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Commentary: The charter is flawed; I will debate it

August 20, 2012|By Katrina Foley

Re. "Commentary: I challenge Katrina Foley to a charter debate," Forum, (Aug. 16):

I am voting no on Measure V, the proposed city charter, because it is a poorly written power grab by the three-person majority on the City Council who invites fraud, favoritism, more legal fees, privatization of our parks, and increased fees and taxes for residents.

Worse, unlike the council majority's claims, their charter does not solve pension issues. Any existing pension liability remains. The only way to reduce our pension liability is with direct negotiation with the employees. This group doesn't seem interested in negotiating or even talking.

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My goal at the last special council meeting was not to be disruptive, but to object to the abuse of power.

Residents often complain to me that this council majority expresses disdain for the citizen speakers during meetings, stifles or prevents public participation and comment, promotes covert agendas, and attempts to retaliate against staff, residents, sport groups, school staff, coach volunteers, community volunteers and business owners who disagree with them. They abuse their power by denying access, opportunity, funding, development or approval.

This council appears to detest the public process, dissent on any issue and, more often than not, believes that it is above the law. When the council members' lawyers advise them against a particular course of action, they just replace the lawyer. That's their modus operandi at every level, whether it's Pop Warner football coaches, volunteers for community golf tournaments or city staff.

Disagree with the plan and you will be replaced, or your life and cause will be made extremely difficult.

As to the so-called "challenge" to debate: "Bring it."

As my boys would say: "Challenge accepted."

But let's make it a real debate with formal rules, a neutral moderator and in a venue where it's educational and professional, not just political. Let's ask the local high school debate or student government teams to host, and involve our youth in the government process.

Mr. Righeimer, what say you?

KATRINA FOLEY is a Newport-Mesa Unified school board member and former Costa Mesa councilwoman.

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