Advertisement

Community Commentary: Costa Mesa made many changes for the good

December 31, 2011|By Steve Mensinger

The end of the year is a time of reflection. That's a good thing.

As the late Peter Drucker said, "Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action."

I am grateful for the thousands of residents who have made it clear they are supportive of fundamental change in our city. It's much easier to be "for something" than to actually have to "accomplish something." This council is committed to accomplishing change that will benefit our future. As a longtime resident, businessman and community leader I am excited for the future.

Advertisement

First, let's look back.

The out-of-town union leaders, their hundreds of thousands of dollars in propaganda, and the union fan pages will tell you the past year has been apocalyptic.

Fortunately, the facts — and vast majority of Costa Mesa residents — say otherwise. Here are the City Council's accomplishments for 2011, achieved despite furious opposition from those who clung to the status quo — which would have soon bankrupted the city (just watch Santa Ana, which is near bankruptcy and frantically trying outsource its police, fire and 14 other services to get out from under unsustainable pension costs).

Balanced budget without the use of reserves. This is a major accomplishment, the first time Costa Mesa has done this in recent years. We had to make some tough decisions, such as transferring police helicopter services to Huntington Beach, but we did so with little impact to the community. We also managed to put away nearly $1 million in a contingency fund, directed more money to infrastructure repairs and once again begin fertilizing our sports fields and making parks and youth facilities a priority.

Hired leaders with strong ties to Costa Mesa. Our executive management team is made up of Costa Mesa shareholders (aka residents). We hired Tom Hatch as city CEO, a man whose family quickly established deep roots in Costa Mesa and engages in community activities and outcomes. Same with new Assistant CEO Rick Francis, Police Chief Tom Gazsi, interim Fire Chief Tom Arnold, Budget Director Bobby Young and Communications Director Bill Lobdell.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|