As an average Costa Mesa resident, gathering and researching upcoming election data, I struggle at best.
Obviously, if we fail to begin calculating our thought process with clear and consistent facts, starting from the bottom up, we cannot possibly expect to vote intelligently at each ascending tier.
Writing from the commoner level of a voter exercising 1st Amendment rights, the frustration of gathering (much less participating) and anticipating consistent, reasonable timely response from municipal-level government alone (public comment's requests for answers to questions, hard copy documentation, etc.) is predictably pathetic.
At best, residents are force-fed subterfuge and acts of tax-wasted filibuster meeting dollars. If we receive them, government answers to our questions are at best a response "re-wordsmithed," leaving the impression taxpayers are working for tax-paid government. Government employees deserve only the best. Please ask them only the right questions. They will jump at the chance to answer.
Clearly, this is borderline illegal. A little government Hemingway authorship most certainly offers expensive self-serving proposals and union negation structured solely to offer the voters selectively prepared information for the purpose of justifying/unjustified paid positions (among other shameless interests). They will approve bloated combo-compensation packages for each other, which are automatically served with an extra helping of super-sized unfunded liabilities, which at some point, someone must satisfy.
Rivaling legal taxpayer-pornography, public sector pensions, and refusing to compete fairly with private sector outsourcing, etc., only peeps under the royal municipal curtain behind the scenes. They cloak themselves under authority (among other resources) using the ruse of privacy, anonymity and union negotiation confidentiality.
Caution! Some conniving language would have been disturbing to most unintended voters. Discretion, air-sick bag, and a foreign bank account would have been strongly suggested.
Not so tongue-in-cheek, taxpayers could expect to see government employee job descriptions refined to include cleverness in creating approaches to circumvent the honest intent of the law.
Loyal taxpayers are conditioned to ignorantly abide by the government, which successfully benefit themselves. In their favor, it is difficult to "follow the money" that does not exist, by design.
James H. Bridges
Seeing good in bad
I liked your column "'Just remember, it's mostly good'" (City Lights, Aug. 16). It did touch me. I caught the Colorado lead-in and thought … what in the world would this person have to say about that, but you took a tricky turn with the UCI candlelight vigil. And the part about "take a picture with a Sikh" was funny.
We just spent a week traveling to Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon and Sedona. Honestly, it is mostly good.