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Commentary: Council is unanimously opposed to Fairview Park development

From the moment I entered the political arena in Costa Mesa, my opponents have chosen to play loose with the facts about me and my intentions, instead of debating the issues.

So I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I was recently approached by a local citizen who quizzed me about the city's plans to create office buildings, homes and athletic facilities at Fairview Park.

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Here is the truth. The city does not plan to change Fairview Park. The City Council, as it is currently comprised, is unanimous in its belief that the park should remain a passive and protected nature sanctuary that should be enjoyed by all.

End of story.

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But the haters, who fight me and the council majority on everything and anything, do not care about the truth because they know it's much easier to create outright fabrications and scare voters to the polls.

The haters have three key platforms that they operate on: Fear, Misinformation and Doubt. Some of these people recently spread false rumors that a city park was going to be converted to condominiums.

These are the same people who fight us on the motels. Yes, instead of joining us in ridding this town of these havens for pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers, they claim these dens of inequity are low-cost housing for families.

These are the same people who screamed at us because we dared to take measures at Lions and Wilson parks to protect residents and families and did not just let those recreational spaces be taken over by the homeless and drug users.

These are the same people who fought us on the pay and pension issues and blindly believe that their local government can just absorb millions in unfunded pension liability and still function as a viable entity.

These are the same people who want developers to set aside affordable housing in their projects, at a great cost to them, but who were outraged when I asked them to pay $25 per year for an affordable housing bond measure that would help get homeless off the street.

I would also like to remind everyone that these are many of the same people who years ago opposed the Home Ranch development, the IKEA store and the Metro Pointe shopping center, with created fabrications about impending doom and gridlock if these were developed.

Years later, we know their attempts at deception were unfounded, as those developments are thriving and major sources of revenue for our city, with little impact on our streets.

These haters, who have done nothing but constantly denigrate those of us who are getting things done, count on the fact that residents are uninformed. It's the only way they can continue to scare people.

But here is the truth: Under this council majority we have balanced budgets and kept spending under control.

We have created a welcoming business environment and have major retailers, restauranteurs and manufacturers wanting to come to Costa Mesa and make this their home.

We, as a council majority, are convincing blighted motel owners to change their business model and convert these antiquated havens for crime into new developments.

We have a boon in luxury town homes and young families coming into town every day. We have a vibrant community that reflects continual improvement.

We have crafted the most successful ordinance regarding sober-living homes in the county and recently convinced the biggest operator in the city to get out of the residential recovery business here.

We are investing major resources and attacking the homeless issue head on; so much so that we have become a model for cities throughout the county to emulate.

The haters don't want you to know about all the progress in our great city because it doesn't support the misinformation and negative narrative they promote against my colleagues and me.

I urge the residents of this town to seek the truth. Don't let the haters scare people into voting for something that is based on Fear, Misinformation and Doubt. The residents of Costa Mesa will not be fooled. Costa Mesa is going the right direction. Just look around.

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JIM RIGHEIMER is the mayor pro tem of Costa Mesa.

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