Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Liberty Is Alive And Well In Costa Mesa Today

What a way to start Independence Day!

All that "bombs bursting in air" stuff is going to take a back seat to the events of the Costa Mesa City Council meeting in the early morning hours of July 4th, 2007

At the end of the meeting, the last item to be discussed was the subject of whether or not to place before the voters the question of a directly elected mayor. This discussion began at 11:55 p.m. and went on for a half hour before the issue was finally voted upon.

The item was placed on the agenda by Mayor Allan Mansoor at the request of former mayor Gary Monahan, who served this city for twelve years on the council, including multiple terms as mayor. A
s it turned out, Monahan was the only person who spoke in favor of placing this subject on the ballot this morning. All other speakers, including former mayor Sandra Genis, spoke opposing the concept. The few other citizens who spoke, each of whom were respected community activists, said, basically, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

During the debate on the dais the issue looked like a slam dunk to be placed on the ballot, particularly since Councilwoman Linda Dixon was absent from the meeting. Mansoor made a motion to do exactly that - have the issue placed before the voters on the ballot at
the primary election on February 5, 2008. This, coincidentally, would be the most costly solution - probably costing the city in the neighborhood of $200,000. Councilwoman Wendy Leece, the barnacle on his rump during the past election, seconded our young jailer/mayor's motion - demonstrating for about the zillionth time that she has no mind of her own.

The debate was hea
ted between Councilwoman Katrina Foley and the mayor, particularly when she pressed him on the issue of term limits for the directly elected mayor. He hadn't included any mention of that in the motion to be placed on the ballot, even though he was quite specific that he wasn't interested in additional compensation for the position, nor was he interested in any additional enumerated powers - like the power to appoint commission and committee members. Finally, after several questions like, "Do you support term limits for a directly elected mayor?" the closest he would come to an answer was that he didn't like term limits.

Earlier speaker Jay Humphrey
pressed the issue of the additional powers, stating that, while Mansoor wasn't interested in the additional powers, other future directly elected mayors may be - and this decision would provide them with the power.

Mansoor championed his issue weakly. When pressed
to explain why the city needed this after fifty-four years, he didn't have a response. He said it would provide more "clout", but speakers reminded him that clout from half the six Orange County cities that have a directly elected mayor came from their size, not the mayor.

Finally, at 12:25 this morning, the vote was taken. The result was 2-2! Tie vote, motion failed! Mansoor and Leece voted yes - Foley and Mansoor's buddy, Eric Bever, voted no! The look on Mansoor's face was priceless as his head snapped to the left in a classic double-take, looking at Bever as if to say, "What the heck is going on here?!"

I have no idea what happened to cause Bever to vote against his pals on the dais, but he sure d
id make the right decision. Maybe he was peeved because he was rebuffed by his buddy a couple times earlier in the meeting. Once, for example, he kept trying to interrupt the debate on the CarMax project when the issue of a wall was being negotiated and Mansoor put him off you could hear him mutter an epithet. Or, maybe, Bever remembered that a couple years ago columnist Jim DeBoom once named him an "Eagle" and he picked tonight to finally begin acting like one.

So, regardle
ss what happened with Bever tonight, the spirit of the day prevailed. As former mayor Genis - appropriately attired in a blouse resembling the American Flag - so rightly put it during her comments opposing the proposal, "I think it's quite fitting that we're doing this just at the very beginning of the Fourth of July, 'cuz two hundred and thirty years ago we said 'We don't need no stinkin' kings' and that's what I say here - 'We don't need no stinkin' kings!'" I couldn't have said it better myself. You could practically envision George Washington smiling.

On this Independence Day, I wish you all a safe and sane celebration. The spirit of liberty, hard won and painfully retained, is alive and well in Costa Mesa today.

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Blogger Flo Martin said...

God bless America! Some decades ago, I called my mom on the telephone to welcome her home (Carmel Valley) after her long trip to the land of her birth, Bulgaria. She was sobbing.

"What's wrong, Mom?"

Her response rings in my heart even today: "I was just in the back yard, on my knees and kissing the earth. I'm so glad to be home."

Let's all be thankful today.

7/04/2007 09:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Removedor:
First, Feliz dia de la independencia!
I read it and I still can't believe it. A few days ago I wrote to the Daily Pilot concerning the letter sent to President Bush on the issue of immigration. I pointed out that "Bever and his mentor Martin H. Millard should give up on this one". Apparently (not sure about it), Millard complained to the Daily Pilot editors. My note was wiped in seconds. It turns out that recently someone in Costa Mesa used my name (Westside) and sent a letter to the Daily Pilot to make comments on Wendy Leece hair color. I guess "the Devil or 666" likes my nickname and decided to use it for a little bit (The Devil didn’t realize he left his IP). What do you think? You aren’t safe with your “Removedor name”, the Devil could use it.

7/04/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


Thanks for the salutation. A very happy Independence Day to you, too.

I'm not surprised if folks who disagree with you attempted to hijack your pen name. Certainly, as you've noticed, they have a tough time defending some of their positions so resort to dirty tricks and name calling. I suspect many of those posts are from our favorite Mesa North guy - the one who very much resembles my theoretical character, Your Neighbor. I know he reads the Daily Pilot blog posts regularly because his own blog is full of references to things said there.

Today is a good one for the city. Be well and safe.

7/04/2007 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Ron - Anna Winship said...

As everyone knows...we love Sandy
Genis more than anything. On this
issue we do have a difference of
opinion however. There are basically two good reasons why
electing a Mayor is a great idea.
One - is the Agenda for the City...
the so-called "Vision thing!" When
"the people" are able to vote for
a leader...that offers an actual
plan...the people cannot complain later, if things do go as planned.
The Second good reason for an elected Mayor is called "Direct Accountability". This old cronyism that is exhibited in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa is
truly...very unattractive. They
get 3 votes in CM and 4 votes in
NB..and they pick whoever they
want to take the heat for a year!
They do a bunch a bad stuff...and
then they pick the next rubber
stamp! What the people want...has
to wait and be
another general election. Four years is enough to be Mayor...and
should coincide with their current
term of office. It was too bad
"The Beaver" didn't stick with it would have been wonderful.

7/04/2007 09:28:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Winships, thanks for your views, but we do disagree on this subject. I don't know what caused Bever to vote against placing the issue of directly electing the mayor on the ballot, but he did. It may have been a fit of pique or, maybe, he felt Mansoor's reluctance to consider term limits for the position was the deal breaker. Having a directly elected mayor without term limits with the powers that would fall in his lap regarding naming appointees to commissions and committees would, in my view, place too much power in the hands of one person. It's not the system that is the problem - the system has served our city very well for fifty-four years - it's the players. I suspect that has much to do with your discontent in Newport Beach, too. I'm told that Monahan turned purple when the vote was cast, probably because he thought he had it all locked up. That half hour debate, particularly the segment near the end when Katrina Foley just kept sticking Mansoor with the question of term limits, is well worth the price of admission - and worth sneaking a peak when it's posted on the city web site on streaming video.

7/04/2007 11:22:00 PM  

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