I have a possible solution to the public comment timing that will deal with the overall efficiency of Costa Mesa City Council meetings.
If the public comment segment is going to be limited at the beginning of the meetings, I believe the council members' remarks should be treated the same way.
Rotate one council member each meeting to speak at the beginning of the evening, and leave the rest to be heard at the end, along with the remainder of the general public. That way council business can proceed with appropriate comment from both the public and the council, and general comments from the council members and the public will be treated the same.
In our form of government, it is difficult to get a balance. The majority has control — over most decisions and commission appointments. At this point in the life of Costa Mesa, members of the majority have successfully filled the commissions with those who agree with their approach.
Hence, the minority has few places to voice their views.
Beware potential litigation
The potential decision to eliminate the rehearing process, combined with Mayor Jim Righeimer's recent move to reduce public participation in the people's government by making all but 10 non-agenda item public commenters wait until the end of the council meeting to speak, is confusing.
Righeimer has evidently not learned the lesson about lawsuits because, as reported in the Pilot, his contention is that rather than a City Council rehearing process, a person should take his or her issue to the courts. This approach would cost the city's taxpayers even more in legal bills.
Team Nuclear shoots for No. 1
Each "MOvember," my Team Nuclear and I grow mustaches to raise awareness and funds for men's health. I am a long-ago cancer survivor, but recent participation has helped me process this event.
A mom in my kid's classroom said, with a smile, that my efforts had worked. Her daughter came home from school and asked her dad when he had last seen a doctor. Victory!
The writer is chariman of the city planning commission.