Monday, June 30, 2014

Fairview Park Committee To Attack Serious Issues

Wednesday evening, July 2nd, the Costa Mesa Fairview Park Citizens Advisory Committee - guided by Chairman Dr. Richard Mehren and Vice Chair Steve Smith and after months and months of discussions, will finally begin to get to the meat of the issues that a few of them have waited for - a chance to actually consider placing playing fields somewhere in the park.

The meeting, which will be held in the Victoria Room at the Neighborhood Community Center, 1845 Park Avenue (Lions Park) from 6:00 - 8:00, will find the committee finishing up the discussions of the final eight (8) issues being considered for the Northeast Quadrant - see map - and then begin discussing the Southeast Quadrant.  You can read the agenda HERE.

Early in the meeting there will be two presentations, as listed on that agenda, followed by Public Comments, where members of the public may use three minutes to address the committee on issues they feel are important about Fairview Park.  Speakers will also be given a chance to address specific items on the agenda later, if they choose.

As they finish the Northeast Quadrant they will discuss, and take comment from the public on, the following possible used in that segment of the park:
  • Improve/Designate Bike Paths
  • Lawn Bowling/Bocce Ball
  • Retain the Elements of the Master Plan as it Reads now
  • Dog Park
  • Skate Park
  • Nature Center-Bird Watching Platforms
  • Marked Running Courses
  • Archery Area

Those items are what remain from their previous discussion on this quadrant.  You will recall that, early in their deliberations, the committee listed thirty-five (35) items, elements or activities that they felt MIGHT be worthy of consideration for some segment of the park.  Included in the list was that one shown above - "Retain the Elements of the Master Plan as it Reads now".  The committee will discuss these and either agree to forward them for further consideration to the Parks and Recreation Commission or not.  At the last meeting none of the first eight were moved forward.

Following THAT discussion the committee will start the conversation about the Southeast Quadrant - that area which includes the Orange County Model Engineers trains - recently renewed for five years - and the big parking lot.  Some members of the committee have been salivating over this space for most of the last year, so it will be interesting to see how this conversation evolves.  The following is a list of the twenty-two (22) items the staff extracted from the list and feel MIGHT be appropriate for this segment of the park.  Read the appropriate portion of the staff report HERE.

1.  Dry Land Wildlife Viewing Area
2.  Baseball/Softball Facilities
3.  Recreate Heritage/Native American Village
4.  Vernal Pool Preservation with Cables, Signage, and delineation
5.  Soccer/Football Fields
6.  Multi-use Athletic Fields
7.  Retain the Elements of the Master Plan as it Reads Now
8.  Install a Two-tier Building that includes an Interpretive Center and Terrace/Viewing Deck
9.  Westside grass area/sprinkler system improvements
10. Basketball/handball Courts
11. OCME Track Expansions/Improvements
12. Trail Exercise Stations
13. Improve Placentia Avenue with Cable and Post Delineation
14. Roller Hockey Surface
15. Improve/Designate Bike Paths
16. Concrete Path from NW Traffic Signal to SE Traffic  Signal at Estancia
17. Dog Park
18. Expand Concert Area
19. Skate Park
20. Nature Center-Bird Watching Platforms
21. Archery Area
22. Marked Running Courses

Typically, the committee will discuss these items, winnow then down to a practical few, then staff will return at the next meeting with detailed presentations on each for the committee to consider and either recommend or discard.  As I mentioned above, at the last meeting they recommended NONE of the proposed options.

We presume the serious discussion of the Southeast Quadrant will take place at their next meeting - presently scheduled for August 6th, unless vacations will preclude a quorum being attained.

The turnout has been sparse at these meetings and they are no longer televised by Barry Friedland at Costa Mesa Brief, so if you want to see what's happening to your park you must attend in person - or read my report later.  I encourage you to attend - it's an interesting process.

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The Future Of Costa Mesa Housing?

At the suggestion of an acquaintance who posted on Nextdoor, my wife and I visited a brand new housing development in Costa Mesa Saturday morning - Taylor Morrison's 60-unit live/work development - Level 1 -  at the corner of Newport Boulevard and Industrial Way.  You can read Bradley Zint's Daily Pilot article HERE, and view Don Leach's photo gallery HERE

My first reaction as we approached the project from our parking spot along Industrial Way was that it looked pretty darn stark, but I admit that's a matter of personal taste.  We had arrived just after they opened for business and the place was already humming, with lots of Looky-Lous and potential buyers wandering around, brochures in hand.  We didn't waste much time in the sales office - the garage area of the first of two models open for viewing - but just grabbed some paperwork and scampered around the corner to see the units.  We'd chat with the sales staff later.

The first floor in each of the units is the "work" segment of the live/work concept.  Each of the first floor units had garage-type roll-up doors as a wall, in addition to entry doors from the garage and the "street".  Each "work" element seemed small, but probably practical as an office for an accountant, graphic designer or consultant.  Each had a half-bath, with a toilet, sink and a walk-in shower, which surprised me.  I thought the original plan just called for a powder room.  With this configuration those first-floor elements are an easy conversion into another bedroom.

17 STAIRS...
To reach the second floor living area you trudge up 17 stairs.  In the larger units - with 3 bedrooms - you walk up to a landing, make a 180 turn and finish the climb.  In the smaller units you take a long, straight hike up 17 stairs.  In addition to the living spaces - kitchen and living room - there is a powder room.

AND 17 MORE...
The sleeping floor is the 3rd - another 17 stairs - and each one has two bathrooms plus a closet for stacked washer and dryer.  The rooms were large enough and the view will be nice once the construction is completed.

If you want to access the rooftop patio you must navigate 18 stairs, but the hike is worth it.  The views are terrific - we could see all the way past Hoag Hospital to the ocean.  Of course, in the foreground was Carls, Jr. and Taylor's Trim Shop across Industrial Way.  Because these units are attached, it's possible to climb from one roof top patio to the next.

On the way out I asked the sales staff just what kind of "work" folks would be doing in those 1st floor units?  Parking is minimal and they told me that no retail would be permitted.  They were not amused when I suggested that, with the addition of that 1st floor bathroom, one of the world's oldest professions might work out just fine.  A friend suggested that the rooftop patios might make lovely marijuana plantations, with a "dispensary" on the 1st floor.   Actually, as I said above, I will not be surprised at all if those 2 and 3 bedroom units end up as 3 and 4 bedroom units, and rental units, to boot.  We'll see. 

Another thought crossed my mind - an entrepreneur might buy a block of those units and combine them for use as rehabilitation homes.  Let's see how that might pencil-out... If you buy 2, 2-bedroom units and 2, 3-bedroom units that are contiguous for about $3 million and house 20 "residents" in them at $8,000 - $10,000 per month each... doesn't take long to make a profit.  Just sayin'...

Did I like these units, which range from around $747,000 for the smaller one to $841,000 for the larger, which is just under 2000 square feet?  Yeah, I think so, but they're not for me.  Too many stairs, too close to your neighbors, not enough guest parking, too much ambient traffic noise and just too congested.  I doubt if you'll see ANY children in these units - there's no place for them to play and it's located in the middle of an industrial area.  That being said, we saw lots of people putting on hardhats for tours of units under construction.

After we visited the models we took a little cruise around the site of the proposed 176 units on the ArgoTech toxic site at Pomona Avenue and 17th Street a few hundred yards away then turned and drove right on past the construction at the corner of Superior and 17th Street, where even more live/work units are being built.  I was trying to contemplate the impact of the traffic that will be generated by nearly 350 new dwelling units on that 17th/Superior/Anaheim Avenue/Industrial Way snarl.  And then I attempted to contemplate the impact of the proposed Banning Ranch development, which will more than quadruple those numbers!  I'm glad I live on the Eastside.

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Busy - Possibly Explosive - Council Meeting Tuesday

The Costa Mesa City Council will hold its first council meeting of the new fiscal year on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 and this one promises to be "special" in many ways.  First, the Closed Session that precedes the regular meeting has a long agenda so it begins at 3:30 p.m.!  The regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 in City Council Chambers starting at 6:00 p.m.  The agenda report is HERE.

I've previously written about the onerous change planned late in the meeting in which it will be proposed to crush opposing viewpoints by speakers before the City Council, HERE.  One thing I neglected to mention in the proposed ordinance, HERE, in my last post was the element included in Section c., 1.  During the discussion of "Enforcement", beginning on page 2 and continuing to page 3, mention is made of "warnings" given to violators of the policy before further action is taken.  However, in the second paragraph the discussion turns to examples of when a warning shall not be necessary and includes this final sentence: A warning shall also not be necessary when an individual violates the rules of conduct more than once during a council meeting, or continuously violates the rules of conduct council meeting after council meeting.  I read that to mean that if you violate ANY of the eleven (11) in more than one meeting - yell in one, speak without being recognized by the presiding officer in another and continue to speak after the allotted time has expired in another, a person could - without any warning - be subjected to the sanctions listed further in the ordinance.

As always, the Consent Calendar is packed with issues that some might wish to have pulled and voted upon separately.  Mayor Jim Righeimer always reminds council members that he would prefer them to NOT pull items, but to discuss them during Council Member comments.  That accomplishes a couple things.  1) It keeps the item from being "trailed" to the end of the meeting - one of his draconian practices that is used to stifle public discussion of issues. 2)  It forces a member of the public to pull the item and stick around to the wee hours of the next day, in many cases, to ask questions or offer comments.

Item #3 is Warrant 2518, HERE, which is packed with interesting information.  I'll just list a few of the items you may find illuminating.
Civil Source - $28,215.00 - Design Alleys, Apr. 14 and $4,255.00 - Water Quality/Storm Drain
Costa Mesa Conference & Visitor Bureau - $222,105.09 - BIA Receipts for March, 2014
Jones Day - $54,821.25 - CMCEA, March and April
Enterprise Counsel Group - $9,911/10 - Successor Agency DOF, Apr. 2014
FTOG, Inc. - $2,115.00 - Interim Buyer, 5/26 - 6/6
Government Staffing Services - $3,410.00 - Temp Svcs Proj Mgr.
Scientia Consulting Group, Inc - $3,800.00 - IT Tech Consultant 5/4-5/10
Jones & Mayer - $166,585.92 - various listed services
Interwest Consulting Group, Inc. - $9,990.50 - Bldg Inspection Svcs, Apr. 2014
Liebert Cassidy Whitmore - $6,480.00 - PD and CMCEA Negotiations

Once more, we racked up more than $235,000 in legal fees for one month.  Yikes!


Item #4  fulfills the contractual obligation the City has with the Police Association and the Police Management Association for a 4% increase if certain fiscal milestones are met, HERE.  They were met, so the increases kick in.

Item #5, HERE, is the continuation of a software maintenance and services agreement for $127,334 Public Safety software. 

Item #7, HERE, is a change order for the contract with Civil Source for Project/Construction Management and Public Works Inspection services on as-needed bases due to the volume of projects and diminished staff - to the tune of $600,000.

Item #8, HERE, is for engineering services of $208,863.00 for the design of the Arlington Avenue Bioswale and Dry Weather Diversion Project.

Item #9, HERE, is for construction at the intersection of Sunflower and Anton for $238,823.00

Item #10, HERE, if the Agreement for Maintenance of the proposed Gateway Monument Sign and Landscape Maintenance Agreement with CalTrans.

Item #11, HERE, is for an increase of $478,00 in the Harbor and Adams Improvement Project and a budget adjustment of $100,000.

Item #13, HERE, is to increase the scope of the original contract for upgrading the audio/visual and broadcasting equipment to include conversion of the former print shop into a community meeting room to make up for probable loss of meeting space with the planned re-use of the Neighborhood Community Center as a library.

Item #14, HERE, is a Cooperation Agreement much too complicated to describe briefly here.  Read the staff report.

There are no Public Hearings scheduled, nor is there any Old Business.  New Business #1 is the Renewal of the User Agreement with the Harbor Soaring Society, HERE.  This item has been reviewed with the Fairview Park Citizen Advisory Committee and the Parks and Recreation Commission and the staff recommends approval of a 5-year renewal with some terms amended.

New Business #2, HERE, is the Athletic Field Use and Allocation Policy Information and Recommendations.  Extensive modifications are being recommended, including the expansion of Lighted Fields at Back Bay School, Kaiser School, Lindbergh Field and Woodland School.  Changes are also being recommended for "Resident Status", "Priority Use Classifications", "Group 3 Organizations", "Payment of Fees", "Specific Field Use"and the "Banner Policy".

New Business Item #3, HERE, is the Authorization of Security Cameras at the City Corporation Yard, Key Access Points Along the Joanne Bike Trail, Exterior Areas Around the Senior Center, the Volcom Skate Park and locations in Fairview Park.

New Business #4, HERE,  is the replacement of Municipal Codes section 11-15 relating to rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons vandalizing property.  It changes the language to include PRIVATE property.  Read the Redline version of the new ordinance HERE

New Business #5, HERE, is the new ordinance about conduct while addressing the city council, which I mentioned previously.

Finally, at the very tail end of the meeting, is New Business Item #6, the consideration of placement of a proposed Charter on the ballot in November, plus other related resolutions, HERE.   You can read the entire proposed Charter HERE and some Public Communications on the subject HERE.
Those of you who are regular readers already know I'm against this Charter.  Less than two years ago the voters of this city resoundingly rejected a similar document, 60%-40%.  There is nothing in this "new" document that makes it more acceptable than Jim Righeimer's Charter in 2012.  This document - prepared by a committee he personally stacked in his favor - is just another example of Righeimer's apparent belief that he knows what is best for the City regardless what the voters think, so he's going to attempt to steamroll this through - again.  That being said, I expect this will be placed on the ballot by a 3-2 vote, with Sandra Genis and Wendy Leece correctly voting NO.  That's fine - if it ends up on the ballot in the form proposed it will be just that much easier to defeat.  The voters  two years ago recognized the danger of placing unbridled power in the hands of the current majority and events since then have only further demonstrated that danger of abuse.

It's possible this could be another long, long meeting.  I'm projecting it running until at least 11:00 p.m.  Pack a lunch...


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Friday, June 27, 2014

Adios, Free Speech - The Dictator Has Spoken!

Next Tuesday evening, July 1st, very near the end of the scheduled City Council meeting, the Costa Mesa City Council will be asked to consider replacing an existing section of the Municipal Code - section 2-61, Propriety of conduct while addressing the council, with a completely new version of this ordinance titled Conduct While Addressing The Council.

The lengthy staff report, HERE, outlines why the contract legal council, to which we pay outlandish fees, think this is necessary.  They use as a reference point the Benito Acosta affair in which then-mayor Allan Mansoor  cut his presentation off at 2:25 and had him dragged from the council chambers because he wanted to finish his allotted three minutes.  It's been nearly a decade since that event and, based on what this new ordinance says, it looks like we've learned NOTHING!  And we're still paying, literally, for it to this date.  References are made on almost every Warrant the council approves for charges for "Acosta Appeal", or similar entries.  Ironically, the Warrant included in the Consent Calendar of this meeting staff report does NOT include an Acosta reference.

I've written many times in this space about the heavy-handedness of the current council majority and, more specifically, Mayor Jim Righeimer when it comes to stifling dissent.  He's manipulated the agenda to quash public comments by forcing folks to wait until the very end of the meeting - sometimes well after midnight - to step to the podium to address valid concerns with the elected leaders of this city.  He frequently interrupts speakers, including fellow-councilmembers, during their specified time, which certainly breaks their thoughts and diminishes their presentations.  Fortunately, Sandra Genis and Wendy Leece refuse to let him bully them.

This new ordinance, if passed as it is written, provides the authority to the mayor to bludgeon speakers into submission and to abridge their right of free speech.  If the council follows this advice it will be like funding a retirement annuity for Orange County lawyers, who we will have to pay to defend actions based on this bogus ordinance for decades to come!

I can see it now... "Stop talking!  Somebody else already said something like that!"  "Shut up, or else!"  "Sir, please leave the chambers, now!"  "Officer, please escort that person from the council chambers!"  "Sir, I told you to leave and now you've returned!  Officer, please arrest that person for violation of Section 2-61, b (8) of the Costa Mesa Municipal Code - being repetitive!"

I've copied and pasted the text of much of this proposed new section of the Municipal Code below.  Take a couple minutes to review it.  I've highlighted some of the sections I think are going to be problematic in bold red for ease of reading.

In my view, perhaps the most egregious item on this list - one that could end up with a speaker being charged with a misdemeanor if carried to the extreme, is number 8.  This item describes an act of disorderly behavior as, "Continuing to speak after being informed by the presiding officer that the comments are unduly repetitive of either prior comments from that speaker or comments by other speakers."  So, the mayor gets to decide whether your comments - the product of your own thought processes and passions - are "unduly repetitive" of comments made by other speakers?  Really?  This item, alone, tells me that we've learned nothing from the Benito Acosta affair.

I suspect some of you may find other elements of this proposed section of the Municipal Code troubling, too.  To me it clearly demonstrates that the mayor will stop at nothing to clamp down on opposing views, including violating the right of free speech.


2-61 Conduct while addressing the council.

(a) Any person who engages in disorderly behavior that actually disrupts,
disturbs or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any city council
 meeting shall, upon an order by the presiding officer or a majority of the
city council, be barred from further audience before the city council during
that meeting, pursuant to the provisions of subdivision (c), below.

(b) Disorderly behavior under subdivision (a) may include, but is not limited to,
the following:

(1) Speaking without being recognized by the presiding officer.

(2) Yelling, or using a loud, disturbing voice.

(3) Using profanity or obscene gestures.

(4) Continuing to speak after the allotted time has expired.

(5) Speaking on an item at a time not designated for discussion by the
public of that item.

(6) Throwing objects.

(7) Speaking on an issue that is not within the jurisdiction of the city

(8) Continuing to speak after being informed by the presiding officer
that the comments are unduly repetitive of either prior comments
from that speaker or comments by other speakers.

(9) Attempting to engage the audience rather than the City Council.

(10) Disobeying any lawful order of the presiding officer or a majority of
the city council.

(11) Refusing to modify conduct after being advised by the presiding
officer that the conduct is disrupting the meeting.

(c) Enforcement. The rules of conduct while addressing the city council set
forth above shall be enforced in the following manner:

(1) Call to order and warning to desist. Whenever practicable, the
presiding officer or a majority of the city council shall give a warning
to the person who is breaching the rules of conduct to be orderly
and to comply with the rules of conduct hereunder. Such a warning
 shall articulate the rule of conduct being violated and the manner in
which the person must comply.

A warning shall not be necessary when it would not be effective
under the circumstances, including when, but not limited to, the
disturbance is such that the warning cannot be heard above the
noise, or the conduct of the person or persons constitutes an
immediate threat to public safety, such as the throwing of objects or
specific threats of harm and the apparent, present ability to carry
out such threats. A warning shall also not be necessary when an
individual violates the rules of conduct more than once during a
council meeting, or continuously violates the rules of conduct
council meeting after council meeting.

(2) Order barring person from meeting. A person who engages in
disorderly behavior shall be barred from the remainder of that
council meeting by the presiding officer or a majority of the city
council when that person: (i) continues the disorderly behavior after
receiving a warning pursuant to subdivision (c)(1); (ii) ceases the
disorderly behavior upon receiving a warning pursuant to
subdivision (c)(1), but later in the same council meeting resumes
such disorderly behavior; or (iii) engages in disorderly behavior and
no warning is practicable under the circumstances, pursuant to
subdivision (c)(1).

The continuation of disorderly behavior after receiving a warning,
repeated disorderly behavior during a council meeting, disorderly
behavior at council meeting after council meeting, or disorderly
behavior that is so significant that a warning cannot be given,
constitutes the type of behavior that actually disrupts, disturbs or
otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of a city council meeting.
(3) Removal. If the person barred from the meeting does not voluntarily
remove him/herself upon being instructed to do so by the presiding
officer or a majority of the city council, the presiding officer or the
majority of the city council may direct the sergeant-at-arms to
remove that person from the council chambers.

(d) The following conduct shall be unlawful and shall be punishable as a

(1) Continuing to engage in disorderly conduct, which disrupts, disturbs
or otherwise impedes the orderly conduct of any city council
meeting, after receiving a warning pursuant to subdivision (c)(1) of
this section.

(2) Refusing to leave a city council meeting after being directed to do
so pursuant to subdivision (c)(2) of this section.

(3) Returning to a council meeting after being barred, removed or
directed to leave such meeting pursuant to subdivisions (c)(2) and
(c)(3) of this section. 

As the mayor continues to steamroll over our rights, I suspect there may be one or two of you who feel strongly enough about this to step to the speaker's podium Tuesday evening to address it with the council.  Keep in mind that it's not the law yet, and the old ordinance had the word "insolent" removed from it because that was a problem.  So, I guess you can be insolent if you wish - I don't recommend it, though.  And, I certainly don't recommend you echo resident Tim Lewis from the last council meeting.  Otherwise, just tell them how you feel.

And now, Benito Acosta, Allan Mansoor, and former Police Chief John Hensley reprise their roles in this video clip.  As an aside, look for Tea Partier Phil Morello, bellowing at the top of his lungs at the very end of the clip.  It's always a pleasure...

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Commission Stiff-Arms Chairman On Skate Park

It was an interesting meeting of the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission last night, to say the very least.  You can read the entire staff report HERE.

The commission voted to deny all three of the tree removal requests presented to them, but not without some serious discussions and a botched vote that had to be re-done.

Item 9a, the tree removal request on Bismark Way, HERE, was rejected unanimously by the commission.

Item 10b, for the removal of a tree on Coolidge, HERE, was first passed on a 3-2 vote, then commissioner Bob Graham - apparently asleep at the switch - requested a re-vote and reversed his vote, which resulted in a denial of the removal request.

Item 10c, a request to remove a tree at the Orange County Model Engineer's facility in Fairview Park, HERE, was quickly denied unanimously.  Nobody from the OCME group was present to argue the case.

The hot item on the agenda, the discussion of the Volcom Skate Park, HERE, went about as expected.  The staff report presented three alternatives for the commission to consider and recommended Number 3 as the appropriate move at this time.  Here's what those plans looked like, summarized from the staff report: (click on image to enlarge)

Recreation Supervisor Lisa McPherson led the presentation and outlined each of the alternatives for the commission.  She was aided by Baron Bettenhausen of Jones & Mayer, our contract law firm.

At one point during the discussion mention was made about security cameras being scheduled to be installed at Volcom Skate Park in the near future.  Each successive speaker and commission member thought that was a good idea.  (Those cameras are on the agenda for the City Council meeting on July 1st.)

Park Ranger Ann Harkey, who is the tip of the enforcement spear for the Skate Park and who has born the brunt of the unpleasant behaviors that are driving this discussion, reported that not much has changed at the Park.  There continue to be a few people who act disruptively, both inside the park proper and around the perimeter.  She described incidents where she attempted to enforce the rules but the offenders scattered and laid low nearby until she left.  Not described last night was an incident where she was actually attacked by a skater.  She described drug use in and around the park and general disregard for the rules about using safety equipment.  She also indicated that many of those who make trouble are from out of town. 

Harkey mentioned the security cameras, but indicated that she could not arrest someone just because the camera caught them apparently violating a rule - she had to personally witness it herself.  Mention was made of a recent injury at the park - a young man not wearing a helmet fell backwards onto the floor of the bowl and cracked his skull.  Later it was acknowledged that no claims have been made as a result of incidents at the skate park.

Jim Gray, a legend in the local skate world, spoke with passion about the issue. He thought the cameras were a great idea.  At one point he said, "You're not going to get the skaters to follow the rules by bullying them."  I understood what he meant.  The skate culture has a kind of "rebel" persona.  Gray thought less time should be spent making them wear safety equipment and more attention should be given to expanding the park - it's too small for the number of skaters and the mixture of skill levels.

Newport Mesa Unified School District Trustee, former City Council member and President and founder of the National Interscholastic Skateboard League, Katrina Foley, spoke eloquently about the sport, the culture, the rules and the need for cooperation between the City and outside groups - like hers.  She used as a positive example a young man named Jesus Acevedo - valedictorian at Estancia High School and captain of his school's skate board team.  Because the use of required safety equipment was central to the discussion, she was asked what was the minimum safety equipment she thought skaters should be using.  She answered, "a helmet".  She said elbow and knee pads are hindrances, except in the case of knee pads where sliding down a bowl in the park happens.

Rene' Prospero, a frequent skater at the park, agreed about the cameras.  He also thought the skaters themselves should be doing a better job of policing improper activity.  He did say that you will NOT find any photograph of any professional skater in any magazine wearing safety equipment - not even a helmet.  He thinks those stars are being emulated by younger skaters.  He blamed the problems at the park on a few bad apples who are spoiling it for everyone.

Speaker Anna Vrska thought #1 was too expensive, suggested a few people are the problem and wondered what other jurisdictions are doing to solve this problem.

Eventually Chairman Byron de Arakal attempted to cobble together a motion for the commission to consider using Alternate #2 as the foundation.  Take a look at that one up top again.  However, he also added an element of #1 - the need for a waiver to be signed BEFORE any skater could use the facility - a key card to permit entrance to the park would be issued once the waiver is signed.  After painstakingly trying to craft just the right verbiage his motion died for lack of a second.

Vice Chair Kim Pederson offered another motion - to basically use #3 - the staff recommendation - but to include a proviso for the staff to collaborate with skate groups - like Foleys - to develop more programs for the park and require it to come back for a review in a year.  Commissioner Don Harper seconded, but asked that the review be in six months.  It passed, 4-1, with de Arakal voting No.

Next up was Interim Parks and Community Services Manager Penny Loomer, who put on a smiley face and told us all how wonderfully things were going at the Costa Mesa Senior Center since the City Council voted two weeks ago to evict the current operator - the Costa Mesa Senior Corporation - and replace it with city staff members.  According to Loomer, everything is just dandy, with 496 new members signed up.  When asked how many members the Center had she couldn't answer because the Senior Corporation Board will not share the membership list, so the city staff is building a new one from scratch.

Loomer used a PowerPoint presentation to tell the commission and all of us in the audience - me - about the progress being made and the plans for the future following the completion of the takeover on September 7th.  I'll provide you with the images of her slide show, which are self-explanatory.  If necessary, I'll inject a comment or two.
Loomer indicated that the first two on this image donated $750.00 each for the July 3rd event.  Here's the flyer about that event.  So far, 140 people have signed up for it and will be served food by members of the Costa Mesa Public Safety organizations.  The hours are 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Chairman de Arakal, choking on a lump in his throat, adjourned the meeting in memory of Kyle Johnson, husband of Costa Mesa High School Cheer Coach Kori Johnson, who died tragically in a car accident almost two weeks ago.  He cited the outpouring of love and support for Kori and her family by the community as a perfect example of what a caring city this is.

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