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Commentary: Mensinger mixes up his David, Goliath

March 14, 2012|By Perry Valantine

The proposed charter would require a majority (more than 50%) of the city's registered voters — not just those voting — to approve any increase in employee retirement benefits. In the last general election, about 52% of registered voters in Costa Mesa actually voted. At that rate, it would be nearly impossible to ever approve an enhancement to employee retirement benefits, no matter how small. By the way, benefits could be decreased by a vote of only three council members.

That's a Goliath of an unfair advantage to the council.

The proposed charter says that employees associations, in which membership is voluntary, by the way, may not use dues collected by payroll deduction for political purposes. That may not sound so bad, but it goes on to say the associations may only ask their members for political contributions twice a year, and these must be mailed to the members' homes — they can't use e-mail, and they can't ask three times a year.

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These are the tactics, not of poor David, but of a Goliath who thinks he's bigger and more powerful than "the little people." A Goliath who thinks the rules (state law) shouldn't apply to him, so he wants to make his own rules (city charter). This is the Goliath (City Council) who is in court because he didn't follow the rules in attempting to lay off half the city's workforce. And now, he wants us to save him by approving a charter that will give him even more power.

PERRY VALANTINE is a Costa Mesa resident.

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