Monday, April 24, 2017

Parks & Recreation Commission Has A Full Agenda Ahead

 CHALLENGES AWAIT THE NEW COMMISSIONERS THURSDAY
The Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission meets again on Thursday, April 27, 2017 in City Council Chambers at City Hall beginning at 6:00 p.m., and the agenda, HERE, has some interesting challenges for this new group.
PLAQUE/TREE DONATIONS
On the Consent Calendar - items that in theory can be voted upon in one motion without separate discussion - there are two "donation"s requested.  One, HERE, requests a Memorial Tree and Plaque at Estancia Park and the Second, HERE, is simply a plaque at the same park.  The staff recommends accepting the donations. 
SHIFFER PARK CELL SITE
There are two (2) items on the Old Business segment of the agenda. The first, HERE, involves upgrades to the Cell Site located at that park and the attendant enhancements to the park coincident with those changes.  The staff recommends approval.
OPEN SPACE MASTER PLAN
The second Old Business item is a whopper - the approval of the Open Space Master Plan of Parks and Recreation.  The staff report on this item, HERE, is nearly 400 pages long and provides everything you ever wanted to know about parks in our city.  I hope the commissioners have done their homework on this one, otherwise, this could end up being a very long evening.
TREE REMOVAL REQUESTS
Finally, there are three (3) tree removal requests in the New Business segment.  They are:
  • 2798 Lorenzo Avenue, HERE,
  • 1530 West Baker Street, HERE,  and
  • 910 Joann Street, HERE.
The Staff recommends denial of each of those requests.
THIS MEETING WILL TEST THEM...
This should be a very interesting meeting on Thursday.  The new folks on the commission - basically everyone except Chairman Kim Pederson - will tussle with most of the items on the agenda, particularly the complexity of the Open Space Master Plan and the emotion of the tree removal requests.  It should be fun to watch them work.

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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Mansoor and Senate Bill 54

 MANSOOR'S OPPOSITION TO SB 54 REJECTED LAST WEEK
Those who read this blog know that at the very end of the long, long City Council meeting last Wednesday morning, just before 1:00 a.m., the council rejected Councilman Allan Mansoor's request for a letter to be sent from The City opposing Kevin deLeon's Senate Bill 54.  The motion eventually made was to ignore his request and just receive and file the issue, effectively killing Mansoor's request.  The vote was 3-2, with Mansoor and Councilman Jim Righeimer voting NO.  Mayor Katrina Foley, Mayor Pro Tem Sandra Genis and rookie Councilman John Stephens voted YES.

THE REGISTER REPORT
You can read Louis Casiano, Jr.'s report from the Orange County Register published late last week HERE., which included a link to another article from a few years ago.
MANSOOR'S LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Today, Sunday, Mansoor had a letter to the editor pleading his case on this subject.  Click HERE, then scroll down to his letter to read it.
CHASEN MARSHALL PROVIDES SOME CONTEXT
To more fully understand this issue it's important to have some context.  For that purpose I present for your reading pleasure Chasen Marshall's OC Weekly piece titled "It's Gotten Costa Messy In Costa Mesa" published September 1, 2011, HERE.  When you click on that link you will find Marshall's excellent piece PLUS a link to a timeline that will also be helpful to understand the tension in our city at that time.
THE OLD ATMOSPHERE
Understand that when we had Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in our jail the atmosphere in this city among the Latino population was so tense you could feel it as you moved around town.  School children and their parents of Latino heritage were terrified about venturing out for even the most modest errands for fear of being picked up and deported and families torn apart.  That was the atmosphere created by Mansoor - anointed as an honorary Minuteman anti-Latino activist Barbara Coe, now deceased.
MUST HAVE MISSED THE POWER
Apparently Mansoor missed the power he had in Costa Mesa while he was in the California Assembly - a position he held with ZERO distinction.  During his tenure he managed to author only one piece of legislation that actually passed - a change removing the word "retarded" from the official state lexicon.  Who would vote against that?  Now he's back here where his mere presence on the dais has restored old fears among the Latinos in our community.
WILL HE CHANGE HIS TUNE?
It appears that Senate Bill 54 may, in fact, become State Law - which the City of Costa Mesa will have no choice except to enforcement it.  One of the great ironies in this situation is Mansoor's last sentence in his Letter To The Editor, above.  He closes by saying, "All elected officials take an oath to uphold our laws, but it looks like that's changing."  How will he feel if, and when, SB 54 becomes law - will he have the same position?
COMMIT THE CRIME, DO THE TIME
Before some of you get your panties in a wad, please understand that I do not support coddling criminals, whether they are in this country legally or not.  If you do the crime you should do the time.  AB 109, Prop. 47 and Prop 57 have made the lives of law enforcement officers across the state much more difficult, and made the residents less safe.  If an undocumented alien resident commits a crime and is convicted he should do the time and be deported.  But, I don't think the Costa Mesa Police Department - particularly in it's current depleted condition - should be expected to stop every person with brown skin to see if they are in this country legally.  That's a poor use of resources at a time when crime is on the rise.
WHAT WILL HIS NEXT TACTIC BE?
It's going to be interesting to watch Mansoor as he gains momentum on the dais, to see if he will continue to pursue this issue.

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