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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Venezia: Could psychological testing help local government?

Barbara might be on to something (see Register link below). I am happy to take the test.  The results might prove that no one in their "right mind" would want to step up and do this job.  As a teacher, journalist, and mother of 5 and grandmother, my approach has always been to study the facts, do my homework, ask the questions and vote my conscience. That takes a lot of time! I try, but I am not perfect, to put principles above politics.  I like to be able to sleep at night and not struggle with pressure others may put on me to vote a certain way to please them and satisfy their agenda.  People know I am my own person.

Historically, politicians are supposed to serve the community and in that old fashioned sense, I try to serve everyone, not just my supporters.  Do I pander? Do I want publicity? Sure, I'm guilty as charged because I want my side, which is often the minority opinion, to be told.  But people who know me will tell you I don't go out and seek publicity. I just want people to think about their opinions and all options and not just accept what others says is true. It might not be true.

With term limits, I find this second term much more fulfilling in my overall career as a public servant because I am not always thinking about how my decisions or relationships might further my public career. I just want to serve.  I am a problem solver and enjoy seeing problems solved.  Yesterday I met with a lovely young couple who moved to Costa Mesa 11 months ago.  Their neighborhood needs lots of improvements! I met them and a staff member and we walked their neighborhood and discussed the problems and possible remedies. The list is long! But we're getting started even though we all agree it is shameful that these problems have existed for such a long time.

(By the way, I respect Dr. O'Carroll's wisdom and have often recommended him to others who have migraines. He was a Godsend to us when one of my young daughters was suffering with migraines.)

I will be 64 this month. Mostly, I am proud of what I have accomplished as a single mother after my husband died. I'm really proud of my adult kids.  I enjoy spending time with them and my grandchildren. I enjoy walking Tucker, my terrier, in Canyon Park. I love the Costa Mesa breezes and the quiet of the Westside. I love working in my garden. I enjoy teaching kids in juvenile hall. And yes, frankly, I'm tired. (I buy the large size of Warrior Food Extreme from my friend Einer at the Water Brewery on 18th street). But I did sign up for this, just like I signed up for 8 years on the NMUSD (and was defeated by my now good friend Tom Egan.)  A commitment is a commitment!

I love my city.  It breaks my heart and yes, I do cry, over what is happening. The division, the acrimony, the untimely death of Huy Pham and disrespect toward our employees and former councils--it's just too much.  I promise you I will continue to stand my ground and defend this city come hell or high water.  My vote still counts because I represent the people of Costa Mesa and ALL of THEIR interests. I can't ignore them and think I alone have all the answers. Together we can solve our problems even though we will not always agree one hundred percent.  Yes, I am a very conservative Republican and I am very disappointed in the OCGOP for its strong-armed takeover of Costa Mesa.  City Council is a non-partisan office, or supposed to be until recently.

When the PEOPLE of Costa Mesa truly wake up and start talking to their neighbors about all that has happened in the last three years, and the PEOPLE of Costa Mesa vote on November 6, then all of "this" will have been worth the effort. It is the hill I chose to die on, so to speak.

Costa Mesa is like an old, comfortable shoe.  You just can't throw it in the trash or pass it along to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.  It's been around too long. Sixty years next year.  Too many miles you've walked, too many places, too many memories and so much wisdom garnered with those darn shoes! Does Costa Mesa need some TLC? Absolutely. Maybe even a new leather sole, but we don't need a new "soul" as some might suggest. Costa Mesa does not need complete overhaul to make it into an entirely different city. 

I remember when my late husband used to spend time quietly polishing his shoes each Sunday night, getting them ready for his work week. He'd get his little box with the cans of  polish and the rags and sit on the corner of the bed really working out the scuff marks, then placing them carefully in the closet, ready to go to meet his clients at his small business.  That's what we need to do.  We, the COSTA MESANS, need to polish our city so it sparkles again.  We've got some scuff marks too. And we need leaders who will work with all Costa Mesans to make us shine again so we Costa Mesans can go out and meet the world and invite the world to meet us! 

Venezia: Could psychological testing help local government?


B Kendall said...

Wendy it says so much that you came out to our home along with another city official to see with your own eyes what we are trying to do. Your support means a lot and we are seeing a difference. Thank you again! We enjoy working with you to make our city better!!!!!

kwahlf said...

You are our representative, Wendy!
You listen to, respect and work for us, the residents of Costa Mesa.
Thank God we have you on our city council!

PS- Love the photos. You have a beautiful family.