Left and Right Stand Together in Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA —  Tuesday night my daughter and I attended the Costa Mesa City Council meeting. I have never seen such solidarity over any issue concerning Costa Mesa in the entire time I have lived here. One after another, citizens stood before the City Council and voiced their outrage regarding the outsourcing of city services. And of course there was the tragedy of the suicide of Huy Pham and the unforgivable behavior by the mayor following Huy’s death that was addressed as well. Some speakers identified themselves as Republicans as show of support for what they believe to be a nonpartisan issue. It was a proud moment for me as a resident of Costa Mesa.

I happened to be sitting in front of Amy Leece, daughter of the only city council member who voted against the outsourcing of city services, Wendy Leece. I said to her, “Oh, Wendy’s daughter! She’s the “good” council member. You must be so proud of your mom.” Her response to me was, “My mom said she didn’t want to be known as ‘the good one.’ She voted the way she did because it was the right thing for the city.” She also shared with me, of course, how very proud of her mom she is.

Costa Mesa Council Members Jim Righeimer and Gary Monahan

Costa Mesa resident Susan Meyer took my breath away with her articulate confrontation. She referred to Mayor Monahan and Mayor Pro Tem Righeimer as;

“A pair, a duo, a couple. This was a duo with a political agenda, using our great city as a trial to push a political agenda.

Gary Monahan, your callous statement made to the press ‘I hire and fire people all the time.’ When I saw you on the television, the news, celebrating an Irish holiday when you knew an employee had committed suicide, it made me sick to my stomach. You did not tend to the needs of our city. You chose to party. Gary, because you have so much experience, I ask you to fire yourself. You are not fit to be our mayor.”

Her words were followed by thunderous cheers and applause from the crowd.

Repair Costa Mesa member, and Estancia High School Teacher Joel Flores said, “You have cooked the books, cried poor, and then pretended this is something you have to do. We demand that you rescind the layoff notices! We demand that you restore Costa Mesa!” I spoke with him after the meeting to personally thank him for speaking up.

One speaker after another called for the city council to rescind the layoff notices and expressed grave concerns over the consequences of outsourcing. Again and again speakers angrily accused the council of embarrassing the city and of putting their personal political agendas ahead of the city’s best interest. Speakers who spoke in support of the council were outnumbered in mass.

I left that meeting having witnessed something I have always wanted to see; party lines thrown to the side, and the issues taking center stage.

  0 comments for “Left and Right Stand Together in Costa Mesa

  1. Randy Rock
    April 8, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I agree with your article 100% because, as the Costa Mesa people spoke at the city council meeting, they brought to light “Real Life” concerns to those in power who know full well what they did and yes, did it intentionally. In politics there are NO accidents – NONE…

    However, for me, the most fascinating thing is that time and again I see “Conservatives” becoming just a little bit more liberal. The scenario happens over and over again and your story is another repeat of same. This is not to say that a liberal never changes into a conservative but that is much, much less so. I could go on about that point but not now. Liberals, the real ones I believe, understand human nature (both good and bad) and address those elements and will conceive methods and concepts that seek to benefit the body of people rather than the promotion of an individual at the expense of other individuals.

    However, to be realistic and fair I do realize one cannot satisfy everyone all the time and inevitably, there are or will be short comings in those methods and concepts but those will be few. With that said those less often shortcomings should not preclude the wonderful benefits of being sensitive to the well being of others. Still, in moments like these, one can plainly see the greed of the so-called city officials and thus it is despicable. I would not be surprised as time progresses how many more Conservatives will become just a wee bit more “liberalized” shall I say…