It's prudent to occasionally pick at the scab of previously settled issues, perhaps never more so than during difficult times. A city's growth strategy is one such issue. Steve Smith contends that Costa Mesa lacks a strategy "for long-term growth and prosperity." (City Life: "The roots of the budget crisis," June 1). He must mean, though, that we lack a robust and proactive one, because we actually do have a strategy, although it is reactive and relatively weak.
Costa Mesa likes to provide catalysts for growth, but not directions for growth to take. The city provides adequate infrastructure — streets, water, sewers, police and fire — low taxes and minimal regulation. Then the city gets out of the way of businesses and developers, although it is willing to step back in on an individual basis when it has special needs.
A passive policy such as Costa Mesa's was entirely appropriate for the city when it was new and little more than undeveloped farmland. The fledgling city needed to attract new investment in order to survive.