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Harlan: Goodwill hunting in Costa Mesa

December 08, 2012|By Jeffrey Harlan

Because it was a symbol of missed opportunity. Filling this position is not based on who cares more about the community, or who is more qualified. And it's not about seniority, or who deserves it more. Rather, it should be about fairness and creating goodwill.

Here was a prime opportunity for the council majority to write a new narrative and make good on their promise to help the community move forward together. It was the right time to set a new tone of conciliation and hope.

A simple gesture, costing virtually no political capital, would have gone a long way to repairing the rift created by the last two years of strife.


Mensinger could have just politely declined the nomination. Not only would that have demonstrated humility and grace, but also a commitment to actually listening to the Costa Mesa community. What would he have really lost if Leece served as the mayor pro tem?

We should not forget that a mere 155 votes, one-tenth of one percent of the citywide vote, could have completely changed the complexion of this council. As noted by several speakers at Tuesday's meeting, the election plainly demonstrated that no one has a mandate, and no side was clearly victorious.

Some may argue that had there been a new majority, it would have definitely installed Leece and Genis in the mayoral positions. Of course, we'll never know that.

The majority had the option to act magnanimously here, but chose otherwise.

So much for a holiday miracle in Costa Mesa.

JEFFREY HARLAN is an urban planner who lives on the Eastside of Costa Mesa.

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