Friday, January 30, 2009

More Bad News At The Los Angeles Times

Another day, another chunk of bad news for the local news media. Today, in his column on the LAObserved blog, author Kevin Roderick gave us this entry, telling us about more cuts coming at the Los Angeles Times. It seems like every day there is more bad news about that once-proud
newspaper. This time it's another 300 souls being tossed overboard from that sinking ship.

Ever since the Elf From Hell, Sam Zell, bought The Tribune Company just about a year ago not a week passes when some kind of catastrophic news doesn't emerge from that withering empire.

Week after week we read about reporte
rs being axed, inexplicable format changes and hear the steady drum beat of failure that is marking the death knell of not only The Times, but most print news outlets around the country.

Of course, the cuts at the Times are felt closer to home at the Daily Pilot. The Times is now operating with 525 staff members in the news room - down from 1,200 just over a year ago. Knowing that, the decline in the quality of their product and subsequent abandonment by subscribers comes as no surprise. Similarly, the Daily Pilot has seen their staffing slashed over the past year - much of it at the top of the organization.


I know Brady Rhoades and Paul Anderson, the men left in charge after first pu
blisher Tom Johnson, then Director of News and Online Tony Dodero departed. Both are fine, competent newsmen who care about providing the best, most accurate and timely news product they can. Despite the potshots taken at them by one local blogger with a personal agenda, they and their relatively young staff do a good job of gathering and reporting the news. But, as is always the case in under-staffed organizations, mistakes happen, stories are missed and reader confidence is shaken.

I don't want the Daily Pilot to fail. It, in one form or another, has been our newspaper of record for a century. We need it.

I found myself wondering, as I read Kevin Roderick's essay, just how many
of those 300 jobs soon to be slashed from the Los Angeles Times will, in fact, be plucked from the ranks of the Daily Pilot and her sister newspapers in the Times Community News group. None, I hope.


In the meantime, like guys riding backward on a horse, the boneheads in charge of The Times announced that the venerable California section will be discontinued as a separate section and will be folded into their "A" section. Someone needs to remind those guys that the news we want to read is LOCAL news, and don't particularly want to wade through their faltering attempts at national and international news to find it.

Lately, when I pick up any of our local newspapers, I get the feeling that I'm holding the hand of a dying friend - something I know just a little bit about. I want them to find a miraculous cure to bring them back. I do not want to attend their funerals...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Case You've Forgotten...

As man
y of you know, over the years writing on this blog I've commented frequently on the activities of one particular Costa Mesa resident - a guy who lives in the north section of town to whom I've referred variously as "Your Neighbor", "The Mouth From Mesa North" and a yapping hyena, among others... Each of those little terms of endearment expressed how I felt at the time.

You also k
now that I feel his motives for his activism are based in deep-seated racial intolerance. I've based that opinion on nearly a decade of watching him in action and reading his essays, commentaries and comments. From time to time I've referred readers to some of his particularly offensive works, so you can get a feel for just why I feel he is such a pernicious influence in this city.

In recent years
he, as a main speaker for the self-named "improvers" in our city, has managed to manipulate some of our elected officials - he's a very persuasive speaker - and is making progress toward what I perceive to be his goal - the expulsion of minority groups from our city.

I know, I know - some of you will demand proof of such a claim. I mu
st admit that I've never seen him burning a cross on the lawn of a black family nor leading a Ku Klux Klan rally. I have not seen him patrolling the border with the whacko Minutemen nor protesting a Latino rally with the goofballs of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform (CCIR).

I have seen him stand before our public meetings and rant about issues in Latino sections of town. I have seen him leap into action whenever a Latino is suspected of a crime, yet totally ignore major criminal activities by White Supremacists - and wonder why. In fact, over the years, many if not mos
t of his actions were aimed directly at the Latinos in our city, trying to disenfranchise and dislocate them.

When I firs
t became aware of his existence I read many of his posts on the old Concerned Costa Mesa Citizens web site - he was a prolific contributor - and became curious about this guy with so much venom inside him. I began paying attention to his writings and eventually discovered the New Nation News web site, which is the repository of hundreds of his essays, most of which decry the dilution of the white race in this country. For a long time he would pump out one long essay a week - at least - attempting to influence his primary audience - angry whites.

This week he published a new essay on the New Nation News site, which you can read in it's entirety HERE. The title of this repulsive piece of work is "Learning About Nature and Nature's L
aws From Squirrels". Now that sounds benign enough, doesn't it? Sure does, and he uses photos of three cute little squirrels to illustrate it. Ah, how sweet!

So, as I do whenever he publishes yet another rant, I held my nose and read it. It didn't take long to discover the real thesis he was presenting. As he presents his view that "Whites are in a death spiral" because they are not breeding within their race enough, he gives us this sentence in the fifth paragraph of his e
ssay: "By out breeding others we also breed our own people to fill every societal and workaday niche in society, and this acts as a bar against others coming to our lands." He goes on to tell us a little story about white squirrels being bred out of existence by the incursion of black squirrels.

If that's not enough, in a recent blog entry he quotes Charles Darwin and lauds him for marrying his cousin. I guess Your Neighbor considers inbreeding a virtue...


As I said, he is a prolific writer of this kind of garbage, so it came as no surprise when my Google Alert system coughed up this essay on another site - one I'd not seen before. So, I clicked on the link and was taken to a site called "White Revolution" and is subtitled "leading America to a Whiter fu
ture since 2002". If you really want to, you can visit that site HERE. If you do go there be prepared to be offended by the content. The owner of this site, one Billy Roper, is a notorious racist.


The fact that his essay appears on this site too co
mes as no surprise. As I've mentioned before, Your Neighbor is the darling of the former head of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke, who uses his own web site as a vehicle to present Your Neighbor's views. In fact, Your Neighbor uses Duke's admiration of his work as a marketing tool to sell his books.


So, you say, "OK, Pot Stirrer, why are we back on this subject again?" Good question...

I guess it's because I think it's important that the residents of our city understand the REAL motivation of this guy because he is so influential with our limp-brained City Council majority. They will deny it, but history shows us that they frequently echo his words verbatim.


For a long time I was a lone voice in the wilderness, but that's changed. Now at least two other bloggers in our city have taken up the gauntlet and are po
inting out the hypocrisy and the vile lies being perpetrated on the populace. Both the authors at the CMunimPRESSed and CM TRUTH blogs, which you can access by clicking on the links provided in the blog roll at the right of this page, have presented rebuttals to his misrepresentations. The CM TRUTH, in particular, has been providing insights on gangs and graffiti in our city with a very special degree of familiarity. The information presented on that blog is informative and useful.


Our city is about to make some difficult budget choices as the national economy continues it's downward spiral. Your Neighbor will undoubtedly be at
the forefront of those commenting and providing "guidance" to the City Council. As you watch I suspect you'll see veiled attacks on entities in our city that support those of us who are less fortunate - the charities that he has attacked for years as magnets for undesirables (read that "Latinos").

It's time for the good, caring residents of this city to stand and tell the City Council that we'r
e tired of them being dragged around by the nose by the racist rants of the Mouth From Mesa North. It's time for them to repudiate his influence. If they fail to do so, well, I guess we will know where they stand....

Labels: ,

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stimulus Myths

Feeling the pinch of our current economic doldrums? Wondering if you'll have a job by the end of the month? Have you been mentally counting up the members of your family and friends who have been kicked in the teeth by our current economic crisis?

Looking forward to our country being saved from further economic disaster by our brand, new president? Do you think the $825 billion (and counting) economic stimulus package being passed by the House of Representatives today will solve the problems?

Well, with a tip of the hat to Jeff Solsby over at the Red County OC Blog for the heads-up, I direct you to San Diego Congressman Darrell Issa's opinion piece on the Politico blog today in which he tells us that "the proposed Pelosi-Obey economic stimulus bill is nothing more than an $825 billion earmark that will do little but expand the federal government at the expense of America's long-term economic health". For the full text of Issa's essay click HERE.

Issa represents the 49th Congressional District and is the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Egan and Hall Bow Out

Last night the C
osta Mesa Planning Commission held it's final meeting with recently ousted commissioners Eleanor Egan and Donn Hall on the dais. Both were tossed aside by the current City Council majority last week and will be replaced with newcomers Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger.

This particular commission meeting was interesting for several reasons, bu
t what stood out in my mind was that it demonstrated exactly why both Egan and Hall have been such valuable contributors during their tour.


The most contentious issue dealt with an Eastside residence that has an outbuilding on the back of the lot that was built in the 1960s. This issue has bounced back and forth between the commission and the City Council for many, many months. The debate last night among the commissioners clearly pitted Hall against the other four, including Egan, who gave the best summation of her reasons for her opinion on the issue, while Hall didn't let the actual facts of the issue stand in the way of making an impassioned appeal to do what "was right" for the property owners. These t
wo war horses will be deeply missed.

With the exception of Jim Righeimer, the other commissioners, some speakers and members of the city staff took great pains to thank both Egan and Hall for their professionalism and contributions during their tenure. Hall and Riggy have clashed at almost every meeting during Riggy's tour. I fear we will see a very different tone on the commission once the new guys are seated.


I didn't catch the very beginning of the meeting, so I don't know why Vice Chair Jim Fisler conducted it when the Chairman - Hall - was in attendance and sounded like he was in fine fettle. Regardless, I thought he did a good job with that responsibility last night and particularly so during that above-mentioned item. He kept things focused and did a good job of controlling the tempo and debate. Yes, I was surprised, but was pleased.

Wednesday will be the last Parks & Recreation Commission meeting with the current crew. The new appointees, Jeff Mathews and Kim Pederson, will take the dais at the February meeting, replacing long-time commissioner Mark Harris and ousted commissioner Bob Graham. Mathews was a supporter of Gary Monahan and Eric Bever to the tune of $1,000 each during the last election and was on Monahan's campaign staff. Pederson is a former commissioner and long-time youth athletic activist.


So, off we go into the future with our commissions staffed to a greater extent with political buddies and contributors... sad, indeed.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, January 23, 2009

"Operation Local News" Moves Forward

Former Daily Pilot publisher, Tom Johnson and former Daily Pilot editor, Bill Lobdell are continuing to kick the can down the street in their pursuit of launching a new source for local news here in the land of Newport-Mesa.

Last night they held a meeting of members of their Advisory Board - a group of 30 business and community leaders and
others - to bring them up to speed on their plans and to solicit input as they attempt to put this new venture together.

Although not all of the members of the Advisory Board were in attendance last night, as I looked aro
und the room at those who did show up I was impressed. In addition to Johnson and Lobdell, there were a few other former Daily Pilot staffers - Tony Dodero, who recently departed after a long and illustrious career; Lana Johnson, who has joined Lobdell and Tom Johnson in their endeavor, and former (twice) Daily Pilot columnist and public relations consultant Byron de Arakal.

Among the others in attendance
were Realtor and Newport Mesa Unified School Board President Dana Black and Newport Beach City Manager Homer Bludau were in the group, as was former California Secretary of Education Marian Bergeson. Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Richard Luehrs, business leaders Brent Hemphill, Paula Wilhelm and Kirk McIntosh - who heads up the Daily Pilot Cup youth soccer tournament - were also there to provide comments and guidance. As you can see, there were many "heavy hitters" in the group. And then there was me...


It was clear from the presentation made by Johnson and Lobdell that they are eager to fill the
void they see being created by the decline of local news outlets - specifically the Daily Pilot and the Orange County Register. I share their concern and feel our community needs and deserves a credible local news source.

Although they are still tinkering with their business model, it looks like they are aiming at a 24/7/3
65 online presence with, perhaps, a one-day-a-week print edition. As I mentioned in an earlier posts, HERE and HERE, there are examples of this kind of a business model almost within arm's reach - San Diego and in South Orange County.


The big push now is for MONEY. Johnson and Lobdell are actively seeking investors to fund their plan. They've run the numbers and have a very good idea of just what it's going to cost to launch and grow a new publication using contempora
ry technology combined with proven journalistic practices. Their best guess is that it's going to take a million bucks to begin this new venture. Yikes! Still, having seen their projections, that number seems realistic.


Now, I certainly realize this is a tough time to be launching any kind of a business. However, with the decline and possible demise of print journalism throughout our country, the plan Johnson and Lobdell are proposing seems like a good way to perpetuate the availability of accurate and timely information in our communities. I hope they are successful.


My personal preference - as I've told Johnson and Lobdell - would be for them to purchase the Daily Pilot and morph it into whatever business model seems right. I would hate to lose the Pilot and it's century of archival and cultural significance in our community. I know Johnson has been attempting to ac
quire the Daily Pilot from the bankrupt Tribune Company and will continue to do so.

You can follow their progress on their blog, Operation Local News, and can help them kick off this very impressive plan by aiming all your wealthy friends to them. Johnson and Lobdell hope to have their plan finalized and funding available by March
1st. If that happens they will begin publishing in May.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Commissions Shuffled and The Author Returns

As I've said many times in the past, the Costa Mesa City Council shouldn't violate their rule about council meetings not going past midnight. That rule was implemented a few years ago because, almost invariably, de
cisions made after the witching hour turn out to be either hasty, ill-advised or both. And, parties interested in the agenda items that get stretched into the next day usually have gone home, depriving the council of their opinions, perspectives and passion. Last night was one of those nights, as the council decided to handle the final agenda item - the selection of commissioners - shortly after midnight. The meeting itself finished at 12:27, finally.

As predicted HERE just before Christmas, the Costa Mesa City Council chose Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger from a long and impressive list of candidates for the two open slots on the Planning Commission.

There is no doub
t that both men have solid credentials, but one gets the strong feeling that these two appointments had less to do with their qualifications than it did with their political orientation. McCarthy, a construction lawyer, is closely aligned with his very vocal Mesa North neighbor and seems to share some of his views if recent history is any indication. Mensinger will join his close business associate, Jim Righeimer, on the dais - something that will require some watching as the months move on. Both men are developers, which might normally be a good qualification. However, I'm more than a little uneasy with their business association - each runs a different arm of the same organization, the financially beleaguered Suncal Companies. On the positive side, considering the state of the economy, both Mensinger and Righeimer probably have plenty of time to spend visiting every site and do the homework necessary to perform these jobs well. We'll see...

Even more disappointing is that, by making these selections, the council majority spit in the eyes of
current incumbents Donn Hall and Eleanor Egan. Both Hall - a community activist for more than four decades, including a tour as mayor - and Egan have served this city for years and with distinction. Both have been active in "westside improvement" from the earliest days. It looks like the current council majority is more than willing to cast aside loyal compatriots for the sake of future political considerations.


I missed the call on t
he Parks and Recreation Commission. I had speculated that the council might select Rob Dickson, Jr. for one of the two positions. He was not even nominated. The council rejected nominations of athlete Brittany Koper and Eastsiders Marnie Primmer and Jeff Harlan and chose, instead, Jeff Mathews and Kim Pederson. Also not selected was incumbent Bob Graham and former commissioner Dave Stiller. Clearly, there is a "youth movement" afoot.


Kim Pederson is an employee of the City of Newport Beach, as is outgoing commissioner Mark Harris, and has a long history of involvement in Costa Mesa sports programs. Jeff Mathews seems to have no recreation or park management in his background, but does have strong academic credentials and what appears - on paper, at least - to be a solid management background. That will be a very welcome addition to the commission, which has been virtually leaderless in recent months. However, since I didn't really know much about Mathews, I decided to check a little further. It seems that he was Monahan's volunteer coordinator during the past election. And, both Bever - who nominated him - and Monahan - who seconded the nomination - received $1,000 campaign contributions from Mathews last summer. I guess we now know the cash value of a Parks and Recreation Commission seat.

With almost no one watching - at nearly 12:30 a.m. who would be? - Gary Monahan showed us that he's still a sneaky guy, willing to play fast and loose with the rules. At that late (early?) hour he asked the City Attorney if it was possible, at that time, to choose
more candidates from this exceptional pool. One had the impression that he wanted to clean the slate and dump all the current commissioners and replace them with members from the group of applicants this time around. He was advised that he couldn't do that at this meeting because proper notice hadn't been made. One had the very clear impression that the days of the remaining three commissioners may be numbered - that the council may be asked to boot them all out and choose new folks very soon.


Remember when I told you not to turn your back on these folks? This i
s precisely why... They will wait until almost no one is watching, then slip a "suggestion" into the works that has very significant impact on our city governance.


Here's some news for you... Former Costa Mesa resident, college professor, newspaper columnist and author of "Terror in the Barrio - The Rise of the New Right in Local Government", Dr. Humberto Caspa, is returning from Bolivia soon! I announced his departure for his homeland the middle of last year, HERE. I'm sure that will make one resident, prominently featured in Dr. Caspa's book, very happy. I expect there will be a red carpet rolled out for Dr. Caspa in the north part of our city upon his return.


Dr. Caspa was an extremely active and vocal advocate for the Latino population in Costa Mesa. His views were found to be controversial by some, particularly those pilloried in his book. I don't know what his plans are for the future, but I do know that his activism provoked discussion of important issues that, in all likelihood, may not have otherwise taken place.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chapman University Guitar Ensemble To Perform

Exhausted from all the inauguration hype and non-stop coverage? Tired of the constant "analysis" of the event? Are you frazzled from worrying about the economy? Are you feeling in need of a little peace and tranquility? Well, folks, you came to the right place. I have just the ticket for that tranquil interlude you so desperately seek - and it's free!

‘An Evening with the Chapman University Guitar Ensemble’ At
Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Costa Mesa Set For Jan. 25

The Chapman University Guitar Ensemble under the direction of Jeffrey Cogan, M.A., Associate Professor of Music at the Chapman University Conservatory of Music, will perform works of Bizet, Faure, Gershwin, Duarte and other famed composers on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009 at the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, 2850 Fairview Road in Costa Mesa. The free community concert begins at 4:00 p.m.

Chapman Guitar Ensemble artists (pictured above with Cogan) who will perform solo and ensemble compositions include:
Daniel de Arakal – Music Composition and Instrumental Performance Double Major at the Chapman University Conservatory of Music
Joe Zamudio – BA, Music Therapy, Chapman University Conservatory of Music
Henry Allen – Instrumental Performance Major at the Chapman University Conservatory of Music
Patrick Shiroishi – Music Therapy and Instrumental Performance Double Major at the Chapman University Conservatory of Music

Most recently, the Chapman University Guitar Ensemble performed at the Santa Fe Guitar Festival in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In March, the ensemble will compete in the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Competition at the University of Texas, Brownsville.

Mr. Cogan is an internationally recognized Classical Guitar artist who has performed throughout Europe and the United States. In 1998, he was invited to Perigueux, France, to perform and teach at the Ecole
Brittain with the acclaimed French guitarist Olivier Chassain. In 1999, Mr. Cogan performed works as diverse as the lute part of the St. John Passion with the William Hall Master Chorale and the contemporary jazz guitar in Fred Katz's Concerto for Buddy at the West Coast Jazz II festival in Newport Beach. California. During the spring and summer of 2004, Mr. Cogan was invited to adjudicate different competitions in Austria and France. He was also a featured performer in the Fabritio Caroso guitar festival in Lanuvio, Italy. In the summer of 2005, Mr. Cogan performed a concert for the VIII Festival De Musica De Guitarra, "Villa de Aranda" in Aranda de Duero, Spain.
In addition to his faculty position at Chapman University, Mr. Cogan has directed the Guitar Foundation of America international guitar competition since 1987. During that time the competition has become one of the most prestigious events of its kind. This annual
competition has been held in 20 different locations since 1983 including New Orleans, Charleston, Montreal, Merida and Quebec City. He is also the program director for the Orange County Guitar Circle.

The Chapman University Conservatory of Music is part of the university’s College of the Performing Arts. The Conservatory of Music is one of the nation’s premier music programs and is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The Conservatory has a rich tradition in the arts with many of its graduates performing with major orchestras and opera houses throughout the United States and abroad. The Conservatory of Music is internationally recognized and offers students a conservatory experience within the environment of a liberal arts university. Faculty
members are nationally and internationally recognized performers, composers, and educators.

If you want a little sample of what you can expect to experience at this concert, click HERE.

Spread the word. If you have any questions about this remarkable free concert contact Jeff Cogan at 714-997-6591 or at Here's a map showing the location of the church:


Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Economy And Me

Dow Jones Industrial Average

Been feeli
ng a little down-in-the-mouth lately because of the condition of the economy? Yeah, me, too. It seems that everywhere you turn the news is bleak.


For example, I read many newspapers, both in print and online, every day. Sometimes it feels like I'm "water boarding" myself. Among those I read is the venerable Wall Street Journal - the best-written of all those I read regularly.
I've been a subscriber for three decades and like it a lot better since it trimmed it's size and began to use actual, honest-to-goodness photographs instead of etchings.

However, The Journal is not a place to seek refuge from disappointing news about the economy. Here are just a few of the headlines that greeted me in Friday's edition:

"Intel's Net Plunges as Demand Dries Up"
"Clock Ticks for Circuit City Sale"
"MeadWestvaco to Ax 2,000 Jobs"
"European New-Car Sales Hit 15-Year Low"

"Toyota Reduces Production"
"Sanyo Sees
Profit Fade; Factories, Jobs Pared"
"ASML Reports
Loss As Chip Prices Drop"
"Intel's Profit Tumbles 90%"
"Charter Communicat
ions Fails To Make Payments"
"Minneapolis Star Seeks Chapter 11"
"Saks Will Cut Jobs, Outlays"

So, I looked forward to the Weekend Edition on Saturday for some glimmer of hope - some good news to perk me up. Instead, I found these headlines awaiting me:

"Retailer Circuit City To Liquidate" (See Above)
"Finance Shares Take Pounding"

"U.K. Banks Hammered Amid Talks"
"Venture Fun
ding Falls 30%"
"Citi Logs $8.3 Billion Loss, Outlines Split"
"Clear Cha
nnel To Cut U.S. Work Force By 7%"
Pfizer Plans To Lay Off Up To 2,400 In Sales"

Is it any wonder that I begin every day by reading the Comics pages in our local newspapers? Yikes! Today reading the economic news is kind of like
waiting for the proverbial "other shoe" to drop while standing beside a caterpillar. The bad news just keeps on coming, and coming and coming.

I keep looking for some sign that the end is in sight, th
at there is light at the end of the tunnel. So far most of the pundits tell us that what's at the end of the tunnel is more tunnel - with no light in sight.

Now I know there are a few of you true believers out there who are convinced that, come Wednesday - the day after his coronation, er, inauguration - our new President, Barack
Obama, is going to fix everything. You think he will stop the double war we're fighting and solve our economic crisis by the end of the week. Pardon me if I'm just a little skeptical. I didn't vote for him because I think he lacks sufficient experience for this job and I don't like many of his choices for his cabinet and other leadership roles - they're mostly Clinton-era re-treads - but I do wish him and his team well. ANYONE elected President this time around would have his hands full, but I think it's going to be especially difficult for our rookie president - and tough on us, as a result.

In the meantime, the Keystone Kops in Sacramento seemed determined to ru
n our state right into bankruptcy and drag our cities and educational organizations down with it. We should recall the whole bunch and start over - how could we do worse?


Here in our little neck of the world every business with which I've had even the most casual contact over the past couple months is on the decline. Favorite restaurants are seeing patronage drop by 50% or more in some cases. Other retail establishments are liquida
ting or hanging on by a thread. Our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot, continues to battle to stay afloat while being burdened by the bankruptcy filing of it's grandparent, The Tribune Company. Our Harbor Boulevard Of Cars looks very much like a dry river bed instead of the rushing torrent of sales tax dollars we've grown to know over the past several decades. It would be no surprise to see even more dealerships shutter their showrooms forever.


It is with great trepidation that I await the mid-year budget review that's coming up within the next couple weeks. I fear the implosion of the housing market - sales prices on local homes are at
2003 levels according to one recent report - and the decline in sales tax dollars because folks are holding onto whatever discretionary funds they have in anticipation that this economic downturn is actually gaining momentum - has created a true municipal fiscal crisis. Without those sources of revenue our city is going to face some extremely difficult times ahead. I worry that our current City Council is ill-prepared to make the right decisions. For example, they've demonstrated poor fiscal judgment recently by perpetuating the RRIP program, which has cost our city a couple million dollars over the past three years at a time when that money was sorely needed.


I fear that our current elected leaders might take the easy way out (for them) and simply instruct the City Manager to make across the board staff reductions at some draconian level instead of permitting him and his staff to present more reasonable, professionally determined recommendations for cost savings. We'll see.. Now, get away from me, darn caterpillar!