Mailbag: Council wields 'meat ax'

March 25, 2011

Some people are hopping mad — you can count me among them — over the hasty moves by the Costa Mesa councilmen to dismantle the city government that's been painstakingly built up over many decades.

Can one assume, though — this being a democracy — that the men must be doing the will of the voters? Maybe, but where did the abrupt, meat-ax approach come from, some people are asking? After all, the council's leader, elected five months ago, didn't campaign on it.

Why haven't they taken the usual, prudent, scalpel approach? Maybe the councilmen feel they are responding to the many voters who are frustrated and frightened by the recent meltdown of their personal finances and want something done right now.


Fair enough, but when voters are affected, it matters how that something is done. Our city is not a heartless, unfeeling corporation that welcomes the un-tender mercies of a Chainsaw Al. Costa Mesa is a small town with many stakeholders. It's always been a conservative place that makes haste very slowly. Consequently, it attracts — and has kept — residents who like the safety of a small, stable, familiar community.

So how could the councilmen conclude that the public would swallow this non-Costa Mesa decision-making? Their story is that the city is in such deep financial trouble that it demands quick action.

They are sticking with this story, even though they've presented no evidence yet to justify their precipitous moves to questioners. They simply haven't been in the least transparent or inclusive while proposing the most traumatic change to the city I've seen in my 30 years as a resident.

This lack of clear justification has encouraged people to come up with alternative reasons as to why the councilmen took these steps. I haven't heard any yet that cast a favorable light on them.

Tom Egan

Costa Mesa

Strong, the column is, with the Force

Re. "Letters From The Editor: Love her, I do" (John Canalis, March 24): Loved it. My boy is totally into "Star Wars." He is 5, and I have been trying to figure out when he is ready for an all-day, six-movie marathon. He watches "The Clone Wars" on Cartoon Network and I have been playing "Star Wars" with him all the time.

I was 10 when "Star Wars" came out. As a boy, I watched it 60 times and can still quote the first scene by heart out of my 43-year-old head.

My big dilemma for my son is watching Episodes 4, 5 and 6, then 1, 2, 3 — or chronologically. You give away the Darth Vader is Luke's father reveal if you go in 1-6 order, but my son, Liam, just said the other day, "Daddy, you can't be Anakin. He is a bad guy. He turns into Darth Vader."

I guess "Clone Wars" gave away the secret.

Tyler Stringer

Los Angeles

Editor's note: Stringer grew up in Newport Beach

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