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New Costa Mesa City Council should always act with public safety in mind

New Costa Mesa City Council should always act with public safety in mind
The 2019 Costa Mesa City Council. From left, Councilman Allan Mansoor, Councilwoman Andrea Marr, Mayor Pro Tem John Stephens, Mayor Katrina Foley, Councilwoman Arlis Reynolds, Councilman Manuel Chavez and Councilwoman Sandra Genis. (Photo couresty of the city of Costa Mesa)

The City Council held an all-day goal-setting session and council retreat on Jan. 25. The comments which follow, somewhat amended, are those I delivered during public comments at the start of the meeting.

For many of us, the last 12 years have been difficult in Costa Mesa. Our voices — representing ourselves and our neighbors, who also wanted our City Council to keep Costa Mesa a safe, clean city — seemed to be ignored in favor of a council majority that kowtowed to the whims of developers.

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Now, thankfully, you have an opportunity to collaborate and restore those areas of our city which were not priorities and have need of attention.

A lot of important things fell through the cracks. There’s a lot that needs to be fixed, and there are new ideas.

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When you look at all the areas that need attention, and the new ideas you want to implement, I ask you to please filter those projects through the lenses of your residents’ safety. How does this affect residents’ safety and quality of life? Our police protection and emergency services? Our quiet neighborhoods?

We have the good life here where we enjoy many amenities and where we can raise our kids and grandkids in a caring, diverse community. We can even grow old here. But we want to be safe and know when we call 911 someone will answer and help us in a timely manner. We expect our streets to be clean and free from litter.

I was here in the ’70s and the ’80s, rearing my little flock in our Westside home off of Victoria. We had community policing. There was a very good sense of safety. I mean, we felt safe. There is not that same feeling of being safe in our homes and on our streets today.

I know you are all up to the challenge of finding answers and to making us a safe and clean city again.

In closing there was one Bible verse, probably my favorite, that I referred to often, when praying for Costa Mesa during the years of turmoil. It’s Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”

I believe God answered this prayer by giving us this City Council.

God tells Jeremiah that he will bring healing to the city, meaning Jerusalem. But I think we can apply this concept of prayer and God’s answers to our lives today.

When we pray and ask God for help, he will answer. He will bring favor, goodness, peace, joy, health and the people will “dwell safely.”

And that continues to be my prayer for you today. That our leaders will work together to make the right decisions to enable us to dwell safely in Costa Mesa.

Wendy Leece is a former member of both the Costa Mesa City Council and Newport-Mesa school board.

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