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Mailbag: Council majority isn't working with residents

September 19, 2013

Re. "Workers present counterproposal," Sept. 12: I see

quotes from the City Council regarding partnerships. Without responding to any issues or details regarding city contracts, the council has instead issued a statement offering a false choice. The mayor has invoked a claim of partnering with residents as if it were true.

In addition to the false premise, the false argument is put forth that such a partnership would somehow preclude negotiation with city employees. A partnership is defined as an arrangement in which parties agree to cooperate to advance their mutual interests.

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I would offer that the council's claim to having a partnership with residents is blatantly false. I am a longtime resident of Costa Mesa, and I have absolutely no feeling of partnership whatsoever with the current council majority.

My sense is that the council majority is and has been in constant opposition to the interests of the majority of Costa Mesa residents since January 2011. Council votes since 2011 have constantly favored the interests of a select few, usually businesses and shills, very often from outside the city, at the expense of Costa Mesa taxpayers.

I cannot recall any Costa Mesa City Council meeting that I've attended since April 2011 where members agreed with residents to cooperate to advance mutual interests. There is, however, plenty of evidence to the contrary:

Critical, dangerous understaffing has continually worsened within our protective agencies since 2011, while residents have vainly asked the council to cooperate with us and our city employees. The council's erroneously titled "We the People" charter was voted down by residents, 60% to 40%. Costa Mesa residents' rejection of bad law Measure V was quickly followed by the council's hand-picked appointments of a majority of its new 2013 charter committee.

Under this council, due process has been set aside. We've seen a lot of op-eds and heard a lot of lip service, as we've witnessed a steady, measurable decline in Costa Mesa. The FBI says crime is way up here.

When the men of this City Council speak of city control, they refer to three people and three people only. For three years they have promoted the goals of a small minority, often including nonresidents.

No viable partnership exists between the elected majority on the City Council and the majority of Costa Mesa residents. If there were, this city would be much better off right now. To indicate otherwise is yet another disservice to this once successful community. It is propaganda.

Greg Thunell

Costa Mesa

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