An old sports saying goes like this: "We went to a fight, and a hockey
match broke out." Lately, it seems, the same could be said for Costa Mesa
City Council meetings.
Last Monday was the most telling example of this. Some 200 people
packed the council chambers, normally the kind of civic participation we
want to see. But the pack quickly turned into a pack mentality as the
crowd hooted down comments it didn't like, including from council
members, and cheered when their position -- motor homes should not be
restricted from parking on city streets -- was reinforced.
That isn't how council meetings are supposed to work. It's not a
daytime talk show, it's our local government. It's where the business of
this community gets handled.
Yes, emotions will run high when people are passionate about issues.
But there has to be restraint. Healthy debate is one thing. Heated
confrontation is something entirely different.