I have lived in Costa Mesa for 33 years. I consider myself a local even though I wasn’t born here. In my neighborhood, we care about each other. Those of us who have had friction, have learned to get along. As a matter of fact, my landlord is my ex husband’s father and he is my next door neighbor. Our yards connect and we walk freely between each other’s homes. Sunday he will share a holiday feast with me and my kids, as we do for every holiday, birthday, and sometime just because. Grandpa is the patriarch of my family and someone I would call both friend and family. I am proud of this. Not just the relationship with my father in law, but with all people in my community. We aren’t that kind of neighborhood were we don’t know our neighbors. We are family and a little community within a little community.
That said, I want to tell the readers why I started blogging for TheLiberalOC. Something happened that was so horrifying to me, that I immediately went online to look for a way to become active and hopefully help stop what I believed to be the first sign of the quality of life in a town I love circling the drain. On March 17th the city council gave pink slips to 213 city employees, one of those employees killed himself at city hall at the same time the slips were being handed out. The mayor’s response was to pose in front of his bar and say, “I hire and fire people every day.” He then went back to the party. It seemed to be the perfectly natural thing to do as it was Saint Patrick’s day and Gary Monahan owns an Irish bar. Oh yeah, and he was wearing a skirt while posing in front of his business with a huge grin on his face. The mayors affect and response were so callous that for me, it was the last straw.
That same day I sent a sample to the editor of TheLiberalOC. They used it and now I am a part of what I consider an intelligent voice in local and national politics. Thanks to Chris and Dan.
I just spent a couple hours watching the most recent city council meeting and the “Feet to the Fire” forum online. Something that Councilman Jim Righeimer said just set me reeling. Well, actually there were many things said that appalled me, but those will be subject for future blogging. It was Mr. Righeimer’s assertion that most of the anxiety and active outrage are coming from the city employees and the union, not the citizens of the city. Either he is flat out lying, or is not paying attention. I think there are some persecutory delusions lurking there somewhere as well.
At the closing of the “Feet to the Fire” forum, Mr. Rig stated, “The majority of the community wants this (outsourcing). The people who are caught up in this for the most part are the people that jobs are on the line, that family members are working it. That’s the ones who are most excited. The rest of the 116,000 other people in the community are putting their kids to bed, going to soccer, doing all that. They’re not as caught up as your are (speaking to facilitator Barbara Venezia) or people are in there thinking that the whole city has a problem with it. They aren’t. And so, the people that came here tonight for the most part, and we got a lot of good, hard working employees, they came here and that’s understandable.” He went on to suggest that if the employees want to save their jobs, they should “start their own businesses and bid for the contracts.”
Mr. Righeimer, open your ears and your eyes. I went to the council meeting on the April 5th and have just sat and watched the entire meeting that was held on the 19th on my computer. Speakers against outsourcing the city services at both these meetings were at least 5 to 1. The speakers were for the most part, articulate, well informed and respectful. They were also, per their own assertions, not city employees but concerned citizens. Believe me, I don’t watch city council meetings online because it’s fun. I do it, and the citizens do it, because we feel like we must. We must keep a close eye on what the city council is doing because we have lost our faith in them. We must speak out, write out and act out as citizens, not union members or employees.
Most of those 116,000 people you seem so in touch with hate you and the rest of city council for what you are doing and how badly the council, especially Mayor Monahan, have humiliated us all over the country. I work in another county, and when I got to work after the city hall tragedies had hit the news, I was rushed by my fellow employees wanting to know “what the hell is going on in Costa Mesa?!”
The worst part is, I know that Jim Righeimer, Gary Monahan, Eric Bever, and Stephen Mensinger aren’t interested in what the citizens of the city want. If being liked and respected was important to them, they would have a completely different moral standard. Their agenda is to destroy the union, to cherry pick their contractors and further their own political agendas.