Mailbag: City charter would free Costa Mesa from Sacramento

I am writing to ask that each Costa Mesa City Council member let the voters decide on whether our city should adopt a charter.

When this idea first came about a year ago, the pundits claimed the June ballot was too rushed. They claimed they supported a charter, but wanted more time to study it. Now we put the vote off until November, and they find new reasons to oppose it.

Charters allow cities to stop being slaves to Sacramento. They allow us to control ourselves and determine how we should spend our money. Why would we want Sacramento telling us how to spend our money? The critics have spread leaflets throughout our neighborhood containing lies and misinformation about what the charter will do.

Fear will not work in our city. It is only energizing our neighbors to vote for it. Please allow the voters a chance to determine how we want our city to be run.

Support the charter!

Phil Lesh

Costa Mesa


No to the charter

This is an open letter to the Costa Mesa City Council.

I just received the notification of the special meeting called to consider the resolution to place the charter on the November ballot. I will not be attending said meeting.

Based on the method, creation and introduction of the charter, the lack of any significant consideration of most of the proposed changes, and the urgency which several council members seem to believe necessary to change the city of Costa Mesa from a general-law city to a charter city, I predict that no matter how many residents speak against the resolutions, the consideration and passage of the proposed resolutions is a done deal.

Furthermore, I predict that no amount of packing the City Council Chambers, overflow area or the parking lot will have one ounce of persuasive influence on the passage of all resolutions. I predict I will vote against changing the city to a charter city in November.

Jerome Blackman

Costa Mesa


Banning, Starbucks, et al

Re. "Commentary: Council is steering Costa Mesa away from ruin," (July 28):

I have read, with some interest, Costa Mesa City Councilman Steve Mensinger's commentary on the article written by Jeffrey Harlan ("Process is king in city government," July 22).

You sound very much like the administration occupying the White House: "Not our fault, the previous administration did it!" Which is probably true, and to a certain extent, I'll grant you that.

But when we get to the part that says that the present council puts residents first, we're going from somewhat skeptical to downright unbelievable.

If you are putting the residents first, as you claim, then here are some examples where you did not: giving a rubber stamp approval to the Banning Ranch project, even after a number of individuals spoke against it; giving the OK for the Starbucks proposal on East 17th Street, over the objection of the majority of the residents on Cabrillo Street; ignoring the cut-through traffic situations that exist in several neighborhoods on the Eastside; and the intention to go ahead with the temporary lighting project for Harper Preschool, and as it turns out, the school district had no knowledge of the plan.

If these are an example of putting the residents first on your list, I'd hate like hell to see what would transpire if you didn't hold us in such high regard.

It's pretty obvious, even to someone like me with limited intellect — there, I saved you the trouble of saying it — that you share the opinion of the present mayor and the council majority. It's the opinion that we, the residents, just don't get "it," to use one of the terms that the mayor used in one of his correspondences.

I, for one, will do my absolute level best to help all I can to get you and the other council members up for reelection voted out in November.

Bob Small

Costa Mesa


Middle class held in tax hostage

Last week, the U.S. Senate voted to keep tax cuts for those making under $250,000 a year. Now the House of Representatives is getting ready to vote on an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, but Republicans like Rep. John Campbell (R-Irvine) are refusing to pass a middle-class tax break unless the wealthy get a payoff.

I appreciate how hard they work for their money, but they clearly do not struggle as the disappearing middle class does. The wealthy have tax loopholes we only dream about. House Republicans could give 98% of Americans a tax cut right now, but instead they're holding the middle-class tax cut hostage unless they can give an extra cut to the 2%. It is time to make some changes.

Susan Fractman

Newport Beach


Help the middle class

The House Republicans in Washington are threatening to defeat a proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class unless the rich get the tax break also. It's common sense to extend the tax breaks for the middle class right now.

Let's hold the Republicans accountable in November for their failure to support this common-sense approach.

John Gulsby

Huntington Beach

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