocation study presented by the staff, HERE. The upshot is that we don't have enough of them, particularly lighted fields for youth sports teams. Mention was made about the possibility of acquiring/leasing the Balearic Center from the Newport Mesa School District. That meeting ended with two other residents in attendance just after 8:00 p.m. If you want the whole story read Brad Zint's excellent summary of the meeting published in the Daily Pilot, HERE.