Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lots Of Hats In The Ring

Yikes! I just read the City Council agenda for Tuesday, January 20th and saw that way, way, way down at the end of the program the council will decide which candidates will fill the openings on the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission. This time around there are 37 candidates who've thrown their hats in the ring - it's like graduation at a service academy, for goodness sake!

There are 22 candidates for the two slots open on the Planning Commission, including the incumbents, Eleanor Egan and Donn Hall. There are 15 candidates for the two positions open on the Parks and Recreation Commission, but only Bob Graham has asked to be re-appointed. Unless long-time commissioner Mark Harris has a late change of heart, he will not be on the commission again this time around.

Here's the list of good folks who have asked to be considered for one or both of the commissions:


Planning Commission

1. Robert ((Bob) Banka

2. Ted Butch

3. Scott Clements
4. Gary Craig
5. Eleanor Egan

6. Leah Ersoylu*

7. Donn Hall**

8. Matthew Hoyt*

9. Brittany Koper

10. Maryann Marks

11. Steven Martinez

12. Jeff Mathews

13. Diane McCardle

14. ColinMcCarthy

15. Christopher McEvoy

16. Stephen Mensinger

17. Joaquin Sahagun

18. Burt Sirota

19. Dan Skahill

20. Gabriel Teran*
21. Dan Worthington

22. Jonathan Zich*

Parks and Recreation Commission
1. Dennis Crane

2. Robert Dickson, Jr.

3. Leah Ersoylu

4. Jim Fitzpatrick

5. Robert Graham

6. Jeffrey Harlan
7. Matthew Hoyt

8. Jeff Mathews*
9. Kim Pederson

10. Marnie Primmer

11. Cliff Raits

12. Barbara Steck**

13. David Stiller

14. Gabriel Teran

15. Jonathan Zich

* Individual identified this Commission as first choice preference
** Late application: 1/12/09

Pretty impressive numbers, and that's just the beginning. I don't recall such strong fields of candidates in years. I've gone to the attachment which lists the resumes/letters of interest for each of the candidates and reviewed every one of them. There are many very impressive resumes to be considered - folks with just the right kind of education and experience to prepare them for positions on the commissions. Plus, there are a few familiar names, too.

For Planning Commission, in addition to incumbents Egan and Hall, I see that young Chris McEvoy - a city council candidate last year - has asked to be considered. At the other end of the spectrum, I see that Minuteman Dan Worthington - long-time community activist - has also asked to be considered. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the "inside money" is betting on Colin McCarthy and Steve Mensinger to be chosen to replace Egan and Hall. McCarthy is a neighbor of The Mouth From Mesa North and has frequently been heard to echo much of his mantra. Mensinger is a business buddy of current commissioner Jim Righeimer and has spent a lot of his career under the wing of George L. Argyros, former Ambassador to Spain, head honcho at Arnel Development and big time political fund raiser.

In the case of the Parks and Recreation Commission, it's unlikely that Graham will be re-appointed. He's proven to be intractable on issues regardless of what the facts or common sense dictate. Long time community activist David Stiller has asked for consideration. He has a long history of solid community involvement and is never reluctant to voice his opinion on issues. Among the others are Jeff Harlan and Marnie Primmer, both of whom have become active in the fledgling Eastside Homeowners Group. Both have solid credentials, too. And, Rob Dickson - a name familiar to those who read the Daily Pilot blog and other blogs around town, including this one - has stepped up for consideration, too. He's an interesting young man with strong views and a tenacity to dig into issues that could be welcome on the Parks and Recreation Commission. This is a real opportunity to re-invigorate what has been a pretty boring, leaderless commission over the past two years.

As always, I look forward to next Tuesday's meeting. It will be interesting for those of us willing to stay up late to see whether the current council will opt to place cronies on the commissions, or if they will choose those with strong credentials and fresh views. I will be fascinated by the choices they have to make for the Planning Commission, in particular. Will they cast aside Egan and Hall - experienced, hardworking, skilled practitioners who have also been loyal "Westsiders", too? If so, will they replace them with McCarthy - another strident voice - and Mensinger - another politically connected guy? It's going to be a very interesting evening.

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What Goes Around...

Based on recent posts over at that bastion of reportorial absurdity, the CM PRESS, it looks like the owner of that site may be about to implode. It seems that The Mouth From Mesa North feels oppressed - that some folks exercising their right of free speech via their blog entries and comments have made him feel "stalked". Gimme a break!

A week has not pa
ssed over the last several years when that blustering loud mouth has failed to criticize residents of our city because their opinions differ from his. Almost without fail he stands before the City Council to puff and pontificate and provide them with direction, all based on his warped anti-anything-but-white philosophy.

He waives hi
s three pitiful books around, getting free advertising for them, and tells all who will listen that he writes to be read. He then goes into an infantile sulk when those who read his garbage or hear him speak criticize his views. Poor baby...


For a long time there was only one voice that criticized him - mine. Early in our little sparring matc
h it was amusing when the Daily Pilot would pair-up our views on the same page. I know it drove him nuts, er, more nuts, when that would happen because he considers me his intellectual inferior. How dare the editors of the Daily Pilot place my words adjacent to his?!


He may be correct. I may, in fact, be his intellectual inferior. After all, I don't pretend to be a member of Mensa - as he does. I don't pretend to have been a lawyer, actor, real estate agent or Mari
ne - as he does. I also don't use the adoration of his work by Uber-Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke as a marketing tool - - as he does. I don't have, as the cornerstone of almost every move I make in this city, the expulsion of people with darker skin than mine - as he seems to have been trying to do for the past decade.

Nope, I'm just a guy who, after a successful career and a happy, fulfilled life, decided to begin paying attention to municipal issues. That increased awareness led me to watching him and his insidious influence on important issues in the town that I've called home for more than half my life. And I didn't like what I saw, so began writing about it.

Now there are a couple other people who are paying attention and writing about him - more voices in the choir. They point out his inaccuracies and outright fabrications. They challenge his bluster with facts. They've chosen to remain anonymous to avoid the very thing The Mouth has accused them of - stalking and intimidation. The fact that he doesn't know their identities really irritates him because he has no way to lash back at them personally. Having been on the receiving end of his personal attacks, threats and venomous comments for years, I don't really blame them for remaining anonymous - at least to old Marty.


I can only smile now that the shoe's on the other foot and he's apparently feeling exactly the same way I've felt from time to time. This well-deserved harvest of animosity that he's feeling is the product of his own efforts as he plowed the fields of intolerance all these years.

I have absolutely no thought that he will change his behavior because of this increased attention by others. He is who he is. Quite the contrary, I suspect it will just motivate him to be even more intolerant, obnoxious and belligerent. What a sad, pathetic waste of an intellect...

A Little Limerick For The Mouth From Mesa North
Old Mensa Marty says he's a really smart man,
Of course, he is his own number 1 fan,
...But, despite the alleged size of his brain,
...He seems to enjoy inflicting pain
On those less fortunate, like no one else can.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

CM OPEN - Illegitimate Son of the CCMC

UPDATE: As of early Monday morning the CM OPEN site is back in business - with a snide remark about yours truly. That's fine. You may visit the site HERE. As I now read the most recent posts and re-read earlier ones this site sure does seem to have the "style" of that used by the CM Press - they both seem to have the same lingering odor about them. I wonder why that might be? Do you suppose old Mensa Marty might actually have more than one site operating? Make that more than two sites, since he has also created something called "Our Way" - a strange site, indeed. I guess shining a little light on them made them decide to come out and play again...


In the past I've written about the now-slumbering web site called "Concerned Costa Mesa Citizens" (CCMC) that was created in the early part of this decade as a place where folks with concerns about our city could post comments, share ideas and plan strategy. The creators were among those who formed the core of the self-named "westside improvers", and focused primarily on that side of town.

Among thos
e posting prolifically on that site were our current young jailer/mayor, Allan Mansoor and The Mouth From Mesa North - Costa Mesa's racist laureate at the CM Press. Those who were paying attention a little over five years ago will remember that then-Daily Pilot reporter Lolita Harper did a series on the site which brought the spotlight of public scrutiny to it. It had become controversial for some of the posts, including an anti-gay contribution that Mansoor stripped from a Focus on the Family publication. You can read Harper's reports HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. Additionally, then-Daily Pilot Editor Tony Dodero wrote this piece, HERE, and then-columnist Byron de Arakal wrote this one, HERE. Other publications wrote about the CCMC site and those who posted there. Two such items were written by Nick Schou in the OC Weekly. You can read them HERE and HERE. A word of caution - the language on that site can be pretty raw, so proceed at your own risk.

This notoriety got the attention of the Orange County Human Relations Commission - not to be confused with the Costa Mesa Human Relations Committee - who stuck their nose under the tent and began paying attention to the postings. Very shortly thereafter the owners of the site slammed the door and went underground, apparently not willing to share their views with the broader community.


For a couple months before the owners slithered back under their rock I was a "blessed" participant, so I just sat in the corner, reading archived posts. At the time there
were over 6,000 posts - I read at least two-thirds of them and it was through that activity that I became very familiar with the attitudes of the "improvers" in general and the blow hard at the CM Press in particular. One thing became very clear as I read those entries - there was a simmering undercurrent of intolerance percolating in our city and it bothered me. That intolerance seemed to target gays and also the Latinos that made up a big chunk of our population on the westside of town. It seemed that all the ills perceived by the self-named improvers were assumed to be a direct result of the growing Latino presence.

Things don't really change that much. During the last political campaign a new local blog surfaced which called itself CM OPEN. It didn't accept any comments - just like the CM Press - and it became an apologist for The Mouth and his disciples. It seemed like the CM OPEN's primary purpose was to attack me - which is fine and dandy. I'm used to being assailed by anonymous cowards - no big deal.


Early in October that s
ite went into hibernation, but I'd check it every once in awhile to see if it had awakened. Finally, today, I checked my Google Alerts and found a reference to what appears to be a recent entry on the CM OPEN, which attacked me by name. So, I clicked on the link to see what the remainder of the text said and found that - much like the CCMC site before it - one now must be "invited" to observe the CM OPEN. Does anyone else find that fact and the name of the blog to be just a little paradoxical?


This, apparently, is how it works in Costa Mesa. Critics - those of us who speak in opposition to the current power structure in this city - will be attacked by anonymous cowards, who sit in their little rooms and share their angst among themselves in cyberspace, but refuse to permit others to participate in the discussion of important issues.


Since this site is very obviously a pro-Mansoor majority site with very strong sympathetic ties to the CM Press, I find myself speculating about the probability of Brown Act violations among the participants. I'm concerned that this site will become a contemporary "smoke-filled" room, where deals are made that will affect every one of the residents of this city without us having had a chance to voice our opinions about them.

As I've said many times before, you can't trust the current majority, so watch your backs. Some day I'll write about some personal experiences with them that validate that opinion. In the meantime, don't take your eyes off them.

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