Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Housekeeping, The Mouth Adds Ears & Vallejo's Bankruptcy Budget Choices

First, a little housekeeping...

I've decided to purge some of the links over on the right side of the page. You've just glanced over th
ere and will no longer find the following links:

Byron de Arakal's
Itchingpost.com - Byron has taken an extended hiatus from blogging. I kept the link in place, hoping he would return with his own, special brand of humor and style - he didn't. If he decides to jump back in I'll post a link immediately.

Sandy Genis' La Femme Wonkita - Former Costa Mesa Mayor Sandy Genis has, apparently, decided blogging isn't for her. She's not posted anything since last October. If she decides to resurrect her blog I'll provide a link.

CM Watchtower - The anonymous author(s) at the CM Watchtower posts something about once a quarter - and then it's not particularly relevant to anything.

The Irvine Tattler Blog - The Irvine Tattler, which was a fascinating look at our neighbors from a good vantage point, is defunct.

Don't despair, though, because I've decided to add a few, too. As you scroll down the list on the right you will find the following new entries:

- A more than slightly edgy view of the world here in the OC.
- Kevin Roderick's excellent daily summation of news important to Southern California
The Illustrated Conservative Blog - Judge for yourself


In case you had not noticed, beginning with his post #650 our old nemesis over at the CM Press is now apparently
permitting comments to be posted on his blog. I've not attempted to post any - they'd probably be "moderated" out in any event. It will be very interesting to see if anyone cares to post comments and, if so, will they be other than fanny-kissing entries by his loyal band of sycophants. I have no expectation that he will engage in anything resembling a serious debate on issues - he already has his mind made up on every issue.



Of much more importance,
on Friday the 13th of March, 2009, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Michael McManus ruled that the City of Vallejo can reject its contracts with its fire and electrical workers unions, allowing the city to begin negotiations from scratch.

Vallejo declared bankruptcy in May 2008 after failing to close a $9 million deficit in its $83 million general fund budget. This year Vallejo, a city of 120,000, faces a $12 million deficit.


Last month the city settled with its police union, removing it from the bankruptcy proceedings.


This move i
s sure to have far-reaching repercussions across California as other cash-strapped cities deal with a worsening economic reality.


As Costa Mesa attempts to balance its budget using what's left of the
fund balance account, it looks into the future to see what options are available to balance the 2010 budget. Based on earlier comments from senior members of the finance staff, there will be little left in the fund balance account from which to draw to supplement the declining sales and property tax revenue available. We should know more in the next couple of weeks.


As I've said many, many times, I think it's critical that our leaders and union officials sit down and discuss modifications to the current union contracts. The city will have few alternatives except to lay off workers and many of those will almost certainly come from public safety positions. No one wants that to happen, but unless our city somehow figures out a way to mint its own currency, negotiations must begin immediately.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Undergrounding Balboa?

Our good neighbors over in Newport Beach are all in a tizzy over the possibility of getting rid of all those unsightly wires and placing utilities on Balboa Island underground. As might be expected, factions on both sides of the issue are lining up to vent their respective collective spleens on the subject.

Some will recall that a couple years ago our young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor, tried to foist
off a similar scheme for the entire City of Costa Mesa. I guess he was looking for a legacy issue besides turning our city into a bastion of intolerance. As it turns out, his scheme would have cost something like $1.5 billion (yes, that's a "b") and would take the best part of two generations to complete.

In addition, it wo
uld have cost each individual property owner, including many seniors living in our city on fixed incomes, a pile of money to get the services from the street to their homes.

That dumb idea was dropped once the light of day was shined on it.

Back to our pals on Balboa Island...
The same kind of issues exist, plus they have the engineering complication of placing the utilities in vaults that will, in some cases, be below the water line of Newport Harbor. That nasty salt water plays havoc with electrical connections.

Now, I know that our buddies in Newport Beach have a lot more money than we here up on the bluff in Goat Hill. I also know that there have been utility districts created in other parts of Newport Beach to accomplish undergrounding. And, in all the newer areas, utilities have been placed underground as a matter of course and was folded into the cost of the new homes.


However, Balb
oa Island is a special place. It's occupied by an eclectic mixture of older, long-time residents dating back to the days when the island was dredged up from the harbor and brand-new residents who came later with pockets full of cash. The proponents of undergrounding utilities try to sway the opponents by telling them that the cost can be attached to their property tax bill and paid off over decades. They're not telling them how to come up with the out-of-pocket cash to pay for getting the utilities from their street (or alley) to the house.

Another issue is safety. I've read that wires on poles are not as safe as underground utilities. Maybe, maybe not. I do kn
ow that the folks from Southern California Edison told us here in Costa Mesa that above ground wires are much, much easier to maintain. We do hear the occasional story about exploding electrical vaults - underground wire connections - so more credible information would be helpful.


An interesting sidebar to this issue is that one of the most strident proponents of Balboa undergrounding is a guy who writes in a couple of local blogs, doesn't live on Balboa Island and is, in fact, a renter, with no financial stake in this issue at all. He's more than ready to burden his home-owning neighbors with the costs while bearing none of it himself. Now, I admit that I have no dog in this hunt, but do have an opinion based on some similar recent experience.


No one will deny that wires on poles are ugly, and that placing the utilities underground would make the island look nicer. However, like everything else in life, this is basically an issue of money. As we found here in Costa Mesa, you can't always have everything you want. Oh, wait! I forgot! We're talking about Newport Beach, where many people CAN have everything they want. I think the honest facts of this issue should be made available to the property owners before they bite off this mouthful, because they may not be able to swallow it later.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Potpourri For You And Me

Over at the Red County Blog, which is undergoing a painful metamorphosis, by the way, there was a very clever post by Kathy Michael entitled, "Obama orders Steelers to forfeit half of their Super Bowl trophies". When you click on the title and read it I suspect you'll get a chuckle from it. Sadly, the point sh
e makes is all too true.


As reported earlier, the Westminster City Council chose Costa Mesa Director of
Development Services, Don Lamm, to be their new City Manager effective May 1st. Congratulations to Don and kudos to Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder for creating a nurturing environment that has produced so many current city managers around our county.


We have an interes
ting paradox going on here in the land of Newport-Mesa. On the one hand, we have the 8th annual Diversity Day celebration at Corona Del Mar High School, in which students ask probing questions on their views of gays and lesbians. Brianna Bailey's article, entitled "Tolerance is urged" may be found HERE.


On the other hand, we have an influential guy in Costa Mesa who is the personification of in
tolerance and uses his blog and right wing web essays to preach his views. Much of what he says are simply untruths, conjured up to support his bias. For example, he frequently complains that the local news media doesn't publicize Latino gangs enough - that they, incorrectly, point at White gangs. He stated flat out in a recent blog posting that, "There are no white gangs in Costa Mesa". That, of course, is a lie.

Over at the new liberal blog, OC Progressive, one of the authors published a post entitled, "NeoNazi Skinheads in the OC - A Tro
ubling Rise of Activity" You can read this article HERE and consider the information for yourself. Follow the embedded links to fully understand this problem.


I attempted to attend the lecture/book signing at the Newport Beach Main L
ibrary by former Daily Pilot editor and Los Angeles Times religion writer William Lobdell this week. The event was standing room only and, although I arrived a few minutes before the scheduled start time, I was among three dozen or so disappointed individuals turned away. In his column Thursday, HERE, Joe Bell mentions this meeting with no small degree of pride. Bell was Lobdell's college journalism instructor a few moons ago and was mentioned prominently in the credits in the book. According to Bell, the book, "How I Lost My Religion", is in it's second printing and just flying off the bookstore shelves. Yes, I'm still working my way through it - I'm 2/3 done. It's a great read, but I have not had time recently to just sit and read anything and I want to plow right on through it to the end in one sitting. I'll report back when I've finished it.



Much ado was made this week about the fact that 4/5ths of the Costa Mesa City Council snubbed the President of the United States during his recent town hall meeting at the Ora
nge County Fairgrounds - right across the street from our City Hall. Only Democrat councilwoman Katrina Foley attended the town hall to represent the elected leadership of our city. In the Daily Pilot today the question was posed to each of the council members, "Why did you or did not attend President Obama's town hall meeting?" You can read their responses HERE. Every one of them, except Foley's, were lame and demonstrated one more time what happens when you elect small people to big jobs.



The whole "Costa Mesa Firew
orks" issue has re-energized local youth group sponsors and parents, who seem ready to run Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece out of town on a rail because she recently proposed changes in the way fireworks sales are managed, including a hefty tax. Even though I agree with Leece that illegal fireworks are dangerous, the Costa Mesa public safety folks seem unable to apprehend those who break the law by discharging ILLEGAL fireworks - the really dangerous kind.


I suggested in a couple Daily Pilot comment threads that, perhaps, what we need is a cadre of citizen bounty hunters. Create a system whereby normal residents can collect a bounty by turning in their offending neighbors. Make them provide photographic evidence and at least one more witness to the crime, call the cops and perform a citizen's arrest in their presence. The penalties for false arrest are very significant, so this cannot be used to settle old grudges, but it might work as a deterrent to future use of illegal fireworks in our city. Award a hefty bounty - $200, $500 or more - and see what happens. While I suspect this plan will meet with a lot of opposition, it's very likely that those most vocal against it are offenders or close to some who do use illegal fireworks.


That's all for now... I suspect I've managed to raise the blood pressure of more than a few folks this evening. This will give you something to chew on over the weekend....

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Well, understanding The Mo
uth From Mesa North just got a whole lot easier. Today, in his CM Press post #646, HERE, he finally lets the cat out of the bag.


In his long, rambling rant - which includes a flashback to his alleged days a Marine in boot camp at the time of the Kennedy assassination - he regales us with his alleged contacts with young actor Robert DeNiro back in the early 1970s. He tells us about his humble beginnings in New York and his "career" as an actor. (I've seen him in his 19 second movie appearance. He's not much of an actor!)


The Mouth leaves us with the impression that DeNiro, the ultimate "met
hod actor", used him, The Mouth, as the basis for the character of Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver". If so, that really does explain a lot.

You will recall that the Bickle character is a whacked-out alleged former military guy who, among other things, befriends a 12-year-old whore played by young Jodie Foster. Eventually Bickle snaps and engages in a bloodbath, then fails to kill himself because he's out of bullets.

Perhaps The Mouth is just fantasizing or, maybe, his view is accurate. Maybe he did know De Niro and maybe De Niro did use him - the alleged Marine - as the foundation his nut case character, Travis Bickle. It makes you wonder just how much of The Mouth that characterization re
ally represents, doesn't it?

What's the message The Mouth is trying to send with this posting? Do you suppose he's making a not-too-veiled threat to those who criticize him - like this writer and the authors at the CM TRUTH blog and the CMunimPRESSed blog - that he's really the personification of Travis Bickle and could snap any time? Nah, he couldn't be trying to tell us that, could he?


No, I think this is just another attem
pt by a mouthy guy who has underachieved all his life trying to put some meaning into his pitiful existence. He has told us over and over again that he's a member of Mensa, yet has nothing to show for all that alleged brain power. He writes prodigiously on far right-wing web sites, spewing racist venom and bemoaning the demise of the white race. What kind of self-fulfillment does he get from that?


In Costa Mesa he's apparently found a fertile field into which he is sewing his seeds of intolerance and actually seems to be making progress toward a goal of making life miserable for everyone in our city who is not white. He's chanted his mantra for so long to some white folks in this city that they believe he's got all the answers and follows his manifesto without question.


His influence on those who espouse a White Supremacist philosophy has been clearly d
ocumented by watchdog organizations, who recognize him as a dangerous, insidious influence on our society. If his self-image is as the Travis Bickle character in "Taxi Driver" - a whacko fanatic - then I guess anyone around him should feel more than a little insecure. And, those elected politicians who follow his lead should have second thoughts.

Recently, in another blog entry part of which was aimed directly at me - a "local dimwit blogger" - he says, "No one who understands what is really going on in the City likes the guy. Can't stand him." Well, that's probably true. Any one who follows and believes his version of "what's really going on in the City" probably doesn't much like what I have to say. I don't agree with all the racist crap The Mouth spews and I don't agree that people of dark skin in our city are the root
of all problems.


Earlier in that post he says, "Rumor has it that a local dimwit blogger is now trying to develop information sources for his silly blog and is kissing up to some Improvers." Sorry, but I simply can't stifle my chuckle on that one. What a buffoon! He writes, almost certainly, of a recent email I sent to one of his sycophants, commenting that I saw her attending the recent Obamarama rally at the Fairground, wondering if she enjoyed it. The Mouth is so paranoid that he interprets even the most simple courteous inquiry to be some kind of stealth fact-finding mission. The woman in question is not my friend, but that doesn't mean I can't be friendly to her, for goodness sake. She and I have had our disagreements in the past, but I never fail to greet her and her husband when I find myself in the same room with them. Clearly, The Mouth doesn't understand common courtesy. He is so paranoid that he may, in fact, be Travis Bickle!


So, the next time you see this guy stand to rant before our City Council, Planning Commission or Parks & Recreation Commission, please remember that he sees himself as Travis Bickle, whack-job. Understand that he might go off anytime. You've been warned...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Don Lamm To Westminster As City Manager?

Former Daily Pilot reporter Deepa Bharath, now with the Orange County Register, reported HERE on Monday that Don Lamm, Costa Mesa Director of Development Services, has been picked by the City of Westminster as it's new City Manager. According to the article, if Lamm is approved by the Westminster City Council Wednesday night, he will start to work on May 1, 2009, replacing the outgoing City Manager Ray Silver, who retires on April 30th.
I was in contact with Costa Mesa City Manager Allan Roeder this morning to confirm this story and to get a comment or two from him. According to Roeder, he was not surprised that Lamm was a finalist for the Westminster job. They are apparently looking for someone with a strong Economic Development background, which, again according to Roeder, is "one of Don's best assets."


In a communication to his senior staff on this subject, Roeder said, "As a small irony and something I think our City can be proud of, Don's appointment will make a total of 5 City Managers currently in Orange County (including myself) from Costa Mesa. These include Steve Hayman (Rancho Santa Margarita), Carol Jacobs (Stanton) and Nita McKay (Los Alamitos) and now Don."


Roeder has every reason to be proud of the fact that, through his leadership and coaching, so many fine municipal leaders have emerged to serve cities around the county. Roeder is broadly acknowledged as one of, if not the, most highly qualified City Managers in our region. The City of Costa Mesa is lucky to have him.


From my perspective, the timing of Lamm's departure - should it come to pass - is a mixed blessing. Certainly, his skill and leadership will be missed. However, his departure leaves a huge hole in the budget which may be helpful as we attempt to steer a course through these very difficult municipal financial times. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Roeder is able to use this vacancy to do some creative shuffling and enhanced career development for remaining staff members. Quite frankly, development money has virtually dried up, so the demands on those units currently under Lamm's wing are in decline.

We wish Don Lamm the very best should he be named the City Manager of Westminster. He's proven to be an extremely competent professional and a real asset to our city. He's built a strong team and leaves Development Services in good hands.

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Small Town Obamamania

(Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot)

Unless you'v
e been in a coma for the past couple weeks you know that our trainee president, Barack H. Obama, visited Costa Mesa last week.


Yep, I guess he forgot that he won the election last November and that the campaigning is over. He flew in on Air Force One and a fleet of five (5) helicopters for a little one-hour "tow
n hall", during which he peeled off his coat in that steaming exhibit hall and led the cheers of fawning Obamaniacs. I think the place was packed with teachers ditching school because every time anything about education was mentioned the whole crowd went nuts.

I guess he decided Costa Mesa is just the right place to plug his stimulus p
lan. After all, he did carry the city during the election. Of course, he snubbed Republicans Dana Rohrabacher and Van Tran, our elected representatives to the House of Representatives and State Assembly respectively and was, in turn, snubbed by 4/5ths of our elected city leaders, all Republicans, by the way. Only Democrat Katrina Foley was present among the vocal throng to represent our city's interests.

I thought it was very interesting that Mayor Allan Mansoor and his right-wing compatr
iots on the city council, Wendy Leece, Gary Monahan and the almost inconsequential Eric Bever, chose to ignore the presence of the President of the United States in our city. Talk about bad manners and, maybe worse, bad politics. Of course, it doesn't surprise me. Their views are so far-right that I'd have been surprised if they'd demonstrated the common courtesy of welcoming the President to our city. Talk about inept!


I'm not an Obama fan. I've written before that I thought - and still think - that he's unprepared for the job. He's demonstrating that every day that he's in office - all two month
s of it, so far. At a time when our economy is in bad shape and the prevailing wisdom calls out for fiscal restraint he's flying around the country, burning fuel like a Saudi Arabian prince, speaking before hand-picked audiences and acting like a rock star. He swoops down from the sky, delivers a lot of words but says nothing and we smile and cheer him! Good grief!

Obama is a charismatic and effective speaker. He and his writers know just how to r
each those who think "government" is the answer to every problem in their lives. His patter was smooth as long as he stuck to his script. Once that teleprompter is removed, though, he gives us little peeks into his personality that should make us very nervous.

For example, while I was watching his performance in that darkened exhibit hall on local Orange County television, I head him begin what could have been a disastrous faux pas. At the end of his little Question and Answer period he turned from the cameras and faced the folks behind him in the bleachers to select the final questioner. He had
been going boy, girl, boy, girl to demonstrate his sense of fairness. Now, apparently wanting to choose just the right person to wrap things up, he began by pointing at individuals and saying, "Eenie, Meanie, Minie, Moe..." Well, folks, I held my breath, wondering if he was actually going to finish that little chant and which version he would use! Fortunately, he left his "Moe" dangling...


During his visit to the Southland he chatted up Jay Leno and made some gaffes that will linger for awhil
e. And, I watched snippets of his speech the next day at yet another "town hall" - basically the same speech he gave in Costa Mesa - and found him to be much less smooth. Even though he already had a test run in the boondocks - here in Costa Mesa - he came off sounding bored and he fumbled the very words he'd spoken 24 hours earlier in a similar setting here in our little town.


Our local newspaper of record, the Daily Pilot, had a full crew at the event and did a good job of providing coverage. They produced three articles and a joint column plus a nice video feature. These were followed up by a good editorial, too. However, some readers have taken the Pilot editors to task, indicating that they presented a biased viewpoint. Horse manure! They did a good job of presenting articles of interest with accuracy, fairness and balance.



If you blinked tonight you may have missed what may be the shortest Costa Mesa Planning Commission meeting in recorded history. Chairman Jim Righeimer did a good job with the presentation of the 2008 Design Awards to four projects finished last year and the only public hearing was continued to April 13th.


Vice Chair Jim Fisler did offer gratitude to the city staff for the recent memorial service honoring former commission chair and mayor Donn Hall, who passed away recently. He also paid tribute to former commissioner Bruce Garlich on the recent passing of Marietta Garlich. Righeimer joined him in comments on both services. Good going, men.

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Marietta Garlich Services Set For Saturday

I've been advised that the service for my friend, Marietta Garlich, has been set for Saturday at noon at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar. I've provided a map of the location and driving instructions at the bottom of this page.

The following is the obituary prepared by her loving husban
d, Bruce.


Marietta White Garlich
1/31/41 – 3/17/09

Her smile lit up the room. We lost Marietta and that unforgettable smile on M
arch 17, 2009.

Marietta was born in Detroit, MI on January 31, 1941, the daughter of Lee Ethel and Ivory White. Her parents and her brother Bob White of Detroit and sister Shirley Sampson of Los Angeles precede her in death.

Upon finishing high school she moved to Los Angeles under the wing of her sister Shirley. She worked at a variety of jobs, sometimes as many as three at a time. Eventually sh
e went to work at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica CA and later in Huntington Beach. She retired as an executive secretary in 1991 after decades of service, interrupted by an eight-year stint as office manager for Nichols Research in Newport Beach.

Marietta loved music. She played the cello in her youth and was a vocalist with a local combo in Huntington Beach. As a young woman she dreamed of being a professional singer. She could have been, she had the “pipes”! Her love of music and its value in enhancing the lives of children led her to join the Philharmonic Society of Orange County where she was a member of the U
pper Bay Committee and, as a member of the PSOC Executive Committee, served as vice president of Youth Concerts and later as vice president of Membership. Marietta was also a member of the board of the Assistance League of Santa Ana.

People who met Marietta liked her on contact. They soon became her friend and her friends soon came to love her. She was all about giving and asked little or nothing for herself. She was a sought after counselor to family and friends, sharing her strongly held philosophy on women’s issues, personal responsibility, respect, and love of others. It was a gift. She was both fiercely independent and forever loyal.

She is survived by her husband of nearly 34 years, Bruce, of Costa Mesa CA, her step son Gregory Garlich of Huntington Beach, CA, sisters Edna Morgan and Carolyn Rolland of Augusta GA, nieces Carla Lett of Vallejo CA and Dawn Lett of Los Angeles, CA and nephews Kevin White and Gary Bowles of Los Angeles and Kenneth Dotson of Augusta, GA along with a host of grand nieces and grand nephews.

Services will be held at Pacific View Memorial Park, 3500 Pacific View Drive, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625 on Saturday, March 21 beginning promptly at Noon.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hoa
g Hospital Cancer Center, Newport Beach, CA.


Pacific View Memorial Park can be reached from the north by exiting the 73 Toll Road on MacArthur Boulevard southbound to San Joaquin Hills Road. Turn left on San Joaquin Hills to San Miguel Drive. Turn left on San Miguel, then right on Pacific View Drive.

From the south, exit the 73 Toll Road at Newport Coast Drive southbound to San Joaquin Hills Road. Turn right on San Joaquin Hills Road to Marguerite Avenue. Turn right on Marguerite to Pacific View Drive. Turn right to cemetery.

From southbound Pacific Coast Highway, turn left on MacArthur, right on San Miguel Drive, then right on Pacific View Drive.

From northbound PCH from Laguna Beach turn right on Marguerite Avenue to Pacific View Drive, then turn right to the cemetery.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Mensinger On The Attack!

Last weekend a friend forwarded to me an email apparently sent by rookie Planning Commissioner Stephen Mensinger - an "Open letter to Council Members and Community Leaders" - in which Mensinger ripped Mayor Pro Tem Wendy Leece and the city staff for thei
r presentation at a recent council study session regarding a proposed tax on fireworks sales to fund the enforcement of our laws regarding illegal fireworks use in our city. Mensinger's epistle was nearly 700 words long and included the staff report from the study session - another 1800 words. The Daily Pilot will carry an edited version - just under 500 words - of Mensinger's rant in print tomorrow, the 18th. Here's the link to the online version.

Costa Mesa is one of only 5 of the nearly three dozen cities in Orange County that still permits the sale and discharge of so-called "safe and sane" fireworks. Each year for the past half dozen there has been public outcry against the sale of such fireworks, which in every case was overwhelmed by the response from the youth group leadership who benefit financially from the sale of fireworks. Many youth and school groups - primarily sports teams - receive much, if not all, of their annual funding from such sales.

Personally, I'm against fireworks - except those that are part of a professionally
-produced fireworks show. I think the "safe and sane" fireworks are neither and their sale and use in our city only encourages and camouflages the use of much more dangerous illegal fireworks. I acknowledge that I'm in the minority on this subject, including in my own neighborhood. That's OK. And, it's not really the purpose of this entry.


Mensinger's email amounts to a threat against Leece and any other person who opposes the sale of fireworks in our city. His sophomoric message - someone should introduce him to his spell checker - is full of invective, innuendo and just plain dumb statements.

For example, at the end of his second paragraph he says, " However, I oppose the use of smoke and mirrors to mas
k what does not exist." What?! How does one mask something that does not exist?

In his next paragraph he says, "For many years, Costa Mesa has str
uggled to find ways to keep our youth involved in our own city's youth sports organizations. Why? Well, simply put, our council spent more time on traffic timing and trip fees than they did on developing ways to attract and keep families in our City. Here we are again focusing energy on an issue that divides and is largely minority driven." What?! Minority driven? Do we have a little latent bias on display here? And, he's wrong! In recent years the City Council, staff and residents have worked tirelessly to develop more playing fields and youth sports venues, such as the Volcom Skate Park, adding lights to The Farm Sports Complex, Jim Scott Stadium and the new fields adjacent to the Fairview Developmental Center. The city recently spent a pile of money to acquire a school site adjacent to Brentwood Park and has plans to expand that neighborhood park. That sounds pretty darn family-friendly to me!


He goes on to say, "At the direction
of our staff, I watched with disbelief as Police and Fire put forth expenditures that were patently phony, simply to justify a tax. Candidly, I was ashamed!" Oh, really? Ashamed of what? Were you ashamed of the public safety organizations? Are you saying they were lying? It sure sounds like it. That's an interesting tactic - accusing those men and women sworn to protect and serve us of being liars.

He continued, "Under the logic presented in the recent study session, we will soon see restaurants and bars taxed for the cost of St Patrick's Day police overtime to identify and arrest people who choose to drink too much. When Fire claimed that having overtime with an additional fire truck saved a trash can fire from growing out of control, my contempt was complete. I can only conclude that those that serve us believe we are ignorant." Well, maybe not all of us, Steve, but they may have you pegged.


He goes on to say, "I will not only vehemently oppose any efforts to penalize those that use legal fireworks, I will organize and lead the effort to oppose
and remove elected and appointed officials who support these kinds of misuse of power." OK, Steve, we got it. You're PO'd at Leece and are sending a message to her that you'll oppose her re-election in 2010 if she doesn't shut up about fireworks. Could you be any more of a thug?


In his last two paragraphs Mensinger, apparently so filled with rage that he either cannot think clearly and/or type accurately, says, "I am reaching out to those like Council Person
Leece to put forth energy in solving the real issues in our community that affect all of us the other 364 days a year. For starters lets balance our budget and cut the waste. Then I would suggest focussing staff on our roads, infastrucuture and those issues that attract new families to our great City." So, Steve, are you saying that our public safety staff should just ignore violations on that 365th day? Should they just "phone it in" on July 4th?

He then closes with, "I believe the faithful day that an elected decided to once again address the wrong issue illistrates the need to choose our leaders more carefully in the future." And then signs it, "Respectly, Stephen Mensinger"


The point of my entry today is not fireworks, although I don't support them. The issue is Mensinger. As reported earlier, he has begun to demonstrate a tendency to bully people and this email is just the most recent example of that characteristic. In my opinion, bullies have no place in a position of power in our city, like the Planning Commission. I do agree with him, though, when he opines that there is a need to select our leaders more carefully. That certainly applies to those appointees, as well.


I think Steve Mensinger is a loose cannon. If he remains on the Planning Commission he will create difficult situations for our city. Now that he's gotten a little taste of the power he has on the dais it looks as though he really likes it. He has a history of abuse of power, HERE, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if his behavior leads the city into yet another legal quagmire down the road. In my opinion, he should be asked to step down from the Planning Commission and, if he refuses, the City Council should remove him.

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