Community Commentary: Costa Mesans have to come together

March 19, 2011|By Wendy Leece
  • A picture of Huy Pham, a maintenance worker for the city of Costa Mesa, appears on a flower memorial at City Hall on Friday. Pham jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall on Thursday.
A picture of Huy Pham, a maintenance worker for the city… (KENT TREPTOW, Daily…)

Editor's note: This piece originally appeared on Costa Mesa Councilwoman Wendy Leece's blog and has been reprinted with permission.

I'm still in shock, saddened and trying to process what happened when one of our own city family members — 29-year-old Huy Pham — took his life at City Hall on Thursday.

I'm numb and can't seem to shake the unbelief.  This must be a dream.

I went back to City Hall tonight, for more hugs and tears. We're all in this together now. We stumble. There are no answers.  What are all these TV people still doing here?

The flowers, candles, kind notes. We see former mayors, many employees, policemen and policewomen. We meet Costa Mesans we've never met before who came tonight because they too were sad. More hugs.  They do seem to take away the pain, if only for a moment.

We pray for Huy's friends and family and read the messages about his life. Thankful for his commitment to our city. He was a good worker.


We hate to leave, but finally drive away in the darkness.

We love our city, and now, we really do know it: we love each other too.  Any differences we might have had over the years don't matter now.  And all that matters is that we Costa Mesans stick together and try to be there for each other — and especially for our employees — through this trying time. 

This won't be easy and it won't be over soon. 

Miles to go before we sleep kind of thing. Maybe Huy is smiling from Heaven. In his own way, Huy is bringing us together. And that has to be a good thing.

WENDY LEECE is a Costa Mesa councilwoman. Visit her website at

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