Drop idealism

take the money

September 05, 2009

Talk about throwing out the baby with the bath water.

The Costa Mesa City Council, offered $560,000 in federal Housing and Development money, is contemplating turning it down.

At the last City Council meeting, Mayor Allan Mansoor and Councilwoman Wendy Leece indicated they would not take the money because some of it might benefit undocumented workers.

Council members Gary Monahan and Katrina Foley had no such reservations.

Councilman Eric Bever was absent from the meeting, so an official vote will take place when the entire council is present.


Technically, the money is designated to help the city with its homeless problem. But using Mansoor and Leece’s logic, that’s just a roundabout way of helping illegal immigrants, and they want no part of that.

It’s a “just say no” approach to federal funding.

The two council members might be correct. Some of that money may indeed benefit illegals. But it would also benefit the city in fighting the growing problem of homelessness. And the money is specifically earmarked for those who have recently become homeless.

So why throw out the baby with the bath water? Best we can tell, it’s idealism crowding out reason.

But this is no time for ideologues to snub the federal government.

That money could go a long way toward helping with the homeless problem. In other words, put ideology aside and do the practical thing. Once the money is procured, the council could even monitor it to make sure it’s helping alleviate homelessness and not giving a boost to illegals.

How difficult would that be? Not very.

Monahan and Foley have it right on this one. Take the money.

Let’s hope, when the time comes for a vote, that Bever agrees.

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