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Commentary: Stop slamming the City Council

October 03, 2013|By M. H. Millard

Even before he was elected to the City Council, some Costa Mesa police officers were out to keep Jim Righeimer from being elected.

He couldn't be counted on to vote to give away the store to the unions. Righeimer ran on a campaign of representing the hard-working residents of the city — not the unions.

Even residents who don't pay much attention to local politics realized what was going on when they saw off-duty Costa Mesa police officers who don't even live in the city and who can't vote here pulling a garish, lighted A-frame sign bearing negative comments about Righeimer.

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When Righeimer, who was on the Planning Commission at the time, saw a police checkpoint on Harbor Boulevard and traffic backing up on the off-ramp, creating the potential for a crash, he did the right and responsible thing and pulled off the road and politely told the police of the problem.

Some anonymous cops created the impression in the Daily Pilot that Righeimer had thrown his weight around and was acting like a wild man. However, when the audio tape of what happened was finally revealed weeks later, it became clear that Righeimer was simply acting as a concerned citizen and was extremely polite, even deferential, to the officers.

Then, you have the private eye following Righeimer and calling in what turned out to be a bogus report of driving under the influence.

Recently, we saw a well-orchestrated small group of liberal residents, union supporters and Democratic Party members waving signs that seem to have been delivered in one or two cars to the waiting mini-mob in front of City Hall to show supposed spontaneous grass-roots support for our police officers. By implication, this was also to show no support for the three members of the council who are trying to represent the residents of this city and get our expenses under control.

Right now in the newspapers we see over-the-top negative comments from some former and current police officers that seem calculated to make potential new hires to the Police Department shy away from Costa Mesa by making it sound like a terrible place to live and work.

The reality is that Costa Mesa is a great place to live and work, and a bright police officer would be wise to choose to come here. Costa Mesa is large enough so the job will remain interesting, yet it's a pretty safe city.

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