I watched the Feet to the Fire forum with Katrina Foley and Jim Righeimer discussing Measure V, the proposed Costa Mesa city charter. A proposal that has taken the city from an already hostile living environment due to the hamfisted male members of our city council members, to all out war in our little suburbs.
I am not going to over the pros and cons of the Charter. It’s been done, and done again. I want to talk about my feelings about what has happened to my home town, and my fears. Katrina was asked what her fears were about if the charter passed. She said, “The Charter is not about control from the residents. It is about a coup from 3 people.” That pretty much sums up my feelings and fears about both the Charter and the city council. And never in my life, have I seen four men so elitist, so entitled, and so unconcerned about anything but their own personal gain. Because of the way I was raised, people like this are very foreign and frightening to me.
Jim doesn’t seem to have any notion how bourgeois he presents, or maybe he does, when he snickers and remarks, “Yeah, because landscaping is so hard.” This remark referring to how easy it would be to replace the landscaping maintenance city employees who take care of the parks. Guess what Jim, landscape maintenance is a skill, some would even say an art. Not to mention back breaking work. Then there was he remark about Irvine having such a low crime rate because, “The people that live in Irvine all have college degrees.” Really? Is that why? Where does the “help” in Irvine live Jim? Poor Jim doesn’t seem to know there are many people with no college degree that are talented, successful and hard working. A lot of them live in Costa Mesa.
Then there is his idea about the answer for the “homeless problem” in Costa Mesa, and for the people who come here and can not afford the housing in a town where they work, and are forced to live in hotels. Starting with closing the soup kitchen on 19th street. At the debate he threw out his plan to tear down the hotels and open pocket parks, again. As if that is going to make all homeless and poor people go away. I don’t deny that there is a lot of crime in these hotels, but the reality is that many of the people who live in these hotels are people who lost their homes, and or work low paying jobs in and around the area, and can not afford a decent place to live where they work. That’s a big part of the argument of prevailing wage. So the people that work here can afford to live here.
It’s not just Righeimer, it’s Monahan, Bever and Mensigner too. Not only are they unconcerned with the good of the citizens of our city, but they are more than willing to lie and bully their way to the top. Anytime a citizen speaks out at a council meeting, if it is in disagreement with their agenda, they are “union members or outside interests.” This was the war cry Jim bellowed out several times through out the debate this evening. No matter how many people stand up and say that they are not in, affiliated with, or related to anyone in the union, the council sings that same song of woe. They seem to believe that if they say it often enough, it will become true.
Lastly, it is the bullying and disregard the council members show to citizens from the dais and around town. Mensigner has PROUDLY earned a reputation for being both a physical and verbal bully. They all sit up on the dais and ignore questions from citizens, text while people are talking, and make clever remarks like Bever did when the citizens expressed their outrage with the councils behavior “I didn’t sign up or this.” “If you don’t like it, too bad.” I can’t imagine what would happen if I said something like that to my boss.
I don’t trust these men, and I believe from the bottom of my heart, they will hurt a lot of people and change our city for the very worse. It’s the citizens of Costa Mesa who’s feet are being held to the fire. The council is determined to perpetuate the stereotype of Costa Mesa as another snobby Orange County town of ugly Americans.
It’s time for them, and their charter, to go away.