Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Look Back In Time....

Four years ago, February 22, 2006, I wrote the following long-winded essay. At that time I was using a different blog host and it didn't accommodate "comments". And, at that time, only a handful of folks were reading the blog.

With the events of yesterday still making me wince I thought it would be an interesting exercise to take a look in the rear view mirror and re-visit those days of yore. So, today I present it to you unedited for the passage of time, without any cute images to entertain you, to let you contemplate how little things have changed in our city in four years. For your reading pleasure... "What Is Costa Mesa?"


Wednesday, February 22, 2006
What Is Costa Mesa?

What kind of a community is Costa Mesa? This simple question is a real enigma for me.

There was a time not to very long ago when our city seemed like a pretty nice, peaceful, comfortable place in which to live and raise our families. That was before we elected leaders who pander to the vocal, disgruntled few among us to the detriment of the broader community. Today Costa Mesa is a city in turmoil.

We have nearly thirty public parks, yet seem to be determined to limit their use by people who don't meet our demographic preferences. No longer can kids just go to the park and play a pick-up game of touch football or soccer or bat a baseball around without fear of being cited by a Park Ranger.

We have elected leaders who seem determined to expel hardworking, peaceful residents - the Latino folks - from our city while welcoming an over abundance of half-way houses and recovery facilities.

We try to force charities from our borders by reducing funding for their efforts, yet we are home to nearly 100 registered sex offenders.

We tout ourselves as the "City of the Arts" and proudly wear the assumed mantle of sophistication that title implies and yet, in some parts of our city, we have six times the number of bars and liquor stores than our zoning should permit.

We say we take pride in the diversity of this city, yet our leaders have encouraged the participation of racists among us on influential city committees.

Our mayor says he only wants to remove criminals from our streets with his plan to have our local police become trained to enforce federal immigration screening, but his plan has polarized this community. He says there will be no sweeps, yet revels in the embrace of the leaders of the radical Minuteman Project and was recently made an honorary member. He, in just a couple short months, has managed to undo the trust and faith in government among the Latino community that has taken decades to build.

Our streets are crumbling beneath our tires and major intersections suffer from gridlock, yet we continue to approve projects which triple or quadruple the density in our neighborhoods.

We have people in the community who decry the many industrial businesses on the Westside and their supposed negative health affects on local residents, yet our leaders approve the construction of condominiums across the street from a foundry.

Our leaders ignore the recommendations of the committee appointed to hammer out a workable, acceptable solution to the perceived decay on the Westside and, instead, implement a plan that will certainly result in all industrial uses being squeezed out, taking with them the jobs and tax base on which this city was built.

The beginning of that process can be seen as approvals are currently being sought for a residential development which will be virtually surrounded by industrial businesses. This is the crack in the dike.

Our leaders squabble over nickel and dime issues on the budget, yet seem more than willing to burden our residents with over a billion dollars to place utility wires underground.

We share a big hunk of our infrastructure and a school district with Newport Beach, yet our leaders seemed determined to spit in their eye any chance they get.

Nearly two decades ago our leaders used the sledgehammer of eminent domain to redevelop what became Triangle Square and now the current group seems more than willing to watch that white elephant wither and decline - a monument to failed vision at the gateway to our downtown.

In my opinion, all this and more is a result of failed leadership. We elected people to our City Council who are just too small for the job. We elected people as our "leaders" who bring no leadership experience to their positions. We elected leaders who don't understand the concept of leadership. Some of our elected officials seem overwhelmed with arrogance - they seem to feel they know it all and shouldn't have to take the time to consult with their constituents on major issues. We elected "leaders" who jeer and taunt concerned speakers from the dais and trade epithets with demonstrators outside their business.

In my opinion, these are signs of small people in big jobs. We, the voters in this city, are responsible for this mess - we elected the City Council. It's up to us to fix this problem in November, when we have the chance to return this city to the hands of mature, seasoned leaders - those who will work hard to do what is right for the community as a whole, not just the vocal, angry few.
3:57 pm pst



Anonymous Kent Morrow said...

You are but a seer.

2/26/2011 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Kent, some might suggest you should have stopped after your third word. :-)

Some others may suggest that I should have been careful what I asked for...

Thanks for reading - as always...

2/26/2011 10:52:00 AM  
Anonymous ConcerendforCM said...

"We elected people to our City Council who are just too small for the job. We elected people as our "leaders" who bring no leadership experience to their positions. We elected leaders who don't understand the concept of leadership. Some of our elected officials seem overwhelmed with arrogance - they seem to feel they know it all and shouldn't have to take the time to consult with their constituents on major issues."

How sad but true this still is today only now the leaders put in place (one being UNELECTED) are set to destroy Costa Mesa at all costs.

When that does happen, and it will, all I can say is that the residents of Costa Mesa have no one to blame but themselves.

2/26/2011 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

My brother retired as a city manager of a city about the same size as CM. Discussing the way things are, he told me that the 'elected officials' were always the dumbest players at the table. He said once in a while you would get a good one who was properly motivated and wanting to learn how things worked. But by the time they did, they were gone and it started all over again. It's going to take some real smart ones to fix the mess that will be left when these guys are outta there. It's hard to not think that there a lot of sheeple there that are going to get exactly what they deserve. Unfortunatly there are many who don't. Good luck!

2/26/2011 04:52:00 PM  
Blogger feral390 said...

This is all I have to say...

start at page 14 for local officials.

2/27/2011 07:00:00 AM  
Anonymous mike said...

what absolutely kills me is that the citizens just continue to elect these a broken record. we have only ourselves to blame, unfortunately.

but let the record show i never voted for any of 'em!

2/27/2011 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

I am a proud supporter of 4 Council members. I like the process that they are going through, it is necessary. Time will tell.

This recall noise ... I want you to try. It is like the old prayer that asks that the enemy's ankles be turned, so that you may know them by their limp ... by coming to the podium during public comments ... we will know you by your limp.

But the reality is that all this is a bunch of hot air. I bet the whiners calling for recall do not actually live in our City.

So ... double dare you!

2/27/2011 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

Pot Belly, be careful what you wish for. It wouldn't take much of a groundswell to get a recall going. Once enough people get pissed enough to take notice what is actually happening, your cronies days will likely be numbered. Until then, they will push their agenda trough and the city will have to live with it for a while. That's why these guys are moving with such rapidity as to get their licks in while they can.

My guess is that more or most of these folks live in the city than you give credit for. If they don't live here, they are likely employed here, regardless of where they live. I think that gives them a dog in this fight as much as you , me or anyone else that lives in Costa Mesa. You are just too myopic to see that.

Nice of you to cite the old Irish prayer (hmmm...this wouldn't be one of their cronies with an Irish surname would it? Two come to mind). Let me give you an old Irish quote: You're as thick as manure, but only half as useful.

2/27/2011 05:12:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sean, methinks you've discovered the truth. Shall we tell everyone who "Pot Belly" is, or shall we just let your great guess linger for them to consider?

2/27/2011 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark C said...

The arrogance of Righeimer, Mensinger and all of their close supporters knows no bounds. They are CONVINCED they know what's best for the rest this city. Anyone who is not in their circle is to be dismissed. They are pulling the same kind of argument Pelosi did when she said her famed: "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it..." As with these men, her arrogance was astounding. Those arguing a counterpoint to them are accused of using emotional arguments, fear mongering etc. They invoke the spectacle of what is happpening in Wisconsin as the punctuation for their argument. As if any of that is or has happpened here. I for one have not seen it.
It could be argued that what the police union did during the election was along the lines of what we see in the midwest, but is it really? Even in his self serving piece that Mensinger wrote in the pilot he claimed it was a "fringe" of the police department. He then takes a back handed dig at the officers compensation by saying they were using an "Escalade" to tow that sign around. I saw it around town on a number of occasions, and I gave them my support with a "thumb's up" (and for the record, it was a Chevy Avalanche)So where/ who is really using the emotional arguments? I have lived in Costa Mesa for many years and have been largely apathetic to the political issues around the city. I have always felt safe, my encounter with any city employee was always positive. I have never felt I had much to complain about. I am now retired, and my 401(k) is not what it once was. However, I have never looked at the employees of this city and said, I wished I had what they did. It seems to me that these men on council, and those that sing their praises to the rafters need to reasses their life choices and perhaps the paths they chose. For in envying these men and women, and the prideful arrogance with which they attack these men and women show that they are on the road to hell. If these men succeed at what they intend to do, it will leave a mess that will take years to undo. I suppose it leaves the question, that if the police union was right, no enough people heard the message. If they were wrong, is this now Righeimer's vengence for opposing him. Either way, we all lose. The sad thing, is Righeimer (and Mensinger) are the focus of the talk and neither of them are even the Mayor. That seems odd to me. The fact that neither are truly the "head guy", yet they put themselves out there as the most vocal, all knowing. What does that say about Monahan? He has been reduced to a non-entity in the discussion as much as Wendy Leece has. I have no real read on Bever, since he never says much and when he does, it seems ignorant at best. I don't trust these men at all. They claim to have all the answers and we should just go along with it. I am reminded that 2nd Corinthians Chapter 11, verse 14 says:"...for even satan disguises himself as an angel of light." Based on the envy, prideful nature and greed for power that these men surely show, it makes me question them and their motives.

2/27/2011 09:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Eugene A. said...

Anybody know why there was a bunch of cop cars at Monahan's restaurant last night? Was out walking the dog and it looks like something happened there.

2/27/2011 10:18:00 PM  
Anonymous East Side Steve said...

Eugene, I heard it was a couple of drunk guys who had been drinking at Skosh Monahan's and fought with the cops when they tried to arrest them. I saw a bunch of cop cars with their lights and sirens on over there. I don't know about anyone else but that sounds a little suspicious to me for something like that to happen at the mayor's bar. Pot Stirrer, I think you should look into this...

2/28/2011 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Eugene and East Side Steve, police cars at a bar? Sounds normal to me. What would be unusual would be for the police to NOT respond to a call for service at a bar. I'll ask around, but don't get your hopes up...

2/28/2011 07:19:00 AM  
Anonymous Sean said...

I just wanted to say that people like "Pot Belly" who attempt to embrace their "Irishness" without the slightest clue of what it truly means you are a sad little man.

A surname does not define you. The struggles of the people and truly identifying with them and their struggles, well, that is a different story. The struggle of labour against privatised power is something you will never know or understand.

I leave you with this:
Teigh trasna ort fein and Imeacht gan teacht ort!

2/28/2011 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...


You had me a little worried with your last phrase so I did a Google Translation. It gave me this:

"You cross yourself and leave without you!"

OK, I assume that's not what you meant, but I figured it might be safe to post. :-)

If you have a more literal translation that you care to share let me know.

2/28/2011 04:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Sean said...

It is "May you leave and never return"...Gaelic does not always translate well.

2/28/2011 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Stop the Silliness said...

Jack booted thugs coming to your door? It could happen here. In response to a tragic fire in Newport Beach that left one person dead, one of our (Costa Mesa) planning commissioners is now proposing that all garages be regularly inspected. Where does it stop? Will they want to inpspect the inside of homes without a search warrent? At the risk of being alarmist, this is what our Founding Fathers wared against. This is why they created a Bill of Rights. What kind of cool-aid are our Repub "leaders" drinking these days? Whatever it is, let's hope it doesn't get into the general water supply. Or is it too late?

2/28/2011 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Sean, thanks.... that's better. Sometimes the Google Translate function can produce some interesting results.

Stop the Silliness, your comments do not surprise me. Here on the Eastside Righeimer etal forced a family to remove a structure that was harming nobody, just to flex their muscles. Expect Google Earth "flyovers" in your neighborhoods to see if you and your neighbors are also "guilty" of that terrible transgression.

2/28/2011 11:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Pot Belly said...

Stop the Silliness is right. Let's stop the silliness. This is a big problem I have with the Jerry Springer participants ... they lack facts, and speak on emotion intended to disparage, hope this provides you the therapy to spare kicking the dog.

That kid died in an illegally converted garage, in Costa Mesa.

I was at a neighborhood party Sunday night, many of the people where asking how that could happen in our City. The reality is, that the average people, the ones that elected Riggy, but do not read the Daily Pilot, do not follow Council meetings and certainly do not come here to the Jerry Springer Show ... they support the changes. Many of them bought expensive houses, and cannot figure out why the roads are in such bad shape. But you guys keep thinking this is Costa Mesa of yesterday. Some just cannot adapt to change, like the Pot Stinker, he is old, and a Jerry Springer wanna be.

3/01/2011 07:48:00 AM  
Anonymous mike m said...

Pot belly sure calls the kettle black - I have yet to see any facts from you, and you talk about others disparaging remarks here on the 'Springer Show,' and yet that's about all you bring to the table yourself. Way to set an example and bring something constructive to the table!

3/01/2011 12:28:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home