Commentary: Charter opponents are grass-roots people, not partisans

Re "Commentary: City's unions are Goliath," March 11:

Councilman Steve Mensinger's attacking Councilwoman Wendy Leece? Really? We are a grass-roots group.

Steve, there are a great many citizens of Costa Mesa who are angry with the way you are doing things and the things you are doing. There is a movement of citizens who are against your actions and who formed Costa Mesans for Responsible Government more than six months ago. Now more citizens are joining the group and fighting this charter proposal disaster.

I am getting very tired of being told that unions are controlling my actions. We are independent citizens who are against what this City Council is proposing. It is not union controls I am concerned about. No union bulled through the city staff, gutting half the work force last year, with a resulting $1-million increase in overtime this year. This council did.

No union decided to create a unilateral constitution without true citizen input. This council did.

The charter does not impact pension issues. The disconnect between this charter proposal and the city troubles is enormous.

The charter does not provide any solution to the pension issues. Only smart negotiation going forward will solve that problem for future hires. Claiming the charter will fix current pensions commitments is an untruth.

The charter does not make the council better than the past councils. Your naive implication that this council is smarter than the collective knowledge of our citizens is highly insulting.

You make one very good point: Actions of our past councils have gotten us in this spot. This was an error on all of our parts. We chose elected officials and let them do what they felt was best for the city. As a republic, we gave our elected officials control. Now they have gotten us in a bad spot. Well, we aren't going to do that again. And we certainly don't want them running the city under a charter that can only be reviewed every 10 years.

This council has all of the same characteristics of the past city councils, as well as three of the same members. All five are insiders and none should be making unilateral decisions about something as important as a new city charter without citizen committee participation.

So, here is where we are. You passed a motion to put an ill-conceived charter proposal on the June ballot. We, at the grass roots organization of Costa Mesans for Responsible Government, are bringing together a wide swath of citizens of Costa Mesa to defeat this unilateral, ill-conceived concept.

See you at the ballot box. Vote no on the charter.

HAROLD WEITZBERG is a Costa Mesa resident.

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World