Mailbag: Outsourcing can obscure transparency

While law enforcement authorities are considering the finances of Costa Mesa's 60th anniversary celebration (the city's report on the matter was handed over to the district attorney for review), the public is getting an object lesson in the perils of outsourcing city functions.

The records related to services performed by city employees are accessible to the public under the California Public Records Act. But as Councilwoman Sandy Genis has pointed out, when city functions are outsourced to private entities, the contractors' records may not be subject to public disclosure.

In the case of the 60th anniversary celebration, Costa Mesa outsourced some of its contracting functions.

The Conference and Visitor Bureau, a marketing agency independent of City Hall, chipped in $232,000 for the party, whose costs went over budget. But how was the money used? Was it
all properly spent?

The City Council has made clear its intention to maximize outsourcing. That effort is likely to make city finances less transparent and elected officials less accountable.

Costa Mesa needs a City Council that promotes real transparency and accountability. The present council majority is headed in the opposite direction.

Eleanor Egan

Costa Mesa


Complaint against Gazsi hypocritical

Re. "City planner questions police chief's endorsement," (Jan. 26): Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

It's OK for Colin McCarthy to form a political organization, the Costa Mesa Taxpayers Assn., while a member of the Costa Mesa Planning Commission, run for City Council (again, while a sitting member of the Planning Commission), and be part of an organization (CMTA) that posted video of man allegedly ripping up campaign signs to facilitate criminal prosecution.

But if someone else in City Hall, like Police Chief Tom Gazsi, exercises his constitutional right to free speech, McCarthy gets indignant and says Gazsi should be silenced.

I say this is hypocritical.

John Rowe

Costa Mesa


Sorority meets with author

Recently, the Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa (a teachers' sorority) hosted Irvine author Danielle Gallina at its meeting in Fountain Valley. Everyone enjoyed each other's company, as well as the delicious food. However, the highlight of the morning was Gallina's presentation.

Gallina, a wonderful author working on her second book, is also the president of Newcomers Club of Irvine. When she spoke about her book — "Dear God, Are There Any Flies in Heaven?" — it brought smiles, laughs and tears.

The book was illustrated by Irvine artist Dennis Foy. His wife, Judy, was also a guest at the luncheon.

The Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa provides scholarships and grants to teachers. It is also involved in many altruistic projects locally and around the world. Gallina was kind enough to donate a portion of book sales from this event to Gamma Nu's scholarship fund.

For more information about Gamma Nu or Alpha Delta Kappa, call Harriet Kelly at (949) 770-0642 or email

Myrna Capsuto


The writer is publicity chairwoman for the Newcomers Club of Irvine and the Gamma Nu Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa.

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