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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Miles to Go

Here are the words I used to describe us the other night. If you have any you would like to contribute, please do. 
Safe--we are a safe city and I want to keep us that way.
Appreciative
Trusting
Peaceful
Civil
Merciful
Truthful
Transparent
Free to be
Law abiding-self governing
Kind
Neat
Respectful
Consistent
Tolerant
Strong
Warm
Welcoming
Patient
Hardworking
Family as a Priority
Also, I'm adding:
Eclectic
Artsy
Non-conforming
Multi-cultural
Diverse

There are more of course, but in light of the heaviness of our challenges and the divisiveness and contention right now, I thought it would be helpful to start to define who we are as a community. 

But where do we go from  here? Residents, employees who serve our residents, business owners, visitors, customers, other elected officials--everyone has an interest in what is happening here in Costa Mesa.

First, my hope would be that we begin anew to work hard to build good relationships with each other and be good listeners.

We need to rebuild trust with our employees, the ones who will still be here in six months.  We have worked with them for many hours and they have contributed to millions of dollars in savings in the last few years to help us balance our budget.

I am disappointed that some have taken a mean-spirited approach and feel the need to rush to change our city.

We cannot eradicate the unions in Costa Mesa and still have the same city. We need a plan with principles. Stockton has one on pension reform we could follow and adapt--for starters. The Association of California Cities-Orange County just sent me a draft for pension reform "Items Cities Can Begin Implementing Today".  I serve on the pension reform task force which came up with basic principles. This is the right way to do pension reform so that OC cities make changes at roughly the same time because all cities need to be competitive in the market to attract the  best employees.  I am concerned that we will not attract the  best of the best who want to work for Costa Mesa.
Our City of Costa Mesa "Fund Balance" for February is $66,300,082.07. (Treasurer's Report for month of February 2011).  We are not running out of money.  We have time, even a month, to slow down and get our arms around the numbers, talk about making more cuts, look at possible increases in revenue (SCP) and have a balanced budget by June 30. 

We have consultants and staff working together to send out the RFPs.  It's a monumental task. I just hope we don't make mistakes we regret down the road because we hurried this process and bit off more than we can chew.

We have to count the cost of these changes in our service delivery and inform and involve our residents as we go along. I'm concerned of course about the level of our police protection and fire/paramedic services too. We certainly don't want to lower our standards one bit.

I will continue to seek the best for Costa Mesa and value your input along the way.
wl

8 comments:

ProudAmerican said...

Wendy. Any political figure who, knowing the consequences, will fall on their political sword rather than compromise their character is a patriot. No matter what party affiliation. You are a Patriot!

John said...

It takes a lot more than happy thoughts to run a city. Please do your job.

cm dude said...

I'm a little confused I think our city is also quite cool, awesome, and tubular. None of these words were mentioned on your list. What gives? Don't you council members do your homework? I'd like to see a committee formed to find even more descriptive words to describe our city. Maybe we can raise taxes to have them permanently etched on the wall of the city council chambers right under In god we trust.... That would be neat.

LongTime Maggie said...

Thank you for the specifics and the information regarding the budget/pension numbers. My husband and I, long-time residents, agree with your assessment, that the Council and the City need to take time and careful consideration to solve these issues. The consequences are enormous for all. As residents we want quality services that we can depend on, not just a stripped down budget that has been born out of politics. Please keep providing more specifics. Thank you.

Jackson said...

I would also add independent as well. If we were a state, we would be Texas. We like to do things our way. We are also very unique. I'm glad I don't have to live in a generic, homogenized, and sterile city like so many people in south county.

Thanks so much for putting Costa Mesa first! It's too bad there isn't a law that would prevent someone from living here for less than 2 years run for council. Some people come to Costa Mesa for a lifelong career in state politics. You are here because you care.

You love this city and it shows. I also like how you give public safety a priority. We don't want more government in our lives but we do need help from our government to protect us from fires, violent crime, natural disasters, and other emergencies that are larger than any one person can handle.

Thank you Wendy for doing everything you do and fighting the good fight. It's nice to see this is more than just a job for you.

Jackson said...

I hope we get local control of our city back. The Republican ideal is to have local control and limited higher government. That's what we used to have before all this nonsense about outsourcing jobs to India and Mexico and getting rid of our local fire department (who would normally give us top priority).

Some people might dream of the day when Walmart or the federal government sells police and fire department contracts to local cities. I would much rather stick with local control.

David said...

Wendy, I am a conservative who is interested in reviewing both sides of the argument. However, I need to hear an alternative plan from you and data to support that plan. I disagree with the councilmen whose willy-nilly decision to outsource without and fiscal analysis jeopardizes the fiscal health of the city and makes its residents vulnerable to crime and terrorism; yet you must state how their plan threatens to do this. You need to show how their plan will fail; you have access to the information that is not readily available to the residents. It is great that you point out that the City of Stockton has a plan; what is their plan? Is it workable for the City of Costa Mesa?
I understand how your liberal constituents recognize your accusations against the city councilmen as “mean spirited” as justified. I as a fiscal conservative also recognize this in these men. However, it is an overused liberal accusation that falls short of grabbing the attention of your conservative constituents, like me. Liberals have successfully attacked fiscal conservative policies that actually could and/or would benefit our cities, states and national government, unlike the Costa Mesa City Council’s recent policy implementations such as dismantling of ABLE and outsourcing of city employee jobs.
The Wall Street Journal report interviews a New Jersey State Senator (a Democrat) and another liberal pendant. There points are valid but will be dismissed by your conservative constituents as propaganda. I suggest you post the FOX news segment where Christy, himself, presents these very same arguments.
The task force is a great idea but a bit late to combat the rhetoric propagated by the OC GOP media blitz. I wish you the best but the councilmen have a formative propaganda machine supporting their efforts to dismantle Costa Mesa under the guise of pension reform.
I hope you the best; however, I feel you need to do some homework and address the real issues of how the councilmen’s plans serve to accomplish the opposite of their projected outcomes.

Anonymous said...

Wendy, I am a conservative who is interested in reviewing both sides of the argument. However, I need to hear an alternative plan from you and data to support that plan. I disagree with the councilmen whose willy-nilly decision to outsource without and fiscal analysis jeopardizes the fiscal health of the city and makes its residents vulnerable to crime and terrorism; yet you must state how their plan threatens to do this. You need to show how their plan will fail; you have access to the information that is not readily available to the residents. It is great that you point out that the City of Stockton has a plan; what is their plan? Is it workable for the City of Costa Mesa?
I understand how your liberal constituents recognize your accusations against the city councilmen as “mean spirited” as justified. I as a fiscal conservative also recognize this in these men. However, it is an overused liberal accusation that falls short of grabbing the attention of your conservative constituents, like me. Liberals have successfully attacked fiscal conservative policies that actually could and/or would benefit our cities, states and national government, unlike the Costa Mesa City Council’s recent policy implementations.
The Wall Street Journal report interviews a New Jersey State Senator (a Democrat) and another liberal pendant. There points are valid but will be dismissed by your conservative constituents as propaganda. I suggest you post the FOX news segment where Christy, himself, presents these very same arguments.
The task force is a great idea but a bit late to combat the rhetoric propagated by the OC GOP media blitz. I wish you the best but the councilmen have a formative propaganda machine supporting their efforts to dismantle Costa Mesa under the guise of pension reform.
I hope you the best; however, I feel you need to do some homework and address the real issues of how the councilmen’s plans serve to accomplish the opposite of their projected outcomes.