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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for the Opportunity to Serve

Lots of thoughts run through my head this year when thinking of the many things for which I can thank God. 

My baby--22-year-old Emily--is in her third week of USMC Boot Camp at Parris Island. I am thankful she has chosen to serve our Country.   I have been parenting for 38 years and with Emily's joining the Marines, I now find myself wondering where all those years went with my five kids. I'm thankful we survived!

Next year, I will have lived in this great city for 40 years. We could have moved away from Costa Mesa when life brought us some challenges, but there's something very unique about the Costa Mesa brand that doesn't exist anywhere else. I am thankful for Costa Mesa.

We are a safe, clean City of the Arts and not just performing arts. We're creative.  We're eclectic. We're friendly. We're diverse. We do unto others. And I think a reason we're creative is because we're safe--or we have that "sense" of feeling safe that allows us to pursue our dreams and enjoy life.  The cool ocean breezes, the ability to walk or ride to the beach, the varied cultures and lifestyles--Costa Mesa is like a taste of heaven on earth.  We really do have everything here.

I am thankful I am in good health.  I am optimistic about the future. I  trust God to help us get through these difficult changes in our city's structure and delivery of services.

As I have kept up with my Council duties, I have continued to teach in the juvenile hall schools. City Council is not a full-time job for me and was not meant to be.  I love the  challenge of substitute teaching. Working with incarcerated youth has given me a greater understanding of why these kids fall through the cracks. I continue to support and recruit volunteers for our city's afterschool programs--non-profit or school-based.  Encouraging literacy and life-long learning--to see our libraries remodeled and expanded, and a new, central library--these are my dreams.

I am thankful for those who support me in the positions I take--and for those who don't--and for those who have come out to the recent Town Hall meetings.  I plan to hold more Town Halls in different parts of the city, so that we can work together with our city staff to keep us a safe city. I will continue to listen to resident concerns and work on solutions.

I am thankful for our city employees who have persevered with courage these last 3 years.  They have shown their endurance and strength.  They are true servants who, in my opinion, value the nobility of public service.

I am thankful God has given me the opportunity, at this time in my life, to serve on the Costa Mesa City Council. 
                                                    Happy Thanksgiving from the Leeces
             Stephen, Emily, Megan, Bret, Amy, Derek, Blithe, Mom, kiddies Kennedy, Hamilton