Mailbag: Council majority needs to listen

The Costa Mesa City Council's three-man majority has demonstrated a pattern of bulldozing ahead with plans, regardless of resident opposition and potential legal and financial consequences. And these people fail to learn from experience.

Last year they tried to privatize a huge portion of TeWinkle Park for a commercial sports stadium. Residents' objections were ignored.

But the documentation regarding the federal government's grant of the park land to the city restricted the permitted uses. Once residents contacted the U.S. Park Service regarding the privatization plan, the City Council quietly dropped it.

More recently, the council majority pushed through a project to install lights in Fairview Park. Next, a decomposed granite trail mysteriously appeared. It extended across a vernal pool, a rare habitat for a federally protected species.

Further, the councilmen proposed a plan to open a second major entrance to Fairview Park at the end of Pacific Avenue, with 42 parking spaces and a children's playground. This led to an even greater uproar from residents than what followed the TeWinkle Park conversion plan.

The council majority instead approved a playground and totally unnecessary vehicle turnaround that would encroach on what some experts believe is a Native American burial ground.

All this was done without bothering to check whether any outside agency or group might have a protected interest in Fairview Park or, if someone did check, the results were ignored. Now the federal government and Native American tribes have raised objections.

The council majority seems to have adopted these guiding principles, "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission" and "Fire, ready, aim." Will these three men finally learn to open their ears and hearts?

Eleanor Egan

Costa Mesa


Agenda behind Hoag changes

The state attorney general is examining the acquisition of Hoag Hospital by St. Joseph Healthcare Systems.

Her response will probably refer to complex case rulings and legal minutiae. But the situation is not that complicated.

On several occasions during my 76 years, I have trusted my life to Hoag. And I trusted my much-loved wife's life to Hoag, and our children's lives to Hoag. And I trusted Hoag to guide me during the agony when my wife was dying at Hoag.

I trusted Hoag with my most precious possessions. When I go to my local hospital, I'm vulnerable. I need Hoag, as my community hospital, to help me, and it was important to me that it held liberal Presbyterian beliefs. The name on the door is Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian.

St. Joseph told the Hoag board and the community that it would not alter any of the services available at Hoag. St. Joseph would not affect the patient-doctor relationship, including honoring advanced directives.

But the purpose of the acquisition was to extend the reach of the Catholic Church. Then the president of Hoag told us in an article in the Daily Pilot that Hoag would stop providing abortions because they were un-economical and Hoag's quality of care was being compromised.

This, in my view, is false.

Richard Alexander

Costa Mesa

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