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Mailbag: Employee group is polarizing the community

August 16, 2011

My neighbors and I are outraged by the actions of the Orange County Employees Assn. The straw has broken the camel's back. Enough is enough. We read that the city's employee union hired a private detective to interrogate minors without their parents present or presumably without the parents' consent. If this practice is not illegal, it is certainly morally and ethically objectionable.

The OCEA seems to be completely bankrupt of any ethical standards and will stop at nothing, including intimidating minors, to impose its will on the citizens, residents and property owners of Costa Mesa. The city has real problems to solve. There is a need for all parties to work together to resolve these difficult issues.

The actions of the OCEA do not bring people together, rather they make the community more divisive and polarized. They create an atmosphere of hostility, which makes addressing the real problems more difficult or impossible.

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Like the intimidation of minors, the "Cancel the Layoff" signs are another example of OCEA's polarizing actions in the community. As property owners in the city of Costa Mesa, we perceive these signs posted on city parkways and property comparable to litter or garbage.

We find the association's use of the Internet and their "banner ads" as a cheap attempt to embarrass and intimidate the residents of Costa Mesa by taking our problems outside the community and bringing controversy to our fine city. The problems we face need to be solved internally by hard work and methodical preparation, not by outsiders that know nothing about our community.

The hypocrisy of the OCEA is suffocating. The association very well knows that the city is financially stressed and cannot afford frivolous expenditures.

We separate our disgust with the OCEA from the employees that work for the city of Costa Mesa. The city employees are stuck between a rock and a hard place that was created by the union.

The problem is a financial matter that was created by union demands for salaries and benefits over a number of years. It is unsustainable. The party's over.

We respectfully hope that residents of Costa Mesa will voice their opinions, loudly, that we do not support the OCEA's actions to intimidate minors, nor support the association's actions to divide the community by blanketing the city with controversial signs and the Internet with banner ads that are meant to embarrass and polarize our community.

Derek Davis

Costa Mesa

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