Advertisement

Commentary: Charter government suits Costa Mesa's personality

December 01, 2012|By Byron de Arakal | By Byron de Arakal

Democracy and sausage-making have often been "linked" (sorry) as really ugly processes that produce good things. But having just passed through one of the nastiest local election cycles I can remember, I'm not feeling the parity between the two anymore. The comparison gives sausage-making a bad name.

We can, though, cling to this one soothing truth about our form of government: We vote, the votes are counted, and the winners take their seats without gunfire or bloodshed. Or at least as far as I know. The worst that seems to happen is that rank P.I.s make ham-handed attempts at entrapping candidates. Also, campaign signs have a habit of going missing or showing up dismembered. If that's the worst that happens, I'll take it over what's happening in, say, Syria.

So in the spirit of a bloodless democracy, City Councilwoman-elect Sandy Genis, as well as incumbent Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan, are to be congratulated for their election wins and shipped best wishes via overnight mail if they haven't already received them (and there's evidence that in some circles they haven't).

Advertisement

Now if you followed the campaign in Costa Mesa — and here's hoping that you had the tots look away from the carnage — you'll know that three issues defined the campaign: Costa Mesa as a charter city, public employee pension reform, and city services outsourcing. All are big issues with plenty of nuance and worthy of separate, continuing chats, even though they're not unrelated.

But for our purposes here, we'll focus on Costa Mesa as a charter city.

This last election reveals that most Costa Mesans like the idea of a charter government (read: city constitution), but they'll not endorse just any old charter. The vote tally reveals as much. Mensinger, Monahan and Costa Mesa Planning Commission Chairman Colin McCarthy (who finished fifth behind candidate John Stephens) collected a combined 41,594 votes. All three men — who ran as a slate, more or less — support a charter form of government for Costa Mesa and were staunch proponents of Measure V, the draft charter that went down in unvarnished defeat.

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|