The city of Costa Mesa committed suicide July 17 when the City Council chose to protect, defend and advocate for the city of Newport Beach and Newport Banning Ranch by approving a traffic mitigation agreement.
This is another example of the chain of decisions by Mayor Eric Bever, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Righeimer, and Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan in their collective strategy to force down Costa Mesa residents' throats decisions that support their and the Orange County GOP political agenda and ideology by creating the illusion they are representing the community.
In their usual way of disrespecting with deaf ears the words and wisdom of Costa Mesa residents, these four dismissed and went against the concerns of the Westside/Eastside constituents who will be impacted by the traffic, noise, air quality and other impacts of Banning Ranch in Newport Beach.
Unlike Huntington Beach, which is doing everything possible to protect its community, the Costa Mesa council chose prematurely to roll over. In the skewed wisdom of the council majority, with only Councilwoman Wendy Leece objecting, the council voted to bind itself and all future councils from objecting to or seeking mitigation of all impacts caused by Banning Ranch.
Equally important, they determined that the only impact on the Westside-Eastside was traffic and accepted a proposed payment that represents less than 50% of the actual cost of mitigation with no assurance of where the other 50% will come from for the critical improvements to our city.
Costa Mesa's hands are now forever tied!
No one should be surprised with this decision. Righeimer and Mensinger are part of the Orange County real estate development community and their livelihoods come from those business interests. Monahan has regularly followed on the political Righeimer-Mensinger coattails. And Bever has showed disrespect and arrogance as a dictatorial mayor, unlike any in Orange County history.
This decision is another in a series of decisions that reflect a majority opinion focused on changing the city to be the way four egocentric men want it to be.
Costa Mesa resident MARSHALL KRUPP is running for the City Council.