Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Progress and Exasperation Mark Fairview Committee Meeting


PROGRESS AND...
The meeting of the Costa Mesa Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee Wednesday evening was marked by some good progress and, at the end, some exasperation on the part of a few members of the committee..... First, the progress.
ACTIVE COMMUNITY INTEREST
As I wrote in an earlier post, progress sometimes comes slowly with this group because of the nature of the task.  Wednesday night things moved a little more briskly, although not without some minor glitches.  All committee members, staff and liaison personnel were in attendance for the first time in many meetings.  At the peak there were 24 members of the public in attendance and several of those spoke on the issues.  Among those were Parks and Recreation Commissioners - Vice Chair Kim Pederson and member Bob Graham - coaches and at least one council member - Sandra Genis - who actively participated in the discussion of issues as they came up.

THREE NEW ISSUES
As mentioned earlier, the staff report, HERE,  included three items listed under New Business that were anomalies to the normal, established process they've been following.  Those items were:
  • BMX Concept (Southeast Quadrant)
  • Pickleball Concept (Northeast Quadrant)
  • Naming of the Ponds after the Great Lakes
PICKLEBALL
Inexplicably, the second item, the Pickleball Concept ended up being addressed first.  Committee member Ron Amburgey introduced Phil Dunmeyer, a strong advocate for the new and rapidly-growing sport of Pickleball.  He spent about 15 minutes explaining and explaining and explaining the sport and it's spectacular rise.  According to him, it's the fastest growing sport in the country.  The number of participants throughout the country has doubled in the past five years.  Many neighboring communities - he mentioned Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Tustin, Fountain Valley, Laguna Hills - have active Pickleball facilities.  Costa Mesa has none.  The sport can be played on a tennis court-type surface.  He says you can get four Pickleball courts on one tennis court.  He was there to encourage the committee to consider planning for a Pickleball facility somewhere in Fairview Park.

BMX
Then came a brief discussion of the possibility of a BMX bike facility in the park.  There is already a de facto "facility" in Talbert Park.

NAMING PONDS
Finally, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Bob Graham stepped up and gave a PowerPoint presentation on why the new ponds in the Northwest Quadrant should be named, not numbered as is presently the case.  He compared them to the Great Lakes and gave a long, long, long presentation on it.

AWKWARD
Public comments were taken on all the items simultaneously - very cumbersome.

ALL FAILED TO MOVE FORWARD
Eventually, when the votes were taken, all three of those items failed to gain support to move forward in the process.

THE CLOCK WAS TICKING
It was now 7:05 p.m. - half way through the allotted time - and they were just beginning the normal agenda of eight (8) items to be discussed for possible inclusion in the Northeast Quadrant.

Item #1, Dry Land Wildlife Viewing Area evoked a little discussion among the committee members and 6 members of the public spoke on it.  After all was said and done it died for lack of a second and will no longer be considered for that segment of the park.

Member Brett Eckles moved to combine #2, Soccer/Football Fields, and #4, Multi-use Athletic Fields, for the purpose of discussion and consideration.  He indicated that he felt such uses in that quadrant of the park were inappropriate.  Four members of the public agreed with him.  There was no motion on these items so they will also not move forward.

Item #3, planting a Redwood Forest in that quadrant also gained no support from the committee or the audience.  Five members of the public spoke on this one.  It died for lack of a motion.

Items #5, Roller Hockey Surface and #7, Basketball/Handball Courts, were also combined for discussion.  They also died for lack of a motion.

Item #6, the installation of a Two-tiered Building that includes an Interpretive Center and Terrace Viewing Deck.  The discussions on this one were brief, too.  It died for lack of a motion.

At that point Eckles moved to extend beyond the 8:00 p.m. stop time to finish the second group of 8 items on the agenda, but failed to receive a second to his motion.

The final item discussed was #8, Trail Exercise Stations.  Member Dennis Popp said he suggested this function for another quadrant but didn't think it was appropriate for this one.  It died for lack of a motion.

EIGHT UP, EIGHT DOWN
So, there you have it... eight items up, NONE moved forward.  Actually, make that eleven (11) when you consider the three items under New Business.  The committee will consider the remaining eight items at the meeting on July 2nd.

HARD WORK
Please don't think the committee didn't work hard on these items... they did.  And, there was lively discussion from the audience on most of them, too.  All the conversations were civil and, in many cases, light-hearted.

THE CLOSING DIATRIBES
Which brings me to the final few moments.  As the Chairman, Dr. Richard Mehren, went around the table for each member to make their closing comments most chose not to say anything more.  However, when it came to Vice Chair Steve Smith he clearly had a burr under his blanket.  He angrily said he was a friend of Mayor Pro Tem Steve Mensinger but that friendship did NOT drive any of his decisions on the committee.  He said he was "tired of accusations of being a 'Friend of Steve'".  It seemed like a curious outburst - particularly when you consider his vocal participation on the issues before the committee has been minimal over all these months.  Yes, he voted on each item, but seldom did he engage in discussions, so it was hard to determine why he voted the way he did.  I glanced around the room and saw many surprised expressions on the audience members faces.

POPP POPS OFF
Then member Dennis Popp took the baton from Smith and raised the rhetoric and, among other things, called the allegations of committee members as having a pre-determined agenda "egregious behavior".  He was so angry that the combination of his white hair and his red neck reminded me of a pimple ready to pop(p).  Keep in mind that just a few minutes earlier he paused the proceedings to pontificate to the members of the audience that "there are no television cameras here" - implying they were playing to an audience, not the issues.  That comment was way, way out of line.  The discourse had been civil, but spirited, to that point.  No nasty remarks, no songs sung, no personal, pointed criticisms - just respectful discussion of the issues.

ET TU, LEE?
Then, mild-mannered Lee Ramos - city council candidate for whom Popp is the campaign manager - spoke up and agreed with Smith and thanked him from bringing the issue up.  He criticized members of the audience for saying things like, "the citizens feel this way" - I don't recall that phrase being said -  and accused them of pretending to speak for all Costa Mesa citizens.  He told the audience that, "if you're the leaders, bring them with you.  I want to hear from them!"  It was a curious outburst from a normally-quiet guy - it seemed just a little contrived.

THE MENSINGER SMIRK
Through this all Mensinger sat across from them with his trademark perpetual bemused smirk on his face.

FLABBERGASTED!
I sat there, dumbfounded.  Every speaker that night was courteous, addressed specific issues, were generally brief and on-point.  One speaker frequently read to the committee from the current Fairview Park Master Plan to remind them of the current status of the park as codified in that Master Plan.  Others shared views, so kept their comments brief to avoid unnecessary redundancy.  Most of the speakers tilted toward keeping the park exactly as it is right now.  And, in this particular Quadrant - the Northeast Quadrant - that obviously is a view shared by the committee, because that's how they've voted on the first eight issues considered.

HERE'S HOW IT LOOKS TO ME
Since Smith's outburst had not been provoked by anything that happened last night, I'll tell you how this looks to me.  It looks like just one more step in the plan to quash criticism by members of the public.  Mayor Jim Righeimer has laid that ground work.  Members of his posse have perpetuated and amplified it through acts of intimidation of members of the public.  This looks like another step in that direction.

SOMETHING TO CONTEMPLATE...
It certainly was a peculiar few moments.  I saw a side of Ramos previously hidden and it will certainly be food for thought - and blog entries - as the campaign season moves along.

POPP, AGAIN...
There was a brief discussion about the meeting on July 2nd, with some concern expressed about having a quorum available because of the Independence Day holiday.  Mehren polled the members and it appeared that there would, indeed, be enough members available to hold the meeting that day.  An interesting sidebar.  When Popp was polled his reply was, "I'm an ex-cop so I never go out of town on holidays."  Funny, I don't recall seeing a police background in the biographical summaries provided for his committee participation.  We know he's been a nurse and says he's had significant rank in the military service of our country.  However, now that I think about it, he does kind of have the countenance of one of those stereotypical good-old-boy southern rural cops - all puff and bluster - a blowhard, impressed with himself and expecting you to be, too.  Should have guessed.

WILL CIVILITY RETURN?
It will be interesting to see if civility returns to this group on July 2nd.  And, it will be interesting to see if they continue to hold the members of the public, who take time from their busy lives to participate in these important discussions, in such disdain in the future.

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33 Comments:

Blogger Joe said...

Geoff,
Nothing to be dumbfounded about. Riggy and Mensy think the people of Costa Mesa are as stupid as they are, and like to play us all for suckers. This particular group of supplicants was most likely given prior marching orders and carried them out regardless of the circumstances.

We'll be seeing more such outbursts from Jimbo's "Lackey Lee" as the election draws near.

6/05/2014 06:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Geoff: Thanks for your coverage of the meeting last night. It is interesting that you would call my comments surprising considering the fact that the first public speaker made a direct link between Mensinger and the votes of this committee. That was only one of many such references I have heard over the past year. As I said last night, I'm tired of it. I was chosen to be on this committee because the entire city council trusted my judgment (I was elected unanimously). As for my minimal participation, I make no apologies. I spend much of my time on the dais assisting a rookie chairman through a profoundly cumbersome process that has wasted months of time and feel no need to speak when I have nothing of substance to say. As someone once told me: "Never miss an opportunity to say nothing." Thanks again for the important coverage you are providing.

6/05/2014 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Good news: Tea Party Tom Pollitt was trounced in the election. One less wacko for us to worry about in office.

But when will he remove his signs? I guess the tea baggers leave such tasks to the public employees they hate so much.

Speaking of wackos, when licking Riggy's jackboots to get them nice and shiny, I wonder if Fitzy ever considers the embarrassment he causes for his family.

6/05/2014 07:54:00 AM  
Anonymous cindyrella said...

I attended this meeting but thankfully left just in time to avoid the diatribe. I found all citizens comments to be quite civil. While Smith, Popp and Ramos feign emotion with their 'issues' it is blatantly obvious where and who initiated this drama-none but the Drama Queen himself, Righeimer. I can't wait to see the campaign fliers for Ramos, I'll bet Popp is having a hell of a time deciding which feline photo to use!

6/05/2014 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Interesting that some of these "appointees" feel the need to justify their friendship with Mensinger. He's tired of it? He signed up for it!! If it walks like a duck, looks like a duck, smells like a duck and quacks, well....

How do these people think they even got appointed to this committee in the first place? Its because they are friends and like minded. Not rocket science to figure that out.

As for Popp, he isn't bright. He merely likes to hear himself talk. Usually saying absolutely nothing. Good luck, Ramos.

6/05/2014 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger Wendy Leece said...

It is alarming that those who exercise their First Amendment rights to speak on any issue are being labeled and called out as if what they are doing is wrong to have an opposing opinion. These residents represent hundreds of true Costa Mesans who detest what is happening and planned for a future Costa Mesa. Residents are fixing dinner, picking kids up from practices, giving kids baths never dreaming the city they love has been hijacked and free speech silenced. You see the majority
can't stand to hear ANY opposition. We need to speak louder and invite our neighbors to come to council and other meetings. We need renewed courage to speak up and not give in to their bullying tactics. That's what they want. Once the mayor yelled at me on the phone because he didn't like my blog post. I hung up! He started yelling at a closed session. I left!



6/05/2014 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Wendy Leece said...

I'm not saying leaving when bullied is always best. Each situation requires a different response. Don't I be afraid!!! I won't put up with being bullied or silenced and I've never been one to yell. (Ask my kids) Maybe we need the ACLU to help us exercise our First Amendment rights.

6/05/2014 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

Speech on why we need a charter:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOv-Ncs7vQk

6/05/2014 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Curious... I am called out for not speaking very much during these meetings but when I exercise MY right to speak, it is a "diatribe." If last night's reference to some Mensinger connection were the first one, I'd say that someone has a good case to make. Unfortunately, there have been many over the past year, including one in December by a member of the committee. I have been patient and tolerant but I will not remain silent when my integrity is repeatedly questioned.

6/05/2014 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Gay Favour Royer said...

I was totally taken aback at the end of this meeting at the things said about the people who came because they care! This was the first time I have ever come to this committee meeting! I have lived in the park neighborhood for 30 some years and only spoke on what I believe and how valuable this wonderful place is to all of us especially our future youth. Who would want to speak up with that kind of treatment. Thank goodness the wonderful citizens do speak up and will keep doing so! I started going again to Council meetings after watching on the computer and seeing the condescending treatment of public speakers! Sad to see it in a Fairview Park Committee meeting, but if they were picked by the council I guess not surprising! This is our city and we have every right to speak up when we think it is not best for our town! I definitely will be at the next meeting!

6/05/2014 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Flo Martin said...

Again, I am saddened at the pathetic tactics our council majority deems to be acceptable in "relating" to the voters of this city. Yelling from the dais and behind closed doors? Intimidation? Snarky comments on social media and on the dais?
Recently, one of the councilmen accused my of lying. We usually accuse others of the weaknesses/faults we find in ourselves. Seems as though the council dudes are doing the same.

6/05/2014 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Good for you, Wendy!
The more we stand up to these bullies, the better.
There's a good reason anti-bullying efforts are gaining momentum.
Bullying is completely unacceptable in a civilized society.

From the lyrics to
'Don't Put Dirt on my Grave Just Yet'-

"come hell, come high water
you push on me I'm gonna push back harder"

Amen!

6/05/2014 10:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

Mr. Smith needs to relax and stop worrying so much about what people think about him and his buddy Mensinger. Everybody already knows he's in the pocket of the junior dictator, so why all the drama? Maybe Steve-O should put an order in for Mr. Smith to stop bringing up the fact that they're pals.

6/05/2014 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Thank you, Muffin Top Bob, for proving my point: no facts, no evidence, just name-calling and a refusal to acknowledge that the entire city council voted in favor of my appointment. Very productive.

6/05/2014 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger zz said...

A rookie chairman, Mr. Smith? If I recall correctly, Dick Mehren chaired the original Fairview Park committee for 13 years.

Rather than teeing off on the concerned citizens who care enough to devote their time and effort to protecting and improving Costa Mesa, you would have done better to take the advice you cite at the end of your post.

6/05/2014 02:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Yet eve, the evidence is that you are on that committee. If I am not mistaken, it's not the only one either. Why do you think you are there? It certainly isn't because you are a free thinker. It isn't because they felt you would vote any other way but theirs. Look around the tables and ask yourself seriously what you see. A large slice of Costa Mesans? Or Steve's buddies? You and they are there because he knows how you will lean and that you can be led. I mean, come on, you're the only one that doesn't see it.

6/05/2014 05:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

zz: You are quite brave behind your anonymous post. I would like to point out that I, too, am one of those citizens "who care enough to devote their time and effort to protecting and improving Costa Mesa." I was appointed by a unanimous vote of the city council. Instead of condemning innuendo and smear tactics, you suggest I remain silent, which highlights a difference between us.

6/05/2014 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous jrs36 said...

Mr. Smith. What happened when the committee member brought up the Mensinger connection ? The rest of the committee immediately jumped on her questioning her integrity, qualifications and intentions ! What a poor argument you make.

6/05/2014 07:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Muffin Top Bob said...

Mr. Smith, so sorry to upset you, thought you had thicker skin but apparently not. Don't worry, I'll stop with the playful banter because I sure wouldn't want your chest bumping buddy to have to come to your rescue.

6/05/2014 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin Leffler said...

Steve Smith, I think you (and others) did not listen carefully to my comments. Paraphrasing, I said that in my opinion Anna made a mistake to say that people were appointed to the FPAC because they were friends with Steve Mensinger. I think that was too coy. So what if they're friends? I wanted to say something more direct, that some people were appointed to this committee because of their views, that their vote on sports fields would be a foregone conclusion, a predetermined result. I never said you were one of them. I don't know, and I don't remember if you ever wrote anything on the subject. I never said that anyone was taking direction how to vote.

I resent as much as you do anyone putting words in my mouth or ascribing ideas or motives to me that aren't my own. I own what I said, and it is based on conversations with committee members or things members have written or said elsewhere, not hunches. It is evident that our council members appoint people to commissions and committees who they believe will represent the views they favor. Some people are willing to own that. I find their candor refreshing, and respect them for it. I would be proud to call one of those that I have recently gotten to know better a friend.
From my point of view, you did to me exactly what you mistakenly said I did to you.

6/05/2014 11:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Smith, while his comments were somewhat out of place at a public meeting (where business should take precedence over diatribe) was nonetheless reasonably succinct in them, and did not unduly put upon the citizen participants. In my opinion, he'd have done better just to have left them out, or kept them to a forum like this one. Airing them at such a meeting is just a tad whiny.

Ramos, on the other hand, with his fatuous demand that we who speak out both pro and contra the stuff that comes up produce all those who agree with us and have them come to the microphone, was being foolish and unreasonable. If someone brought a hundred constituents, time constraints would demand that fewer than four be heard; how would Mr. Ramos know what the HELL the others' opinions were if there were no time for them to speak? Clairvoyance? Then there are space considerations: Where would we park 100 bodies, only four of whom would be allowed to speak? And on top of this, the hundred would represent less than two thousandths of the registered electorate in the city.

So the Ramos demand looks like another damn fool political gesture -- full of sound and fury, signifying nothing; solely a demonstration of how he can beat the crap out of a straw man he has constructed. And where are all the constituents Mr. Ramos represents? Why, if he is so adamant that others bring theirs to the microphone, does he not bring his own? Oops, my bad; the same constraints apply to his troops as I've enumerated for real citizens above. We'll get a line on such numbers on election day, I guess.

Remember in November.

6/05/2014 11:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Papa Smurf said...

Ok Steve, if what you say is true then I challenge you to do the right thing. Be professional. Do not play favorites. Work extra hard to be impartial in all things. Collect all the facts in everything before making any decisions. Be completely transparent. Do not protect or stick up for your friends. What they have done is on them. Do not take part in it. Show us citizens you can do the job properly and fairly. When criticized, don't lash back - its part of the job.

SHOW US DON'T JUST TELL US. ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THEN WORDS!

6/06/2014 05:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

@Smith:
What role, if any, did your friend Mensinger have in the creation of the illegal path?

Don't friends talk about such things?

Are you more of a friend to Mensinger or the people of Costa Mesa?

Did you allow certain people on the committee to bully Vrska? Where might you have learned to condone or support bullying?

6/06/2014 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Robin Leffler: Thank you, first, for stating your name and not hiding behind the anonymity that makes others so courageous. Second, had your comment been the first I'd heard, I would not have said a thing. But there have been hints and outright accusations since the committee first.

It seems to matter little that the entire city council voted to have me on the panel, a fact that should say something about my reputation or credibility. But as you can read on this blog, facts matter little to those who have already made up their minds and who respond with false accusations and name-calling.

My goal as vice-chairman is to assist Dr. Mehren through this absurdly long process and to make a decision on each proposal based solely on it merits, that is, whether it is in the long-term best interests of the city and the park itself.

Thanks again for your frankness and your honesty. I hope you will attend the meeting on 7/2 so we can talk about the park.

6/06/2014 08:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Arthur Nern: Thank you for using your name on this post. Your answers are in ALL CAPS:

1)What role, if any, did your friend Mensinger have in the creation of the illegal path? I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE PATH BEYOND WHAT I HAVE READ IN THE NEWSPAPERS AND ON THIS BLOG.

Don't friends talk about such things? I HAVE NO IDEA. I HAVE SPOKEN TO MY WIFE ABOUT IT, IF THAT COUNTS.

Are you more of a friend to Mensinger or the people of Costa Mesa? WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE AN EITHER/OR? I MAKE NO APOLOGIES FOR MY FRIENDSHIP WITH MENSINGER AND I AM PROUD TO BE SERVING THE CITIZENS OF THIS CITY THROUGH THE COMMITTEE.

Did you allow certain people on the committee to bully Vrska? NO

Where might you have learned to condone or support bullying? SORRY, I'M NOT TAKING THIS BAIT. I FIND IT INTERESTING, THOUGH, THAT IT'S OK FOR OTHERS TO PUBLICLY IMPUGN MY REPUTATION. BUT WHEN I PUSH BACK, IT'S BULLYING.

6/06/2014 08:30:00 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Terry Koken: I am responding because you have used your real name (perhaps others will see a patter here). First, thank you for acknowledging that I kept my remarks brief.

Second, I find it curious that others can speak at these meetings with unfounded smears but when I speak up in response, it is out of place, even "whiny." To the contrary, I believe I have shown considerable restraint over the past 12 months.

Believe me, there is nothing I would like more than to conduct park business each month and go home. But I did not start this smear campaign and I will not stand by and let false accusations go unanswered.

6/06/2014 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Skeptical in Costa Mesa said...

I want some answers to the DG path question. If a certain CMCC member broke the law by placing the path and using city workers to help in any way that's crime! Also what did we have to pay to clean it up? ANSWERS sometime in my lifetime please.

6/06/2014 08:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Terry Koken said...

Steve Smith,
Well, you and I have a mutual friend in Steve Mensinger. He and I have many points of agreement. We also have some differences, as perhaps has been evident from my comments at council. He acknowledges me as a member in good standing of the Loyal Opposition.

While you sit on the Fairview Committee, your speech partakes of the "Awesome Power of Government", in that you are allowed unlimited time to express views you hold. We the citizens, who engage in public comment, on the other hand, are limited to three, or sometimes two, minutes, and are at times subject to cloture or being shut out. I don't gainsay your right to respond to comments; I just say that here, on Geoff West's blog, is perhaps a more appropriate place to do so than at a committee meeting. To put it perhaps a tad more succinctly, whereas a member of the public speaking at a meeting is perhaps casting rocks, the committee members' responsa are perhaps more comparable to an AK-47: bigger, faster projectiles, many more, and rapid-fire to boot. There is no opportunity for us to engage in dialog, as we fire off all our ammunition in the three minutes we are allotted, and are not permitted to respond. Nor do we receive much acknowledgement for being brief: nobody thanked me for the brevity of my three-second comment on the redwood forest even though I left two minutes and fifty seven seconds unsaid and unsayable.

Thus it is incumbent upon you committeemen to be a little forbearing and thick-skinned when casting back comments, for if you are not, you appear to us as bullies. Not saying that's your nature; it's just what it looks like. People who come up to the mike are almost universally afflicted with stage fright; any less-than-kindly response in such circumstance can be shattering, and is likely to provoke some reaction and/or resentment.

In my opinion, you personally are doing an excellent job chivvying the good doctor along, keeping him on track, and keeping things aligned. The committee could make good use of a parliamentarian to make sure the tees are dotted and the eyes are crossed, or something like that, but I thank you for hanging in there and helping keep a fairly disputatious group of kids in line.

Also, we all should remember it's an election year, and those who are averse to mudbaths are well-advised to just stay inside.

Buy you a beer sometime?

6/06/2014 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Arthur Nern said...

To: Steve Smith

According to the City website, the mission of the committee is:


"Evaluate the Fairview Park Master Plan relative to community needs and make Master Plan update recommendations to the Parks and Recreation Commission and City Council for the addition, reduction, elimination, or modification of park uses and master planned elements."

Regarding the illegal path in Fairview Park, you stated above:

"I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE PATH BEYOND WHAT I HAVE READ IN THE NEWSPAPERS AND ON THIS BLOG."

So you are friends with pro tem Mensinger, you know he was questioned by the authorities about the creation of the path, you know that email from him to Munoz preceded the creation of the path, you sit with him in the same room at committee meetings, and yet, taking you at your word, you never asked him about the illegal path or whether he was involved with it in any way, shape or form?

Why not? If not, then haven't you breached your duty as a member of this committee to evaluate uses of the park relative to the Master Plan? Or are you still evaluating and working on a list of recommendations to be given to the City Council at some future date?

To put it another way, don't you have a duty, as a member of this committee, to ask your friend Mensinger about the illegal path?

If you have breached any duties owed as a member of the committee, then shouldn't you resign from the committee immediately?



6/06/2014 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Arther Nern: I am flattered that you believe I have some way of resolving this issue that has not already been conducted by more experienced people. Alas, I do not. I will leave the trail issue to those who already involved. Thanks for your thoughts and for using your name.

6/07/2014 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Terry Koken:

Thanks for your post. Actually, member comments are also limited to 3 minutes. True, we could cheat a bit if we want, but as a group, we seem to be mindful of the clock.

As for being thin-skinned, I believe I have shown considerable restraint over the past year while several people, including a committee member, hinted or stated outright that I was put on the panel to vote a certain way. I have answered this accusation twice in about 12 months so I'd say I'm doing well. And I have to smile at the double standard here: The public is allowed to give body blows to the panel in the name of their right to speak. But if I respond to any questioning of my integrity, I am thin-skinned, or "whiny" or I have a "burr in my blanket" and my comments are a "diatribe."

It works both ways. My right to speak my mind was not voided once I accepted this position. I'll say whatever is on my mind, just as the public does. And if they don't like it, they are more than welcome to speak to me at a meeting or e-mail me directly. (My e-mail address was published at the end of my Daily Pilot columns for many years and it can be found online.)

And I also have to smile the fact that I have not seen a single response to my note that both Sandy Genis and Wendy Leece voted in favor of my appointment.

This is my last post on this subject on this blog. I have said all I want to say and am moving on. Thanks again.

6/07/2014 12:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Where's My Coffee? said...

Body blows? Aren't we a little over dramatic? I've been to several of these meetings, and I've seen the speakers be quite polite even when they are angry, they are restrained. Much less angry in fact than the committee members are with Anna Vrska, and their nastiness has never been curbed.

It just appears that maybe you are not cut out for this type of involvement.

6/07/2014 06:38:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Smith:
"I have said all I want to say and am moving on."

Sounds like "uncle" to me.

@Nern: You were probably asking too much of Mensy's friend for him to look into the improper path. I agree with the idea that the committee members have an obligation to inquire. But no. Instead, all we hear from the likes of Amburgey, Popp and Ramos is whatever Boss Rigg orders up.

6/07/2014 09:26:00 PM  

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