Mailbag: Parting shots. Our readers weigh in on Election Day
Yes on Measure V
Measure V doesn’t change current practices. It preserves nearly 60 years of Costa Mesa city laws and policies. State conflict-of-interest and political contribution laws would still apply. Current bidding practices would continue, ensuring that the city saves money through competitive bidding. Measure V removes the city from local politics. It requires Costa Mesa to stop collecting via its payroll system public union political dues. Public unions wanting to use their dues for political purposes will have to collect these amounts themselves, as they should.
No on Measure V
In one breath, charter proponents say, “The charter preserves current laws and policies,” and in the next, they say, “It will change everything.” Which is it? If nothing changes, why adopt a charter?
The scary anti-charter propaganda pours in, filling our newspapers and mailboxes, but the truth is: The charter isn’t scary at all; it’s a practical tool to reduce our city’s expenses.
Let’s not approve the flawed charter. It puts too much temptation in the path of our council members. Let’s start over and have a citizens’ commission do it right.
No on EE
The League of Women Voters supports the principle that the functioning of government should be open and transparent. We also call for full public discussion of issues on the ballot with accessible and understandable information made available to the voters. Neither of these principles has been honored by the Newport Beach City Council’s placement of Measure EE on the Nov. 6 ballot. Newport Beach voters are being asked to approve 38 unrelated changes in the current city charter, but with only one single yes or no vote. The wide variety of changes are not adequately described or explained in the minimal wording on the ballot. Allowing only one single vote on such a broad spectrum of items effectively disenfranchise the voters from adequately exercising their rights.
Yes on EE
Measure EE expands conflict-of-interest protections to include committee members and augments our charter language with the state conflict-of-interest codes to make clear what is, and is not, a conflict of interest. The Orange County Taxpayers Assn., a group focused on government efficiency and protecting taxpayers, has endorsed Measure EE. The Newport Beach and Corona del Mar chambers of commerce have endorsed Measure EE because they believe a more efficient government is good for local business. The Newport Beach Firefighters Assn. supports Measure EE because they know protecting taxpayers results in a financially stronger city.
One of our opponents has said publicly, “I don’t actually believe in an efficient city government,” but we disagree. We owe each of you the best-managed, most-efficient government we can provide. Measure EE provides additional tools to allow us to do this job better. It protects taxpayers, reduces costs and updates our management practices from the 1950s. We urge you to vote yes on Measure EE.
Mayor Nancy Gardner
Councilman Mike Henn
Councilman Rush Hill
Are taking away of our rights and loosening conflict-of-interest regulations “protections,” or simply finding ways for the city to steamroll unreasonable regulations and make decisions which may not be in the public interest?
There are amendments in Measure EE that weaken the current Newport Beach charter as well and could lead to the bad habits of the early 1990s. Let’s keep the stronger internal controls now in place and present proposed changes individually or in smaller and well-described packages for our voters to consider and vote on. That is good government.
* Go ‘Top 3'
If the proposed charter is defeated, the mayor pro tem has said that he will just resubmit the flawed charter to the voters again and, if reelected, the incumbent candidates will again follow him. The solution is to defeat the flawed city charter by voting no on Measure V and electing new and true leaders that have a backbone: John Stephens, Harold Weitzberg, and Sandra Genis.
The 3Ms have campaigned on the crises facing us. It is first and foremost in their literature and actions. We all know the first step in confronting a problem is acknowledging that it exists. Luckily, we have three candidates, the 3Ms, that know math and are willing to solve this problem to the benefit of all residents, and not just the 1%.
Unions are OK
I would like to know why and when “union” became a criminal word. Unions were created for a very needed reason — to protect workers. Why is it that trying to live life, raise a family, own a home, have health care, et cetera is now so terrible? To have safety, and protection from abuse and discrimination in a job is wrong? My late husband and I were able to do these very things in Costa Mesa while he worked as a union carpenter. We were never wealthy by any means, but life was good until the union was broken because of greedy developers and builders who chose to use untrained, illegal labor to do the job while paying less wages.
For my vote, Costa Mesa City Council candidate Steve Mensinger is an easy choice because of his actions as planning commissioner and council member that have directly affected my home and business. My street has been repaired and sealed. Steve knows the value of good-looking and properly maintained streets and sidewalks.
John T. Hawley
So, rather than simply settle for a weak candidate coughed up by the Orange County Republican Party system, this time around I chose to vote for a man who has the skills to effectively represent my community in Sacramento — Bob Rush. I cast that vote knowing full well that he will face the electorate again in two very short years, providing the opportunity to fix a mistake if one is made. Personally, I don’t think a vote for Bob Rush is a mistake — I think he’s the best man for the job — so I wholeheartedly cast my vote for him for state Assembly.
Genis on sports
On July 25, the Costa Mesa Parks and Recreation Commission considered a proposal to allow portable lights on a very limited basis at Harper School. The proposal was to allow the lights for a six-month period, October to March, during the hours of 5 to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, as needed for youth soccer practices. During the public comment portion of the hearing, City Council candidate Sandra Genis voiced her opposition to the proposal. Our children deserve an opportunity to get outside and play organized sports. At a time when Genis should have stood up for our kids, she chose to stand in their way.
Stolen election signs
If someone thinks he is doing a favor for his side by suppressing the other’s voice, then he doesn’t understand America, her freedom of speech, respect for other’s property and democracy. This is not happening to just one side in this election: Costa Mesans for Responsible Government paid for more than 500 signs that were either vandalized or stolen. The weekend our opponents’ signs were vandalized on Fair Drive, Mesa Verde Drive was stripped of “No on V” signs — repeatedly. By Sunday night we lost 40 signs to “thugs” who would take them as soon as we put them up. This juvenile behavior is happening to/on both sides.
In Costa Mesa, right-wing extremism has grown larger in recent years, starting in 2006 when Allan Mansoor was mayor and extremists like Minuteman Jim Gilchrist seemed to influence city policy. Then along came Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer with his extremist agenda and half-baked schemes, the latest of which is Measure V, to remake Costa Mesa into a Righeimer charter city. Even life-long Republicans like blogger Geoff West see Righeimer’s charter for what it is: an attempt to seize power by and for a bunch of extremists.
OK. We get the message. This council wants to be able to rule with few constraints. But that’s what every oligarch wants, so what’s the difference between this council and an oligarchy?
Vote your faith
You can not have virtue if you do not have faith in something higher than man. When Alexis de Tocqueville was asked about Napoleon, he stated that “Napoleon was the best leader he could be without virtue.” We should always choose the best and that would include leaders with virtue.
Faith and Prop. 39
Re: “Commentary: Bring your faith into the ballot box Rev. Dr. Sarah Halverson offers an eloquent explanation of how faith principles must lead to political action. Proposition 39. is a moral issue because, since 2009, the state has discriminated against California-based businesses that create jobs here. Proposition 39 will end this tax discrimination, which drives businesses and jobs out of the state. Proposition 39 also will provide stable, entry-level jobs for our youth in the growing clean-energy field. By being better stewards of creation, we can create good jobs with real futures.
Rev. Dr. Rick Schlosser
How possible it is to be the middle guy in Costa Mesa politics? To everyone’s surprise, it is possible. It only takes to break away from a polarizing political discourse in which three candidates are seen as one and local issues are painted in black or white colors. Both the right and the left aren’t doing any favors to Costa Mesa residents. In the midst of tough economic times, when the city’s financial woes should be tackled one by one, a group approach to politics only embraces more polarization and disintegration.
Our poor country is on its knees. A second term would permit President Obama to finish the job of transforming America without threat of challenge and make good on his promise to Vladimir Putin. Further change could do irreparable harm and threaten our survival as a global superpower. That must not be permitted.
Rose C. Friend
Biden on abortion
Regarding the very personal and contentious issue of abortion that preoccupies our political discourse, let me say unequivocally that I fully respect the views of those that oppose abortion. That respect would turn to unabashed adulation if the concern for “life in the womb” as expressed by David Franco (Mailbag: “Biden and Abortion,” Oct. 20) also extended to “life outside the womb.” Sadly, that is not the case. I do not see the self-proclaimed “right to life” movement advocating on behalf of the ever-increasing number of children living in abject poverty, without medical care, in one of the richest countries on the planet.