THE ROOKIE'S PETULANCE
Tonight in the Daily Pilot, HERE
, Bradley Zint
presents us with the story that Rookie Mayor Steve Mensinger
wants to conduct a "community consensus survey
" regarding the future of Fairview Park.
A STACKED COMMITTEE
The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee has met for the best part of two years on this issue. That committee was stacked with enough cronies to sway the agenda toward increased playing fields if push came to shove. The ratio was further tilted when Frank Davern
replaced the deceased David Stiller
Mensinger is quoted by Zint as saying, "Some people want nothing. Some want trails. Some want sports fields. This is an opportunity for the community to come up with a consensus solution, as opposed to what's happening now: rhetoric and misinformation.
" What a crock! Mensinger mentions "condos and casinos
", but I've heard nobody utter those words at the meetings. That's just a red herring to open up this issue.
MENSINGER HEARD, BUT IGNORED, THE PEOPLE
Until he was elected mayor Mensinger was the council liaison to the committee. He sat through most of the meetings. He saw the turnout of residents and others interested in the welfare of Fairview Park. I sat through most of those meetings, too. I heard those voices. I heard the experts talk about the protected species and the sacred Native American grounds within the boundaries of the park. I also heard representatives of youth sports groups who wanted to carve out a few more playing fields in the park.
A LENGTHY, THOUGHTFUL PROCESS
I watched the process by which the committee set about fulfilling what they thought was their charter. I watched as they submitted thirty-five (35) separate issues to be discussed as possible additions/refinements for the park. I watched as they took each quadrant at a time and made careful, reasoned decisions on each of those issues for each quadrant. I watched as the staff prepared lengthy reports for their consideration. I've written about each of those meetings.
HOME STRETCH - THE SOUTHEAST QUADRANT
Having addressed the other three quadrants and having made few changes, the committee is now down to the home stretch - consideration of the future of the Southeast Quadrant - the one most likely to have the playing fields advocates salivating because it represents the biggest chunk of relatively level ground left. It does include the Orange County Model Engineers (OCME) train infrastructure - which has been an institution in the park for decades and for whom the agreement was just extended for another five (5) years.
TRAINS AND FIELDS CANNOT CO-EXIST
Addressing that last issue, the trains, Mensinger is quoted by Zint as saying that if sports fields are added, "the trains aren't going anywhere
" and could be incorporated alongside the fields. Well, that issue has already been flogged at length and none of the pro-train guys think that's possible without extensive and very costly reconfiguration of the tracks and other infrastructure.
PROTECTED SPECIES IN JEOPARDY
Zint properly points out the fragile, protected vernal pools and the Native American sites within the park. Mensinger has demonstrated by his direction to the city staff to carve out a path cutting directly through protected vernal pools - home to the San Diego Fairy Shrimp - in the Southwest Quadrant, that he really has no concern for the natural elements of the park. That decision/direction has cost the city nearly $20,000 in mitigation efforts and has U.S. Fish and Wildlife carefully assessing our ability to be responsible stewards for the entire park. It is possible that they could impose sanctions on the City and individuals for that act of vandalism and severely restrict our ability to do ANYTHING
in the park. That shoe is waiting to drop.
ACT OF A SPOILED KID
This move by Mensinger is nothing more than that of a spoiled little kid seeing that he is not getting his way, so he's going to chuck the entire process the committee has undergone for nearly two years and try to cobble together a "consensus" to finally get playing fields at the park. He clearly has not listened to the speakers at the many, many committee meetings - he seems to do that a lot. He tunes folks out when they are saying something he doesn't like or bores him. It's as though if it doesn't involve youth sports, then it's not worth his time.
COMMITTEE IN DISARRAY
The Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee is in disarray right now. Chairman Dr. Richard Mehren
- a man who has chaired not only this committee, but the previous iteration of it for fifteen years and was largely responsible for The City of Costa Mesa acquiring the park originally - resigned in a huff at the end of the January 7th meeting. Member Brett Eckles
was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Commission and must give up his voting position on the committee. That leaves Vice Chair Steve Smith
, quoted extensively in Zint's article; Anna Vrska
; Terry Cummings
; Ron Amburgey
; Frank Davern
; Dennis Popp
and Lee Ramos
on the committee. I think it's safe to say that the last four on that list could be considered "pro-fields", although Ramos professed to want to keep the park "natural" on the campaign stump, yet voted to have staff move ahead with plans for fields on the Southeast Quadrant at the January meeting. Actions speak louder than words.
FEBRUARY MEETING CANCELLED
The meeting scheduled for this month was cancelled because of botched noticing. It's just as well, because the staff was having a hard time putting together proper reports requested for the committee to consider. They were field use options, which presented special challenges for the staff.
FIRST WEEK OF MARCH SHOULD BE INTERESTING
The next meeting would be on Wednesday, March 4th, the day following the council meeting at which, Zint tells us, Mensinger will pitch his idea for a "survey" to the City Council. I'm thinking both meetings will be filled with interested parties on both sides of the issue.
LIKE RIGHEIMER'S CHARTER DEBACLE
In my view, this is very much like Mayor Pro Tem (pronounced eMPTy) Jim Righeimer
's tenacious disregard for the voice of the people on his twice-defeated Charter scheme. These guys seem to get their minds made up BEFORE
public input and just keep charging ahead, even though the will of the people is clear.
NOT NECESSARILY INSANITY, BUT...
That old saw, sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein
, about the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - might seem to be a clever jab right about now. Unfortunately, it's unclear that Einstein ever said that and Psychology Today
refutes it. What is probably more accurate is that this is a sign of Perserveration
, which they define as the pathological, persistent repetition of a word, gesture, or act
. This is not to be confused with Perserverance
- the steady persistence in a course of action in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
They go on to say, "Some forms of dementia, traumatic brain injury, anxiety and OCD can cause people to perseverate. They repeat words and tasks or try repeatedly to solve problems, but are left frustrated and unsatisfied. They're not necessarily insane, but stuck in a non-productive pattern due to a glitch in brain function.
" Uh, huh... And, near the end of the article I read, HERE
, they say, "So how do you tell the difference? Perseveration feels compulsive, hopeless, helpless, automatic and unsatisfying. There is a desire to stop, but stopping doesn't feel like an option. Perserverance feels like striving toward a nobel goal, and whether or not it's reached it there is virtue in the effort. Perserverance is a strong, valuable quality. Perseveration is a troubling issue needing clinical attention.
So, this move on the part of our Rookie Mayor is basically a little tantrum, demanding to get his way and changing the "playing field", so to speak, to do so. The discussion of this issue will be illuminating next month. We plan to be at both meetings to report the results.
Labels: Anna Vrska, Bradley Zint, Brett Eckles, Dennis Popp, Fairview Park, Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee, Frank Davern, Jim Righeimer, Lee Ramos, Ron Amburgey, Steve Mensinger, Steve Smith, Terry Cummings