Like a lot of people in Costa Mesa, I've lived here a long time. I love the fact that we have world-class performing arts, unrivaled shopping, phenomenal restaurants and just about anything a person could want. We're also five minutes from the beach!
I think we can all agree that Costa Mesa has a lot to offer. Additionally, we have some unbelievable talent within our city government, lovingly referred to as the 3Ms, that need to be recognized and supported at the polls next month.
In the wake of the corruption scandal in the city of Bell, our own City Council decided to do the unthinkable; they actually posted the compensation and benefits for our entire payroll online. You can go to the city's website right now and read the entire list for yourself. In doing this, our council took a major shellacking publicly from the unions. But with only 18% of their Costa Mesa members living in Costa Mesa, don't you wish they had more vested in "our" city.
Our council had the guts to make sure that Joe Citizen knew exactly what was going on within our own city. As an example, our city's website has received a prestigious "A" rating for transparency in city and executive worker's compensations. Sounds like a good thing to me, especially because we're the ones paying the bills.
Two of the candidates on the ballot this year are responsible for taking on this effort in transparency for us, the citizens. They are Councilmen Steve Mensinger and Gary Monahan. Not only did they take this effort head-on, but Mensinger one-upped this and drafted a measure that was so popular that our council recently adopted it in a rare unanimous vote.
The measure is called COIN (Civic Openness In Negotiations) and provides Costa Mesa with an independent negotiator to handle contract talks and an independent auditor who will publicly report the fiscal effects of any contract proposal. I know, what a crazy idea!
COIN also gives the Costa Mesa citizens 30 days and two council meetings before any vote can take place thereby allowing us the ability to evaluate any union contract pending before the council. Not only is this good for Costa Mesa, but cities across the U.S. are evaluating the COIN measure for possible adoption by their own municipalities. Again, sounds good to me, and thank you Steve, Gary, and the rest of the council.
The third individual in the 3Ms is our current chairman of the Planning Commission, Colin McCarthy. He is an awesome force to be reckoned with, and under his leadership, the city of Costa Mesa has flourished by adding more than 1,000 new jobs and increasing the city's tax base by hundreds of thousands of dollars through projects like the new Walgreen's, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop restaurant, the revitalization of Harbor Boulevard and the current renovation of The Triangle.
Last time I looked, these were all great things for our city.
Businessman KENT R. MORA lives in Costa Mesa.