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Mailbag: Blame the union for CMPD turnover rate

March 10, 2014

Re. "Commentary: Too many cops are leaving the CMPD" (March 7): Some people have speculated that the turnover in the Costa Mesa Police Department is political.

Wow, politics in municipal employment, how surprising.

What is more surprising is the attempt by some to blame the mayor's office for this.

The mayor? The elected mayor?

Surely the CMPD is not saying it rejects the leadership of the elected officials of this city. The same elected officials who represent the people of this city? The elected officials who spend their time and efforts to make the city the best it could be for everyone?

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I would like to propose another "political" possibility, and that is a misguided union, its attorneys and their attempts to control public policy for their purposes rather than those of the rank and file.

One thing that is for certain is that our Police Department personnel are dedicated to this city. They perform difficult and too-often dangerous jobs.

I also believe that the "political" problem may be the result of the union leadership for one other more obvious reason. If the CMPD did not support the direction of our elected officials they would simply vote them out of office.

If our officials are elected to lead, then let them lead.

Mike Berry

Costa Mesa

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City ignores procedures

Columnist Barbara Venezia hit the nail on the head in her column ("Venezia: Nothing adds up in 60th debacle," March 7).

I have repeatedly indicated my dismay to the city manager about the lack of respect for established laws and policies that permeates City Hall from top to bottom. It's also an issue I emphasized in my discussion with consultant Chip Espinosa in his "listening" report.

But the disregard for rules is not limited to contracts. The city ignores planning laws, municipal code and California and government code provisions regarding city administration.

If staff had observed the adopted policies and laws applicable to Fairview Park, the whole trail incident — an unknown party placed a decomposed granite trail over an environmentally sensitive habitat — probably wouldn't have happened, since staff sprayed and scraped the trail, essentially laying the groundwork for the decomposed granite.

Sandra Genis

Costa Mesa

The writer is a member of the City Council.

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