Mailbag: Numbers in contract story don't add up

Re. "City proposes 5% pay cut (Aug. 7) Bradley Zint reports that the current negotiation is with the Costa Mesa City Employees Assn., which represents about 200 city employees who are not public safety workers. He then quotes Mayor Jim Righeimer as saying that 310 employees have total compensation packages exceeding $100,000 a year.

Three hundred and 10 out of 200? Is the mayor again twisting the numbers to whip up public outrage against city employees? According to the table posted on the city website, about 100 non-safety employees (the only ones affected by this negotiation) had total compensation exceeding $100,000 in 2012.

The mayor continues to use inaccurate and misleading numbers to support his position. He needs to be called on this, and when the math just doesn't work (like when a total of 200 employees includes 310 with high compensation) the Pilot should point out that the numbers quoted don't relate to the issue being discussed. Trying to sway public opinion with irrelevant numbers is irresponsible, and the Daily Pilot shouldn't assist the mayor in his conspiracy.

Perry Valantine

Costa Mesa


Street-sweeping issues

Re. "Mailbag: Don't exploit street-sweeping days (Aug. 5): I just read Rachael Gabriel's letter to the editor regarding street-sweeping. I find it very interesting that street-sweeping, in some neighborhoods, is strictly enforced, while in other neighborhoods like mine, Harborview, there is no enforcement at all. On street-sweeping day in Harborview, there are cars lining every street. It's a bit ludicrous to have this service performed when less than 25% of the streets are clear! I called once to see if something could be done, and I was told that there are not enough "parking wardens" to police the area.

Jane Owen

Newport Beach


JWA take-off patterns

Editor's note: The following two letters were first published by the Los Angeles Times.

Re "Newport Beach wants a new flight path to ease noise,"," Los Angeles Times Aug. 4:

"Adding an S-curve to the already complex takeoff pattern could add a challenge" is an understatement in the event of the loss of an engine during takeoff. There is no doubt that the new takeoff procedure from Orange County's John Wayne Airport sought by Newport Beach Mayor Keith Curry to "do anything to reduce the [noise] impact" on his community may well result in a different type of impact should an aircraft have a major problem.

Safety is a relative term. Pilots, being the first at the scene of an accident, choose a higher margin of safety than those who believe that automation in planes will solve the noise issue.

If you wish to minimize all impacts on the neighbors, trust the pilots, not the lawyers.

Jean-Claude Demirdjian

Los Angeles

The writer is a retired airline pilot.


Newport Beach's "movers and shakers" have another scheme to inconvenience and endanger tens of thousands of air travelers: They want to replace the current odd departure pattern they insisted upon with an even more bizarre computer-controlled uphill slalom run.

At least this plan is less grandiose than their original scheme to control jet noise by building a whole new airport 10 miles away at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station so the planes would fly over other people's homes, not theirs.

In Orange County, this is called social progress.

Al Senia

Aliso Viejo

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