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Mailbag: Council members may disagree but they listen

December 01, 2011

I appreciate the thoughts Melissa Sweet made in her "Mailbag: Council must listen to residents' ideas, too" piece Nov. 26, even if I don't agree with all her points. You see, I'm all for civil discussion and the political process. I just see a difference between listening and doing what you heard. There seems to be some confusion there.

Just because the City Council acts in a way someone does not agree with after that person has had their three minutes, or even a lot of people, does not mean the council didn't listen. I don't agree with everything the council does, but I would not accuse its members of not listening. There are a lot of voices in Costa Mesa, many of them talking to the council. I think they as a whole take all of that into consideration.

We are a republic, not a democracy as some seem to think. What that means when you boil it down is that we elect, as a body of people, officials to represent us.

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They win by majority vote. Yes, I'm aware of the appointment of Councilman Steve Mensinger, but that is not the norm, so let's discuss that at another time.

By and large the people who represent us are elected by the majority. They are then charged with carrying out what they feel is in the best interest of the people who elected them. Do they have a political agenda? Yes! If they didn't we would not have elected them, or probably more accurately, they would not have run. Whether they are Democrat, Republican or other, they all have an agenda.

If we believe the system works, then we the people elected the council majority and they will make the best decisions they can based on all the input they can get. Keep respectfully telling them what you think. But don't confuse disagreement with not listening. And if in the end you really want a change in leadership, you will have another opportunity in 2012. You just have to hope the majority agrees with you.

Sam Clark

Costa Mesa

The writer is a city planning commissioner.

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PCH road project is a stupid idea

Re. "Panel: Merge traffic on stretch of PCH, Nov. 24": This is one of the most stupid ideas I have seen yet. First of all, the traffic there is already a bottleneck. Secondly, who would want to eat on a highway with road noise and exhaust fumes blowing all over their food?

Carole Donahue

Newport Beach

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