Councilman says there is a rhyme to his reason

June 29, 2003

A story in the June 18 edition of the Daily Pilot failed to give a

complete version of the budget approval process ("Costa Mesa adopts

$112-million budget for 2003-04"). It was not an inaccurate story,

just very incomplete. It mentioned that I tried to stop funding for

the mobile recreation and day camp.

This was true. Also true was that I wanted more funding for code

enforcement and bike patrol. But it did not report the ever-important


"why" that I went to great lengths to explain. Why did I want to cut

funding from some programs? Why did I want to increase funding for

code enforcement?

The mobile recreation program consists of a few games, a small

basketball net, a truck for transportation and staff time. It costs

us almost $90,000 a year and, in my opinion, is used relatively

little in comparison to what it costs us. We have parks and other

programs, which include recreation activities.

The next item is day camp. It includes trips to Disneyland and the

movies. It costs us about $165,000 dollars a year and takes in about

$120,000 a year. This means that your tax dollars subsidize this in

the amount of about $45,000 a year. We have other activities

available for children, but to me there is something fundamentally

wrong with our tax dollars subsidizing trips to Disneyland and the


Additionally, we could increase the fees so that the program pays

for itself. This would be a more fair use of public funds. We

currently fund 23 different programs costing more than $3 million

annually. My suggestions would have resulted in relatively small cuts

where funds are not used efficiently.

I fully support sports for kids, and we have many programs that

cover that. As a city councilman, it is my job to ensure that our

expenditures are efficient and appropriate.

Yes, I also wanted more funding for code enforcement and bike

patrol on the Westside. We have a continuing problem with vending

trucks and push cart vendors in some specific locations. These

vehicles constantly honk their horns to notify their customers of

their presence, and their customers routinely discard a great deal of

trash in residential neighborhoods. This would not be tolerated in

other parts of the city.

Additional bike patrol in specific areas would be very effective

in decreasing crime and the negative headlines that result. The whole

city should have the expectation of a clean, safe, quiet place to


Another thing that was interestingly not mentioned in the article

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